top of page


Public·252 members
Julian Cook
Julian Cook

The Nurture Assumption: Why Children Turn Out T... [BETTER]

The use of "nurture" as a synonym for "environment" is based on the assumption that what influences children's development, apart from their genes, is the way their parents bring them up. I call this the nurture assumption. Only after rearing two children of my own and coauthoring three editions of a college textbook on child development did I begin to question this assumption. Only recently did I come to the conclusion that it is wrong.

The Nurture Assumption: Why Children Turn Out t...

The role of genetics in personality has long been accepted in psychological research. However, even identical twins, who share the same genes, are not exactly alike, so inheritance is not the only determinant of personality. Psychologists have tended to assume that the non-genetic factor is the parental environment, the "nurture". However, Harris argues that it is a mistake to use "'nurture' ... [as] a synonym for 'environment.'"[2] Many twin studies have failed to find a strong connection between the home environment and personality. Identical twins differ to much the same extent whether they are raised together or apart. Adoptive siblings are as unalike inpersonality as non-related children.

However, the psychologist Frank Farley claims that "she's taking an extreme position based on a limited set of data. Her thesis is absurd on its face, but consider what might happen if parents believe this stuff!"[6] Wendy Williams, who studies how environment affects IQ, argues that "there are many, many good studies that show parents can affect how children turn out in both cognitive abilities and behavior".[6] The psychologist Jerome Kagan argues that Harris "ignores some important facts, ones that are inconsistent with this book's conclusions".[8]

Harris rejects the idea that The Nurture Assumption will encourage parents to neglect or mistreat their children.[9] She maintains that parents will continue to treat their children well "for the same reason you are nice to your friends and your partner, even though you have no hopes of molding their character. For the same reason your great-grandparents were nice to their children, even though they didn't believe in the nurture assumption".[10]

The two classic drivers of human development are nature (genes) and nurture (environment). Many people mistakenly believe nurture only refers to how parents raise their children. Although children do learn things from their parents, they learn far more from their peers. The world that children share with their peer group is what shapes their behavior, modifies the characteristics they were born with, and determines the sort of people they will be when they grow up.



  • All sellers

_OC_InitNavbar("child_node":["title":"My library","url":" =114584440181414684107\u0026source=gbs_lp_bookshelf_list","id":"my_library","collapsed":true,"title":"My History","url":"","id":"my_history","collapsed":true,"title":"Books on Google Play","url":" ","id":"ebookstore","collapsed":true],"highlighted_node_id":"");The Nurture Assumption: Why Children Turn Out the Way They DoJudith Rich HarrisSimon and Schuster, 1999 - Child development - 462 pages 8 ReviewsReviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified"A NEW YORK TIMES" NOTABLE BOOKHow much credit do parents deserve when their children turn out welt? How much blame when they turn out badly? Judith Rich Harris has a message that will change parents' lives: The "nurture assumption" -- the belief that what makes children turn out the way they do, aside from their genes, is the way their parents bring them up -- is nothing more than a cultural myth. This electrifying book explodes some of our unquestioned beliefs about children and parents and gives us a radically new view of childhood.Harris looks with a fresh eye at the real lives of real children to show that it is what they experience outside the home, in the company of their peers, that matters most, Parents don't socialize children; children socialize children. With eloquence and humor, Judith Harris explains why parents have little power to determine the sort of people their children will become."The Nurture Assumption" is an important and entertaining work that brings together insights from psychology, sociology, anthropology, primatology, and evolutionary biology to offer a startling new view of who we are and how we got that way. if (window['_OC_autoDir']) _OC_autoDir('search_form_input');Preview this book What people are saying - Write a reviewUser ratings5 stars34 stars43 stars12 stars01 star0Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identifiedLibraryThing ReviewUser Review - setnahkt - LibraryThingI was moved to pick up this book because Steven Pinker mentioned it with fulsome praise in The Blank Slate. Author Judith Rich Harris describes herself as an unemployed writer of college textbooks ... Read full review

Judith Rich Harris was born in Brooklyn, New York on February 10, 1938. She received a bachelor's degree in psychology from Brandeis University in 1959 and a master's in psychology from Harvard University in 1961. She was dismissed from the doctoral program at Harvard. She worked briefly as a teaching assistant at M.I.T. and as a research assistant at the University of Pennsylvania. She later worked as a research assistant for Bell Labs. Harris suffered from a chronic autoimmune disorder. Eventually the severity of her illness kept her housebound and she became a textbook writer. While writing college textbooks on child development, she realized she didn't believe what she was telling readers about why children turn out the way they do. She believed that children are influenced more by their genes and peers than by their parents. She wrote her theory up for an academic journal and won a prize from the American Psychological Association. She wrote books on the subject including The Nurture Assumption: Why Children Turn Out the Way They Do and No Two Alike: Human Nature and Human Individuality. She died on December 29, 2018 at the age of 80.

Ever wonder how you became the intelligent, charming specimen you are today? Maybe it was your genes or the way you were raised. In general, though, we lean more toward the latter, the nurture assumption. People tend to believe that parents play a major role in how their children turn out.

What makes children turn out the way they do? Why is it that good parents don't always turn out good kids? Judith Rich Harris questions the assumption that nurture is the crucial factor. Using examples...

What makes children turn out the way they do? Why is it that good parents don't always turn out good kids? Judith Rich Harris questions the assumption that nurture is the crucial factor. Using examples from folklore, literature, and scientific research, Harris puts forth the electrifying theory that children aren't socialized by their parents, they're socialized by other children. It is what happens outside the home, while kids are in the company of their peers, that matters most.The Nurture Assumption challenges everything we've been taught about rearing children and everything we believe about the emotional hangups of adults. It offers wise counsel on what parents can and cannot do, and relief from guilt for those who have tried their hardest but have somehow failed to produce a happy, confident, well-adjusted child.

As parents we like to think we have an impact on our children - their future, their happiness, the kinds of people they turn out to be. Butare we deluded? Dave and Tamler are joined by empathy's kryponite, the great Paul Bloom, to talk about Judith Rich Harris's view that parents matter a lot less than you might think (while genes and peer groups matter a lot more than you might think) . 041b061a72


Welcome to the group! You can connect with other members, ge...


  • darlene futrel
  • Nguyen Nguyen
    Nguyen Nguyen
  • khoa nguyen
    khoa nguyen
  • Ridhima Desai
    Ridhima Desai
  • Snehal Kulkarni
    Snehal Kulkarni
Group Page: Groups_SingleGroup
bottom of page