Theories of Mental Development, Theoretical Foundations...

Theory of Mental Development

Theoretical bases of various concepts of mental development

A variety of theories of mental development can be classified based on what category of conditions they consider the main one in the course of human ontogeny. All the conditions of human development are reduced to three main categories:

1) biological (heredity);

2) external (environment);

3) internal (own activity).

Heredity includes information transmitted from parents to offspring through a chromosomal-genetic apparatus (mainly information about the biological properties of the organism: race and sex, anatomical and physiological characteristics, predispositions to somatic diseases, etc. .).

The most complex way to mental development affects the environment. The influence of the environment can be divided into three subcategories: ecological influence (natural conditions), social influence (human society) and architectural influence (artificially created material environment). Naturally, the main factor of these three is the influence of human society. Without the participation of adults caring for the development of the child, he will not master the norms of human society and will not become a man in the full sense (a vivid example of this is the children-Mowgli).

The activity of the most developing person determines the image of his life. It depends on it, how often and how intensively in a person's life this or that mental function is used. Those qualities, the manifestations of which life does not require from a person, will not develop to the proper extent. This is confirmed, in particular, by the law of the development of special abilities: they are based on natural makings, but are formed and developed only as a result of systematic studies of relevant activities.

Each of these three categories affects the development of a person throughout his life, but at different rates. Throughout ontogeny, their roles change. During the period of fetal development, when the formation of all systems of the body is going on, heredity is the main factor of development. With the appearance of a person in the light and during

Of all childhood, the decisive role belongs to the environment. At the same time as the child grows up and forms self-consciousness, the child gradually begins to take more and more actions that determine the ways of his further development. Teenagers and young men are already fully capable of setting goals for their own development and embody them into reality, i.e. become subjects of their development.

There are many different theories of mental development, attributing the decisive role in this process to only one factor throughout the entire ontogenesis of man. There are also theories that take into account the influence of two or all three factors. Historically, heredity became the first object of attention involved in the development of scientists, and the activity of the developing person is the last. Therefore, theories that attribute the decisive role of activity can not ignore the influence of heredity and the surrounding society.

In total, there are four main groups of theories of mental development, depending on which category of conditions they attach crucial importance:

1) heredity (biogenetic approach);

2) environment (sociogenetic approach);

3) random combination of hereditary and environmental factors (stochastic (probabilistic) approach);

4) activity taking into account the role of heredity and environment (functional approach).

Next, the most widely known theories of mental development will be considered in detail.

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