What is Child Development?

Child Development
Child Development

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What is Child Development?

Child development basically is any transition in human beings between birth and the end of maturity. It is progressive and is bound to affect the next change or preceding development of a child. Child development may be as a result of many factors including; getting educated, environmental factors and the completion of adolescence. They are many development times in a child before being an adolescent. (Feldman, 2012, pg 67) A child is referred to as a new born between the first 4 weeks of childhood, an infant between 4 weeks and 1 year, a toddler up to 3 years, a preschooler 4-6 years, school aged child 6-13 and an adolescent as from 13 years up to 19 years.

There are many factors that lead to proper child development; parents being one of the many factors, the parents hence play a key role. They help the child to blend socially, academically and reach development wholly. A child is also supposed to receive good care for any chance of proper development which should be the case in order to reach full development. There are so many theories that define child development, such a theory is the ecological systems theory brought up by Urie Branfenbreener who based his postulates on four systems .These were Microsystems, Ecosystem, Macrosystem and Mesosystem .The systems clearly give directives on development. (Feldman, 2012, pg 87)

Jean Piaget a Swiss scholar also developed a theory solely on animals. He came up with stages which include the sensorimotor stage, preoperational stage, concrete stage, formal operations stage which is the last stage. During the sensorimotor stage the child is able to perceive the unseen .At the preoperational stage children explicate their surrounding using symbols of the mind such as words and images.

With this the child is able to apply them in their childish endeavors assuming that they know better and very well as compared to other people. They tend to display ego mostly and knowing more than most people .The concrete stage shows how children begin to think differently and bear a sense of mind. They are able to make it out of situations just by putting their mind to it.

The formal operations is the  final stage which  depicts children as beings able to relate very well and have the clear indication of things that happen or are to happen. This however also means that the child creates a sought of feeling of superiority to most people at times thinking that maybe he/she is at the peak and above the rest which  is not the case. Vygotsky based his theory on the society’s role in developing the child. The child first grows then is able to relate with other people at large. With the help of an adult the child is able to grow and learn for example using rhymes or by certain movements such as tapping.   

John Bowlby came with the attachment theory but Mary Ainsworth improved it. It clearly depicts that the strong ties or bonds between a child and a guardian, a child and a parent, a child and the one looking after the child helps with the growth of the child.  Eric Erickson developed a theory to the aspect of child development too. (Demick & Andreoletti, pg 82, 2014) This include trust vs. mistrust (infant),Autonomy vs. shame (toddlerhood),Initiative vs. guilt (preschooler),Industry vs. inferiority (young adolescent),Identity vs. role confusion (adolescent),Intimacy vs. isolation (young adulthood), Generativity vs. stagnation (middle adulthood),Ego integrity vs. despair (old age).

Other theories include behavioral theory as well as the psychosexual theory .The stages needed to be fully complete for the preceding one to take course basing it also on the libido in a particular place or different places. (Demick & Andreoletti, pg 85, 2014)  The theory has similarities with Bowlby’s theory of attachment and the study of motor development .It helps to relate developments together and to create assertiveness and perception to things.

A different theory known as the “core knowledge perspective” is based on certain domains very important to development which include; physical ,linguistic, numerical, psychological and biological. The main cause of growth is mainly genetic or as a result of the immediate environment. Genetic factors have a great influence on the cell, the diet required, development of the brain too and its growth basically. Certain experiments show that organisms are able to survive with a small change in the environment too or when exposed to environments of slight variation.

However the environment still serves as a factor of development, sometimes both genetic and environmental factors both cause developmental changes .When the rate of genetic factors on the child is high this means that the rate of environmental factors is very low.(Crowley, 2014, pg 114). Physical growth is mainly change in stature over time and this includes the size, weight and physique or stature. This is accompanied with the change in structure such as of the limbs, as a child one has small limbs but as one matures into an adult the limbs become even bigger.

The child shows growth from the head up to the toe with development of vital organs too in the body. The child at first grows fast then progressively and much slower later on. Nutrition ,dieting ,diseases, injuries and exposition to certain things play an important role in the general development. .(Crowley, 2014, pg 114) Variations created later could be as a result of the environment or the genes of the parents and sometimes differences created as a result of different reproductive maturation.

Movement too is a factor of development with the child developing from single steps to continuous and progressive much more conducive steps. This also has an effect on the final posture what is known as motor development. Continuous and vigorous exercise also determines the posture and the ability to move oneself. Children with developed complications may find it very hard to develop and may develop complications. .(Crowley, 2014, pg 115)

This includes sitting, talking or even walking. Development may also vary due to individual differences such as a boy and a girl or even of the left foot and hand as well as the right hand and foot. A child should also be able to develop intellectually and grow certain cognitive abilities .However this depends on certain factors including nutrition, exercise and the parents’ response to the child.

A child first develops response to time and sequence and these increases with the continuing years. This ability was built on successive years checking keenly on their speed and pattern. This is however affected by an individual being left behind or choosing to, this happens in the case of boys and girls. Newborns also tend to create a liking which later changes and they later become weak and scared of people and certain things.

As the child grows he/she becomes friendly and is able to pick out her friends as well as developing feelings attached to people warding off anger or resentment. The more the child tends to relate with the parents certain aspects of social and emotional development are also seen to grow and build. Boys acquire certain behaviors while girls also acquire certain behaviors with differences in their character. (Charlesworth, 2016, pg 20)

Language serves a very important role in development .The components of early childhood development are phonology which leans more on the sounds of language, lexicon, morphology which entails looking deeply into the forms and pragmatics .Infants usually at first have soft vowels and develop cooing and then babbling comes in next ushering repetition of sounds.

(Charlesworth, 2016, pg 22) At 6 months the child is able to understand other’s speech and build on it up to age six as well as acquire mastery of speech and pronunciation .This ensures full participation of the child and exchange based on language .Theories of language development include the bootstrapping theory which bases it theory on the child’s ability to pick out meaning .

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The multi-route model believes in the parent’s ability to influence strongly the speech of the child. Children’s language depends on the attachment of words also known as semantics. .However speech is an important form of development. Delays may lead to serious consequences on the child’s side and the parent therefore should keenly monitor the child’s speech .

There are many causes to this and could be either environmental such as the concentration on other development milestones and stages whereby a child focuses on standing or even walking and neglects even talking. Dire causes could be as a result of neurological causes, for example, deafness, dyslexia and autism. (Brainerd & Pressley, 2012, pg 115) Factors that may pose a risk to the child’s development are either environmental or hereditary.

Environmental factors include those of the prenatal and post natal environment. Prenatal factors are those factors during pregnancy they include nutritional deficiencies, use of drugs, state of the uterus, exposure to radiation, infections, placental implantation. The post natal factors include the external environment, hormones influence, family, nutrition of the child. However malnutrition, maternal depression and substance abuse remain the common factors.

Other factors include post natal depression, socioeconomic status, parasites and poisoning. Abuse of substance also has a great effect, for example, cocaine which leads to poor development of the child especially the mental development altering with the brain functioning. (Feldman, 2012, pg 56) Children who face malnutrition weigh lesser in terms of kilograms and are most times shorter in length .It is also believed that malnutrition poses a danger to one’s  intelligence quotient.

Certain ions also serve as important functions to the body and it is therefore important that one observes proper nutrition of a child. The socioeconomic status is based on income, academic or educational achievements and work. Poverty is seen   to affect so many children in the case of malnutrition and development also due to nutrition. The parents academic achievement may have an effect on the child’s too ,that is how he/she is to perform. This children are affected in class and perceived by many as daft and left behind by teachers.

Some parasites also result into greater effects preventing the development of most children .Obesity still remains a common problem to all with most children not following a proper diet as a result of exposure and sometimes the parents or themselves. Some factors also popular include abuse which could be physical .A child may also not reach his proper state of development due to non proper state of development due to no proper observance of the common factors as a  result of not receiving care. (In Edelman, In Mandle & In Kudzma, 2014, pg 418)

A child who has been neglected is identifiable even by practitioners .The developmental delay may be as a result of many factors and can never easily be ruled out on nurturing .It could be as a result of genetic disorder, disease, physical, sexual or emotional abuse or even a mixture of them at times.

In conclusion, child development is a very important stage in the human cycle therefore it is necessary for all relevant parties involved in this process to take all due duty of care to ensure that  the process is attained in the optimum possible favorable factors. 


Brainerd, C. J., & Pressley, M. (2012). Verbal Processes in Children: Progress in Cognitive Development Research. New York, NY: Springer New York.

Charlesworth, R. (2016). Understanding child development. Place of publication not identified: Cengage Learning.

Crowley, K. (2014). Child Development: A Practical Introduction

Demick, J., & Andreoletti, C. (2014). Handbook of adult development. New York: Springer

Feldman, R. S. (2012). Child development. Boston: Pearson

In Edelman, C., In Mandle, C. L., & In Kudzma, E. C. (2014). Health promotion throughout the life span.

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Social Attraction: Social Psychology

Social Attraction
Social Attraction

Social Attraction

Social attraction between people is very important. Aspects of social attraction such as love, understanding and care are difficult to explicate because they often go against many norms in life. It is crucial to ensure that these aspects are maintained along a certain line and many people keep it that way. For instance, love is governed by respect, trust and mutual understanding. Care is a precept of responsibility and authority while understanding stems from knowledge and wisdom (Anders, et.al, 2016).

Attraction between people has one key aspect to it; beauty. What anyone would find attractive is often the aspect of life that they feel is appealing to them. Beauty and attraction may have a lot in common but they are not common to all (Anders, de Jong, Beck, Haynes& Ethofer, 2016). This is why it is important to analyze social factors that generate stereotypes about beauty and attraction.  

Beauty is defined as the experience of pleasure or satisfaction based on perception. That is why beauty can only be seen and not felt (Anders, et.al, 2016). What people see as beautiful is often a creation of their social setting. For instance, people who hardly encounter persons of a different race may deem them to be more beautiful or less beautiful depending on their socialization (Weidenfeld& Leask, 2013). In many social setups, beauty is displayed by models on newspapers, article magazines and websites.

It is a form of influence that ends up making the person to feel that what they see as beautiful is not as beautiful or appealing as they suppose. Beauty is thus a form of influence that is borne out of what the society considers to be appealing or not. Beauty is however the greatest contributor to perceptions about attraction (Launay& Dunbar, 2015). Where there is attraction, beauty is often a factor that is critical and central to the theme.

Beauty is a concept that makes up most of the arguments and concepts about attraction. Attraction is vital to any relationship between people because it obscures the feeling of human weakness and inequity. Man is known to be imperfect and very unsymmetrical in many ways. Beauty however is the concept of perfection without prejudice and need to approve other concepts within the person observed.

Beauty makes it possible for people to overlook human inequities that are ever existent and often profoundly the cause for the use of derogative words on people (Sprecher, Treger, Fisher, Hilaire & Grzybowski, 2015). What is not attractive is often despised and chastised. It is vital to remember that perception is simply an illusion that may not be similarly felt by another person (Anders, et.al, 2016). More often than not, the feeling that one is able to achieve a particular attraction or not is all about what they perceive to appeal to them. This is what beauty is all about.

The concept of beauty or appeal in attraction is very complicated because attraction between people can be out of many reasons as well. However, the urge to go beyond the necessary to please the other person is borne out of a need for appreciation or the desire to do right. This can be considered as beauty of purpose or the innocence of decision and motivation. Beauty is about purity and sanctity. There is often a significant appeal from society to get things done but hardly a similar motivation in attraction.

As explained by Talamas, Mavor& Perrett (2016) Attraction is about the traits that make one seem to have a beautiful character and to some extent, beautiful build and look. It applies to both persons of the male and those of the female gender (Talamas, Mavor& Perrett, 2016). Other traits that accompany beauty include; hard work, diligence and determination. They often seem to be of an enlightenment that sparks influence among people. Although affluence is more influential than these traits, it follows that one would find another person with such traits likely to be attractive.

However much there may be aspects that one looks for in an attractive partner beside their physical appeal, the appeal of the self is the most important (McGinley, et.al, 2015). Attraction is about having a similar feeling towards a person at all times without altering the feel of the person based on the circumstance. Beauty is thus best explained by the features one possesses. These features make it possible for the person to ultimately influence a feeling of desire in another person.

It is about the makeup women put on or the expensive suits men wear. It is about making the other person like what one already likes (Ioerger, Henry, Chen, Cigularov& Tomazic, 2015). Attraction can thus be predetermined and premeditated. It is a factor that can easily be manipulated in people’s minds and an issue that is hardly the cause for divisive argument.

According to Englis, Solomon, & Ashmore, (2014), various cultures perceive beauty differently. This is because beauty often defines how attractive one is and since there is a difference between values from one culture to another, there is also a difference in factors making up beauty. However, as per Vacker & Key (2013), despite the variations in perception across various cultures, beauty remains to be one of the most influential factors in establishing attraction between people.

The current generation of the 21st century regards beauty as an outward appearance of an individual that is desired. Therefore, they support the definition that beauty refers to what can be seen by the eye to be appealing. However, before the current perception and definition of beauty, various cultures had unique features which if present in an individual, he or she is regarded as being attractive (Englis, Solomon & Ashmore, 2014.

The character of a person was a big determinant in whether the person is seen as beautiful or not. This is because there were people who could be attractive, win other people’s hearts, and influence others by just interacting with them. In such a case, beauty becomes defined by the intrinsic features that a person possess and not their outward appearances. Societies which belief in both intrinsic and extrinsic beauty believe that the existing inequality in appearance between people should not be a major cause for regarding someone as not being beautiful.

There are various stereotypes that are related to attraction. As explained by Vacker & Key (2013), most people tend to think that people naturally get attracted to those individuals whom they have certain common features with. This stereotyping concept involves both men and female, and in this example, the proponents of this belief argue that the existing high number of integration, interaction, marriage, and business establishments between people of the same ethnicity proves that people get attracted to others whom they share certain common features. Perceptions that people with same characteristics or origin easily see each other as beautiful is also based on culture.

In this regard, it is easier for a person to recognize\e another person as being beautiful if both of them share a common culture or origin.  Another stereotyping about beauty is that it is more pronounced in women as compared to men (Englis, Solomon & Ashmore, 2014). Therefore, it is easier for men to regard women as being beautiful as compared to seeing other men as a beautiful. As a result, it is expected that attraction will flourish easily between men and women as compared to between men and men. (Vacker and Key, 2013). 

There has been a misconception about love and beauty especially when it comes to how these two feelings ate expressed by people. As explained by Diessner, et.al (2012), most people find it difficult to distinguish love from beauty. This is because both of the two feelings give one the desire to be or like another person so much.  However, it should be noted that love and beauty are different in the sense that love develops between individuals irrespective of whether they are beautiful or not.

In other words, one does not need to be beautiful or to possess certain features for them to be loved by another individual. Moreover, love takes a long time to appear, and in most cases, it comes involuntarily and gives little consideration to both outward and inward appearance of a person. On the other hand, attraction is mostly felt as a result of existing beauty between the attracting individuals. Moreover, it considers features that are present in an individual and may end if a person changes in certain ways. Also, attraction can be felt only after a short time whereas love mostly lasts forever (Vacker & Key, 2013).

There are various theories of beauty. However, Denis Dutton’s and Andrew Park provocative theory offers the best insight into the current beauty trends surrounding attraction (Diessner, et.al, 2012). They do believe that beauty is specific to an individual. However, it is also a part of human nature that has very deep evolutionary origins. 

Other existing theories such as the typical beauty theory of Ruskin and the vital beauty theory try to explain the essential characteristics of an individual that constitute their beauty status. Therefore, they help propagate the notion that a person can improve his or her beauty through effort

There are two major forms of beauty that are inexistent at the moment. These are; augmented beauty and natural beauty. Whereas naturally beauty is acquired naturally and one may possess it from the time they are born, augmented beauty is acquired artificially (Diessner, et.al, 2012). To acquire augmented beauty, a person uses various artificial beauty products and solutions to enhance their appearance by becoming more beautiful than they were previously.

Even though both these two types of beauty makes one attractive, there are various concerns about the longevity of augmented beauty. It is argued that it may cause attraction just for a short period and in the long term, the attraction may cease to exist as some of the beauty features will fail to reciprocate themselves positively. On the other hand, natural beauty is always desired as it creates the true picture of an individual on others thereby aiding in establishing trust.

The importance of being beautiful has caused some individuals to become beautiful. This is because, without beauty, a person may not be attractive to others. As a result, they may end up feeling dejected and living a lonely life. Since human beings are social species, it is wise to put in effort to enhance beauty so as to live a comfortable and soothing life with many admirers as compared to living unfulfilling life as a result of low beauty levels.

Therefore, as Englis, Solomon and Ashmore (2014) argues, it is more sensible to put in effort so as to improve a person’s beauty as compared to leaving it the way it is and undergoing a tough social life (as Englis, Solomon and Ashmore, 2014).

Many people consider the feeling of attraction to be related to the symmetrical shape of the person, shape or thing. Many people are attracted to beauty and not value. There is thus the general feeling that most human beings will often proverbially ‘read a book by its cover.’ This is a concern among persons who mask their attractive qualities by not being very outgoing and expressive about their characters.

It is thus important to ensure that one is always able to express their ‘inner beauty’ where the outer beauty does not appeal to many people in order for the rest of society to find them attractive (McGinley, Zhang,Mattila& O’Neill, 2015). This is critical in the world where perception is often the main reason for attention on certain details. This means that beauty is a form of influence that is borne out of what the society considers to be appealing or no.

Even though this is contextual, it has led to development of various techniques of acquiring beauty through artificial techniques. These means have often been sought by individuals who feel that they are not appealing in terms of beauty.


Anders, S., de Jong, R., Beck, C., Haynes, J., & Ethofer, T. (2016). A neural link between affective understanding and interpersonal attraction. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America113(16), E2248-E2257. doi:10.1073/pnas.1516191113

Diessner, R., Solom, R. C., Frost, N. K., Parsons, L., & Davidson, J. (2012). Engagement with beauty: Appreciating natural, artistic, and moral beauty. The Journal of Psychology, 142(3), 303-29. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/213828232?accountid=45049.

Englis, B. G., Solomon, M. R., & Ashmore, R. D. (2014). Beauty before the eyes of beholders: The cultural encoding of beauty types in magazine advertising and music television. Journal of Advertising, 23(2), 49. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/236550542?accountid=45049

Ioerger, M., Henry, K. L., Chen, P. Y., Cigularov, K. P., & Tomazic, R. G. (2015). Beyond Same-Sex Attraction: Gender-Variant-Based Victimization Is Associated with Suicidal Behavior and Substance Use for Other-Sex Attracted Adolescents. Plos ONE10(6), 1-16. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0129976

Launay, J., & Dunbar, R. M. (2015). Playing with Strangers: Which Shared Traits Attract Us Most to New People? Plos ONE10(6), 1-17. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0129688

McGinley, S., Zhang, L., Mattila, A., & O’Neill, J. (2015). Attraction to Hospitality Companies: How Processing Fluency Moderates Value Fit. Journal of Human Resources in Hospitality & Tourism, 14(1), 25-44. doi:10.1080/15332845.2014.904171

Mitteness, C. R., DeJordy, R., Ahuja, M. K., & Sudek, R. (2016). Extending the Role of Similarity Attraction in Friendship and Advice Networks in Angel Groups. Entrepreneurship: Theory & Practice40(3), 627-655. doi:10.1111/etap.12135

Sprecher, S., Treger, S., Fisher, A., Hilaire, N., & Grzybowski, M. (2015). Associations Between Self-Expansion and Actual and Perceived (Dis) Similarity and Their Joint Effects on Attraction in Initial Interactions. Self & Identity14(4), 369-389. doi:10.1080/15298868.2014.1003592

Talamas, S. N., Mavor, K. I., & Perrett, D. I. (2016). Blinded by Beauty: Attractiveness Bias and Accurate Perceptions of Academic Performance. Plos ONE11(2), 1-18. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0148284

Vacker, B., & Key, W. R. (2013). Beauty and the beholder: The pursuit of beauty through commodities. Psychology & Marketing (1986-1998), 10(6), 471. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/230393591?accountid=45049

Weidenfeld, A., & Leask, A. (2013). Exploring the relationship between visitor attractions and events: definitions and management factors. Current Issues In Tourism16(6), 552-569. doi:10.1080/13683500.2012.702736

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Social cognition in adolescents with ASD
Social cognition in adolescents with ASD


Study Sample

Parents have great influences in their children social cognition. For this reason, the eligible participants for this study include adolescents diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), age 16- 23 years and together with their parents or the primary caregiver (Hartley, Schaidle, & Burnson, 2013; Loukas et al., 2015). The inclusion criteria for participants included the ability to communicate in English, and the adolescent is diagnosed with ASD.

Participant recruitment will take place at the community clinical settings. Emails requesting for participation will be sent to the adolescent’s parents/ caregivers diagnosed with ASD. The email will include the project’s description in detail, including the benefits and risks associated with their participation. The parents who are interested in participating will be requested respond to the email and will be contacted for official recruitment processes including the signing of the informed consent

Sample collection is an integral part of research design as it determines whether the research hypothesis will be appropriately tested. Therefore, it is important to establish a balance between an ideal sample and a convenient (Kandalaft et al., 2013). At the commencement of the study, the available study sample is estimated at ten pairs of participants, that is ten adolescents diagnosed with ASD and ten parents/caregivers of the adolescents diagnosed with ASD.  However, due to unavoidable circumstances, the study sample may slightly less than the estimated number.

The study sample will be pretested using questionnaires to evaluate the adolescent’s social cognition ability at the baseline.  This will be followed by the proposed intervention (training for adolescents and their parents for 15 weeks). After 15 weeks, a post-test and a focus group discussion will be performed to determine the impact of the intervention and to understand the challenges adolescent’s experiences during the transition.


Hartley, S. L., Schaidle, E. M., & Burnson, C. F. (2013). Parental Attributions for the Behavior Problems of Children and Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorders. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics : JDBP, 34(9), 651–660. http://doi.org/10.1097/01.DBP.0000437725.39459.a0

Kandalaft, M. R., Didehbani, N., Krawczyk, D. C., Allen, T. T., & Chapman, S. B. (2013). Virtual Reality Social Cognition Training for Young Adults with High-Functioning Autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 43(1), 34–44. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-012-1544-6

Loukas, K. M., Raymond, L., Perron, A. R., McHarg, L. A., & LaCroix Doe, T. C. (2015). Occupational transformation: Parental influence and social cognition of young adults with autism. Work, 50(3), 457-463.

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Social cognition: Reflective essay

Social cognition
Social cognition

Social cognition

Question 1: various viewpoints and findings observed during literature review

 The social cognitive process is critical especially when an individual is navigating complex social interactions.  The way people perceive or interpret other people’s actions is important. However, most people diagnosed with atypical mental disorders such as autism lack appropriate social cognitive skills.

It has been postulated that people diagnosed with ASD are biased in visual cognition such as body language or facial assessment. This is a challenge among the adolescents because they are in a stage characterized by consolidation of their social self, their identity and understanding their roles in the social world (Loukas et al., 2015).

From the literature review, I identified two contrasting viewpoints about social cognition development in adolescence diagnosed with ASD; theory of mind (ToM) and adolescent’s sensitivity to social rejection (Leekam, 2016). According to the concept of sensitivity to social rejection, the studies stated that the developmental mismatch occurs due to poor regulation of the adolescent’s emotions and accounts for the poor social cognition skills in adolescents diagnosed with ASD. 

On the other hand, ToM argues that individuals are trained to understand other people’s minds, thoughts, intentions and beliefs based on the principles they were taught at the age of 4, and that their social cognition is mainly influenced by their caregivers or parents (Leekam, 2016).

These two viewpoints have been integrated into the literature review and will be used during analysis to determine whether adolescent’s social cognition is determined by the affective theory of mind, sensitivity to social rejection or both. This is because adolescence stage is marked with increased social and emotional sophistication; therefore, the underlying themes that influence social cognition skills should be explored to empower adolescents diagnosed with ASD well-being and behavioral outcomes (Loukas et al., 2015).

Question 2: Thought processes when developing research question

A good research question should be relevant and manageable. Therefore, the research question was developed from issues of intellectual interest raised in practice and literature.  The aspects that I find most interesting in this field are children growth and development. From the literature, it is evident that parenting skills greatly influence the children behaviors (Loukas et al., 2015). In this context, the adolescent stage is marked by distinct changes in their relationship with family, peers and the society. It is a stage when they should be taught on ways to assert autonomous control over their emotions, actions, and decisions.

During this stage, it has been argued that the brain undergoes remodeling process. Whereas substantial research has been conducted on social cognition in autistic children, there is little attention in researching parent’s role in ASD adolescent’s social cognition, and whether support training of the parents and caregivers reinforce positive social cognition skills in ASD adolescents (Leekam, 2016). From this analysis, the knowledge gap was evident which led to the formulation of the research questions;

  1. Does parallel complementary training for parents make them be well informed about their children social and intellectual development? Does it empower them with new viewpoints that help to improve social cognition in their children (autistic adolescents)?

Question 3: Developing research methodology

 After developing the research questions, I evaluated six evidence-based studies to analyze the research method appropriate to this discipline critically. From these articles, I found out that it is important to establish appropriate study sample because excessive sample or too small study sample lack the statistical power that shows the significant effect. The literature review as the primary source that informed by choice and application of the mixed research method. This research method has a clear connection with the research problem as it provides a complete and comprehensive understanding of the research question (Leekam, 2016).

 Moreover, the data collection process is through interviews and questionnaire which are an appropriate approach that facilitates the researcher to develop better and more contexts that have greater construct validity (Loukas et al., 2015). From the literature review, I also learned that the most commonly used data analysis method include chi-square, t-test, and ANOVA, which I have integrated into the proposal’s research methodology. Also, it is important to ensure that the data gathered is accurate. One advantage of mixed research method is that it facilitates triangulation (assessing the same phenomenon using several means of research methods) thereby enhancing the study validity and reliability (Loukas et al., 2015).

Question 4: Innovative part of this research proposal

It is evident that children’s social and cognitive skills development is influenced by their parenting style. Responsive parenting has been explored using various research frameworks such as socio-cultural and attachment; and have been found to have a strong foundation is children’s social and emotional skills (Loukas et al., 2015). In combination with the environment, these aspects shape the child’s social cognition needs including the various range of support required for the child’s learning process. It is these supports that enable the children to be actively engaged in problem-solving, self-regulation and execution of social cognitive skills (Walsh, Creighton, & Rutherford, 2016).

However, the social and emotional stability of parents with children diagnosed with ASD is small. Therefore, their parenting responsiveness is poor and negatively impacts on the child’s social cognition function. The benefits of SCTI-A training is well documented. The study proposes that integrating a parallel complementary training for the parents and caregivers will promote mutual engagement and reciprocate the parent-child interaction. That inturn enables the adolescent to become more active and to develop a trust and bond between the parents and to internalize the trust such that they can generalize the learned behavior to new social cognitive functions/ experiences (Leekam, 2016).


Loukas, K. M., Raymond, L., Perron, A. R., McHarg, L. A., & LaCroix Doe, T. C. (2015). Occupational transformation: Parental influence and social cognition of young adults with autism. Work, 50(3), 457-463.

Leekam, S. (2016). Social cognitive impairment and autism: what are we trying to explain?. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B, 371(1686), 20150082.

Walsh, J. A., Creighton, S. E., & Rutherford, M. D. (2016). Emotion Perception or Social Cognitive Complexity: What Drives Face Processing Deficits in Autism Spectrum Disorder?. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 46(2), 615-623.

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Milgram Experiment and Lord of the Flies

Milgram’s Experiment
Milgram Experiment

Milgram Experiment reveals that the majority of people are willing to obey an authority figure by following instructions to perform acts that conflict with their coincidence. Besides , the Lord of Flies is a real example of obeying authority. This is because the Lord of Flies shows that boys are willing to follow any chain of command. The connections show that there are less evil people than good. However, society acts as the foundation of a person’s wrongdoing or evil.

Milgram Experiment assessed people’s reaction told to give a painful electric shock, while in the Lord of Flies by William Golding readers are introduced to actors of evil and good. The study shows that despite many individuals being useful in the world, only a few are great. 

The purpose of this study is to show how William Golding in the Lord of Flies connects with Milgram Experiment themes to demonstrate how people are willing to obey orders from an authority figure. The paper provides a clear analysis of the link between the Lord of Flies and Milgram Experiment and the implications it has on the modern day leadership style and how people are willing to obey a chain of command from an authority figure.

Milgram’s Experimet Theoretical Framework

 Milgram Experiment was carried out to show how people obey authorities under all circumstances, especially people who instructed them to perform acts that conflict the coincidence of purposes. The purpose of Milgram Experiment was to give students electric shocks by separating them from the subject and establishing a tape recorder, which was integrated with electronic shocks. Therefore, if the answers were inaccurate, the teacher would administer a shock to the learner by an increasing voltage for each wrong answer, while for the correct answer, the teacher would go to the next word pair.

Milgram Experiment was in a controlled setting such that the learner could not attempt to quit the experiment, which led to the establishment of status and authority (Batson and Daniel, 2016,10). Milgram Experiment showed factors that affect obedience. For instance, the status of location showed that prestige of location increase obedience, while less personal responsibility increases obedience. Besides, individuals tend to obey others if they acknowledge their authority as legally based or/and morally right.

Thus, the uniformity of the authority figure can provide people with status as well as peer support or presence of others disobeying the authority figure decreases the obedience level. Milgram Experiment showed that proximity to authority plays a significant role in obedience as people can easily resist orders from authority if they are not nearby (Haslam and Stephen, 2017, 63).

In Milgram Experiment, the teacher does not know that the shocks are not real, and the student behind the participation is in the experiment working with Milgram. Besides, the learner is getting words pairs incorrect on purpose, making the experiment fake despite showing the importance of obeying authority. Therefore, the actual experiment is on the teacher.

Despite the increased yelling by participants, they continue to finish the experiment. As much as many participants wished to stop, Milgram used four phrases to entice them to finish the exercise. The motivating phrases were, “please continue, the experiment requires you to continue, it is necessary for you to continue and you have no other choice, you must go on (Haslam, Nick, Loughnan, and Perry, 2014).”

The Lord of Flies by William Golding introduced characters of evil and good. The study shows that despite many individuals being useful in the world, only a few are great. This is because people control how their environment influences their actions and behaviors. During the feast, Jack sat like a leader and idol as he issued commands such as who was going to join his tribe. [ (pg #?). ] Through his command and leadership authority, most of the boys accepted because they wanted meat and protection from Jack.

Besides, despite Jack punishing Wilfred for no particular or apparent reason, Roger and the rest of the boys of the tribe felt nothing wrong about it. This is because none of the boys had the courage or confidence to stand up for Wilfred. Therefore, the Lord of Flies by William Golding showed that people have a fear of authority and quickly give up justice. Moreover, Jack and Roger tortured Eric and Sam, forcing them to submit to Jack’s command and join his tribe. This shows that authority forces the weak people to follow them using violent action and false use of authority.

The failure of Jack to admit that he took too much power and authority shows that influential leaders are not willing and lack the courage to admit mistakes such as enslaving others. The analysis of the Lord of Flies shows that civilized officers are part of an adult world in which violence and war are associated with social order and civilization. People are expected to obey authority as influential leaders do things to destroy the peaceful world, similar to what Jack did to the boys and vice versa.


The comparison of Milgram Experiment and the novel of the Lord of Flies show that the boys feared the beast referred as the electronic shocks, while they allowed Jack to gain power and authority through obedience to his command. The review shows that it is easier to control people and persuade them to be savagery by obeying the experiments. This is because the boys followed the authority or command to get protection or avoid the electric shock.

The connection between Milgram Experiment and the novel of the Lord of Flies is evident in that both boys follow the order to obtain protection or avoid electronic shocks. For instance, the boys are stranded and end up following the commands from Jack without comprehending the reasons for doing it. Besides, from both sets of experiments, it is evident that people follow orders without questioning the consequences or impacts on the other party.

William Golding in the Lord of Flies presents the obedience idea in Milgram Experiment through the connections of actors take as a leader, Jack, and Ralph, and the other actors who ideally obey the leader’s command or orders without questioning. This connection shows how people or kids are ready and willing to obey the authority figure that has leadership skills. Besides, both Lord of Flies and Milgram Experiment present the obedience idea through leaders and the ones who unthinkingly follow commands and believe that they should be led.

People who want to be led wait for commands and orders to follow and they believe they need to be directed by a leader as Jack demonstrated by allowing characters to follow him without question. This undeniably connects with Milgram Experiment on obedience. This is because according to the Milgram Experiment, persons are possibly to obey commands by authority figures. Therefore, the robust scenarios of obedience on the Lord of Flies are indicators of Milgram Experiment.

The novel on the Lord of Flies presents the obedience theme, which is accurately connected, to Milgram Experiment on obedience. This is because many instances demonstrate the obedience theme. For instance, Jack is the leader of a group of hunters in a jungle who target to kill a pig, and the group follows him to the jungle without questioning and obediently. The boys have drifted away with the words of command such as “kill the pig,” “cut her throat. Spill her blood”(Laurent et al., 2015, 300). 

It is evident that the kids are carried away with the obedience feeling as hunters and Jack manipulate the boys’ fear of the beast, making them obey him even further for protection and safety. The boys not only see Jack as a powerful leader but also obey him without question. Besides, there are other particular moments during the hunting game where Jack uses is authority and command to instill fear in the boys as they obey him unquestioningly. These instances in the novel of the Lord of Flies present how far the obedience feeling can take people.

The kids lose their morality and rational thinking by following commands. Despite the increased use of command, which instills fear and obedience to the boys, the sense of obedience goes off-limits, which signals that things can easily go out of control. Jack who is their leader for the sake of security and food because the boys do everything tells this. Thus, the novel by William Golding in the Lord of Flies presents the idea obedience in Milgram Experiment as it shows that without no doubt individuals will obey commands from others if they perceive them as leaders or authorities (Branson and Buckroyd, 2017, 20).

William Golding presents the obedience idea in Milgram Experiment in the final chapter of the Lord of Flies. In the last chapter of the Lord of Flies, there are clear instances where the boys obey authority figure as well as carrying them to higher levels. It is evident when Jack acts as a leader and as an idol giving commands during the feast where the boys obey the orders without question. Jack commands the boys to join his tribe, and all except Ralph agree to the idea. However, the reason behind Ralph objection is because he is supposedly the chief.

The sense of obedience manifested in Milgram Experiment is present in this scenario as all hunters obey Jack and fail to either object or to question the idea of being a tribe. Despite Wilfred getting punished for no apparent reasons, Roger and the rest of the boys of the tribe do not feel it or question for a reason for the punishment. This shows that they lacked courage and confidence to stand up for Wilfred because their submission and loyalty to their authority blocks them.

Even though Ralph wants to call for an assembly to question Jack, the boys once again prove their obedience and loyalty to their authority figure. Instances of obedience in the novel of the Lord of Flies stem from the idea of obedience from Milgram Experiment. In both groups of boys, they accept the command or authority figure by carrying out the orders issued to them by the leader or teacher.

For instance, if the boys are told to eat, they eat, and if told to fetch something for the leader, they do so. Also, they sit down when told to do so and even if the leader says they should be punished, they accept it without question. This result significantly connects with obedience from Milgram Experiment (Gridley and Jenkins, 2017, 25).

Milgran experiment Critical and Relevance

William Golding successfully puts the obedience idea in the Lord of the Flies novel by installing Jack as the leader. Jack is obeyed, and his subjects follow his commands or orders without questioning. The connections of two scenarios show that philosophic and legal aspects of obedience are of enormous importance. The excessive willingness of people to go to any level in the order of authorities constitutes the main findings of research and the idea that most directly demands full justification.

The study shows that people with authority tend to control the outcome and actions of others. The experiments reveal that a more significant part of people are just willing to comply with authority figures who directs merely them to execute acts that may vary or conflict with their individual coincidence, while the Lord of Flies by William Golding is a real example of obedience to authorities because the people are willing to obey any chain of authority (Hollander, 2017, 430). \

We live in a world where people demand obedience from the authority for them to function well for a society. However, obedience can have significant impacts on a society because authority figures have little to justify actions.  Thus, conformity is an impact that influences people to do things they may not have otherwise done. Evidence shows that both obedience and conformity lead to atrocious actions. Therefore, horrendous crimes against humanity have happened and yet people fail to question the actions of authority figures.

The experiment shows that discipline and obedience are learned through social conventions. Thus, individuals are able of substantial evil and great good according to the circumstances they are positioned in. in addition, acts of both resistance and obedience have the power to motivate and inspire people to obey commands of an authority figure.


From the connection between Milgram’s Experiment and Lord of Flies, several factors force people to carry obedience to the extreme, even without questioning the command. People justify their behavior be assigning responsibility to authorities rather than themselves, and they define their behavior which is expected of them as a routine. Besides, evidence from the experiment shows that people do not want to offend or be rude to authority and they obey orders. Therefore, it is essential for people to question orders and reasons behind their issue.

This will ensure that obedience is acknowledged and is not adhered out of fear. The results show how people follow orders and obey leaders without question. This is a disappointing aspect of leadership style as the leaders directly threatened people in order to guarantee the protection and security.


Batson, Charles Daniel. What’s wrong with morality?: A social-psychological perspective . Oxford University Press, 2016: 2-25

Bègue, Laurent, et al. “Personality Predicts Obedience in a Milgram Paradigm.” Journal of Personality 83.3 (2015): 299-306.

Branson, Jane, and Peter Buckroyd. Lord of the Flies, William Golding: Workbook. Oxford University Press, 2017: 10-30

Gridley, Mark, and William J. Jenkins. Obedience to Authority. Macat Library, 2017: 20-27

Haslam, Nick, Steve Loughnan, and Gina Perry. “Meta-Milgram: An empirical synthesis of the obedience experiments .” PloS one 9.4 (2014): e93927.

Haslam, S. Alexander, and Stephen D. Reicher. “50 Years of “Obedience to Authority”: From Blind Conformity to Engaged Followership.” Annual Review of Law and Social Science 13 (2017): 59-78.

Hollander, Matthew M. “The repertoire of resistance: Non‐compliance with directives in Milgram’s ‘obedience’experiments.” British Journal of Social Psychology54.3 (2015): 425-444.

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Psychological Foundation of Leadership

Psychological Foundation of Leadership
Psychological Foundation of Leadership

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Psychological Foundation of Leadership

Identify ways that a leader could use symbolic acts to strengthen a cultural value of teamwork and collaboration in the Psychological Foundation of Leadership.


Identify the qualities of a change leader. Also, explain how leaders can serve as role models for change. Question 1 –

Symbolic acts to strengthen a cultural value of teamwork and collaboration.
Teamwork and collaboration are vital components of successful businesses and alternative ventures. Insightful leaders understand the need for developing a culture and strengthening the value of teamwork in their followers. The use of symbolism is instrumental to the strengthening of the cultural value of teamwork and collaboration.

Symbolism involves the use of actions, objects, and events to convey a targeted meaning or impart a given sense or emotion in an individual or group of people (Hambrick & Lovelace, 2017; Sergiovanni & Corbally, 1986, pp. 112 – 113; Winkler, 2009). This section identifies and expounds on several acts by leaders that serve to strengthen a cultural value of teamwork and collaboration.

Open communications
Many employees consider the leadership in a corporate environment as being unreachable. Such a notion may serve to erode a sense of teamwork in the employees since they may not feel like part of a team. To address such concerns, the leadership in an office and corporate setting should find ways to foster a sense of openness in the work environment.

This could include the use of open floor plans of office space, and the abolition of the bureaucratic chain of communication between employees and management (Ford & Sturman, 2011). Such actions represent an example of a symbolic act by the organization’s leadership to show an effort toward the improvement of communication as a tool to create a culture of teamwork and collaboration.

Psychological Foundation of Leadership

Unifying tasks
A critical factor in the creation of a culture that fosters teamwork and collaboration in a harmonious environment is the ability to unify different people. However, the leadership in any organization can achieve this through the creation of tasks within the workplace that create a need to collaborate with other members of the team. A case example is a development of unifying tasks that require input from various members with different skills.

In such a scenario, the leaders would not create a team but instead allow the individuals assigned to the task to seek for and collaborate with other people to complete the task. In this way, therefore, the use of unifying tasks is a symbolic gesture by leaders to strengthen the cultural value of teamwork and collaboration.

Appraising the role of each
The importance and success of any leader lie with the achievement of goals by the individual followers. In this light, therefore, it is essential that the leader provide sufficient motivation for the employees. Ford and Sturman (2011) maintain that instilling beliefs, values, and norms through laws, stories, and legends are imperative to teaching culture within an organizational setting. Besides, the creation of various rituals at the workplace ensures that the followers are informed on the culture and expect the leaders to operate in a given manner (pp. 115 – 119, 123 – 124).

Such rituals may include the appraising of the best performing individuals and groups. This creates a recurring act that fosters better work morale to ensure the followers, especially when operating in a group setting strive to outperform each other. Such appraisals, therefore, not only serve to create an ongoing culture in the organization, but also help to strengthen teamwork and collaboration.

Question 2 – Qualities of a change leader
Emotional intelligence
To spearhead change, a leader needs to have a high level of emotional intelligence. This involves the ability to judge and control their emotions as well as discern and use the emotions of other people. In this case, active change leaders can determine the emotion and moods of their followers and act suitably. Besides, a high emotional quotient can direct the moods of their followers to allow for the right attitudes and mood for the completion of a given task. A key factor is the ability to motivate people that they can succeed at the tasks assigned to them as well as their personal lives.

Psychological Foundation of Leadership

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Active listening, communication, and persuasion
An effective change leader is one who understands the importance of efficiency in communication. A fundamental principle of communication in such a scenario is the ability to listen to the front line people. While most leaders shut out the opinions of frontline staff, change leaders use them as critical assets to learn about the various business metrics (Dallas, 2015). Change leaders should also be able to communicate their ideas effectively to other personnel, which is vital to the implementation of the needed change. The ability to persuade people and bring them on board to accomplish the laid out ideas is essential to change leaders since not every individual is convinced of the need to change (Gleeson, 2016).

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Fostering change requires adequate knowledge in the current situation, as well as the intended outcomes from the change process. Therefore, it is crucial that a change leader is knowledgeable in addition to being a seeker of information. This level of knowledgeability should not be limited to the areas of concern or operation but should be as diverse as possible. The diversity of knowledge for a change leader allows for the adoption of new skills and strategies that are applicable in their areas, which leads to growth and the achievement of the required changes.
Psychological Foundation of Leadership

Change agents are responsible for not only the achievement of the required change but also for the various personnel and resources tasked under their administration. As such, a change leader requires a high level of accountability. They should be accountable for the timelines to achieve the set goals, maintaining communications and partnerships, and motivation levels among the followers among other such factors. In the same way, the change leaders demand a high level of accountability from their peers and subordinates (Rylatt, 2013)

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How leaders can serve as role models for change
An effective change leader can serve as an example to their team as well as to other leaders. Among the ways one can serve as a role model for change is to align their words with their actions. Another is practicing self-reflection to exercise similar standards for themselves, as they demand of other people in their teams.

Establishing clear communication of requirements and goals is essential to a successful leader and is an admirable trait. Finally, the leader should show a sense of selfless empathy by being considerate of the needs and well-being of others beyond the task. With such approaches, the leader should have a presentable image that others can emulate.

Psychological Foundation of Leadership


Dallas, H. J. (2015, October 22). 4 must-have skills for leaders to manage change. Retrieved from Fortune Magazine: http://fortune.com/2015/10/22/change-leaders-managers/

Ford, R., & Sturman, M. C. (2011). Harnessing the Power of Your Culture for Outstanding Service. In J. B. M. C. Sturman (Ed.), The Cornell School of Hotel (pp. 111 – 126 ). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Publishing.

Gleeson, B. (2016, August 16). 3 Leadership Skills Critical For Driving Change. Retrieved from Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/brentgleeson/2016/08/16/3-leadership-skills-critical-for-driving-change/#675f5cc34fde

Hambrick, D., & Lovelace, J. (2017). The Role of Executive Symbolism In Advancing New Strategic Themes in Organizations: A Social Influence Perspective. Academy of Management ReviewAcademy of Management Review, 1 – 53. Retrieved January 10, 2018, from http://amr.aom.org/content/early/2017/02/09/amr.2015.0190.full.pdf

Rylatt, A. (2013, July). Three Qualities of Highly Successful Change Agents. Retrieved from Association for Talent Development: https://www.td.org/magazines/td-magazine/three-qualities-of-highly-successful-change-agents

Sergiovanni, T. J., & Corbally, J. E. (1986). Leadership and Organizational Culture: New Perspectives on Administrative Theory and Practice. Chicago: University of Illinois Press.

Winkler, I. (2009). Symbolic Leadership. Contemporary Leadership Theories, 59 – 63.

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