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ERIC Number: ED147020
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Aug
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
The Evidence Against Learnability of Early Motor Skills Reconsidered.
Razel, Micha
This paper attempts to refute the assumption that early motor development is determined genetically and is not influenced by environmental factors. The paper re-examines three studies which are consistently cited as providing evidence for a maturational theory of motor development: the "early training study" by Gesell and Thompson, the "swaddling study" by Dennis and Dennis, and the "deprivation study" by Dennis. A reanalysis of the Gesell and Thompson data indicates that after the training of both twins, the performance of the twin who had received the greater amount of training significantly exceeded that of the control twin. These differences disappeared only when the twins had reached a performance ceiling. In the Dennis and Dennis "swaddling study", both the swaddled and the unswaddled babies were retarded in motor development. The present paper argues that this result can be interpreted as providing support for the view that a lack of learning experiences can impede motor development. Data from the "deprivation study", in which two twins were raised in virtual isolation from 2-14 months of age, indicated that the twins were consistently retarded in their motor development during the course of the study and that this retardation increased the longer the twins remained in isolation. According to the present paper, data from all three of these studies indicate that motor development can be accelerated by training and slowed down by conditions of deprivation. (BD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Filmed from best available copy; Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (85th, San Francisco, California, August 26-30, l977)