April 11, 2011
Professor Deborah Wilkerson, M.A., ABD
The study of human development is a science. It is based on theories, data, analysis, critical thinking, and sound methodology (Berger). Five characteristics of Development that will be discussed in this paper are multidirectional, multi-contextual, multicultural, multidisciplinary and plasticity. There are also five theories of development which are psychoanalytical, behaviorism, cognitive, socio-cultural, and epigenetic theory. Together these characteristics and theories can be used together to get a better understanding of the human development and how much genetics play a role in development and how much the environment plays a role. Characteristics of Development
The science of human development is the quest to understand how and why people stay the same and why they change over their entire life time (Berger). The life span development perspective is lifelong and includes multi-dimensional, multi-directional, plastic, multi-disciplinary, and contextual (Santrock). Lifelong means development continues from conception to death. Multi-dimensional pertains to the three key domains of development which are biosocial, cognitive and psychosocial (Berger). These three domains cover the study of the mind, body and spirit. Multi-directional focuses on why and how development may decrease in one or more domains while decreasing in another over time and vice versa. Another characteristic of development is plasticity which focuses on the idea that our personality and identity can be formed over a period of time like a piece of plastic can be molded over a period of time which can be changed as plastic does show durability but can always be remolded. Plasticity gives one the sense of realism and hope. The realism is who someone is or has become based on many different factors. The hope is that one can always change and correct choices that have...