Chapter

Individuality and Development

Holly Alliger Ruff and Mary Klevjord Rothbart

in Attention in Early Development

Published in print May 2001 | ISBN: 9780195136326
Published online April 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199894031 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195136326.003.0012
Individuality and Development

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How do differences in attention originate, and how are they related to development in other areas of the child's life? This chapter addresses these questions within two broad domains: organismic variables, characteristics the child brings to a situation; and environmental variables, situational differences that interact with organismic variables in development. Organismic variables are initially biologically based, but are further influenced by the child's experiences and learning. The interactions found between organism and environment are described, with children reacting differently to variations in situation. To understand the individual child's development means going beyond group findings, using case studies to yield descriptive profiles of children that can be compared to profiles of other children. Both studies of commonalities across groups of children and studies of the unique individual development contribute to our understanding of individuality and development.

Keywords: organismic variables; environmental variables; case studies; group studies; interactions; temperament

Chapter.  8104 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Developmental Psychology

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