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The marvelous learning animal : what makes human nature unique

Author: Arthur W Staats
Publisher: Amherst, N.Y. : Prometheus Books, ©2012.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
An exploration of the human capacity for learning examines the subject's vast depths, which have not been fully examined or understood, presenting a new theory of human evolution and suggestions for better explaining behavior.
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Details

Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Arthur W Staats
ISBN: 9781616145972 1616145978
OCLC Number: 764387223
Description: 402 p. ; 24 cm.
Contents: Of paradigms and fallacies, of sciences and things --
Such a body! the versatile animal --
Such a brain! 100,000,000,000 neurons buy a lot of learning --
Learning child development --
Marvelous learning: the missing link --
Marvelous learning of personality --
Marvelous learning of abnormal personality --
On the origin of the human species --
Who we are --
The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things.
Responsibility: by Arthur W. Staats.

Abstract:

An exploration of the human capacity for learning examines the subject's vast depths, which have not been fully examined or understood, presenting a new theory of human evolution and suggestions for better explaining behavior.

What makes us human? In recent decades, researchers have focused on innate tendencies and inherited traits as explanations for human behavior, especially in light of groundbreaking human genome research. The author thinks this trend is misleading. As he shows in great detail in this engaging, thought-provoking, and highly informative book, what makes our species unique is our marvelous ability to learn, which is an ability that no other primate possesses. In his exploration of human progress, the author reveals that the immensity of human learning has not been fully understood or examined. Evolution has endowed us with extremely versatile bodies and a brain comprised of one hundred billion neurons, which makes us especially suited for a wide range of sophisticated learning. Already in childhood, human beings begin learning complex repertoires--language, sports, value systems, music, science, rules of behavior, and many other aspects of culture. These repertoires build on one another in special ways, and our brains develop in response to the learning experiences we receive from those around us and from what we read and hear and see. When humans gather in society, the cumulative effect of building learning upon learning is enormous. The author presents a new way of understanding humanness--in the behavioral nature of the human body, in the unique human way of learning, in child development, in personality, and in abnormal behavior. With all this, and his years of basic and applied research, he develops a new theory of human evolution and a new vision of the human being. This book offers up a unified concept that not only provides new ways of understanding human behavior and solving human problems but also lays the foundations for opening new areas of science. -- Publisher description

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