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Lifespan Development and Individual Differences

What are two theories of lifespan development and how do they relate to psychology? How does the environment and heredity relate to lifespan development and how do they interact to produce individual differences in development?

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(1) What are two theories of lifespan development and how do they relate to psychology?

The theory of lifespan psychology is the study of individual development from conception into old age. Based on this theory, lifespan identity development is not completed at adulthood but extends across the lifespan. During the lifespan, adaptive processes of acquisition, transformation and attrition in psychological structures and functions take place. According to Linderberger and Baltes (2000), the development of the mind is described as lifelong, multi-dimensional, and multi-functional. As they explain, lifespan psychology informs general knowledge concerning three components of individual development: (1) inter-individual regularities in development, (2) inter-individual difference in development, and (3) individual plasticity (malleability) in development. Further, according to this theory, attention to each of these components and their age-related interactions is the foundation of developmental psychology. For example, there are two ways to contribute to lifespan psychology: (a) the person-centered (holistic), and (b) age periods or stages of development.

This recognition leads to another theory -- the psychosocial theory (Erickson, 1963) of personality development based on Erikson's eight stages of psychosocial development. Erickson posited eight "bipolar" stages across ...

Solution Summary

This solution describes life-span development form the perspective of individual differenes in psychological development.