Explain how twin and adoption studies are used to determine whether behavior is due to genes or envirnoment.

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wannam eNotes educator| Certified Educator
In any study or experiment, it is key to isolate and limit the variables. When studying nature verses nurture, an adoption study helps to easily narrow the variables. The child does not share biological genes with the parents, so we can look at the effects of the environment more clearly. Although, certain discrepancies might be attributed back to genetics. For instance, if an adopted child (especially one who has been in the same environment since birth) exhibits certain behaviors not found in their environment, we must assume genetics could play a role. Twin studies are particularly interesting because twins share the same genetics and the same environment. What makes them different whent these two variable are the same? What makes one twin react differently to the environment? Both twin studies and adoption studies are key to the scientific understanding of the roots of behavior.