After reading this section, you should have a basic understanding of the major types of theories that help explain human development, including similarities and differences. Here are the types that we will discuss: (1) psychoanalytic, (2) psychosocial development (3) cognitive development, (4) moral development, (5) behavioral, (6) social learning, (7) ecological, (8) personality and career satisfaction, and (9) eclectic (composite) theories.
Theories of human development fall into broad categories. Each category gives us a different perspective into our development during specific periods of change. Each theory owes something to one of the earliest modern theorists of human development, John Locke (1632–1704). He said that the mind of an
…show more content…
Psychoanalytic theory, developed by Sigmund Freud (1856–1939), was the first modern theory of psychology. As a practicing physician in Vienna, Austria, he treated soldiers coming back from World War I and was struck by some of the bizarre behaviors that he witnessed. He first used hypnosis and drugs, but found they were not effective enough to discover the root cause of otherwise unexplainable behaviors. Some patients could not move a hand or arm, despite no physiological problems; others exhibited repetitive behaviors like constant tapping; there were also unexplained fears of harmless objects. Freud developed his psychoanalytic theory from these patients suffering from what we now call "emotional" problems. Freud developed the idea that during the first 5 or 6 years of our lives we go through several psychosexual stages. He felt that gratification shifted during these stages from the mouth (oral stage) to the anus and bladder (anal stage) and then to the genitals (phallic stage). Should any one of these early stages either be over- or undergratified, the person could develop a fixation and become locked into that stage of development. Freud’s enduring contributions is the idea that an individual’s personality is composed of three parts, the id, superego, and ego. The id, which resides in the unconscious mind, is driven by only one thing: the desire for personal pleasure, "me, me, me." For instance, if you have an urge to satisfy your hunger but have no