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Chapter 2

chapter 2

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Psychology 2040A/B
Ian Mac Donald

Chapter 2- Theories of Human Development What is a theory? A set of concepts and propositions that describe, organize, and explain a set of observations -a good theory must be: -parsimonious -falsifiable -have heuristic values Role of Theory in Science: *Fundamental Issues • Nature/Nurture (whether biological predispositions are more important or environmental influences) • Active/Passive role of child (whether children actively contribute to own development or if they are passive recipients of environmental influence) • Continuity/Discontinuity of development (whether development is additive and gradual or if it is a series of discrete stages) Theories • Psychoanalytic – Freud o Conflict of individuals instinct and societal norms of behaviour o Three components of personality: id, ego, superego o Very broad concept of sex o Stages of psychosexual development (oral, anal, phallic, latency, genital) o Idea of unconscious motivation o Focus on later consequences of early experiences *criticism: no real evidence of early conflicts affecting adult personality -Erickson psychosocial development as a neo-freudian -viewed children as more active in development -far less emphasis on sexual urges -more emphasis on social and cultural influences on development -remains more popular than Freud’s theory • Learning Theory John B. Watson Behaviourism  Only overt behaviours should be measured and analyzed  Strong emphasis on environmental influences (tabula rasa)  Development is continuous and based on learning  Little Albert experiment B.F Skinner Radical Behaviourism  Operant conditioning  Focus on outcome of behaviour for predicting future occurrences of that behaviour (reinforcers and punishers) Bandura’s Cognitive Social Learning Theory  More emphasis on cognitive processes  Observational learning  Proposed reciprocal determinism (enviro child) *plus: knowledge about basic learning from well controlled test, practical applications *criticisms: oversimplified, ignores genetic contributions to behaviour, ignores changes in cognitive abilities  Cognitive Developmental Theory o Jean Piaget o Schemes become more complex with development -an organized pattern of thought or action a child uses to make sense of experience
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