Why is theory important?
- Every theory lets you see/do things differently
- Development will look different when looked at through different theories.
Blank slate (Tabula Rosa) – John Locke
Pushed forward ideas of environmental factors, not just heredity/genetics.
Maturation – Jean Jacques Rousseau
Genetically determined, let innate abilities develop on own; adult training would hurt a childs built in
moral sense and way of thinking and feeling; not a blank slate
Nobel Savages: children already know who they are and what they need to do.
Continuity VS discontinuity
Continuous: you stay relatively the same over time; if you are friendly at 5, you will be friendly at 25.
Discontinuous: something qualitative about you changed; something happened and you changed.
Not accurate: development is not perfectly predictable.
Stage theories are discontinuous.
Active vs Passive Child
Active: children cause things to happen to them.
Passive: things happen to them
Nature & Nurture
Freud: Development is determined by how we resolve conflicts at different ages
ID: primal, basic natural instincts; emerges at birth; want immediate gratification of bodily needs and
wants; ex. Crying hungry baby; Develops over time as needs and wants change.
Ego: the rational and practical component of our personality; emerges during first year of life (learning
we can’t always have what we want); ego must resolve the conflicts between the ID and superego, and
between real world obstacles; channels demands into socially acceptable behaviour; ex. Wants to play
with a toy a kid has; ID would go take it; Ego would suggest to play with the other child to play with the
toy. Superego: “Moral agent”; Emerges during preschool years; begin to understand right and wrong
messages from the adults around us; Superego would remind ID what is right/wrong and the Ego will
channel it into acceptable behaviour (compromise).
Two Important Discoveries:
1) Early experiences can have enduring
effects on development
2) Individuals experience conflict between
what they want to do and what they should do.
Freud’s theories and discoveries made the basis for
today’s therapy (discussion of prob