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Generosity in the Genes

by Colin Rule
Colin Rule

"Generosity May Be Genetically Programmed, Israeli Study Says" by Alisa Odenheimer: "Philanthropists may be genetically programmed to donate to charities, while misers may be wired to hold on to their wealth, Israeli researchers say..."
 
"The study looked at 102 men and 101 women, and took DNA samples to see who had a gene that had been linked to social bonding in animals. They then played an online game that involved making a choice whether to give away money or horde it. Those who were more generous in the game had the gene, called AVPR1a.
 
"The experiment provided the first evidence, to my knowledge, for a relationship between DNA variability and real human altruism,' said Ariel Knafo, a researcher at Hebrew University's Psychology Department in Jerusalem, who helped lead the study.
 
Those who had the AVPR1a gene gave away on average nearly 50
percent more money than those without it. The research, published
online in the research journal "Genes, Brain and Behavior," may
help biologists discover why humans developed the trait, the
scientists said today in an e-mailed statement. Voles, a type of
mammal, have the same gene, which has been tied to social bonding
in earlier experiments."
 
We inch closer...

Biography


Colin Rule has worked at the intersection of technology and conflict resolution for the last two decades. He is CEO of Modria.com, an online dispute resolution service provider in Silicon Valley, and a non-resident Fellow at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School. From 2003 to 2011, he served as eBay and PayPal's first director of Online Dispute Resolution, designing and implementing systems that now resolve more than 60 million disputes each year. Mr. Rule is the author of Online Dispute Resolution for Business, published by Jossey-Bass in September 2002. He has presented and trained around the world for organizations including the U.S. Department of State, UNCITRAL, the International Chamber of Commerce, and the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution, as well as teaching at UMass-Amherst, Stanford, Southern Methodist University, and Hastings College of the Law. He has written and been interviewed extensively about the Internet since 1999, with columns and articles appearing in ACResolution, Consensus, Dispute Resolution Magazine, and Peace Review. He holds a master's degree from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government in conflict resolution and technology, a B.A. in peace studies from Haverford College, and he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Eritrea from 1995-1997.



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Website: www.modria.com

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