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Articles in "Humans"

Part 1 of "Perspectives in human development" considers the mechanistic philosophy, which explores questions about what makes people the way they are (Goldhaber, 2000). Those who see through the mechanistic lens see humans as machines (Pepper, 1970) that passively react to internal and external forces over which they have no control (Goldhaber, 2000). Literally, Hunt and Ellis (2004) describe mechanism as "the physics of motion or the study of mechanics", that describes how parts of a system work together to produce phenomena (p. 23). This leads to the assumption that that universal laws of nature govern all natural events, including human development and behavior.  In other words, "We can't help ourselves, it's just the way we are."

Neuroscience is demonstrating that theorists like Freud, Piaget, and Erikson were wrong when they concluded that adulthood marked the end of development and the beginning of decline to death. To the contrary, emerging discoveries are showing how adulthood is a time of new possibility with immense potential to nurture.

In this excerpt from Dynamic Interactive Adaptability in a Killer Disease: How shifting your perspective on stress promotes growth, resilience, and wellness, Brent Duncan presents a functional model for tapping daily stress as a productive force, for building resilience against severe stressors, growing through traumatic stress, adapting continuously to and with a dynamic environment, and enhancing wellness.

The truths in the field of social psychology seem as disparate as those that drive countless ideological perspectives in the traditional realm. This creates a discipline for which “There are almost as many definitions of social psychology as there are social psychologists” (Aronson, 1972,  p. 4). To the outsider, the field of social psychology may seem to be little more than people with competing perspectives applying fancy words to truths that have been known throughout history.