According to developmental contextual separating biological from social influences is a false dichotomy, and rather than separating the two attempt should be made to better understand how the two work together. This essay will evaluate such various influences on human personality, and how they intertwine by underpinning the claims with relevant theories and using examples to illustrate them where appropriate. The first scientists to point out that a childhood experience might play a major role in shaping the adult personality and the way we relate to others, was
Sigmund Freud (Wood et al, 2007). Freud and other scientists believing in organism approach focused on the early stages of life. According to the organism approach the process of developing as a human is divided into stages and happens over certain period of time meaning it is a finished process rather than process that carries out throughout a lifetime (Wood et al, 2007); the end result of growing up and developing personality is the adulthood. Thus, for a skill to develop an individual has to undergo stages of learning process, e. G. Order to learn to speak in sentences an infant first learns syllables then words then phrases and eventually whole sentences. Psychologists like Pigged and Viscosity strongly believed that childhood was the time when personality was being shaped therefore concentrating on researching the changes occurring in the childhood (Wood et al, 2007). This view suggests that once the adulthood has been reached and personality has been developed changes will not occur, and the final product is final. Also, according to the organism view the development is predetermined by genetic specifics.
Organism approach argued that development always happens in the same sequence and stages follow one another always in the same order and although environmental influences are important they may only delay or speed up, as well as completely stop the development but they might not change the order in which they happen or alter their nature (Wood et al, 2007). The strongest criticism of organism stage theories is the fact that it does not recognize learning as a lifelong process and it does not recognize the impact of social influences when developing a personality.
Furthermore, all the organism theories, including the attachment theory suggest there is an end to the process of learning and a skill developed to the optimum will be acquired. Organism approach can be summarized as one that emphasizes the biological and genetic factors as critical to individual’s development. Darning’s theory of evolution has inspired and influenced the functionalist perspective in developmental psychology; functionalism in psychology had adopted the view that change of behavior is determined by the evolutionary need, e. . He new behavior must have a purpose (function) and only the behavior that proved over time to increase human specie’s chance of survival have been formed and became part of human nature. Charles Darwin, while studying his infant son’ behavior, observed that some of the behaviors were fully developed whereas others were exuded with clumsiness and lack of experience. Thus, Darwin concluded some behaviors must be innate, and others have to be developed, and progress with time.
Learning happens progressively and is dependent on a learning of every prior stage (Wood et al, 2007). Darning’s view that change happens in logical and gradual stages became one of the most important principles of lifespan psychology. John Bowl inspired by Darning’s theory of evolution created attachment theory. Attachment theory argues that both vertical, meaning child-parent, relationship and horizontal, peer to peer relationships, play equal role in shaping an individual as a person, however emphasis is on early childhood relationships with the parents or primary caregivers.
According to the theory there are different types of attachment which are developed throughout our fife; in the childhood the parents are the primary care givers and source or models of behaviors applied in appropriate situations (Wood et al, 2007). Parents influence cannot be undermined however most recent views in developmental psychology suggests that model of behavior learnt / acquired in the childhood might be replaced by a different, healthier one providing a person had been exposed to the healthy model of interaction preferably within a relationship with another person being the source of another model of behavior.
Such view is in contrast with the views that were dominating psychology for a long time, views that undermined the influence of the relationships people form in their adult lives. Eventually relationships were categorized into horizontal and vertical, where horizontal describe relationships between people of similar status, e. G. Between friends or work colleagues of same job role and vertical between people of different status and power, e. G. Arena- child or mentor-protog relationship. Till recently psychologists thought that the infancy and the childhood were crucial for shaping a person but also fixed, once the change had place it was irreversible. However, more recent view suggest that development is not only a very individual process starting at different times and developing differently but it carries on throughout a whole life. That perspective is described as holistic approach (Wood et al, 2007).
Introduction of longitudinal type of research allowed the scientists to discover that the way adults behaved or how efficient intellectually they were did not only depend on their age but upon many other factors such as individual, historical and environmental difference, e. G. Artisans of same age and same sex will score differently if exposed previously to different education and environmental stimuli, leading to a conclusion that cognitive skills may progress differently in different individuals.
All these findings lead to conclusion that many different factors influence individual’s development, biological and environmental and many perspectives are needed to build an insight into a complexity of development process. Also, the concept of sex and gender is viewed differently by different theories and their creators, e. G. Social constructionist theory perspective does not view sex as crucial to determining what it involves to be a woman or a man but rather set of characteristics that are attached to the concept Of “man” Or “woman” by society.
Biological approach on the other hand views the role of a “woman” and a “man” as those that were developed through evolution to suit the adaptive needs of humans. According to psychodrama perspective identification with one sex or the other is rooted in biological differences and as such has attached social meaning clearly describing the role of both sexes thin their cultural framework, so identification is determined by having or not having a penis and the social implications of it.
However this approach, and especially Fraud’s philanthropic approach has been criticized by some psychologists such as Horned and Klein who preferred the analytic approach to understand the complexity and specifics of gender (Wood et al, 2007). All these approaches tackle different aspects of sex and gender therefore potentially being complimentary and providing explanation to different issues or concerns. Historically however, some of the facts that were established appeared to be in contradiction with other findings.
Lifespan psychology has been researching many aspects of development and its aspects often considering different theories and approaches, biological and social. Variety of theories and perspectives provide a better insight into different aspects of the same occurrences, e. G. Pigged and Forerunner both researched cognitive development but each of them focused on different potential influences on the process of learning. There is no denying that relationships with other people are crucial and central to mental wellbeing, ND as such play immense role in developing as an individual.