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    Sample questions: Human Development

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    1. There are five major theoretical approaches to human development: psychoanalytic, cognitive, behavioral and social cognitive, ethological, and ecological. Which one of these theories do you believe best explains life-span development? What is it about this theory that caused you to choose it?

    2. Which has more influence on a person's development, nature or nurture? Explain your answer.

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    RESPONSE:

    1. There are five major theoretical approaches to human development: psychoanalytic, cognitive, behavioral and social cognitive, ethological, and ecological. Which one of these theories do you believe best explains life-span development? What is it about this theory that caused you to choose it?

    SAMPLE ANSWER:

    There are five major theoretical approaches to human development: psychoanalytic, cognitive, behavioral and social cognitive, ethological, and ecological.

    The Psychodynamic Perspective focuses on the inner person. This theory adds the unconscious to the understanding of human behavior, which is important. In fact, proponents of this approach argue that behavior is determined or motivated by inner forces or instincts, memories and inner conflicts that are mostly beyond a person's conscious awareness and control. Examples are Freud's psychoanalytic and Erikson's psychosocial theory, with the latter presenting conflicts and ego development during adulthood as well as childhood (Theoretical Perspectives on Human Development, n.d.).

    On the other hand, the social/cognitive approaches add another important price to the puzzle of human development. It focuses on the processes that allow people to know, understand and think about the world. The cognitive perspective focuses on how people internally represent and think about the world. This approach investigates and attempts to understand how children and adults process information, and how their ways of thinking and understanding impacts their behavior. Piaget is one important contributor of this perspective. He proposed human beings develop in a fixed sequence and through a series of universal stages of cognitive development, with each stage representing both a quantitatively and qualitatively differently based on brain development. The social cognitive theory (Bandura and Vygotsky) adds the components of social and sociocultural influences, respectively, that impacts learning and cognitive development. This adds the components of where parents and teachers influence the child's learning and cognitive growth. For example, Vygotsky proposed that children learned about their world through problem-solving interactions with adults and other children, and grew cognitively through play and cooperation with others-and learn what is important in their culture and society. On the other hand, Bandura is a great contributor as well, who proposed that when the child views the behavior of a role model (parent, peer, and teacher) being rewarded, the child is more likely to imitate that behavior. Therefore, Bandura argues that behavior is learned through observation and imitation, not conditioning through reinforcement or punishment like ...

    Solution Summary

    Discusses the major theories of human development, which one best explains life-span development and the influence of nature and nurture on human development. References in APA format.

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