Academic journal article et Cetera

No Two Alike: Human Nature and Human Individuality

Academic journal article et Cetera

No Two Alike: Human Nature and Human Individuality

Article excerpt

Judith Rich Harris. No Two Alike: Human Nature and Human Individuality. New York: Norton, 2006.

It was evolutionary psychologists who first proposed the idea that the mind is, as Stephen Pinker put in How the Mind Works, "not a single organ but a system of organs, which we can think of as psychological faculties of mental modules." Pinker's own research has focused on the language module.

Harris carries the idea of specialized mental modules one stop further, using it to explain how children become socialized and how, at the same time, each individual develops a unique personality. She proposes three mental systems-the relationship system, the socialization system, and the status system-to account for the variations of behavior that cannot be attributed to genes. The relationship system collects information about specific individuals; this is the source of our love of gossip. The socialization system collects information about the members '/ of social categories such as "men," "women," "girls," and "boys." It is responsible for adapting children to their culture.

The status system has the hardest job: this system collects information about the self. …

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