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Developmental Theories

Developmental Theories

Developmental Theories

Piaget’s Theory

The general premise of Piaget’s theory is that learning and thinking are adaptive. Based on the theory, the main stages of development are the sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational stages (Brown & Desforges, 2013). The sensorimotor stage is the early stage of development, where infants only know what is in front of them. They concentrate on what they see, what they are doing, and the physical interactions they have with their immediate environment. Another characteristic of his stage is that it includes constant experimenting as children try to learn new things. This stage also incorporates goal-oriented behavior aimed at a desired outcome. Towards the end of this stage, the infants experience early language development (Brown & Desforges, 2013). The preoperational stage includes thinking about things in a symbolic way. It is characterized by the use of a more mature language, developing memory and imagination, allowing infants to understand the difference between the future and the past, and thinking based on intuition but not completely rational. The concrete operational stage begins at age seven and ends at 11 years (Brown & Desforges, 2013). One of the characteristics of this stage is logical and concrete reasoning. The second characteristic is that children become less focused on themselves as their awareness of external events increases. The third characteristic is children’s realization that their feelings and thoughts are unique. The formal operational stage is the adolescent stage. The stage is characterized by intellectual development, thinking about thinking systematically, and development of abstract relationships.81026

Erikson’s Theory

Erikson’s theory’s general premise is that personality develops in a predetermined way through eight psychosocial development stages, from when an individual is an infant to when they become adults. The first stage is trust vs mistrust. It occurs between birth and when a person is one year old (Syed & McLean, 2017). The developing individual would successfully resolve this stage by listening to their caregiver. The individual would unsuccessfully resolve this stage by being defiant and failing to communicate their needs, such as communicating when they need food and safety. The second stage is autonomy, shame, and doubt. In this stage, children begin performing basic actions on their own and deciding what they prefer. They can successfully resolve this stage by making their own choices and unsuccessfully resolve it by being dependent on the help of their caregiver. The third stage is initiative vs guilt. It includes asserting power and control through social interactions (Syed & McLean, 2017). Children can successfully resolve this stage by interacting with other children and unsuccessfully resolve it by spending time alone and secluding themselves from other children. The fourth stage is industry vs. inferiority, which includes developing a sense of pride in abilities and accomplishments. Children can successfully resolve this stage by interacting with other children and unsuccessfully resolve it by bullying other children. The fifth stage is identity vs confusion, which includes developing a personal identity. Children can successfully resolve this stage by interacting with other children who give them proper encouragement to explore their personal identity and unsuccessfully resolve it by being insecure about their desires and beliefs. The sixth stage is intimacy vs. isolation. Individuals can successfully influence this stage by establishing relationships with other people and unsuccessfully resolve it by keeping to themselves. The seventh stage is generativity vs stagnation, which includes creating and nurturing outlasting things (Syed & McLean, 2017). Individuals can successfully influence this stage by engaging in activities that enable them to create positive change and unsuccessfully resolve it by engaging in distractive activities such as drug abuse. The eighth stage is integrity vs despair. Individuals can successfully resolve this stage by reflecting on the positive things that have happened in their lives and unsuccessfully resolving it by regretting the bad things they did.

Theory with a more accurate depiction of development

I believe Erikson’s theory is a more accurate depiction of development due to various reasons. To begin with, it provides a broad overview of personal development throughout a person’s life. The second reason is that it allows people to emphasize the social nature of human beings. It also allows people to understand the important influence that social relationships have on development. The fourth reason is that it provides a model for considering the personal differences within the structure of normal development. The fifth reason is that it provides insights into how a person can get a healthy lifespan.

Kubler-Ross’ theory of grieving

Kubler-Ross’ theory of grieving posits that people undergo denial, anger, depression, bargaining, and acceptance while grieving. Denial includes seeing the world as meaningless and overwhelming (Kübler-Ross & Kessler, 2007). The main tips that can be used to deal with this stage are putting aside physical things that bring memories involving the person who is physically gone and spending more time around people to prevent overthinking. Anger occurs after denial and may take a while to fade away. The tips that can be used to cope with this stage are engaging in activities that create a distraction from overthinking and adapting to a busy schedule. Depression includes having empty feelings. The tips for coping with this stage are spending time around people and engaging in social activities. Bargaining is characterized by “if only” and “what if” statements (Pastan & L. Beaman, 2018). The tips for coping with this stage include seeing a therapist to help in overcoming regret and engaging in activities that engage the mind. Acceptance includes being at peace with the reality that a loved one is physically gone. The tips for coping with this stage include forming new relationships with other people and putting away their belongings by either storing them away from the house or donating them.


Brown, G., & Desforges, C. (2013). Piaget’s theory. Routledge.

Kübler-Ross, E., & Kessler, D. (2007). On grief and grieving: Finding the meaning of grief through the five stages of loss. Simon & Schuster.

Pastan, L., & L. Beaman, S. (2018). The five stages of grief. Grief and the Healing Arts, 2-17.

Syed, M., & McLean, K. C. (2017). Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development.


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Here are the written assignment instructions:

Describe Piaget’s Theory (Describe the theory’s general premise and all four stages. For each stage, provide 3 characteristics.)

Developmental Theories

Developmental Theories

Describe Erikson’s Theory (Describe the theory’s general premise and all eight stages. For each psychosocial stage, describe how the developing individual would successfully and unsuccessfully resolve each stage. You can also list the psychological virtue for each stage.)
Choose one theory and explain why you believe this theory is a more accurate depiction of development (provide 5 reasons why you chose this theory)
Describe the stages of Kubler-Ross’ theory of grieving (DABDA). Provide 2 tips for each stage of grief that would help the person cope with that particular stage.

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