In the 20th century a well-known psychologist was introduced, Erik Erikson. Born in Frankfurt Germany on June 15th, 1902. Erik Erikson was raised by his mother because his biological father left before he had been born. His mother married his pediatrician when he was three years old. Throughout his life Erikson was interested in becoming an artist. He pursued his art career following art school Erikson taught art to kids in Vienna. While working with children Erikson became interested in psychoanalysis. He was then admitted into the Psychoanalytic institute where we worked with Anna Freud. Erikson graduated from the University of Vienna and soon had to flea to Boston during the war. He was then offered a job at Harvard Medical School as a child psychoanalyst. He taught at Harvard, Yale, then at Berkley. Erik Erikson is most known for his studies of the eight stages of development.
Erik Erikson laid the foundations of what personality is and how it is developed over time. Erikson uses his steps to show how social influences can affect the personality. Erikson coined the term “identity crisis” where he describes it an internal conflict involving issues such as purpose, trust, or intimacy during developmental stages. Erikson’s work was crucial in influencing later works on personality and he inspired new fields of psychology. In Erik Erikson’s most famous work “Childhood and Society” (1950) he describes his theory of the Eight-life cycle stages. In his work he goes in more depth on how different each stage is and what is gained/lost. Each stage can be either beneficial or harmful which ultimately affects ones personality. The main point of each stage is to obtain a sense of “virtue” and to progress to the next stage.
Trust vs. Mistrust (0-1 ½)
In this stage the child is put into the world where he/she has to rely on its caregiver. Whether the caregiver is successful in providing the child with its needs will allow the child to either “trust” or “mistrust” the world around it. According to David Myers “if needs are dependably met, infants develop a sense of basic trust” (Myers, 2010, pg. 201). The child will begin to trust the world and believe that others can be depended on and are reliable. If the opposite occurs and the caregiver is abusive or neglects the child, the child will learn to mistrust. They will think the world is an undependable and unpredictable place. While going through this stage, the child learning to trust or mistrust will have a tremendous impact on the rest of their life. The child should have a feeling of hope in this stage.
Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt (1 ½-3)
Erikson’s second stage ranges from ages one to three years old. In this stage, the child starts to be able to become less dependent on its caregiver. However, the child is still not completely independent from the caregiver. They start to explore and discover what the world has to offer. They should be able to go to the...