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Latest edition: Introduction: Theories of Development

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Episode Details

This lesson introduces students to the scientific study of human development. From John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau through Jean Piaget and Erik Erikson, scholars have considered the impact that nature and nurture have on human development. The video lesson discusses the contexts and influences in which humans develop, focusing on Urie Bronfenbrenner’s ecological model of development. The lesson explores some of the major theories from the study of psychology, such as psychoanalytic theory, learning theory, behaviorism, and cognitive theory. The final segment introduces the life-span perspective, which considers that development occurs throughout the life span and not just in childhood. Several theories have emerged from this perspective, including the notion of gains and losses occurring throughout a person’s lifetime and the changing nature of social interaction as explained by socioemotional selectivity theory.