Developmental Psychology: How Nature and Nurture Interact by Keith Richardson

By Keith Richardson

This transparent and authoritative textual content presents a trenchant critique of dichotomous pondering and is going directly to describe and exemplify an alternate view of improvement, displaying the ability of ecological and dynamic structures views. Thematic chapters establish the vintage assumptions of the nature-nurture debate and current the reader with new methods of wondering those matters. The ebook starts with fabric that could be regular to scholars, then leads them into parts of idea that could be much less normal yet that are vital and important points of present study and debate within the box. the writer indicates how an alternate, ecological structures viewpoint can be utilized to shape extra coherent reviews of significant theorists like Skinner, Piaget, Vygotsky, and Gibson.

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The two processes are exclusive, they form a dichotomy, and exhaustive, all change is accounted for by them. This is the 'nature/nurture' dichotomy. The organism/environment dichotomy The reach of the dichotomy extends to the physical location of the cause of change. Changes due to 'nature' come from within the organism, changes due to 'nurture' come from outside it, but both lead to changes in the brain and thereby in behaviour. Causes thus have a single direction, from the body to the brain or from the environment to the brain and we can look inwards for one sort of cause and outwards for the other.

The other is a connec­ tionist model, a simple robot in which 'perception', 'cognition' and 'action' are closely coupled. I describe them to show how the different assumptions about dichotomies between percep­ tion, cognition and action, between complex mind and simple body, make all the difference to what 'psychology' can be 40 ECOLOGICAL, DYNAMIC SYSTEMS 41 demonstrated by these computers. The aims are again the same, to highlight the way in which assumptions control our thinking, and how different assumptions lead to very different outcomes.

The affordances and constraints of a mountain hillside in Rwanda are very different for me than for a gorilla, and even more different for a conifer, or a human infant on their own. The dynamic structure, the organization of the external envi­ ronment matters, but for understanding and explaining devel­ opment it is the relation of that dynamic structure to the internal dynamic structure that determines developmental and behavioural outcomes. And it cannot matter how long the structure took to develop (talons, brains), only what its charac­ teristics are in relation to those of the environment.

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