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Discussing Charles Darwin: His Development and Personality

Using Charles Darwin, discuss this figure by:
- Researching the background of his life and identifying the forces which have impacted his life.
- Distinguish between the influences of heredity and environment on his psychological development.
- How could have parenting practices and/or social support systems optimized his developmental growth and adjustment?
- Also, pick two other personality theories for Charles Darwin and explain how these theories differ in terms of how they explain the patterns of traits in Charles Darwin's Life.
- In summary, explain which theoretical approach you believe best accounts for Charles Darwin's behavior and achievement.

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Developmental psychology is the branch of psychology that deals with the development of an individual and his/her personality. It begins from infancy and proceeds throughout the life span. It is considered as one of the most interesting aspects of psychology. Development of personality of an individual involves various aspects such as physical, social, moral, cognitive, emotional and sexual development. Personality of an individual unfolds right from the infancy stage and continues throughout the life span among humans. This process is influenced by two important factors namely heredity and environment. Both hereditary and environmental factors play an important role in the development of one's personality. This paper is meant to throw light upon the above mentioned aspects and factors, which might have played their role in the development of personality of a well known historical figure in the field of Biology who was responsible for proposing the theory of evolution, Charles Darwin.

His biography reveals that the sole enjoyment and employment throughout the life of Charles Darwin had been his close association to scientific work. He had the ability to forget the time as well as his mundane affairs of daily life, which any other human being may consider to be important. It means to say that he had attained tremendous intellectual development throughout his lifetime as compared to any other aspect of personality. Infact, he almost ignored the most important aspect of development of personality, namely emotional development. Of course, it can be concluded that he was able to develop other aspects such as the social and moral aspects of his personality as they are very important while working with people and upholding ethics while publishing scientific papers and articles. His lack of emotional development can be traced back to the death of his mother at a very tender age, after which, he was reared by his father and sisters. It can be safely inferred that the development of his personality was influenced by his hereditary factor in the form of his grandfather who was also a well-known Biologist during the early stages of his life. Later on, he was able to develop a firm footing as a scientist and carved a niche for himself in the annals of science only due to the strong influence from his environment, in the form of books, his close association with his teachers, scientists and other people who shared common interests alike himself. It can also be said that he was able to develop deep intellectual pursuits because he did not have any close emotional attachments in his personal life even though he was married.

The two different theories of personality that have been selected to explain the personality of Charles Darwin are:
Erik Erikson's theory of psycho-social development and Sigmund Freud's psycho-analytic theory of personality.

1. Erik Erikson's theory of psycho-social development: This theory emphasizes the importance of social factors in the development of personality of an individual. Erikson developed the concept of "developmental milestones" that are functions meant to vary in stability and persistence throughout life, and at the same time provide regulatory constants at different age levels. He opines that an ...