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Publisher's Summary

In these 24 lectures, probe the field of "human development"; the science that studies how we learn and develop psychologically, from birth to the end of life. This very young science not only enables us to understand children and help them develop optimally, but also gives us profound insights into who we are as adults.

Professor Watson introduces you to the six theories that have had perhaps the greatest influence on this field. Each of them has had a pervasive impact on the way we think about and see ourselves. Among the theories you'll encounter are Sigmund Freud's psychodynamic theory (including such concepts as the Oedipus Complex and the five stages of psycho-sexual development), Erik Erikson's psycho-social theory (which gave rise to the term "identity crisis"), and Albert Bandura's social learning theory (influential in such areas as the effect of media violence on children).

You'll meet the people who formulated each theory, become familiar with their philosophical backgrounds and the historical contexts in which they worked, and study the specific processes of human development that each theory describes. Along the way, you'll evaluate the strength and weaknesses of each theory. How do these six theories complement or contradict one another? What do they tell us, as a whole, about human development?

These lectures aren't simply about learning, behavior, and relationships in youth, but at any age. Taken as a whole, they provide our best answers to the questions of human nature-how we learn, adapt, and become who we are at every stage in life.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2002 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2002 The Great Courses

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Average Customer Ratings

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  • Mark
  • Staten Island, NY, United States
  • 02-11-14

Great CLEP review

Where does Theories of Human Development rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is the first audible book I've used and I used it as preparation for the Human Growth and Development CLEP exam. I thought that the speaker spoke very slowly so I had to increase the speed to 2x. Once that was done I would calmly listen to it in the car. I really enjoyed all the examples the author provided as they are very applicable to current psychology beliefs and practices. My one complaint/suggestion was that the ecological systems theory wasn't explained; macrosystems, exosystems, microsystem, mesosystem, chronosystem, etc. Additionally, I don't think this lecture series really stressed the importance of operant conditioning and the difference between that and classical conditioning. If it could be done, I'd ask for the same lecturer to just go into those aspects a bit more. I supplemented these lectures with CLEP practice questions (an 80 question practice exam), and the Developmental Psychology Outline from Kaplans GRE psychology book.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • A
  • Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • 02-10-14

A basic first year course in human development

Would you listen to Theories of Human Development again? Why?

Great if you're a psych student and want to review first-year material on Freud, Erikson and Piaget. Or good if you're just interested in psychology and don't know much about the topic

What does Professor Malcolm W. Watson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Makes the concepts clear with apt analogies.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Sparrow
  • Marin County, CA
  • 10-20-13

Exceptional; Entertaining; Comprehensive

What did you love best about Theories of Human Development?

As a student of Psychology with a long commute, I was looking for a good review of Developmental Psy. WOW!! I've taken Developmental Psychology in two different classroom formats (at the University level) but the material has never been presented so clearly, or so well. <br/><br/>The author also reads with enthusiasm (not over the top, but like a real human begin engaged in the topic rather than a robot reading a script which I find REALLY off-putting). I often find myself saying "I really like this guy" while I'm listening -- and would love to take a course from him in person! I just wish he had more courses listed here!<br/><br/>SUPERB -- suitable for students of Psychology and laypersons alike. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Who was your favorite character and why?

N/A

What about Professor Malcolm W. Watson’s performance did you like?

Stated previously

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

LOVED IT!

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Everyone interacting with kids should listen to this

This course was easy to follow, very informative and interesting. The professor knows the information very well and was easy to listen to. Very engaging.

I think all parents or soon-to-be parents should listen to this course. It gives insight into our development and gives context to theories on development.

I used this to help study for the CLEP Human Growth and Development exam. It made that part of the exam easy because it was easy to listen and learn from this professor. Although I bought this just to study from, I plan to keep the book for later when I become a parent or am around kids later on.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • eric
  • Surprise, AZ, United States
  • 10-11-15

I normally love the Great Courses....not this time

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

I love psychology and I love several of the Great Courses books on it too, but this was atrocious. The information was redundant, poorly given, and could be any type of psych class not necessarily one of development. I am disappointed. Try another book first.

What didn’t you like about Professor Malcolm W. Watson’s performance?

I think I fell asleep every few minutes after the first chapter because his voice was so very soothing.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Really interesting, relevant and entertaining lectures

What did you love best about Theories of Human Development?

Professor Watson delivers the content in a logical and clear manner. These lectures are not dry like most textbooks on this topic. He not only covers the key research but also provides information about the people who conducted it (e.g. Erikson). This gives so much more meaning to the content.

Any additional comments?

Really interesting course. I hope that Professor Watson returns with more in the future.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Very solid course, but missing a few things.

What made the experience of listening to Theories of Human Development the most enjoyable?

The speaker is clear and concise with his words and ideas.

What did you like best about this story?

The breadth and scope.

What about Professor Malcolm W. Watson’s performance did you like?

The emotion in the speaker's voice, which is backed by facts; that is, he speaks with genuine conviction about the topic on which he is teaching. He obviously cares about the topic and has taken the time to do the research so that what he cares about is backed by factual evidence.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

There's a lot of really good information, so I recommend a few sittings at least.

Any additional comments?

I was disappointed that they covered Freud but didn't cover C.G. Jung at all. There are very many reasons why Jung shouldn't be left out of a course like this, so I'll name just a few: <br/><br/>1. Jung had a historically pivotal relationship with Freud.<br/>2. Jung expanded Freud's sexual theory by hypothesizing other drives.<br/>3. Jung repeatedly gives credit to Freud, (even after their falling-out,) for inventing psychoanalysis, for planting its roots, and for giving Jung his start in it.<br/>4. Jung's theories cover both young and old age; they comprise a complete psychological theory of development.<br/><br/>The listeners of this course could certainly gain much from Jung's theories of:<br/><br/>1. Individuation.<br/>2. Anima/Animus.<br/>3. Ego, shadow, persona, and self.<br/>4. Archetypal patterns of behavior.<br/>5. Modes of adaptation - (i.e. introvert/extrovert, et al.)<br/><br/>Despite the cryptic appearance of the above terms, all of these terms relate directly to important theories and concepts within psychological development which Jung coined, and answers questions which are still relevant to psychology today, especially to developmental psychology.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great overview of major theories

Covers 6 major theories and schools of thought regarding development in childhood, and adulthood. Great for non specialist like me.
Enjoyed sequence of: background, major concepts, implications and critical review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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The title of this course is misleading

More than 75% of the course is about child development and not about the whole human development!

  • Overall
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Explains the basics

Explains the basics concepts in six popular developmental theories. I work with kids and found them very informative and useful.

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  • Rachel
  • 07-07-14

Excellent, easy to listen to and informative

Where does Theories of Human Development rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Near the top

What was one of the most memorable moments of Theories of Human Development?

The Freudian theories of development

Which scene did you most enjoy?

n/a but it would be difficult to describe as I enjoyed all of it

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Both at times, but I am an emotional mother!

Any additional comments?

Well worth a listen, even if it is revision, I am a speciality trainee in child psychiatry so I have studied this twice (once at university and once for professional membership exams) and it was still interesting and increased my knowledge and understanding

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Elizabeth Barnard
  • 06-27-15

wow!

brilliant book, really helped me to understand human behaviour and helped me with my university course in child development.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Ben
  • 06-22-15

trainee counselling therapist's review

really interesting to have various developmental theories compared, summerised and reviewed. also encourages you to think about your own beliefs and world view on development of behaviour. well worth the listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Sally
  • 02-18-15

A must for Social Workers!

Having studied these theories during my training and for post qualifying studies, it was great to get a refresher from a slightly different perspective.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • karenfitzy
  • 05-06-16

Really interesting

This is a cracking book. Could not put it down. Did not want it to end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • IcryattheWaltons
  • 10-13-16

Great overview

Really fascinating overview of human development, in particular child development. Excellent examples given throughout illustrating each individual theory and model. Prof Watson continually invites us to reflect on the evidence supporting each model and the degree to which it can be or has been applied in everyday life. I particularly like the critique presented at the conclusion of each theory. Developments in neuroscience will have added much to these theories and, personally, learning more about what it has added in recent years will be my next challenge. Great platform for further learning.

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  • Poops
  • 11-28-17

more ABOUT theories than actual theories

Don't expect too much. the presentation is good, but the information is short in supply. There was a point around chapter 20 where I thought "hey, I hadn't thought of that", but there were no great revelations.
If you have an interest in the people behind child development theories then this is a good start, but if you if you're wanting to learn something beyond the obvious with regard to the actual subject, look elsewhere.




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  • Bradley
  • 12-22-16

Informative

Very interesting and informative. Produced well giving a wide range of theory and practice. Traces all the key theorists on human development