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Myths of Childhood by Joel Paris

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INTRODUCTION

image  Primacy: A Cultural Shibboleth

Do childhood experiences determine the course of adult life? Many have thought so. The principle of the primacy of childhood describes the basic assumption: that childhood experiences are the crucial factor in psychological development. A related principle might be termed the primacy of early experience: that early experiences in childhood are more important than later experiences.

Psychotherapists have been the most influential advocates of these beliefs, which have become received wisdom in the contemporary world. Most people take primacy for granted and assume that science has long since proven it ...

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