Sweethearts share patterns of life satisfaction

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Washington, Mar 9 (UNI) Long term satisfaction and happiness in life always depend on spouse and not primarily on genetic disposition, suggests researchers.

They found that individuals' report of increased or decreased life satisfaction closely matched those of their spouses over a period of 21 years. The study made assessments of satisfaction in more than 10,000 households.

The researchers studied the similarity in life satisfaction of more than 800 German married couples science daily reported.

Results show that spouses are similar in all three components of life satisfaction in the high variable component where satisfaction changes from year to year, in the changing component that produces gradual changes over time and in the stable component that does not change over long time intervals.

''The study has proposed that individual differences in overall happiness are largely determined by an internal set-point that people return to after being influenced by outside circumstances,'' explained one of the researchers Schimmack, But this research suggests external determinants of life satisfaction are more powerful than previously thought.

''If we still hold to the theory that genetics account for an individual's happiness 'norm,' he said adding, ''Then these results challenge behaviour genetics assumptions that assume we mate randomly and imply that people somehow manage to pick spouses that are highly genetically similar to themselves.'' UNI XC SZ KP0851

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