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Studying Twins to Learn About Genetics

What are ways that behavior genetics uses twin studies to understand the effects of hereditary and the environment?

response is 596 words plus references

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The nature vs. nurture debate is one of the most enduring in the field of psychology. In the nature vs. nurture debate, "nature" refers to the things a child is born with. DNA, genes, physical appearance, personality, disposition, and heredity are all part of nature. "Nurture" refers to how the child was raised. Things like environment, routines, expectations of family members and friends, and diet are all part of nurture. Today, it is commonly accepted that most aspects of a child's development are a combination of both nurture and nature.

Twins are often used to study the "nature vs. nurture" debate. Identical (or monozygotic) twins share the same genes, which makes them very appealing for scientists studying genetics or the "nature" side of the nature/nurture argument. Twins, including fraternal (dizygotic) twins who are raised in the same household are assumed to share the same environmental, familial and cultural influences. This addresses the "nurture" side of the argument.

In most cases, a twin study follows twins which grow up in the same household. Ideally, the study should compare other ...

Solution Summary

Twins are often used to study the "nature vs. nurture" debate. This answer looks at several twin studies which have helped scientists better understand the roles of the environment and genetics in human development.