Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Compare and contrast two developmental approaches to the study of Essay

Compare and contrast two developmental approaches to the study of developmental psychology. You must refer to research and theory in your answer - Essay Example Contrastingly, developmental psychologists who emphasized learning theories, such as Lev Vygotsky, John B. Watson, B.F. Skinner and Albert Bandura focus on the role of environment more than on the part played by biology. The diverse theories are based on different assumptions, but are similar in some respects (Sigelman & Rider, 2006: 49). The two developmental approaches which are chosen for comparison in this paper are those of Erikson (1902-1994) and Piaget (1896-1987). The similarities and differences between their theories will be examined, including the extent to which nature versus nurture play a part. On the nature side of the nature-nurture controversy, the nativist belief is that human development is determined by innate factors such as genetic endowment and brain maturation. On the nurture side, also known as empirism, development is considered as the result of experience and learning. Although there are some biologically based limits on behaviour and cognition, the â€Å"brains are open, dynamic information processors that are receptive to sociocultural influences† (Kitayama & Cohen, 2007: 528). According to Jean Piaget’s theory, the development of intelligence in children progresses through a series of four stages based on age and concurrent biological changes and maturation. This leads to the child demonstrating a higher level of cognitive functioning at each successive stage, as compared to the previous stage (Videbeck, 2007: 61). The stages of development are not universal, since cultural differences exist. However, the mechanisms that underlie cognitive development are considered to be universal (Pressley & McCormick, 2007: 89). 1. The sensorimotor stage: This extends from birth to two years. The child develops a sense of self, differentiated from the environment, and develops the concept of object permanence. That is, a perception of the existence of tangible objects even

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