Social theories are used to understand and explain the tendencies, patterns or movement of both individuals and society based on the context of the social order they occur in. Socials only are able to explain aspects of behavior and may be difficult to apply in a universally. A persons psychological development may follow psychological models or social behavior models but will vary greatly based on the history, anthropology, economics, politics, theology and biology of the person.
The common factor of all theories regarding psychological development is that the person is central figure. The key elements that are prevalent along all the theories are the importance of cognitive development and perceptions and behavioral orientation. Critical periods for psychological developmental have been identified as early childhood and adolescence. However, there has been recent debate regarding the development of the psychology of a person into stages. Like the concept of normalcy, the stages of psychological development are now being studied whether they are to be used as standards or guidelines.
One contention is that psychological development which encompasses the person: his biology, orientation and perception; and the world he moves in: the social structure, norms, traditions, perceptions and environments. In this view, psychological development is considered a lifetime interactive process that continues and perpetuates itself during the lifetime of a person.