Some Suggestions for Reclassification of Ontogenetically Relevant Early Psychomotor Behavior

  • Herbert Kaye


In psychology “responses,” or action patterns (or other descriptions of movement), form the operational basis on which the science has been built. Developmental psychology attempts to describe the ontogenetic changes in these patterns and their underlying processes. However, this is complicated by the fact that in addition to changes brought about by experience, there is evidence to suggest that the child’s behavioral “base” is changing. Because these changes have gross systematic species characteristics, it is tempting to talk about basic, age-related motor patterns as though these existed as entities independently of theoretical and methodological constraints. This is, in some respects, similar to the way psychology previously approached the description and measurement of sensory processes. That is, the procedures employed were built on the assumption that the minimal sensitivity of the sensory organs could be estimated independently of the person’s motivation, cognition, learning, perceptual strategies, etc. (Corso, 1963). However, with recent signal detection models (Swets, 1961), these factors have all been shown to play a role in the production of the levels of behavior that index “when” a signal has been sensed.


Behavioral Attribute Experimental Child Psychology Instrumental Conditioning Infant Behavior Theoretical System 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Herbert Kaye
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyState University of New York at Stony BrookStony BrookUSA

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