Adventurers, Heroes, Puzzlers and Couch Potatoes

In my last blog, I looked at recent research into a possible genetic basis for our differing attitudes to risk.

My Personal Appetite for Risk

I’m going to guess that I am the proud bearer of a 4R allele of my DRD4 gene: I am not risk-taking and impulsive (although some of my friends will struggle to see me as even-tempered, prudent and reflective).  This just goes to show how complex genetics really is.  I further speculate that I have got my attitude to risk largely from my father – but whether this is a genetic or learned inheritance, who can say?

Your Personal Appetite for Risk


In Risk Happens! I have suggested that our individual appetites for risk can be put down to our preferences for uncertain or certain environments, and our tolerance for potentially adverse consequences.

There is some small evidence that one variation on the DRD4 gene correlates to a small degree with novelty-seeking (or, in my language, high preference for uncertainty).  I doubt we’ll ever be able to map gene variants against my four quadrants, but it is fun to know that one dimension does have some origins in our genes.  Does anybody know about genes that have been linked with tolerance to adverse consequences?


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