Category Archives: Childhood

Social Cognition in Childhood

‘Social cognition’ refers in very general terms to thinking about people, knowledge of people, and the social world, as well as to social processes in cognitive development. That is, it is a term that is used to refer both to the nature or content … Continue reading

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Learning Social Conventions in Early Childhood

Adults make inferences about the conventionality of others’ behaviors based on their prevalence across individuals. Here, we look at whether children use behavioral consensus as a cue to conventionality, and whether this informs which cultural models children choose to learn … Continue reading

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Violence in Childhood leads to accelerated aging

Children who suffer abuse are more likely to age faster, while those who endure food insecurity or neglect may develop more slowly, according to new research led by the University of Washington. Violence, psychological or emotional abuse, deprivation and neglect … Continue reading

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The Culture of Childhood: We’ve Almost Destroyed It

Children learn the most valuable lessons with other children, away from adults. I don’t want to trivialize the roles of adults in children’s lives, but, truth be told, we adults greatly exaggerate our roles in our theories and beliefs about … Continue reading

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How Early Academic Training Retards Intellectual Development

In my last post, I summarized research indicating that early academic training produces long-term harm. Now, in this post, I will delve a bit into the question of how that might happen. It’s useful here to distinguish between academic skills and … Continue reading

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Early Academic Training Produces Long-Term Harm

Many preschool and kindergarten teachers have told me that they are extremely upset—some to the point of being ready to resign—by the increased pressure on them to teach academic skills to little children and regularly test them on such skills. … Continue reading

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Insecure childhood can make dealing with stress harder

Imagine two candidates at a high stakes job interview. One of them handles the pressure with ease and sails through the interview. The other candidate, however, feels very nervous and under-performs. Why do some people perform better than others under emotionally … Continue reading

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Child Early Academic Training Produces Long-Term Harm

Many preschool and kindergarten teachers have told me that they are extremely upset—some to the point of being ready to resign—by the increased pressure on them to teach academic skills to little children and regularly test them on such skills. … Continue reading

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Happiness and Children

It is a mistake to expect children to be happy, worse still to insist on it. Childhood is navigated via rage and disappointment as much as by joy and pleasure, often in quick succession. Nevertheless, a five-year-old knows about as … Continue reading

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The Hungry Mind: The Origins of Curiosity in Childhood

Despite American education’s mania for standardized tests, testing misses what matters most about learning: the desire to learn in the first place. Susan Engel offers a highly readable exploration of what curiosity is, how it can be measured, how it … Continue reading

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