The Nurture Assumption: Why Children Turn Out the Way They Do, Revised and Updated

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Review quote "Ten years on, this book stands as a landmark in the history of psychology -- and a cracking good read. Rating details. Book ratings by Goodreads. Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book.

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From Genius to Madness

Learn about new offers and get more deals by joining our newsletter. The book was also a Pulitzer Prize finalist general non-fiction. What a weird book. The main theory in this book has for a long time been proven correct. But not many know about it, so Harris is doing every scientist a great favor in sharing this very important message in her very entertaining book. But as an academic book I do have some quarrels with it. Pro: Harris is a great writer.

Only a few people in academia can match her great, easy-to-read and funny way of sharing an important message. Just this alone makes the book a great read. But all the informativ What a weird book. But all the informative science and the very important message makes this a must-read book for anyone who is a parent. This is something we can see in every statistical analysis.

And Harris changed the scientific field by telling us why we see it in our studies. Steven Pinker wrote in the intro that reading her book was the highlight of his carer, and I understand why that is. Con: Harris does write in an entertaining style. She has the personality of a teenager; Energetic, simple, full of life and a personal perception infallibility.

The last one is a bad thing in this case. Yes, she got the main theory right and should have a place in every psychology course because of this. But she gets a lot of small theories wrong.

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She implied it very strongly in the book and it reads like a parenting advice. But the ironic part is, she implies that people assuming things not supported by data are ignorant and biased - while she herself does the same thing on several occasions in her book on just this subject. So, she can do many great things.

But she cannot walk on water. View 2 comments. The main thesis of the book - that parents don't have much of an impact on the way children become socialized outside the home that responsibility falls to the group they identify with - was very compellingly argued and backed up with studies and reason, though I did think she belabours the point a little too much. The book could have been at least a hundred pages shorter. Personally, what I got the most out of this book was not a deeper understanding of theories of child development, but a pe The main thesis of the book - that parents don't have much of an impact on the way children become socialized outside the home that responsibility falls to the group they identify with - was very compellingly argued and backed up with studies and reason, though I did think she belabours the point a little too much.

Personally, what I got the most out of this book was not a deeper understanding of theories of child development, but a peek into just how dismal of a social science psychology is, and how easy it is for researchers to manipulate studies to get a conclusion they've already made their mind up about. A bit like climate science. Aug 20, Tania rated it liked it.

Parenting -The Nurture Assumption

I read this book because I am a child and youth care worker, and I think it is important to read materials that are influencing current thinking. As a practioner, I am glad I read this book, even though I fundamentally disagree with the author on pretty much every point. I think it is important to consider the impact that peer relations have on child development. But Harris misses the mark. Harris is undoubtedly right that peers do have a strong influence over how children develop. However, her I read this book because I am a child and youth care worker, and I think it is important to read materials that are influencing current thinking.

However, her thesis is so extreme that it is simplistic. Children are socialized by any number of agents -- parents, peers, teachers, the media, etc -- and the effect is reciprocal. She completely ignores the work of great thinkers like Urie Bronfenbrenner sp?? As well, as another reviewer suggested, the fact that some of the studies she attacks have flaws and the author is quite right in asserting that does not mean that their hypotheses are necessarily wrong.


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She doesn't go far enough to prove that. The only way she could prove that, in fact, would be to attempt to replicate the research, attempting to rectify any design flaws. Some of the studies she quotes to lay out her thesis are equally flawed. The quality of the actual writing is poor. The author's attempts at humor tend to fall flat.

She repeats herself far too much. It takes far too long to get to her thesis, and once she finally does, it takes forever to get to the end of the book. The author needed a good editor. This book is not one I would reccommend to parents. I would reccommend that practitioners give the book a glance simply because Harris's ideas do seem to be having an impact on the current culture.

Just don't look for any real answers in this book; it is too simplistic and extreme for that. Very fun and insightful read. I found her ideas salve to the current climate of "expert" opinions on childrearing. ALthough I am not a darwinist as she is , her alter-argument to the assumption that every little thing we do has a permanent mark on our children helps assuage the guilt we've accumulated from all those studies done on how we should be the perfect parent. She points out the autonomy children are born with, that parents should not be blamed for most of children's development.


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  • The Nurture Assumption.

Don't Very fun and insightful read. Don't get turned off by her personal comments. Clearly she has her own biases, but she is unabashed abou them and witty in her commentary. I appreciate this contribution and hope it is part of a paradigmal shift to think more realistically about rearing children. The book aims to debunk the 'Nurture Assumption', which claims that how children turn out in life depends strongly on their home environment. The majority of the book is about how she weaves up the defense for her theory.

She relies on The book aims to debunk the 'Nurture Assumption', which claims that how children turn out in life depends strongly on their home environment. She relies on studies from a variety of fields like Sociology, Behavioral Genetics and our evolutionary history. The book is heavy on concepts.

The author tries her best to make this ascent as gradual as possible. This means that the ideas in the later chapters refer back to the ones before it, which can get a little tricky to recollect at times but the journey is worth it.

Black Fatherlessness doesn't lead to Crime

With some patience on the reader's side, the writing can be accessible to a non-technical audience. I really enjoyed the chapters on our evolutionary history that she used to help explain certain aspects of her theory. The most obvious question that came to my mind for the author's claim of no parental influence on child personality is in the case of abusive parents.

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It’s time to move beyond the nature/nurture divide - spiked

Regarding this, in the final chapters, she does qualify the bounds of her theory to homes that are 'good enough'. She makes the prediction that if it was possible to swap the parents in two 'good enough' homes, keeping all other aspects of the children's life- the neighborhood, the school unchanged, they would still turn out the same.

I have always felt that a lot of social problems in the society can be traced back to the question "Why do people turn out the way they do? In that regard, I am thoroughly happy with what I have gained from the book. Dec 16, Kathrynn rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Teachers, parents, foster parents, doctors, psychologists. Shelves: own , , nonfiction-general , nonfiction-parenting , reviewed. There was so much covered in this thick, large paperback that it is difficult to decide what group of people it was intended for.

Teachers and parents, definitely. I understand how this book came up in other books I've read and that's why I decided to read it. Enjoyed the author's writing style and her humor had me chuckling throughout the pages.


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