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Ethological studies of child behavior. Edited by N. Blurton Jones. x + 400 pp. figures tables bibliography index. Cambridge University Press Cambridge. 1972. $19

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data as these refer to human behavior.
The remedy for this state of affairs obviously must come from ethologists themselves through broad systematic research
initiatives into the realm of human behavior, a realm which, in fact, has been
little touched by direct ethological research.
This book represents a significant movement in the required direction as it reports a n assortment of disciplined ethological studies into child behavior.
The contents of this book deal primarily
with children’s social behavior and the
studies reported are concentrated on the
first five years in the life of the child. The
book format groups contributed papers
under three main headings: “Child-Child
Interactions,” “Mother-Child Interactions”
and “Comparative Studies.” Contributors
represent a diversity of backgrounds (zoology, anthropology, psychology, psychiatry),
though most are strongly tied to zoology
and all utilize a n ethological orientation
and methodology. The reported work is
essentially a representation of British research which has produced, to date, the
most concentrated efforts at bringing
ethology into child behavior research.
For those new to the theory and practice of ethology, a n introductory chapter
by Blurton Jones (Chapter 1) contains a
usefully brief summary of certain imporW. L. DANIEL
tant aspects of the field. In presenting
U n i v e r s i t y of Illinois,
this introduction Blurton Jones discusses
the critical interrelationship between the
descriptive and experimental approach
OF CHILDBEHAVIOR. in behavioral science and the great imEdited by N. Blurton Jones. x
400 portance attached to comprehensive and
pp., figures, tables, bibliography, index. precise descriptive data by ethologists.
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Numerous papers throughout this book
1972. $19.50 (cloth).
further emphasize this importance by presenting exemplary and extensive sets of
“. . . the Ethology of Man finds itself descriptive findings; findings which preat the moment in a false position: over- sent quantitafiable delineation of some
acclaimed by many, shrugged off by others,” of the rich complexity and variability of
So states Niko Tinbergen in the Forward children’s free-range behavior.
(p. viii) to the book under review. The
A paper by Blurton Jones and Leach
roots of this situation extend largely to the (Chapter 9) on mother-child separation
popularization of ethology in recent years; and greeting behavior points up another
a phenomenon which, in certain of its crucial characteristic of the ethological
manifestations, has caused severe angst approach. And that is the skeptical scruamong working professionals in this bur- tiny which ethologists give to facile global
geoning field. Predominant among the or unitary behavioral categories or concauses of this anguish have been the ten- cepts. Blurton Jones and Leach have bedencies toward gross oversimplification gun to show how “attachment behavior,”
and tenuous extrapolation of ethological a cohesive entity to many workers, prob-
predominate certain texts of this type.
Brief descriptions of the diseases are provided where appropriate and symptoms
useful for differential diagnosis of heterogeneous traits are included. Empiric risk
estimates that are quoted by the authors
seem to have been carefully derived from
the available literature and are adequately
qualified as to their rough approximation
of the actual risks that may pertain to a
specific family. Traits that are determined
by uncomplicated inheritance are treated
briefly unless there is a problem of diagnosis or detection. Selected references are
provided at the end of each chapter for
those who desire to pursue further reading. The appendices include discussions
of special problems involving penetrance,
x-linkage, and inbreeding, and a glossary
of genetic terms.
This book serves as a valuable complement to existing publications in the field,
is generally well written, and the information it contains is presented in a manner that can be readily comprehended. It
could be strengthened by the addition of
a section on pharmacogenetics and by
identifying those diseases (Tay-Sach’s Disease) that have markedly increased frequencies in certain ethnic and racial
ably is not a unitary phenomenon causally,
developmentally nor, perhaps, functionally.
This same paper by Blurton Jones and
Leach as well as others by Smith and Connolly (Chapter 3 ) , and by Blurton Jones
(Chapter 4) illustrate the usefulness of
factor analysis as a tool in handling the
great masses of particulate data which
ethologists extract in their dissections of
global categories of behavior. The analyses
presented by these authors create a much
firmer base for causal inferences than has
usually been found in the literature of
children’s social behavior.
It is good to find this book including
some material which serves as a reminder
that the world of behavioral phenomena
has inherent richness and interest which
is all too often smothered under the deadly
dullness of most traditional behavioral
research (and researchers). Two papers
are deserving of special mention in this
regard: one by Anderson (Chapter 8) reports a pilot study made of mother-child
spatial-proximity related behaviors as
observed in natural park settings; in another paper, Konner (Chapter 11) presents
material which constitutes a natural history of the developmental patterns which
surround the first year of Bushman infants. These studies offer what can only
be adequately characterized as “delightful data.”
Throughout this book are found papers
which successfully combine reportage of
current ethological investigation with
excellent overviews and critiques of relevant earlier work. Concomitantly, the
authors of this volume have imparted a
pregnant quality to much of it. Almost
every paper presents findings and raises
questions which can serve as bases for
new lines of research. High scores are
made in the important category of “aid
and inducement to further investigation.”
If one discovers an occasional fragmentary or disjointed aspect in this book it
would seem to be attributable to one or
both of these factors: the inescapable liabilities that accompany the “collected
papers” format and the early stages of
research which are predominant through
most of the papers.
A familiar complaint must be lodged in
regard to the substantial cost of this book.
It is likely that the relatively high purchase price will, in some measure, restrict its usage and this is most unfortunate.
In total, this is an important volume for
all those who embrace a biological view
of human behavior, as well as others who
might be interested in exploring the ramifications of the ethological perspective as
directed specifically to children’s behavior.
In the pages of this book, one finds fertility and expansiveness born of ethological theory and methodology judiciously
applied to human behavior.
University of Iiiinois, Urbnno
1, No. 1 . 72 pp., figures, tables, bibliographies. S. Karger, Basel. 1972.
$22.00/year (6 issues).
Recently, it has become fashionable for
reviewers to decry the appearance of still
another journal to the already burgeoning
literature of science. In the present case,
no such disclaimer is in order since the
Journal of Medical Primatology will provide an additional outlet for a field in
which the pace of research has outstripped
the development of new channels of communic a tion.
With the renaissance in primate research during the past two decades, emphasis was placed upon basic research
and, quite properly, the new journals were
so oriented. But, along with the renewed
interest of mammalogists, ethologists, and
anthropologists in primate biology and behavior, came an increase in the number
and variety of primates used in medical
research. Very soon, medical researchers
and their colony veterinarians found that
rhesus monkeys, baboons, and chimpanzees could not be treated as merely more
exotic and expensive substitutes for laboratory rats and dogs. The design and
conduct of clinically-oriented research
utilizing primates calls for more sophisticated control and appreciation of the behavioral patterns and social needs of
primates, as well as a thorough under-
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400, 1972, child, figuren, university, ethological, index, bibliography, cambridge, behavior, blurton, edited, tablet, jones, pres, studies
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