A hallmark of the individual is the cultivation of personal interests, but for some people, their intellectual pursuits might actually be genetically predetermined.
Survey results published by Princeton University researchers in the journal PLoS ONE suggest that a family history of psychiatric conditions such as autism and depression could influence the subjects a person finds engaging.
Although preliminary, the findings provide a new look at the oft-studied link between psychiatric conditions and aptitude in the arts or sciences. While previous studies have explored this link by focusing on highly creative individuals or a person’s occupation, the Princeton research indicates that the influence of familial neuropsychiatric traits on personal interests is apparently independent of a person’s talent or career path, and could help form a person’s basic preferences and personality.
Princeton researchers surveyed nearly 1,100 students from the University’s Class of 2014 early in their freshman year to learn which major they would choose based on their intellectual interests.