Identical Twins Raised Apart Flashcards, test questions and answers
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What is Identical Twins Raised Apart?
Identical twins raised apart, also known as reared-apart twins, are a rare phenomenon that is of great interest to those researching the differences between nature and nurture. Twins are genetically identical when they come from one zygote, meaning that their DNA is exactly the same. This fact makes it possible to study how environment can shape an individual’s personality without any genetic influence. When identical twins who have been separated at birth and raised in different environments have their lives compared and contrasted, it can be seen how important upbringing is in forming our personalities. One example of this comparison was done by researchers Bouchard, Lykken and McGue in 1990 when they studied reared apart twins from Minnesota. Their research showed that despite having been raised separately by different families for many years, the twins still had a great deal of similarity in personality traits such as extroversion, neuroticism, general happiness levels and political views amongst other things. They even shared similar mannerisms when speaking or gesticulating which showed a deep-rooted influence of genetics over environment even though they had grown up hundreds of miles apart with no knowledge or contact with each other at all. The example of identical twins who were separated at birth illustrates just how powerful genetic influences can be on people’s development even if they grow up far away from each other and live completely different lives. It also proves that nurture plays an important role as many traits that were found to be similar between the two sets of reared-apart twins could not have been caused by genetics but must have been down to their separate environments influencing them differently but similarly throughout their childhoods. Overall it is clear that both nature (genetics) and nurture (environment) play an important role in developing our personalities throughout our lives; however this example shows just how strong nature’s influence can be over time despite differing environments during childhood being introduced into the mix too.