Scientific investigation of infant psychological development is driven by the paradox that babies are clearly different from older children and adults, yet the foundations of thinking, feeling, and perceiving are built during the earliest part of the human lifespan. The study of infancy is, therefore, a fascinating puzzle to be solved as well as an effort to improve the lives of individuals, especially those who start out under adverse circumstances. This entry introduces infancy research with a specific focus on how this research has sought to investigate infants’ sensory, perceptual, cognitive, language, and social and motor domains.

Infant development is among the most active topics in psychology, with thousands of studies published each year. But this was not always the case. Beginning in 1909, the White ...

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