Life Span Development Essay

Life Span Development and Personality Paper Rebecca Barney PSY/300 July 26, 2010 Dr. Theresa Watts LIFE SPAN DEVELOPMENT AND PERSONALITY PAPER The famous person I choose to write about from the 20th or 21st Century is Princess Diana. I have conducted a large amount of research on Princess Diana and have found what forces have influenced her life from the viewpoint of developmental psychology. Influences of Heredity and Environment Princess Diana was born on July 1, 1961 to parents Edward John Spencer, Viscount Althorp, and Frances Ruth Burke Roche, Viscountess Althorp (later known as the Honorable Frances Shand Kydd).

Her parents ended up divorcing each other when Princess Diana was a young child and her father won custody of Diana and all of her siblings (2009 A&E Television Networks. ) Princess Diana was born into royalty as Princess of Wales. Later her father became an Earl in 1975 making Princess Diana Lady Diana. Later, after marrying Prince Charles Diana went back to being Princess Diana. This is interesting when trying to discover if Diana was influenced psychologically by her heredity or by her environment. Both her heredity and her environment would influence her widely in different situations.

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Morally Princess Diana was raised with impeccable morals. She learned about these morals from her family and extended family. Family Issues or Social Support Systems Many family issues or social support systems may have influenced Princess Diana’s developmental growth and adjustment. Being born into royalty when Princess Diana had any personal issues she knew that she needed to keep them in the family and try to keep them quiet from the rest of the world. This would be a struggle for most people and I am sure that at times Princess Diana struggled with having to keep issues quiet.

When she was going to divorce Prince Charles the Palace coolly noted the news was immature. However, the Queen called for a quick and clean break between them. Princess Diana held her head up high throughout all the proceedings. Remembering that she was royalty and handling it all without talking to journalist or other outlets that could be detrimental to her (Goff, K. (1996). Theories of Personality B. F. Skinner thought of personality in terms of the effects external stimuli have on behavior.

This emphasized the mutual interaction of the person or “the organism” with its environment. An example of this is something a baby learns. If a baby cries and receives attention, it teaches the baby that in order to get attention they need to cry. Princess Diana learned that external stimuli have a huge effect on her behavior. Cognitive theories are theories of personality that emphasize cognitive processes such as thinking and judging. Princess Diana knew that everything she said or did would be judged. This helped to shape her in the direction she went.

Theoretical Approach I believe that Carl Roger’s approach best explains Princess Diana’s behaviors and achievements. According to About. com: Psychology, Carl Rogers, a humanist psychologist, believed that all people have an actualizing tendency-a drive to fulfill individual potential that motivates behavior. Rogers called healthy individuals “fully-functioning,” describing these individuals as those who are open to experience, live in the moment, trust their own judgment, feel free, and are creative. Princess Diana was always trying new things and helping those in need.

She trusted her own judgment on many things. After her divorce from Prince Charles, she had to reinvent her life and figure out who she was going to be. Diana got busy with her charity work and other projects. She put her best foot forward and those around her were impressed with how she moved on. Conclusion In conclusion, we have learned that Princess Diana was influenced by both hereditary measures and environmental measures. Both of those played an important role in the Princesses life. In addition, family issues and social support systems had to be a struggle for Princess Diana.

One of the theoretical approach’s that applied to Princess Diana’s life was that by Carl Rogers. References A&E Television Networks. (2009). Princess Diana. Retrieved July 25, 2010 from http://www. biography. com/articles/Princess-Diana-9273782? part=1 About. com: Psychology. (2010). Important People in Personality Psychology. Retrieved July 25, 2010 from http://psychology. about. com/od/psychologystudyguides/a/personalitysg_4. htm Goff, K. (1996). Princess Diana. (Cover story). People, 46(27), 58. Retrieved from MasterFILE Premier database.


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