Theories of the Developing Child

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By tmierop
Words 1505
Pages 7
Tammy Mierop
Theories of the Developing Child
PSY 104: Child and Adolescent Development
Instructor: Julie Hacker
December 6, 2010

Theories of the Developing Child The world in which we live is a very diverse place. Each person was created in a unique way and there is no one person that is just like another. It is this reason that creates the diverse way of thinking that we see. There have been great thinkers who have created theories on every subject one could imagine. A theory is a “coherent set of logically related concepts that seek to organize, explain, and predict data” (Papalia et al, 2008, G-7). Theories tend to fall into categories known as perspectives (Papalia et al, 2008, p27). Each perspective then focuses on something more specific (Papalia et al, 2008P27). In the field of children and their development, the trend has been the same. Men like Erik Erikson, Jean Piaget, Ivan Pavlov, Albert Bandura, and B. F. Skinner are just a few people who have paved the road for research and the interpretation of such.
There are some differences in theories that have not been proven right or wrong. People such as Pavlov, Skinner, Erikson, Bandura, and Piaget believe that all development happens in distinct stages. However, learning and information-processing theorists believe that development is a continual uphill climb. Among these theories there are five major perspectives on child development: (1) Psychoanalytic, which focuses on unconscious emotions and drives; (2) learning, which studies observable behavior; (3) cognitive, which analyzes thought processes; (4) contextual, which emphasizes the impact of the historical, social, and cultural context; and (5) evolutionary/ sociobiological, which considers evolutionary and biological underpinnings of behavior.
In the overall development of the child, cognitive, emotional, and physical development each…...

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