The Nurture Assumption

The Nurture Assumption

WHY CHILDREN TURN OUT THE WAY THEY DO

This groundbreaking book, a Pulitzer Prize finalist and New York Times notable pick, rattled the psychological establishment when it was first published in 1998 by claiming that parents have little impact on their children's development. In this tenth anniversary edition of The Nurture Assumption, Judith Harris has updated material throughout and provided a fresh introduction. Combining insights from psychology, sociology, anthropology, primatology, and evolutionary biology, she explains how and why the tendency of children to take cues from their peers works to their evolutionary advantage. This electrifying book explodes many of our unquestioned beliefs about children and parents and gives us a radically new view of childhood.
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  • Free Press | 
  • 480 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439101650 | 
  • February 2009
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1: "NURTURE" IS NOT THE SAME AS "ENVIRONMENT"

Heredity and environment. They are the yin and yang, the Adam and Eve, the Mom and Pop of pop psychology. Even in high school I knew enough about the subject to inform my parents, when they yelled at me, that if they didn't like the way I was turning out they had no one to blame but themselves: they had provided both my heredity and my environment.

"Heredity and environment" -- that's what we called them back then. Nowadays they are more often referred to as "nature and nurture." Powerful as they were under the names they were born with, they are yet more powerful under... see more

About the Author

Judith Rich Harris

Judith Rich Harris is the author of No Two Alike: Human Nature and Human Individuality . A former writer of college textbooks, Harris is a recipient of a George A. Miller award, given to the author of an outstanding article in psychology. She is an independent investigator and theoretician whose interests include evolutionary psychology, social psychology, developmental psychology, and behavioral genetics.

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