Developmental Psychology Paper

Topics: Jean Piaget, Theory of cognitive development, Kohlberg's stages of moral development Pages: 8 (1493 words) Published: January 28, 2013
Developmental psychology can be best summarized by the theories of the three scientists

Piaget, Erikson, and Kohlberg. I decided to conduct personal interviews and relate my findings to these

three theories. Piaget's theory explained the four stages of cognitive development. Erikson divided

psychosocial development into eight stages, describing how the people and the environment affects

how we gain our personality. Kohlberg's theory of moral development was to understand the reasoning

to why we make the decisions we do. Below are how my finding relate to these various developmental

psychological theories.

Piaget's four stages of cognitive development start with the sensorimotor stage. This stage is

from birth to around two years of age when the infant creates their first understanding of the world

around them by taste and touch. At two years of age to six or seven years, the child transitions into the

pre-operational stage. In this stage the child's thinking is still egocentric. Even though this age group

has stable concepts and mental reasoning, they lack the logic for mental operations and can only think

in their point-of-view. Then the concrete operational stage begins at about seven years old and lasts

until the child is, approximate, eleven years old. During this stage, the child can understand and form

simple mathematical operations. Egocentrism will be eliminated and they will no longer be able to see

life from one perspective (their own point of view). Not only in mathematical operations, the child can

perceive multiple aspects when solving a problem. At this stage, they begin to form a sense of

responsibility for their pets and/or personal belongings.

Formal operational, Piaget's final stage, begins around age twelve and continues through

adulthood. Formal operational phase is when the chid develops into an adult and is capable of abstract

thought and moral reasoning influences decision making. The trial-and-error method begins here, along

with the start of considering future outcomes and consequences from decisions.

Erikson’s eight stages of psychosocial development begin with birth to the first year of

life. During this time an infant is completely helpless and relies off their caretaker for everything. For

this first year it is crucial for the caretaker of the infant to form a relationship for socialization

development. The second stage extends from the first year of the child to age three, when there is a

conflict between doubt or shame and autonomy. The genital, or third stage lasts from age four to age

five. The conflict here is between imitative and a feeling of guilt. The fourth stage, the latency stage,

lasts from six to eleven years old. This is when a child learns to reason, create, and earn. The conflict is

between industry and inferiority. These first four stages are more dependent on others and the

individual is easily influenced by their environment.

The last four stages of Erikson's developmental theory occurs when the individual

begins to search for their mature self and a sense of direction. The fifth stage begins with adolescence,

that lasts from age twelve to age eighteen. Here, the conflict is between identity and role confusion. The

adolescent transitions into the young adulthood stage, lasting from age eighteen to twenty-five. This is

a time when developing a sense of identity and career success. This is when the individual is on the

path to maturity and independence. Adulthood lasts approximately from thirty-five, to fifty five years

old. During this phase the adult starts to pass on their knowledge to another. The conflict is between

generality or self absorption. The final stage of development is maturity. This stage lasts until death,

when the individual struggles to look back on life with a sense of satisfaction and evaluate...
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