15 Facts About Activity theory


Activity theory is an umbrella term for a line of eclectic social-sciences theories and research with its roots in the Soviet psychological activity theory pioneered by Sergei Rubinstein in the 1930s.

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Activity theory is more of a descriptive meta-theory or framework than a predictive theory.

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The object of activity theory is to understand the unity of consciousness and activity.

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Origins of activity theory can be traced to several sources, which have subsequently given rise to various complementary and intertwined strands of development.

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Leont'ev's formulation of general activity theory is currently a strong influence in post-Soviet developments in AT, which have largely been in social-scientific, organizational, and writing-studies rather than psychological research and organization.

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Second major line of development within activity theory involves Russian scientists, such as P K Anokhin and Nikolai Bernstein, more directly concerned with the neurophysiological basis of activity; its foundation is associated with the Soviet philosopher of psychology Sergei Rubinstein.

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Activity theory concluded that Pavlov's reflexionism was not a sufficient explanation of animal behaviour and that animals have an active relation to reality, which he called "activity".

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Goal of activity theory is understanding the mental capabilities of a single individual.

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The object of activity theory is to understand the unity of consciousness and activity.

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Activity theory theorists argue that consciousness is not a set of discrete disembodied cognitive acts, and certainly it is not the brain; rather, consciousness is located in everyday practice: you are what you do.

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Activity theory therefore includes the notion that an activity is carried out within a social context, or specifically in a community.

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Activity theory provides a number of useful concepts that can be used to address the lack of expression for 'soft' factors which are inadequately represented by most process modelling frameworks.

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Activity theory recognises that each activity takes place in two planes: the external plane and the internal plane.

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Activity theory further argues that subjects are grouped into communities, with rules mediating between subject and community and a division of labour mediating between object and community.

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Activity theory has an interesting approach to the difficult problems of learning and, in particular, tacit knowledge.

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