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grand theories

•Psychoanalytic theory
•Cognitive theory

emergent theories

sociocultural theory
epigenetic theory

Psychoanalytic Theory

a grand theory of human developmet that holds that irrational, unconscious drives and motives, often originating in childhood, underlie human behavior

Psychoanalytic Theory: Freud

based on inner drives and motives
•5 stages

Psychoanalytic Theory: Erikson

based on family and culture
•8 stages


a grand theory of human development that stides observable behavior. behaviorism is also called learnin gheory because it describes the laws and processes by which behavior is learned


according to behaviorism, the processes by which responses become linked to particular stimuli and learning takes place. the word conditioning is used to emphasize the importance of repeated practice, as when a athlete conditions his or her body to perform well by traingi for a long time

classical conditioning

the learning process in which a meaningful stimulus (such as the smell of food to a hungry animal) is connected with a eutral stimulus (such as the sound of a bell) that had no special meaning before conditioning. also called respondent conditionig
1. through association, neutral stimulus becomes conditioned stimulus

operant conditioning

the learning process by which a particular action is followed by something desired (which makes the person or animal more likely to repeat the action) or by something unwanted (which makes the action less likely to be repeated). also called instrumental conditioning
1. through reinforcement, weak or rare response becomes strong, frequent response


classical conditioning


operant conditioning

Law of Effect

•If an event is followed by a "satisfying state of affairs" it will be strengthened
•If it is followed by an "annoying state of affairs " it will be weakened.

social learning theory

an extension of behaviorism that emphasizes the influence that other people have over a persons behavior. even without specific reinforcement, every individual learns many things through obsservation and imitation of toerh people
1. through modeling, observed bhehaviors become copied behaviors

Piaget's theory of development focused primarily on:

how our thinking changes as we grow older

Cognitive Theory

a grand theory of human development that focuses on changes in how people think over time. according to this theory, our thoughts shape our attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors
•Emphasizes structure and development of thought processes
•4 stages

When an emergent theory becomes a consistent and recurring source of research, and becomes comprehensive and widely applied, it has become what type of theory?


Sociocultural Theory

An emergent theory that holds that development results from the dynamic interaction of each person with the surroundig social and cultural forces
Human development results from the interaction between an individual and his/her society/culture
•Main criticism of the theory: doesn't examine biology enough

Harlow's research

the monkeys were raised from birth in separate cages, each with two "surrogate mothers": one made of bare wire and the other of wire covered with terrycloth. half the mokeys were fed by a bottle stuck onto the wire, the other half by a bottle stuck onto the cloth mother.
Result: monkeys, and presumably all primate infants need "contact comfort," the warm and soft reassurance of a mother's touch


the central process of social learning, by which a person observes the actions of others and then copies them.
modeling is likely when the observer is uncertain or inexperienced and when the model is admired, powerful, nurturing, or similiar to the observer


in which new experieces are interpreted to fit ito, or assimilate with, old ideas


in which old ideas are restructured to include, or accommodate, new experiences

Vygotsky's theory

Guided Participation
•How individuals acquire knowledge and capabilities required by their society and culture

Vygotsky: Zone of Proximal Development

Includes all of the knowledge and skills one cannot yet understand or perform but is capable of learning with guidance

Vygotsky: Internalization

The process by which social regulations are transferred to the child's psychological systems

Vygotsky: Internalization
•The process by which social regulations are transferred to the child's psychological systems
Vygotsky: What if there are no experts?

•SCT relies on the idea that one is learning from "experts"
•In the case that there are none, Vygotsky stated that children can create their own zones by PLAY

Vygotsky: Play

•Play is crucial for a child's cognitive, physical and social development
•Play is also essential for promoting self-regulation

Research by Kochanska and Aksan (1995)
•10% overtly disobeyed
•Some had "committed compliance"
•Most had "situational compliance"

Elias and Beck (2002)
•More sociodramatic play was associated with high levels of self-regulation

Vygotsky: Play without the "expert"

Sociodramatic play: make-believe play when two or more participants enact a variety of related social roles

A sociocultural theorist would agree that:

learning must be active

SCT Applications: Bullying

Bullying involves systematic efforts to inflict harm on another, through physical, verbal or social attacks
•Cyberbullying involves the use of information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior that is intended to harm others

Bullying vs. Cyberbullying
•Face-to-face vs. impersonal
•One form vs. many
•Familiar aggressor vs. unfamiliar aggressor
•Overt vs. covert
•School-aged vs. many ages
•School vs. online

•Bullying results from power differences between various social groups with different levels of power.

Epigenetic Theory

Genes interact with the environment
•Probabilistic epigenesis
•Nature-nurture debate
•Reaction range: range or possible outcomes
•Set by earlier gene-environment interactions

eclectic perspective

the approach taken by most developmentalists, in which they apply aspects of each of the various theories of development rather than adhering exclusively to one theory

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