Nature VS Nurture in Child Development

When a three-month-old, a one-year-old, and a four-year-old look at the same event, they seem to have very different thoughts about it. They seem to transform the light waves and sound waves into different representations, and they use different rules to manipulate those representations. Children don't have just a single, fixed program that gets from input to output. Instead, they seem to switch spontaneously from using one program to using another, more powerful program. That makes babies and children look very different from the computers we have now...

How can we explain these changes? One idea might be that the changes are simply a result of the fact that babies grow, the way caterpillars change into butterflies as they grow. or the way we develop breasts and beards as we grow and reach puberty. The changes might just involve a genetic blueprint that unfolds on a particular maturational timetable. The child's program for understanding false beliefs might appear when she's four the same way her breasts appear when she's twelve. After all, we don't think that the caterpillar learns how to be a butterfly. Similarly, we might not think that the child learns about false belief any more than she learns how to have breasts.

Another very different possibility is that we change our ideas about the world just by taking in more and more information about it. We simply accumulate more and more input. Then we associate some pieces of that input with other pieces. We hear the dinner bell and food comes, and after a while we link the bell with the food. We give a particular answer to the experimenter's question and we get praise, and after a while we try to give answers like that. Babies could end up linking particular inputs to each other and to particular outputs in this sort of specific, piecemeal way.


Are babies programmed to go through their cognitive developments or are they the natural result of their reaching a certain critical mass of understanding?

Folksonomies: babies development nature vs nurture

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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