Comparing Erikson to Piaget

Topics: Theory of cognitive development, Jean Piaget, Erikson's stages of psychosocial development Pages: 2 (565 words) Published: February 26, 2012
Two important theorists who worked on childhood and moral development were Jean Piaget and Erikson. They both formed very important theories as to the thought development throughout the lifespan. Although, their theories were similar in a way, they were very much different. The validity of their theories in reference to today’s children is questionable but very much still applicable. Jean Piaget believed in a stage theory of development where people undergo distinctive revolutions in their thought processes, producing four discrete stages that emerge as they move through childhood and adolescence. Whereas, Erikson’s theory was that the developmental stages refer to eight major challenges that appear successively across the lifespan, which require an individual to rethink his or her goals, as well as relationships with others (Johnson&Zimbardo,2012). Erickson believed there were four psychosocial stages of development; they were trust versus mistrust, autonomy versus shame or self-doubt, initiative versus guilt, and industry versus inferiority. Piaget also believed there were four stages of development; however his differ from Erickson’s. Piaget believed the four stages were Sensorimotor, Preoperational, Concrete operations, and Formal operations. Both Piaget and Erickson’s theories differed in many ways. Piaget’s theory was based mainly on social development whereas Erickson’s theory was based on both social and moral development. They believed that a partially similar idea happened in two different stages of life. Piaget’s theory was that children explore the world through their senses and motor abilities and that object permanence and goal-directed behavior emerge, along with the beginning of symbolic thought between the ages of zero and two years (Johnson&Zimbardo,2012). Erikson felt that from age’s six to twelve, school activities and sports offer arenas for learning more complex intellectual and motor skills, while peer interaction offers the chance to...
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