Psychological characteristics of child development

Special used in the psychological study of infants. One of the many experiments used for psychological characteristics of child development. Developmental psychology is the scientific study of how and why human beings change over the course of their life. Developmental psychology examines the influences of nature and nurture on the process of human development, and processes of change in context and across time.

Watson and Jean-Jacques Rousseau are typically cited as providing the foundations for modern developmental psychology. There are many theorists that have made a profound contribution to this area of psychology. For example, Erik Erikson developed a model of eight stages of psychological development. Sigmund Freud believed that we all had a conscious, preconscious, and unconscious level. In the conscious, we are aware of our mental process.

The preconscious involves information that, though not currently in our thoughts, can be brought into consciousness. Lastly, the unconscious includes mental processes we are unaware of. He believed there is tension between the conscious and unconscious because the conscious tries to hold back what the unconscious tries to express. To explain this he developed three personality structures: the id, ego, and superego.

The id, the most primitive of the three, functions according to the pleasure principle: seek pleasure and avoid pain. Based on this, he proposed five universal stages of development, that each is characterized by the erogenous zone that is the source of the child’s psychosexual energy. The first is the oral stage, which occurs from birth to 12 months of age. During the oral stage, “the libido is centered in a baby’s mouth. The baby is able to suck. The second is the anal stage, from one to three years of age.

Piaget claimed that logic and morality develop through constructive stages. Expanding on Piaget’s work, Lawrence Kohlberg determined that the process of moral development was principally concerned with justice, and that it continued throughout the individual’s lifetime. The pre-conventional moral reasoning is typical of children and is characterized by reasoning that is based on rewards and punishments associated with different courses of action. Conventional moral reason occurs during late childhood and early adolescence and is characterized by reasoning based on rules and conventions of society. Kohlberg used the Heinz Dilemma to apply to his stages of moral development. The Heinz Dilemma involves Heinz’s wife dying from cancer and Heinz having the dilemma to save his wife by stealing a drug. Preconventional morality, conventional morality, and post-conventional morality applies to Heinz’s situation.

German-American psychologist Erik Erikson and his collaborator and wife, Joan Erikson, conceptualized eight stages of psychosocial development that they theorized healthy individuals pass through as they develop from infancy to adulthood. The first stage is called “Trust vs. Jean Piaget, a Swiss theorist, posited that children learn by actively constructing knowledge through hands-on experience. He suggested that the adult’s role in helping the child learn was to provide appropriate materials that the child can interact with and use to construct. Piaget believed that intellectual development takes place through a series of stages, which he described in his theory on cognitive development. Each stage consists of steps the child must master before moving to the next step.

He believed that these stages are not separate from one another, but rather that each stage builds on the previous one in a continuous learning process. Michael Commons enhanced and simplified of Inhelder and Piaget’s developmental and offers a standard method of examining the universal pattern of development. It divides the Order of Hierarchical Complexity of tasks to be addressed from the Stage performance on those tasks. In the MHC, there are three main axioms for an order to meet in order for the higher order task to coordinate the next lower order task. Axioms are rules that are followed to determine how the MHC orders actions to form a hierarchy.