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Theories of Human Development. Maslow, Erikson, Kohlburg. Human Development. The Catholic Church teaches that living in relationship with God and with other humans is one of the primary meanings of life. Social sciences have theories, as well:

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theories of human development

Theories of Human Development

Maslow, Erikson, Kohlburg

human development
Human Development
  • The Catholic Church teaches that living in relationship with God and with other humans is one of the primary meanings of life.
  • Social sciences have theories, as well:
  • Social sciences include psychology, anthropology, sociology, politics, philosophy, history…
  • They study human behaviour and development.
  • Abraham Maslow (American, 1908-1970) studies humans and theorized about human needs.
how do humans meet their needs
How do humans meet their needs?
  • All beings have the same basic needs.
  • What are they?
  • What needs are specifically human?
  • What happens if needs are not met?
  • Maslow put human needs into a pyramid or hierarchy
  • He said that once basic needs are met (and only then) could higher needs be worked on.
maslow s hierarchy of needs
Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs
  • Draw this pyramid
  • Try to put these in order
  • Belonging needs – I have good relationships
  • Self actualization – I feel fulfilled in all I do
  • Physical needs – I have food, warmth, sleep
  • Safety needs – I feel safe from harm
  • Esteem needs – I feel important and valued
maslow s hierarchy of needs1
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
  • Overview of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs –
  • If a person needs food and water, will learning to play the piano be important?
  • If a person is in fear of being violently attacked, will forming deep and meaningful relationships be important?
  • Can a person be motivated to meet their sales targets at work if their marriage is breaking up?
erikson humans develop over time
Erikson: Humans develop over time
  • Create a big chart:

Stage Ages What I think Erikson’s theory

  • What do we learn (or accomplish) during each stage?
  • Infancy (birth to 18 months)
  • Early Childhood: 18 Months to 3 Years
  • Play Age: 3 to 5 Years
  • School Age: 6 to 12 Years
  • Adolescence: 12 to 18 Years
  • Young Adulthood: 18 to 35
  • Middle Adulthood: 35 to 55 or 65
  • Late Adulthood: 55 or 65 to Death
  • Read the handout and fill in Erikson’s theory
kohlberg moral development
KohlBErg: Moral Development
  • Psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg studied the way human morality develops.
  • Copy these headings and fill in during the video:
  • 1. Pre-conventional morality
    • Stage 1:
    • Stage 2:
  • 2. Conventional morality
    • Stage 3:
    • Stage 4:
  • 3. Post-conventional morality
    • Stage 5:
    • Stage 6:
    • – Psychology 101 - Kohlberg
kohlberg moral development1
KohlBERG: Moral Development
  • 1. Pre-conventional morality (children)
    • Stage 1: Avoiding punishment
    • Stage 2: Taking care of yourself
  • 2. Conventional morality (adolescents and some adults)
    • Stage 3: Good girl/good boy
    • Stage 4: Following the rules
  • 3. Post-conventional morality (many adults)
    • Stage 5: Reject rigidity of laws – some laws should be changed
    • Stage 6: Sense of Justice – some acts are right, in themselves

Based on consequences

Based on wanting to please and be accepted

Based on a sense of justice and respect for others

heinz s dilemma
Heinz’s dilemma

A woman was near death from a special kind of cancer. There was one drug that the doctors thought might save her. It was a form of radium that a druggist in the same town had recently discovered. The drug was expensive to make, but the druggist was charging ten times what the drug cost him to produce. He paid $200 for the radium and charged $2,000 for a small dose of the drug. The sick woman's husband, Heinz, went to everyone he knew to borrow the money, but he could only get together about $1000 which is half of what it cost. He told the druggist that his wife was dying and asked him to sell it cheaper or let him pay later. But the druggist said: “No, I discovered the drug and I'm going to make money from it.” So Heinz got desperate and broke in to steal the drug for his wife. Should Heinz have broken into the laboratory to steal the drug for his wife? Why or why not?

  • In your small group: How would you solve this dilemma? In what stage of Kohlberg’s theory is your solution?
heinz s dilemma1
Heinz’s dilemma – Heinz’s dilemma (interactive animation)

Stage one (avoiding punishment): Heinz should not steal the medicine because he will consequently be put in prison which will mean he is a bad person.

Or: Heinz should steal the medicine because it is only worth 10% of what the company is charging and not how much the druggist wanted for it; Heinz had even offered to pay for it and was not stealing anything else.

Stage two (taking care of yourself): Heinz should steal the medicine because he will be much happier if he saves his wife, even if he will have to serve a prison sentence.

Or: Heinz should not steal the medicine because prison is an awful place, and he would more likely languish in a jail cell than over his wife's death.


Stage three (good girl/boy): Heinz should steal the medicine because his wife expects it; he wants to be a good husband.

Or: Heinz should not steal the drug because stealing is bad and he is not a criminal; he has tried to do everything he can without breaking the law, you cannot blame him.

Stage four (following the rules): Heinz should not steal the medicine because the law prohibits stealing, making it illegal.

Or: actions have consequences.


Stage five (reject unjust laws): Heinz should steal the medicine because everyone has a right to choose life, regardless of the law.

  • Or: Heinz should not steal the medicine because the scientist has a right to fair compensation. Even if his wife is sick, it does not make his actions right.
  • Stage six (sense of justice): Heinz should steal the medicine, because saving a human life is a more fundamental value than the property rights of another person.
  • Or: Heinz should not steal the medicine, because others may need the medicine just as badly, and their lives are equally significant.