In Child Development: Myths and Misunderstanding Second Editions, Jean Mercer uses intriguing vignettes and questions about children and families to guide readers in thinking critically about 59 common beliefs. Each essay confronts commonly held misconceptions about development, encouraging students to think like social scientists and to become better consumers of media messages and anecdotal stories. The book can be assigned to parallel either chronologically or topically organized child development texts. Features and Benefits: Presents 59 short essays about child development that challenge readers to reconsider their pre-conceived notions 14 new essays in the second edition confront topics like language acquisition, adoption, discipline, and nature versus nurture. Includes carefully developed critical thinking questions at the end of each essayOffers examples of research to help students make the connection between research designs and conclusions Intrigues and engages students with the theme of dispelling myths and misconceptions and challenges them to find out if their own beliefs are correct or incorrect.

Introduction: Claims about Child Development
Introduction: Claims about child development

Everyone has some knowledge about children because everyone has been a child. Most people have also observed other children and have heard adults talking about children. As a result, students arrive in a child development course with a lot of background knowledge, not as the “blank slates” they would be for a course in Russian, introductory physics, or the Victorian novel.

Students entering a child development or developmental psychology course bring more than observed facts with them. All of us have theories of child development based on our observations, the connections among these observations, and the ideas we have picked up in school or social settings. For example, almost every person has a way to explain juvenile ...

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