Nativism (psychology)

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Under nativism (from Latin nativus "innate", "natural") is understood in psychology view, certain talents or abilities are innate or deeply rooted in the brain from birth. This view is in contrast to the theory of tabula rasa , which says that the brain has few innate abilities and learns almost everything through interaction with the environment. This view of nativism is closely related to the work of Jerry Fodor , Noam Chomsky, and Steven Pinker , who believe that we are born with certain cognitive modules (special genetically inherited psychological gifts) that allow us to learn and acquire certain skills (like the language). Without this genetically determined contribution to development, many of these abilities would be severely impaired.

It has been empirically shown that higher mammals learn certain fears much more easily than others, such as the fear of snakes in monkeys and the fear of spiders in humans.

Another argument is that, for purely logical reasons, all learning is a foundation, i. H. a natural vocabulary of meaning elements available from the system is required, on which new concepts can only be formed. How large the extent of the innate basis of meaning is, on the other hand, is presented as an empirical question, which u. a. covered in cognitive science , infant research and ethology .

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Cook & Mineka 1990
  2. Öhmann et al. 1995