The American Psychology Association defines lifespan development as a field that focuses on the scientific study and exploration of growth and changes that occur to humans from conception to death. Life span development focuses on three main developmental aspects; psychosocial, physical, and cognitive. Since its development, the field of lifespan development has grown tremendously, and as a result, several psychologists have developed numerous studies that are used in practice and taught in schools. This essay describes the background of renowned psychology theorists and the theories they developed that contributed to the commencement and growth of the field of lifespan development. In the end, the paper will provide the actual name of the psychologist.
Born to Jewish parents on 6th May 1856 in the Moravian town of Freiberg (Currently the Czech Republic), this individual was born with a caul. This was regarded as a possibility of a successful future by the person’s mother. At the age of 9 years, the individual joined a prominent high school and later on managed to pass with honors in 1873. The individual joined Vienna University at age 17, and despite the interest to pursue law, the individual entered the faculty of medicine. While in the university, the individual spent time in the lecturers’ laboratories conducting different dissections, e.g., eels, crayfish, frogs, and vertebrates, in neurological endeavors. This activity contributed to the eventual acquisition of skills in scientific research. In the year 1882, the individual became a clinical assistant at the General Hospital in Vienna. The university later appointed this individual as a lecturer in neuropathology after completing numerous researches on the brain’s medulla in 1885. The desire to formulate psychological theories and practice psychology by the individual was influenced by a friend, Josef Breuer, a psychologist and a physician. Breuer influenced this individual’s career by demonstrating the treatment of patients using hypnosis (Jones, 2019). The individual, having gained interest in the field, opted to increase their knowledge by traveling to Paris and learning under Jean-Martin Charcot, a famous neurologist specialized in using hypnosis to cure hysteria.
This individual is responsible for the development of the psychoanalytical theory of personality. This theory states that human personality undergoes several developmental stages which involve distinctive internal psychological conflict. The theory further indicates that the id, ego, and superego are the three fundamental components of the mind whose interactions shape human behavior. Clash of the three components in behavioral shaping occurs unconsciously. The individual also developed the psychosexual theory of development that describes how childhood personality is shaped. The theory identifies five psychosocial stages, and the theorists indicate that the child experiences conflicts in each stage helps in shaping and mastery of the developmental stages. The person also took part in the formation and development of talk therapy which incorporates the engagement of patients in talking about their problems to alleviate the issues. The individual also contributed to the development of dream analysis concepts, which involved dreams to examine the unconscious mind and what the patient is hiding from conscious awareness. Another concept that the individual significantly contributed to its development is the defense mechanism of humans. In this concept, the theorists demonstrated the various tactics that a person’s ego uses in the provision of protection from anxiety (Jones, 2019). Some of these tactics include regression, denial, repression, among others.
This individual was entirely instrumental in psychology, and from the theories and concepts developed, a lot of work has been done to improve or contradict it. The psychoanalytical theory has been instrumental in giving information about lifespan development and is still being taught today. The individual being described here is Sigmund Freud.
Jones, E. (2019). The life and work of Sigmund Freud. Plunkett Lake Press.