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Aspects of Psychology Unit 5 GP
American InterContinental University
March 11, 2012

Abstract
This paper discusses the Erickson theory of human development. It includes a description of the different parts of the theory as well as TV characters that fit into the various life stages. There are also reviews of three different case studies done on different parts of the Erickson theory.

Aspects of Psychology Unit 5 GP
Erickson’s theory of life stages and development helps us understand how each of us develops throughout our lives. It explains theories starting from birth and continuing on into life. It helps us to understand why people respond the way they do when presented with certain stimuli or put in certain situations. It explains attributes and possible factors that contributed to developing those attributes in people whether they are good attributes or bad. Human development is a complex and ever changing thing and the better we can understand it the better we will be able to respond to it and improve. Trust Vs Mistrust (birth - 2 years) starts with infancy until the age of two. If an infant grows knowing that he can trust a person because of them caring for his well being, attending to him and loving him, he will be full of happiness and very healthy. But if he doesn't gain a sense of trust because of being ignored or treated badly by his parents, he will show a lack of interest in things around him and he will also have poor health. (Erikson,E.2010). A character that represents this stage of life is Stewie Griffin; Stewie has mistrust for his parents and everyone in general. He is always left to do whatever he wants with little input from his parents and his father is rarely home. He resolves conflict by demanding he gets what he wants and nothing less will do. Autonomy Vs Shame and Guilt (2-3 years) at this stage is when the toddlers reach toddler hood, and she will start to get into things to stimulate her mind. She will do this away from her parents. (Erikson,E.2010). She will tend to wander off by herself more at this time in his life, but if there is shame and doubt she will do the opposite. She will feel less confident and will not go into places he doesn’t know on her own. Maggie Simpson is a character that represents this stage of life. She regularly wanders off and gets into things she is not supposed to. She also tries new things without her parents being there to supervise because she would rather do it herself. Initiate Vs Guilt (3-6 years) this is when she starts to do something and will not stop until it's done. On the other hand if there is guilt within her she will not look for challenges and will mostly likely not express who she is. (Erikson,E.2010). A character that represents this stage of life is Lisa Simpson. Lisa is always striving to be the best; she has to get straight A’s in school or else she gets depressed and withdraws. She loves to play the saxophone despite her father being annoyed by it and is always looking for a challenge. Industry Vs Inferiority (6-12 years) at this stage he has a sense of industry he will show much interest in his school work and the duties he has at home, and he will show a responsible attitude towards things. If he has a sense of inferiority the opposite type of behavior would be shown, because he will feel like he isn't capable of completing the given task. (Erikson,E.2010). Bart Simpson is a character that fits this stage of life. He feels inferior and so he does things he knows are wrong on purpose because he believes if he tries to succeed in good things he will fail. When he does try he often gets discouraged before he can complete the task and reverts to destructive behavior. Identity vs Role Confusion (12-18 years) states that if he knows where he is going in life or at least he knows what he wants to be when he gets older he will tend to have a high level of self esteem. (Erikson,E.2010). However if he has a sense of role...
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