Erik Erikson Stages of Development and Cultural Implication

Topics: Erikson's stages of psychosocial development, Developmental psychology, Erik Erikson Pages: 8 (2236 words) Published: February 28, 2013

An individual is made up of his or her frames of reference. Our social interactions and beliefs are all a reflection of our surroundings, environment, things we hear, feel or touch. A frame of reference can simply be defined as “The context, viewpoint, or set of presuppositions or of evaluative criteria within which a person's perception and thinking seem always to occur, and which constrains selectively the course and outcome of these activities" therefore one can say, Gender, Age, Religion, Environment, Education, Occupation, Political Class, Family and Press are the common determinants of individual frames of reference.

"We are told about the world before we see it. We imagine most things before we experience them and those preconceptions, unless education has made us acutely aware; govern deeply the whole process of perception. They mark out certain objects as familiar or strange, emphasizing the difference, so that the slightly familiar is seen as very familiar and the somewhat strange as sharply. The notion of the "frame of reference" has to bring together ideas from a number of disciplines. •From the psychology of perception, the theory of Gestalt •From developmental psychology, there is some relevance in the Piagetian notions of assimilation and accommodation •From social psychology, the issue of stereotyping and prejudice and even cognitive dissonance •From sociology, professional socialization and ideology, and Goffmann's ideas about "framing" and the ethno-methodologists' "typifications". •And from social anthropology, the potency of cultural perspectives and assumptions

Erik Erikson’s theory of psychosocial stages of development has been widely accepted as a matured and much sounder judgment of cognitive development of humans and his social interactions. According to the theory, a successful completion of each stages of development returns a handsomely healthy personality and how we view the world around us.

Failure to successfully complete a stage of any of these developments usually results in fixation. Fixation is responsible for so many social personality disorders prevalent with humans, fixations usually occurs during cognitive development, either as a child or an adult. For every stages of development, according to Erik Erikson, there are merits for successful completion and also demerits for failure to complete any of the stages.

The aim of this paper however, is to determine the cultural implications i.e. suggestions of the Nigerian system vis-à-vis with Erik Erikson psychosocial developmental stages. There is need to analyze the benefit or negatives of the Nigerian cultural system even as it relates directly to Erik Erikson development phases.

It is pertinent to note moreover, that giving the complexity and diversity of the Nigerian social cultural traits. Certain instances that will be given in this paper cannot be generalized to include the entire Nigerian populace. The social cultural traits of the Yoruba nation are clearly different from those of the Igbo’s, likewise the Hausas, the Itsekeris, the Edos, Edomas, Calabars etc.  


Culture is a universal phenomenon as there is no society in history without a culture. But culture varies from one society to another. Studies of formal organizations in both Western and non-Western societies have shown the implications of varying cultures for ‘developmental operations and cultures’.

To determine the extent of cultural implications of the Erik Erikson Psychosocial developmental stages, let us analyze the different stages vis-à-vis with Nigerian cultural settings.


During age 0 – 2 a child learns to trust her caregiver if properly taken care of by her care giver. Trust occurs when she is properly taken care of, while mis-trust occurs...
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