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Review of Behaviours Using Psychosocial Development Theory Research Paper

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Updated: Apr 24th, 2020

Introduction

After seeking permission from my roommate, I decided to use her as the subject of my experiment. I decided to do the observation at a random date and time in order to ensure that she maintained her natural behavior. I divided the observation hour into a 10-minute interval where I recorded all behaviors exhibited during the 10-minute interval in the table shown below.

Observation 1 from 3.17pm- 4.17 Pm

General Activity: Watching a Movie

Time Behavioral observations
3.17 – 3.27 Laughing hysterically, smiling, and biting the lower lip.
3.27 – 3.37 Pauses the movie, Leaves the room to go to the bathroom, curses on his way out, returns while smiling, and concentrates on the movie
3.37- 3.47 She almost cries and she keeps clicking
3.47 -3.57 Her mood remains foul all her concentration is in the movie.
3.57- 4.07 She is smiling again, laughs a little.
4.07 – 4. 17 She notices me writing, asks a few questions and goes back to watching the movie.

Observation 2 from 9pm -10 pm

General Activity: Homework

Time Exhibited behaviors
9.00-9.10 Picks laptop and starts typing while flipping book pages
9.10- 9.20 Continues typing
9. 20 – 9. 30 Yawns, stretches, complains about the homework, and continues typing
9. 30-9.40 Keeps typing
9.40 – 9. 50 Curses, stops typing and stares at the screen
9.50 – 10.00 Keeps staring at the screen as she dozes off

Analysis of the Behavior Exhibited

According to Erikson’s ‘Psychosocial Development Theory’, the behaviors exhibited by an individual are dependent on the social interaction. Moreover, egos and identity are usually changing depending on the experience and the information passed to individuals (Andersen, 40).

Using this theory, we can easily explain the changes in behavior exhibited by the subject. When she was watching the movie, her behavior and mannerism changed according to the information she received from the movie. When the subject was doing her homework, her mannerism changed in accordance to how she perceived the homework. Moreover, Erikson suggests that the behaviors exhibited by individual changes with changes in the individual conditions.

Therefore, an individual learns his or her behavior throughout his or her life rather than within a limited period of time. In the case study, the subject exhibited different behaviors. Taking Erikson’s theory into account, it means some of the behaviors she exhibited may have been inborn while others were learned behaviors. According to Erikson, inborn behavior includes behaviors such as temper changes.

Therefore, using part of Erikson’s psychological theory we can easily explain the behaviors of an individual. However, Erikson’s theory does not specialize in explaining the short-term character or behavior exhibited by individual. Instead, Erikson’s theory focuses in explaining the eight steps involved in developing character of an individual from childhood to adulthood. In this light of events, it is not recommendable to judge an individual’s character from a few hours of observation.

Piaget’s Cognitive Development Theory discusses development of character using various key features. These features can be used to explain the behavior observed in the experiment. Using the concepts advanced by Piaget, we can easily analyze behaviors exhibited by the subject. In Piaget theory, adaptation is the process of assimilating and accommodating the world (Piaget 245).

On the other hand, assimilation can be referred to as the process through which man takes in material information from the environment around him/her. These individuals change their behavior according to the information absorbed. Accommodation means the difference made to a person’s mind due to the process of assimilation. Using these concepts, we note that when the subject was watching the movie she absorbed the information from her surrounding and accommodated the information.

Therefore, she expressed herself by changing behavior in order to suit the prevailing situation. These changes in the subject behavior may be attributed to the fact that she adopted a means of reacting to various situations at an earlier time. As Piaget explains, an individual has the ability to conserve behavior (243). Therefore, what the subject was exhibiting was a series of conserved behaviors.

It is logical to assume that the subject acquired her behaviors in a manner similar to that explained by Piaget. Satterly 1987 explains Piaget’s theory. He proposes four stages through which an individual can acquire conservative behaviors (Satterly 622). These stages occur among ages 2, 7, 11 and 12.

Scholars accepted that object permanence develops during permanence. Therefore, the subject may have picked the behaviors she exhibits during any of the aforementioned stages (Satterly 622). Behavior is adopted at various stages of life and this behavior persists throughout the life of an individual. An individual may only change behavior when circumstances require them to do so.

While many psychologists and scholars accept the general outline in Piaget theory, the theory is still under a lot of criticism. Howard Gardner evaluated Piaget’s theory and decided that it was wrong in some of the details it presented. Other scholars argue that behavior is learned at an earlier age than Piaget suggested. Therefore, the use of this theory cannot be solely depended upon to explain behavioral changes in an individual.

Works Cited

Andersen, Cal. “Beyond Rumor and Reductionism: A Textual Dialogue with Erik H. Erikson.” The Psychohistory review 22.1 (1993): 35–68. Pint

Piaget, Jean. “Commentary on Vygotsky”. New Ideas in Psychology 18.1 (2000): 241–259. Print.

Satterly,Joseph “Piaget and Education.” The Oxford Companion to the Mind 3.1 (1987): 622. Print

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