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1. chinaXiv:202007.00020 [pdf]

Heritability of justice sensitivity

Wang,Yun; Luo,Yu; Wu, Shengtao; Zhou, Yuan
Subjects: Psychology >> Social Psychology

Justice is one of fundamental principles in human evolution, and justice sensitivity, both from the proself perspective (e.g., as victim) and the prosocial perspective (e.g., as observer, beneficiary, and perpetrator), matters in mental wellness and social interaction. However, it remains unclear to what extent individual difference in justice sensitivity is influenced by genetic versus environmental factors. Using a sample with 244 twin pairs, the present research was an attempt to determine what extent genetic factor plays a role in the inter-individual difference of justice sensitivity as well as whether different facets of justice sensitivity, namely, proself and prosocial perspective, share common genetic basis. Results showed that (1) all the four facets of justice sensitivity were moderately heritable (21%–33%) and that the non-shared environmental factors accounted for the rest variations (67%–79%); (2) associations between the prosocial facets of justice sensitivity were driven by common genetics (rg: .50–.65) and non-shared environmental (re: .24–.65) influences, whereas no strong evidence supported a genetic correlation between proself and prosocial justice sensitivity. The current findings provide novel evidence that sensitivity to injustice, especially to others’ suffering, is fundamentally grounded upon genetic origin, thus shedding light on the nature and nurture aspects of justice behavior.

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