Compare and Contrast Erik Erikson & Sigmund Freud

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Compare and Contrast Erik Erikson & Sigmund Freud

By | September 2011
Page 1 of 3
Compare and Contrast Erik Erikson & Sigmund Freud

This research paper will compare and contrast two of the most influencial psychologists who helped shape the way we understand the development of the human mind; Sigmund Freud and Erik Erikson. The paper will focus on the similarities and differences between Freud’s Psycho-sexual theory, and Erikson’s psychosocial theory. Freud was one of the very first influencial psychologists who changed the way we study humans. Erikson recognized Freud’s contributions, and although he felt Freud misjudged some important dimensions of human development, he was still influenced by Freud, which caused some similarities in their theories. . Even though Erikson had eight stages compared to Freud’s five, you can see that Erikson's first five stages hold some similarities to Freud’s five stages. The first similarity that can be seen is that each stage in both psychologists’ theories takes place around approximately the same age. First stage takes place from birth to about one year. Second stage is about one year to age three. Third stage is age three until approximately five or six. Fourth stage is from age six until the onset of puberty. And the rest of the stages take place from puberty onward. After puberty is the last of Freud stages while Erikson’s continue on to three more stages.

The next similarity between the two theorists can be seen in the fact that both agree bad experiences in early childhood can create negative effects which can cause unhealthy adulthood and improper progress through the later stages. Freud called this a fixation and says it happens when a child “remains locked in an earlier developmental stage”. A good example of this can occur when the child is one and a half to three years old during the anal stage. While toilet training, if the parents are too strict or punish the child this can have negative effects. Later on in life the child could grow up to be somewhat obsessive compulsive and...