Financial prosperity is often attributed to hard work and a little bit of luck, but a new study has found that success could be written in your genes.
Researchers from the Duke University School of Medicine conducted a study to see how much genetics predicted a person’s academic success and social mobility, which can lead to better jobs and higher incomes.
The results show that to some extent DNA determines a person’s success later on in life no matter their economic or social background.
For the study, the researchers conducted a genome-wide association study of more 20,000 people from the US, Britain, and New Zealand. The participants were followed from childhood through adulthood.
Those with higher polygenic scores or genome wide scores went further in education and had more academic success than other participants in the study, and the researchers found higher scores also correlated with better occupations and higher incomes than other members in the same family.
If two siblings were part of the research, the study showed that the sibling with higher scores was more successful.
Genes may dictate only a small percent of a person’s success later in life, but the study showed that DNA does have some influence.
“Findings from these analyses show that education-linked genetics may provide clues to biological processes in human development that influence success in school, at work, and in the accumulation of wealth across life,” Daniel Belsky, the lead author of the study, told the Daily Mail.
Belsky also found through previous research and this study that children with the “success genes” starting talking and learned to read earlier than other children with lower polygenic scores.
There are several possibilities for why a genetic predisposition towards academic success can lead to wealth and job success later on in life but the researchers did find that people with the “success gene” did not do better in terms of health or happiness than others in the study.
By Kay Vandette, Earth.com Staff Writer