October 2011 Archives

Identical Twins and Adoption Studies

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Untitled.pngIn chapter three we learned the importance that adoption studies have in the Nature and Nurture debate. Through adoption studies one is able to observe whether a trait is biologically or environmentally influenced. If the characteristic is similar to that of the child's biological parent it is deemed "biologiaclly influenced". If the characteristic is similar to the adopted parents and not to the biological parents then it is deemed "environmentally influenced". One major confound in Adoption studies is selective placement, this is where the child is placed in a home similar to that of their biological parents. This has lead investigators to deem characteristics as biologically influenced, when they are truly environmentally influenced. In the mid 60's one man came up with the perfect study, he would seperate identical twins at infancy and observe their behavior as they grew. This is now known as the Neubauer Study. In this specific experiment, the twins were put into families where the two sets of parents looked very much alike, along with the son. Both of these families had adopted a son from the same agency. The boys looked very similar. Now looking back, there were some very noticeable similarities between the twins. Both girls had the same haircut at ages 7 and 11, they were both the editor in chief of their school newspaper and they both went to school studying film. After the twins had met and shared life stories, they stated that they share the same interest in books and music and that they share the same personality.The documented results for this experiment will not be available until 2066, because Neubauer has put them in an Archive at Yale University because he feels that the public would view his study as unethical. The twins on the other have published a book entitled "Identical Strangers". In their book they narrate their life stories ,along with the multiple behavioral and physical similarities they have shared throughout their lives apart.Their personal belief is that atleast 50% of one's personality is due to genetic makeup. Viola Bernard, a child psychologist for this experiment stated that twins should be raised in seperate homes, because they are often dressed the same and treated the same and she feels that it interferes with their independent psychological development. This set of twins in particular, seemed(for the most part) to have developed fairly similar while being raised in two seperate homes. This adoption study provided evidence proving that even when raised in different homes, identical twins grow up very similarly due to their genetic makeup.

Parents of twins

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