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Work Dissatisfaction May Be Partly Genetic

Posted Aug 23, 2011 10:51 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Dissatisfaction with your work may not be the result of lousy job conditions. It could be genetic.

That’s the conclusion a new study of 1,772 people published in the Journal of Applied Psychology (sub. req.), according to the Wall Street Journal blog the Juggle. The study found that people with the dopamine receptor gene tend to be less satisfied with their jobs, and people with the serotonin transporter gene tend to be more satisfied.

The dopamine receptor gene is tied to risk-taking, weak impulse control and attention deficit disorder. The serotonin transporter gene, on the other hand, is linked to lower depression and higher self-esteem.

The researchers cautioned that the results were preliminary, the Juggle says. But they did offer a suggestion for further genetic research. Identifying genes linked to leadership and entrepreneurship, they said, could help people plan their careers.

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