Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influences of major serotonin-related genetic variants of the serotonin transporter-linked promoter region (5-HTTLPR), tryptophan hydroxylase 1 gene (TPH1) and monoamine oxidase A gene (MAOA-EcoRV) on trait emotional intelligence (EI). Methods: The Trait Meta-Mood Scale (TMMS) measuring trait EI and genotyping were performed in 336 healthy Korean college students (204 males, 132 females). Results: Among the male participants, those with the T genotype of MAOA (lower MAOA activity) had significantly lower subscale scores on the TMMS than those with the C genotype (higher MAOA activity) did. Additionally, male participants with the s/s genotype of the 5-HTTLPR gene had significantly lower attention subscale scores and total TMMS scores than those with the non-s/s (l/l + l/s) genotypes did. Among the female participants, there were no associations between any of the 5-HTTLPR, TPH1 or MAOA-EcoRV polymorphisms and any of the TMMS scores. Conclusion: These findings suggest a potential genetic basis of EI with regard to attention to one’s own feelings involving the serotonin system in males.

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