To ensure competence and continued effort toward life-enhancing goals, the environment must provide sensory data that engage attention and provide information (i.e., stimulation). According to Kagan (1984), the main catalyst for environmentally-mediated change is stimulation. Indeed, there is an abundance of both psychological theory and empirical data to buttress the significance of stimulation for cognitive, psychomotor, and social development (Horowitz, 1987; Shonkoff & Phillips, 2002). Illustrative evidence of the value of stimulation comes from studies of parent talk. The research of Hart & Risley (1995) and Hoff (2003) provide compelling documentation of the value of providing children more labels for objects, responding contingently to children's speech, making efforts to elicit conversation from children, sustaining conversations with children, and just talking to them more often.

The Polarity Path

The Polarity Path

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