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Continuity and Stage in Human Development

  • Jerome Kagan
Part of the Perspectives in Ethology book series (PEIE, volume 3)

Abstract

Although change is as common as continuity in morphological or psychological development, the psychologist is particularly friendly to the latter idea and assumes, unless shown otherwise, that the psychological structures formed by early experience remain untransformed. This mental set is also applied to rate of development, for many developmental psychologists have tried to show that infants who attain the maturational milestones of object permanence, walking, or the first spoken word earlier than others retain that precocity for several years or longer, despite the fact that entomologists have not suggested that different rates of morphogenesis from larva to pupa to butterfly are of much consequence in explaining variations in the functioning of the adult form. Since there is little robust evidence favoring either the maintenance of early psychological structures or initial precocity, it is reasonable to ask why the Western psychologist has been so receptive to arguments for continuity.

Keywords

Psychological Development Chinese Child Referent Group Psychoanalytic Theory Object Permanence 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jerome Kagan
    • 1
  1. 1.Harvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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