Life Span Development and Personality

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  • Topic: Theory, Mata Hari, Espionage
  • Pages : 4 (1069 words )
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  • Published : March 16, 2010
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Life Span Development and Personality



Theresa Cruz


In this paper there will be discussion of what forces impacted the life of Mata Hari from the viewpoint of developmental psychology. There will also be a discussion of the differences of heredity and environment on her psychological development. There will be speculation on two different theories of personality to answer how each theory differs in terms of how it explains Mata Hari’s unique patterns and traits. It will also explain which theoretical approach is believed to best explain Mata Hari’s behaviors and achievements and why this choice was made.

Mata Hari, who was born Margareta Geertuida Zelle, and was also known as Lady McLeod was born on August 7, 1876 in Holland. Her father was a hat maker who had made investments in the oil industry. She was executed by a firing squad on October 15, 1917 due to being convicted of espionage. There is now speculation that she was not actually guilty of espionage to being with because there was never any type of proof that she had committed that particular crime. (Rosenberg)

As a child, Margaretha Geertruida Zelle was spoiled by her father because she was the only girl of four children. Her father doted on her every need and whim, and was able to do that because he had made some good investments in the oil business. Unfortunately, her family became bankrupt in 1889, and her mother passed away in 1891, when she was only 15 years-old. She was sent to live with her godfather who in turn sent her to a school that educated women to be kindergarten teachers so that she would be able to have a career and support herself as an adult. While she attended the school, there was a scandal with the headmaster, Wybrandus Haanstra, and she was asked to leave the school.

In 1895, she got engaged to Rudolph (John) MacLeod and married him three months after the engagement. They had two children together, but the boy died...
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