Erikson’s psychosocial development theory Essay

As a immature kid. he was larning everything an independent. funny. and analytical yearling would be larning. At one and a half old ages of age. in his 2nd phase of kid development. he was get the hanging his walking accomplishments and get downing to work on control and direction. By the clip he turned four he was in his following phase of development. get downing to copy what he was larning from grownups. and researching new and interesting activities. He was given the chance of free drama and improved his sense of self-pride. This sense of imaginativeness and creativeness would assist him passage to the following phase. Finally. in the 4th phase of kid development. around age seven. he was get downing to inquiry who he truly was and what his intent and function was. He was put into societal state of affairss and was given the chance to interact with other kids.

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He was Erik Erikson. and small did he cognize may hold one time lived through his ain phases of psychosocial development. In this paper. I will discourse Erikson’s psychosocial development theory. His certificates and research are of import to back up his theory. and it is interesting to cognize the facts about celebrated theoreticians. I will be concentrating on phases two. three. and four as they pertain to chiefly early childhood pupils. I will besides discourse what I observed in an existent schoolroom and comparison and contrast what I found out related to the different phases. Finally. I will advert the contention over Erik Erikson’s theory and the grounds to back up and reason the facts. Erikson developed an of import theory that has helped explicate human development.

Erik Erikson
Erik Erikson was born in 1902 in Germany. He did non get down his calling as a psychologist ; “…in fact. Erikson ne’er graduated from high school” ( Woolfolk. 2007. p. 67 ) . Erikson’s heavy involvement and influences for individuality were developed through his ain experiences during school ( Van Wagner. 2007 ) . “Erikson spent his childhood in Germany. his adolescence rolling through Italy. and his immature maturity in Austria” ( Berger. 2005. p. 35 ) . A meeting with Sigmund Freud in Vienna led Erikson to an involvement for analyzing depth psychology ( Woolfolk. 2007 ) . Harmonizing to Van Wagner ( 2007 ) . Erikson earned a certification from the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society. Along with psychologists such as Freud. Erikson believed that crises of big life reflect unsolved struggles of childhood. However. his phases differed “significantly from Freud’s in that they emphasized people’s relationships to their household and civilization. non merely to their sexual urges” ( Berger. 2005. p. 36 ) . Through his phases. Woolfolk ( 2007 ) suggests that “Erikson offered a model for understanding the demands of immature people in relation to the society in which they grow. learn and subsequently do their contributions” ( p. 67 ) .

Each of the developmental phases confronts a individual with a new undertaking or ability that must be mastered for the best possible and most successful development ( Coon. 2006 ) . Because of this command. Erikson steadfastly believed in a psychosocial quandary that causes jobs through each phase. “A psychosocial quandary is a struggle between personal urges and the societal world” ( Coon. 2006. p. 113 ) . The procedure in which the person resolves each developmental struggle will hold an impact on their self-image and position of the universe ( Woolfolk. 2007 ) . Erikson identified eight different phases in the life rhythm for human development ( Gerrig and Zimbardo. 2005 ) . “Erikson’s psychosocial theory emphasized the outgrowth of ego. the hunt for individuality. the individual’s relationships with others. and the function of civilization through life” ( Woolfolk. 2007. p. 67 ) . Erikson furthered his calling by traveling to the United States in 1933 and accepting a teaching place at the Harvard Medical School. Equally good as his new teaching place. he besides developed his ain private pattern in child depth psychology ( Van Wagner. 2007 ) .

After geting in the United States. harmonizing to Berger ( 2005 ) . Erikson “studied Harvard pupils. kids at drama. and Native American cultures” ( p. 35 ) . All of these different experiences helped Erikson to understand the importance of cultural diverseness and important alterations that occur throughout the life rhythm ( Berger. 2005 ) . Harmonizing to the Erik Erikson Biography. “he utilised the cognition he gained of cultural. environmental. and societal influences to farther develop his psychoanalytic theory. ” Through his research. Erikson gathered all of his information and consequences and published legion books on his findings. including Childhood and Society and The Life Cycle Completed. Erikson’s book. Ghandi’s Truth. was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and received a national Book Award. In add-on to Erikson’s psychosocial development theory. he besides added an apprehension of the development of personality and how it changes throughout the life rhythm ( Van Wagner. 2007 ) .

Psychosocial Development Stages
“Erikson proposed eight developmental phases covering the full life span. each characterized by a peculiar challenge. or developmental crisis” ( Berger. 2005. p. 36 ) . Throughout phase one. trust versus misgiving. the chief challenge of a kid is the important dependance on other people. chiefly the parents. Erikson suggested that this phase was known as trust or misgiving because certain attitudes are developed at this clip ( Coon. 2006 ) . After achieving the end of phase one. the ability to swear. the kid is ready to travel onto phase two of development.

Phase Two- Autonomy versus Shame and Doubt
“Erikson’s 2nd phase. autonomy versus shame and uncertainty. marks the beginning of self-control and self-confidence” ( Woolfolk. 2007. p. 68 ) . This phase occurs between the ages of 18 months and three old ages. Children are either sufficient in activities including lavatory preparation. or get down to doubt their ain abilities if they are unsuccessful ( Berger. 2005 ) . The kids that can finish this phase with success develop a sense of assurance and security. but those who do non win are left with a feeling of diffidence ( Van Wagner. 2007 ) . “If parents do non keep a reassuring. confident attitude and do non reenforce the child’s attempts to get the hang basic motor and cognitive accomplishments. kids may get down to experience shame ; they may larn to doubt their abilities to pull off the universe on their ain terms” ( Woolfolk. 2007. p. 68 ) . Toddlers want to develop liberty ( besides known as self-government ) over themselves and be able to command their actions. Harmonizing to Erikson. the most efficient manner of acquiring past this crisis and developing liberty is a sense of counsel and security from parents ( Berger. 2005 ) . Overall. in phase two. Erikson believes that if kids experience excessively much uncertainty they will miss self-esteem in their abilities throughout their life. Equally long as the kid can keep their self-esteem and develop their sense of liberty. they can travel on to the 3rd phase ( Woolfolk. 2007 ) . Stage Three- Initiative versus Guilt

“During the 3rd developmental phase described by Erikson. called inaugural versus guilt. selfesteem emerges from the accomplishments and competences that demonstrate independency and initiative” ( Berger. 2005. p. 237 ) . This phase by and large happens between the ages of three and six. During this phase. kids move from simple activities to more complex such as developing self-denial and beginning to take enterprise ( Coon. 2006 ) . Woolfolk states “the challenge of this period is to keep a gusto for activity and at the same clip understand that non every urge can be acted on” ( 2007. p. 68 ) . During the first old ages of school. kids take the enterprise and command their universe through forming societal interactions ( Van Wagner. 2007 ) . Children want to take part in grownup like activities. but are afraid of the guilt they may see ( Berger. 2005 ) . “If kids are non allowed to make things on their ain. a sense of guilt may develop ; they may come to believe that what they want to make is ever wrong” ( Woolfolk. 2007. p. 68 ) . When kids play. they learn how to do programs and follow through with them. Parents should give kids the freedom and chance to make things on their ain. such as ask inquiries. drama. and take their ain activities ( Coon. 2006 ) .

Toward the terminal of the preschool old ages. kids who develop that sense of trust can originate activities both rational and motor. to assist them larn that they can make things on their ain ( Gerrig and Zimbardo. 2005 ) . Harmonizing to the article entitled. Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development. “Children who are successful at this phase feel capable and able to take others. Those who fail to get these accomplishments are left with a sense of guilt. diffidence. and deficiency of initiative” ( Van Wagner. 2007 ) . Many psychologists. such as Erikson. believe that guilt is a more mature and natural emotion than shame. but both shame and guilt derive from societal criterions. On the other manus. guilt indicates that the kid has become self-motivated ( Berger. 2005 ) . The ways that parents respond to their child’s activities either encourages their sense of freedom and assurance or produces the feelings of guilt. which makes the kid feel that they are making incorrect and can non get the better of this challenge to travel to the following phase ( Gerrig and Zimbardo. 2005 ) . After get the better ofing and get the hanging the accomplishment to take enterprise. the kid is ready to travel to the 4th phase of development.

Stage Four- Industry versus Inferiority
The challenge for the kid during their school old ages is what Erikson named industry versus lower status ( Woolfolk. 2007 ) . This is the 4th phase of psychosocial development. and occurs during the early school old ages from about age five to eleven. “During the simple school old ages. the kid who has successfully resolved the crises of the earlier phases is ready to travel beyond random researching and proving to the systematic development of competencies” ( Gerrig and Zimbardo. 2005. p. 338 ) . During these old ages. kids learn and develop accomplishments that are valued by society. and their success or failure affects their feeling of competency ( Coon. 2006 ) . During this psychosocial crisis of industry versus lower status. kids work on get the hanging the abilities that are valued by their civilization ( Berger. 2005 ) . The kids can see the relationship between finding and the pleasance that comes when a occupation is completed ( Woolfolk. 2007 ) . Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development suggests that societal interactions allow kids to develop pride in their achievements and abilities ( Van Wagner. 2007 ) . Children learn the sense of industry if they win congratulations for their productive activities. and the sense of lower status if their attempts are unequal or unsuccessful ( Coon. 2006 ) . “Children must get the hang new accomplishments and work toward new ends. at the same clip they are being compared to others and put on the lining failure” ( Woolfolk. 2007. p. 69 ) . Each kid Judgess themselves in their ain manner as either hardworking or inferior ; they look at it as either being a victor or a also-ran ( Berger. 2005 ) .

The manner that each single kid headers with their ain crisis in this phase. affects the results of the remainder of their school old ages ( Woolfolk. 2007 ) . Once once more parental counsel is of import. The kids that are praised by their parents develop a feeling of assurance and belief in their ain abilities. but those who receive small acknowledgment from their parents return back to the feeling of uncertainty from the old phases ( Van Wagner. 2007 ) . As kids move to the adolescence phase. their cognitive procedures develop more efficaciously and they can believe theoretically and can understand the thoughts of others more clearly ( Woolfolk. 2007 ) . The badness and grade to the challenges varies widely from each kid. and they must larn how to get by with their challenges separately to get the better of them. and travel onto the following phase of development. Most of the techniques to passage to the following phase come of course. but each kid may develop them at different rates. It is of import to assist the kid successfully get the better of their challenges to assist them travel onto the following phase ( Berger. 2005 ) . There are four more developmental phases that help in depicting the development of the psychosocial theory. and Van Wagner ( 2007 ) states that during each phase people experience a struggle or crisis that helps as a passage in the developmental procedure. This challenge or crisis must be met and overcome before the kid can travel onto the following phase. While calculating out how to suppress their ain personal challenge. the kid will larn accomplishments and abilities that will assist them in their development throughout the life rhythm ( Woolfolk. 2007 ) .

When kids start school. around the age of five. their cognitive abilities are developing quickly ( Woolfolk. 2007 ) . “The elementary-school old ages are a child’s ‘entrance into life’” ( Coon. 2006. p. 114 ) . Children get down to treat more information faster ; they are traveling from preoperational to concrete operational thought. “As these internal alterations advancement. the kids are passing hours every weekday in the new physical and societal universe of school” ( Woolfolk. 2007. p. 69 ) . On March 3. 2008. I visited Kasson-Mantorville Elementary School. I was in a 2nd class schoolroom and was able to detect and analyse the kids. I wanted to look for the specific actions and passages Erik Erikson discusses in his 2nd. 3rd. and 4th phases of psychosocial development.

Since I was in a 2nd class schoolroom I knew that I would likely see kids transitioning from phase three to four. and besides kids already in phase four. I was foremost looking for the physical development of the kids. By the age of six or seven most kids should hold the ability of hold oning and commanding. which is one of the chief abilities learned in phase two. I observed that most kids had good control over their actions and knew what they were making. Next. I wanted to look for the independency in each pupil. As Woolfolk ( 2007 ) states “the kid continues to go more self-asserting and to take more inaugural but may be excessively forceful. which can take to guilty feelings” ( p. 67 ) . I looked for a pupil that seemed to be really chatty or participated frequently. I wanted to seek and happen forms in their behaviour. I watched one specific pupil for awhile. and noticed a few interesting things. First. he ever wanted to take part. which signified that he wasn’t afraid to speak in forepart of the category. This shows that he is able to be independent and shows that he has successfully reached the end of phase three. which is self-esteem and “self-concept. or apprehension of the self” ( Berger. 2005. p. 237 ) .

Last. I wanted to see if any pupil was in phase four of industry versus lower status. Erikson suggests that societal relationships and interaction become really of import in this phase. Students face the challenge of larning new undertakings and when carry throughing each assignment they either experience a sense of success ( industry ) or failure ( lower status ) . I noticed that if a pupil received a incorrect reply they would cover their caput in their desk or look down. On the other manus. if a pupil was right. they would keep their caput high and were rather proud. These observations made it easier to visualize what each kid goes through during each phase. Detecting pupils in the schoolroom gives sufficient first-hand experience in what kids act like in each phase. and being able to analyse their actions made it easier to understand. I was able to straight use the features common to each phase to specific kids. and see how each kid was different from the others. It is of import to retrieve that all kids develop at different rates and some pupils may non be in the same phase as others. I looked for common features and behaviours to compare. and found it really helpful in my research to associate the qualities with the specific phases.

Erikson’s research and development of his psychosocial theory has sparked contention over the old ages. There have been specific inquiries about his theory sing the issues of the individuality and familiarity. and how they intertwine in the development of a individual. “Erikson’s work helped get down the lifetime development attack. and his theories have been particularly utile in understanding adolescence. But women’s rightists have criticized this impression that individuality precedes familiarity. because their research indicates that for adult females. individuality accomplishment is fused with accomplishing intimacy” ( Woolfolk. 2007. p. 72 ) . Erikson did non believe in the intimacy portion of development in immature kids. unlike other psychologists such as Sigmund Freud. Erikson believed that the chief portion of each phase was a developmental crisis. while Freud on the other manus believed in the sexual urges each individual experienced. There are different sentiments and positions on human development. and each theoretician has a different attack in calculating out the best manner to depict the human life rhythm.

There are more positive observations on Erikson’s theory than there are negative. Most of the negative responses can be outweighed by positive comments. One of the chief concerns with people that disagree with Erikson is the developmental crisis facet. Harmonizing to the article entitled Erikson’s Psychosocial Development Theory ( 2007 ) . the challenges and struggles in each phase are non clearly defined. This article besides suggests that the challenges in each phase may overlap and that could do confusion in finding which phase a kid may be in. On the other manus. Erikson suggests that these challenges must be achieved increasingly and can non be overcome in one twenty-four hours. There are dissensions with every theory and each theoretician has their ain manner of turn outing its truth. Erikson believed that the crises were non determined by age. instead the accomplishment of the abilities that must be mastered in each phase ( Chapman. 2007 ) .

All in all. the psychosocial development theory created by psychologist Erik Erikson. has been helpful in seeking to calculate out the procedure of the human life rhythm. Erikson’s background was of import in that his ain personal experiences influenced him. and sparked the involvement of human development and individuality. Bing influenced by Freud. he was able to compare and contrast his ain theory to Freud’s. and give grounds why he thought his phases of development were more accurate. In Erikson’s eight phases. chiefly stages two. three. and four. concentrate on the old ages of early childhood. These phases are important for the development of a kid while traveling through many alterations. such as get downing school and going more independent. The 2nd phase of autonomy versus shame/doubt. from the age of 18 months to three old ages. is when the kid develops self-esteem and assurance. After get the hanging these accomplishments the kid progresses to present three. ( age three to six old ages ) initiative versus guilt. and begins to develop a sense of independency.

Finally between the age of five and eleven and in phase four. industry versus lower status. the kid is met with societal interactions and learns the abilities valued by society. These three phases are of import in a kid during their early old ages of life. By detecting an existent schoolroom scene. I was able to use the abilities described in each phase and analyse how the kids acted. I noticed common forms and behaviours that were described in each of the three phases. and thought it was really helpful to see the kids in an existent schoolroom puting at work. There were some differences from Erikson’s theory to the manner the kids acted. As with any theory. there are contentions that need to be researched. Erikson’s theory has been questioned on why there isn’t a topographic point for familiarity in the phases. but his phases are set up to germinate the individuality. There is besides the inquiry of the clearly defined passage from each crisis. Erikson concludes that one can non transition from one crisis to the following in one twenty-four hours. The alteration of phases must be gradual with the mastering of specific abilities.

Erik Erikson believed that his phases of psychosocial development would assist people understand the alterations each kid goes through. He labeled each stage harmonizing to the features and behaviours the kid exhibits around a certain age. With his theory. people can get down to understand what kids go through during their first few old ages of development. I believe that Erikson created an efficient theory for people to analyse and detect in kids to find how they develop. I think that this theory. along with any other theory. gives an alternate position on the development of a human. and how they develop and master the abilities learned throughout life.

Berger. K. S. . ( 2005 ) . The developing individual through the life span. New York. New york: Catherine Woods.
Chapman. A. ( 2006-7 ) . Erikson’s psychosocial development theory. Retrieved March 16. 2008. from hypertext transfer protocol: //www. businessballs. com/erik_erikson_psychosocial_theory. htm # freud’s_psychose xual_stages.
Coon. D. ( 2006 ) . Psychology: A journey. Mason. Ohio: Thomson Wadsworth. Gerrig. R. J. . & A ; Zimbardo. P. G. ( 2005 ) . Psychology and life. Boston. MA: Pearson Education. Van Wagner. K. ( 2007 ) . Erik Erikson life. Retrieved February 18. 2008. from hypertext transfer protocol: //psychology. about. com/od/profilesofmajorthinkers/p/bio_erikson. htm. Van Wagner. K. ( 2007 ) . Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development. Retrieved February 23. 2008. from hypertext transfer protocol: //psychology. about. com/od/theoriesofpersonality/a/psychosocial. htm. Woolfolk. A. ( 2007 ) . Educational psychological science. Boston. MA: Pearson Education.


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