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Domains of Development

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To make sense of psychology which is a complex and diverse field of study, we firstly need to look at how psychology is relevant to everyday life. Therefore, certain ways of thinking that people have; the reasoning and/or the theory behind it during lifespan development. This can be done by looking at the different domains of development which include; physical, cognitive, emotional, social and cultural (moral) and the theorists behind them. Why am I such a neat, structured and organised person? Weiten (2004), show answers might be found with theorists like Wilhelm Wundt back in 1881 who established the first research laboratory, Ian Pavlov 1904, on how conditioning responses are created, Sigmund Freud 1909, developed the psychoanalysis theory, John Watson 1913, looked at behaviourism, Erik Ericson 1950, extends Freud's theory of development across the lifespan. Carl Rogers 1951, launched the humanistic movement, B.F. Skinner advocated radical behaviourism and Maslow 1954, fuelled the humanistic movement.

Not all researchers agreed on each other's theories as stated by Kosslyn and Rosenberg (2006), and this shows in the change over time through the various schools of thought. The perspectives (1913-present) with underlying basic premises stretched from behavioural, psychoanalytic, humanistic, cognitive and biological to evolutionary. The latter most commonly known as the natural selection process (Darwinism) by Charles Darwin. Somehow we all evolved from a pile of 'goo' slowly transforming over millions of years into more intelligent beings as the races continue. All of these approaches not only co-exist but also feed off each other, with the result being we learn a vast amount about mental processes and behaviour at an increasing rate.

Growing up, growing older and growing wiser; the development process over the lifespan. Prenatal development starts when the sperm cell of the male fertilizes the ovum of the female and duplication begins; a process of foetal development over a period of 9 months. Prenatal development can be influenced by genetics or environmental factors like maternal nutrition, use of drugs, illness and also external factors like socio economic status. This 9 month process can be interrupted or shortened due to risk factors as mentioned by Hohmann-Marriott (2009), which includes inadequate prenatal care, unplanned pregnancies or partners not sharing intentions of wanting a child. Pre-term babies then run the risk of delayed development relating to emotional, behavioural and cognitive problems as outline by Inder (2005). Brofenbrenner (as cited in Berk, 2008, p. 19-21) argues that development occurs within a complex system of relationships affected by multiple levels of the surrounding environment. This is where the argument of nature vs. nurture as pointed out by Berk (2003), often very in emphasis. Researchers like Bowlby, Sroufe, Egeland and Kreutzer stress the importance of heredity (nature), whereas other researchers like Masten and Coatsworth, Sampson and Laub, Werner and Smith stress that change is possible with new experiences (nurture).

12 March, 1981 a child is born, a daughter to proud parents whom have waited in anticipation for their baby girl to arrive, a sister to an awaiting brother. From the womb I am named Adele to the disappointment of my grandmother whom expected her names to be carried on to the next generation. Different time periods of moulding start, the first infancy, the period of 0-2 years. Here researchers like Locke (1632-1704) describe children as passive unlike Rousseau (1712-1778) who states that children are noble savages with a sense of right and wrong. Theorists like Freud (1856-1939) calls this the oral and anal stage, like sucking and toilet training having more influence whereas Erikson (1902-1994) contributes that it is a stage of trust vs. autonomy, responsive care to comfort and discomfort and Piaget (1896-1980) suggests it is the sensori-motor stage where the child gets to know the world through senses.

They all have a point, building on each other's research, but for my mom no theorist was going to add to what she was experiencing with 2 kids born 15 months apart, colicky, all she wanted was 2 kids out of diapers and walking as soon as possible. There was just an expectancy that by a certain age, and even earlier if you could manage, you would be crawling, properly I might add, no bum scooting, potty trained and starting to get up on your own two feet to walk because mom was not going to carry or push us any longer than necessary. You had to learn to talk and talk properly too, no use of baby language was permitted. The underlying statement: grow up and grow up fast. Knowledge is gained according to Mpofu (2010), by adapting to the environment through accommodation and assimilation which is the mental adjustments to enable a child to cope with new experiences, also called cognitive equilibrium or disequilibrium.

The second moulding phase is outlined as early childhood, age 2-7 about. Muscles and bones are not yet fully developed while hand and eye coordination improves. To this day I observe people when they eat, and strongly avoid eating with my hands. We were taught to eat with both a fork and a knife, fork in the left hand and knife in the right hand establishing some motor skills along the way. Mpofu (2010), mentions that Erikson describes this time as autonomy vs. self-doubt, wanting to be independent while Piaget

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