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Featured Image for Jerome Bruner's Theory of Sociocultural Development - Collage Artwork made by Mathieu Bouriel

Jerome Bruner’s Constructivist Theory of Development

The American psychologist Jerome S. Bruner, strongly influenced by the work of Russian psychologist Lev Vygostky, further developed and applied his ideas in the field of education. Bruner declared that Vygotsky has convinced him about the impossibility of understanding the concept of human development in any other way than as a process of assistance, of collaboration between child and adult, where the adult is taking up the role of a sociocultural mediator. Due to its distinct features, we consider the theory to be a sociocultural constructivist one.

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The Social Genetic Model of Cognitive Development

During the 1970′, at Geneva, a new perspective on cognitive development has begun to emerge. The self-defined school of socio-genetical psychology advanced theories that represented a challenge addressed to the spirit of genetical epistemology.

Willem Doise, Gabriel Mugny and Jean Claude Deschamp, to name but a few of the representatives, declare that social interactions constitute the privileged setting which gives birth to the intellectual acquisitions of the child. There is a direct cause and effect link between social interaction and individual cognitive development.

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Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Abraham H. Maslow felt as though conditioning theories did not adequately capture the complexity of human behavior. In a 1943 paper called A Theory of Human Motivation, Maslow presented the idea that human actions are directed toward goal attainment. Any given behavior could satisfy several functions at the same time; for instance, going to a bar could satisfy one’s needs for self-esteem and for social interaction. His theory later became known as the human hierarchy of needs.

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Rolland Viau’s Theory of Motivation

Inspired by the sociocognitive approaches to learning, Rolland Viau  proposes an innovative motivation model in the context of acquiring information and completing goals.

Although the model has been initially designed for the learning student, its structures can be just as easily and successfully applied to any situation where an individual is faced with a challenge and a need to be completing a goal.

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