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Major theories of human development

Explain the major theories of human development (cognitive, social, and moral) throughout various stages of life. Also, examine the major biological influences and how physical development relates to other areas of human development.

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The prime focus of cognitive theories is the structure and development of the person's thought processes and the way those thought processes can affect the person's understanding of the world. Cognitive theories consider how this understanding, and the expectations it creates can affect individual behavior. Piaget was one of the major cognitive theorists . He came to believe that there were 4 major stages of cognitve development and each one is age-related.

The first stage that Piaget stated individuals go through is the Sensorimotor stage which occurs for Birth to age 2. This is where infants use senses and motor abilities to understand the world. There is no conceptual thought: an object is known in terms of what an infant can do with it. Over some time the infant learns that an object exists even he/she does not see it and begins to think by using mental and physical actions. During the next stage the preoperational stage (occurs between ages 2-6) the child uses preoperational thinking and language to understand the world. Children at this stage tend to primarily understand the world form their own perspective. At this stage the imagination becomes more vivid and they increasingly express themselves through language. They tend to acquire language by listening to others. Children gradually become less egocentric and to understand and coordinate many viewpoints. The next stage children go through is the concrete operational stage which occurs from ages 7-11. At this stage children understand and apply logical operations to help them interpret experiences objectively rather than intuitively. By applying logical abilities, children begin to understand the basic ideas of conservation, number classification and other scienctific ideas. Starting at age 12 through adulthood during the formal operational stage the adoloscent or adult is able to think about abstract ideas and hypothetical concepts and is able to speculate in thought"from the real to the possible. At this point ethics, politics and social issues become more interesting and involving as the adolescent becomes abel to take a broader and more theoretical approach to experience.

Fluid intelligence which is the ability of ...

Solution Summary

This solution provides an explanation of the major theories of development throughout various stages of life