What resonates with me in regards to the different theorists and their perspectives is the centrality each theory seems to possess while each still maintaining their own distinct and separate differences. I find it of interest that some particular theories intertwine with one another while still maintaining their own independent view, and other theories build upon one another- or entirely reinvent- the prominent leading theory in child development of the time. An example of elaboration and extension upon an already well established theory is Erik Erikson, who expanded upon Sigmund Freud’s theory of psychoanalytical developmental theory.
Although Freud expressed an assertive preference for psychoanalytical theory and Erikson favored a psychosocial aspect, both theories were strongly rooted in the basis that development manifested within distinct stages.
An example of complete overhaul of a theory is Vygotsky’s rejection of the developmental theories of Piaget, who then formed his own specific and unique model of human development centered on social interaction being the basis of development in a child instead of self discovery.
In example, I believe Erikson’s theory and Piaget’s can be observed simultaneously within the growth and development of an individual as I believe both cognitive and social factors display themselves in somewhat equal porportions in society and throughout the longevity of the human life span. The strongest remaining impression on myself is really the overall tone of all these theories. I cannot say that among all theories presented that there is a certain one theory which I find ‘better’ than the other.
I can see the value in each individual theory, for it’s respective time and place in the field of psychology.
Psychoanalytic thought pertained to unconscious motivations and early influences on behaviour although the lack of imperical evidence to support this thesis leads others towards psychosocial theories. Psychosocial developmental theories, formed as a response to the lack of evidence associated with the former, led to conjuring theories with a heightened importance upon the scientific study of things which can be quantified. While I do not agree with Freudian theory I can respect it for occupying its place in history and as a plataue to further build upon with new perspectives, as in regards to Erikson’s theory which was a more in depth elaboration upon the former. I can identify importance in the school of thought pertaining to discontinuous stages of development, while I can also see merit in the application of continuous and even intermittent development theories. Overall, all theories are of value and interest to myself, as opinions related to theories on developmental stages vary in regards to whether behaviours and actions are formed in context to age, personal relationships with those in our surroundings, or genetic influences, or essentially, personality, and are important to help foster the best possible atmosphere of growth for our future generations.