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Reflective Essay on Personal Development


Human development or personal development has become a major concept in the modern day, and it can be observed that this significant aspect is specifically emphasizing on the people, and the various opportunities they possess to evolve. Human development is mainly defined as the psychological and biological development of any human being right through the lifespan. It comprises the enhancement from infancy, childhood and puberty to adulthood — the psychological human development study scientifically considered to be developmental psychology. Based on the significance of human development, one can strategically analyze and evaluate the various forms of human development in different stages and thus, this aspect is considered as quite significant. The various theories proposed by different researchers and authors highlight the distinctive characteristics and understanding of the conditions and nature of human development.

Critically assessing the fact that human development is quite complex in nature, it is considered as multi-directional, multidimensional, contextual and idiosyncratic in many ways, to each individual. These key factors clearly define the roles and necessities of human development. In a similar manner, I have experienced a certain event in my life, which has impacted my development from the perspective of human development. During my high school days, my academic group was provided with a certain assignment project that involved interviewing various small to medium-sized organizations based in the United Kingdom. During this group project, I was allotted with the role of taking the interviews of five different employees from five different small to medium sized organizations.

While taking the interview, I found out that by mistake, three respondents provided some critical and personal details related to their organizations. Considering the ethical grounds on which the interview has to be taken no personal or critical details of the respondent or the organization must not be used for the completion of the assignment. During this point of time, I specifically omitted all the details that were provided to me by the respondents by mistake and carried out the interview by following the ethical standards of morality. This particular incident or experience has a significant impact on my personal development is seen through the lens of human development theories (Green and Piel, 2015). Assessing the particular experience, Kohlberg's stages of moral development can be evaluated. Kohlberg's theory of moral development states that we humans progress via three different moral thinking levels that construct our cognitive development.

Via the lens of this particular theory of human development, I found out that moral development is similar to cognitive development, which is followed by various stages. In the aforementioned experience, moral dilemmas and conflicting ideas played a critical role based on morality and values. In that particular scenario, I was stuck in between two states of mind i.e., whether to use that personal information for completion of the group project or whether to ethically follow the rules and omit the information that has been mistakenly shared by the respondents (Peters, 2015). As per Kohlberg, individual reasons regarding a dilemma specifically determines the positive moral development and based on this factor. I chose to avoid using personal information. This scenario can also be adjudged by the levels of moral reasoning via the conventional level. The morality sense during my experience was tied to societal and personal relationships (Newman and Newman, 2015).

I continued to accept the authority figures rules and the beliefs have been quite necessary for ensuring the societal order and positive relationships. I entirely adhered to the conventions and rules which was somewhat quite firm during the stages of completion of the group project. This enabled me to follow the rules appropriately and have helped my fairness being questioned. The sense of morality by me in regards to my personal experience can be elaborated by the values and principles. The ethical principles were driven by my behavior, which elevated my own moral evaluation of the situation.

Similarly, critically assessing my personal experience, the scenario can be evaluated via the lens f maturationist theory of human development. The maturationist theory proposed by Granville Stanley Hall, the American psychologist, explained the scientific method and application to the human nature study. In regards to my personal experience, the emerging area of human development is based on psychological development and education among the people. I particularly emphasized on being mature and took the step of omitting all the personal information provided by the respondents and acted as per the principles and ethics (Weiss, 2017).

As the maturationist theory focuses on the significance of evolution based on the premise of growth and recapitulating the different evolutionary stages of development, it can be stated that maturing over time is the most significant aspect of human development which needs to be considered by people and based on that development of an individual can be adjudged. The maturationist theory of human development highlighted me to act as per the key values and principles based on which the entire group project has to be completed and following the particular theory has helped in taking the most appropriate decision by unfolding the socio-cultural aspects and reviewing the significance of developing a basic trust and positive ethical aspect (Kail and Cavanaugh, 2018).

Assessing both the aforementioned theories of human development in relevance to my personal experience, it can be stated that both these theories have enabled me to understand the key factors that determine human development strategically. Human development is a significant factor that assesses the success of evolving of human beings, taking the appropriate decision has positively impacted my overall development in following the different principles and values based on which I have grown up.

The step taken has helped me in being ethically balanced and highlights the significance of values, principles and ethics in human development (Strauss, 2017). Human development is entirely a procedure that impacts the social, personality, self-concept, identity formation and emotional development of an individual and via the lens of the aforementioned theories, I have been able to evolve in the process of cognitive development and conceptual understanding of situations.

The knowledge has enabled me to enhance my full potential and also accept the self-concept of change and growth. All these key elements played a key role in the psychology of human development and provided me with the experience and significance of further experiences that can occur in later life (Barber, 2015). I, therefore, have enhanced my potential in handling such sorts of instances in the future, which would not only showcase my societal and ethical side but also help me in developing more. The behavioral aspect during my personal experience provided me with a particular identity and also referred to the ideals, beliefs and values that have shaped and guided my personal behavior.

Evaluating the fact that experiences and instances tend to change and have a significant impact on the social experience; my personal identity has developed to an integrated and cohesive sense of self which endures as well as continues to grow as I age. Thus, I can conclude that the particular experience has helped me with all aspects of human development via the lens of the different explained theories of human development.


  • Barber, P.J., 2015. Applied cognitive psychology: An information-processing framework. Routledge.
  • Green, M.G. and Piel, J.A., 2015. Theories of human development: A comparative approach. Psychology Press. Retrieved from
  • Kail, R.V. and Cavanaugh, J.C., 2018. Human development: A life-span view. Cengage Learning. Retrieved from,+R.V.+and+Cavanaugh,+J.C.,+2018.+Human+development:+A+life-span+view.+Cengage+Learning.&ots=vhxyzDi7vE&sig=HMxyZDZ5INLZYIWBRHlFx6oxjys#v=onepage&q=Kail%2C%20R.V.%20and%20Cavanaugh%2C%20J.C.%2C%202018.%20Human%20development%3A%20A%20life-span%20view.%20Cengage%20Learning.&f=false
  • Newman, B.M. and Newman, P.R., 2015. Theories of human development. Psychology Press. Retrieved from
  • Peters, R.S., 2015. Psychology and Ethical Development (Routledge Revivals): A Collection of Articles on Psychological Theories, Ethical Development and Human Understanding. Routledge. Retrieved from
  • Strauss, A.L., 2017. Social psychology and human values. Routledge. Retrieved from
  • Weiss, H.B., 2017. Family support and education programs: Working through ecological theories of human development. In Evaluating family programs (pp. 3-36). Routledge. Retrieved from

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