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The Origins of Self

  • Michael Lewis
  • Jeanne Brooks-Gunn

Abstract

The phenomenon which we have chosen to study is easily observed in the everyday situations of children and infants. The theories we construct must allow us to observe the necessary events. Make no mistake—we cannot watch everything that the child does. Our observations themselves are determined by the assumptions we bring to the observation. There is no end to the things the infant does, nor is there any easy way to reconstruct the myriad of events we do watch or to place them into a coherent and meaningful whole. That is the function of theory. Our task, then, is not unlike that of the infant who, awake and alert, attempts to make sense out of the enormously large and complex set of events that surround him. Indeed, the infant’s task may be a bit easier than our own since a caregiver helps structure the infant’s world; we have only our intuitions and theories. The infant must observe, form hypotheses, and test them against the action of the world, just as we must observe, hypothesize, and test.

Keywords

Social Cognition Social Stimulus Object Permanence Nonsocial Stimulus Mirror Representation 
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

© Michael Lewis and Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Educational Testing Service 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Lewis
    • 1
  • Jeanne Brooks-Gunn
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for the Study of Exceptional ChildrenEducational Testing ServicePrincetonUSA

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