Essay: A Study on Obesity in Thirty year Old
Lev Vygotsky approached the study of human mental functioning from a perspective that takes sociocultural processes as the chief influences on an individual’s development. In this case, an obese thirty year old may overeat because his or her parents, siblings, and friends are also overweight, and hence, obesity is seen as normal in his or her immediate sociocultural environment. Genes play a role in Vygotsky’s theory, too (Luria, 1976). An obese thirty year old may have had obese parents.
The present study is an analysis of how fittingly the two above mentioned theories describe obesity as experienced by a thirty year old individual. Has operant conditioning been applied on her practice of overeating? How have sociocultural factors affected her choice to overeat? We are searching for an understanding of obesity from the perspectives of both B. F. Skinner and Lev Vygotsky. In so doing, we hope to begin an entirely new line of research in this area.