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Presentation on theme: "CHAPTER 2 THEORIES OF HUMAN DEVELOPMENT"— Presentation transcript:


2 Learning Objectives What are the five basic issues in human development? Where does each major theorist – Freud, Erikson, Skinner, Bandura, Piaget, and Gottlieb – stand on each of these issues?

3 Theories of Human Development
Theory: Ideas proposed to describe/explain certain phenomena Organizes facts/observations Guides collection of new data Should be internally consistent Falsifiable: Hypothesis can be tested Supported by data


5 Other Assumptions About Human Nature
Nature/Nurture: Heredity or environment most influential? Is development primarily the product of genes, biology, and maturation – or of experience, learning, and social influences?

6 Other Assumptions About Human Nature
Goodness/Badness: Underlying good or evil Are humans innately good, innately bad, neither (tabula rasae) or both? Thomas Hobbes Children are inherently selfish and bad Society’s responsibility to teach them to behave Jean Jacques Rousseau Children are inherently good Innate ability to know right from wrong Would go right as long as society stays out of the way John Locke Infants are tabula rasae or “blank slates” Children are neither either good nor bad Experiences determine the direction children take

7 Other Assumptions About Human Nature
Active/Passive Development: Self determination or by others Do humans actively shape their own environments and contribute to their own development … – or are they passively shaped by forces beyond their control?

8 Other Assumptions About Human Nature
Continuity/Discontinuity: Stages or gradual change Do humans change gradually … Weight gain in children Or do they quickly change dramatically into different beings? Adolescent growth spurts

9 Other Assumptions About Human Nature
Quantitative/Qualitative Changes: Degree or transformation Do humans change in quantitative ways … Gains wrinkles, grows taller, knows more vocabulary words Or do they progress through qualitatively different stages? Caterpillar into a butterfly Non-verbal into speaking toddler into prepubertal child into a sexually mature adolescent.

10 Other Assumptions About Human Nature
Universal or Context Specific Development Is development similar from person to person and from culture to culture… Or do pathways of development vary considerably depending on the social contexts? In America preschool children sometimes believe their dreams are real but give up this belief as they age; where as, Atayal culture of Taiwan have been observed to become more and more convinced as they get older that dreams are real because that is what most people in their culture believe.

11 Learning Objectives What are the distinct features of Freud’s psychoanalytic theory? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the theory?

12 Freud: Psychoanalytic Theory
Instincts and unconscious motivation Id, Ego, and Superego formed from psychic energy (Libido) Id: Instinctual nature of humans Pleasure Principal Ego: Rational and objective Reality Principal Superego: Internalized moral standards Dynamic system: Regular conflicts within

13 Freud’s Psychosexual Development
Child moves through five stages Oral Stage Oral receptive vs. Oral aggressive Anal Stage Anal retentive vs. Anal expulsive Phalic Stage Oedipus & Electra Complex Latency Stage Identification with same-sex parent Genital Stage Satisfy mature sexual instinct

14 Freud’s Psychosexual Development
Stages result from conflict between Id & Superego Conflict creates anxiety Ego defends against anxiety with defense mechanisms Early experiences have long-term effects on personality

15 Freud’s Psychosexual Development
Emphasized the role of nature over nurture Believed humans are basically evil Believed development has qualitative changes Believed development was discontinuous Believed development was passive Believed development was universal

16 Strengths and Weaknesses of Freud’s Theory
Awareness of unconscious motivation Emphasized important early experience Weaknesses Ambiguous, inconsistent, not testable Not supported by research

17 Learning Objectives How does Erikson’s psychoanalytic theory compare to Freud’s theory? What crisis characterizes each of Erikson’s psychosocial stages?

18 Erik Erikson Most influential neo-Freudian Some differences with Freud Emphasis on psychosocial stages Less emphasis on sexual urges More emphasis on rational ego (choices) More positive, adaptive view of human nature Development continues through adulthood

19 Erikson’s Stages: Approximate Ages
Trust vs. Mistrust: Importance of responsive caregiver Autonomy vs. Shame & Doubt: Preschool Initiative vs. Guilt: Preschool Industry vs. Inferiority: School-age children Identity vs. Role Confusion: Adolescence Intimacy vs. Isolation: Young adult Generativity vs. Stagnation: Middle age Integrity vs. Despair: Old Age



22 Strengths and Weaknesses of Erikson
Focus on identity crisis of adolescence still most relevant Emphasis on rational and adaptive nature Interaction of biological & social influences Weaknesses Sometimes vague and difficult to test Does not explain how development comes about

23 Learning Objectives What are the distinct features of the learning theories covered in this chapter: Watson’s classical conditioning, Skinner’s operant conditioning, and Bandura’s social-cognitive theory? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the learning theories?

24 Learning Theories: Classical Conditioning
Behaviorism: Conclusions should be based on observable behavior only Tabula Rasa - Environmental view Association Learning UCS: Built-in, unlearned stimulus UCR: Automatic, unlearned response CS: Stimulus causes learned response CR: Learned response

25 The three phases of classical conditioning

26 Learning Theories: Operant Conditioning
Probability of behavior based on environmental consequences Reinforcement Pleasant consequence Increases probability Punishment Decreases probability Unpleasant, aversive

27 Possible consequences of whining behavior.
Moosie comes into the TV room and sees his father talking and joking with his sister. Lulu, as the two watch a football game. Soon Moosie begins to whine, louder and louder, that he wants them to turn off the television so he can play Nintendo games. If you were Moosie’s father, how would you react? Here are four possible consequences of Moosie’s behavior. Consider both the type of consequences – whether it is a pleasant or aversive stimulus – and whether it is administered (“added to”) or withdrawn. Notice that reinforcers strengthen whining behavior, or make it more likely in the future, whereas punishers weaken it.

28 Bandura: Social Cognitive Theory
Formerly called social learning theory Humans think, anticipate, believe, etc. Cognitive Emphasis: Observational learning BoBo doll studies Model praised or punished Child learned to imitate rewarded model Vicarious reinforcement

29 Learning Theory: Strengths & Weaknesses
Precise and testable theory Carefully controlled experiments Practical applications across lifespan Weaknesses Inadequate account of lifespan changes Ignored genetic and maturational processes

30 Learning Objectives What is Piaget’s perspective on cognitive development? What are the strengths and weaknesses of Piaget’s theory?

31 Piaget: Cognitive Developmental Theory
Intelligence: Ability to adapt to environment Constructivism: Understanding based on experience Interactionist Both biological maturation and experience required for developmental progress At each new stage, children think in a qualitatively different way


33 Cognitive Developmental Theory
Strengths Well-accepted by developmentalists Well-researched, mostly supported Influenced education and parenting Weaknesses Ignores motivation and emotion Stages not universal especially the last one

34 Learning Objective How do systems theories, in general, conceptualize development?

35 Contextual/Systems Theories
Lev Vygotsky: Sociocultural perspective Cognitive development is a social process Problem solving aided by dialogues Gottlieb: Evolutionary/Epigenetic Systems Genes, neural activity, behavior, and environment mutually influential Normal genes and normal early experiences most helpful

36 Learning Objectives What are the essential elements of Gottlieb’s epigenetic psychobiological systems perspective of development? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the systems approaches to development?

37 Gottlieb – Developmental Psychobiology
Interaction: Biological & environmental influences Individual programmed through evolution Current behavior results from past adaptation Ethology: Behavior adaptive to specific environments E.g., food scarcity creates nomadic behaviors Species-specific behavior of animals & humans

38 Gottlieb: Epigenesis Instinctual behavior may or may not occur Depends on early physical and social environments Genes alone don’t influence behavior A system of interactions People develop in changing contexts Historical Cultural

39 Strengths and Weaknesses
Stresses the interaction of nature and nurture Weaknesses Only partially formulated and tested No coherent developmental theory

40 Learning Objective How can we characterize the theories in general?

41 Class Participation Question 1 (from Box 2.1)
Directions: Choose one option for each statement and write down the corresponding letter. Biological influences and learning experiences are thought to contribute to development. Overall: a. Biological factors contribute far more b. Biological factors contribute somewhat more c. Both biological and environmental factors contribute equally d. Environmental factors contribute somewhat more e.Environmental factors contribute far more

42 Class Participation Question 2
Children are innately: a. Mostly bad; they are born with basically negative, selfish impulses b. Neither good nor bad; they are tabula rasae (blank slates) c. Both good and bad; they are born with predispositions that are both negative and positive d. Mostly good; they are born with many positive tendencies

43 Class Participation Question 3
People are basically: a. Active beings who are the prime determiners of their own abilities and traits b. Passive beings whose characteristics are molded either by social influences (parents, other significant people, and outside events) or by biological changes beyond their control.

44 Class Participation Question 4
Development proceeds: a. through stages so that the individual changes rather abruptly into a different kind of person than s/he was in an earlier stage b. In a variety of ways – some stage-like, and some gradual or continuous c. Continuously – in small increments without abrupt changes or distinct stages

45 Class Participation Question 5
When you compare the development of different individuals, you see: a. Many similarities: Children and adults develop along universal paths and experience similar changes at similar ages b. Many differences: Different people often undergo different sequences of change and have widely different timetables of development



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