Razib Khan One-stop-shopping for all of my content

December 30, 2018

Judith Rich Harris, 1938-2018

Filed under: Judith Rich Harris,Psychology — Razib Khan @ 11:48 am


With hindsight, I judge Steve Pinker’s The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature as something of a high-tide in biologically informed realism in the psychological and behavioral sciences in the 21st century. A reread is bittersweet, knowing what has come to pass. But one of the best things about The Blank Slate is that he gave extensive publicity to Judith Rich Harris’ The Nurture Assumption. I like to think, perhaps hope, that her work influenced many “Generation X” parents.

In January of 2006 she answered 10 Questions for this weblog. Judy and her husband were always gracious and kind in their email correspondence with me. I can’t say that for many academics who are in the fullness of their health and well-being, something she struggled with for decades.

Her life made a difference. Read The Nurture Assumption and her follow-up book, No Two Alike: Human Nature and Human Individuality, to understand why.

June 16, 2011

Parents don’t matter that much

Update: Stephen Dubner emailed me, and pointed me to this much longer segment which has a lot of Bryan Caplan. So it seems like the omission that I perceived was more of an issue with the production and editing process and constraints of the Marketplace segment than anything else.

End Update

I play a lot of podcasts during the day as I go about my business on my iPod shuffle. One of them is Marketplace, which has a regular Freakonomics Radio segment, where Stephen Dubner “freaks” you out with incredible facts and analysis, often with a helping hand from Steven Levitt. With all due respect to Dubner and Levitt, this still has very pre-Lehman feel. Economics has “solved” the workings of the explicit market, so why not move on to other areas which are ripe for conquest by the “logic of life?”

In any case this week’s episode kind of ticked me off just a little. It started off with the observation that college educated women apparently put 22 hours weekly into childcare today, vs. 13 hours in the 1980s. I guess fewer latchkey kids and more “helicopter parents?” Dubner basically indicates that the reasoning ...

February 21, 2011

The Nurture Assumption: Why Children Turn Out the Way They Do


Short comment: “Behavior genetics” you can use. Every potential parent should read this book.

The Nurture Assumption: Why Children Turn Out the Way They Do


Short comment: “Behavior genetics” you can use. Every potential parent should read this book.

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