In the article “The History of Twins, As a Criterion of the Relative Powers of Nature and Nurture,” Francis Galton describes his study of twins. Published in 1875 in Fraser’s Magazine in London, England, the article lays out Galton’s use of twins to examine and distinguish between the characteristics people have at birth and the characteristics they receive from the circumstances of life and experience. Galton calls those factors nature and nurture. Based on his study, Galton concluded that nature has a larger effect than nurture on development. By studying twins, Galton introduced a way to examine the effects of nature and nurture in people who were born with similar traits, which allowed him to focus on the effects of experience on a person’s development.

Chāng (Chang) and Ēn (Eng) Bunker were conjoined twins in the nineteenth century in the United States, the first pair of conjoined twins whose condition was well documented in medical records. A conjoined twins is a rare condition in which two infants are born physically connected to each other. In their youth, the brothers earned money by putting themselves on display as curiosities and giving lectures and demonstrations about their condition. The Bunker brothers toured around the world, including the United States, Europe, Canada, and France, and allowed physicians to examine them. Due to the popularity of their exhibition and their origin from Siam (later called Thailand), they became known as the Siamese twins, a term that was used to describe conjoined twins in general until the twentieth century. During their travels and, later, with the autopsy they received, the Bunker brothers provided insight about the development of twins and conjoined twins.

In 1990, Thomas J. Bouchard and his colleagues published the paper “Sources of Human Psychological Differences: The Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart” in Science Magazine. The paper described the results of a study initiated in 1979 on the development of twins raised in different environments. The scientists conducted their experiment at the University of Minnesota, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The researchers physiologically and psychologically assessed monozygotic twins or triplets who were reared apart, comparing the similarity of those twins to twins who were reared together. The research team found that identical twins who are reared apart had the same chance of being similar as twins who were raised together. Bouchard and his colleagues concluded that genetic factors have a large influence on behavioral habits demonstrating the influence of the genetics on development.

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