The Theories of Bandura versus Erikson

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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 surroundings by observing people around them. According to Bandura (2002), “Viewed from the sociocognitive perspective, human nature is characterised [sic] by a vast potentiality that can be fashioned by direct and vicarious experience into a variety of forms within biological limits” (pp. 271-272). Although a large amount of learning from watching other people happens in childhood, a person can acquire new skills or knowledge at any point in their life with the help of other people. The second theory examined is Erik Erikson’s eight stages of psychosocial development. Each stage in Erikson’s theory involves a conflict/crisis that a person must work through to evolve their personality. Rosenthal (1981) explains that, “Each stage arises because a new dimension of social interaction

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