Zazzo, René

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Zazzo, René


Born Oct. 27, 1910, in Paris. French psychologist, head of the Paris school of genetic psychology. Student of H. Wallon. Teaches in the Institute of Psychology at the Sorbonne (since 1937; professor since 1947).

Zazzo is interested chiefly in problems relating to the mental development of children, which he tries to solve by using the principles of dialectical materialism. One of Zazzo’s chief methods is to compare the development of identical twins. On the assumption that sociality is inherent in human nature and that it conditions sensorimotor manifestations in infants even before they begin to speak, Zazzo, in contrast to E. Durkheim’s school, regards the mental development of children not as a transition from the nonsocial to the social (decrease in coefficient of egocentrism) but as a succession of different forms of sociality. According to Zazzo, heredity and environment are variables whose effect ultimately depends on the individual’s interaction with those around him. Zazzo considers the establishment of asymmetrical relations between a pair of twins an important factor in the development of each of them as a unique personality, despite the identity of many psychophysiological characteristics. Zazzo has been working in the field of defectology since the 1960’s.


Le Devenir de I intelligence. Paris, 1946.
Les Jumeaux, le couple et la personne, vols. 1–2. Paris, 1960.
In Russian translation:
Stadii psikhicheskogo razvitiia rebenka.” In the collection Raivitie rebenka. Moscow, 1968.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.