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Chapter 4: Major Theories for Understanding Human Development.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 4: Major Theories for Understanding Human Development."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 4: Major Theories for Understanding Human Development

2 Major Theories for Understanding Human Development Chapter Objectives –To review the basic concepts of seven major theories that have guided research in the study of human development. These theories include: evolutionary theory, psychosexual theory, cognitive developmental theory, theories of learning, cultural theory, social role theory, and systems theory –To examine the implications of each theory for the study of human development –To clarify the links between each theory and psychosocial theory

3 Major Theories for Understanding Human Development The Theory of Evolution –Darwin emphasized the adaptive value of behavior and physical characteristics to specific environments –Natural selection - certain species were selected by nature to survive in particular parts of the world because they had characteristics that fit with, or were adapted to, their surroundings

4 Major Theories for Understanding Human Development The Theory of Evolution (cont.) –Natural selection has 3 underlying characteristics: Variation Genetic inheritance Selection –Fitness, or reproductive success: varies among members of a species and is the passage of genes form one generation to the next in individual organisms

5 Major Theories for Understanding Human Development The Theory of Evolution (cont.) –Inclusive Fitness: suggests that fitness is not only determined by an individual’s success in passing genes along to the next generation through reproduction, but also by promoting the survival and reproductive success of others who carry the genes

6 Major Theories for Understanding Human Development Ethology –Studies the survival value of behavior and its evolutionary history –Not concerned just with growth and development, but to the adaptation and continuation of the species

7 Major Theories for Understanding Human Development Evolutionary Psychology –Studies long-term historical origins of behavior –With each generation, the human genome evolves; whether they are passed on to subsequent generations depends on whether they increase fitness –Account for common patterns of behavior in light of the likely pressures on survival and reproduction for human beings during the prehistoric period

8 Major Theories for Understanding Human Development Psychosexual Theory –Assumes children move through a series of stages in which they confront conflicts between biological drives and social expectations –Healthy personality development is determined by how parents manage their child’s early sexual and aggressive drives –How they resolve these conflicts determines their ability to learn, to get along with others, and to cope with anxiety

9 Major Theories for Understanding Human Development Domains of Conscience in Psychosexual Theory –Freud believed that all behaviors were motivated –Conscious processes are the mental processes, which are related to behavior, and individuals are aware of –Preconscious processes are the mental processes, which are absent from mental awareness or conscious, but are capable of being called into mental awareness –Unconscious processes are wishes, needs, and fantasies that influence behavior which we are not mentally aware of

10 Major Theories for Understanding Human Development Portions of Personality in Psychosexual Theory –Id, present at birth, represents biological needs and desires and requires immediate gratification –Ego develops in early infancy, and is the conscious, rational part of personality. It is the mediator between the id and the superego –Superego represents the values of society and one’s conscience –The relations between the id, ego, and superego determine an individual’s basic personality

11 Major Theories for Understanding Human Development Stages of Development in Psychosexual Theory –Oral –Anal –Phallic –Latent –Genital

12 Major Theories for Understanding Human Development Cognitive Developmental Theories –Cognition is the process of organizing and making meaning of experience –Two Cognitive Developmental Theories Piaget’s Cognitive Developmental Theory Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory

13 Major Theories for Understanding Human Development Basic Concepts of Piaget’s Cognitive Developmental Theories –Occurs in stages as children actively manipulate and explore the environment –Central to his theory is the biological concept of adaptation, which leads to equilibrium, or balance, between internal structures, and information children encounter in their everyday worlds –Scheme is a specific structure, or an organized way, of making sense of experience that changes with age

14 Major Theories for Understanding Human Development Basic Concepts of Piaget’s Cognitive Developmental Theories (cont.) –Adaptation in Piaget’s theory The process of building schemes through direct interaction with the environment occurs through 2 processes –Assimilation is the part of adaptation in which the external world is interpreted in terms of already existing schemes –Accommodation is the part of adaptation in which old schemes are created and new ones adjusted to produce a better fit with the environment

15 Major Theories for Understanding Human Development Figure 4.1 Adaptation = Assimilation + Accommodation

16 Major Theories for Understanding Human Development Piaget Developed Four Stages of Cognitive Development –Sensorimotor Stage - an infant uses his senses and movements to explore the world (0-18 months) –Preoperational Stage - the preschooler uses symbolic but illogical thought and play (18 months to 6 years) –Concrete Operational Stage - school-age children use more organized reasoning (7-11 years)

17 Major Theories for Understanding Human Development Piaget Developed Four Stages of Cognitive Development (cont.) –Formal Operational Stage - thought is used by adolescents and adults and is represented by abstract logical thought (11 years on)

18 Major Theories for Understanding Human Development Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory –Vygotsky is referred to as a contextualist, because he argued that human development can only be understood within a social framework –Focuses on how culture or culturally specific practices are transmitted from one generation to the next –He viewed cognitive development as a socially mediated process in which children benefit from parental and peer support to accomplish new things

19 Major Theories for Understanding Human Development Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory (cont.) –Vygotsky believed that all higher cognitive processes develop out of social interaction –Zone of proximal development refers to a range of tasks that the child cannot yet handle alone but can accomplish with the help of adults and more skilled peers

20 Major Theories for Understanding Human Development Theories of Learning –Classical Conditioning –Operant Conditioning –Social Learning Theory –Cognitive Behaviorism

21 Major Theories for Understanding Human Development Classical Conditioning –Ivan Pavlov was interested in animal learning and from studies with dogs, found the classical conditioning paradigm –Classical conditioning can be defined as a form of learning that involves associating a neutral stimulus that leads to a reflexive example

22 Major Theories for Understanding Human Development Figure 4.2 Classical Conditioning

23 Major Theories for Understanding Human Development Operant Conditioning –Developed by B. F. Skinner –Emphasizes the role of repetition and the consequences of behavior in learning –There are 2 types of reinforcers: Positive reinforcers: increase the rate of a response (i.e., food) Negative reinforcers: increase the rate of a response when removed (i.e., shock)

24 Major Theories for Understanding Human Development Operant Conditioning (cont.) –Shaping is the gradual building up an operant behavior by reinforcing successive approximations and is used to convert existing simple behaviors into more complex patterns of behavior –Schedule of Reinforcement: the frequency and regularity with which reinforcements are given –Continuous: reinforcement is given every learning trial

25 Major Theories for Understanding Human Development Operant Conditioning (cont.) –Intermittent: vary time or number of trials between every reinforcement –Extinction: a process in which an expected reinforcement no longer occurs following the behavior –Punishment: a noxious stimulus that follows an undesirable behavior

26 Major Theories for Understanding Human Development Social Learning Theory –Albert Bandura promoted social learning theory, which emphasizes learning in a social context and the role of modeling as a shaping factor for development –Bandura has shown that both children’s ability to listen and remember as well as their understanding of abstract general rules from complex sets of observed behavior affects their imitation and learning, vicarious reinforcement

27 Major Theories for Understanding Human Development Social Learning Theory (cont.) –The most recent revision of Bandura’s theory places a strong emphasis on what he calls social cognition rather than a social learning approach –Efficacy is the culmination of this learning process

28 Major Theories for Understanding Human Development Cognitive Behaviorism –A criticism of operant conditioning and classical conditioning is that they do not describe and explain what happens in a learner’s mind –Edward Tolman said that the learner develops a cognitive map or an internal mental representation of the learning environment –Map includes expectations about the reward system in operation, the existing spatial relationships, and the behaviors accorded highest priority

29 Major Theories for Understanding Human Development Six Cognitive Dimensions of Cognitive Behaviorism –Encodings: constructs the person has about the self, the situation, and others in the situation –Expectancies: cognitive assessment about one’s behavior, and the maintaining of events in one’s environment –Affects: feelings and emotional reactions, or physiological responses that are associated with the situation

30 Major Theories for Understanding Human Development Six Cognitive Dimensions of Cognitive Behaviorism (cont.) –Goals and values: relative importance one places on the outcomes and situations –Cognitive competencies: knowledge, skills, and abilities –Self-regulatory plans: strategies for achieving one’s goals, including techniques for managing internal emotional states, creating a plan, and setting the plan into action

31 Major Theories for Understanding Human Development Figure 4.3 The Six Cognitive and Affective Dimensions that Influence Behavior

32 Major Theories for Understanding Human Development

33 Cultural Theory –Emphasizes the learned systems of meaning and patterns of behaviors that are shared by a group of people and transmitted from one direction to the next –Physical culture: objects, technologies, structures, tools, and other artifacts of culture –Social culture: norms, roles, beliefs, values, rites, etc. –Worldview: making meaning of the relationships, situations, and objects encountered in daily life

34 Major Theories for Understanding Human Development Cultural Theory (cont.) –Cultural determinism: individual’s psychological experiences are shaped by the expectations, resources, and challenges posed by one specific cultural group –Enculturation: culture carriers teach, model, reward, punish, and use other symbolic strategies to transmit critical practices and values

35 Major Theories for Understanding Human Development Cultural Theory (cont.) –Continuity: when a child is given information and responsibilities that apply directly to his or her adult behavior –Discontinuity: found when a child is either barred from activities that are opened only to adults or forced to unlearn information or behaviors that are accepted in children but considered inappropriate for adults –Collectivism: refers to a worldview in which social behavior is guided largely by goals that are shared by a collective group of people

36 Major Theories for Understanding Human Development Cultural Theory (cont.) –Individualism: refers to a worldview in which social behavior is guided largely by personal goals, ambitions, and pleasures which may or may not coincide with the interests of the group

37 Major Theories for Understanding Human Development Social Role Theory –Social roles serve as a bridge between the individual and society and suggest that learning is organized around a key social function called roles –Three Elements of Concern Role Enactment: patterned characteristics of social behavior Social Roles: parts or identities a person assumes Role Expectations: scripts or shared expectations for behavior that are linked

38 Major Theories for Understanding Human Development Social Role Theory (cont.) –Four Dimensions of Social Roles Exist Number of roles: increase in number, increase in cognitive advances Intensity of involvement: increases involvement and increases emotional commitment Amount of time the role demands: limits other role possibilities Degree of structure: expectations about role

39 Major Theories for Understanding Human Development Systems Theory –Attempts to describe and account for the characteristics of systems and the relationships among component parts comprised within the system –Whole is more than the sum of its parts –Open system: structures that maintain their organization even though their parts constantly change

40 Major Theories for Understanding Human Development Systems Theory (cont.) –Adaptive self-regulation: systems change in the direction of adjusting to or incorporating more and more of the environment into themselves in order to prevent disorganization as a result of environmental fluctuations –Feedback mechanisms: to identify and respond to environmental changes

41 Major Theories for Understanding Human Development Systems Theory (cont.) –Adaptive self-organization: when confronted with new, or changing environmental conditions, systems revise the relationships among components, or create new, higher levels of organization that coordinate existing substructures

42 Major Theories for Understanding Human Development Figure 4.4 A Topography of the Relationship Among Systems

43 Major Theories for Understanding Human Development Ecological Systems Theory –Urie Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory considers the individual as developing within a multilayered system of relationships –Microsystem is the innermost level of the environment or the activities and interaction patterns in the child’s immediate surroundings –Mesosystem is composed of contexts that connect microsystems –Exosystem contains social settings that do not include the individual, but affects their microsystem and mesosystem experiences

44 Major Theories for Understanding Human Development Ecological Systems Theory (cont.) –Macrosystem is the outermost layer, which includes a culture’s laws, values, and customs –Chronosystem is the temporal dimension of a dynamic, ever-changing system Intervening in the Environment –Interventions at any level of the environment can affect development


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