What is meant by the concept of development?

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psyproffie | College Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

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When we are looking at the concept of human development we are looking at how humans progress and learn from birth until death.  There are several theories that help to explain how this happens and why behavior occurs including Freud’s psychosexual development, Erickson’s psychosocial development, Piaget’s cognitive development and Pavlov’s behaviorism theory.

Each of these theories looks at different aspects, stages, and behavior within human development but each serves to explain the differences in development stages as well as in why behavior occurs. For example why is it that a child cannot understand long term consequences for their behavior however an adult can? Piaget would state that this is because an adult has obtained formal operational development however a child has not.  Also development looks at the question of why behavior occurs. Why do we learn to react in a specific ways to specific situations?  Pavlov would state that we have been classically or operantly conditioned to respond to stimuli within our environment.

In closing the focus of explaining development is being able to apply a psychological theory to explain the behavior which results in humans changing in reaction to their environment and experiences.


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