The Longitudinal Israeli Study of Twins (L.I.S.T)
LIST includes about 1000 twin pairs (born between the years 2004-2005) and their parents, many of which have participated at various ages (3.5, 5, 6, 7, 9,11). Through enjoyable tasks, we examine how individual differences in temperament and social behavior emerge and develop. We are especially interested in the development of temperament, pro-social behavior, empathy, values, decision making and parent-child interactions.
A great advantage of our research is its use of the twins’ model. Through the use of the twins’ model, we are able to compare levels of similarity between identical and fraternal twins, and thus estimate the respective influence of children’s genetics, shared and non-shared environment on specific traits. In addition, through the use of molecular genetics methods, we examine hypotheses on specific genes and how they influence the child and his/her environment.
Our current stage of the study is designed to learn about children in their pre-adolescent stage (age 11), a developmental period characterized by many physiological and psychological changes. Our primary goal at this stage is to study the development of children’s values, and to further challenge the existing research which suggests that the establishment of values is only possible once a child reaches adolescence. We measure parent and child values, as well as other factors that can influence values development such as cognitive abilities, identity development, self-esteem, personality traits, empathy, and biological changes.