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Publications [#271921] of Kenneth A. Dodge

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Journal Articles

  1. Dodge, KA (2007). The nature-nurture debate and public policy. Appraising the human developmental sciences: Essays in honor of Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 262-271.
    (last updated on 2019/12/06)

    Abstract:
    Perhaps the most important, and certainly the most contentious, debate in the history of developmental psychology has concerned the fundamental question of the role of genetic and biological factors versus environmental and learning factors in a child's development. This debate is rooted in philosophical arguments about the nature of the human species as a tabula rasa (Locke, 1690/1913) to be shaped by experience versus a "noble savage" (Rousseau, 1754) to be reined in by environmental constraints on an otherwise biological destiny (Hobbes, 1651/1969). Much of the modern study of individual differences in behavioral development, through longitudinal inquiry in the 1950s and 1960s, inexplicably ignored the role of innate factors but led to unprecedented publicly funded programs (e.g., Head Start) to enrich the early environments of economically disadvantaged children in the War on Poverty (Zigler and Muenchow, 1992). This work had dual premises-that disparities across groups were largely a result of environmental disadvantage and that environmental enrichments could repair this inequity. © 2007 by Wayne State University Press.


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