“Magisterial…Makes an impressive argument that most distinctly human traits are established early in childhood and that the general chronology in which these traits appear can at least—and at last—be identified.” —Wall Street Journal
“Theoretically daring and experimentally ingenious, Becoming Human squarely tackles the abiding question of what makes us human.” —Susan Gelman, University of Michigan
Virtually all theories of how humans have become such a distinctive species focus on evolution. Becoming Human proposes a complementary theory of human uniqueness, focused on development. Building on the seminal ideas of Vygotsky, it explains how those things that make us most human are constructed during the first years of a child’s life.
In this groundbreaking work, Michael Tomasello draws from three decades of experimental research with chimpanzees, bonobos, and children to propose a new framework for psychological growth between birth and seven years of age. He identifies eight pathways that differentiate humans from their primate relatives: social cognition, communication, cultural learning, cooperative thinking, collaboration, prosociality, social norms, and moral identity. In each of these, great apes possess rudimentary abilities, but the maturation of humans’ evolved capacities for shared intentionality transform these abilities into uniquely human cognition and sociality.
Utilizing both clinical material based on the life histories of twenty patients and theoretical insights from the works of Freud, Erikson, Fairbairn, and Winnicott, Ana-Maria Rizzuto examines the origin, development, and use of our God images. Whereas Freud postulated that belief in God is based on a child's idea of his father, Rizzuto argues that the God representation draws from a variety of sources and is a major element in the fabric of one's view of self, others, and the world.
Studies of human development have taken an ethnographic turn in the 1990s. In this volume, leading anthropologists, psychologists, and sociologists discuss how qualitative methodologies have strengthened our understanding of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral development, and of the difficulties of growing up in contemporary society.
Part 1, informed by a post-positivist philosophy of science, argues for the validity of ethnographic knowledge. Part 2 examines a range of qualitative methods, from participant observation to the hermeneutic elaboration of texts. In Part 3, ethnographic methods are applied to issues of human development across the life span and to social problems including poverty, racial and ethnic marginality, and crime.
Restoring ethnographic methods to a central place in social inquiry, these twenty-two lively essays will interest everyone concerned with the epistemological problems of context, meaning, and subjectivity in the behavioral sciences.
In recent decades, Susan Oyama and her colleagues in the burgeoning field of developmental systems theory have rejected the determinism inherent in the nature/nurture debate, arguing that behavior cannot be reduced to distinct biological or environmental causes. In Evolution’s Eye Oyama elaborates on her pioneering work on developmental systems by spelling out that work’s implications for the fields of evolutionary theory, developmental and social psychology, feminism, and epistemology. Her approach profoundly alters our understanding of the biological processes of development and evolution and the interrelationships between them. While acknowledging that, in an uncertain world, it is easy to “blame it on the genes,” Oyama claims that the renewed trend toward genetic determinism colors the way we think about everything from human evolution to sexual orientation and personal responsibility. She presents instead a view that focuses on how a wide variety of developmental factors interact in the multileveled developmental systems that give rise to organisms. Shifting attention away from genes and the environment as causes for behavior, she convincingly shows the benefits that come from thinking about life processes in terms of developmental systems that produce, sustain, and change living beings over both developmental and evolutionary time. Providing a genuine alternative to genetic and environmental determinism, as well as to unsuccessful compromises with which others have tried to replace them, Evolution’s Eye will fascinate students and scholars who work in the fields of evolution, psychology, human biology, and philosophy of science. Feminists and others who seek a more complex view of human nature will find her work especially congenial.
The House of Make-Believe
Dorothy G. Singer Harvard University Press, 1990 Library of Congress BF717.S514 1990 | Dewey Decimal 155.418
In the most thorough attempt to cover all aspects of children's make-believe, Dorothy and Jerome Singer examine how imaginative play begins and develops, from the infant's first smiles to the toddler's engagement in social pretend play. They provide intriguing examples and research evidence on the young child's invocation of imaginary friends, the adolescent's daring, rule-governed games, and the adult's private imagery and inner thought. In chapters that will be important to parents and policymakers, the authors discuss television and the imagination, the healing function of play, and the effects of playfulness and creativity throughout the life span.
This is the little book that started a revolution, making women's voices heard, in their own right and with their own integrity, for virtually the first time in social scientific theorizing about women. Its impact was immediate and continues to this day, in the academic world and beyond. Translated into sixteen languages, with more than 700,000 copies sold around the world, In a Different Voice has inspired new research, new educational initiatives, and political debate—and helped many women and men to see themselves and each other in a different light.
After tracking the lives of thousands of people from birth to midlife, four of the world’s preeminent psychologists reveal what they have learned about how humans develop.
Does temperament in childhood predict adult personality? What role do parents play in shaping how a child matures? Is day care bad—or good—for children? Does adolescent delinquency forecast a life of crime? Do genes influence success in life? Is health in adulthood shaped by childhood experiences? In search of answers to these and similar questions, four leading psychologists have spent their careers studying thousands of people, observing them as they’ve grown up and grown older. The result is unprecedented insight into what makes each of us who we are.
In The Origins of You, Jay Belsky, Avshalom Caspi, Terrie Moffitt, and Richie Poulton share what they have learned about childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, about genes and parenting, and about vulnerability, resilience, and success. The evidence shows that human development is not subject to ironclad laws but instead is a matter of possibilities and probabilities—multiple forces that together determine the direction a life will take. A child’s early years do predict who they will become later in life, but they do so imperfectly. For example, genes and troubled families both play a role in violent male behavior, and, though health and heredity sometimes go hand in hand, childhood adversity and severe bullying in adolescence can affect even physical well-being in midlife.
Painstaking and revelatory, the discoveries in The Origins of You promise to help schools, parents, and all people foster well-being and ameliorate or prevent developmental problems.
It is often said that a teen "old enough to do the crime is old enough to do the time," but are teens really mature and capable enough to participate fully and fairly in adult criminal court? In this book—the fruit of the MacArthur Foundation Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice—a wide range of leaders in developmental psychology and law combine their expertise to investigate the current limitations of our youth policy. The first part of the book establishes a developmental perspective on juvenile justice; the second and third parts then apply this perspective to issues of adolescents' capacities as trial defendants and questions of legal culpability. Underlying the entire work is the assumption that an enlightened juvenile justice system cannot ignore the developmental psychological realities of adolescence.
Not only a state-of-the-art assessment of the conceptual and empirical issues in the forensic assessment of youth, Youth on Trial is also a call to reintroduce sound, humane public policy into our justice system..
Contributors: Richard Barnum, Richard J. Bonnie, Emily Buss, Elizabeth Cauffman, Gary L. Crippen, Jeffrey Fagan, Barry C. Feld, Sandra Graham, Thomas Grisso, Colleen Halliday, Alan E. Kazdin, N. Dickon Reppucci, Robert G. Schwartz, Elizabeth Scott, Laurence Steinberg, Ann Tobey, Jennifer L. Woolard, Franklin E. Zimring