Understanding the Life-Span Development of Humans in Psychology

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Psychology is a working term most define as an academic and applied discipline involving scientific study of the mental functions and behaviors of humans. These disciplines, along with many others, participate in the study of the life-span development of humans through the conduct of research and theories. This essay will discuss and explain the Nature vs. Nurture debate, the characteristics of the life-span development, the differences and similarities within theories of two of many important psychologists, and methods used to conduct research in life-span development.
Throughout the existence of psychology, there has been a consistent argument and debate of nature vs. nurture. Some individuals claim that human development is greatly impacted by their genetic inheritance rather than environmental influences, while others believe in the opposite, in which the environment itself impacts human development. Throughout the 1900s, individuals like Jean Jacques Rousseau, claimed that humans develop the way they do because they are genetically pre-programmed. Meaning, the mentality and behavior of a human are all influenced by their genes and they were meant to be a certain way regardless of any type of environmental influence. Others, however, such as John Locke, an English Philosopher in the 1800s, believed that the mind begins as a blank slate at the time of birth. This ultimately means that human development is dictated by the environment. Humans become knowledgeable and act in different way through their experiences and environmental influences. Though this is still a debate, especially with regard to issues such as intelligence and homosexuality, most psychologists and philosophers agree to the idea that human development is a pr...

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As previously mentioned, psychology is often defined as the study of the mentality and behavior of humans through development. Within psychology, the human life-span development is studied, in which development is characterized as lifelong, multi-directional, plastic, multidimensional, multidisciplinary, and contextual. Two of many important psychologists, Erik Erikson and Sigmund Freud, both contributed two theories of development in psychology. Despite that their theories are not used in modern day, their contributions included an emphasis on developmental framework, relationships, and unconscious aspects of the human mind. Lastly, in researching life-span development, researches uses methods of observation, surveys and interviews, standardized exams, and case studies, among others, to collect data in their studies of human development.
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