Life Span Perspective

1179 words 5 pages
Life Span Perspective Paper
Cindy Amundson
April 11, 2011
Professor Deborah Wilkerson, M.A., ABD

The study of human development is a science. It is based on theories, data, analysis, critical thinking, and sound methodology (Berger). Five characteristics of Development that will be discussed in this paper are multidirectional, multi-contextual, multicultural, multidisciplinary and plasticity. There are also five theories of development which are psychoanalytical, behaviorism, cognitive, socio-cultural, and epigenetic theory. Together these characteristics and theories can be used together to get a better understanding of the human development and how much genetics play a role in development and how much the
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Freud believes that sexual satisfaction is linked to major developmental needs and challenges. The idea of psychoanalytical theory is that adult’s choices, ideas and struggles are based on unconscious struggles stemming from early childhood. This theory works with different levels of awareness as well as components of personality and stages of development (Polan E & Taylor D). Erik Erikson was another believer and one studied the psychoanalytical theory. Both Erikson and Freud emphasized that the development in the early years of life play a role in later processes of development. Another theory of development is behaviorism. John Watson and Ivan Pavlov used the behaviorism theory to study human development. According to Watson behaviorism is the exact opposite of the psychoanalytical theory (Berger). Psychoanalytical theory focuses on different levels of conscious where as behaviorism focuses on the behaviors or acts that can be observed. Behaviorism studies simple actions and environmental responses and believe that all behaviors are learned (Berger). This is shown through Pavlov theory of conditioning. There are two types of conditioning which are classical and operant conditioning. Classical conditioning refers to a stimulus creating a response and operant conditioning refers to a behavior creating a response. Once a behavior is formed it can be maintained through the reward or punishment system which


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