Appraising the human developmental sciences : essays in by Ladd, Gary W.

By Ladd, Gary W.

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Rushton, J. , & Roediger, H. L. (1978). American Psychologist, 33, 520–523. Sears, R. R. (1975). Your ancients revisited. In E. M. ), Review of child development research: Vol. 5. (pp. 1–74). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Sigel, I. (1988). Reminiscences of the origins of a journal. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 34, 349–351. 29 2 The Limitations of Concepts in Developmental Psychology Jerome Kagan Developmental psychology, like other domains in the social sciences, is being restrained by its history.

Each person’s pride or shame rests on the success or failure of the groups of which the self is a member and not only on the self’s talent and perseverance. The next cohort of developmental psychologists must append a description of the class of agent and the context of observation to every predicate for a psychological process. The meaning and theoretical utility of constructs like “the concept of number” differ if the subject is an infant discriminating two dots from six dots or an adult dividing 162 by 13.

From those beginnings work has progressed more or less concurrently in a variety of directions, as shown by the arrows in Figure 1. For more complete discussions of these topics, see the substantive reviews I cited earlier. Theories and Antecedents Several types of theories have been offered as explanations for the development of children’s mentalistic understanding. One is the socalled theory theory (Gopnik & Meltzoff, 1997; Gopnik & Wellman, 1994; Perner, 1991; Wellman & Gelman, 1998). Theory theorists argue that our knowledge of the mind comprises an informal, everyday framework or foundational theory, not a formal scientific theory.

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