48. Seminal theories

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Seminal theories are the original, essential ideas of a particular discipline (e.g., psychology). These theories represent new ideas when they were first published. The theories have been researched and tested many times since the original publication. They are viewed as necessary by experts in the field and have withstood the test of time. They are meaningful in their unique ideas to explain phenomena. They are repeatedly cited by scholarly literature.

Chronological Summaries

Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory

1900: A theory of personality development based on the interaction between the conscious and unconscious mind. (Id; Ego; Superego) (unconscious; preconscious, conscious) (YouTube video)

Pavlov’s Classical Conditioning

1902: A theory of behavior modification that involves the association of a stimulus with a response. (bell associated with food) (YouTube video)

Skinner’s Operant Conditioning

1938: A theory of learning that emphasizes the role of consequences in shaping behavior. (four combinations 2×2 give-remove; reward-punish) (Youtube video) (YouTube comparison classical vs operant).

Carl Robert’s Person-Centered Theory

1951: A humanistic approach to therapy that focuses on an individual’s self-concept and capacity for self-growth and self-direction. This approach helps people grow and change positively by focusing on their thoughts, feelings, and experiences. (self image; self esteem; ideal self) incongruence/congruence (YouTube video)

Blooms Taxonomy

1956: A hierarchical classification of educational goals. (knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation) (YouTube video)

 Five-Factor Model

1961: The Big Five personality tests, with their focus on neuroticism, openness, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and extroversion, are not just theoretical constructs. They have practical applications in various fields of psychology, from clinical settings to organizational behavior studies. (YouTube video)

Bandura’s Social Learning Theory

1963: A theory that suggests that people learn through observation, imitation, and modeling. (Bobo doll experiement) (YouTube video)

Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory

1965: This work highlights the various environmental factors that influence an individual’s development and behavior. (microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, macrosystem, and chronosystem) family-friends, connections of people around the child, social settings, over-arching culture (YouTube video)

John Bowlby & Mary Ainsworth Attachment Theory

1965: A theory that explains how early emotional bonds with caregivers shape development and relationships across the lifespan. (secure, anxious, avoidant, disorganized)  (YouTube video)

Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development

1968: A theory that describes the eight stages of psychosocial development that individuals go through from infancy to adulthood. (trust-mistrust; autonomy-shame; initiative-guilt; industry-inferiority; identity-confusion; intimacy-isolation; generativity-stagnation; integrity-despair) (YouTube video)

Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory

1970: A theory of motivation that distinguishes between two types of factors: hygiene factors and motivators. (motivators, hygiene factors) (YouTube video)

Path-Goal Leadership Theory

1971: A theory that suggests that the primary role of a leader is to help followers achieve their goals. (styles: directive; supportive; participative; achievement-oriented) (YouTube video)

Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory

1971: A theory that emphasizes the importance of social interaction and cultural context in cognitive development. (zone of proximal development; scaffolding) (I do; we do; you do) (YouTube video)

Locke & Latham Goal Setting Theory

1972: A theory that suggests that specific and challenging goals lead to higher levels of performance. (clarity, challenge, commitment, feedback, task complexity) (YouTube video)

Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development

1972: A theory that explains how children construct knowledge and understanding of the world through their experiences. (sensori-motor; pre-operational; concrete operational; formal operational) (YouTube video)

Garmezy Resilience Theory

1973: A theory that focuses on the factors that enable individuals and communities to adapt and recover from adversity. (knowledge-anticipate; competence-attention; resources-response) (dynamic developments from the environment can result in updating knowledge or learning appropriate responses) (YouTube video)

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

1975: A theory that describes the hierarchical nature of human needs, ranging from physiological needs to self-actualization. (physiological; safety; love & belonging; esteem; actualization) (YouTube video)

Martin Seligman’s Positive Psychology Theory

1979: Positive Psychology Theory – A theory that focuses on human strengths and positive emotions (eudaimonia Greek for flourishing life) rather than pathology and negative emotions. (focus on character strengths). The Character Strengths and Virtues Handbook (CSV) is the opposite of the DSM. Classifications are wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, termperance, transcendence. (YouTube video of M. Seligman 23 minutes)

Kubler-Ross model, the Five Stages of Grief model

1984: A model that describes the stages of grief that individuals go through after experiencing a significant loss. (denial; anger; bargaining; depression; acceptance)  (YouTube video)

Self-Efficacy  Theory by Bandura

1990: A theory that explains how individuals develop beliefs about their ability to perform specific tasks or achieve specific goals. (mastery experience; vicarious experience; verbal persuasion; emotional & physiological states) (YouTube video)

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