Is it nature or nurture?

Posted on May 23, 2015

Photo: flickr

The study of twins allow us to determine whether it was genetics or environment that explains the psychological differences between individuals. However, this new study finds that the effect for genetics to environment is about 1:1 for personality, intelligence, health and etc.

Scientists have reviewed almost every twin study conducted in the last 50 years. Within this research, data is reviewed from about 14.5 million pairs of twins, measuring 17,804 individual traits across 2,748 separate publications.

Benyamin, one of the study’s authors, explained that due to the numerous conjecture over how much variation is caused by genetics or environmental factors, they feel that it could be resolved by revisiting almost all genetic twin studies and comparing it.
The findings show that we need to look at ourselves outside of a view of nature versus nurture, and instead look at it as nature and nurture.”

For example, bipolar disorder was found to be 70% genetics and only 30% environmental factors. Schizophrenia was also found to be 70% genetic. At the other extreme, social values are 70% shaped by environment and only 30% by genetics.

Twin studies are primarily being used as identical twins share almost 100% of the same genes and pretty much the same environment. While fraternal twins share about 50% of the genes while sharing the similar environment. When taken together, this allows researchers to find out the relative contributions of the environment and of genetics.


Source material from PsyBlog