The Nurture Effect : How the Science of Human Behavior Can Improve Our Lives & Our World

The Nurture Effect: How the Science of Human Behavior Can Improve Our Lives & Our World (pdf) by ANTHONY BIGLAN, PHD

Think of this book as a beacon of hope.

The dire statistics and horrific stories that litter our newscasts present the modern world as aimless, chaotic, and lost, going backward in almost every area of social importance. There is an element of truth to that characterization, but there is also a force for good in the modern world that has the potential to reverse all of these trends. What it is and what it says is what this book is about.

We can have a large impact on the prevention and amelioration of abuse, drug problems, violence, mental health problems, and dysfunction in families. As this book shows, we know how to do it, we know what it would cost, and we know how long it would take. We even know the core principles that underlie these successful approaches, so we can narrow our focus to what really matters. We know all these things because modern behavioral and evolutionary science has proven answers that work. The careful, controlled research has been done. The answers are in our hands.

Unfortunately these answers and the foundations they stand on are often invisible to policy makers and to the public at large. Some of this invisibility’ is unintentional—it is sometimes difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff in scientific knowledge. Some of this invisibility comes because vested interests are threatened. Tobacco companies, for example, thrived on the ignorance and confusion that they themselves fostered.


Introduction: The Way Forward


Science Equal to the Challenge of the Human Condition


A Wealth of Knowledge About How to Help People Thrive

  • Nurturing Families
  • Nurturing Schools
  • Peers and Problems
  • The Behavioral Revolution in Clinical Psychology


The Larger Social Context Affecting Well-Being

  •  From People to Populations
  •  Harmful Corporate Marketing Practices
  • Poverty and Economic Inequality
  • The Recent Evolution of Corporate Capitalism

Evolving the Nurturing Society

  • In Caring Relationships with Others
  •  Evolving the Society We Want