A Sage’s Advice
The Crisis in the Profession and the Way Back.
By Jerome Kagan.
Yale Univ. Press. 392 pp. $32
I’m sitting beside a tall stack of books by Jerome Kagan, published by Harvard, Yale, Cambridge, Basic Books. This stack doesn’t include Kagan’s papers (nearly 400), or his textbook Psychology: An Introduction, written with Julius Segal, which has gone through at least nine editions.
A professor emeritus at Harvard, Kagan, now 83, began his career at Yale, where his apprenticeship to behavioral researcher Frank Beach required him to masturbate a group of male dogs over several evenings. Eventually he got a day job, assessing children for a longitudinal study of childhood temperament at the Fels Research Institute. He moved to Harvard in 1964 and continued to study children. His research culminated in The Nature of the Child (1984), a developmental study that emphasized the enduring role of temperament. Kagan went on to codirect Harvard’s Mind/Brain/Behavior Interfaculty Initiative, an interdisciplinary program established in 1993 to investigate relationships between the nervous system, human behavior, and mental life.
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A. J. Loftin is a writer living in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.more from this author >>