Few people question the pervasive belief that early childhood exerts an irdinate power over adult achievements, relationships, and mental health. Once robbed of our potential by the inadequacies of our upbringing, the theory goes, we risk being trapped in maladaptive patterns and unfulfilling lives. But does early experience really seal our fate? Daring to challenge prevailing models of child development, this provocative book argues that what enables us to survive--and sets us free from our pasts--is our astonishing adaptability to change, shaped by the uniquely human attributes of consciousness, will, and desire.
Michael Lewis, PhD, is University Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry and Director of the Institute for the Study of Child Development at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. He is also Professor of Psychology, Education, Cognitive Science, Biomedical Engineering, and Social Work at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, where he serves on the Executive Committee of the Center for Cognitive Science and is an Associate of the Center for Mathematics, Science and Computer Education. Dr. Lewis is a Fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences, the American Psychological Association (APA), the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, and is currently in the top 1.5% of scientists referenced in the Social Science Index. He is a recipient of the Bronfenbrenner Award for Lifetime Contribution to Developmental Psychology in the Service of Science and Society from the APA, the Hedi Levenback Pioneer Award from the New York Zero-to-Three Network, and the Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Child Development Award from the Society for Research in Child Development. Dr. Lewis has published over 450 journal articles and book chapters and 35 books, including The Rise of Consciousness and the Development of Emotional Life, which won the William James Book Award from APA Division 1 (Society for General Psychology), Social Cognition and the Acquisition of Self, Children's Emotions and Moods, Shame: The Exposed Self, and Altering Fate.