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Life Span Perspective Essay

918 words - 4 pages

Lifespan Perspective Paper


July 1, 2013

Life Span Perspective

Humans are in a constant state of development. It begins when our cells start to divide while in the womb and continues until the last breath a person takes. A human beings development is special because not only are humans going through constant physical changes, but also they go through psychological, cognitive, and biological throughout a life span as well. Life span development involves all of the changes that a person goes through while in the different stages of life. Each stage is very important for the next stage and is responsible for a person’s ability to learn, communicate, love and even ...view middle of the document...

The life span perspective views human development as multidirectional, multicontextual, multicultural, multidisciplinary, and plastic (Berger, 2011). When looking at development from a multidirectional aspect a person looks at changes over a person’s lifetime from all different directions. Multicontextual can be described as when a person is looking at all of the different contexts related to human development such as; climate, noise, population density. Multicultural refers to the way humans develop in different cultures over time. Looking at human development over a life time takes being able to see different disciplines this is the multidisciplinary aspect. A plastic refers to how we look at human development as being able to mold to different situations.

Two Theories of Life Span Development
Two very important theories of life span development are the psychoanalytic theory and the behaviorism theory. The psychoanalytic theory is based on the theories of Sigmund Freud. Freud believed that from infancy through childhood humans go through the same process of sexual interest. Starting during infancy and the oral stage, next the anal stage and then ending around the age of six with the phallic stage (Berger, 2011). After this Freud also believed that there was a stage of latency and then the genital stage. To Freud all of these stages were part of the natural development of children through adulthood and as an adult the personalities and behaviors were shaped by these stages from childhood. The next theory is behaviorism. Behaviorism as said by Berger “a grand theory of human development that studies observable behavior. Behaviorism is also called learning theory because it describes the laws and processes by which behavior is learned” (2011, p. 40). John B. Watson was a psychologist who studied behaviorism and his thoughts were that behaviors...

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