The concept of sensitivity. Critical and crisis periods - Age psychology

The concept of sensitivity. Critical and crisis periods

Sensitivity - is a character characteristic of a person, manifested in heightened sensitivity to events occurring with him; usually accompanied by increased anxiety, fear of new situations, people, all sorts of trials, etc.

Many scientists paid attention to the peculiarities of the sensitive periods of development of psychology. So, C. Stokkard believed that during the embryonic development of animals and humans, there are periods of increased growth and increased sensitivity of individual organs and systems to external influences. And if, for some reason, the development slows down, it leads to its slowdown in the future. According to this point of view, if in the childhood in the sensitive period some function does not develop, then its correction in the future is impossible.

M. M. Koltsova, DB El'konin, B. G. Ananiev adhere to the opposite point of view. In their opinion,

catch up in the sensitive period can be at a later age, although it will have to face some difficulties. B. G. Ananiev in laboratory conditions established favorable periods for the development of attention, thinking, various types of memory and motor functions in children and adults. They have a wavy character, i.e. periods of active development are followed by a slight decline.

L. S. Vygotsky introduced the term "critical period" in psychology. Under him, he understood the global restructuring at the level of the individual and the individual, taking place at a certain time. The critical period is calm in development (lysis) and critical (crisis). LS Vygotsky noted that these periods act as "turning points in child development, sometimes taking the form of a crisis ... development sometimes acquires a violent, rapid, sometimes catastrophic character" and believed that "development here, in contrast to stable periods, performs more destructive than creative work" . But he also noted the positive development tendencies that make up the main and basic meaning of any critical period. At the end of each transition period, new properties and qualities are formed that did not exist in the previous period - they are called new growths.

Throughout a person's life there is not one critical period. Vygotsky identified several such periods: the period of newborn, one year, three years, six to seven years, adolescence. Some researchers identify critical periods of adulthood.

In physiology, critical periods are called age crises. Age crises - are the reactions of the human body to the restructuring of physiological processes in different age periods. These are rapid shifts, each of which initiates a new phase of the life cycle. Transitions from one age period to another are associated with changes in the physical data and psychological characteristics of the child, with a complete restructuring of his body and behavior. The behavior of children during such a transition usually does not change for the better, many become withdrawn, irritable, which causes concern for adults. Thus, the age crisis indicates that in the child's body and psychology there are significant changes, that on the path of physical and psychological development there were difficulties with which the child himself can not cope. And overcoming the crisis is a confirmation that the child is already at a higher level and has moved to the next psychological age.

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