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Theories of Human Behavior - Research Paper Example

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Jean Piaget worked in cognitive domain introducing Theory of Cognitive Development. Developmental Theory was initially introduced by Sigmund Freud and further developed by , Erik Erikson's Theory of Psychosocial Development. In 1950s humanist theorists with the most renown Abraham Maslow introduced humanist theories emphasizing positive features of human nature.
This paper covers theories pertaining to personality development and explaining the roots of human behavior. Starting from the earliest theories of human behavior, development and personality it involves to the recent theories focused on the human intellect.
S. Freud personality development theory involves two variables, the interaction of which makes up a personality. These are biological determinants and environment, in which parental behavior plays an important role particularly during infancy.
According to Freud personality is composed of the id, ego, and superego. In this theory Freud managed to integrate biological and environmental variables - the id introduces instinctual drives while ego helps to keep balance between urges of the id and rules of society, represented by the superego. Freud also introduced stages of personality development depending on one's focus of instinctual needs.
In "Three Essays on Sexuality" (1915) Freud outlined child development in five stages - oral, anal, phallic, latency period, and genital. The theory resulted from Freud's observations during his therapy sessions with clients.
The first oral stage comprises children from birth to 18 months. The stage is marked by focus on oral pleasures. The desires are oriented on lips and mouth which is connected with breast sucking. Seeking for oral stimulation Freud called oral-incorporative behavior and explained it with an attempt to get pleasure similar to that of breast sucking.
Fixing on this stage means excessive oral stimulation like smoking, excessive drinking or eating. So, oral character develops oral traits to attain pleasure and oral satisfaction. Frustration experienced during oral stage later results in oral-aggressive characteristics, which maybe be expressed in hysterical screaming, biting or sarcasm and aggressive gossiping. (Wehr)
The influence of the experience acquired on oral stage accompanies an individual throughout his life. This stage impacts person's perception of the world as a secure place and it's when the feeling of trust towards others is formed. Deprivation in infancy causes deep complexes, which hamper a person to build adequate relationships with other people.
During anal stage, which a child goes from 18 months to three years an individual's libido is ...Show more


The underlying basis of human behavior has been a topic of vehement discussions and still it is not void of its topicality. The views diverge and are so versatile that it is almost impossible to arrive at terminal conclusion. However, most of the researches agree that human behavior is shaped in the childhood and that during childhood a person goes through several stages of development which are marked by physical, cognitive, social, cultural, and emotional changes.
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Theories of Human Behavior Research Paper
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