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Theories and Theorists Essay

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Theories and Theorists
Loretta Artis


Abstract
In this paper I will discuss these prominent psychologists, Erikson, Piaget, and Vygotsky whose theories we have been discussing in this class. I will also include theories by Maslow Skinner and Bandura. I would like to compare these theorists’ similarities and differences.

Theories and Theorists

Erik Erikson and Abraham Maslow
The first theories that I will discuss will be the theories of Abraham Maslow and Erik Erikson. These two theorists support the use of human response assessment in the experiential and behavioral perspectives.   Their theories are similar because they focus on social and personality development and child’s motivation to learn. They both believe that a person experienced different stages of development throughout their lives. Erikson describes eight stages of development through life which include he believed that a person experienced each stage at an approximate age and must resolve each stage in order to develop properly.  
Maslow’s theory focuses on what he calls the “self-actualization theory”, which says that, “behavior and learning are motivated by a hierarchy of needs” (Maslow, 1970). While Erikson believes that a person experiences stages at a certain age, Maslow theorized that a person’s “basic needs” must be met in order to move up the pyramid, or “hierarchy of needs”, and ultimately reach their “growth needs”. One cannot reach the top of the pyramid, which is “self-actualization”, until they have achieved these goals. (Cherry)

Jean Piaget and Vygotsky
In contrast to Erikson’s and Maslow’s theories is Jean Piaget. Piaget’s theory focuses on cognitive development.   He believed that, “children actively try to make sense of their experiences by building or constructing their own knowledge (Cameron, 2001).   A theory that relates to Piaget’s is Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory.   Vygotsky believed that children learn from social interaction “within a cultural context...

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