The Marvelous Learning Animal: What Makes Human Behavior Unique (Hardcover)

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This title first explores how evolution has endowed us with extremely versatile bodies and a brain of 100 billion neurons, making us especially suited for a wide range of sophisticated learning. It then moves on to present a new way of understanding humanness.

About the Author

Arthur W. Staats is professor emeritus in the Department of Psychology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Internationally known as an innovator, he is the inventor of the "time-out" concept that so many parents have used with their children as well as the creator of the token-reward system (token economy) to modify behavior patterns. In 2006, " Child" magazine recognized him as one of "20 People Who Changed Childhood." He is the author of six books, more than fifty chapters, and over eighty journal articles, among other publications.

Praise For…

"The nature-nurture debate represents one of the fundamental questions in the field of psychology: Is human behavior wired into our genes or are we shaped by our learning histories and situational pressures? In recent years, advances in evolutionary theories, genomics, and neuroscience have focused considerable attention on ‘nature.’ In lucid and accessible prose, Arthur W. Staats makes the case for ‘nurture,’ arguing that human uniqueness derives from our capacity to learn. Not everyone will agree with Staats’s conclusions, but all will find that his book represents a significant and compelling contribution to a critical debate."
-Peter Salovey, Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology, Yale University

"Staats has thrown down a challenge to the currently fashionable biological and genetic determinism. Here he places our breathtaking capacity to learn front and center in theunderstanding of human nature in his forcefully argued account."
-Frank Farley, PhD, Professor, Temple University, Philadelphia; former president, American Psychological Association; former president, American Educational Research Association

"In this exciting book, Staats challenges the biological focus that has come to dominate the study of human behavior and makes a compelling case for the central role of humankind’s inimitable learning ability in making us the unique species we have become. The importance of this insight cannot be overestimated. It creates the basis for a new paradigm, providing a new way of conceptualizing human nature and a framework for uniting many disparate fields of study and applications of scientific knowledge with real-world social and behavioral problems. The implications for the future development of the science of human nature are profound."
-Karl Minke, Long-term department chair and associate professor (retired), Department of Psychology, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Product Details
ISBN: 9781616145972
ISBN-10: 1616145978
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Publication Date: May 22nd, 2012
Pages: 402
Language: English