EvoDevo and Epigenetics are going to turn the Nature v. Nurture debate into a Ménage à trois. Or is that quatre?

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The overwhelming message of the developmental chapter in our book other than that being a French child-psychologist (I think the hyphen is key here) is a ticket to immortality, is that there is a major struggle between experiential and innate development in children. As with seemingly all nature vs. nurture debates, the answer seems to so clearly lie "somewhere in between" that you have to wonder how some of these psychologists became so convinced that their rigid approach to developmental theory could hold true with creatures as varied as juvenile great apes.

That said, new information from the burgeoning field of evodevo (evolutionary development) and the concept of epigenetics seems to be wedging their way into the staid debate betwixt the two great Ns. Case in point is this recent article about autism that seems to point (although the design was small and we all know where that can lead relative to this topic, cough, cough, Andrew Wakefield, cough, ashwholl, cough...) to the fact that issues occurring in prenatal development may be the cause of autism. The likely culprit in this case seems to be a fetal developmental one that may be mostly genetic according to twin studies but which is nonetheless caused during the growth process of a human rather than because of a blueprint or environmental (cough, Wakefield, dooshbg, cough...) factor.

Given the non-nature or nurture nature of autism development and the road blocks that its manifestation puts up in front of any fundamental changes in personality subsequent to birth, precisely because of the developmental deficiencies inherent in the spectrum disorder, this may be one of the few ways in which a human's cognitive development is governed mostly by non-genetic and non-environmental factors. Put that in your pipe, and smoke it Piaget, stage my ass.

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My favorite posts to date are, in no particular order, other than best to not best:

1) Is your brain full? by glen0041 - Interesting topic to me. I recently took the Strong Interest Inventory and was not sure if it was kosher. I think the best indicator of personality is your star sign. I'm an ares.

2) Lucid dreaming and Inception by vangx890 - I am one of those people that rarely if ever remember that they dreamed upon waking much less what the dream was about. I thought this blog post was great and made great use of the movie clip.

3) Waiting Until the Last Minute, Again?! by zhan1689 - I, like most people in life probably think of themselves as champion procrastinators. I tried Premack's suggestion and it failed utterly. Turns out when I both control the stimulus and the eject button I chose the eject button. I need some to double blind me. Great post.

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descargar ares gratis from descargar ares gratis on December 10, 2012 2:28 AM

EvoDevo and Epigenetics are going to turn the Nature v. Nurture debate into a Ménage à trois. Or is that quatre? - Section 25 Psych 1001 Read More

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Ok Wakefield engaged in some dubious behavior that led to some very unfortunate, hysterical and enduring misinformation about the autism/ MMR vaccine link (illusory correlation anyone?) but why such scorn for Jean P?

I admire the fact that he put together an elegant theory of cognitive development back when very little was know about the topic.

His theory stands today as a useable framework to understand how and when greater cognitive ability comes online in children. Was he completely correct in his theories?

Not exactly, but it has taken 50 years to develop evidence to illuminate details that provide a clearer picture of cognitive development- yet this is exactly how science works, constantly exploring and updating past ideas with new information.

As always, I stick with the interactionist view when it comes to Nature Nurture debates (Is this debate still raging rumpus rooms around the world anymore?)

They both are necessary for the end result to emerge.

Okay, I read the post over again since you commented and yes, I was a little hard on JP. I suppose that when you are the giant upon whom others stand there is a tendency to create initial theories based on sparse or shoddy observation precisely because there is no other data than your own. But history teaches us, does it not, that in the vast majority of situations, especially within the realm of the social sciences, the truth is not in dichotomies but in spectra. I would hope that if I ever attained to the level of JP and was able to create a new field of study that my own seminal theory would have just enough spectrum to entice but not enough to deny falsifiability. Everything in moderation... including moderation.

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This page contains a single entry by wymo0007 published on November 8, 2011 9:46 PM.

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