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Developmental psychology is a diverse discipline that covers the following topics in detail:
The Continuity DebateThe first debate is the continuity argument, which argues whether or not the changes that occur during a human’s lifetime occur as one movement or are broken up into a series of steps. The first theory states that development is largely determined by quantities. An example is that children develop additional skills as they age. Additional theories believe that the development of humans occurs sequentially with the addition of certain skills.
This theory centered on the conflicts that occur in each stage of development that continues throughout an individual’s life. An additional type of theory, the learning theory, states that the environment plays an integral role in the development of human behavior through social learning, classical conditioning, and operant conditioning.
One of the first theories was espoused by Sigmund Freud who believed that a child’s development occurs due to psychosexual stages that affect the unconscious of the child. This theory was continued by Erik Erikson who proposed another theory of stages of psychosocial development.
Nature vs. Nurture ControversyThe second debate in developmental psychology is the ongoing nature versus nurture argument. This argument spans numerous subject areas, particularly philosophy and psychology. Many noted philosophers have been known to take both sides of the debate.
On one hand, Descartes and Plato believed that ideas are instilled in the human mind since birth, whereas John Locke believed in the tabula rasa, meaning that each individual is born with a blank slate and that all knowledge attained is gained through life experience. Modern psychologists argue that nature and nurture both play an integral part is human development. Child vs. Adult ExperiencesThe third argument is whether or not late experiences in life are more important or less so than earlier experiences. The majority of psychoanalysts hold that early childhood experiences are the most integral to child and adult development. Freud believed that the personality of a child is largely completed by five years of age.
Because of this, abused children are believed to be unlikely to outgrow these disturbing early experiences. Despite this, scientists have largely determined that this is not necessarily the case. Studies have shown that many abused children have gone on to lead healthy adukt lives.
This post is brought to you by Argosy University. Drawing upon our more than 30-year history of granting degrees in professional psychology, Argosy University has developed a curriculum that focuses on interpersonal skills and practical experience alongside academic learning. Because getting a degree is one thing. Succeeding, quite another..
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