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Nancy Segal: Twins – A window into human nature


Twins tell us about our humanity – who we are and where we came from, says Nancy Segal. In her fascinating and entertaining talk, we learn that genes play a much bigger role in our decisions and behaviour than scientists previously believed. Dr. Nancy L. Segal has been seeing double since 1982. As a post-doctoral fellow and research associate at the University of Minnesota, she worked on the well-known Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart. A fraternal twin herself, Dr. Segal founded the Twin Studies Center at CSU Fullerton, where she is also a Professor of Psychology. Nancy’s current interests include the behavioral and physical development of twins, the nature of twins’ social relationships, Korean twins separated at birth, the behavioral development of Chinese twins adopted internationally, the behavioral consequences of twin loss, and the personality similarity of unrelated look-alikes. Her work illustrates that by using twins as “living laboratories” we can sort out which aspects of twins’ lives are influenced by genetic inheritance, and in turn begin to “lay bare the basis of human behavior.”

Dr. Segal is an award-winning author and recipient of several international honors. Her hobbies include swing dancing, watching old movies and traveling to exotic locations. Her three proudest moments were having one of her books become an answer on Jeopardy, being pictured on a Pepsi can at a Madrid Congress and riding in an elevator with Eleanor Roosevelt.
[Video and text source: TEDx Talks Skeptic YouTube channel]