Positive adaptations in human behavioral development are a legacy of our evolutionary biology. They appear early, are active throughout life, are social with a moral core, and contribute to our health.

A central definitional concept in development involves its increasingly organized complexity. As Heinz Werner (1890–1964) noted, development involves processes of differentiation (divisions into subsystems), integration (articulation of wholeness), and hierarchicalization (successive ordering of parts and wholes). Equally important, human development is social from its beginnings and throughout life—with its adaptive thrust of lines, steps, and exchanges, and with its increasing complexity and emergent creative functions—of necessity occurring with other human beings.

Learning From Infancy

Developmental scientists have come to appreciate the extent to which infants are preadapted for positive social affectivity. Infants are born wired for ...

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