Fascinating Things We've Learned from Twin Studies  

Katherine Ripley
2.9k votes 803 voters 76.4k views 13 items

List Rules Vote up the most fascinating things twin studies have taught us

About 3 out of every 100 births in the United States yields twins. Studying twins is a way for scientists to determine how much of our characteristics are influenced by genetics, since identical twins share nearly 100 percent of their DNA, whereas fraternal twins or normal siblings only share about 50 percent. This list is full of the most interesting twin study findings, and you might be surprised by how significant a role genetics play in determining your future.

These interesting twin studies also give us insight into how human beings interact with one another. Vote for what you think is the coolest twin study discovery.
1 303 VOTES
Social Behavior Starts in the Womb
Social Behavior Starts in the ... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Fascinating Things We've Learned from Twin Studies
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Scientists who have studied twins in utero have noticed that they started to reach out to each other as early as 14 weeks into the pregnancy. They begin to caress each other and touch each other's mouths and eyes. Scientists say these observations lead to the conclusion that social behavior can emerge even before birth.
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Most Personality Traits Are Inherited
Most Personality Traits Are In... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Fascinating Things We've Learned from Twin Studies
Photo:  Gianne Karla Tolentino/via Pexels
When scientists compared the personality traits of twins who were raised together against those who were raised apart, they found that the personalities of twins who were raised apart were more similar than they expected. The researchers concluded that personality traits are mostly determined by genetics. Interestingly, the traits most strongly determined by heredity are leadership and obedience to authority.
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3 248 VOTES
Twins Often Invent Their Own Language
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Video: YouTube
That viral video of twin babies speaking gibberish to each other actually depicts quite a common occurrence. One study estimated that about 40 percent of twins invent their own languages. This is their way of practicing applying meaning to sounds. The made-up language usually fades as the children's real language vocabularies expand.
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Genes Influence Our Name Preference
Genes Influence Our Name Prefe... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Fascinating Things We've Learned from Twin Studies
Photo: Amazon
Okay, so there really isn't enough data to support this claim, but Thomas Bouchard's famous 1979 study on twins separated at birth includes a fascinating anecdote about names. A pair of male twins separated at birth and reunited at age 39 found that they had both married women named Linda; both divorced, and then both married women named Betty. One named his son James Allan, and the other named his son James Alan. They also both had pet dogs named Toy.
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