The subject of psychoanalytic theory is human emotions and interpersonal relationships. Sigmund Freud explained the development of personality by biological factors and the experience of early family communication. He believed that children go through five stages of mental development. At each stage, the child’s interests are centered around a specific body that serves as a source of pleasure. In the concept of development, it is shown that another person plays the leading role in the development of a person and not the objects around him. At the same time, the personality consists of three components: “It” is the bearer of instincts, “the seething cauldron of drives” (Cherry, 2021). Being irrational and unconscious, “It” obeys the principle of pleasure, “I” follows the principle of reality, “Super-I” is the bearer of moral norms.
Vygotsky’s cultural-historical theory is based on the fact that most of the functions in the cultural development of a child are manifested twice, in two planes, first social, then psychological – first between people, then inside the child. All internal processes, according to Vygotsky, are the product of interiorization: they arise indirect social contacts of a child with adults and then “rotate” into his consciousness, which is confirmed by the following facts (Cherry, 2019). First, the child’s leading activity should be meaningful for the child: previously meaningless things acquire meaning for the child in the context of the game. Secondly, in the context of this activity, primary relationships with adults and peers are formed (McLeod, 2020). Finally, in connection with the development of the leading actors, the main new formations of age arise (the range of abilities that allow this activity to be realized, for example, speech).
The similarity and advantages of these theories focus on interaction with other people and highlight this interaction as key. Fundamental relationships are formed in a child in the process of communication, which can become fundamental in his thought process. The difference in theories is in deepening the study of various aspects: Freud describes the personality in more detail, while Vygotsky – the meaning of her activities. I agree more with Vygotsky’s theory since he described in more detail the periodization of the stages of childhood development and attached great importance to the so-called “zone of proximal development,” highly appreciated the plasticity of the psyche of children and compliance with educational and teaching changes, which is more beneficial for the direct upbringing of a child.
Cherry, K. (2019). Sociocultural Theory of Cognitive Development. Web.
Cherry, K. (2021). The Work and Theories of Sigmund Freud. Web.
McLeod, C. (2020). Lev Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory. Web.