Summary of the Popular Source
The popular article attempts to report on a study that links people’s satisfaction or dissatisfaction in marriage to their gene composition. The article bases its arguments on this study to try to explain the reason why some people happen to enjoy their marriages while others do not. It also explains why the prevailing emotional climate affects people’s ability to enjoy or dread marriage as associated with their respective DNA characteristics.
The article argues that a gene variant called 5-HTTLPR has been discovered to be linked with the influence of certain emotions on marital satisfaction. The specific strain of this gene in each individual has been described as the reason why different people behave different in certain emotional climates surrounding the marriage institution. Presence of two short alleles of the gene variant has been associated with significant sensitivity to positive or negative emotional climate while one or two long alleles are linked with lack insensitivity to these kinds of emotions (Bioscience Technology, 2013).
Summary of the Journal Article
The journal article attempts to explain the relationship between the 5-HTTLPR gene and emotional reactivity of empathic and self-conscious nature. According to the study, the two variants of this gene namely; the L and the S alleles have been studied and found to have a link with the different ways in which people react emotionally subject to certain emotional stimuli. To arrive at this, two studies were conducted the first examining the empathic response subject to other peoples predicaments and the other examining emotional reaction to negative emotional stimuli. The results of the studies indicate that people with two short alleles of the gene are more emotionally sensitive to emotional stimuli of different nature. This approach is an improvement of previous studies which have focused the influence of the gene on one side of emotional stimuli, that is, negative stimuli, further qualifying the emotional influence of the gene on various emotional situations.
The study analysis employs several measures relevant to the various aspects of the study. One of the measures is the degree of emotional experience following exposure to the stimuli. Two, the physiological response to the two situations is another measure. Three, the degree of manifestation of depressive symptoms is used to measure the effect of the stimuli on the participants’ emotions. Four, the 5-HTTLPR genotype for all the participants is used as another measure for analysis. Five, the degree to which the participants expressed emotional behavior in response to the stimuli is also a consideration. The conclusion arrived at from the analysis was that the homozygous variant of the 5-HTTLPR is linked with higher levels of emotional reactivity (Levenson et al., 2012)
The popular source represented the information on the original journal quite unsatisfactorily as not all the claims have been supported by the research. The title is somewhat exaggerated as it inaccurately generalizes the study to indicate that the study confirms the link between the 5-HTTLPR gene and the marital emotional environment. This generalization is not accurate as the study does not use couples as participants in the experiment and as it is common knowledge, the marital climate is a quite complex situation as compared to other situations. The best way to prove that claim would be to have another study which involves couples as the participants. In addition, while the popular source refers the 5-HTTLPR as a gene variant, according to the original journal, it is indeed the gene with L and S as the variants. The popular article seems to suggest that individuals with the L variant are more favorable companions in marriage, a view that is not supported by the original research journal.
Bioscience Technology. (2013). DNA Linked to Marital Satisfaction: Retrieved from. http://www.biosciencetechnology.com/news/2013/10/dna-linked-marital- satisfaction#.Ul66-xBMkXY
Levenson, R. W., et al. (2012). The Effect of the Serotonin Transporter Polymorphism
(5-HTTLPR) on Empathic and Self-Conscious Emotional Reactivity: American Psychological Association.