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Theories Of Development And Application Essay

1775 words - 8 pages

Theories of Development and Application
General Psychology, PSY101

Theories of Development and Application
Understanding the theories of development is key in psychology. Everyone proceeds through specific areas of change and growth in key areas as they go through life. Whatever path is taken during life, understanding theories of development will assist us in motivating and guiding others, as well as understanding ourselves. The following theories of development will be applied to this author’s personal life experience: Jean Piaget’s Stage Theory of Cognitive Development, Developmental Stage Theory of Erik Erikson, Lawrence Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development, and ...view middle of the document...

Sensorimotor Stage
The Sensorimotor Stage is for the child between the ages of birth and two years old. During the early months of life, the newborn’s behavior “is based on a limited array of inborn schemes, like sucking, looking, grasping, and pushing” (Gerrig, 2013, p. 270). Then, the child “develops object permanence and the beginnings of symbolic thought” (Gerrig, 2013, p. 270).
Preoperational Stage
The Preoperational Stage is between the ages of two and seven years old. The “child’s thought is marked by egocentrism and centration and has an improved ability to use symbolic thought” (Gerrig, 2013, p. 270). Egocentrism is defined as “the inability of a young child at the preoperational stage to take the perspective of another person” (Gerrig, 2013, p. 270). Centration is defined as “the children’s tendency to focus their attention on only one aspect of a situation and disregard other relevant aspects” (Gerrig, 2013, p. 270).
Concrete Operations Stage
The Concrete Operations Stage “goes roughly from seven to eleven years of age” (Gerrig, 2013, p. 271). At this stage, a child “achieves understanding of conservation and can reason with respect to concrete, physical objects” (Gerrig, 2013, p. 270). Basically, the child “becomes capable of mental operations, actions performed in the mind that give rise to logical thinking” (Gerrig, 2013, p. 271). Conservation is defined as “the understanding that physical properties do not change when nothing is added or taken away, even though appearances may change (Gerrig, 2013, p. 271).
Formal Operations Stage
The Formal Operations Stage is from eleven years old and on. This is considered the final stage of Jean Piaget’s Stage Theory of Cognitive Development, and the child’s thinking starts to become abstract. It is at this stage that “adolescents can see how their particular reality is only one of several imaginable realities, and they begin to ponder deep questions of truth, justice, and existence” (Gerrig, 2013, p. 272).
The age that this author entered the Formal Operations Stage was about twelve, which is a year later than normal. This author realized at the age of twelve that stealing from a grocery store is wrong. After being made to return the stolen item, pay for the item, and apologize to the store manager, this author’s sense of morality was really developed.
Developmental Stage Theory of Erik Erikson
Erik Erikson was an ego psychologist who was greatly influenced by Sigmund Freud (McLeod, 2008). Mr. Erikson proposed “every individual must successfully navigate a series of psychological stages, each of which presented a particular conflict or crisis” (Gerrig, 2013, p. 279). Mr. Erikson “developed a life stage theory in which individuals go through eight stages in life” (Life-Span Perspective-Erikson’s Life Stage Theory, n.d.). Erikson’s eight stages of psychological development is trust vs. mistrust, autonomy vs. shame, initiative vs. guilt, industry...

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