Personal development evinces a person’s activities that improve his awareness and identity. It also develops his talents and potential, and enhances the quality of life and contributes to the realization of his aspirations.


Physical capacity

The physical capacity is the first factor that influences one’s personal development. Here the growth of the brain plays an important part. When one is aging his mental faculties develop. During different age periods an individual acquires knowledge and experience. It may be that as the child becomes actively engaged in more varied and complex personality tasks in the course of development.

Structural change

Structural change is defined as progression to the next level or to certain transitional phases. Both intrinsic (e.g. intellectual) and experiential (e.g. cultural) factors are believed to influence stage progressions.

Moral capacity

The other important factor is moral capacity. When one ages he becomes able to differentiate between good and bad. Thus he possesses an ethical development.

Social capacity

The other factor is the social capacity. Man grows with home front, peer groups, religious institutions and other communities. Thus, since social role performances vary according to the complexity of the interlocking actions called for, individuals probably attain higher levels.

Why is Personal Development important?

There are many ideas regarding personal development. One of them is Abraham Maslow’s process of self-actualization.


Maslow suggests that all individuals have an in-built need for personal development which occurs through a process called self-actualization. The ability to develop depends on certain needs being met. And these needs form a hierarchy. Only when one level of need is satisfied can a higher one be developed. As change occurs throughout life, the level of
need motivating someone’s behavior will also change.

First are the basic physical needs for food, drink, sex and sleep. Second are the needs for safety and security in both the physical and economic sense. Thirdly, progression can be made to satisfying the need for love and belonging. The fourth level refers to meeting the need for self-esteem and self-worth. This is the level most closely related to ‘selfempowerment’.

The fifth level relates to the need to understand. This level includes more abstract ideas such as curiosity and the search for meaning or purpose and a deeper understanding.

The sixth relates to aesthetic needs of beauty, symmetry and order. Finally, the need for self-actualization.

Maslow says that all individuals have the need to see themselves as competent and autonomous, also that every person has limitless room for growth. Self-actualization refers to the desire that everybody has ‘to become everything that they are capable of becoming’. In other words, it refers to self-fulfillment and the need to reach full potential as a unique human being. For Maslow, the path to self-actualization involves being in touch with one’s feelings, experiencing life fully and with total concentration.


According to Piaget, each new stage of cognitive development is more complex than the existing one” Do you agree with this statement? Give reasons for your answer.

Piaget classifies the cognitive development of child into four stages and each new stage is more complex than the existing one. He explains the first stage of child development as sensory motor stage. At this stage the child identifies himself as an entity different from the other objects around him. He recognizes self as agent of action and begins to act
intentionally. For example he pushes things to put them in motion and shakes a rattle to make a noise. At the same stage he achieves object permanence. That is to say, he realizes that things continue to exist in his environment even when no longer present to the sense. This stage exists from birth to about two years.

Then comes the pre-operational stage from 2 to 7 years. It is more complex than the earlier stage. Now the child learns to use the language and can identify objects as images and know them by names. He classifies objects by a single feature. For example he groups together all the red blocks regardless of shape or all the square blocks regardless of color. Yet his thinking is still egocentric and cannot understand others’ ideas.

Next stage is the concrete operational stage from 7 to 11 years. This stage is more complex than the previous one because at this stage he can think logically about objects around him and things that happen around him. At the above stage he could identify only a single feature of an object but at this stage he classifies objects according to several features and can order them in series along a single dimension such as size.

The last stage is the formal operational stage from 11 years and up. It is the most complex stage of the four stages. Now the child can think logically about abstract ideas and test hypotheses systematically. He becomes concerned with the hypothetical and ideological problems. It is at this stage that the child becomes logical, rational, creative and innovative.

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