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Bandura Versus Erikson Essay

1023 words - 5 pages

How does an infant develop into an adult? The answer is not as obvious as it seems. There are a variety of factors that contribute to human development. A person not only grows physically but also cognitively and socio-emotionally. This paper will explain two theories; one cognitive and one socio-emotional; about human development. The two theories will be described, compared, contrasted and individually evaluated based on the strong points and limitations.
The first theory examined is Albert Bandura’s social cognitive/learning theory. A child does not automatically know how to interpret their environment, but they can learn about the world around them and how to manipulate their ...view middle of the document...

e. being single, being married, and becoming a parent).
Bandura and Erikson both included the thought that other people play a role in who a person becomes in their theories. Erikson’s first stage of psychosocial development takes place during the first 18 months of life and consists of the conflict trust versus mistrust. A person successfully resolves this conflict by developing a sense of trust in their caregiver(s). In his 2002 article “Social Cognitive Theory in Cultural Context”, Bandura stated that, “Human behavior is socially situated, richly contextualised [sic] and conditionally expressed” (p. 276). Additionally, both theories take into account a person’s entire life span.
The main difference between the two theories is that Erikson used specific ages to create separate stages in his theory while Bandura did not specify stages or ages in his theory. When Bandura wrote, “There is no autonomous self unless one is living the life of a hermit, nor is there an entirely interdependent self completely submerged in collectivity without any individual identity or sense of personal capability” (2002, p. 276); he clearly associated Erikson’s early childhood stage of autonomy versus shame and doubt with the adolescence stage of identity versus role confusion Another difference is that Bandura’s theory focused on cognitive development and Erikson’s theory focused on personality development. Bandura (2002) cited that a person’s behavior was affected by circumstances such as their family’s demographic and socioeconomic status and that these circumstances impacted a person’s, “sense of efficacy, aspirations, and affective self-regulatory factors” (p. 278). In giving a summary of Erikson’s theory, Rosenthal (1981) cites that “The theory is cast in eight relatively separate ‘epigenetic’ stages (Erikson, 1959, 1963, 1968), each of which has its own distinctive goal to be attained if ‘healthy’ personality is to be achieved” (p. 526).
Bandura famously concluded, through experimentation that; children imitated aggressive behavior they had witnessed earlier. His experiment only showed behavioral results and did not test other evidence of learning. Erikson did not set up a way to determine...

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