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Nature's Thumbprint Paperback – April 15, 1996
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From Library Journal
Psychoanalyst Peter Neubauer and his son, a free-lance writer, argue that the nature/nurture controversy in human behavioral development has too long favored the role of environment. They contend that newer research supports the conclusion that one's genes strongly influence personality and physiology. Our ability to respond and adapt to stress, for example, appears to have a strong genetic component. The authors do not totally dismiss the environmental influence, but view it and heredity as being interactive. This is not a rigorous survey of research (only two recent, major studies are cited), but the arguments are nevertheless enlightening and persuasive.
- Laurie Bartolini, Lincoln Lib., Springfield, Ill.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A real catch for psychoanalysts, biologists, and for all enlightened readers who cannot resist the need to know that it is not nature or nurture, but always nature and nurture.
Top customer reviews
I couldn't believe that only one person had reviewed this very valuable book, so although it's been too long since I read it, I had to just weigh in... a must-read. I have been telling stories from this book in conversation in the years since I read it, like the one about the twins, separated at birth, who both washed their hands in the same way, scrubbing them until they actually turned red. When asked why, one said his adopted mother was a neatnik so she taught him to wash his hands well. The other explained that since his adoptive mother was a slob, he rebelled by cleaning his hands extra well. What was apparent was that the explanation came after the fact; actually they were born with the proclivity to wash their hands in a certain way. Not only did this cast a light on how our personality is genetically influenced, but also on they way people explain things without the actual connection to reality! Full of insight and changes the way one understands oneself and others.
Now, in a book that will change forever the way we think about ourselves and our children, Peter B. Neubauer, M.D., Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at New York University, and his son Alexander Neubauer, right the balance in the nature-nurture debate. They show how our genes affect the way we react to the world, interact with it, and behave in many situations. The authors delineate the genetic roots of our personalities, even as they remain faithful to Freudian psychology.
Based on Peter Neubauer's fifty years of clinical practice as a psychoanalyst and researcher, and on studies of identical twins, Nature's Thumbprint explores the range of inborn inclinations upon which personality is later built: individual timetables of maturation; adaptation to the family and the environment; reasons why some children are more vulnerable to environmental obstacles than others; and why some parents are stymied by children who do not match their expectations, while others respond in positive ways. Sure to redefine thinking in psychiatry, psychology, and psychotherapy, Nature's Thumbprint will also give parents a new understanding of their children. It offers a hopeful message to us all, for only when we understand the biological as well as the psychological underpinnings of personality can we come to a genuine understanding of ourselves and our lives.