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|Urie Bronfenbrenner is one of the most well-known psychologists alive. Into his eighties, he was still actively engaged in an extremely long and productive career. Bronfenbrenner is most famous for his views on ecological psychology.
Very briefly, he suggests that:
• interactions with others and the environment are key to development,
• we all experience more than one type of environment, including
The above is just a very brief, simplified introduction to Bronfenbrenner’s theory. In my opinion, it is one of the most interesting theories in psychology and one that includes the largest percentage of truly important concepts (e.g., your relationship with your mother, cultural expectations for women in your society, the national economy, your socioeconomic status and much more). Obviously, it is also a very complex theory that has only been touched upon in this discussion.
A good place to start learning more about ecological psychology is
Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
To be truthful, the average student just starting out in psychology
will probably have some difficulty grasping all of Bronfenbrenner’s theory
reading this book just once. It is not that the language is that difficult,
but rather, that he introduces so many concepts in one book. You should,
if you are planning on majoring in psychology, try to find time to read
it at some point.
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