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Temas em Psicologia

Print version ISSN 1413-389X


RESENDE, Briseida. Infants' characteristics and skills: dissolving the nature/nurture dichotomy. Temas psicol. [online]. 2019, vol.27, n.1, pp. 99-111. ISSN 1413-389X.

According to an emergent group of researchers, systemic, relational and evolutionary thought is needed to understand the development of organisms' characteristics and competences. In this paper, we first introduce the prevalent view on the biological basis of behavior, based on the New Synthesis of Modern Biology. Next, we present the critical view of those who defend Extended Evolutionary Synthesis. The existing debate between the different perspectives is illustrated by studies on infants' sensorial capacities, attachment, and neonatal imitation. Possible interpretations, based on the theoretical approaches presented, lead to a reflection on the innate/acquired dichotomy: from the prevailing view, this dichotomy is overcome because the interaction between the innate and the acquired is being considered to explain the characteristics of living beings. A further reflection on the developmental processes involved in the emergence of behavior, on the concepts of what is learning and what is innate leads to the dissolution of this dichotomy.

Keywords : Development; human ethology; evolution; nature/nurture dichotomy.

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