Impact of Modern Technologies on Human Development Term Paper

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Psychosocial Impact of Modern Technologies on Human Development

What is psychosocial development?

The discussion of psychological impacts of modern technology is to be based on the theories of psychosocial development. This compels us to first briefly discuss what psychosocial development is before we get into modern technology. The entire subject was developed by Erik Erikson, who lived during the period of 1902 to 1994. He is probably the first individual to have raised the question of psychosocial development. The theories were developed by him based on his own personal life and the lives of Oglala Lakota Tribes in America. Thus it is clear that the development of the theory is not based on any direct modern experiences, and certainly not on Internet. According to him there are 8 stages in the psychosocial development of human beings. The first takes place between the birth and period up to 1 year of age. Here the main question is of the child learning to trust, as the child is vulnerable and needs to trust caregivers, and also needs attention and affection from them. This is described by him as the period between trust and mistrust. It is said that one modern technology has an impact on humans during this period. (Psycho-social development)

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TOPIC: Term Paper on Impact of Modern Technologies on Human Development Over the Life Span Assignment

The impact of changes is the highest when the development is the least, and thus breast feeding has a great impact for human infants as it has an importance for both its growth and survival. Thus the impact is also on biological development as also psychosocial development. The relationship to biology is due to the anatomy, cellular structure of mammary glands, the physiology of lactation and the quantity and quality of human milk. The attachment of the mother to breast feeding is also dependant on the maternal psychosocial factors within her. That is what starts her on the path of feeding the child, continue with it and accept it as the natural process of feeding. The maternal attitude to breast feeding depends on the socialization of the girls in their younger years.

Thus for all changes that have taken place in this is not related only to the development of technology, but also to the social structure that have taken place in those areas. In traditional societies, breast feeding reflects on the mother as an ideal cultural image of mother. This image is slowly changed due to more career opportunities for the mother, and to her the role of being a mother becomes less important than developing her career alternatives. There are efforts now to increase breast feeding through informing mothers about the advantage of breast feeding for the child. Yet there are organizations which are interested in promoting bottle feeding and those organizations use all possible methods to create a hostile environment for breast feeding. (Psycho-social aspects of breast-feeding, including bonding)

There are three well-known theories of child development and those are the emotional theory of Erikson, the intellectual or cognitive theory of Jean Piaget and the learning theory of behavior of Robert H. Sears. All these theories use the concept of development phases rather than exact ages, and states that all actions, thoughts or feelings of individuals depend on the individual's image of himself, his family and other important reference groups. Inside the mind each person is the importance of dealing with his own understanding of experiences, the primary environment and secondary environment. The images of the person in the minds of others are relatively less important. Thus the feelings of both the mother and the child are related to the position that they are in, and bottle feeding is an important change in the total relationship for the mother. In the pre-socialization period, that is in the first six months the child connects his biological environs with the social environs and this is what determines his future interaction with the environment. The newborn has many needs and these are the child's primary drives - hunger, thirst, sleep, fatigue, sex tension, need for waste elimination, activity, getting an optimum temperature, etc. These are to be met together and they lead to a period of complex learning of society by the child.

For the child hunger produces tension and the child seeks reduction of that tension in a suitable manner. When the child is breast fed, the feeling of hunger gets related to crying and thus getting the hunger reducing fluid from the mother's breasts. This develops a wonderful relationship between the child and the mother. The feelings of hunger occur regularly, and it is satisfied through the mother and the entire set of events are connected and viewed as rewarding experiences - the mother's promptness, dependability, regularity, personal warmth through the close contact. A mother who continues to provide regular and prompt responses will end up in building up a relationship with the child that the mother is a source of attention and prompt reaction. The child in turn will develop a set of habits that will permit him to get constant attention from the mother. (Psycho-social aspects of breast-feeding, including bonding)

Further stages of Psycho-social development

According to Erikson, the second stage of development is between the age of two and three. Here the child is in a stage to explore the environment, and should have already developed a secure and trusting base. The amount of autonomy that is given leads to the child to develop self belief. The third stage is one of initiative v guilt and this takes place between the ages of three and six. The child needs encouragement and support as he has to initiate activities now. If the child is criticized too much, then the child is likely to develop guilt and inhibition. The fourth stage is one of industry v inferiority and this takes place between the ages of six and twelve. Here the task of the child is to develop the virtue of competence in both home and school as the child will otherwise develop a feeling of inferiority. The next stage is one of identity v isolation and takes place between the ages of 12 and 19. Here the child develops its own identity and an identity of society. It also takes important decisions of the social self. It is in the fourth and fifth stages that the child is most affected by Internet, though one is not certain whether the individual is still a child at that stage. The last or eighth stage comes for individuals when they are above the age of fifty and it is then a question of successful ageing, getting satisfaction from life as also despair if life has not gone as well one thinks it should have. This stage is called ego integrity v despair. This is another stage where Internet now plays a role. (Psycho-social development)

It is important to note that Erikson felt that all these stages were decided on emergence or the epigenetic principle to decide on the 8 stages in 1963. Each of these stages has two possibilities and to achieve one possibility, the other has to be eliminated. Again the individual has to develop through each stage to be able to proceed to the next stage, otherwise the individual cannot proceed. If the individual is not able to conflict the difficulties of one stage, then the individual may have difficulties in solving the difficulties at a later stage. However let us remember that Erikson's theories are not the only theories. There are also theories called attachment theories, emotional development theories and social learning theories. These suggest that psycho-social development is not an individual development but that it involves a dynamic process integrating cognitive, affective and behavioral aspects. Erikson's theory touches most of those aspects, without touching emotional aspects.

This brings us to the question as to what are emotions. They are complex feelings that come from physiological and psychological arousal due to some perceived or imagined stimuli. Emotions give us an idea about the individual and the individual's temperament, adjustment and sociability. All emotions exist in social environment, and they are in two groups - primary emotions which can be explained by physiology and secondary emotions which come through socialization. (Psycho-social development) While we have discussed the impact of one modern technology, feeding bottles on the development of human beings, let us now try to see the psycho-social impact of another major invention of the twentieth century on development of humans - Internet. The impact will be seen only in terms of psycho-social impact that it has produced and how that may affect humans. As has been discussed, the psycho-social impact will be mainly on the fourth and fifth stages. For the other stage, probably Internet is not so significant.

The use of Internet in development against disasters - education

In the fourth stage of development, school is a very important factor. The essence of school is not only in education in itself, but children learn to make items, develop the needed skills to… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Impact of Modern Technologies on Human Development" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Impact of Modern Technologies on Human Development.  (2005, July 31).  Retrieved September 18, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Impact of Modern Technologies on Human Development."  31 July 2005.  Web.  18 September 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Impact of Modern Technologies on Human Development."  July 31, 2005.  Accessed September 18, 2021.