Visions of the Wee “Wunderbairn”

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1978, Vol 23(10), 724–725. Reviews the book, The Perceptual World of the Child by T. G. R. Bower (1977). This book is part of a series whose purpose is to present recent research as “rich and useful information for parents, educators, child-care professionals, students of developmental psychology, and all others concerned with childhood”. We recommend this book to this diverse audience. Bower has wisely chosen to present a lively argument about the nature of perceptual development during infancy and a goodly number of fascinating observations within that frame. He begins the book by thoughtfully and clearly locating the function of perception relative to other knowledge processes. Perception has to do with immediate awareness. Memory and thought put us in past and future worlds. Infants are creatures of the present moment. By the end of infancy, past and future will be part of their immediate awareness. They will shift from “seeing is believing” to often relying on what they believe rather than what they see. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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