Separated at Birth.

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As I thought back on all we had learned throughout the semester I kept catching myself being concerned with the studies done to test nature vs. nurture. Certain researchers would separate identical twins at birth and study their behaviors identifying which case held true. A specific case looks at Paula Bernstein and Elyse Schein who were unaware of the fact that they had a twin until they were in their mid thirties. They were a part of a secret research study unbeknownst to both women.

I find it very disturbing that these two women were unaware of the fact that they had not only a sibling out there but a twin. I know a twins bond is very strong because I have identical twins for sisters. They have always been very close and I know that without one another they would be lost. It was said in the article that this type of research would never be allowed in this day and age which is comforting to a degree. Overall I feel horribly for whoever was put through this type of study as it would have huge life changing outcomes.


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I do not think that this type of study should be performed these days. However, I do think it is alright if we observe natural occurrences of this. If we do not study situations like this we may never be able to learn what causes certain behaviors.

It is unfortunate that these sisters were separated, I can't imagine how they felt when they discovered they had a twin. Whoever conducted this study crossed the line and it is good to know that standards and expectations have risen enough that this kind of thing would not happen in this day and age.

This study is very controversial, and most likely will never be repeated in the future because of the rules on ethics that are now in place. If this were to occur naturally though, due to adoption, or other circumstances, it is more understandable, and in my eyes, ethical. Although some of the past methods are questionable, I do believe that these studies have helped with advances in the nature vs. nurture debate.

While these twin studies are unethical and controversial, the data that research has been able to gather from twin studies is very useful for learning about the genetical basis for some disorders, diseases, and behavioral studies. I agree that studies such as these shouldn't be conducted like this in the future, because the bonds between siblings and family members are so crucial for many people.

Although certainly unethical, we were able to learn a lot of information from these twins.

I agree with many of the other commenters that while studies such as these are unethical, we have learned a lot of valuable information from them. The "little albert" study we learned about in psych 1001 performed by John B. Watson we learned a lot of invaluable information in the field of behavioralism.

Ethical issues aside, I think these types of studies give us great insights into the nature vs. nurture discussion. Hopefully there will be a way in the future to do similar studies in an ethical manner.

As you pointed out, sometimes separation at birth can be unfortunate and uncool. However, I think sometimes it can also be a good thing. I have a close friend who was adopted as an infant out of a family living in the slums of Atlanta, Georgia. He just recently lost one of his brothers from Atlanta in a drug related shooting. In my eyes, he is lucky to have the opportunity to live a normal life and avoid any trouble that would have came if he'd grown up with his blood family. While that's true, I think it's right he has the ability to contact them and knows where he comes from, unlike the twins you discuss.

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This page contains a single entry by dier0131 published on April 29, 2012 10:23 PM.

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