It is conventionally agreed that man is a social creature. That is, man tends to get more comfort and satisfaction from being with others of his kind. It is for this reason that people seek to be members of a certain social group. This is not a recent development, but something that has been in existence for as long as man’s history is. The sense of social belonging is one among the hierarchy of human needs as classified by Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. There is the need to understand how these social instincts develop and how an individual comes to be who he actually is. This is a very interesting issue to look at.
In understanding this socio-cognitive development, researchers and psychologists indicate that a process has to be accomplished. This is a process that runs from childhood to adult age (Child Development Para 1). The argument in this case is that a child is born with a brain that is as clear as the pages of a book. The experiences that a child has tend to determine the kind of person that he becomes. This is where the aspect of nurture comes in. As the child grows, he starts developing the value system as well as other character traits depending on those instilled on him by the parents, the peers, and the general environment. It is at this point that the social vehicles become quite important. These are the institutions that help an individual in developing the value system, and also define who an individual is.
Child Development (Para 2) indicate that in as much as there might be these conditions, the human psychology is also wired in such a way that there has to be various life stages that have to be gone through. Various psychologists have come up with different stages that the individual has to go through. All these are divided in terms of age. They dictate that at a given age, a child can only understand certain aspects in the social development. These are based on the level to which the child is based on the development cycle. The child starts with concentrating on the self or self discovery. This then proceeds to the environment. At puberty, the person’s interests shift to focus on others, especially those of the opposite gender. This is where the social skills tend to come in handy. Eventually, the individual matures up and doesn’t have to depend on anyone or anything so as to make choices or moral decisions (Child Development Para 8). This level of maturity signifies the ultimate learning and development of an individual.
Even at this point, the individual still has some issue to learn. For instance, Pennsylvania University Department of Psychology (Para 3) indicates that spouses tend to behave like each other after they sty together for a given duration of time. For instance, they can adopt the same manner of talking, dressing, preference for food and drinks, among others. This is just an indication that there has been social learning taking place between them. They tend to look like each other’s duplicate. This serves to indicate that though an individual can go through the stages of social development, there is still room that more can be learnt.
This can be demonstrated using the experiment that was carried out by Pavlov. He used the operant conditioning to train the dogs such that when the stimuli they had been used to was introduced, the immediately developed the reflex for the reward which came with the stimulus. The same applies to human. This indicates that though an individual can go through the process of social cognitive development, there are some changes which can be instituted to bring about a change in their social behaviors. For instance, there are the laws of the land, as well as rules and regulations hat can be found in various institutions. Though individual have their own sets of values, they have to acclimatize to the new system once they are exposed to it. They adapt to the new system. This indicates that even tough there is the mainstream human development, yet there are some changes that can come about due to the environmental conditioning.
This information is interesting because it tends to explain how the human brain functions. It is amazing to note that a young child who seems to be so innocent and knows nothing actually has the ability to learn from what he sees and hears around him. Psychology studies make it interesting by helping an individual to get into the mind of the child and know exactly what goes on at a given time. In as much as this might not be experimentally proven, yet the theories on social cognitive development sound quite interesting. Similarly, having the ability to deduce why individuals act the way they do under different circumstances is quite an interesting factor. The studies on social development also bring this to light. Therefore, it can be argued that psychological studies help the practitioners to get into the minds of people. This sounds pretty interesting, and makes psychology worth learning.
Child Development. “Stages of Intellectual Development in Children and Teenagers.” Child Development.org, 2012. Web. 20th March 2013, http://childdevelopmentinfo.com/child-development/piaget.shtml