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Personality In Psychology: Erikson's Theory Essay

983 words - 4 pages

Erikson's Theory of Human Development is one of the most well known theories of personality in psychology. Erik Erikson was a Fruedian Ego-psychologists, meaning that he accepts Sigmund Freud's ideas as "basically correct", but he was more society and culture-oriented than other Fruedians. Freud had developed five stages, but Erikson had elaborated them into eight. Frued believed that people develop their personality in five stages and only up until adolescence, whereas Erkison elaborated on this theory, giving adulthood three more stages. (Boeree) Erikson believed that people never stop developing, but rather keep going through adulthood, and that each of these "crises" must be dealt with one at a time, before moving on to the next. (Psychology, 521)Like Frued, Erikson believed that parents, as well as grandparents, dramatically influence child's behavior, which leads us to the first stage. The first stage (Trust vs Mistrust) is said to be very much dependent upon the maternal relationship, and is where trust is developed. From the time a child has their first birthday, up until about eighteen months, he or she depends on their parents to give them the things that they need, such as food, or clean diapers, and not to reject them or cause them harm. This is a very delicate balance, and when achieved will the child will believe that no matter what happens, everything will work out in the end. This is helpful later in life when disappointments in love, success or other aspects of life come along. (Boeree)The second stage (Autonomy vs. Doubt) occurs when the child is eighteen months to four years old and helps him or her to build self-confidence and control by letting them exploring their independence. (Boeree) This stage is the point where a child learns potty training as well as how dress and feed themselves. It is important that parents at this time are reassuring and maintain a confident attitude. If not, the child will begin to doubt him or herself and be less confident later in life. (Winters)From ages three to six, the third stage, (Initiative vs. Guilt) occurs. In this stage, children learn to take on responsibilities and learn new skills, but also control impulses. (Winters) It is very important at this point that parents encourage fantasy and make-believe as well as allow children to have their own responsibilities. If you do not allow children to do these things then they will develop a guilt because they will believe that what they want is always wrong. This is also the stage in which children develop their heroes. (Boeree)In the elementary and middle school ages, comes of the fourth stage (Industry vs. Inferiority), which focuses on completion. Children learn to balance their life at home, as well as their life at school, because for the first time they have multiple activities going on at once. Children also learn how to complete projects and be satisfied by them, which is how they learn success. (Winters)Beginning with puberty, until...

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