1. Both traditional behaviorism and Uri Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory view the environment as playing a vital role in development. However, each theory describes the influence of the environment quite differently. How do these theories apply to the video?

Since the macrosystem embraces all of the cultural details or patterns, it is presumed that when upheld, Bronfenbrenner’s theory takes into consideration the inputs of people and systems and collectively must be addressed in the interventions (Bronfenbrenner, 1979). Culture then is considered powerful and must be weighed as directly and indirectly molding the individual in all of his endeavors (Plutchik, 1980).

It implies as well that culture must also change for the individual to be considered as an enhanced and better person. This was emphasized in what Dr. Bronfenbrenner observed as the “breakdown of the social system” which what was prevailing in the United States (Bronfenbrenner, 1979).

In the Daddy Daycare video, the way the two “dads” or caregivers designed what their center will be like (primarily as by-product of their personalities) and the eventual positive changes that had become apparent among the kids such as Crispin’s becoming more polite (saying thank you) who appeared to be raised a violent kid.

2. What are direct and indirect influences in terms of family functioning? Provide an example of each from the video.

Direct influences include the man of the house (played by Eddie Murphy) from his former non-hands-on approach with his kid to switching roles with his wife and how the changes became very real. He had become more at pace, and the indirect influence of his constant presence on a male kid that was his was very important and positive. His child became more sociable and less withdrawn. Eddie Murphy had more insights of the human side of being a father in the fast lane. His partner in the process was able (indirect influence) to settle “issues” of even the most mundane of tasks as a father and that is changing diapers or helping his own child become toilet trained.

3. Describe the similarities and differences between Piaget’s cognitive developmental theory and Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory. Which theory is dominant throughout the video?

 Lev Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory of development is very specific about the concepts that make us who we are and why we differ in many of our tendencies and social interactions/relationships. Traditions passed on from generation to another are modified by that generation and then on and on to the succeeding generations. Consequently, the subcultures continue to influence and are modified human behavior. Nurture and nature also become central to issues like these and further complicate various standpoints. Vygotsky’s theory is more known by his concept of zone of proximal development. Vygotsky had made his mark on the study of human development by looking into how children assimilate the traditions, customs and mores of society and blend these with their interpretation and way of thinking, public or communal dealings and /or interfaces, and insights or degree of awareness in themselves (Thomson, 2005; Papalia et al, 2992). According to Ross Thomson on Child Development,

  Vygotsky’s “Sociocultural theory . . . explains why children growing up in different societies are likely to have significantly different skills.” (Thomson, 2005).

Vygotsky believes differently from other developmental psychologists mainly in the sense that he is not persuaded that children go through stages as others do. Children achieve certain skills and abilities because of the accrued values basically coming from their surroundings; these are from the influences and guidance of adults and others around them or those that comprise their immediate environment.

According to Vygotsky, adults who guide and function as teacher or tutor to these children enable the latter to reach what he termed as zone of proximal development in which a child has abilities or skills that make him/her adept at many human activities although with adult assistance. The chief criticism on the theory however, lies on its disregard of the impact of genetic or organic maturation directing the development and growth of the child separate from the cultural and environmental influences (Thomson, 2005).

Many of the theories today get their ideas from theorists of the earlier years and mushroom them to the world of science attracting their own followers. Piaget is considered a pioneer however in his field. His presuppositions mainly point to the person’s “acting” or “operating” on his/her environment which enables the development to put into motion or enable the person to develop in his cognition.

To put into more detail, Piaget’s theory of cognitive development refers to how a person perceives, thinks, and gains an understanding of his or her world through the interaction and influence of genetic and learning factors. Jean Piaget, who was both a biologist and psychologist, developed one of the most influential theories of cognitive development. Piaget’s work led to the current view that children are actively involved in their own cognitive development. By active involvement, Piaget meant that children are constantly striving to understand what they encounter, and in such encounters they form their own guesses or hypotheses about how the world works (Atkinson 1993).

Piaget’s cognitive stages refer to four different stages – sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational stages – each of which is more advanced than the preceding stage because it involves new reasoning and thinking abilities (Papalia et al, 2002). Although Piaget believed that all people go through the same four cognitive stages, he acknowledged that they may go through the stages at different rates. Piaget’s hypothesis that cognitive development occurs in stages was one of his unique contributions to developmental psychology (Atkinson 1993).

4. According to Piaget, specific psychological structure, or schemes, changes with age. Explain how the process of assimilation and accommodation took place in the video.

The cognitive changes that occur in various stages of development are influenced by the individual’s adaptation which can come in the form of either or both assimilation or accommodation. Assimilation is the easier process of the two where the brain or the mind is concerned, according to Piaget. Assimilation is fitting in the new material coming from the environment by transforming the data in the individual’s internal senses. As this happens, the individual hardly feels any difficulty concerning the change that is occurring. This was happening in Eddie Murphy’s child wherein he has started to shed his shyness and being withdrawn and came to understand what his environment is like.

Contrariwise, though both occur in a child or individual together, accommodation usually happens when the person or child’s present explanation of the way things work is inadequate or insufficient and the child or individual must change his/her way of explaining these things hence, must “accommodate” that which is the newer theory (Atherton 2005). This is shown in the video where the child in the costume “Flash” eventually left his “identity’ and emerged as Tony or as he really is.

5. Who did `FLASH` end up being and why?

Flash emerged to become Tony the real child behind the costume because he already had become well-adjusted or probably like himself and got tired of the mask that he had been putting on and became like others who acted their real selves and were still fine with it.