Developmental Theories

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Reaction Paper Number One

Theories of Development

There are many types of developmental theories. First being the Psychoanalytic Theory, and the Cognitive Theory. Within these two types of theories there are several psychologists that have their own theory of development. After exploring these different theories I will then share my opinion on which theory I believe to be more accurate.

By definition the Psychoanalytic Theory describes development as a primarily unconscious and heavily colored by emotion. Behavior is merely a surface characteristic, and the symbolic workings of the mind have to be analyzed to understand behavior (Santrock).

Sigmund Freud took the psychoanalytic approach with his Psychosexual Theory, Freud believed that a person’s primary source of motivation is sexual in nature, and that a person’s experiences early in life, as opposed to later, had a greater effect on a person as an adult. Stage one takes place from birth to about 1.5 years of age, this would be known as the Oral Stage, this is where as an infant’s pleasure centers on the mouth. Stage two is the Anal Stage which takes place from around 1.5 years of age to three years. Stage three being the Phallic Stage, this is where the child’s pleasures focuses on the genitals, and takes place from three to six years of age. The fourth stage is the Latency stage taking place from six to puberty, according to Freud this is where a child represses sexual interest and develops social and intellectual skills. Finally stage five is the Genital Stage, this is when the source of sexual pleasures becomes someone outside the family, and occurs for puberty onward. Freud believed that people develop in these five psychosexual stages, and that if any one st...

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...o believe in Bronfenbrenners Ecological theory. A person learns and develops within the culture they are raised. For instance if you are brought up in a culture where human affection is kept at a minimum it is not necessarily true that a person will grow to have physiological problems as an adult, versus if you are brought up in a culture where human affection is welcomed and a child with in this culture never receives it, the child may grow to be insecure, or suffer a physiological defect.

Works Cited

Cherry, K. (n.d.). Freud's Stage of Psychosexual Development. Retrieved from

Children's Health Encyclopedia. (n.d.). Retrieved from Cognitive Devlopment:

Santrock, J. Life-Span Development (12 ed.). McGraw Hill.

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