Twin Studies of Individual Differences

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  • Humans are biologically prepared to learn language, but language is an inherently social phenomenon. Although nature and nurture are often pitted against each other, recent research makes it clear that both have important roles to play in language development, and twin studies can help to clarify what these roles might be. The relative contributions of genetics and experience on individual differences in language development vary across different aspects of language, different levels of language ability, and change over the course of development. Furthermore, factors that influence language development—whether genetic or environmental—often also affect other areas of behavior and learning, such as reading and writing.

    Twin Studies

    Language ability, like many other skills, seems to run in families. This is often taken as evidence for heritability: that the ...

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