Click the Study Aids tab at the bottom of the book to access your Study Aids (usually practice quizzes and flash cards).
Study Pass is our latest digital product that lets you take notes, highlight important sections of the text using different colors, create "tags" or labels to filter your notes and highlights, and print so you can study offline. Study Pass also includes interactive study aids, such as flash cards and quizzes.
Highlighting and Taking Notes:
If you've purchased the All Access Pass or Study Pass, in the online reader, click and drag your mouse to highlight text. When you do a small button appears – simply click on it! From there, you can select a highlight color, add notes, add tags, or any combination.
If you've purchased the All Access Pass, you can print each chapter by clicking on the Downloads tab. If you have Study Pass, click on the print icon within Study View to print out your notes and highlighted sections.
To search, use the text box at the bottom of the book. Click a search result to be taken to that chapter or section of the book (note you may need to scroll down to get to the result).
View Full Student FAQs
Chapter 11 Personality
Identical Twins Reunited after 35 Years
Paula Bernstein and Elyse Schein were identical twins who were adopted into separate families immediately after their births in 1968. It was only at the age of 35 that the twins were reunited and discovered how similar they were to each other.
Paula Bernstein grew up in a happy home in suburban New York. She loved her adopted parents and older brother and even wrote an article titled “Why I Don’t Want to Find My Birth Mother.” Elyse’s childhood, also a happy one, was followed by college and then film school abroad.
In 2003, 35 years after she was adopted, Elyse, acting on a whim, inquired about her biological family at the adoption agency. The response came back: “You were born on October 9, 1968, at 12:51 p.m., the younger of twin girls. You’ve got a twin sister Paula and she’s looking for you.”
“Oh my God, I’m a twin! Can you believe this? Is this really happening?” Elyse cried.
Elyse dialed Paula’s phone number: “It’s almost like I’m hearing my own voice in a recorder back at me,” she said.
“It’s funny because I feel like in a way I was talking to an old, close friend I never knew I had…we had an immediate intimacy, and yet, we didn’t know each other at all,” Paula said.
The two women met for the first time at a café for lunch and talked until the late evening.
“We had 35 years to catch up on,” said Paula. “How do you start asking somebody, ‘What have you been up to since we shared a womb together?’ Where do you start?”
With each new detail revealed, the twins learned about their remarkable similarities. They’d both gone to graduate school in film. They both loved to write, and they had both edited their high school yearbooks. They have similar taste in music.
“I think, you know, when we met it was undeniable that we were twins. Looking at this person, you are able to gaze into your own eyes and see yourself from the outside. This identical individual has the exact same DNA and is essentially your clone. We don’t have to imagine,” Paula said.
Now they finally feel like sisters.
“But it’s perhaps even closer than sisters,” Elyse said, “Because we’re also twins.”
The twins, who both now live in Brooklyn, combined their writing skills to write a book called Identical Strangers about their childhoods and their experience of discovering an identical twin in their mid-30s (Spilius, 2007; Kuntzman, 2007).Spilius, A. (2007, October 27). Identical twins reunited after 35 years. Telegraph. Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1567542/Identical-twins-reunited-after-35-years.html; Kuntzman, G. (2007, October 6). Separated twins Paula Bernstein and Elyse Schein. The Brooklyn Paper. Retrieved from http://www.brooklynpaper.com/stories/30/39/30_39twins.html
Elyse and Paula
You can learn more about the experiences of Paula Bernstein and Elyse Schein by viewing this video.
One of the most fundamental tendencies of human beings is to size up other people. We say that Bill is fun, that Marian is adventurous, or that Frank is dishonest. When we make these statements, we mean that we believe that these people have stable individual characteristics—their personalities. PersonalityAn individual’s consistent patterns of feeling, thinking, and behaving. is defined as an individual’s consistent patterns of feeling, thinking, and behaving (John, Robins, & Pervin, 2008).John, O. P., Robins, R. W., & Pervin, L. A. (2008). Handbook of personality psychology: Theory and research (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Guilford Press.
The tendency to perceive personality is a fundamental part of human nature, and a most adaptive one. If we can draw accurate generalizations about what other people are normally like, we can predict how they will behave in the future, and this can help us determine how they are likely to respond in different situations. Understanding personality can also help us better understand psychological disorders and the negative behavioral outcomes they may produce. In short, personality matters because it guides behavior.
In this chapter we will consider the wide variety of personality traits found in human beings. We’ll consider how and when personality influences our behavior, and how well we perceive the personalities of others. We will also consider how psychologists measure personality, and the extent to which personality is caused by nature versus nurture. The fundamental goal of personality psychologists is to understand what makes people different from each other (the study of individual differences), but they also find that people who share genes (as do Paula Bernstein and Elyse Schein) have a remarkable similarity in personality.