EDSP413 Final Exam

What features of a behavioral explanation of behavior are useful to teachers and others involved in helping children become more socially and academically competent?

It must meet requirements . . .

1.) Verifiable– can we test that it explains what it purports(meaning conveyed) to explain?

2.)Inclusive– explains a substantial quantity of instances of behavior

3.) Predictive utility– can theory help us account for what might occur? Provide reliable answers about what people are likely to do under certain circumstances.

4.) Parsimonious(Occam’s razor)- as simple an explanation as is possible.; Does not guarantee correctness, but prevents imaginative ideas that looses touch with reality of the observed data.;

Explanations of Human behavior


1.) Biophysical

2.) Developmental

3.) Cognitive

4.) Behavioral

Biophysical explanation

Search for human behavior within the physical structure of the body.; Based on . . .

1.);genetic and hereditary factors- chromosomal abnormalties and inheritence of recessive genes. Possibly Autism, many emotional and behavior disorders, ADD and ADHD and some learning disablities. May also affect behavioral characteristics like temperament.

2.);biochemical influences- excess or deficiencies of various substances found in the body. Found that abnormalties exist, but don’t cause a disorder. Hypoglycemia, malnutrition and allergic reactions.   

3.) damage to brain- May have certain behavioral characteristics including distractibility, perceptual confusion, and hyperactivity.

4.) Usefulness of explanation for education . . .  There isn’t much.; This more of a scientific explanation and does not help educators show the conditions in which a;child;will learn to perform these behaviors. ;In the case of parsimony, may give a teacher an excuse not to teach. Example: Robert can not feed himslef because he is developmentally delayed, not because I haven’t taught him.  It may also cause educators to set low expectations for these students. Educators may not teach the child something they are fully capable of.

Developmental Explanation

Many aspects of human behavior-cognitive, social, emotional, and moral- based on fixed, innate developmental sequences. Meant to account for normal, as well as "deviant" human behavior.

1.) Psycholanalytic Theory- Freud’s; hypothetical stages that include oral, anal, and phallic. This theory suggests that people who progress through the stages successfully become normal adults.

2.); Piaget’s theory of human development- Piaget’s descriptions of cognitive and moral development has an extensive impact on educators. Assimilation; (adapt) and accommodations (change), and maintianing a balance between the two.

3.) Usefulness for educators . . .; While knowing the development of a child, it does not show that the reason for a behavior is because of an underlying successful or or failure of a developmental stage progression.

Cognitive Explanations

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