Final Paper Part 1
There are many theories in Developmental Psychology; past, present, and future. But out of all the theories there are “Grand Theories”. Grand theories in Developmental Psychology are major concepts used to describe every aspect of development from cognitive, emotional, physical, social and educational development from Birth to Adulthood. Behind the major stage theories are major stage theorists. After learning in detail about each theorist and their stage theories on development I was able to discover what stage I could be in.
Sigmund Freud; one of the first stage theorists in Developmental Psychology proposed the Psychosexual theory of development. The stages which Freud described are, the oral, anal, phallic, latency, and the genital. He believed that during the stages of development the individual is focused on certain erogenous areas such as the mouth and the anus during the first five years of life. Each of the stages needs complete libidinal (sexual drive) satisfaction in order to develop a healthy adult personality. If the stage does not complete fully, “fixations” might occur and the individual can be stuck in the uncompleted stage. I believe I am possibly stuck in the Oral stage. Although it does not cause problems for me intimately, I do have a problem with dependency, aggression, and smoking. Which are a few of the characteristics of an oral fixation.
Erik Erikson; proposed the Theory of Psychosocial Development. He described eight states of development. The theory included the human growth throughout their lifespan from birth. Within the individual lifespan they were focused on overcoming a conflict within their selves. The outcomes from these personal conflicts are how each individual develops. The stages do not need completion to advance to the next stage but rather a compromise between two of the said conflicts during the specific stage of development. For example, in the first stage of Erikson’s theory “Basic Trust vs. Mistrust” the baby develops either a trust or mistrust between the caregiver. And depending how the needs for the individual are met, they will favor one or the other. As of right now I believe I am in the sixth stage of psychosocial development; intimacy vs. isolation. It is a bit difficult for me during this stage because I’m at a different stage of my life compared to many of my cohorts. Starting college again after a long break, I fall behind on obtaining my short and long term goals, while most have graduated and found a job. Since I find myself not being able to attain even short term goals, I feel as though I am useless and not worthy of finding love and intimacy. And until I have accomplished the goals set in my life I feel as though I should focus on myself instead of finding an intimate partner.
Jean Piaget; proposed the theory of Cognitive Development. Piaget, a psychologist interested in cognitive development proposed his theory after observation of many children. He believed that all children go through a process of four stages in the same order. The first of the stages “Sensorimotor Period”, children are capable of symbolic though and object permanence. Through this stage children are able to represent objects with mental symbols and recognize an object can exist if they are not able to see it themselves. Preoperational Period, the second stage that lasts between two to five years of age; children are able recognize the measureable physical feature of objects. And this is the same with objects that appear to be different. Although there are major developments in this stage , Piaget listed weaknesses in their development, which are centration, irreversibility, and egocentrism. Centration is a narrow minded thinking that only focuses on one certain aspect. Irreversibility in this stage is the inability to mentally reverse an operation like subtraction in math. Egocentrism is the inability to take someone else’s