The genetics and evolution of 'covitality'

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Based on the latest research and methodology, readers will learn about new methodologies and current developments
Summaries of all behavioural genetic findings on well-being related outcomes give readers an overview of all research conducted in this area
Contributions by leading authors in the field mean readers hear from the experts directly rather than reading reviews of their work
'In the past decade there has been an explosion of research into the psychology of well-being. While we know that psychological well-being is partly heritable, it is only recently that researchers have started to investigate the specific genetic factors that influence well-being. Such research explores not only heritability, based on traditional twin study designs, but also includes studies combining some of the most recent molecular genetic techniques and methods.

This landmark book summarizes the state of knowledge regarding heritability and molecular genetics in positive psychology. Divided into four parts, it starts by exploring the basics of genetics and associated research methodology, providing the reader with the knowledge required to understand the empirical work presented throughout the volume. The second part of the book focuses on heritability estimates of the most important positive psychology concepts based on quantitative behavioural genetics studies. In the third section of the book, results from more recent molecular genetics studies are presented including candidate gene, gene-environment interaction, as well as genome-wide association studies. This section also contains chapters on epigenetics and imaging genetics, both relatively new methodologies that are just about to make their way into the field of positive psychology. The fourth and final part of the book discusses more overarching questions regarding the roles of genes and environment in the development of well-being as well as a review and discussion of the current state of knowledge and future direction in this new field of inquiry.

The first book of its kind, The Genetics of Psychological well-being is a major contribution to the positive psychology literature, and important for all those in the fields of positive psychology, psychiatric genetics, and well-being.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGenetics of Psychological Well-Being: The Role of Heritability and Genetics in Positive Psychology
EditorsMichael Pluess
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)978-0199686674
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2015


  • positive psychology
  • wellbeing
  • happiness
  • genetics
  • evolution


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