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Understanding The Life Span Development Of Humans In Psychology

2767 words - 12 pages

Psychology is a working term most define as an academic and applied discipline involving scientific study of the mental functions and behaviors of humans. These disciplines, along with many others, participate in the study of the life-span development of humans through the conduct of research and theories. This essay will discuss and explain the Nature vs. Nurture debate, the characteristics of the life-span development, the differences and similarities within theories of two of many important psychologists, and methods used to conduct research in life-span development.
Throughout the existence of psychology, there has been a consistent argument and debate of nature vs. nurture. Some individuals claim that human development is greatly impacted by their genetic inheritance rather than environmental influences, while others believe in the opposite, in which the environment itself impacts human development. Throughout the 1900s, individuals like Jean Jacques Rousseau, claimed that humans develop the way they do because they are genetically pre-programmed. Meaning, the mentality and behavior of a human are all influenced by their genes and they were meant to be a certain way regardless of any type of environmental influence. Others, however, such as John Locke, an English Philosopher in the 1800s, believed that the mind begins as a blank slate at the time of birth. This ultimately means that human development is dictated by the environment. Humans become knowledgeable and act in different way through their experiences and environmental influences. Though this is still a debate, especially with regard to issues such as intelligence and homosexuality, most psychologists and philosophers agree to the idea that human development is a product of both nature and nurture. Both nature and nurture, our genes and our experiences, play an important influential role in how a human behaves, thinks, and acts. Most scholarly individuals have come to the conclusion that human behavior is affected by 100% of nature and 100% of nurture because development is the mixture if the two. Nature and nurture cannot be measured because experiences change as well as the environment and neither does the ideas of nature or nurture influencing human development more than the other cannot stand alone for the following reason. With regard to the idea of nature, in that human development is influenced by genetics, cannot stand alone because things such as wealth, education, and social privileges are not part of the human biological system. This means that they are not characteristics of genetics, but can be inherited by a genetic offspring. The idea that human development arising from environmental influences and experience also cannot stand alone because infants are born with skills; therefore they cannot be born with blank slates and are not empty-minded as proposed by John Locke.
Development and life span both concentrates on physiological and cognitive changes throughout...

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