A gene for educational success? Scientists seem to think so
While you might think you just got your hair and eye color from your parents, scientists may have discovered a genetic link for educational success. According to the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, three separate genes - DAT1, DRD2 and DRD4 - are associated with motivation, cognitive skills and intelligence, which all contribute to learning achievement.
"Being able to show that specific genes are related in any way to academic achievement is a big step forward in understanding the developmental pathways among young people," said Kevin Beaver, the study's lead author.
Although other studies have found links between intelligence and genetic factors, Beaver and his colleagues are the first to associate specific genes with educational attainment.
Of course, the study doesn't imply that you can't succeed in college if it doesn't run in your family, nor does it guarantee that you'll have an easier time in school if your parents both have PhDs. You can defy the odds and potentially pass on your own educational achievement genes to your future children.