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Chapter 2

Chapter 2

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Gustavo Gottret

Chapter 2: Prominent Approaches in Life-Span Development Psychoanalytic Approach -describes the development as primarily unconscious - that is, beyond awareness - and as heavily coloured by emotion -according to this, behaviour is merely a surface characteristic and to truly understand development, we must analyze the symbolic meanings of behaviour and the deep inner workings of the mind (i.e.: dreams) -early experience with parents shapes development -Sigmund Freud was the founder of psychoanalytical theory Sigmund Freud -contributions include: -exploration of the unconscious from which his personality theory emerged -dream analysis -defense mechanisms -the 5 pyschosexual stages of development -Freud proposed that personality has 3 structures: 1) id -consists of instincts, which are an individual's reservoir of psychic energy -the id is totally unconscious and not concerned with reality -as children experience the demands and constraints of their worlds, the ego emerges, which deals with the demands of reality 2) ego -the "executive branch" of the psyche -uses reasoning to make decisions -the id and the ego are not moral entities 3) superego -the moral branch of the personality -takes into account whether something is right or wrong -what we refer to as our "conscience" -according to Freud, the rational ego must resolve conflicts between the demands of reality, the wishes and dreams of the id, and the constraints of the superego -conflicts cause anxiety that alerts the ego to use protective measures to resolve the conflict; these protective measures are called defence mechanisms which reduce anxiety and conflict by unconsciously distorting reality -Freud became convinced that his patients' problems were the result of traumatic experiences early in life that they repressed -repression is the most powerful and pervasive defence mechanism according to Freud -repression pushes unacceptable id impulses (i.e.: intense sexual and aggressive desires) back into the unconscious mind -Freud believed dreams provided insight to the unconscious Freud's 5 Psychosexual Stages -postulates that as children grow up, their focus of pleasure and sexual impulses shifts from the oral stage to the anal stage, followed by the phallic stage, the latency period, and then the genital stage 1) Oral Stage - birth - 18 months -pleasure centers around the mouth (chewing, suckling, and biting) 2) Anal Stage - 15 months - 3 years -pleasure centers around the anus muscles and from elimination -conflict occurs when a child is punished too harshly or neglected 3) Phallic Stage -children discover that manipulation of their own genitals brings pleasure -the Oedipus complex for boys and the Electra complex for girls occurs -a period when children first come face to face with the realities of their family life and a conscience emerges as they learn some things are taboo 4) Latency - 6 years - puberty -the child represses interests in sexuality and develops social and intellectual skills 5) Genital Stage -puberty - late adulthood -reawakening of sexual pleasure -the source of sexual pleasure becomes someone outside the family -each stage provides a critical period, during which an individual resolves conflicts between sources of pleasure and the demands of reality -the adult personality is determined by how these conflicts are resolved -when a conflict is not resolved successfully (because the individual's needs were under- or over- gratified) the person may become fixated at a particular stage in development -e.g.: when a parents weans a child too early, is too strict during toilet training, or gives the child too much attention -according to Freud, unresolved conflicts with parents re-emerge during adolescence -when resolved, the individual is capable of developing a mature love relationship and functioning independently as an adult -it is known today that Freud overemphasized sexual instinct -other theorists place more emphasis on cultural experiences as determinants of a person's development -as well, conscious thoughts play a greater role than Freud envisioned Erik Erikson -believed that Freud misjudged some important dimensions of human development -Erikson's theory says that we develop in psychosocial stages in contrast to Freud's psychosexual stages -the primary motivation for human behaviour was social and reflected a desire to affiliate with other people -Erikson emphasizes that developmental change occurs throughout the human lifespan -Freud argues that our basic personality is shaped in the first 5 years of life -there are 8 stages in Erikson's theory of development -each stage consists of a unique developmental task that confronts individuals with a crisis that must be faced -this crisis is a turning point of both increased vulnerability and enhanced potential -the more successfully the crisis is resolved, the healthier the development 1) Trust vs. Mistrust -birth - 12 months -trust emerges when a baby feels comfortable and safe -needs are responded to lovingly -resolution (when trust vs. mistrust is resolved certain qualities develop): hope 2) Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt - 1 - 3 years -toddler exercises will and independence -shame and doubt result when the toddler is restrained too much or punished too harshly -resolution: will 3) Initiative vs. Guilt -preschool - 4 or 5 years -as children enter a wider social world, they learn to take responsibility for their toys, behaviour, bodies, etc. -behaviour becomes more purposeful and a sense of accomplishment becomes more imporant -guilt is quickly overcome when the child is able to accomplish something -resolution: purpose 4) Industry vs. Inferiority -grades K-6 -children enthusiastically pursue mastery of skills (i.e.: spelling, multiplication, sports, etc.0 -children enjoy using their creativity and imagination -a sense of inferiority emerges when the child is unproductive or made to feel incompetent -resolution: competence 5) Identity vs. Identity Confusion -adolescence -self-discovery occurs at this stage -resolution: fidelity 6) Intimacy vs. Isolation -early adulthood -a sense of self is accomplished; the individual is now able to commit to a relationship and to responsibilities such as managing one's own resources (i.e.: health, time, money, relationships) -resolution: love 7) Generativity vs. Stagnation -middle adulthood -concern from the next generation -stagnation occurs when the adult believes they can't contribute to the next generation -resolution: care 8) Integrity vs. Despair -late adulthood -individuals reflect on their lives and conclude that their life has or has not been well spent -resolution: wisdom *BE ABLE TO COMPARE ERIKSON'S STAGES WITH FREUD'S STAGES* -Erikson argues that the proper resolution of a stage is not always completely positive; some of the negative aspects to conflict are inevitable -e.g.: you cannot trust all people under all circumstances and survive -nonetheless, the healthy resolution to a stage crisis allows for balance to be achieved and virtues / emotional strengths emerge -no stage is completely resolved; however, when balance is achieved, virtues, or emotional strengths, emerge in the healthy personality Neo-Freudians -thought that environmental, social, as well as biological factors play a role in the emergence of adult personalities 1) Anna Freud -made contributions to the fields of child psychoanalysis and child development psychology -was concerned with the ego, its conflicts with reality, and the defense mechanisms 2) Karen Horney -criticized Freud's argument on the grounds of gender and cultural differences -identified 10 neurotic trends which she believed resulted from parental differences and which she called the basic evil -the child's reaction to parental indifference (basic hostility and basic anxiety) leads the child to develop coping strategies; as the individual matures, neurosis may develop -also thought that individuals could benefit from self-analysis 3) Carl Jung -believed the psyche includes 3 parts: 1) the ego (the conscious mind) 2) the personal unconscious (includes everything not presently conscious) 3) the collective unconscious (psychic inheritance) -e.g.: déjà vu, love at first sight, other immediate responses to various symbols -developed a personality typology that distinguished between introversion and extroversion and identified ways of dealing with the world -this typology is the groundwork for the Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory 4) Eric Fromm -believed human nature is influenced by dysfunctional social patterns (i.e.: poverty, war, power, and capitalistic greed) as well as biological factors -endorsed feminism -supported Horney's assertions of gender differences by arguing that: - men had to prove themselves in the world and thus were driven to acquire wealth and power at the expense of people and environment -women feared being abandoned and submitted to male power -studied Karl Marx -believed that capitalistic societies damaged the psychological well-being of those who were marginalized or impoverished -along with Horney, was one of the first to consider the influence of racism, sexism, and economic inequities on personality growth Contributions of the Psychoanalytic Approach -contributions include its emphasis on these factors: -early experience plays an important part in development -family relationships are a central aspect of development -personality can be better understood if it is examined developmentally -the mind is not all conscious; unconscious aspects of the mind need to be considered -changes take place in adulthood as well as in the childhood years (Erikson) Criticisms of the Psychoanalytic Approach -criticisms include: -the main concepts of psychoanalytic theories have been difficult to test scientifically -the language used is difficult to interpret (we don't know whether a child is feeling guilt, shame, or inferiority) -data used to support psychoanalytic theories come from individuals' reconstruction of the past (often the distant past) and is of unknown accuracy -the sexual underpinnings of development are given too much importance (especially with Freud) -the unconscious mind is given too much credit for influencing development -psychoanalytic theories present an image of humans that is too negative (especially with Fred) -psychoanalytic theories are culture and gender-biased The Cognitive Approach -the cognitive approach emphasizes conscious thoughts; the psychoanalytic approach stresses the importance of unconscious thoughts Piaget's Cognitive Developmental Theory -Piaget's Theory stages that children actively construct their understanding of the world and go through 4 stages of cognitive development -2 processes underline this cognitive construction of the world: organization and adaptation -to make sense of our world, we organize our experiences (separate important ideas from less important ideas; connect one idea to another ) -we also adapt our thinking to include new ideas since additional information furthers understanding -we adapt in 2 ways: 1) Assimilation -occurs when individuals incorporate new information into their existing knowledge 2) Accommodation -occurs when individuals adjust to new information Example: A 9-year old girl is given a hammer and nails to hang a picture on the wall. She has never used a hammer, but from observation she realizes that a hammer is an object to be held, that is swung by the handle to hit the nail, and that it is usually swung a number of times. She fits her behaviour to the information she already has (assimilation). However, the hammer is to heavy and so she holds it near the top. She swings too hard and the nail bends, and so she adjusts the pressure of her strikes. These adjustments show her ability to alter slightly her conception of the world (accommodation). -learning progresses from one stage to the next as information is first assimilated and then accommodated -Piaget thought that assimilation and accommodation operate even in the very young infant's life -e.g.: newborn's reflexively suck everything that touches their lips (assimilation), but after several months of experience, they construct their understanding of the world differently; some objects like their fingers or their mother's breast can be sucked but others, such as fuzzy blankets, should not be sucked (accommodation) -Piaget states that the child's cognition is qualitatively different in one stage than in another -it is the different way of understanding the world that makes one stage more advanced than another -knowing information does not make the child's thinking more advanced -each of the 4 stages we go through as we seek an understanding of the world around us is age- related and consists of distinct ways of thinking 1) Sensorimotor Stage -birth - 2 years -infants construct an understanding of the world by coordinating sensory experiences (i.e.: seeing and hearing) with physical, motoric actions -at the beginning, newborns have reflexive patterns with which to work with -at the end, 2 year olds have complex sensorimotor patterns and are beginning to operate with primitive symbols 2) Preoperational Stage -2 - 7 years -children begin to represent the world with words, images, and drawings -words and images reflect increased symbolic thinking and go beyond the connection of sensory information and physical action -preschool children can symbolically represent the world but they still lack the ability to perform operations (a Piagetian term for internalized mental actions that allow children to do mentally what they previously did physically) 3) Concrete Operational Stage -7 - 11 years -children can perform operations and logical reasoning replaces intuitive thought (as long as reasoning can be applied to specific or concrete examples) -children can reason logically about concrete events and classify objects into different sets -e.g.: concrete operational thinkers cannot imagine the steps necessary to complete algebraic equations because manipulating unknowns is too abstract at this stage) 4) Formal Operational Stage -11 - 15 years -individuals move beyond concrete experiences and think in abstract and more logical terms -adolescents develop images of ideal circumstances -they might think about what an ideal parent is like and compare their parents to this ideal standard -individuals begin to entertain possibilities for the future and are fascinated with what they can be -thought becomes more systematic; they can develop hypotheses about why something is happening the way it is and test the hypotheses -the adolescent reasons in more abstract, idealistic, and logical ways Vygotsky's Socio-Cultural Cognitive Theory -believed that children actively construct their knowledge -Vygotsky gave social interaction and culture far more important roles in cognitive development than Piaget -Vygotsky's Theory is a social-cultural cognitive theory that emphasizes how culture and social interaction guide cognitive development -child development is portrayed as inseparable from social and cultural activities -the development of memory, attention, and reasoning involves learning to use the inventions of society (i.e.: language, mathematical systems, and memory strategies) -knowledge is situated and collaborative -knowledge is not generated from within the individual, but is constructed through interaction with other people and objects in the culture (i.e.: books) -this suggests that knowledge can be advanced through interaction with others in cooperative activities -children's social interaction with more skilled adults and peers is important to their cognitive development -they learn to use the tools that will help them adapt and be successful in their culture -Zone of Proximal Development is the difference between what a learner can do without help and what a learner can do with help -a child follows an adult's example and gradually develops the ability to do certain tasks without help -the distance between the actual developmental level as determined by independent problem solving and the level of potential development as determined through problem solving under adult guidance, or in collaboration with more capable peers -Vygotsky and other educational professionals believed education's role was to give c hildren experiences that were within their zones of proximal development, thereby encouraging and advancing their individual learning The Information-Processing Approach -em
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