The “blank slate” view of human development was first documented in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, and is generally credited to Locke and Rousseau. The idea is that a child is born completely free of any predisposition or vulnerabilities, and that everything the child would become was due to the effects of the environment. With advances in biotechnology, neuroscience, evolutionary theory, and psychology, this view has all but been completely discredited today.

Most people are now thought to have significant “pre-programming” from genes that have some influence on almost every want, trait, feeling, thought, and action. However, although we are bombarded right now by news about gene X being responsible for enjoying Saturday morning cartoons, it is important to remember that families, communities, peers, schools, culture, and parents have at LEAST an equal part of making us who we are, even if Rousseau was wrong.

 


Comments


View Comments / Leave a Comment

This post currently has 2 comments.
You can read the comments or leave your own thoughts.


    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 4 Mar 2007
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.

APA Reference
Meek, W. (2007). Children & Blank Slate Evolution. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 27, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2007/03/04/children-blank-slate-evolution/

 

Recent Comments
  • ek_ladki: “Genshai”? There is no such word in the Hindi language.
  • amandaundialed.: I completely agree with you. I’m thankful that I have read this, and that other people...
  • amandaundialed.: Amazing advice. You should be the administrator of most sites. Thank you very much; I found your...
  • amandaundialed.: :) thank you
  • amandaundialed.: But … What I think I read was that you can ask a psychologist for a rate ;whilst not free, is...
Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter


Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code



Users Online: 8646
Join Us Now!