Intended as supplemental reading in courses on theories of development, this book augments traditional core texts by providing students with more depth on about two dozen recent and emerging theories that have appeared over the past 20 years. This period has seen a decline of the traditional "grand" theories that attempt to apply to all people all the time in favor of "micro theories" that focus more on individual differences, so a book like this actually points the way toward the future rather than dryly reviewing the past. In addition, the author inspects the changing ways in which the concept of "theory" itself has been interpreted during this period, and he concludes with a chapter suggesting future directions.
Chapter 2: Psychobiology, Sociobiology
Since the time that the term psychobiology was coined nearly a century ago, it has been assigned diverse meanings by different writers. By the 1990s, these meanings seem to have settled into two clusters that Donald Dewsbury labeled broad sense and narrow sense.
Broad-sense definitions conceive of psychobiology as the study of humans or other species as whole, unified organisms acting in environments, a mode of study that reveals “the relationship between behavioral and biological aspects of the developing organism at all levels of organization” (Crank in Dewsbury, 1991, p. 201). This view of psychobiology “takes into account not only the individual responses and functions but also considers them a part of the total and mentally integrated person's behavior” (Billings in Dewsbury, 1991, ...