Social gene ‘spotted in seconds’

It is well known that first impressions count, but they may also be enough to give insights into a person’s genes.


Researchers say people can spot whether a complete stranger has a certain “social gene” in just 20 seconds.


Two variants of the “oxytocin receptor gene” have been linked with social traits.

People judging the empathy of strangers – by studying the way they listened to people – predicted the genetic variant, a University of Toronto study showed. The hormone oxytocin has a role in birth, production of milk and bonding between mother and baby.