Twins growing up separately share the same characteristics

Innate characteristics means more to personality than growing up. That's the surprising conclusion of the first major study of twins who have grown up in different families.

The research is carried out at the University of Minnesota since 1979, and more than 350 pairs of twins have been through extensive tests that have included blood analyses and intelligence and psychological tests.

The researchers studied 1 l personal characteristics and found that most of them were particularly influenced by inherit properties. Parents, the environment and other life experiences for most traits played a minor role. The results stand in sharp contrast to the view that has prevailed since Freud's days. Almost all theories have walked out that environment had a greater influence on the personality than heritage.

The study points out, however, that inherit characteristic dominance does not put the parents out of the game. They can shape the rough outline in personality.

Of the 350 twins that were examined, 44 were identical couples and 21 double-edged couple brought up separately.

By comparing the twins who grew up separated, with those who lived together, could show the relative importance of the heritage and the environment, because the twins have many common features.

If the surroundings had the greatest impact, the twins, who grew up in the same home have more in common than twins who lived separately. But the study of the eleven personal character traits showed that the difference between the two types of twins were far less than expected.

The personal properties were measured using a large questionnaire stated many aspects of personality, eg. aggressiveness, striving for success and the need for confidential relationship.

Linking tradition and authoritarianism was the properties that was mostly determined by innate facility. Heritage also had the greatest influence on properties such as sense of well-being and joy, weakness or resistance to stress and nervousness or desire to take chances.

Social scientists have criticized the Minnesota Group's work. They accept the idea of using twins, but do not believe that the questionnaire method is reliable compared to observe how people actually behave.

Other psychologists believe that the results are misleading because comparing people from a relatively narrow cultural framework. If for example. Pygmies or Eskimos had been involved in the study, the environment would have been shown to play a major role.

"The study does not show that it doesn't matter how to treat children, but that it is a great mistake to educate them alike. In order to guide and shape a child must respect its individuality and cultivate the qualities that will help them in life, "says psychologist David Lykken of the project.

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