Skinner and Freud's View of Child Learning

The theories that did dominate psychology, especially in America, were Freudianism and the behaviorism of psychologists like B. F. Skinner. Both theories had lots of things to say about young children. But like Aristotle with the teeth, neither Freud nor Skinner took the step of doing systematic experiments with children or babies. Freud largely relied on inferences from the behavior of neurotic adults, and Skinner on inferences from the behavior of only slightly less neurotic rats. And like the philosophers, Freud and Skinner got the developmental story wrong, too. Freud saw children as the apotheosis of passion, creatures so driven by lusts and hungers that their most basic perceptions of the world were deeply distorted fantasies. Skinner's view was that children were the ultimate blank tablets, passively waiting to be inscribed by reinforcement schedules.


They got it mostly wrong because they relied on a philosophical inference method of science.

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 The Scientist in the Crib: What Early Learning Tells Us About the Mind
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Gopnik , Meltzoff , Kuhl (2001-01-01), The Scientist in the Crib: What Early Learning Tells Us About the Mind, Harper Paperbacks, Retrieved on 2011-07-06
Folksonomies: education parenting pregnancy babies children infancy