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An interesting topic, but suffers from poor organization.
am 7. November 1999
I bought this book because, having recently become a father, I wanted to get a better idea of what my baby thinks about and feels from people who make a living studying just that. I also wanted to know how scientists organize and practice the study of infant development; how do you observe an infant's actions and draw information about them based on what they do? (or don't do.) While The Scientist In The Crib is full of a lot of interesting anecdotes, and I certainly wouldn't question the authors' credibility, it is disappointingly organized around very general concepts as opposed to chronology, so that the thread of actual development is difficult to follow from one section to the next. This book really seems more like a series of articles, some more and some less interesting. The chapters examine what children learn about people [chapter 2], things [chapter 3], and then language [chapter 4], and then what scientists have learned about children's minds [chapter 5] and then what scientists have learned about children's brains [chapter 6](the distinction between minds and brains is probably much more meaningful if you're working in the field). There are two different sections entitled 'what newborns know.' I found myself skipping around looking for information relevant to my son and the age that he is now. I suppose if I was not so personally invested in these questions I could examine things in the lofty and generalized manner of this book, but, really, parenting is more a practical than a philosophical pursuit, and a chronological approach would have made the information (and there is a lot) much more accessible and interesting for parents.