Why the British are freethinking and the Chinese love conformity: It’s all in the genes claim scientists:
Cultural stereotypes may be deeply rooted in our genetic makeup, say scientists. Common traits like British individualism and Chinese conformity could be attributed to genetic differences between races according to a new study. The study, by the department of psychology at Northwestern University in Illinois, suggests that the individualism seen in western nations, and the higher levels of collectivism and family loyalty found in Asian cultures, are caused by differences in the prevalence of particular genes. Common traits like British individualism and Chinese conformity could be attributed to genetic differences between races according to new research. ‘We demonstrate for the first time a robust association between cultural values of individualism–collectivism and the serotonin transporter gene,’ said Joan Chiao, from the department of psychology at Northwestern University. Chiao and her colleagues combined data from global genetic surveys, looking at variations in the prevalence of various genes. The findings were matched with other research which ranked nations by levels of individualism and collectivism. The team focused their attentions on the gene that controls levels of serotonin, a chemical in the brain which regulates mood and emotions.