Two Twins Different Families

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The clip we observed in class about the two 35-year old women that were separated at birth helped us examine the nature vs. nurture debate. It was interesting to see that even though they lived apart for their whole life, they still had some of the same idiosyncrasies and personality traits.
The fact that they had some of the same personality traits gave more evidence to the nature side of the debate. It didn't matter that the backgrounds were different; these twins would've had the same characteristics either way according to the clip.
This study, that they unknowingly took part in, raised a few questions.
- How similar of an environment did they have while growing up?
- Are there any more similarities between these two women other than personality traits?

35-twins.jpg
The way they performed this study seemed to be a bit unethical. Splitting up siblings at birth for an experiment doesn't seem to be a good reason for a family to be separated. Unless the mother was unable to support the children and was going to put them up for adoption, then I could see how the experiment idea would be somewhat plausible. Overall, it was interesting to see that these two shared the same characteristics even though they lived completely different lives.

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Twin studies have always interested me! I like the idea of being able to test types of effects on environment on genetically identical people. But unfortunately, it may actually be impossible to study these types of things without impact on the subjects' lives which, according to scientific ethics, cannot and will not ever be okay to do.

I also found this movie clip in class very interesting. I myself have an identical twin. I have always wondered if we are alike because we were raised together or if we naturally like the same things. This study is interesting because they were raised apart yet they have the same interests. This makes me think If my sister and I were apart that we may have similar interests as well. However I also think nurture influences aspects as well. I agree with you about this test being unethical. It does not seem right to split sisters up for the purpose of a study. I would not be happy if I found out I had a sister when I was forty years old. It would be hard knowing that someone had hid that from me so they could find out if nature or nurture played more of an important role.

Hello,

I think this topic is so interesting. I would argue that both nature and nurture affect a human being. This is because I know identical twins that are complete opposites of each other! But then again, someone goes to college and meets their best friend there. It's odd how two people from completely different worlds can meet and suddenly it's like they've known each other forever!

Anyway, the point is that no matter the circumstances, I believe there are many factors into shaping a person to become who they are.

And yes, I agree that it was very unethical.

Yer

This was a very interesting study in my opinion. And while it does point to the nature side as being involved in what makes us who we are, the question does arise about the similarities of their environments. Were the parents of both twins similar in values and ideas of how to raise children? How far apart were they raised? Was one raised in a rural place while the other in a city? I think that all of these must be addressed before we can make a definitive decision.
I also agree that it seems unethical, but I'm sure that the parents agreed to the separation before the birth. If this wasn't the case: many things are wrong about this study!

Actually, I have a case that is opposite to yours. I know a couple of twins who is MZ twins. One of them is my friend. She always tells me about her sister and her own totally different personality. One is extrovert, and the other is introvert. They shared same growth environment until seven. And after their 18, they started to live together again. I guess their growth environment does influence their personalities a lot although they also have some similarities, like both of them entered the university much earlier than normal child. I like twin study very much, because it reveals the potential of our human being.
Normally, the separation of twins is under the agreement of parents or some special cases that they have to live in different environment,like parents' divorce or other situations. For psychologist, sometimes, it's really hard to get to know those specially cases.

I would have to agree that both nature and nurture probably affect this situation. Its too bad that there currently seems to be no way to prove either way. Obviously this study can give us a lot of clues by separating the twins at birth but none of the evidence that they found can really be proved. As a blog reader, I need to learn a lot more about this study. The questions raised in an earlier post such as were they raised in similar areas or no? It would be interesting to hear about two twins if they had totally different childhoods. For example, what if one twin was raised in an apartment in New York City, and the other raised as a farmer in the hills of Colombia. Would their morals and values be similar. What could we find that seemed to be traits passed down from their parents?

I do think that twin studies are among the most interesting studies possible in the field of psychology. However, it is almost a sure thing that things like this will never get allowed to be studied. These types of studies are unethical and, without major extortion by the scientific and psychologic world, would make the test subjects feel like slaves to studies and experiments.

The twin study is really interesting. In my opinion, I still believe that nurture has more influence on people. It is ture that nature does a great influence on twin, but nurture can't be ignore. For example, in our daily life, we will find that one of our friends is really similar with us. However, we don't have any relationship. It just beacuse we have similar background. There's an old saying in China like father, like son. It means people will trend to like the person who raise them.

I find this very surprising. It is hard for me to believe for some reason that they would still have the same personality traits. I think that the atmosphere that you are raised in has a direct impact on on your personality.

This clip was really interesting to me as well. I have a fraternal twin brother so the topic of nature vs. nurture in siblings is interesting to learn about. It's even more interesting when I can identify the differences and similarities in our personalities even when we grew up under the same roof. That kind of makes me believe there is definitely a nature component in personality traits along with how a person is raised.

This study is very interesting because I know twins that are complete opposites even though they were raised together. This study seemed to be a little unethical since these twins were raised apart. Hopefully, it was for some other major reasons other than just for this study. This study showed that our environment has an impact on us, but a lot of the twin's traits remain the same even when they live apart. I think this study should be repeated using maybe more ethical procedures to see if it is replicable.

Good job, I think this topic is very interesting. I have identical twin friends who are completely alike, but they do have some differences. I believe that for experiments we should not separate twins from birth, I feel like they are missing who they really are. I just feel that was a rude thing to do for them. It is pretty interesting how they still are very similar even though they did not grow up together.

Wow, lots of interesting points have been raised on this post! An important question was asked in the original post: how similar were the the twins' environments? As mentioned in the beginning of the clip, when twins were adopted they were often adopted by similar families (similar SES, similar family structure, similar area (such as rural or suburban). Although the children didn't have the same parents, their environments were fairly similar which is a confound. I like that someone brought up how similar the twins would be if they grew up in dramatically different settings. For example, rural Colombia, or NYC. Also how do we explain twins who grew up in the same setting and are incredibly similar, vs twins who couldn't be more opposite? These questions are what make twin studies so interesting and yet so inconclusive at the same time.

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This page contains a single entry by augus142 published on February 7, 2012 6:49 PM.

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