The Cradle of Thought

In The Cradle of Thought Peter Hobson (, a Professor of Developmental Psychopathology at the Tavistock Clinic and the University of London, examines how thought develops in infants, looking at the subsequent differences in the quality of thinking between individuals and what this suggests about the place of thought in the history of evolution.


At the book’s heart is a radical new theory which challenges people like Steven Pinker. Hobson attacks the notion that thinking is turned on by biologically pre-determined ‘modules’ in the brain, arguing instead that it arises from the nature and quality of the relationship between parent and child in the first eighteen months of life. Drawing on twenty years of clinical experience, on case histories and experimental and clinical research, this has been a controversial book in scientific circles and the IQ and nature/nurture debates. This extremely readable work is a major work of popular science. See if you agree with Hobson’s argument.


Read alongside Steven Pinker’s book How the Mind Works (1997)(


Check if this popular science book is in stock at your local library by consulting the online catalogue at



296 pages in Oxford University Press

First published 2003

ISBN  978-0195219548


Peter Hobson



Scroll to Top