ignificant Findings From Recent Research on Identical Twins
Abstract: The Identical Twin Study seeks to identify genetic and environmental influences on the development of psychological traits. The value of the research was the ability to estimate the inheritability of certain traits, including academic ability, personality, interests, family and social relationships, & mental and physical health. Children who are orphaned, fostered, or adopted may have certain behavior or inheritable traits activated by certain environmental factors or adopted parents, but only within the limitations of their genes. Identical twins reared away from his or her co-twin seem to have about an equal chance of being similar to the co-twin in terms of personality, interests, and attitudes as one who has been reared with his or her co-twin. This leads to the conclusion that the similarities between twins are due to genes, not environment.
Twin studies are, “comparisons of identical (monozygotic) twins to fraternal or nonidentical (dizygotic) twins.” These studies are mainly to contribute to hereditary effects and also estimate heritability. Scientists and researchers look toward twin studies to debate the nGenetature versus nurture on childhood. For many years scientists have tried to study twins to see if genetics and/or environment influence individuals. Sir Francis Galton (one of the first scientists to conduct twin studies) studied influential genetics are on intelligence, more than a century ago. Galton also suggested that children get their intelligence from parents. “Identical twins have the same genetic construction. So, by studying identical twins who were brought up in different environments, “scientists can see the impact of genes on development.” For fraternal twins, scientists study the impact of outside environment on the children’s personalities (Bryner, 2006). Before coming into this research, I always view twin studies as seeing if twins can feel each others’ pain. My opinion was correct, however, that personalities from twins would be similar even if they were separated. I did not know that scientists researched twins for genetic reasons to find out if traits were hereditary or because of environmental reasons.
Measuring environmental factors and viewing behavior of twins are used to study the nature and nurture factor between twins. Looking at genes and traits from the twins’ medical history is also a research method of determining the influences of environment or heredity on individuals (Kaprio, 2011). The twin adoption method has been used by several geneticists to identify human behaviors (Segal, 1993). Recent twin studies are very significant to genetics because they summarize “findings from a selected sampling of twin studies of learning disabilities, personality and temperament, attitudes, psychopathology, and social behavior” (Segal, 1990). Twin studies have shown that people with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder have changes in gene activity caused by their environment. Researchers have also used twin studies to try to disentangle the environmental and genetic backgrounds of traits, from aggression to intelligence to schizophrenia to alcohol dependence (Boomsma, 2002). There were many limitations regarding this topic because of the restriction that there are only a few reasons to research identical twins. The main research of identical twins is the big debate: nature versus nurture. Scientists are only interested in whether twins were raised together or apart to see the influence of genetics versus environment and their effect on personality development. The Minnesota Study of twins Reared Apart (MISTRA) study similar twins’ personalities, tastes, and attitudes (Tinglof, 2007). It was difficult searching for different information in my findings because of the same research scientists have done. Findings from twin research have made important contributions to the understanding of human development and disease.
Boomsma, J. (2002). Classical twin studies and beyond. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/monitor/apr04/second.aspx Bryner, J. (2008, January 07). Nature vs. nurture: Twin and adoption studies. Retrieved from http://www.nurture-or-nature.com/articles/twin-and-adoption-studies/index.php Kaprio, J. (2011). Advanced methods in twin studies. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21153617 Segal, N. (1999). Importance of twin studies for individual differences research. Retrieved from http://psych.fullerton.edu/nsegal/twins.html Tinglof, C. B. (2007). Parenting school-age twins and multiples. New York, NY http://www.libraryindex.com/pages/2233/Genetics-Environment-TWIN-STUDIES.html