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Psyc 2314 Lifespan Development


A systematic set of principles and generalizations that explains development, ... Criticized for overlooking developmental processes that are not primarily social ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Psyc 2314 Lifespan Development

Psyc 2314Lifespan Development
  • Chapter 2
  • Theories of Development

Developmental theory
  • A systematic set of principles and
    generalizations that explains development,
    generates hypotheses, and provides a framework of
    ideas that (a) permit a broad and coherent view
    of the complex influences on development, (b)
    form the basis for new testable hypotheses about
    behavior, and (c) provide a summary of our
    current knowledge about development.

Grand theories
  • Offers a comprehensive view of development but
    have proven to be outdated
  • Psychoanalytic
  • Psychosocial development
  • Learning classical conditioning, operant
    conditioning, and social learning
  • Cognitive

Evaluation of Grand Theories
  • Many psychoanalytic ideas are widely accepted
  • Learning theory emphasizes the variability and
    plasticity of adult development
  • Cognitive theory has revolutionized research by
    focusing attention on active mental processes,
    not inborn instincts or past reinforcements.

Evaluation of Grand Theories
  • Too wide ranging
  • Much less comprehensive and inclusive

  • Explain a specific area of development but not as
    general and comprehensive as grand theories

Emergent Theories
  • New comprehensive, formulated within the past 30
    years, that bring together information from many
    disciplines but are not yet a coherent,
    comprehensive whole.

Emergent Theories
  • Sociocultural theory (Lev Vygotsky)
  • Seeks to explain individual knowledge,
    development, and competencies in terms of the
    guidance, support, and structure provided by the
    broader cultural context.
  • Focuses on the dynamic interaction between
    developing persons and their surrounding culture.

Emergent Theories
  • Guided participation
  • A learning process in which an individual learns
    through social interaction with a tutor who
    offers assistance, structures opportunities,
    model strategies, and provides explicit
    instruction as needed.

Emergent Theories
  • Cultural variations
  • Skills, challenges, and opportunities involved in
    human development vary, depending on the values
    and structures of the society in question. In
    order to understand developmental processes in
    different cultures, it is essential to understand
    the values and beliefs of the culture, how they
    affect children, and how particular competencies
    fit into the childs cultural context.

Emergent Theories
  • Zone of proximal development
  • The range of skills, knowledge, and understanding
    an individual cannot yet perform or comprehend on
    his or her own but could master with guidance
    this is the arena where learning occurs.

Emergent Theories
  • Criticized for overlooking developmental
    processes that are not primarily social in nature.

Epigenetic Systems Theory
  • Emphasizes the interaction between genes and the

Theories Compared
  • Psychoanalyticimportance of early childhood
    experiences and hidden dramas that influence
    daily life.
  • Learningthe important effect of the immediate
    environment on behavior.
  • Cognitivea greater understanding of how
    intellectual processes and thinking affect our

Theories Compared
  • Socioculturaldevelopment is embedded in a rich
    and multifaceted cultural context.
  • Epigeneticemphasizes the inherited forces that
    affect each personand all humankindwithin
    particular contexts.

Eclectic Perspective
  • A perspective whose adherents choose what seem to
    be the best, or most useful, elements from the
    various theories, instead of adhering to only a
    single perspective.