OK, we know a lot of the things we do are directed by our genes?but VOTING? And why are polls so often wrong?

According to a new study, the decision to vote is partly genetic. Researchers James H. Fowler, Christopher T. Dawes and Laura A. Baker have identified a link between two specific genes and political participation. They show that individuals with a variant of the MAOA gene are significantly more likely to have voted in the 2000 presidential election.

These are the first results ever to link specific genes to political behavior. According to Fowler, “We expected to find that genes played some role in political behavior, but we were quite surprised by the size of the effect and how widely it applies to many kinds of participation?We are not robots?the genes just seem to make it more likely that some of us will respond to our social lives by getting involved in politics.”

One thing we all wonder about is polls. Do they accurately reflect who?s going to win? A new study on a recent Italian election shows that people who say they are neutral are actually strongly influenced on the issues SUBCONSCIOUSLY, which explains why polls so often don?t seem to reflect who or what people really vote for when they get into the voting booth. In the August 22nd edition of the New York Times, Benedict Carey quotes researchers Timothy D. Wilson and Yoav Bar-Anan, who wrote, “Voters explain their reasons [in a poll] by relying on cultural and idiosyncratic causal theories that may bear little relation to the real reason for their preferences.”

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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