uu.seUppsala University Publications
Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
The Genetic Origins of the Relationship between Psychological Traits and Social Trust
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
2012 (English)In: Twin Research and Human Genetics, ISSN 1832-4274, Vol. 15, no 1, 21-33 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Recent studies have shown that trusting attitudes and behavior are biologically influenced. Focusing on the classic trust game, it has been demonstrated that oxytocin increases trust and that humans are endowed with genetic variation that influences their behavior in the game. Moreover, several studies have shown that a large share of the variation in survey responses to trust items is accounted for by an additive genetic component. Against this backdrop, this article makes two important contributions. First, utilizing a unique sample of more than 2,000 complete Swedish twin pairs, we provide further evidence of the heritability of social trust. Our estimates of the additive genetic component in social trust were consistent across the sexes - .33 for males and .39 for females - and are similar to the results reported in earlier studies. Secondly, we show that social trust is phenotypically related to three psychological traits - extraversion, personal control, and intelligence - and that genetic factors account for most of these correlations. Jointly, these psychological factors share around 30% of the genetic influence on social trust both for males and females. Future studies should further explore the possible causal pathways between genes and trust using panel data on both psychological traits and social trust.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 15, no 1, 21-33 p.
Keyword [en]
social trust, personality, behavior genetics
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-175510DOI: 10.1375/twin.15.1.21ISI: 000303624300004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-175510DiVA: diva2:531943
Available from: 2012-06-08 Created: 2012-06-08 Last updated: 2012-06-08Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Oskarsson, Sven
By organisation
Department of Government
In the same journal
Twin Research and Human Genetics
Social Sciences

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

Altmetric score

Total: 188 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link