Assignment 2: Parent Child Assignment

Assignment: Parent-Child Interaction

In this activity, you will read the following description of the observation of an interaction between a parent and her child at Wal-Mart. Then, you are to interpret their behavior according to the psychoanalytic, behavioral, social-learning, and cognitive theoretical perspectives. Review your chapter outline and textbook to help you answer the questions below. Give detailed answers.

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Child: Age 3 Sex F

Parent: Age 25 Sex F


Description: During the weekend, I visited Wal-Mart where I witnessed a young child around the age of three throwing a temper tantrum because she could not open a pack of $.50 Doritos. The mother tried to explain to her that she could not open her chips until they checked out of the store. The girl screamed and yelled until her mother gave in and opened the chips. At the check-out counter, the little girl would not give the clerk her chips so the mother had to get some more chips for the clerk to ring up the sale.



What would Freud (a psychoanalytic theorist) focus on in this example? How would he explain the sequence of observed events, using the following terms: id, ego, superego, and/or Oedipus/Electra Complex? Focus solely on the child’s behavior in this example.

2. How would Erikson (another psychoanalytic theorist) explain the observed events using the crises of autonomy vs. shame and doubt and/ or trust vs. mistrust. For example, is this child being autonomous or is she displaying shame and doubt? Is she showing trust or mistrust? Explain your answer.

3. How would Skinner (a behavioral theorist) analyze the situation? What types of reinforcement (positive or negative) or punishment (positive or negative) is this child and mother receiving? Explain your choice. Did specific things occur that would make the child’s behavior more likely or less likely to occur in the future? Explain.

4. How would Bandura (a social-learning theorist) explain the interaction? For example, how are modeling and imitation factors in this child’s behavior.

5. What would Piaget (a cognitive theorist) focus on in this situation? Why would this be his focus? What is this child’s scheme for getting the chips? In handling this situation, is the child demonstrating the process of assimilation or accommodation? Explain your answer.



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