Psychological Development in People Essay

  • Length: 2 pages
  • Sources: 2
  • Subject: Psychology
  • Type: Essay
  • Paper: #90827170

Excerpt from Essay :

Psychologists, such as Jean Piaget and Erik Erikson, theorize that humans go through stages in their development throughout life, growing from infancy to old age. Piaget outlined stages of thinking, referred to as cognitive development; Erikson described stages of personality, referred to as psychosocial development. How can you use this information to better understand your own life? What stages of cognitive and psychosocial development have you gone through since you were an infant? Which stages will you encounter during adulthood and old age?

Piaget and Erikson both took a systematic approach to trying to determine what the different stages of human development. However, both individuals used different perspectives and formulated models that were inherently different. Piaget was interested in trying to determine the way children begin to develop various mental capacities to understand things such as numbers, time, causality, justice, etc. and he considered his work to be the realm of genetic epistemology (i.e. the origins of thinking) (McLeod, Jean Piaget, 2015). According to Piaget, children are born with a very basic mental structure (genetically inherited and evolved) on which all subsequent learning and knowledge is based and this mental structure thinks in a very different way in what would normally be found in adults.

Piaget's stages of cognitive development go through stages that are related to the developmental stages he witnessed in children and include the stages (McLeod, 2015):

• sensorimotor,

• preoperational,

• concrete operational,

• formal operational.

Children are born with a certain set of sensorimotor skills as they begin to explore the world in a way which corresponds with their basic biological apparatus. Children are able to advance through the different stages in the model by developing new schemas. Piaget defined the schema as 'a cohesive, repeatable action sequence possessing component actions that are tightly interconnected and governed by a core meaning' and this serves as the foundational aspect in child development (McLeod, Jean Piaget, 2015). In a way, it serves a building block in which children must develop before they are able to enter into new cognitive stages and new ways of perceiving the world.

By contrast, Erikson's methodology was based on Freud's psychoanalytic approaches to psychology. Therefore, instead of the development processes happening internally, Erikson believed that there was a strong social component that facilitated the development of each individual stage (McLeod, 2017). However, he believed, like Piaget, that the developmental stages…

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited

McLeod, S. (2015). Jean Piaget. Retrieved from Simple Psychology:

McLeod, S. (2017). Erik Erikson. Retrieved from Simply Psychology:

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