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39 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

A set of concepts and propositions that describe, organize, and explain a set of observations

1. must be parsimonious

2. must be falsifiable

3. must have a heuristic value


Conflict of individual's instinct and societal norms for behaviour

Three components of personality

1. ID (unconscious)

2. Ego (conscious)

3. Superego (internalized moral standards)

Freud's Psychosexual Theory

Stages of development

_____ (Birth - 1 year)

_____ (1 - 3 years)

_____ (3 - 6 years)

_____ ( 6 - 11 years)

_____ ( 12 years onward)






Ideas of unconscious motivation.

Focus on later consequences of early experiences.

We have unconscious motors something going on under the motors.

Our early experiences impact our future

Contributions of Freud's Theory

No real evidence of early conflicts affecting adult personality.

Being in the middle theres no evidence that we are all in the middle balancing ID, EGO, and SUPEREGO

Criticisms of Freud's Theory


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

Erikson's Psychosocial Development

Only overt behaviour should be measured and analyzed

Strong emphasis on environmental influences - recall Locke's tabula rasa

Development is continuous and based on learning

"Little Albert" experiment - fear is learned

Believed that people were a clean slate


John B. Watson's Behaviourism

Outlined principles of operant conditioning

Focus on outcome of behaviour for predicting future occurrences of that behaviour

Reinforcers and punishers

B. F. Skinner's Radical Behaviourism

Increases probability of behaviour occurring again


Decreases probability of behaviour occurring again


More emphasis on cognitive processes

Observational learning stressed

- Learning by observing others (models)

- Not dependent on reinforcement

Proposed reciprocal determinism

- Environment <--> Child

A. Bandura's Cognitive Social Learning Theory

Precise and testable

Knowledge about basic learning from well-controlled tests

Practical applications (behaviour modification)

Contributions of Learning Theories


Ignored genetic contributions to behaviour

Ignored ecology

Ignore chances in cognitive abilities

Criticisms of Learning Theories

An organized patter of thought or action that is used to cope with or explain some aspect of experience


Using an existing scheme to interpret a novel experience.


Modifying an existing scheme to incorporate new experiences.


1. Birth - 2 years; Exploration using senses, motor coordination improves

2. 2 - 7 years; Usage of symbols

3. 7 - 11 years; Logical thought

4. > 11 years; Abstract thought


Pre operational

Concrete operations

Formal operations

Focus on how children think

Field of social cognition

Educational applications

Strong influence on other theories

Contributions of Piaget's Cognitive-Development theory

Underestimates abilities of children

Children can be trained

Criticisms of Piaget's Cognitive-Development theory

Children acquire their culture's values, beliefs, and problem-solving strategies through dialogues with knowledgeable members of society.

Vygotsky's Sociocultural Perspective

Cognitive development varies across cultures

Contributions to Vygotsky's sociocultural perspective

Heavy emphasis on role of language

Criticisms of Vygotsky's Sociocultural perspective

Human mind similar to computer

- Receives input

- Performs operations on input

- Generates output

Development reflects changes in

- Hardware (brain and nervous system)

-Software (mental processes)

Information-Processing Theory

Detailed accounts of development from rigorous experimental methods

Investigates wide range of cognitive processes

Contributions to Information-Processing theory

Usually employs "artificial" laboratory studies

Computer model underestimates human cognition

Criticism to Information-Processing theory

Emphasizes evolutionary basis of behaviour

Focus on inborn behaviours that species share

Behaviour should be studied in natural environment

Ethological Viewpoint

Influences of ethology developmental psychology is relatively recent

Survival of individual's genes versus survival of the individual

Evolutionary Viewpoint

Studies human development in everyday settings

Compares human development with that of other species

Contributions of Ethological and Evolutionary Viewpoints

Hard to test

Offers a post-hoc explanation of development

Downgrades importance of cultural learning

Criticisms of Ethological and Evolutionary Viewpoints

Detailed characterization of various environmental influences on development

Environment is a series of nested systems

Urie Bronfenfrenner's Ecological Systems Theory

The nested systems are






Richest description of environmental influences

Suggests interventions for optimizing development at various levels of society

Contributions of Urie Bronfenfrenner's Ecological System Theory

Hard to generalize from one environment to another

Little to say about biological contributors

Not complete, thus best as a complement to existing theories

Criticisms of Urie Bronfenfrenners Ecological System Theory

Biological predispositions are most important


Environmental influences are most important


Children actively contribute to own development

Active roles

Children are passive recipients of environmental influence

Passive roles

Development is additive and gradual

Development is quantitative


Development is a series of discrete stages

Development is qualitative