Where do the theories of Bandura, Bronfenbrenner stand on the question of individual genetic endowment versus environmental influence?  

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Bandura's cognitive theory suggests that individual genetic endowment is critical in human development and decision making. He attempts to refute Skinner's theory that humans respond only to external reward/punishment systems. Bandura contends that, to the contrary, human cognition evaluates future consequences and results when taking decisions--and this ability to so evaluate is a genetic endowment--which can thereafter be enhanced or otherwise modified by reward and/or punishment.

Bronfenbrenner's human ecological theory holds that human development occurs in context with and under the influence of five subsets of ecological structure. These ecological subsets influence genetic endowment. These subsets are: 

  • microsystem: immediate environment (e.g., family, schools etc)
  • masosystem: this is the system of relationships between microsystems
  • exosystem: systems and relationships of them tha are not part of your systems
  • macrosystem: the culture with its systems: classes (social and economic), religious association, ethnicity, nation and government etc
  • chronosystem: the effect on you of -system over time, like changes to micro- and maso- systems (e.g., schools, neighborhoods) and through transitions, like births, deaths, marriages etc (see NACCE for more detail)