January 16, 2013
There are many different theories related to human growth and development as to how and why humans do what they do. This paper will discuss in summary three theories and how each related to human growth and development and will identify one influential theorist for each. Additional this paper will include different aspects of the life span perspective followed by an explanation on how heredity and the environment influence human development. Developmental theory can be described as a systematic statement of principles and a generalization that can provide framework to understand how and why people change as they grow in age. Theorists attempt to make sense out of observations and configure a story of the human journey in life from infancy all the way through adulthood (Berger, 2010). Sigmund Freud, John Watson, and Jean Piaget will be the influential theorist discussed in this paper. Psychoanalytic theory is a theory of human development that holds that irrational, unconscious drives and motives, often originating in childhood, underlie human behavior (Berger, 2010 p. 17). (Berger, 2010) According to Freud, development in the first six years occurs in three stages, each characterized by sexual pleasure centered on a particular part of the body (p. 18). Infants experience the oral stage, early childhood experience the anal stage, followed by preschool years in experience with the phallic stage. In middle childhood, Freud stated the latency stage takes effect, in which a silent period that ends when he or she enters the genital stage at puberty. Freud was known to be the most famous theorist who thought that the development of a child stopped after puberty and the genital stage still continued throughout he or she’s adulthood (Berger, 2010).
It is difficult to identify the philosophical roots of psychoanalytic theory, because most psychoanalytic theorists would consider...