Summary of The Nurture Effect

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The Nurture Effect book summary

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  • Innovative


Social scientist Anthony Biglan offers a focused synthesis of 40 years of research to explain why and how people can improve themselves, their families and society by becoming more “nurturing.” He argues that evolution shows humans to be uniquely social and collaborative, and that contemporary inquiries into behavior suggest that people need their world to be more nurturing. Biglan occasionally indulges in jargon, and he reflects an idealism that may regard people and policy makers as unrealistically kind and rational. While always politically neutral, getAbstract recommends his professional advocacy of a nicer, gentler society to HR managers, business owners, teachers, parents, policy makers and anyone interested in how people function and why caring relationships are the foundation of social change.

About the Author

Anthony Biglan, PhD, is a senior scientist at the Oregon Research Institute and an authority in using prevention science to support nurturing families, schools and communities.


Behavioral Sciences

The physical sciences changed the world with such advances as commercial flight and better public health. In recent decades, the behavioral sciences also advanced society in positive ways. They produced programs and practical tactics for helping people, families, public institutions and society function in more humane ways. These strategies ease family conflicts and help kids grow into healthy, functional adults.

Now behavioral sciences’ larger goal of making society more “nurturing” means looking beyond individual concerns. Today’s developments in behavioral science rest on the theory of evolution. Charles Darwin’s findings led scientists to change how they thought about causation, moving from a mechanistic framework to a model of natural selection. The study of evolution also contributed to the philosophical school of pragmatism, which emphasizes reaching your goals and succeeding in a competitive world. Pragmatism judges ideas by their results.

Humans evolved to be far more cooperative than other vertebrates and every individual has some built-in foundation for “prosociality.” People contribute to each other’s well-being, value niceness...

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    A. L. 6 years ago
    This summary is pretty good at discussing the main topics within the book, but it misses some very crucial information necessary for ... say taking an exam or something like that

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