Life Span Development

1422 Words May 9th, 2013 6 Pages
Introduction
The goal of the life span perspective of development is to understand how and why all different kinds of people, everywhere, and of every age, change over time (Berger, 2011). Developmental psychologists study the constant changes we experience throughout life, including physical, emotional, social, and cognitive development. Psychologists also study how we are affected by, react to, and process the world around us (Stone, 2011). The first aspect of developmental science is to understand how and why people change. Another aspect of developmental science is to identify universal similarities and differences among people, and then use that information to unify humanity as well as distinguish us as individuals (Berger, 2011). The
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Human traits can be molded, and yet individuals sustain a durable identity (Berger, 2011). Because of these five aspects of life span development, scientists use observations, experiments, and surveys to explore human behavior (Berger, 2011).

Summarize two theories of life span development.
Developmental theories came about as a way to understand how and why people change throughout their life span. There are two grand theories, and they happen to be opposing theories.
Sigmund Freud founded the psychoanalysis and the psychoanalytic theory. Psychoanalysis studied the influence of the unconscious mind and childhood experiences on behavior. Freud believed that the human mind was made up of three elements: the id, the ego, and the superego. The id is something we are all born with. It is an important part of our personality because it allows us to get our basic needs met. Freud believed that the id is derived from our pleasure principle. The id wants what it wants, when it wants it. When a baby is hungry, the id wants food, so the baby cries. When the id wants something, nothing else matters. As the baby gets older, it interacts with the world and its personality starts to develop. This part of development is called the ego. The ego is based on the reality principle. The ego realizes that other people have needs and takes them into consideration. The ego understands you cannot be selfish and impulsive. The ego meets the needs of the id while considering…