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Overview of theories of development

Created by Shreena Desai.

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Video transcript

Voiceover: Okay so you're probably looking at this screen and wondering who in the world are these four men that I have put on on the screen. Well these four men we're gonna look at. At are very important in understanding theories of development. So that's what we're gonna talk about in this, in this video are the different theories of development. And it would be nice if I could spell it properly. (laughs) There we go. Okay. So, up here, we have Freud. Over here, we have Erikson. Over here is Vygotsky. And last, we have Kohlberg. So, development. Let's start off by defining what it is. Development is the series of age related changes that happen over the course of a life span. So people pass through different stages in a specific order and each stage builds on top of another. And we develop capacities through those stages. Built upon the previous stage. So these four men had four different theories of how we develop. And the first we're going to take a look at is Freud, Sigmund Freud. So, Freud proposed the psychosexual theory of development. So let's write that down here. So, he was. He was important in starting off the psychosexual theory that describes how personality develops during childhood. That's also another key term. He looked at how we developed through childhood, and he actually believed that early childhood was the most important. Most important age or period in which most of our personalitie's developed. He said that most of our personality is established by the age of five. And he says that early experiences play a large role in personality development and that continues to influence behavior later in life. And his theory was built upon five stages, which we'll get into a little bit later. But, if these five stages are completed successfully, the result is a healthy personality. And certain issues, if they're not resolved at a certain stage and we move ahead to the next stage, then. Something called fixation can happen. So that's another key term that we'll take a look at a little later. So that's the psychosexual theory of Freud. Now the second key player. Or key person that we're gonna look at was Kohlberg. Sorry not Kohlberg, Erikson. And Erikson talked about the psychosocial development theory. So in this theory, he proposed, Eric Erikson proposed. That personality development occurs through one's entire lifespan. So, you can already see how it's a little different from Freud who said personality, most of it's established in childhood. So he believed that each stage of development again, was focused on overcoming a conflict. And success or failure in dealing with these conflicts at each stage can impact overall functioning of a person. And he proposed a theory that had eight stages, which we'll take a look at a little later. So in each stage, people faced new challenges and the stages outcome depends on how people handle these challenges. The next person was Lev Vykotsky, who was a Russian theorist. And what Lev said and developed was the sociocultural, cognitive development theory. So, socio-cultural and how it's heavily influenced by cognitive development. And, what Vygotsky believed was that children learn actively and through hands on experiences. So it's a very, it's an active process through which through which we develop. And his sociocultural theory suggests that parents, caregivers, peers cultural beliefs, attitudes, and language are all responsible for the development of this higher order function of learning. And he said that a child internalizes the information they get from the interaction with others. So he was all about, how us as individuals are influenced by those around us and the culture around us. And then that is, that interaction is what is able to guide children in their own performance and in their own development. And his theory stresses this importance of social interaction in the development of cognition. So, fun fact, unfortunately, Vygotzky died at the age of 38. So many of the parts of this theory are actually incomplete. And the last theorist we're gonna take a look at was Lawrence Kohlberg. And he developed the moral development theory. So he looked at how we develop our morals throughout life. He focused on moral reasoning or why people think about think about the difference between right and wrong. So right versus wrong. He believed that moral reasoning depends. Depends on the level of cognitive development and proposed that people pass through three levels of moral development. So his was three stages, but each of these three stages was further divided into two stages. So altogether, there were six levels. And he came up with this theory after he did a lot of research with groups of children. So he would present these children with a bunch of moral dilemma situations and then after, he would interview the kids to find out their reasoning behind their judgements in each of the scenarios so he could ask them a bunch of questions and try to analyze how they came to certain conclusions and reasoning behind how they solved each of these scenarios. So, overall remember that Freud and Erikson looked at personality. So they were focused on how personality develops. Versus Vygotsky and Kohlberg were interested in how our cognition develops. So their theories were heavily, heavily influenced by cognitive theories. So this is a broad overview of the different stages of development from four main and different perspectives. There are a lot of other and much many more perspectives, but we're going to focus on these four and so the main takeaway from this is to keep in mind the similarities and differences, as well as the focus of each of the theories. And in the next set of videos, I'll go into more depth into each one of these theories.