Developmental Theories

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Final Paper:
Developmental Theories

Robin Woods

Psychology 104

Margaret Roberts

November 1, 2010

Child development is the scientific study of processes of change and stability from conception through adolescence. There are many different developmental theories that focus on child development. The optimal development of children is considered vital to society and so it is important to understand the social, cognitive, emotional, and educational development of children. Increased research and interest in this field has resulted in new theories and strategies, with specific regard to practice that promotes development within the school system. In addition there are also some theories that seek to describe a sequence of states that compose child development. I will analyze 3 of those theories and compare and contrast them. Psychoanalytic Theory originated with the work of Sigmund Freud. Through his clinical work with people suffering from mental illness, Freud came to believe that childhood experiences and unconscious desires influenced behavior. Based on his observations, he developed a theory that described development in terms of a series of psychosexual stages. According to Freud, conflicts that occur during each of these stages can have a lifelong influence on personality and behavior. According to Freud the mind can be divided into two main parts: The concious and the unconcious mind. The concious mind includes everthing that we are aware of. This part of our mind allows us to talk and think about things rationally. A part of this includes our memory. Our memory is not always part of our conscious mind, but we can retrieve it and bring it to our attention very easily. Our unconscious mind is a place that holds all our feelings, thoughts, emotions memories and urges, all of which are outside of our awareness. Most things in our unconscious mind are not pleasant. They are mostly things that bring us feelings of pain and anxiety. According to Freud, our unconscious mind always influences our experiences and behaviors even though we are not aware of it doing so. Freud believes the personality is composed of three elements: The ID, Ego, and Superego. Freud believes that the Id is the primary component of the Personality. It is driven by the Pleasure Principle, which means that if all of its need are not met immediately, there is anxiety and tension. It wants gratification of all wants, and needs and wants it fast. It is not very realistic to be ruled by such a thing, for if we always expected instant gratification, we would live in a crazy world. The Ego is part of the personality that deals mainly with reality. The ego ensures us that our Id can function in society by being expressed in the right manner, instead of on pure impulse. The Ego functions in the conscious and the unconscious mind. The final part is the Superego. The Superego holds is responsibl for all our morals and standards that we get fromour parents and from society. It helps by setting up certain rules for making good judgements. There are two parts of the Superego: The ego ideal is responsible for rules for good behavior. Obeying these rules, which are set forth by parents and other authority figures, leads to fellings of pride. The second part is the Conscience, which shows information about things that are viewed badly by society. These are behaviors that are not acceptable and that lead to bad consequences such as punishments or fellings of guilt. Freud says that the key to a healthy personality is a balance between the Id, Ego, and Superego. A very important aspect of Freuds Psychoanalytic theory were the 5 psychosexual stages. Freud believed that Personality develops through a series of stages . From Birth to 18 months it is called the oral stage where babies source of pleasure is mouth oriented. The second is is from 18 months to 3 years and is the anal stage. He believed that the primary focus of...
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