Jean Piaget And Lev Vygtosky 's Theories Of An Individual 's Moral Development

Jean Piaget And Lev Vygtosky 's Theories Of An Individual 's Moral Development

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Developmental psychology is a branch of psychology associated with characterizing how humans acquire knowledge, mature, and acclimate themselves throughout the course of their lives (American Psychological Association, 2015). Over the years, countless theories have been proposed to differentiate these deviations and to investigate the causes and mechanisms of human motivation and behavior, such as Erik Erikson’s psychosocial development, Jean Piaget and Lev Vygtosky’s varying takes on cognitive development, and Lawrence Kohlberg and James Marcia’s interpretations of an individual’s moral development (Snowman and McCown, 2012: Kohlberg, 1971; Marcia, 1980). Psychologist Albert Bandura (1989), however, offers a different perspective through the lens of the social cognitive theory (SCT), arguing that human development is not a monolithic process but rather one that encompasses various patterns of change and is reliant on certain conditions for enhancement and sustentation. As such, Bandura (1989), applying the model of reciprocal causation in which behavior, personal factors, and environmental influences interact in a bidirectional manner, alleges that diversity in social practices or lack thereof significantly affects an individual’s development and subsequent capabilities, such as symbolization, vicarious learning, forethought, self-regulation, and self-reflection. Originally influenced by three weaknesses observed in the behaviorism model of learning (i.e., limited behavior range, the theory did not account for fluctuations in behavior, and only one type of learning was studied), Bandura’s (1989) model of the social cognitive theory of human development in turn has served as a catalyst for developmental psychologists and still re...


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...he surrounding environment and world (Bandura, 1989, p. 58). According to Bandura (1989), developing the capacity to self-reflect not only leads to greater understanding but also fosters the ability to monitor ideas, predict the possible outcome of those ideas, judge the adequacy of ideas in different scenarios, and alter them accordingly, if needed (p. 58). The basis for this process of thought verification and modification can take four distinct forms depending on circumstances, such as enactive, vicarious, persuasory, and logical (Bandura, 1989). The former forms relate to appraising one’s adequacy between thought and action (i.e., self-efficacy) and observing others’ actions to check one’s own thinking, while the latter forms require comparing one’s thoughts to others so as to be persuaded and modifying thoughts via logic and deductive reasoning (Bandura, 1989).

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