Is this who I really am? The impact of DNA Analyses in an ethnically diverse world
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The purpose of this study was to analyse the impact of DNA analysis on participants’ ethnic identity. Since 2000, DNA tests (purportedly) provide consumers with information about their ethnicity. So far, little research has been conducted on the psychological effects of DNA tests in relation to ethnicity in the genes and ethnicity in social terms. Existing literature describes that ethnicity and identity are established based on how actors express themselves, such as through sameness and differences. In addition, the interaction between how actors view themselves and how they are viewed by others should be considered in ethnic identity formation. The data was collected through nine interviews conducted over video chat or through online messaging. Subsequently, these were analysed through latent content analysis. In the results, participants indicated to be connected to a single ethnicity or to plural ethnicities before the DNA test. Three of nine participants with high estimates of newly discovered ethnicities indicated the results had not impacted them due to how they defined themselves internally and culturally. Three participants indicated change based on internal, emotional and meaningful drives. Further research should be undertaken to gain a deeper understanding of the effects of a DNA test on participants who consider their ethnic identity to be salient.