It is widely regarded that twins can be used as a natural experiment to subject hypotheses to empirical testing regarding the contributions of genetic factors to phenotypic variability in human traits, especially behavioral traits. In genetic epidemiology, a higher concordance rate in monozygotic (MZ) twins than in dizygotic (DZ) twins is often taken as prima facie evidence for a genetic component. While twins studies have been used to estimate the contributions of genetic factors to phenotypic variability in human traits, the corresponding methodology that allows the estimation entails several crucial assumptions. The most critical is that MZ and DZ twins are equally similar environmentally. Although MZ twins are genetically more similar than DZ twins, they are often environmentally more similar. This paper demonstrates that, even in the complete absence of any genetic factor and of any biases, the greater environmental similarity alone in MZ twins can result in higher concordance rate in MZ twins than in DZ twins. This is especially true when there are multiple environmental factors, which may have multiple exposure levels and/or interact strongly, although each of them may be of low risk. This may serve as a sobering antidote to the uncritical reliance on twin studies without examining the validity of the underlying assumptions.

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