Quantifying the heritability of belief formation

Vellani, Valentina, Garrett, Neil ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1440-472X, Gaule, Anne, Patil, Kaustubh R. and Sharot, Tali (2022) Quantifying the heritability of belief formation. Scientific Reports, 12. ISSN 2045-2322

[thumbnail of s41598-022-15492-0]
PDF (s41598-022-15492-0) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB) | Preview


Individual differences in behaviour, traits and mental-health are partially heritable. Traditionally, studies have focused on quantifying the heritability of high-order characteristics, such as happiness or education attainment. Here, we quantify the degree of heritability of lower-level mental processes that likely contribute to complex traits and behaviour. In particular, we quantify the degree of heritability of cognitive and affective factors that contribute to the generation of beliefs about risk, which drive behavior in domains ranging from finance to health. Monozygotic and dizygotic twin pairs completed a belief formation task. We first show that beliefs about risk are associated with vividness of imagination, affective evaluation and learning abilities. We then demonstrate that the genetic contribution to individual differences in these processes range between 13.5 and 39%, with affect evaluation showing a particular robust heritability component. These results provide clues to which mental factors may be driving the heritability component of beliefs formation, which in turn contribute to the heritability of complex traits.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: The research was funded by a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship 214268/Z/18/Z to TS. NG is supported by a Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship (209108/Z/17/Z), AG is supported by an MRC graduate fellowship (MR/N 013867/1).
Uncontrolled Keywords: sdg 3 - good health and well-being ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/good_health_and_well_being
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Cognition, Action and Perception
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Social Cognition Research Group
Related URLs:
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2022 14:30
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2022 03:52
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/86092
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-15492-0


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item