I am in the process of researching the Nature vs. Nurture debate.

While I was searching for articles on it, I discovered something known as the "Identical Strangers" experiment (that probably was not it's real name, but it is the name of the book that the twins wrote about it). It was an experiment done in the 1960s where 2 identical twins were separated at birth and raised in different homes. The study looked at how they developed.

I noticed when looking it up that there was something that said that details about the full experiment were locked away until 2066. My question is:

Is there any part of the experiment that has been documented (it can even be from the adopted parents, it doesn't necessarily have to be from the study itself) that is publicly available, or is all of it locked away at Yale University for the next 54 years?

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome Ephraim! Next time you ask a question here, please make sure to show some initial research. Googling for "Identicle strangers" shows up the wikipedia page which already contains some of the information you provided (along with the proper way to write it), with additional references which perhaps could answer your question. This question would have been better if you would have linked to wikipedia, and explained why it didn't answer your question. $\endgroup$
    – Steven Jeuris
    Apr 4, 2012 at 0:13
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    $\begingroup$ Ephraim, I do encourage you to return to cogsci, and ask focused and researched questions as you read more about and reflect on the nature-versus-nurture debate and developmental psychology in general. $\endgroup$ Apr 4, 2012 at 0:19

1 Answer 1


To learn about other twins reared apart, investigate the earlier Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart and the ongoing Minnesota Twin Family Study.

To pique your curiosity:

Jim Lewis and Jim Springer stand out in the Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart because some of their two histories were strikingly identical; several notable examples:

  • 1st wife: "Linda"
  • 2nd wife: "Betty"
  • Dog: "Toy"
  • Cigarette: Salem
  • Job: Sherrif's deputy
  • built a circular white bench around a tree in the yard


  • Bouchard Jr, T.J., Lykken, D.T., McGue, M., Segal, N.L. & Tellegen, A. (1990) Sources of human psychological differences: the Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart. Science 250:223-228. [pdf]
  • Holden, C. (1980) Identical Twins Reared Apart. Science, 207:1323-1325. [extract]

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