Genes, income, and happiness

Significant differences between genetic correlations indicated that, the genetic variants associated with income are related to better mental health than those linked to educational attainment (another commonly-used marker of SEP). Finally, we were able to predict 2.5% of income differences using genetic data alone in an independent sample. These results are important for understanding the observed socioeconomic inequalities in Great Britain today.

That is from a new paper by W. David Hill,  And from Abdel Abdellouai’s summary:

Educational attainment shows a larger genetic overlap with subjective wellbeing than IQ does (rgs = .11 & .03, respectively), while income shows a larger genetic overlap with subjective wellbeing than both education or IQ (rg = .32).

All via Richard Harper.


"Finally, we were able to predict 2.5% of income differences using genetic data alone in an independent sample. These results are important for understanding the observed socioeconomic inequalities in Great Britain today." I don't know how being able to explain 2.5% of income differences will help understand observed socioeconomic inequalities beyond figuring out where else to shine the flash light.

Only 40 more such studies and we'll have inequality all figured out!

all dispensed in customary alacrity

come on, tell us what you really think.

You don't need 40 studies, you have it figured out already.

As do most people.

Last time I was in the DMV I could tell the happy people from the unhappy people as easily as a dog can tell a suspicious stranger from an invited guest.

And you are likely better at that than I am.

Slartibartfast : "Perhaps I'm old and tired, but I think that the chances of finding out what's actually going on are so absurdly remote that the only thing to do is to say, "Hang the sense of it," and keep yourself busy. I'd much rather be happy than right any day."
Arthur Dent : "And are you?"
Slartibartfast : "Ah, no. Well, that's where it all falls down, of course."

So if it's better to be happy than right, and you're not happy, wouldn't you rather be right? Choose being right I say. After all, being happy may not be in your stars anyway.

Yes, but Slartibartfast's point is that it's impossible to know what's right, so he chose to be happy because it seemed possible.

The truth is, it's impossible to be happy or right.

"The truth is...."

Certainly not. You're absolutely right about that.

Once, I read blood-soaked and thought is this not an intrusion on Faulkner's right to privacy? Look at plagiarism. On one hand, the entire point of using a source is melding it into your own words. Why quote any source at all? Certainly, you can cite influences. If you quote a source, why not commit. Find a way to make their words while deafining the surveillance mechanism.

A thousand years from now people will like Faulkner but they will like you too, whoever you are.

Words are what they are, reality is what it is.

Or you could just get a dog.

better to get two dogs

it is much easier to keep two dogs happy than to keep one dog happy

Genetic drivers on "Educational attainment" vs "IQ" vs "Income" surely quite correlated, but differences interesting as well.

Which would you select for if you could? Individually, it would seem "educational attainment" or "income" as greater correlation with happiness. But collectively if you look at Garrett Jones's Hive Mind stuff, society level education rank does not much for per capita income, while society level IQ rank does, and neither does IQ within society correlate well with individual income rank.

Nothing changes my belief, so far, that we know how to raise IQ and influence educational outcomes, but that it would be extremely expensive, and, even more importantly, involve some serious intervention into the lives of families. That's why changes will be gradual, slow, and, given the funding problem, need to be terribly efficient, and that we should do.

I've read two books recently helping me a bit on this subject, both excellent. "Innate" by Kevin Mitchel and "Blueprint" by Robert Plomin.

One of the findings is that genes that are associated with major maladies such as schizophrenia are associated with lower incomes. Which isn't surprising when you think about it.

But a general point is that life is very complicated, so it shouldn't be surprising that genes influence income but it also shouldn't be surprising that it's hard to isolate a lot of influence of genes on income either.

what are the odds that one of these young fellas could have
a subclinical /early case of easily transmittable (like with
a basketball) measles?
we feel the scooters/sofa/teargas! sacrifice will suffice
60 years/last feb, since that plane crashed
we gonna tell ya
how its gonna be

good game but
we win!!

"Finally, we were able to predict 2.5% of income differences using genetic data alone in an independent sample."

2.5%? Is that larger than probable measurement errors?

why don't you prepare a lekshur on the subject

I didn't see the original paper and I'm not sure how to read the association data. Wellbeing and IQ "overlap" at .03 but wellbeing and wealth are at .32. I think it's likely that IQ and wealth would be overlap quite a bit. Let's say it's .4 or so. Might this mean that for each individual stratum of wealth, being dumber is associated with greater wellbeing - that the extra wellbeing bought by high-IQ earnings is almost entirely canceled out by the wellbeing-reducing effect of the high IQ itself?

Look first at the definition of the variable household income in the article:

- A total of 332,050 participants had genotype data and data on their level of household income. Self-reported household income was collected using a 5 point scale corresponding to the total household income before tax, 1 being less than £18,000, 2 being £18,000 - £29,999, 3 being £30,000 - £51,999, 4 being £52,000 – £100,000, and 5 being greater than £100,000. Participants were removed from the analysis if they answered “do not know” (n = 12,721), or “prefer not to answer” (n = 31,947). -

Tax minimization and evasion are realities. I just wonder if the most intelligent individuals are the ones who answered the survey with "prefer not to answer" or "do not know". The income of ~13% of the sample is unknown =)

A second issue is using income as a variable. I found nothing in the article about the sources of income. If household income relies on rents from real estate, investment, or funds, it is not related to the sampled individual intelligence or mental health.

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