Human Growth and Development: Learning Theory

Essay details

Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.

In contrast to psychodynamic theory, learning theory concentrates on how learning influences a person’s behavior.This perspective emphasizes the role of experience, examining whether a person’s behavior is rewarded or punished.This perspective also emphasizes that people learn from watching others around them.Two influential theories in this perspective are behaviorism and social learning theory.


Early in the 20th century, John Watson (1878–1958) believed that infants’ minds were essentially “blank slates” and argued that learning determines what people will become.He assumed that with the correct techniques, almost anyone could learn anything.In Watson’s view then, experience was about all that mattered in determining the course of development.

Essay due? We'll write it for you!

Any subject

Min. 3-hour delivery

Pay if satisfied

Get your price

Watson did little research to support his claims, but B. F. Skinner (1904–1990) filled this gap.Skinner studied operant conditioning, in which the consequences of a behavior determine whether a behavior is repeated in the future.Skinner showed that two kinds of consequences were especially influential.A reinforcement is a consequence that increases the likelihood of the behavior that it follows.Positive reinforcement consists of giving a reward such as chocolate, gold stars, or paychecks to increase the likelihood of a previous behavior.A father who wants to encourage his daughter to help with chores may reinforce her with praise, food treats, or money whenever she cleans her room.Negative reinforcement consists of rewarding people by taking away unpleasant things.The same father could use negative reinforcement by saying that whenever his daughter cleans her room, she doesn’t have to wash the dishes or fold laundry.

I chose this theory because I found it interesting that behaviorism falls under the learning theory.Also, that experiences, reinforcements and consequences affect the way of learning

When trying to explain why people develop as they do, scientists usually consider four interactive forces:

Biological Forces: Genetics and Health

Prenatal development, brain maturation, puberty, and menopause may occur to you as outcomes of biological forces.Indeed, major aspects of each process are determined by our genetic code.For example, many children resemble their parents, which shows biological influences on development.But biological forces also include the effects of lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise.

My brothers and I all resemble my mom so much, but due to them playing sports and all our personal activities we all have tend to have body frames.

Psychological Forces: Known by Our Behavior

Psychological forces seem familiar because they are the ones used most often to describe the characteristics of a person.For example, think about how you describe yourself to others.Most of us say that we have a nice personality and are intelligent, honest, self-confident, or something similar.Concepts such as these reflect psychological forces in general, psychological forces are all the internal cognitive, emotional, personality, perceptual, and related factors that influence behavior.Psychological forces have received the most attention of the three main developmental forces.For example, we will see how the development of intelligence enables individuals to experience and think about their world in different ways.We’ll also see how the emergence of self-esteem is related to the beliefs people have about their abilities, which in turn influence what they do.

This force I can relate to the most especially when people ask me questions about myself & I answer that I’m a sweetheart although they may see me different.

Sociocultural Forces: Race, Ethnicity, and Culture

To understand human development, we need to know how people and their environments interact and relate to each other.That is, we need to view an individual’s development as part of a much larger system in which no individual part acts without influencing all other aspects of the system.This larger system includes one’s parents, children, and siblings as well as important individuals outside the family, such as friends, teachers, and coworkers.The system also includes institutions that influence development, such as schools, television, and the workplace.

Where I was raised and how I was raised plays a big role in my life.I come from a two-parent household with loving siblings.Although my friends and I grew up very close our way of living was never similar, and it showed in many situations.

Life-Cycle Forces: Timing Is Everything

Consider the following two females.Jacqui, a 32-year-old, has been happily married for six years.She and her husband have a steady income.They decide to start a family, and a month later Jacqui learns that she is pregnant.Jenny, a 17-year-old, lives in the same neighborhood as Jacqui.She has been sexually active for about six months but is not in a stable relationship.After missing her period, Jenny takes a pregnancy test and discovers that she is pregnant.Although both Jacqui and Jenny became pregnant, the outcome of each pregnancy will certainly be affected by factors in each woman’s situation, such as her age, her financial situation, and the extent of her social support systems.The same event can have different effects depending on when it happens in a person’s life.

My sister in law and I both moved to Florida to further our education but a lot of factors such as children, income and time management only allow one of us to further our education.I believe Sociocultural forces fits in with the learning theory.I say this because the learning theory describes how your learning environment has a big impact on how you developed, or even what you do later on in life.As well as sociocultural forces, which states that to understand human development, we need to know how people and their environments interact and relate to each other.

Get quality help now

Prof. Johnson

Verified writer

Proficient in: Economics, Life, Sociology

4.9 (1373 reviews)
“Good paper. Just have to change the heading to what was on the article instead of what you thought it should be.”

+75 relevant experts are online

More Essay Samples on Topic

banner clock
Clock is ticking and inspiration doesn't come?
We`ll do boring work for you. No plagiarism guarantee. Deadline from 3 hours.

We use cookies to offer you the best experience. By continuing, we’ll assume you agree with our Cookies policy.