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The statement 50% of happiness is determined by genetics is presumably talking about heritability estimates. It is probably talking about the percentage of variance explained by genetics. These estimates are commonly estimated using twin studies. For example, you administer a survey to people that ask a bunch of questions about how happy they feel. There ...


I think the idea is that genetics regulate neurochemistry and therefore daily mood. For example--it's likely that some people naturally experience more pleasure due to the calibration of their dopamine and serotonin systems. Habits of mind may also play a role, but almost certainly a smaller one than genetics do.


I can think of two ways this can work (though not sure of 50% or more or less): (1) The "environment" to support a happy mind would, among other things, constitute a healthy body. And a body being healthy does depend, among other things, on genetics. (2) The predisposition of an individual to feel happy, given a suitable stimulus might depend on genetics; ...

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