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Ethological vs. Ecological Development

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Caitlin Cassidy

on 13 September 2012

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Transcript of Ethological vs. Ecological Development

Ecological View of Social and Personality Development Ecological Background Ethological Background What is good about the Ethological Theory? Cons and Criticisms The Upside to Ecological Theory The Downside to Ecological Theory Questions for Discussion Acknowledges the significance of the series of environmental systems
highlights the importance of studying subject in their natural habitats, instead of a laboratory
Examines and acknowledges a number of influences
Looks at both macro and micro influences
Considers broader influences
Also takes note of influences within the individual (such as puberty)
Each individual plays a part in their own development
It is the foundation of many theorists works
Influenced many researchers in terms of how to analyze an individual, while looking at the many different environmental system that such an individual is in contact with “this model revolutionized developmental psychology and opened our eyes to the complexity of developmental change” After hearing both sides, do you like one of these theories better than the other? Why or why not?

Can a person accurately describe human development solely using Bronfenbrenner’s theory? What about just the environmental aspect of human development?

Critics believe that the system does not look at the specifics, but in reality Bronfenbrenner theory does exactly what he set out to do…While other developmental psychologist where looking at human development one layer at a time, and trying to come up with absolutes, Bronfenbrenner was able to show how all the variables work together. What do you think?

Do we think that we would find the same effects of nature in an adopted child?

True or False: Can a parent’s job have an effect on their child? Why or why not? •The concepts of critical and sensitive periods might be too rigid
•Too strong an emphasis on biological foundations
•Inadequate attention to cognition
•Better at generating research with animals than with humans
•Difficult to test
•Retrospective explanation
•Modified by learning •First published in 1979 by Urie Bronfenbrenner, a Russian-born, American-raised developmental psychologist.
•People are more than just their genes; attempts to show how the various environments into which someone is placed also effects and shapes their development.
•Bronfenbrenner defines the environment of the developing child as “a set of nested structures, each inside the next, like a set of Russian dolls” (Shaffer, 87). •Start inward and extend out
The Microsystem
The Mesosystem
The Exosystem
The Macrosystem
The Chronosystem 5 Ecological Systems Objectively naturalistic
Implemented in a experimental setting with high external validity
i.e. Lorenz’s Ducks
Fosters an association between biological and evolutionary cores of development
Imprinting is an innate naturalistic adaptation
An innate evolutionary biological occurrence allowing infants to create emotional bonds to their care givers
AKA: Bowlby’s Attachment Theory
Emphasizes the importance of critical periods in child development
If relationships are not established personality and social skills suffer
Separation anxiety, the building of defense mechanisms, lack of trust in others, the expression of anger, and sense of security Ethology stresses that behavior is strongly influenced by biology, is tied to evolution, and is characterized by critical or sensitive periods (McGraw-Hill, 39).
The roots of ethology can be traced to Konrad Lorenz and his studies of programmed behavior in newly hatched goslings.
Labeled this behavior imprinting: the rapid, innate learning within a limited critical period of time that involves attachment to the first moving object seen (McGraw-Hill, 40).
John Bowlby applied Lorenz’ ethological theory of development to human development and came up with his Theory of Attachment.
"The behavioral and social cognitive and ecological theories have been the most adept at examining the environmental determinants of development. The ethological theories have made us aware of biology’s role and the importance of sensitive periods in development. It is important to recognize
that, although theories are helpful guides, relying on a single theory to explain development is probably a mistake" (McGraw-Hill, 43). Falls far from being a complete account of human development, and lacks a concrete and standard pattern of development
Due to the complexity of the theory, finding causation between an environmental stimulus and a distinct behavior would be almost impossible.
This perspective serves as an accomplice to other developmental theories, but on its own does not provide “a coherent normative portrait of human development.”
Research from an Ecological perspective uses case studies, naturalistic observations, ethnographic studies, and field surveys
It is difficult to measure exactly how interactions with other people and environmental stimuli affect the system as a whole or even the individual person. References Ainsworth, M. D. and Bowlby, J., 1991. An Ethological Approach to Personality Development. American Psychologist 46 (4), 333-341.

Santrock, J., MacKenzie-Rivers, A., Leung, K.H., and Maclomson, T., 2003. Mc-Graw-Hill. The Life-Span Developmental Perspective. The Sciences of Life-Span Development. Chapter 2 (pp. 26-56).

Shaffer, D. R., 2008. Social and Personality Development, 6th Edition. California: Wadsworth.

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