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Explain the major theories of human development throughout life. Also, name and examine the major biological influences on human development.

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Introduction: Why study human developmental theories?

Theories of human development help understand various aspects of the growth and development in the context of physiological, cognitive, emotional, personality and over all age and gender related maturational patterns or trajectory of life that in turn impacts human behavior and in important ways changes life scenarios as well.

Following are some of the important developmental theories.

o Sigmund Freud's Psychodynamic Theory.
o Erik Erikson's Psycho-Social Theory.
o John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth's Integrated Attachment Theory.
o Albert Bandura's Social Learning Theory.
o Jean Piaget's Cognitive-Developmental Theory.
o Lev Vygotsky's Cognitive-Mediation Theory.

As can be seen, just like therapies, theories of development can be distinguished based on their approach and school of thought:

o Psychoanalytic
o Behaviorist
o Cognitive
o Socio-cultural (Ecological)
o Humanistic
o Evolutionary

Some of the above mentioned theories are described here briefly.

Psychoanalytic theory explains the various stages of psychoanalytic development focusing on the physiological instincts and thus the stages are divided into oral, anal, and phallic stages for the instinctual need for ...

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human developmental theories

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