Social Influences on Behavior

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Life Span Development and Personality Paper


May 23, 2011

Life Span Development and Personality Paper

Albert Fish was a 20th century serial killer, child rapist, sadomasochist, and cannibal. This paper is a brief description focused on the forces that impacted his life from the viewpoint of developmental psychology. The author made an effort to distinguish between the influences of hereditary and environment on psychological development. He also explains what family issues and social support systems may have influenced Albert Fish’s developmental growth and adjustment. Two different theories of personality selected by the author was applied to Fish, which includes a discussion of how each theory differs in terms of how it explains Fish’s unique patterns and traits. The author also makes a determination regarding which theory he believes best explains Fish’s behaviors and achievements. Forces That Impact Life: Developmental Psychology

Developmental psychology is defined as “The branch of psychology concerned with the study of progressive behavioral changes in an individual from birth until death” (Farlex, 2011). Albert Fish’s rough childhood contributed to the person he became, along with other factors that occurred throughout adulthood. He was born to poverty on May 19, 1870. His father passed away on October 15, 1875. His mother could not take care of Fish, therefore, she placed him in a religious orphanage called Saint John’s Orphanage. Here he learned to lie, cheat, beg, and steal. He also experienced and seen wrong-doings no boy, or person, should. Albert Fish was whipped bare-bottomed at the orphanage and was forced to witness other boys being whipped. He said this abuse was the beginning of his ruined mind. During his interview, before his execution, he said he felt his first sex feeling while watching the other boys be whipped, which eventually developed while he was receiving the abuse. When...
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