Scientists can now offer answers to people who seems to be chronically beset by debt. A recent study revealed that financial delinquency can be caused by a genetic defect or having excessive amounts of a particular gene.
Clinical studies have discovered a gene that could explain why there are people who just seem to be helpless in controlling their lavish spending habits. If research study were to be believed, it is not the environment, store sales, media marketing, or traumatic childhood experiences, who are to blame for people ending up heavily in debt. Scientists point to a specific gene that secretes special enzymes, which is the one responsible for making people commit bad spending decisions. According to this recent study, people who are found to have an abundant supply of a particular gene are more prone to incurring credit card debts.
The potential of the results of this study could go beyond the confines of the medical field and may transcend into the business world. If current trends of credit profiling were to continue, it would not be farfetched if in the future, credit card companies would use genetic tests to distinguish responsible shoppers from irresponsible shoppers. From this study they would be able to more accurately determine people who present elevated risks of deviant spending behaviour and habits.
It seems that even with today's extensive risk profiling practices that looks into a person's age, gender, and occupation, credit history and credit score, credit card companies are still on the constant lookout for more sophisticated ways of measuring a person's risk profile.
The gene that scientists are bowling over is monoamine oxidase A or MAO-A. The gene's primary function is to produce an enzyme that breaks down serotonin and dopamine, two chemical substances found in the brain. There are two forms of this gene, one is highly active and extremely efficient (which is the form that breaks down serotonin and dopamine) while the other has low activity and poor efficiency.
Clinical studies show that this gene can influence one's behaviour since it has been established to affect neurotransmitters, which in turn impacts brain activity. Increased levels of this gene have been linked to criminal and delinquent behaviour in young teens. There is also a link with this gene to people experiencing major depression in their adulthood. According to some studies this gene could also induce aggression which is why some scientists labelled it as the warrior gene.
Studies also show that people who are found to have high levels of this gene had higher rates of impulsiveness and were more susceptible to abusive treatment.