Association between social sensitivity genes and interdependence in Japanese

[Speaker] Ochi, Misaki:1
[Co-author] Ishii, Keiko:1, Matsunaga, Masahiro:2, Noguchi, Yasuki:1, Yamasue, Hidenori:3, Ohtsubo, Yohsuke:1
1:Kobe University (Japan), 2:Aichi Medical University (Japan), 3:University of Tokyo (Japan)

Previous research has shown that cultural differences in psychological processes are largely accounted for by the dimension of independence vs. interdependence: East Asians are more interdependent than Westerners. The present research investigated whether genetic polymorphisms of serotonin transporter (5-HTTLPR) and µ opioid receptor (OPRM1) are associated with the dimension of independence vs. interdependence in Japanese. Two hundred thirteen Japanese undergraduates filled out questionnaires including multiple scales on independence and interdependence. Previous studies have revealed that at the nation-level, differences in frequency of social sensitivity alleles (5-HTTLPR s allele and OPRM1 G allele) are associated with the independent/interdependent culture. Consistent with this nation level association, we found that participants' level of interdependence was positively correlated with their level of social sensitivity, which was operationalized as the number of the above alleles. In contrast, there was no relation between social sensitivity and independence. Implications for studies on gene-culture interactions will be discussed.
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