Your favorite theorist

Published 23 Oct 2017

Neil J. Salkind is my favorite theorist. He has written a series of books including an introduction to Theories of Human Development. Neil Salkind having taught at the University of Kansas for about 30 years in the psychology department has a diversified form of knowledge on human development. He is an active member in the society for research in Child Development. In this book he examines the development process by looking into a number of changes that happen as a result of interactions between the environmental and biological factors. He explains why the behavior of adults is more different from that of infants and why one stage of development follows the next and how it happens. The question of whether the changes that occur in life are predictable and smooth or abrupt is also discussed. From this examination one is able to understand what really happens from infancy through adulthood.

This book gives a detailed view of the primary theoretical models of human development from behavioral, biological, cognitive developmental perspectives and psychoanalytic. This comes in line a brief overview of the background to each of the approaches. This book also provides an application of these theories to a varied number of human development aspects which include sociobiology, individual differences, early intervention, and adolescence.

The features in this book are also a thing to commend about. The writer gives a closing chapter that is integrative and one that compares a given number of theories in the book by use of Murray Sideman’s six criteria model for assessing a theory. It is in this book that a classical approach to the understanding of human behavior through lifespan is explained. Each chapter of this book begins with opening remarks or quotes, key terms and further readings to enhance further readings.

This book wows me because the theories are well presented and can be easily comprehended. The theories in the book can also be applied widely in various fields like nursing, law and general sociology. The diverse nature of human development requires information on learning theories that help in the formation of human development. In this book, the social cognitive theory defines learning as a dynamic interaction between the person, behavior and environment. It is in this book that the social learning theory, otherwise known as the cognitive theory, is proposed for the theory of human resource development. This theory of social learning is exhaustive in explaining behavior and learning.


  • Boyd, D. & Bee, H. (2006). Lifespan Development (4th Ed.). New York: NY. Allyn and Bacon.
  • Berk, L. (2004). Development through the Lifespan (3rd Ed.). New York: Allyn and Bacon.
  • Crane, William. (2005) Theories of Development: Concepts & Application (5th Ed.) Prentice-Hall
  • Neil J.S., (2004) An introduction to theories of human development. New York: Sage.
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