No Two Alike: Human Nature and Human Individuality Paperback – 17 Jun 2007
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A display of scientific courage and imagination.--William Salatan
A display of scientific courage and imagination. --William Salatan"
As she did in The Nurture Assumption, independent scholar Harris makes waves again with a new theory of personality to explain why no two people are alike. "
About the Author
Judith Rich Harris is an independent investigator and a former writer of textbooks in child development. She lives in New Jersey with her husband.
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Top Customer Reviews
As with every "detective novel", the investigator must eliminate possible perpetrators. Harris defines a number of "red herrings" that she must dispense with prior to presenting her own thesis of what drives our relationships with others. Among the outdated or mistaken ideas she tackles are those of Freud and the "blank slate" aficionados. This latter has come to dominate both academic and family thinking about raising offspring. Whatever the shifting fashions of psychology have favoured, the one element long overlooked has been the evolutionary basis of family development. The growing field of evolutionary psychology is helping to fill that gap. Harris draws on many scholars of the past generation in support of her desire to call attention to our genetic roots. Steven Pinker, John Tooby and Leda Cosmides loom large in her narrative. Skirting the term "sociobiology" as likely too inflammatory, she still pays homage to Edward O. Wilson's efforts to equate the social species of our world.Read more ›
When I first picked this up I almost put it down again. The title "No Two Alike" sounds suspiciously like another feel good, shallow celebration of human diversity. Right. We're all wonderful. Thanks, I needed that. Furthermore, I kind of creeped out at the joined-at-the-heads twins that were the subject near the beginning of the book. In fact I stopped reading from the beginning and put the book aside. When I returned to it, I noticed that chapters six through nine were entitled, The Modular Mind, The Relationship System, The Socialization System, and The Status System. That rekindled my interest.
The idea of the modular mind comes from fairly recent advances in neuroscience and cognitive psychology as understood from an evolutionary perspective. I started reading on page 143 where the chapter on the modular mind begins. What I discovered is that Harris' understanding of who we are and how we got that way begins with evidence from genetics and ends with insights from social psychology. She sees the relationship system as the way we learn to form and maintain relationships with others. The infant begins with a relationship with its mother. Harris states that the child's first job is to get the mother to love her.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Super interesting and well written book. Recommended for anyone seriously interested in developmental psychology, personality psychology or psychology in general. Read morePublished on 27 Mar. 2014 by Calle
Harris' envious ability to wed hard empirical data with imaginative theories is breathtaking.
This book is simply superb. Read more