An international team has found that people’s likely places in social groups are determined by genetics even before they are born, rather than by their upbringing — in fact some have evolved into occupying different social positions.
And, according to researchers, the genes may help in influencing personality but the strength of the connection between genes and standing in a group suggests their influence go much further.
“We were able to show our particular location in vast social networks has a genetic basis. In fact the beautiful and complicated pattern of human connection depends on our genes to a significant measure,” Nicholas Christakis of the Harvard University, who led the team, said.
The researchers came to the conclusion after looking at the “social networks” of 1,110 teenage twins.
They found identical twins, who share the same genetic make up, often found themselves in the same position within a group, whether as social outcasts or the centre of attention while non-identical twins were more likely to have differing levels of popularity among their friends.