Psy 104 Final Paper

Topics: Theory of cognitive development, Classical conditioning, Behaviorism Pages: 5 (1729 words) Published: May 27, 2013

Psychology is a subject with a lot of different views and theories. Every psychologist has his own theories about how a human develops mentally, physically and, emotionally from childhood to adulthood. I would like to discuss three psychologists Ivan Pavlov and his theory of classical conditioning, Jean Piaget’s cognitive theory and, Albert Bandura and his social cognitive theory. These developmental theories have similarities and differences which I will be discussing further in this paper.

The first developmental theory I will be discussing is classical conditioning. Classical conditioning is a developmental theory introduced by a man by the name of Ivan Pavlov. Ivan Pavlov was born on the 26th of September in 1849 in a town called Ryazan in the country of Russia. Ivan Pavlov’s father was a priest and Ivan was the oldest out of 11 children. When Ivan was seven years old he had an accident where he fell from a balcony onto his head. Because of the injuries he sustained from the fall Ivan had a hard time with academics and was kept out of school till he was eleven years old.

Ivan Pavlov went to college at St. Petersburg University and was originally going to school for science but since he was bad at math he decided to go for physical science. He ended his schooling in the Academy of Medicine. Before Ivan Pavlov went on to develop his theory of classical conditioning “In 1904 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for his researches into the neural mechanism by which the secretion of gastric juices was stimulated.” (Harré, 2006)

Classical Conditioning is a process of behavior modification by which a subject comes to respond in a desired manner to a previously neutral stimulus that has been repeatedly presented

along with an unconditioned stimulus that elicits the desired response. Ivan Pavlov liked to test his theories out on animals mainly dogs.
An explanation of his studies with dogs is “In this type of learning, a neutral stimulus is paired with a stimulus that naturally elicits a response. For instance, a lab coat would not ordinarily bring any response—it is a neutral stimulus; food naturally elicits a salivary response. When the lab coat is paired with the food repeatedly and learning is complete, the lab coat is no longer neutral. The dog has learned to associate the lab coat with food, even when no food is present. The former neutral stimulus (lab coat) now elicits the response (salivation) even in the absence of the original stimulus (food)” (Mossler, 2011)

Another example of classical conditioning is “John B. Watson and his assistant, Rosalie Raynor, invented a different version. They quickly taught an infant named Little Albert to fear a white rat by banging a loud gong just behind the tot whenever the rat appeared. After just seven gongs, Little Albert was scared to death of the same rat he had played with before the training began. His fear was so great that it generalized to other furry objects, including a Santa Claus mask.” (Johnston, 1999)

The Second developmental theory I will be discussing is Jean Piaget’s cognitive theory. Jean Piaget was born on the 9th of August in 1896 in Switzerland. His father was a professor of medieval literature at the University of Neuchâtel. Jean Piaget was originally interested in zoology and by the age of 15 he had written several articles on mollusks. Jean Piaget went to the same university that his father taught which was the University of Neuchâtel and he also studied at the University of Zurich for a small amount of time. Jean Piaget changed his interest of

zoology. “Piaget’s interests turned to child cognitive development while working to standardize tests for schoolchildren. At this time, he witnessed a pattern among children’s correct and incorrect answers, leading him to develop a theory of the stages of understanding through which a child’s cognition passes. He quickly established a clinical method of study, involving not only observation but also...
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