You might sometimes wonder if it’s nature or nurture driving the differences between people. For example, why are some of us extroverts and others introverts? Why are some children risk-takers while others are more inhibited? Well, it turns out that both nature and nurture are important! The nature part of the equation is sometimes overlooked, but our biological temperament plays an important role in the kind of person we become.
In this episode, Debbie and Yael discuss Childhood Temperament, the topic of Debbie’s dissertation research at Harvard. They delve into some longitudinal research on the temperamental underpinnings of shyness and behavioral inhibition. They also discuss the clinical implications of individual differences in emotional reactivity, and the personality constructs of introversion and extroversion.
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Listen and Learn:
- How “high-reactive” infants differ from “low-reactive” infants
- How early reactivity correlates with behavioral inhibition and shyness later in childhood
- Why Attachment research may leave out some important information
- The importance of “goodness of fit” between parents and their children
- Whether you a “carpenter” or a “gardener” as a parent parent
- What introversion and extroversion really means and how to appreciate your personality style
- The APA’s list of Eminent Psychologists of the 20th Century
- Brief Video Showing Kagan’s Temperament Study with Infants
- Books by Kagan on Temperament:
- Galen’s Prophecy: Temperament in Human Nature by Jerome Kagan
- The Long Shadow of Temperament by Jerome Kagan and Nancy Snidman
- The Gardener and the Carpenter: What the New Science of Child Development Tells Us About the Relationship Between Parents and Children by Alison Gopnik
- Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
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