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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Nov 29;108(48):19189-92. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1112658108. Epub 2011 Nov 14.

Thin-slicing study of the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) gene and the evaluation and expression of the prosocial disposition.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, Mississauga, ON, Canada L5L 1C6. alex.kogan@utoronto.ca

Erratum in

  • Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Jan 31;109(5):1808.

Abstract

Individuals who are homozygous for the G allele of the rs53576 SNP of the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) gene tend to be more prosocial than carriers of the A allele. However, little is known about how these differences manifest behaviorally and whether they are readily detectable by outside observers, both critical questions in theoretical accounts of prosociality. In the present study, we used thin-slicing methodology to test the hypotheses that (i) individual differences in rs53576 genotype predict how prosocial observers judge target individuals to be on the basis of brief observations of behavior, and (ii) that variation in targets' nonverbal displays of affiliative cues would account for these judgment differences. In line with predictions, we found that individuals homozygous for the G allele were judged to be more prosocial than carriers of the A allele. These differences were completely accounted for by variations in the expression of affiliative cues. Thus, individual differences in rs53576 are associated with behavioral manifestations of prosociality, which ultimately guide the judgments others make about the individual.

Comment in

PMID:
22084107
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3228468
Free PMC Article

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