Assignment: Behaviorism and the sociocultural theories comparison

Assignment: Behaviorism and the sociocultural theories comparison

Assignment: Behaviorism and the sociocultural theories comparison

Comparison of behaviorism and sociocultural theories: The behaviorism theory and the sociocultural theory of cognitive development are the two theories I’m comparing and contrasting. Conditioning is at the heart of behaviorism’s idea. Berk claims that behavior is influenced by the environment and that it can be molded and sculpted with or without reward and punishment. According to the social cultural theory, an individual’s behavior is influenced by the culture, habits, and traditions that surround him or her (2014).

Assignment: Compare and contrast behaviorism and sociocultural theories

These theories have similar strengths in terms of cognitive development in that they both believe one’s environment to be a significant effect on learning. Both views, however, emphasize the impact of adults on a child’s cognitive development. With behaviorism, for example, a parent can use verbal praise or edible reinforcement to encourage the desired behavior. Parents or teachers passing on knowledge to children has an impact on their cognitive development from a social cultural standpoint. Both theories argue that cognitive development takes place during the course of one’s life. Both theories place a low value on an individual’s ability to influence their own cognitive development and accomplishment (Berk, 2014). Individuals cannot make conscious judgments if they are unaware of the consequences, according to McKee and Barber (as referenced by Aldwin, 2014).

Assignment: Behaviorism and the sociocultural theories comparison

Assignment: Behaviorism and the sociocultural theories comparison

The Sociocultural Theory

The social cultural theory is different from behaviorism because it includes culture and group interaction as an impact on development. Vygotsky introduced scaffolding, (as cited by Laureate Education, 2010), or assessing what an individual knows and building on that. The school system is a good example of scaffolding which has a great impact on cognitive development from childhood to adulthood. Thus, teachers asses what you know and build on that each year. In contrast, behaviorism focuses on molding single specific behaviors.

Assignment: Behaviorism and the sociocultural theories comparison states that Further, another difference is in their limitations. Behaviorism lacks explanation for other environmental influences different from punishment and reinforcement that might influence development. Therefore, while the cultural theory might have more explanations, these explanations might include biases from researchers and the findings of one culture may not be consistent with findings in another culture (Berk, 2014).

References for Behaviorism and the sociocultural theories comparison

Aldwin, C. M. (2014). Rethinking developmental science. Research in Human Development, 11(4), 247–254.
Berk, L. E. (2014). Development through the lifespan (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education

Laureate Education. (Producer). (2010a). Cognitive development theories [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.


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Assignment: Behaviorism and the sociocultural theories comparison


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Behaviorism is a psychological theory that tries to explain why people act in certain ways. The focus of behaviorism is on what can be observed. All behavior, according to behaviorists, may be traced back to environmental stimuli. Furthermore, behaviorists believe that reinforcements and punishments can be used to change behavior. Reinforcements are stimuli that promote a specific behavior to repeat itself, while punishments are stimuli that discourage a specific action. Behaviorism was created by early behaviorists such as John B. Watson and B.F. Skinner to shift psychology’s focus to the visible and quantifiable.

Learning through social interaction
The ideas offered by behaviorism are expanded by social learning theory. Social learning, like behaviorism, tries to explain why people act the way they do; however, social learning claims that behavior is based on a mix of external stimuli and internal psychological processes. Retention, reproduction, and motivation are three prerequisites for someone to learn a behavior according to social learning theory. Retention refers to an individual’s ability to recall witnessed behavior, while reproduction refers to that individual’s ability to repeat that action. The urge to engage in that conduct is referred to as motivation.

Social Learning vs. Behaviorism
according to Assignment: Behaviorism and the sociocultural theories comparison, Although social learning theory and behaviorism have certain parallels, social learning theory adds an element of interior thought processes to behavior that behaviorism does not investigate. Theorists of social learning claim that behavior is more complex than stimuli and responses. Individuals learn by observation and imitation of the conduct of those around them, according to social learning theory, in addition to the external reinforcements provided by behaviorism. Peer pressure can lead to someone following the herd in order to fit in and be accepted, even if the observed behavior goes against their personal convictions.



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