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Genetics of Psychological Well-BeingThe role of heritability and genetics in positive psychology$
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Michael Pluess

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199686674

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199686674.001.0001

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Virtue, values, genes, and psychological well-being

Virtue, values, genes, and psychological well-being

Chapter:
(p.114) Chapter 7 Virtue, values, genes, and psychological well-being
Source:
Genetics of Psychological Well-Being
Author(s):

Richard P. Ebstein

Rachel Bachner-Melman

Yunfeng Lu

Soo Hong Chew

Qiang Shen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199686674.003.0007

Virtue, morality, and personality traits contribute to an individual’s “Weltanschauung” (world view), and affect psychological well-being in subtle, imperfectly understood ways. Virtue refers to a confluence of personal traits that encourage moral excellence, and by extension enhance both individual well-being and the common good. This chapter develops the concept of virtue and related ideas from philosophical and religious inceptions to contemporary empirical measurements. It emphasizes how behavioral economic games can be used to measure virtues as efficient phenotypes for genetic studies, and examines recent twin and molecular genetic studies that clarify the biological roots and architecture of virtue, as well as the contribution of virtue and morality to psychological well-being. Finally, it explains the application of blood genomics to examine an association between indexed HTR2A gene expression levels and happiness levels, and suggests mindfulness meditation as a means of enhancing human virtues.

Keywords:   psychological well-being, virtue, morality, personality, molecular genetics, behavioral economics, mindfulness meditation

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