Life Span Development and Personality Essay Questions
September 27, 2010
Tara Terry Ph.D.
Select a famous individual from the 20th or 21st centuries: Maya Angelou (born as Marguerite Ann Johnson).
Conduct research concerning the background of your selected individual to determine what forces have impacted his or her life from the viewpoint of developmental psychology. 1. Discuss the influences of heredity and environment (including family and social support) on your individual’s psychological development. Be sure to describe specific areas of psychological development (moral, emotional, etc.). (300-500 words). Maya Angelou was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1928. At the age of three, she and her …show more content…
According to Kowalski & Westen, (2009), “Compromise formations is a single behavior or a complex pattern of thought and action, typically reflects compromises among multiple and often conflicting forces” (p. 421). Maya did not talk for five years, but she did talk to her brother and would talk to herself when reading. When Bailey convinced her to tell him who raped her, he had also convinced her that no one could harm him so it would be okay to tell him. Maya compromised her thoughts by the love of her brother. She needed his companionship and acceptance at this crucial time in her life. She did not want to speak, but found it was necessary to speak to Bailey.
In another time of her life, during high school, she believed she was not woman enough because her body was not as sexually developed as her peers. She decided to have sex to prove that she was “woman enough” so she rationalized. Rationalization, according to Kowalski & Westen, is a defense when a person tries to explain away actions in a seemingly logical way to avoid uncomfortable feelings, especially guilt or shame (p. 426). Maya was ashamed of the fact that she was not as developed as her female classmates and wanted the acceptance that she desired, not just from others, but from herself.
The Cognitive-Social theory accentuates the tasks of a person’s thought processes and their social learning in