psychological development

psychological development

Development of cognitive, emotional, intellectual, and social capabilities and functioning over the course of one's life. It is the subject matter of the discipline of developmental psychology. In infancy, language is acquired, perception, emotion, and memory take shape, and learning and motor skills develop. In childhood, speech emerges, cognitive abilities advance from concrete to abstract operations, emotional responses become more sophisticated, and empathy and moral reasoning begin to be employed. Adolescence is a time of rapid emotional and intellectual growth, while adulthood is characterized by the maturing of all developmental processes.

Learn more about psychological development with a free trial on Britannica.com.

A series of stages of faith development was proposed by Professor James W. Fowler, a developmental psychologist at Candler School of Theology, in the book Stages of Faith. This book-length study contains a framework and ideas, which have generated a good deal of response from those interested in religion.

It proposes a staged development of faith (or spiritual development) across the lifespan. It is closely related to the work of Jean Piaget, Erik Erikson, and Lawrence Kohlberg regarding aspects of psychological development in children and adults.

Fowler's stages

Faith is seen as a holistic orientation, and is concerned with the individual's relatedness to the universal:

  • Stage 0"Primal or Undifferentiated" faith (birth to 2 years), is characterized by an early learning of the safety of their environment (ie. warm, safe and secure vs. hurt, neglect and abuse). In addition, sharp attention is paid to mammalia (e.g., wooly sheep)
  • Stage 1"Intuitive-Projective" faith (ages of three to seven), is characterized by the psyche's unprotected exposure to the Unconscious.
  • Stage 2"Mythic-Literal" faith (mostly in school children), stage three persons have a strong belief in the justice and reciprocity of the universe, and their deities are almost always anthropomorphic.
  • Stage 3"Synthetic-Conventional" faith (arising in adolescence) characterized by conformity
  • Stage 4"Individuative-Reflective" faith (usually mid-twenties to late thirties) a stage of angst and struggle. The individual takes personal responsibility for their beliefs and feelings.
  • Stage 5"Conjunctive" faith (mid-life crisis) acknowledges paradox and transcendence relating reality behind the symbols of inherited systems
  • Stage 6"Universalizing" faith, or what some might call "enlightenment".

See also

External links

References

  • Fowler, James W. (1981). Stages of Faith, Harper & Row ISBN 0-06-062866-9.
  • Wulff, D. M., Psychology of Religion: Classic and Contemporary (2nd ed), New York, Wiley, 1997.
  • Volume dedicated to the Faith Development Theory of James Fowler in The International Journal for the Psychology of Religion. 11(3). 2001. For example:
    • Heinz Streib, "The Symposium on Faith Development Theory and the Modern Paradigm", pp. 141-142.
    • John McDargh "Faith Development Theory and the Postmodern Problem of Foundations", pp. 185-199
    • Zastrow, C., Kirst-Ashman, K. (2007). Understanding human behavior and the social environment (7th ed.) Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.
    • Howard Kurtz, "College Faculties a Most Liberal Lot, Study Finds", WP, Tuesday 29 Mar 2005, p. C1.
    • Stanley Rothman, S. Robert Lichter, and Neil Nevitte (2005) "Politics and Professional Advancement Among College Faculty," The Forum: Vol. 3 : Iss. 1, Article 2.

Available at: http://www.bepress.com/forum/vol3/iss1/art2

  • Stanley Rothman, S. Robert Lichter, and Neil Nevitte, Fundamentals and Fundamentalists: A Reply to Ames et al.2 (July 2005)

Search another word or see psychological developmenton Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature
FAVORITES
RECENT

;