Theories of Human Development

Theories of Human Development Five Key Issues to Address • Goodness-Badness of human nature – Evidence of biologically-based tendencies f good for d...
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Theories of Human Development

Five Key Issues to Address • Goodness-Badness of human nature – Evidence of biologically-based tendencies f good for d and db bad d • Nature-Nurture issue – Biological Bi l i l forces f or environmental i t l forces f • Activity-Passivity issue – Are humans active agents in their own development or passively shaped by forces beyond y their control?

Five Key Issues to Address • • • •

Goodness-Badness of human nature Nature-Nurture issue Activity-Passivity issue Continuity-discontinuity issue – Are changes over the lifespan gradual or abrupt (like stair steps)? – Are changes quantitative (a matter of degree) or qualitative (changes in kind)? Universality-context-specificity context specificity issue • Universality – Are developmental changes common to all humans or different across cultures, subcultures, contexts, and individuals?

Psychoanalytic Theory • Sigmund Freud (1885) – Unconscious forces (instincts) drive human behavior – Personality is divided into three structures related to development: • ID (present at birth) • EGO (~ age 1-2yrs) • SUPEREGO (~ age 4-5)

Psychoanalytic Theory • Sigmund Freud (1885) – Psycho Psycho-sexual sexual Stages of Development – Each stage of involves: • sexual interest and pleasure on a particular area of the body • satisfaction that is linked with dev. dev needs & challenges • potential conflict between child and parent

Psychoanalytic Theory • Sigmund Freud (1885) – Psycho Psycho-sexual sexual Stages of Development 1. Oral – infancy 2. Anal – toddlerhood 3. Phallic –3 to 6 y years of age g 4. Latent – 6 to 12 years of age 5. Genital - adolescence

Psychoanalytic Theory • Psycho-sexual Stages of p Development – Fixation – Oedipus Complex – Electra

Psychoanalytic Theory • Psycho-sexual Stages of p Development – Defense mechanisms • Repression • Regression • Projection P j ti • Reaction formation

Psychoanalytic Theory • Strengths & Weaknesses • Weaknesses – Theory said to be ambiguous, internally inconsistent, not testable, and therefore not falsifiable • Strengths – Many insights have held up and been influential • Called attention to unconscious processes • Emphasized importance of early experience • Emphasized importance of emotions and emotional conflicts

Psychoanalytic Theory • Erik Erikson (1950) – “Neo-Freudian” Neo Freudian – 8 Psycho-SOCIAL stages

Psychoanalytic Theory E ik Erikson E ik • Erik (1950)

Psychoanalytic Theory • Strengths & Weaknesses • Weaknesses – Similar issues to Freud…vague and difficult to test – Does not adequately explain HOW development occurs • Strengths – More M rational ti l than th Freud F d – Hits on some central developmental issues – Impacted ideas and research on adolescent dev.


– Constructivism

Cognitive Theory

• Strengths & Weaknesses • Weaknesses – May have underestimated some childhood cognitive abilities – Too little emphasis on role of parents and external motivation – Stages are really more of a slope/progression • Strengths St th – Recogition that thinking changes during childhood – Recognizes an interaction between nature and nurture – Ideas largely supported by research – Influenced education/schools

Learning Theory • J. B. Watson (1920s) – Father of Behaviorism the idea that external influences affect how we develop. – Used model of Classical Conditioning demonstrated by Ivan Pavlov

Learning Theory • B. F. Skinner (1940s) – “Radical Radical Behaviorist Behaviorist” – Operant Conditioning behavior becomes more or less likely depending on the consequences q it produces p

Learning Theory • Albert Bandura (1970s) – Social Cognitive Theory – learning occurs through imitation and identification with others (modeling)

Learning Theory

• Strengths & Weaknesses

• Weaknesses – Rarely demonstrated that learning alone is responsible for developmental changes – Too little emphasis on biological influences on development • Strengths – Learning L i theories th i testable t t bl – Are useful across lifespan – Ideas used successfully y in many y behavioral techniques for producing change

Systems Theory • Systems theories attribute changes over the lifespan p to ongoing, g g, reciprocal p transactions between a changing organism g g environment and a changing – Examples • Bronfenbrenner Bronfenbrenner’ss bioecological model • Gottlieb’s epigenetic psychobiological s stems pe systems perspective specti e

Systems Theory • Evolutionary Theory • Darwin inspired the field of ethology – Study of animal behavior in the natural environment – Ethologists suggest that human behaviors are the products of evolution and help humans adapt to their environment

Systems Theory Gottlieb’s Epigenetic Psychobiological y Perspective p Systems Gottlieb’s Assumptions… • Development is the product of interacting biological and environmental influences that form a larger system • Evolution endowed humans with their current genetic makeup • Genes and environment interact because humans actively change their environments – Biological and cultural evolution contribute to change over time in the human species

Systems Theory Gottlieb’s Epigenetic System • Epigenesis: “over over and above” above genes – Nature and nurture (genes and environment) co-act to yield developmental outcomes • Epigenetic process (influences on developmt) – Activity of genes – Activity of neurons – Organism’s O i ’ behavior b h i – Environmental influences

Systems Theory • Strengths & Weaknesses • Weaknesses – Only partially formulated and tested – No coherent developmental theory • Strengths – Calls attention to ongoing transactions between the individual and the environment

Recap of Theories • Freud, Erikson, and Piaget – Stage theorists – Development guided in universal directions by biological biological-maturational maturational forces – Parents are supporters of development • Watson, Watson Skinner, Skinner and Bandura – Learning theorists – Emphasize environment more than biology – Parents are their children’s trainers

Recap of Theories • Systems Theorists – View biology and environment as inseparable components of a larger system y – Humans are active contributors to development, p but environment also is an active participant. – Parents are viewed as partners with their children in the development process

Putting it Together • Pick a stage of life that was memorable or life changing then choose 2 events from life-changing, that time and explain from the perspective of: »Freud »Erikson »Piaget g »Gottlieb