Monday, March 26, 2012

how did you get that way? i don't know

[day thirty: nature]

i'm going to step away from discussing nature in the sense of trees and flowers and birdsong, and instead talk about the nature vs nurture debate. how much of you is dependent on what you were born as and how much on your environment? i touched upon this in a previous post where i rambled about how much of my fear of failure was just me and how much of it became me from other people's expectations.

i think we can all agree that both nature and nurture play a large part in how a person grows up: what they act like, look like, speak like, think like. you can't just jump onto one ship and declare the other has nothing to do with anything.

in the 60s/70s there was a secret research project done to test the nature vs nurture debate. identical twins were separated at birth and their development was then followed. neither the children nor the adopting parents knew this, though they were told that the children were part of an on-going study. sounds a little messed up, right? well, enough people thought that that the person doing the study, realizing that the public backlash would be strong, decided not to publish the results. they are archived at yale and sealed until 2066. he was not apologetic about doing it at all, though. one set of twins from this experiment claim that, after meeting for the first time after 35 years of separation, they found that more than 50% of their personalities are similar, giving nature the lead in the debate.

though i agree that the study wasn't very ethical, i think that, since it was already done, you may as well just publish the results. not publishing them won't erase what happened, and since everyone knows about it anyway, what's the point? i would be interested to read them, at least.

just in case you were wondering, thirteen infants were used for the experiment. three sets of twins and one set of triplets have discovered each other, but, as of 2007, there are still four kids out there that have no idea that they have a twin that was separated from them in the name of science.

what do you think? what makes you who you are? nature or nurture?

and with that, i officially declare an end to my thirty day challenge.

*Million Dollar Man - Lana Del Ray


  1. anonymous hippopotamusMarch 28, 2012 at 10:30 PM

    whatever....30 day usually means consecutive. 30 day diet doesn't mean diet 30 days but it doesn't matter when. you my dear sister are a failure! :P btw i'm just trying to annoy you

  2. anonymous hippopotamusMarch 28, 2012 at 10:31 PM

    oh and i would love to see the results.

  3. I'd like to know what's in those results, too! I mean, if no one ever finds out, then all those people will have been kept apart for nothing...which kind of makes it worse...

    Personally, I have a 60% nurture, 40% nature theory. I think there are a certain amount of traits that we are born with and cannot escape, but how you're raised/what you experience shapes what you do with those traits. Sort of a "evil (or genius, or anything else) isn't born, it's created" perspective, I guess.

    1. right? the damage is already done. at least make it worthwhile.

      i agree with your theory for the most part. but there are those people who come from such a "perfect" environment and end up as serial killers or something in spite of that that make me flipflop occasionally.