Summary of "Kiddy Thinks", Alison Gopnik

386 Words2 Pages
Scientific Perspective of Child Development In the informative essay "Kiddy Thinks", Alison Gopnik enlightens readers on the role of childcare in the early stages of child development. The main objective of her writing is to compare babies and toddlers to scientists, stating they use knowledge they are born with to create thoughts, "I argue that very young children use the same strategies as scientists. They think, observe, formulate theories, make predictions then do experiments." (Gopnik, 237) She uses different examples throughout her essay to test this perspective. Gopnik first uses a personal experience to captivate her audience then proceeds to provide scientific evidence on the psychological abilities of children, beginning with newborn babies to toddlers about the age of four. The author informs readers on the thought capabilities of children by providing examples of the changes in mind development in different age categories. She suggests that "newborn babies (the youngest tested was only 42 minutes old) can imitate facial expressions" (Gopnik, 238) and how children that are nine months old can already distinguish between internal feelings such as happiness, sadness and anger. Gopnik recaps experiments that discover how children have learnt about people's wants and how they may conflict with their own in this portion of her writing. Two year old children seem to turn intentionally difficult and challenge their parents constantly, letting desire take control. At this age, toddlers are focused on understanding other people, and the need to live happily with others slips away. The author's essay also explores how adults' behavior can influence a child's actions. Alison questions whether adults have a natural capability to help children learn in this essay. This is proven to be true by the simple use of a sing-song voice when speaking to a child and how it
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