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ERIC Number: EJ827194
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0003-066X
Consciousness, Social Heredity, and Development: The Evolutionary Thought of James Mark Baldwin
Wozniak, Robert H.
American Psychologist, v64 n2 p93-101 Feb-Mar 2009
James Mark Baldwin is one of the most important and least known early American scientific psychologists. Drawing inspiration from Charles Darwin and other evolutionists of the period, Baldwin developed a biosocial theory of psychological development that influenced both Jean Piaget and Lev S. Vygotsky; and he proposed a mechanism relating learned adaptations in the individual to phylogenesis (frequently termed the "Baldwin effect") that is of considerable interest to those currently modeling processes of learning and evolution. After a brief introduction to Baldwin's career, this article describes the intellectual context within which his evolutionary thinking developed. Three of his most important contributions are then discussed: his theory of individual adaptation or learning, his concept of "social heredity," and his articulation of the "Baldwin effect." The article concludes with a brief evaluation of the contemporary importance of Baldwin's ideas. (Contains 5 footnotes.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A