Cultural Influences of Social Cognition and Behavior Essay

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Vygotsky ( 1978) in view of Social Cognitive Theory asserts that human development is affected by the interrelationship between behavior, environmental factors, and personal factors.

Knowledge as our environment converges with personal characteristics and personal experience. Thus, experience is individualized. Thus, culture is the prime determinant of individual development. Humans are the only species to have created culture, and every human child develops in the context of a culture. A child’s learning development is affected in ways large and small by the culture.Interactions with surrounding culture and social agents, such as parents and more competent peers, contribute significantly to a child’s intellectual development.

Initially, the person interacting with child assumes most of the responsibility for guiding the problem solving, but gradually this responsibility transfers to the child. Language is a primary form of interaction through which adults transmit to the child the rich body of knowledge that exists in the culture. Bandura argues that we learn behavior through observation. That is why, through culture children acquire much of the content of their thinking, that is, their knowledge.Second, the surrounding culture provides a child with the processes or means of their thinking. In short, according to the social cognition learning model, culture teaches children both what to think and how to think.

Affirmation and both the negative and positive feedback reinforces these concepts. Internalization refers to the process of learning–and thereby internalizing–a rich body of knowledge and tools of thought that first exist outside the child. This happens primarily through language (Burman, 2005). Studies have shown that gender, religion and socio-economic factors remain having the greatest influence on society.

From infancy to adulthood, to all aspects of life it shows direct relationship from to our values, profession to the simplest task. (Keller, 2007) In a more personal note, my affiliation to cultural group had affected my thought and behavior. I am an American with a Middle Eastern background. Vygotsky (1987) had reiterated adult supervision and interaction in the early years had a great influence on a child’s development.

The Middle Eastern culture gives a strong value on family. It considered that as a dominant social institution. Commonly, it is patriarchal and hierarchical. Read also about the 

com/discuss-the-role-of-cognition-and-thought-in-learning/”>role of cognition in learningEach member has a specific role and responsibility for the family. Each member is equally can bring honor or shame to the entire family. This could clash with the dominant culture of independency in the American culture. Parental approval and consent for decisions is required for most aspect of life. The action of one member is considered as a reflection of the group.

Thus, there are stereotypical roles and characteristics attributed for each member. Bandura in his study emphasized that we learn behavior through observation and feedback.Individuals we interact with serve as live model demonstrating or acting out a behavior (Garton, 2004). This for me has its advantages and disadvantages. The disadvantages I supposed it had made it difficult to make personal decisions, particularly in the areas of education and profession.

At times, it may even involve as personal as relationships. On the other hand, the main advantage of this set-up is the familial support one can always fall back on. In summary, culture has a significant effect on a person’s behavior and development. We move, act and think in context of what is acceptable of our culture.

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