Is empathy in our genes? – CNN.com

 A large part of how we relate to people emotionally may be hardwired into our DNA. A new study suggests that character traits such as being open, caring, and trusting are so strongly linked to a certain gene variation that a total stranger, simply by watching us listen to another person, may be able to guess whether we have the variation with a high degree of accuracy.

 

Previous studies have linked several personality traits to variations in this gene, which acts as a docking station (or receptor) for the brain chemical oxytocin — often referred to as the “love hormone” because it plays a role in social behaviors such as bonding, empathy, and anxiety.

 

By Amanda MacMillan,