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Approximately half of the variation in wellbeing measures overlaps with variation in personality traits. Studies of non-human primate pedigrees and human twins suggest that this is due to common genetic influences. We tested whether personality polygenic scores for the NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) domains and for item response theory (IRT) derived extraversion and neuroticism scores predict variance in wellbeing measures. Polygenic scores were based on published genome-wide association (GWA) results in over 17,000 individuals for the NEO-FFI and in over 63,000 for the IRT extraversion and neuroticism traits. The NEO-FFI polygenic scores were used to predict life satisfaction in 7 cohorts, positive affect in 12 cohorts, and general wellbeing in 1 cohort (maximal N = 46,508). Meta-analysis of these results showed no significant association between NEO-FFI personality polygenic scores and the wellbeing measures. IRT extraversion and neuroticism polygenic scores were used to predict life satisfaction and positive affect in almost 37,000 individuals from UK Biobank. Significant positive associations (effect sizes <0.05%) were observed between the extraversion polygenic score and wellbeing measures, and a negative association was observed between the polygenic neuroticism score and life satisfaction. Furthermore, using GWA data, genetic correlations of -0.49 and -0.55 were estimated between neuroticism with life satisfaction and positive affect, respectively. The moderate genetic correlation between neuroticism and wellbeing is in line with twin research showing that genetic influences on wellbeing are also shared with other independent personality domains.
Do twins have a lower mean IQ score than singletons? Previous studies have not examined whole populations and are likely to be biased. Twin data from two whole-population surveys of IQ at age 11 years were examined: the Scottish Mental Surveys of 1932 and 1947. Additional variables from childhood were examined as possible mediating effects. There were 1080 twins from the 1932 survey, and 949 from the 1947 survey. In both surveys twins scored lower on the Moray House Test of verbal reasoning, equivalent to a deficit of about 5 IQ points. In the Scottish Mental Survey of 1947 the whole-population group of twins was compared in detail with a representative population sample. The same mental ability difference of about 5 IQ points was found, and was not accounted for by father's occupation, overcrowding in the childhood home, childhood height, school attendance or the number of people in the family.
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