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Gene Variant Can Cause Nattering Nabobs of Negativity

timothy posted about 10 months ago | from the I-see-the-outpatients-are-out-in-force-tonight dept.

Science 171

Freshly Exhumed writes "Researchers from the University of British Columbia, Cornell University and Toronto's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health report in the journal Psychological Science [abstract; press release] that a gene variant can cause individuals to perceive the negative side of every situation. UBC Prof. Rebecca Todd said the ADRA2b deletion variant influences not only emotional memory, which was previously known, but also amplifies a person's real-time perception of events, for better or for worse. 'Some individuals are predisposed to see the world more darkly than others,' Todd said. 'What we found is that a previously known genetic variation causes some individuals to perceive the world more vividly than others and, particularly, negative aspects of the world.'"

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171 comments

Ignore your problems. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45112221)

They'll go away.

Re:Ignore your problems. (5, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about 10 months ago | (#45112411)

They'll go away.

Exactly, realists are the coal mine canaries of society: "but also amplifies a person's real-time perception of events".
Maybe instead of calling people who point out negative aspect of grandiose plans Debbie Downers, and nabobs of negatively, it would make more sense to realize that when there are a significant number of people saying "hold on there", that just possibly society is getting ahead of itself and rushing head long down yet another repetitive boondoggle that has failed before.

Re:Ignore your problems. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45112489)

They'll go away.

Exactly, realists are the coal mine canaries of society: "but also amplifies a person's real-time perception of events".
Maybe instead of calling people who point out negative aspect of grandiose plans Debbie Downers, and nabobs of negatively, it would make more sense to realize that when there are a significant number of people saying "hold on there", that just possibly society is getting ahead of itself and rushing head long down yet another repetitive boondoggle that has failed before.

Yup, what exactly is *wrong* with perceiving the bad as well as the good?
Sounds pretty well rounded to me.

Re:Ignore your problems. (1)

Nephandus (2953269) | about 10 months ago | (#45113009)

It's not PC, entertaining to the soft-headed escapist majority (those are related...), and doesn't line snake-oil salesmen like Seligman's pockets.

Why does positive thinking work? (1)

Cryacin (657549) | about 10 months ago | (#45113409)

You walk up to a giant impassable wall, and from a distance, it cannot be done. It cannot be scaled, it cannot be undermined. Realists and pessimists turn around and try to find another way. Those who worry less get closer, and notice the small gap that can't be seen from a distance, and can walk right through.

Re:Why does positive thinking work? (2)

malkavian (9512) | about 10 months ago | (#45113587)

A realist will examine it properly, and notice that there's a small gap (and thus take that, as it's more efficient). If the gap isn't there, they'll look for a way round..
In your analogy, the people who are the "positive" adjusted ones will quite possibly spend the time until they starve to death or die of thirst looking for that small gap "that must be there, just near here", while the realist acknowledges that there's something insurmountable, so routes round it.

Re:Ignore your problems. (1)

lxs (131946) | about 10 months ago | (#45112559)

Ah the depressive-realist school of thought. Better known as the no-fun-at-parties [wikipedia.org] crowd. Once I learned to accept the repetitive boondoggles are inherent in the human condition, most of the depression went away. For a troupe of furless chimps, we're doing alright. [youtube.com]

Re:Ignore your problems. (1)

Saei (3133199) | about 10 months ago | (#45112611)

Way to trivialize depression as an issue of perspective, cured with a single, simple change.

If we just accept that things are terrible, and be happy about it, we will be happy about it. Genius.

Re:Ignore your problems. (3, Insightful)

Jeremi (14640) | about 10 months ago | (#45112741)

Depression is a mental disorder caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, and should not be trivialized.

A negative outlook, on the other hand, is a habit, and like any bad habit, it can be recognized as such and changed.

Mental health issues aside, there are people out there who make themselves unhappy to no good purpose, e.g. by having unrealistic expectations. For those people, an attitude adjustment is a good idea, as it will make them both happier and more successful.

Re:Ignore your problems. (5, Insightful)

Nephandus (2953269) | about 10 months ago | (#45112983)

Circular argument and intentional selection bias. "Success" there requires constant redefinition to fit whatever the fuck happens. It's both a no true Scotsman fallacy and changing the goalposts. When the "positive" wacko misses something, he pulls a doublethink and redefines his supposed values such that his altered goals arbitrarily fit whatever he happen to hit, so he "succeeded" to hit his completely redefined target. Being unhappy because you're not mindfucked into wanting whatever garbage you're stuck with isn't "no good purpose". Just because your values are lies your constantly rewrite to fit arbitrary conditions doesn't make everyone else's values as utterly meaningless as yours are. Some of us actually value what we value. Shocking, I know...

Re:Ignore your problems. (1)

nospam007 (722110) | about 10 months ago | (#45113001)

"A negative outlook, on the other hand, is a habit, and like any bad habit, it can be recognized as such and changed."

The article says exactly otherwise, it's genetic, willpower is about as effective there as if you wanted to change the size of your dick.
So nothing you do can change the demotivators at work who continue to depress everybody around them with their bleak view of the world.
Unless a DNA-test is developed so that you can hire only happy people.

Re:Ignore your problems. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45113129)

Actually willpower, nutrition, physical activity, etc. may change gene expression to turn it on and off. DNA is not a static structure.
For instance, go search for: gene expression dna meditation

THAT is reality, not the fiction that DNA is interpreted one and only one way, and there's nothing we can do about it.
A little knowledge is dangerous.

Re:Ignore your problems. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45113187)

Actually, the size of one's dick is quite variable, both in its erect and flaccid state, depending on one's mental state.

Re:Ignore your problems. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45113013)

Sounds an awful alot like this

"Stress is the resulting syndrom coming from the surpression of the brain's natural desire to choak the living shit out of idiots"

Re:Ignore your problems. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45113249)

The "chemical imbalance" thing is only one of many multiple signs of depression. It's not the "cause" of depression.
Our brain changes its chemistry all the time in different states, and in the depressed state there are certain chemical patterns, but do not mistake the chemical state of the brain with its causes.

All emotions map to some chemical consequences in the brain. For positive ones, when we rejoice, love, or laugh, you get endorphins releases. You will be able to monitor a state of increased endorphins levels in happy people, but that's a consequence of happiness, not a cause.

Pharma Marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45113377)

Depression is a mental disorder caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, ...

No. Nobody knows what causes depression and neither does anyone know why anti-depressants work. Researchers are going batty trying to figure out why anti-depressants work on some people - many times, anti-depressants are no more effective than exercise or talk therapy and in some cases actually do worse. YMMV and talk to your doc.

The whole "depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain" was pretty much made up by the pharmaceutical industry to sell drugs.

Re:Ignore your problems. (4, Insightful)

lxs (131946) | about 10 months ago | (#45112771)

I'm sorry if that post came over as flippant, because depression is a problem I do take seriously. At least it got your attention.

First off, the judgment of terrible is yours, not mine. I merely stated that it's a bloody miracle that a bunch of monkeys has figured out farming, poetry and mathematics and that we shouldn't be too hard on ourselves for not being perfect rational creatures living in Star Trek Utopia.

Secondly, making happiness a habit does work in practice, and has done for centuries. Buddhism and Stoicism have long traditions in this kind of thought. There is that line from Hamlet: There is nothing good or bad but thinking makes it so.

This isn't a quick and single simple change, it takes years of practice and you'll have frequent relapses into hopelessness, but it does start with a simple change of perspective.
Act depressed and you'll feel depressed. Act happy and eventually you'll be happy.

Re:Ignore your problems. (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about 10 months ago | (#45112835)

He/she is obviously a 'glass is half empty' kind of person, reading negativity into everything. On the bright said, the study said this could be a survival trait.

Re:Ignore your problems. (1)

Swave An deBwoner (907414) | about 10 months ago | (#45112649)

Bobby? Bobby McFerrin? Is that really you?

Re:Ignore your problems. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45113151)

Dykman et al. argue that, although depressive people make more accurate judgments about having no control in situations where in fact they have no control, they also believe they have no control when in fact they do; and so their perceptions are not more accurate overall.[20]

Essentially it's like flipping a coin and always calling Tails. You're going to be right 50% of the time. If you only look at the Tails results and see what they guessed they'll appear to be right 100% of the time. You need to look at the overall picture to see how (in)accurate they really are.

Re:Ignore your problems. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45112625)

I must have multiple copies of that .

Re:Ignore your problems. (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 10 months ago | (#45112713)

Just so we're clear—you're misusing "realist" there. There is a (somewhat disproven) psychological theory called depressive realism that argues that a certain amount of negativity compensates for wishful thinking, but to take it as a generic label is to presume correctness. You might be better off saying "cynic" or "sceptic."

The general philosophical term "realist" is just an antonym of solipsist; i.e. someone who believes the world exists (although there's also an artistic term called "realism" which is about producing authentic depictions.)

Re:Ignore your problems. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45113127)

The general philosophical term "realist" is just an antonym of solipsist; i.e. someone who believes the world exists

It is a bit more subtle than that.

Philosophical realism means that "universals" (forms/ideas in Plato's sense, or abstract notions) exist.

It means that we (for example) discover mathematical truths, rather than invent them.

A realist is never a solipsist, but one does not necessarily have to be a realist to not be a solipsist.

first (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45112225)

beta.slashdot.org = vomit

Re:first (1)

AdamStarks (2634757) | about 10 months ago | (#45112759)

On the bright side, at least one of your statements is true!

Theres a gene for everything now (0)

AvderTheTerrible (1960234) | about 10 months ago | (#45112241)

A gene that makes me see things negatively? This explains SO MUCH. Please tell me they are working on a way to toggle it off. Just once I'd like to not instinctively see the negative in everything.

Re:Theres a gene for everything now (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45112263)

The article says that it is believed that nearly half of caucasians have the gene (and, I guess, express it), so nothing terribly new.

The experiment apparently only shows that those with the gene remember "negative" words better than those who don't, when both are showed a combination of positive, neutral and negative words. So hardly seems like worth-shattering material.

Re:Theres a gene for everything now (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45112319)

Those who remember "negative" or "realistic" phrases are known as "adopted homos" and are good for advertising. Better hire a bunch of fags and dykes to dominate local adverts, they are obedient little adopted homos and never raise controversy to further the sake of discussion.

--Ethanol-fueled

Re:Theres a gene for everything now (4, Interesting)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 10 months ago | (#45112281)

Not a gene—just a mutation. Perplexingly, there is a drug that blocks the receptor [wikipedia.org] in question, but it's for treating sexual dysfunction. Possibly a goldmine for witty remarks.

Re:Theres a gene for everything now (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45112349)

Ahh, so all this research is just another marketing gimmick, disguised as science, to sell more drugs.

There I go again, looking at the dark side of everything.

Maybe this gene is supposed to help us find the truth since the truth is so often negative. What we need now are a bunch of happy pills to make us all optimistic and naive little sheep.

Re:Theres a gene for everything now (4, Interesting)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 10 months ago | (#45112393)

Well, no, obviously not; even at the most pessimistic extreme, you'd have to convince a lot of cynics just like yourself that thinking negatively is necessarily a bad thing and that they should shell out biggish bucks to fix it. That's not exactly going to happen, now is it? :)

Realistically, the utility of understanding this gene variant and producing pharmaceutical remedies is in helping people with clinical depression break down barriers—people so cynical and miserable that they can't function normally. Yohimbine is currently prescribed to people already on antidepressants, though, so I would tend to guess it either doesn't address the effects of the mutation, or fixing it doesn't affect much once you're already on an SSRI.

That all being said, I do agree with you that cynicism can have its advantages—I have an ongoing hypothesis that childhood isolation and depression encourage the development of independent reasoning skills and hence improve intelligence, although it's a bit untestable still. I was inclined to proposition earlier that perhaps this allele has a meaningful relationship with the development of Western civilization, but that line of inquest gets very Social-Darwinist-sounding very quickly, and isn't exactly a great conversation piece. The reason for this is that as many as 50% of Caucasians are believed to have this allele (much more than other populations), so either it's completely meaningless in the long term and just happened by chance, or it conferred some relevant advantage.

Re:Theres a gene for everything now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45112405)

Meehl, Paul E. (1967). "Theory-Testing in Psychology and Physics: A Methodological Paradox". Philosophy of Science 34 (2): 103–115.

Re:Theres a gene for everything now (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 10 months ago | (#45112511)

Ha.. I can see that working. If I concentrated in all the negative I could see in my sexual partners I likely would have problems performing too.

How much do you wanna bet that this will be the new ADHD type illness that schools rush to have children treated for. I can see it now, a school without goth.. and a lot more promiscuous kids.

Re:Theres a gene for everything now (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 10 months ago | (#45112571)

Actually, sexual dysfunction is usually about seeing negatives in oneself, not one's partners.

Personally, I'd like to believe that parents would be too cynical to prescribe anti-cynicism drugs to their kids, but that logic might be a little too convenient to be reality.

Re:Theres a gene for everything now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45112585)

a school without goth.. and a lot more promiscuous kids.

Sounds like paradise to me.

Re:Theres a gene for everything now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45112537)

Possibly a goldmine for witty remarks.

I've been hard at work trying to come up with one, but, really, what's the point?

Re:Theres a gene for everything now (1)

FireFury03 (653718) | about 10 months ago | (#45112899)

Not a gene—just a mutation. Perplexingly, there is a drug that blocks the receptor [wikipedia.org] in question, but it's for treating sexual dysfunction. Possibly a goldmine for witty remarks.

Interestingly, selective serotinin reuptake inhibitors (antidepressants) are already used to treat premature ejaculation. As you can imagine, that particular side effect is annoying to people who just want it to fix their depression.

Re:Theres a gene for everything now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45113141)

Search online for: gene expression dna meditation

Meditation is just one of gazillion ways, but I'd actually recommend yoga as a path, not as a gym practice though.

What about the gene (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45112249)

that causes individuals to always post 'Correlation != Causation" in response to stories about research studies?

BTW the whole thing sucks.

At first blush... (1)

Quinn_Inuit (760445) | about 10 months ago | (#45112251)

It might be tempting to say that everyone would be better off if they had this gene expressed in moderation, but I don't think it's quite so simple. Civilizations are no more than breaths in the life of our species, and we have no reason to believe living conditions in ten thousand years will be much like they are now. An appropriate expression of this gene for our current situation might be inappropriate later, so I recommend against removing this variation from our species. Like the variations preserved in the last wild wheat that still lives in forgotten corners of Ethiopia, strange copies or expressions of this gene might be vital against some threat we can't even conceive today.

Re:At first blush... (2)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 10 months ago | (#45112303)

You mean gene variant, not gene. if you lost ADRA2B [wikipedia.org] , you would die. All healthy humans have more or less the same genes.

Re:At first blush... (1)

Quinn_Inuit (760445) | about 10 months ago | (#45112381)

Good point. Thanks for the correction.

Re:At first blush... (4, Interesting)

Ambassador Kosh (18352) | about 10 months ago | (#45112341)

I like identifying this stuff, quantifying it and maybe even finding temporary ways to control how it works. However I would not recommend actually permanently changing it.

It is strange because some of this research I don't really want reported to the general public because they don't have the scientific understanding for it but they are willing to leap to an idea and demand it be done. There are some genes that seem likely to be tied to male homosexuality however those same genes are also tied to female fertility. I have seen some people talking about how we should "cure" homosexuals by fixing that gene. What I worry about is that a group could get enough power to try and actually do that. The problem is that we could also end up sterilizing people treated which could be catastrophically bad.

I just see so many people as misusing research to further their own ideological ends. We need to do this research, we need to understand why stuff happens. We need to know why as a mother has more male children epigenetic markers get set on further male children to change gene expression. There is a LOT we can learn from that. I just don't want to see that research abused. I wish we could get rid of this idiotic idea of XX=female, XY = male. Gender and sex are NOT even close to that simple.

Re:At first blush... (4, Informative)

muridae (966931) | about 10 months ago | (#45112517)

I wish we could get rid of this idiotic idea of XX=female, XY = male. Gender and sex are NOT even close to that simple.

It would be nice if people could understand that. Or at least understand that XY genotypes can be born expressing a female phenotype, and vice versa; but getting the general populace to believe anything that goes against what they were taught in school is very tough to do. "If it's that complicated, why don't they teach that?" I've actually heard that, as if a high school advance placement A&P or an on level biology course could get through all of that in less than one term. Sure, it makes Punnett squares easy to understand and relate to personal knowledge, but it's so far from right that it needs to just be tossed out of high school classes completely. "23X0, XXY, XYY, AIS, Turner's Syndrome, and lots of other combinations just make teaching simple 2 gene human expression too difficult. There are so many possible mutations of the genes involved, too many ways for multiple genes to combine like discussed about Down's Syndrome, and too many external genes that also influence human sex and gender (and expression of both and sexuality as well) for it to ever be discussed in the simplified manner needed at the high school level."

Unfortunately, even spelling it out in mostly small words like that doesn't often work. Even getting them to understand that X and Y were picked not because of the shape of the chromosome, which all look like an X during mitosis, but because they were common 'unknowns' in math. When biologists need a new set, they continued with W and Z. "Wiki doesn't say that," results in my face meeting the nearest wall repeatedly, because a facepalm just isn't a strong enough reaction.

Re:At first blush... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45113227)

I wish we could get rid of this idiotic idea of XX=female, XY = male. Gender and sex are NOT even close to that simple.

Right. There are upwards of 0.2% of people who don't follow that pattern. The (supposedly) technically savvy group at /. can't consistently distinguish "they're" from "their" or "lose" from "loose," and you want the general populace to embrace exceptions that happen like Pick-3 winners? Science helps us understand the world, in large part by simplifying it so ordinary mortals can follow it. Or did you think that Hook's Law describes the actual mechanics of springs?

I'd suggest a better course would be for rare disease/disorder researchers to get some perspective on the scale of their topic.

Re:At first blush... (1)

Velex (120469) | about 10 months ago | (#45113299)

Which genes are related to female bisexuality? Can we start a selective breeding campaign?

Fine, I troll, I troll! I see the point you're making. I wish more people would think this stuff through more thoroughly. There has to be a reason why pessimism and homosexuality don't breed themselves out.

Here come the internet attention whores (4, Insightful)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | about 10 months ago | (#45112271)

This is going to be the newest thing that every special little snowflake on the internet self-diagnoses with in order to get some attention. It's the next OCD.

Re:Here come the internet attention whores (4, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 10 months ago | (#45112299)

I had it first!

Re:Here come the internet attention whores (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45112481)

I had it second! Now the rest of you, just follow the line unless you feel too special for that which you obviously do and then something terrible happens, again.

Re:Here come the internet attention whores (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45112515)

I had it first!

THIS IS RIDICULOUS BECAUSE I HAD IT FIRST! I was diagnosed even before they discovered this mutation! I've been suffering my whole life with Nattering Nabobs of Negativity. Now I know I am predisposed to being a jerk. Finally someone understands my disability. I hope the government can support me so I don't have to work. Now get off my lawn!

Re:Here come the internet attention whores (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45112561)

You obviously didn't. My christian name is ADRA2b.

Re:Here come the internet attention whores (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45112827)

I had it first!

Patient Zero identified. We've gotta take him out for the good of the species.

Re:Here come the internet attention whores (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 10 months ago | (#45112337)

From TFA:

[...] it is believed more than half of Caucasians have ADRA2b [...]

So, y'know. You might have it. The noted effects are minor, but highly certain (p < 0.001 on ANOVA).

Re:Here come the internet attention whores (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45112459)

A p value is the probability of getting a result given the null hypothesis is true. You have just interpreted it as the probability the alternative hypothesis is true, which is the fallacy of transposing the conditional.

Re:Here come the internet attention whores (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 10 months ago | (#45112555)

I find your level of pedantry staggering, and probably better-utilized in professional arenas where it has an actual impact of changing something. What are you trying to actually say? That you have no faith in their ability to control for confounding variables, and that I'm a bad person for believing they did?

Re:Here come the internet attention whores (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45113197)

I find your level of pedantry staggering

That's rich, coming from someone who argues about the difference between having a gene for X and having a gene *variant* for X.

Re:Here come the internet attention whores (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about 10 months ago | (#45112365)

I see what you did there.

Re:Here come the internet attention whores (1)

obtuse (79208) | about 10 months ago | (#45112413)

And your attitude demonstrates what a special snowflake you think that you are. Troll.

Re:Here come the internet attention whores (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 10 months ago | (#45112473)

Sounds like an effete corps of impudent snobs who characterize themselves as intellectuals.

Re:Here come the internet attention whores (1)

muridae (966931) | about 10 months ago | (#45112523)

You must know a lot about those.

Re:Here come the internet attention whores (1)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | about 10 months ago | (#45112601)

Whoosh.


On a related note, anybody else having flashbacks from the old Mrs. Agnew's Diary column?

Re:Here come the internet attention whores (1)

muridae (966931) | about 10 months ago | (#45112743)

not at all, just playing my post so you could continue further if you wanted. Sometimes a good gag just needs a straight man to continue, guess your's didn't. Would a gay one have been better?

And no, most of the Lampoon stuff was from before my time. The little I've found and read were not enough to cause flashbacks. Now, if I had only been on proper 70's medication, maybe the flashbacks would be more vivid.

Re:Here come the internet attention whores (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45112493)

So you're saying they did the wrong research, they should really identify the attention-whore gene and be done with it.

Re:Here come the internet attention whores (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45112521)

Like your post does? Negativity, check. Internet attention whoring blog post, check.

Re:Here come the internet attention whores (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 10 months ago | (#45113269)

When a new problem like this is discovered there are is always a large number of diagnosis that then tail off over time, simply because before it was known people could not be diagnosed with it.

I expect this will happen to me a couple of times in my life. I have Reiter's Syndrome, which is basically a name given to a bunch of symptoms that are vaguely auto-immune related but very poorly understood. One day someone will figure out the root cause and I'll get a new diagnosis, and hopefully treatment.

Similar I also suffer from Chronic Fatigue, a relatively new problem in that it didn't used to be well recognised or accepted. Again, what causes it is not well understood but there is some research being done, and eventually people with it will get a new diagnosis.

When these new diagnoses come in I expect there will be similar comments to yours - look at all the medically illiterate idiots claiming to have it. Well, before you judge them consider that many of them might have been diagnosed by a real doctor and now have some real hope of treatment.

Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45112295)

I've probably got about five of those.

Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45112305)

This sucks

And this is a problem how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45112315)

I wouldn't want a professor that's all positive about the subject their teaching about, better a negative teacher with perspective than an airhead that can only smile and wink...

This is called evolution, and why it's relevant to average people is beyond me "unless you want to modify people into become yes-men"

Re:And this is a problem how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45112325)

and BTW, the world would suck if everyone had perfect genes.

Re:And this is a problem how? (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | about 10 months ago | (#45112399)

Nonsense. People would dress well in Hugo Boss uniforms and ze trains would run on time.

At least lets look at the bright side (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45112331)

Great, there is no bright side.

Pessimism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45112363)

is not a disease to be cured.

Re:Pessimism (1)

hoboroadie (1726896) | about 10 months ago | (#45112395)

I get a lot of crap for my comments. I always thought it was Socratic analysis, but I've noticed it does seem instinctual.

BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45112369)

This is just all made up crap from the right.

Why can't they leave things alone?

The left is always making shit up like this!

Researchers now searching for (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45112409)

gene which causes unquestioning blind obedience to the idiots in charge.

Re:Researchers now searching for (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45112509)

gene which causes unquestioning blind obedience to the idiots in charge.

That gene has already been found.

The name of the gene is : Br+Cr1, which is an abbreviated version of "bread and circuses 1".

Re:Researchers now searching for (2)

muridae (966931) | about 10 months ago | (#45112535)

If you are going to troll in a biology thread, at least go back to the roots of the phrase for the abbreviation? Latin "Panem et circenses" PAeCR1 would at least look like a real gene or protein pathway. Maybe a neuron condition that causes blind following of those one agrees with? But...oh gods, that would mean you would be expressing that gene too!

The horror, the horror ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45112429)

And now if you will excuse me I have some severed heads I need to
mount on fence posts ...

gene causes individuals to perceive negative side (3, Funny)

Alsee (515537) | about 10 months ago | (#45112439)

Well that sucks.

-

Talking in cliches (1)

Kohath (38547) | about 10 months ago | (#45112441)

Is there a gene variant for always having to express ideas in terns of cliches, idioms, colloquialisms, metaphors, and/or pop-culture references?

The gene for Software Testing (2)

Btrot69 (1479283) | about 10 months ago | (#45112469)

It's probably the gene that makes me really good at software testing. I have a knack for zeroing in on whatever is screwed up ;)

Re:The gene for Software Testing (3, Interesting)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 10 months ago | (#45113277)

It certainly makes a better programmer. Having a negative attitude makes you assume every statement is going to throw an exception sooner than later, so you become obsessive compulsive about handling exceptions. As opposed to other programmers who just toss them and let others deal with them. Or catch and swallow them with an empty TODO comment clause.

So you end up sitting in design meetings thinking about what can go wrong in a system instead of cheering on how great the design is with the other folks. Unfortunately, I'm the only person in the world who thinks that a new design should be scrubbed with a thorough wash of toxic pessimism.

Hey, what doesn't kill a design, makes it stronger.

Gene Variant Causes Rosetinted Worldwiew (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45112475)

"Researchers from the University of British Columbia, Cornell University and Toronto's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health report in the journal Psychological Science [abstract; press release] that lack of a gene variant can cause individuals to perceive the unrealistically positive side of every situation. UBC Prof. Rebecca Todd said lack of the ADRA2b deletion variant influences not only poorer emotional memory, which was previously known, but also amplifies a person's real-time perception of events, for better or for worse. 'Some individuals are predisposed to see the world more darkly than others,' Todd said. 'What we found is that a previously known genetic variation causes some individuals to perceive the world more vividly than others and, particularly, negative aspects of the world.' Everyone else suffers from ignoring negative aspects, believing in the health benefits of unicorn poop, enjoying Justin Bieber, believing whatever they're told can't possibly be that bad, cherishing lies like ‘it will all work out in the end’ and ‘make love not war’, and voting for touchy-feely criminal terror-pedo-politicians hiding behind vapid ideological promises and in particular socialism."

And if anyone disagrees they can now say I have a genetic disorder, how swell; it's better than the racism card!

[only mildly sarcastic] Someone needs to fire the nukes already, come on Skynet I dare you! (Unless you have a better solution; I'm fine with that). [end mild sarcasm]

Defg (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 10 months ago | (#45112525)

> Gene Variant Can Cause Nattering Nabobs of Negativity

What makes the opposite gene so special? Fuck those Bloviating Brownnosers of Buttkissing.

The gene pool (3, Funny)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | about 10 months ago | (#45112533)

The gene pool is half empty!

Re:The gene pool (1)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about 10 months ago | (#45112565)

The gene pool is half empty!

No, the gene pool is twice as big as it needs to be.

In Math, 2 Negatives Make A Positive. (1)

zenlessyank (748553) | about 10 months ago | (#45112593)

This leaves me dismayed.

I call bullshit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45112763)

UBC has no idea what they're talking about. (Yet again, no surprise there)

No good can come of this (1)

Doh! (86796) | about 10 months ago | (#45112793)

I probably have this gene. I doubt they'll be able to find a cure for it. Even if they did, I'm sure I wouldn't be able to afford it. There'll probably be some horrible side effects, too—there always are. Bummer...

Re:No good can come of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45113203)

No, don't worry: your negativity is rational, not genetic.

Found the elusive gene for Sanity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45113321)

It allows people to see the world in it's true light. The rest of the world seems to be under the false delusion that there is some hope and meaning out there. Some people are just weak. They are unable to take on the world in all it's horror. For them to survive they must create a dream world where everything is 'all right'.

Nattering Nabob (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45112829)

I thought this was an article about Ubuntu.

Ubuntu? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45112953)

Nattering Nabob of Negativity

Sounds like the codename of an Ubuntu distribution.

Alternative explanation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45113041)

An alternative explanation might be that the world is actually an extremely negative place.
Just one critical piece of alternate information blows this theory right out of the water.
Wouldn't the first diligence in such "research" be to determine whether the world is actually an inherently positive or negative place?

Typical pseudo-psychological claptrap that is more-or-less the norm from the pseudo-psychology-science (wow, am I negative!?)

oke (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45113075)

visit to http://aa-canssetiaku.blogspot.com/

YOU FAIL iT (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45113235)

What does this gibberish mean? (1)

mark_reh (2015546) | about 10 months ago | (#45113365)

'Some individuals are predisposed to see the world more darkly than others,' Todd said. 'What we found is that a previously known genetic variation causes some individuals to perceive the world more vividly than others and, particularly, negative aspects of the world.'"

Re: What does this gibberish mean? (2)

Imaman (2733027) | about 10 months ago | (#45113511)

It means that depressed/cynical/apathetic people may have a gene that enables them to see the world more clearly.
It makes some of us think.
I just realized why I've been unable to ignore our path straight towards Idiocracy (the planet won't survive, but our path is clear).

Happiness Hypothesis - The American Perfect Strom (1)

transporter_ii (986545) | about 10 months ago | (#45113451)

Anyone interested in this should get a copy of the Happiness Hypothesis, by Jonathan Haidt. If a good thing happens and a similar bad thing happens, most people remember the bad thing. In fact, it takes something way better to happen to cancel out a run-of-the-mill bad thing.

I think this is why people are preppers and are stockpiling guns and ammo. And, it's why zombie movies are all the rage. America is in a perfect storm for all of it to happen. Why? Because our crazy American worldview mixed with our religious beliefs. It's a dangerous combination when the future doesn't look real bright anyway, but now you think it is inevitable that we are in the End Times.

Throw in a federal government that can't stop printing money, a large number of blockbuster movies about The End, the guy standing at the front of the church telling you it was foreordained, and mix it with America, which isn't hinged real well to begin with, and what do you get? The crazies that we are.

I don't think we are going to find the answer to our problems in a pill. It's consumed us. We take 3/4ths of the world's pills here in America. How well has it worked for us?

ALL HOPE IS LOST. :)

I see the world totally different after reading this book, though: The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom by Jonathan Haidt

Life is what *you* make it.

Re:Happiness Hypothesis - The American Perfect Str (1)

transporter_ii (986545) | about 10 months ago | (#45113543)

A PBS series described it like this:

For bad things, it's like your brain and bad things have Velcro on each other, and everything bad thrown at the brain sticks. And for good things, it is like our brains are coated in Teflon; everything good thrown at it slides right off.

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