Summary of The Nurture Assumption
First Edition: 1998
Foreword by Steven Pinker
Copyright © 1998 by Judith Rich Harris
Reprinted by permission of Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., N.Y.
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This book is a refreshing break from the usual coverage of psychology, group behavior, parenting and the like. Judith Rich Harris exposes the flaws, presumptions and misguided assumptions in much "scientific" research about the psychological and behavioral impact parents have upon their children. Learning how poorly constructed some of the most influential studies and experiments have been is quite remarkable. getAbstract finds that the author does a masterful job of debunking what she calls "the nurture assumption" - that parents are powerful in shaping their children - and replacing it with a developmental theory that exalts the peer group. The author avoids jargon, and writes with a clear, witty, engaging style that should make her ideas accessible - although perhaps not necessarily agreeable - to most readers.
In this summary, you will learn
- Why parents have so little influence on how their children turn out;
- How psychological and social research on this subject has been flawed; and
- How and why peer groups and genetics are more important than parenting style in child development.
About the Author
Judith Rich Harris also wrote No Two Alike: Human Nature and Human Individuality, and co-wrote The Child: Development from Birth Through Adolescence and Infant and Child: Development from Birth Through Middle Childhood.
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