PSYCH 120 - First-Year Seminar in Psychology as a Social Science
Section: 002 Twins and What they Teach us about Identity, Relationships, Genes, and Environment
Term: FA 2009
Subject: Psychology (PSYCH)
Department: LSA Psychology
Credits:
3
Requirements & Distribution:
SS
Other:
FYSem
Waitlist Capacity:
10
Consent:
With permission of instructor.
Cost:
>100
Advisory Prerequisites:
Enrollment restricted to first-year students, including those with sophomore standing.
Other Course Info:
May not be included in a concentration plan in Psychology.
Repeatability:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Throughout time and across cultures twins have been a source of special fascination, and recently as the rate of twining has increased, practical issues regarding twin’s development demands greater attention. This seminar will examine the experience and lessons of twinship. During the first portion of this seminar we will examine how being a twin, and how raising twins, affects twins’ identity and relationships, and what this, and the metaphors of twinship (e.g., good vs. evil, life options, symmetry, and soul mates, etc.) found in literature and film, teach us about identity and relationships in general. During the second portion of this seminar we will examine behavior genetics research involving twins. We will consider how these data help us to disentangle effects of heredity and environment and gain an understanding of effects of nature and nurture.

The seminar will begin with an overview of the context of twining across time and culture. In particular, the variety of rates of twining, and beliefs about twins, will be considered. We will then investigate how being conceived and experiencing each developmental milestone with another individual affects one’s sense of self and identity and one’s relationships. Finally, we will examine how scientists have utilized the natural variance in genes and environment between identical and fraternal twins, siblings, and unrelated individuals who have been raised either together or apart to disentangle effects of nature and nurture on development and aging. By the end of the course students should have a better appreciation of the uniqueness of growing up as a twin, how this experience affects one’s identity and one’s relationships, and how twin development and aging illuminates development and aging in general. In addition, the ways in which both our genes and environment affect our biology, behavior, and thought will be elucidated.

The course involves a heavy workload and relies extensively on a course web site. All assignments are described on the web site and are to be submitted through it. The web site also contains topic outlines, links to relevant readings and research materials, and places for student discussion. It is essential that all students do reading and writing assignments before the class in which they are covered. Students also are expected to participate actively in class discussion. Class sessions will mostly involve student discussion, but will also include instructor lecture, group work, student presentations, and videos. Grades will be based on the number of points accumulated by completing assignments and exams and participating in class and web discussions.

PSYCH 120 - First-Year Seminar in Psychology as a Social Science
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
P
15805
Closed
0
13Y1
 
-
M 5:00PM - 8:00PM
002 (SEM)
P
29213
Closed
0
3Y1
-
M 2:00PM - 5:00PM
003 (SEM)
P
15807
Closed
0
2LSA Hnrs Y1
-
TuTh 10:00AM - 12:00PM
004 (SEM)
P
15809
Closed
0
5Y1
6Enrollment Management
-
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
005 (SEM)
P
15811
Closed
0
 
-
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
006 (SEM)
P
44543
Closed
0
14Y1
 
-
MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
007 (SEM)
P
45046
Open
1
3Y1
-
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
008 (SEM)
P
46260
Closed
0
2LSA Hnrs Y1
-
Tu 1:00PM - 4:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.


Note:
The books listed below are required. They have been ordered from the University bookstores 
 
*Jackson (2000) Twin Tales: The Magic and Mystery of Multiple Birth 
 
*Sipes & Sipes (1998) Dancing Naked in Front of the Fridge: And Other Lessons from Twins 
 
*Piontelli, A. (2002) Twins: From Fetus to Child 
 
*Wallace (1986) The Silent Twins 
 
*Schave Klien (2003) Psychological Profile of Twinship: Not All Twins are Alike 
 
*Bernstein, P. & Schein, E. (2007) Identical Strangers 
 
*Strauss (2000) Chang and Eng: A Novel 
 
*Woodward (1999) The Lone Twin: Understanding Twin Bereavement and Loss 
 
 
*Wright (1998) Twins: And What They Tell Us About Who We Are 
 
*Joseph (2004) The Genetic Illusion: Genetic Research in Psychiatry and Psychology Under the Microscope 
 
*Segal (1999) Entwined Lives: Twins and What They Tell Us About Our Behavior
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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