New research from Ohio State University in the US, suggests that lack of motivation in school may be influenced by the genes. The study, conducted at more than 13,000 twins from six countries found that between 40% and 50% of the differences in the motivation of a child to learn can be explained by their genetic heritage. ( Does music helps learning? )
The results show that genetic and non-shared environmental factors have the greatest impact on motivation that the shared environment, ie family and teachers.
The study included various studies of twins aged 9 to 16 years old in the UK, Canada, Japan, Germany, Russia and the United States. The methodology and questionnaires varied from country to country, but all measuring similar concepts.
Students answered questions about how much they enjoyed certain academic activities and also rated their skills in different school subjects. ( Tips to improve learning )
Subsequently, researchers compared how similar were the responses between twins, who share roughly half of their genetic heritage, with identical twins, who share all their genetic heritage.
The team says the findings are quite similar in the six countries with individuals of all ages. The finding does not mean that there is a gene that defines both a student enjoys learning, but suggest that there is a complex process involving genes and could be used to motivate children to want to learn. (Techniques to sharpen memory)