Twin Mythconceptions

Twin Mythconceptions

False Beliefs, Fables, and Facts about Twins

1st Edition - February 1, 2017

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  • Author: Nancy Segal
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128039953
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128039946

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Twin Mythconceptions: False Beliefs, Fables, and Facts about Twins sheds new light on over 70 commonly held ideas and beliefs about the origins and development of identical and fraternal twins. Using the latest scientific findings from psychology, psychiatry, biology, and education, the book separates fact from fiction. Each idea about twins is described, followed by both a short answer about the truth, and then a longer, more detailed explanation. Coverage includes embryology of twins, twin types, intellectual growth, personality traits, sexual orientation of twins, marital relationships, epigenetic analyses, and more. Five appendices cover selected topics in greater depth, such as the frequency of different twin types and the varieties of polar body twin pairs. This book will inform and entertain behavioral and life science researchers, health professionals, twins, parents of twins, and anyone interested in the fascinating topic of twins.

Key Features

  • Identifies common misunderstandings about twins
  • Provides scientific answers to questions about twins
  • Encompasses the biology, psychology, genetics, and personality of twins
  • Includes discussion of identical, fraternal same-sex, and fraternal opposite-sex twins
  • Allows for quick answers to common questions and more detailed explanations


Researchers in psychology, genetics and family dynamics. Interested lay people

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1: Twin Types: More Than Just Two

    • Abstract
    • Twin types: not just two

    Chapter 2: Living Laboratories: Double Designs and Multiple Methods

    • Abstract
    • Twins and twin methods
    • Novel twin and twin-like designs
    • Genetic studies
    • Cross-cultural considerations

    Chapter 3: Mythconceptions About Twin Conceptions—I

    • Abstract

    Chapter 4: Mythconceptions About Twin Conceptions—II

    • Abstract

    Chapter 5: Identical or Fraternal? Telling Twins Apart

    • Abstract

    Chapter 6: Biological Complexities, Myths, and Realities

    • Abstract

    Chapter 7: Mind Readers? Twin Telepathy, Intelligence, and Elite Performance

    • Abstract

    Chapter 8: Going to School and Speaking Out Loud

    • Abstract

    Chapter 9: Human Behavioral Variations: Sex and Sex Differences

    • Abstract

    Chapter 10: Good Twin–Evil Twin and Other Family Ties

    • Abstract

    Chapter 11: Twins, Clones, and Other Extraordinary Pairs

    • Abstract

    Chapter 12: Twin Spouses and Unrelated Look-Alikes: New Views

    • Abstract

    Chapter 13: Of Two Minds: Old Questions and Fresh Answers

    • Abstract
    • Looking back
    • Switched at birth and reared apart
    • Worth a second look
    • Mirror–mirror
    • Two to one?
    • Lost and found
    • Multiple birth mothers and female twin daughters
    • Special twins—special needs
    • Gene hunt

    Appendix 1: What About Hellin’s Law? And Does Weinberg Rule?

    Appendix 2: Right-Handed or Left-Handed?

    Appendix 3: Polar Body Twins: A Primer

    Appendix 4: Nancy L. Segal’s Ten Classic Books on Twins

    Appendix 5: Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations

Product details

  • No. of pages: 334
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2017
  • Published: February 1, 2017
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780128039953
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780128039946

About the Author

Nancy Segal

Dr. Nancy L. Segal is currently Professor of Psychology at California State University, Fullerton and Director of the Twin Studies Center. She has authored over 250 scientific articles and book chapters, as well as seven books on twins, most recently, Deliberately Divided: Inside the Controversial Study of Twins and Triplets Adopted Apart. Her 2012 book, Born Together-Reared Apart: The Landmark Minnesota twin Study, won the 2013 William James Award from the American Psychological Association. Dr. Segal has received several international awards, including the James Shields Award for Lifetime Contributions to Twin Research (International Society for Twin Studies) and the International Making a Difference Award (Multiple Births Canada). She is also the 2016 recipient of the prestigious Wang Family Excellence Award from California State University. Dr. Segal has contributed to national and international media, including the New York Times and the Washington Post. She has been a frequent guest on national and international television and radio programs, such as the Today Show, Good Morning America, the Martha Stewart Show, the Oprah Winfrey Show, The Forum (BBC) and the Hidden Brain National Public Radio).

Affiliations and Expertise

Psychology Professor of Psychology at California State University, Fullerton and Director of the Twin Studies Center, CA, USA

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