Stellar Student Research:
02 | Renowned Twins Expert Works With Psychology Students
Psychologist Nancy Segal, Fullerton’s Outstanding Professor in 2005, is a nationally recognized authority on twins. Segal has made more than 200 media appearances over two decades, including programs such as “20/20,” “ABC World News Tonight” and various PBS affiliates. She has published two acclaimed books: Entwined Lives: Twins and What They Tell Us About Human Behavior and Indivisible by Two: Lives of Extraordinary Twins. A Harvard psychology professor has called her “the world’s expert on the psychology of twins.”
“Twin research is not solely about twins, it is a model that helps all of us find answers to questions of who we are and how we got there,” points out Segal, herself a twin, who invites two or three undergraduates a year to take part in her research studies.
For instance, MARC scholar Kevin Chavarria studies social interaction among twins and their families. “Working for Dr. Segal has been one of the most fun and interesting experiences of my academic career. She has taught me many things that I could not learn anywhere else,” he says.
In general, Segal’s students collect, verify and enter data, interview subjects, and prepare manuscripts and posters. “Much work gets done and in a creative fashion,” she says.
Her advice to students and those beginning scientific careers is this: “Find a topic that really, really personally interests you and is theoretically important. Find a topic, a question, an issue. If you are doing something you like to do, commitment comes easily.”