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.