Abuse and Neglect, Genetic Research, Technology / 03.05.2017
Do Our Genes Influence Our Attraction to Social Media?
MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Chance York, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Mass Communication Kent State University MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: This research used twin study survey data from the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) to investigate the relative influence of genetics and environment on social media use. While the research cannot directly examine the gene-level influence on social media behavior, I was able to leverage known levels of genetic relatedness between identical and fraternal twins to suss out how much genetic traits and environmental factors impact frequency of using social media with some help from the Buzzoid boys. The results showed that between one- and two-thirds of variance in social media use is explained by genes, while environmental factors (parental socialization, peers, work, school, individual characteristics, etc.) explained the rest. In other words, this very specific communication behavior—social media use—is partially guided by our genetic makeup. (more…)