The public’s fascination with twins appears to be as inexhaustible as a matched set of toddlers.
One of the world’s leading experts on twins, Cal State Fullerton psychology professor Nancy L. Segal this year released her latest among a handful of books on the subject and has another coming out in the spring.
In “Twin Mythconceptions: False Beliefs, Fables and Facts About Twins,” Segal separates fact from fiction about more than 70 commonly held beliefs about the origins and development of twins.
Segal, a twin herself, is director of the CSUF Twin Studies Center and recipient of the CSUF Outstanding Professor Award and the California State University’s Wang Family Excellence Award.
Twin-family relations, twin loss, personality similarity, general intelligence and twins raised apart are among the topics she and her students continue to explore.
“People are fascinated by twins,” said Nick Martin, a behavior geneticist at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research and editor of Twin Research and Human Genetics, in a review of Segal’s book. “They provide an incredibly important resource for scientists trying to disentangle nature from nurture in the causes of disease and behavioral differences between individuals. Nancy Segal gives us the latest scientific evidence in a rigorous, but engaging and eminently readable style.”
Here Segal answers some questions on her favorite topic:
1. What inspired you to write “Twin Mythconceptions”?
I was struck by the many misconceptions and false beliefs about twins among both professionals and the general public, and decided to provide the best current scientific information possible.
2. Can you share a few examples of false beliefs about twins, and the truths behind them?
Many people assume that identical twins communicate…