Early experience and the life path

Does early social experience predestine a child's future? Ann Clarke and Alan Clarke examine the evidence.
PERHAPS the most pervasive view concerning long-term development has been that early experiences predetermine the individual’s future. For Freud, the first five years were regarded as critical; for J.B. Watson it was the experience of the first two years which would make or mar the life path. In contrast to this super-environmentalism, yet with the same predeterministic implications, was the extreme genetic notion of personal constancy espoused by Spearman.

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