Ch 3: Theoretical Foundations for Life Span Developmental Psychology

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons on theoretical foundations for life span developmental psychology. Learn about Sigmund Freud and the other psychologists who contributed theories.

Theoretical Foundations for Life Span Developmental Psychology - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Learn about the thinkers who influenced life span developmental theories from the 19th century to today. In this chapter, instructors stress concepts such as classical and operant conditioning, attachment theory, psychosocial development, and other theories that went into the modern understanding of life span developmental psychology. You will be introduced to the relevant vocabulary associated with this topic. At the end of this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Associate each psychologist with his or her theory
  • Describe the main ideas of each theory and criticisms of that theory
  • Differentiate between theories
  • Have an idea of how life span developmental psychology was founded and how it progressed throughout the years
  • Name the individuals who contributed to life span developmental psychology and identify their theories

Video Objective
Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development Understand key terms, such as accommodation and assimilation, of Piaget's theory.
Bruner's Theory of Development Describe how Bruner disagreed with Piaget; describe Bruner's enactive, iconic, and symbolic modes of representation and his emphasis on language development.
Case's Theory of Development Describe Case's theory of development and how Case's theory differed from Piaget.
Attachment Theory: Definition & Criticism of Bowlby & Ainsworth's Theories Define attachment theory and the four types of attachments that children have with their caregivers; describe the characteristics of infants who have each of the four types of attachment bonds; explain criticisms of this theory.
Erikson's Stages of Psychosocial Development Describe the eight stages of psychosocial development and the conflict present at each stage.
Freud's Psychoanalytic Theory on Instincts, Motivation, Personality & Development Define each of Freud's Stages of development, including anal, oral, etc.
Differences Between Freud and Erikson's Approaches to Psychoanalytic Theory: Differences & Analysis Discuss the differences between Freud and Erikson's approaches.
Classical Conditioning vs. Operant Conditioning: Differences and Examples Distinguish between classical conditioning and operant conditioning.
Classical Conditioning Discuss Ivan Pavlov's experiment with classical conditioning and terms, such as unconditioned stimulus and conditioned response.
Watson and Little Albert Discuss Watson's experiment with Little Albert and the findings.
Operant Conditioning Discuss Edward Thorndike and his law of effect; understand BF Skinner's work on operant conditioning and how Skinner's work built on Thorndike's.
Albert Bandura: Social-Cognitive Theory and Vicarious Learning Discuss Albert Bandura and his theory of learning and development; define vicarious learning.
Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory of Development: Definition & Examples Define the microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, macrosystem, and chronosystem.
Lev Vygotsky's Theory of Cognitive Development Describe the theory and the concepts of proximal development and scaffolding; discuss criticisms; provide examples.
Theories of Adult Development Discuss Daniel Levinson's theory of adulthood development and the tasks associated with each stage; compare and contrast Vaillant's theory of adaptation to life and Bernice Neugarten's theory on adult development.

15 Lessons in Chapter 3: Theoretical Foundations for Life Span Developmental Psychology
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development

1. Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development

Jean Piaget's theory of cognitive development focuses on how learners interact with their environment to develop complex reasoning and knowledge. This lesson will focus on the six basic assumptions of that theory, including the key terms: assimilation, accommodation and equilibration.

Jerome Bruner's Theory of Development: Discovery Learning & Representation

2. Jerome Bruner's Theory of Development: Discovery Learning & Representation

This lesson explores Jerome Bruner's theory of development, his three modes of representation, and his beliefs on learning, language, and discovery. It will also differentiate Bruner's views of learning compared to Jean Piaget's views.

Robbie Case's Theory of Development: Neo-Piagetian Perspective

3. Robbie Case's Theory of Development: Neo-Piagetian Perspective

The Neo-Piagetian perspective stemmed from criticism of Jean Piaget's Cognitive Development theory. This lesson will discuss the Neo-Piagetian perspective and Robbie Case's Theory of Development.

Attachment Theory: Definition & Criticism of Bowlby & Ainsworth's Theories

4. Attachment Theory: Definition & Criticism of Bowlby & Ainsworth's Theories

Relationships are built between two people. These meaningful bonds are critical for human development, and the most important type of relationship is that between child and parent or caregiver. This lesson will discuss attachment theory and the role of attachment on human growth and development.

Erik Erikson's Eight Stages of Psychosocial Development: Conflicts & Growth

5. Erik Erikson's Eight Stages of Psychosocial Development: Conflicts & Growth

Erikson identified eight stages of psychosocial development, with each stage presenting a conflict that must be overcome. This lesson will discuss the conflict and growth associated with each stage of development.

Freud and Erikson's Approaches to Psychoanalytic Theory: Differences & Analysis

6. Freud and Erikson's Approaches to Psychoanalytic Theory: Differences & Analysis

Differentiate between Freud's and Erikson's approaches to psychoanalytic theory in this lesson. You will examine and compare developmental stages side by side and have the opportunity to test your knowledge with a quiz at the end.

Classical Conditioning vs. Operant Conditioning: Differences and Examples

7. Classical Conditioning vs. Operant Conditioning: Differences and Examples

This lesson will compare classical conditioning and operant conditioning. Examples are provided and key terms associated with each type of learning are defined.

Psychologist John Watson & the Little Albert Experiment

8. Psychologist John Watson & the Little Albert Experiment

Does classical conditioning work on humans? In this lesson, you'll explore this question as poor Little Albert is taught to fear a rat. You'll also see how classical conditioning can be used in advertising.

Albert Bandura: Social-Cognitive Theory and Vicarious Learning

9. Albert Bandura: Social-Cognitive Theory and Vicarious Learning

A person's cognition, environment and behavior play important roles in learning new knowledge and skills. This lesson will focus on Albert Bandura's contributions to social learning and vicarious experiences.

Social-Cognitive Learning Theory: Definition and Examples

10. Social-Cognitive Learning Theory: Definition and Examples

Have you learned behaviors or skills from observing others? Maybe you have learned from observing a teacher, friend, or supervisor. We acquire new knowledge and skills from a variety of methods. This lesson will introduce the concepts of the social-cognitive theory, which focuses on the learning that occurs within a social context.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs: Definition, Theory & Pyramid

11. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs: Definition, Theory & Pyramid

Why is it that when some of our needs aren't met, it's almost impossible to concentrate on other ones? Psychologist Abraham Maslow spent his career looking for these answers. Watch this lesson to learn about some of his most important conclusions.

Carl Rogers' Humanistic Theory and Psychotherapy

12. Carl Rogers' Humanistic Theory and Psychotherapy

Carl Rogers is often credited with being one of the most influential psychologists of the 20th century with contributions that include client-centered therapy, self-actualization, and the theory of self.

Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory of Development: Definition & Examples

13. Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory of Development: Definition & Examples

Learn about Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory in this lesson and explore the five levels of the environment that can influence human development.

Lev Vygotsky's Theory of Cognitive Development

14. Lev Vygotsky's Theory of Cognitive Development

The role of culture and social interactions are imperative to cognitive development, according to psychologist, Lev Vygotsky. This lesson will discuss how social interactions play a role in cognitive development of children, provide an overview of Vygotsky's cultural-historical theory and describe the stages of speech and language development.

Theories of Adult Development: Levinson, Vaillant & Neugarten

15. Theories of Adult Development: Levinson, Vaillant & Neugarten

Understanding adult development is an important step in the process of understanding how societies function. This lesson will focus on three theories of adult development proposed by Daniel Levinson, George Vaillant, and Bernice Neugarten.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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