Archive for July, 2018

People prefer a good story, no matter what their DNA says

Saturday, July 14th, 2018

Tracing your ancestry is as easy as swabbing your cheek. But new research from the University of British Columbia finds many people who get tested pick and choose which results define their identity. (Andrew Kelly/Reuters)

Some consumers are embracing new identities by cherry-picking which race and ethnicity they identify with based on their test results, according to research from the University of British Columbia (UBC).

In a paper published in the American Journal of Sociology, the researchers found that some people who have taken DNA tests from genealogy companies such as AncestryDNA and 23andMe selectively choose which results to adopt and share with others — including the government and its census — based on their aspirations and how they think other people will view their new identity.

“They’re using it as a way to craft a new identity that they want to have,” said Wendy Roth, the study’s lead author and an associate professor of sociology at UBC.

One of the troubles with that, the researchers point out, is genetic tests aren’t always accurate.

Click here to read the full story originally published by CBC News.

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