Bruner, Jerome


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Jerome Bruner was born in 1915 in New York, where he still lives and works today. He is a Professor at New York University, and has held visiting positions in universities all over thre world. He is the author of around 20 books and some three hundred articles, essays and reviews. He describes his outlook on psychology in his own words:
'My lifelong interest has centred upon how human beings acquire and use knowledge. It was this focus that led me to pursue work in perception, memory, learning, thinking and language – what eventually got to be called 'cognition'. Cognition, however, is hardly the property of psychology, and as a result I have found myself sometimes doing psychology, sometimes linguistics, sometimes philosophy, sometimes anthropology, sometimes literary theory, and now law and jurisprudence. The obvious is often hard to grasp, but it took me till midlife to realise that 'cognition' is not just in individual heads, but also exists in the 'tools' of the culture. This realisation has lead me increasingly to the view that there can be no purely psychological account of mind: all accounts must also take cognizance of the powers and poverties with which a culture endows minds.
In consequence of this, I have done much of my research on the development of mental functioning in different cultural settings, although I have also tried to be mindful of the role of constraining biological factors in development'.