Behavior modification is a formal technique for promoting the frequency of desirable behaviors and decreasing the incidence of unwanted ones.
SOCIAL-COGNITIVE LEARNING THEORY: LEARNING THROUGH IMITATION
According to Bandura and colleagues, a significant amount of learning is explained by social-cognitive learning theory , an approach that emphasizes learning by observing the behavior of another person, called a model .
Rather than viewing learning to be a matter of trial and error, as it is with operant conditioning, according to social-cognitive learning theory, behavior is learned through observation.
By and large, Piaget’s broad view of the sequence of cognitive development is accurate. However, the specifics of the theory, particularly in terms of change in cognitive capabilities over time, have been called into question.
Sociocultural theory has become increasingly influential.
Vygotsky was one of the first developmentalists to recognize and acknowledge the importance of culture, and—as today’s society becomes increasingly multicultural— sociocultural theory is helping us to understand the rich and varied influences that shape development
EVOLUTIONARY PERSPECTIVES: OUR ANCESTORS’ CONTRIBUTIONS TO BEHAVIOR
The evolutionary perspective seeks to identify behavior that is the result of our genetic inheritance from our ancestors.
It draws heavily on the field of ethology , which examines the ways in which our biological makeup influences our behavior.
It also encompasses behavioral genetics, which studies the effects of heredity on behavior.
Theories and Hypotheses: Posing Developmental Questions
The scientific method is the process of posing and answering questions using careful, controlled techniques that include systematic, orderly observation and the collection of data.
The scientific method involves three major steps: (1) identifying questions of interest, (2) formulating an explanation, and (3) carrying out research that either lends support to the explanation or refutes it.