Lifespan perspective is gaining knowledge through the changes that occur during human development. Changes occur as a result of cultural influences and specific events surrounding change (Lerner, 1996. ) Many characteristics define lifespan perspective and how it relates to human development. Understanding lifespan characteristics led to different theories of lifespan development. Heredity works together with the environment to create individual differences in development. Life is constantly changing so understanding aspects of change will gain insight in lifespan perspectives.
The lifespan perspective, in relation to human development obtains its definition from the characteristics of development.
These characteristics are ever-changing, multidirectional, multicontextual, multicultural, multidisciplinary, and plasticity. Life is ever-changing and change affects human development. Multidirectional change comes in from every direction such as physical health, social interactions, and intellectual growth. The influences have an effect on how individuals perceive future events can change the way an individual thinks, and processes information.
Multicontextual means human lives receive influence from different contexts such as historical conditions, family patterns, and economic conditions.
Individuals in a cohort will have similar values because of their exposure to similar events, culture, and technology. Multicultural occurs when exposure to cultures influence the person’s development. Cultures are more than race, religion, and region. Cultures are workplace, school, and any other dynamically structured group. Multidisciplinary refers to the academic fields that provide insight and data such as psychology, biology, education, and many more.
Last is plasticity that encompasses every trait, and every individual is vulnerable to change at any period in the lifespan development (Berger, 2008. ) Change is constant because typical humans and the world they live are ever-changing and ongoing. Many theories of lifespan development have emerged over the centuries. They summarize and shed light on how diverse individual development is. Diversity in culture, historical conditions, individual experiences, and the environment constantly change the perspectives of individuals (Lerner, 1996. ) This change directly affects the individual’s lifespan development.
Theories on lifespan development such as psychoanalytic theory or cognitive theory are only a few of many. Understanding these two theories has shed some light into the diversity of development. The psychoanalytic theory, found by Sigmund Freud, stems from the belief that experiences from childhood and unconscious desires influence human behavior (Berger, 2008. ) The first six years of life the human body goes through three distinct developmental stages, each focused on a particular body part and characterized by sexual pleasure. The first is the oral stage, which occurs during infancy.
Second is the anal stage, which occurs in early childhood. Third is the phallic stage, occurring during the puberty stages of life in both male and female children (Berger, 2008. ) Each stage has a direct link with sensual satisfaction and development regarding needs and challenges. Relationships in life will mimic those between parent and child. The driving force of behavior lies in unconscious desires. These desires are receive heavy influence during the first six years of an individuals life, and affects his or hers development throughout life.
The cognitive theory, found by Jean Piaget, is the development of the mind (Berger, 2008. ) This theory explains the direct link between how people think and how thoughts form attitudes, values, and behaviors. Experiences in life influence perception, depending on the thought processes of the individual (Scheibe, & Freund, 2008. ) Over time the experiences that influence individuals can lead to a change in the way that individual thinks. Like the environment and individual lives in, the mind changes throughout life.
The debate between nature and nurture has been ongoing for centuries. Heredity can explain hair color, eye color, height, and other physical attributes. Heredity may even describe some innate fears and beliefs. The experience in life and the environment an individual lives in interacts with the innate responses born in an individual to build his or her personality. The environment that individual lives in changes over time. This change will influence the individual to go through some emotional changes over time, leading to change in the individual’s personality.
The different perspectives of individuals, even siblings, vary creating different responses to the same event or environmental stimuli (Baltes, Staudinger, & Lindenberger, 1999. ) The different lifespan perspective theories, which relate to development, have the common denominator of change. The constant in the environment and in individuals is change. Individuals experience new events, food, people, sounds, music, and many more stimuli daily. The experiences of life go through processes in the mind and into storage or cast away, but the direct mental influences each experience creates chisels away to create an ever-changing personality.
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Life Span Perspective. (2016, Dec 19). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/life-span-perspective-essay