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Faculty Research Working Paper Series
Richard Zeckhauser
Frank Plumpton Ramsey Professor of Political Economy
phone: (617)495-1174
fax: (617)384-9340
The Dopamine Receptor D4 Gene (DRD4) and Self-Reported Risk Taking in the Economic Domain
Dreber, Anna, David G. Rand, Nils Wernerfelt, Justin R. Garcia, J. Koji Lum, and Richard Zeckhauser. "The Dopamine Receptor D4 Gene (DRD4) and Self-Reported Risk Taking in the Economic Domain." HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP11-042, November 2011.
Abstract
Background: Recent evidence suggests that individual variation in risk taking is partly due to genetic factors. Methodology/Principal Findings: We explore how self-reported risk taking in different domains correlates with variation in the dopamine receptor D4 gene (DRD4). Past studies conflict on the influence of DRD4 in relation to risk taking. A sample of 237 serious tournament contract bridge players, experts on risk taking in one domain, was genotyped for having a 7-repeat allele (7R+) or not (7R-) at DRD4. No difference was found between 7R+ and 7R- individuals in general risk taking or in several other risk-related activities. Conclusion: In this sample of individuals (tournament bridge players) there is no relationship between DRD4 genotype and self-reported risk taking in different domains.
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