Maarch 29, 2012
That is the question posed in one story about some recently completed published research. Science Daily reported about the research on March 12th [see http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120312114119.htm]. The report describes the finding that there are four ways of looking at how genes affect our health in the U.S. population that are rather equally distributed. For some, their beliefs form around how personal behaviors relate to whether genes affect out health, whether our social environments have any effect, and whether religious faith and spirituality play a role. For others, their beliefs form around confidence that our personal behaviors predict whether our genes will affect our health. For a third group, they convey uncertainty about how genes affect our health, neither agreeing nor disagreeing that personal behavior, social environments, or spirituality plays a role. Finally, a fourth group is quite confident that our genes are our genes, and how they affect our health has nothing to do with our personal behavior, our social environments, nor our spirituality.
It is the finding that we vary in our beliefs that led one reporter to talk about it in terms of our ‘style’ [see http://www.communicationstudies.com/matching-communicaton-styles-to-patients-beliefs-study]. I’ll talk about how that might be a good ‘fit’ for thinking about communication and health over the next few days.