The concept of nature versus nurture has been debated in the psychology world for many years now. The idea of which has more impact on what makes an individual. Are our traits innate or do they manifest based on our environment?
Twin studies have offered influential research on the ongoing debate of nature versus nurture. Especially twins who have been separated at birth and reunited only to find that despite their circumstances and experiences, the similarities between the separated siblings are uncanny.
One of the most convincing studies comes from Dr. Thomas Bouchard, the man behind the Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart. The study was conducted in 1987 and found that twins raised in two different household had both intellectual and behavioral similarities.
Jim Spring and Jim Lewis
These two men found each other in 1979 after almost 40 years of separation. Many twins find incredible similarities in their twins but Jim and Jim had similarities that were borderline spooky!
- Both men were named James by their adoptive parents and eventually would both go by “Jim.”
- They both married women named Linda.
- Springs named his son “James Alan,” while Lewis named his son “James Allan.”
- Both men eventually divorced their first wives to remarry women named “Linda.”
- Their likes and dislikes were also similar. Both men drank Miller Lite, drove the same vehicle make and hated baseball.
- Physical traits were also similar, with the same medical history and complications.
There are other twins who were reunited later in life and similarities were also found that can only be attributed to genetics and DNA.
Meredith Grace and Meredith Ellen
In 2007 to adopted twins from China, with a twist of fate, somehow found each other at the age of four. Reunions such as these are less common because it is rare for both adoptive parents to be willing to participate in a reunion. Many adopted children don’t learn that they were adopted until later in life as well.
Meredith Grace Rittenhouse and Meredith Ellen Harrington were adopted from an orphanage in Jiangmen City. Because their physical similarities were more subtle as babies, it is believed that the orphanage was unaware the babies were even twins. It was a DNA test that confirmed their were in fact twins.
Psychiatrists and scientists attribute the “magnetic” connection between twins to their DNA similarities. From a very young age, people are inclined based on their genetic makeup, towards particular things.
Which do you think has a larger impact on our individuality and traits, nurture or nature?
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