Discussing Developmental Theorists and Their Theories of Human Development

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Discussing Developmental Theorists and Their Theories of Human Development For ease of review in discussing the developmental theorists and their theories of human development I have subdivided each theorist into their respective schools of psychology. These schools include the psychoanalytic school, behavioral school, humanistic school, cognitive school, and the individual schools of psychology. Each developmental theorist holds their own unique ideas and theories about various components of human development. I will be discussing the contributions of each of these theorists. To begin with we have the psychoanalytic school of psychology. This would include Sigmund Freud, Erik Erikson, and Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. I will begin with Sigmund Freud who was the actual founder of psychoanalysis. Freud was born in1856, in Moravia. Because he was the founder of this school many theories that developed later were often compared to his original theory. In other words, he was under constant criticism and review. Freud’s theories dealt with how the human mind works. He concluded that behavior is determined by powerful inner forces, most of which are buried in the unconscious mind. Thus, the unconscious plays a major role in shaping behavior. People repress these memories because they are unpleasant or unacceptable to society and this in turn can cause personality disturbances, physical illness, or self-destructive behavior. He also concluded that the unconscious is full of memories of events from early childhood and that many childhood memories dealt with sex. Freud also believed the mind was divided into three parts: the id, the ego, and the superego. He recognized that each person is born with various natural drives that he referred to as instincts, such as the need to satisfy sexual desires and the need to be aggressive. The id is the source of such instincts. For example, the desire for sexual pleasure comes from the id. The ego resolves conflicts between instincts and external reality. For example, it determines socially appropriate ways to obtain physical satisfaction or to express aggression. The superego is a person's conscience. A person's ideas of what is right and wrong, which can be learned from parents, teachers, and other people in authority, become part of the person's superego. He further theorized that all people have some type of conflict among th... ... middle of paper ... ... theory into practice. He even trained teachers and worked with parents of disturbed children. I find all of Adler’s theory useful. I must add the caveat that I do not think one theory fits every individual but Adler holds this basic principle also. I believe that social forces play a strong role in determining behavior. Most useful to me is the idea that people are striving to overcome inferiority. I think this is evident early on in life. My daughter is 5 and she can already verbalize things that she sees in herself that are inferior. I think this is a powerful theory. Additionally, I can relate to Alder’s summation that there are four main types of people. When reviewing the characteristics of each I can name people in my life who fit into each of these categories. I can even categorize myself! Adler’s theories seem simplistic and more on a lay person’s level. Perhaps that is why I identify with him most. In conclusion, I have written about some of the greatest developmental theorists of all time. While each of these men and women hold distinct and separate views, they all share one common goal and that goal is to increase our understanding of human growth and development.
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