Both Freud and Erikson had their own theories on personality development, with Erikson's theory being an offshoot of Freud's. The theories are separated into stages of a person's life according to age and how well a person will adapt and thrive as an adult if a certain quality or characteristic is acquired during each stage. Both of these theories are very similar, as they both have many of the same dividing age groups for development. However, there are several differences that remain between the names of the stages and the developmental issues that are encountered within them. Each psychologist has his own view of the driving force behind a human being's actions as well, which shows through their individual theories. Freud's Psychosexual Stages
Freud thought that a person was solely motivated by the urge to satisfy biological needs. His theory contains five different psychosexual stages, beginning at birth and ending at age 18. He believed that if a person doesn't experience a particular gratification at each stage, the person will become fixated on that stage and carry certain psychological hang ups with him or her into adulthood. Freud's stages are oral (birth to 1 year), anal (1 to 3 years), phallic (3 to 6 years), latency (7 to 11 years) and genital (12 to 18 years). An example of a fixation would be if an infant didn't get sufficient feeding, he or she would have an oral fixation later in life, perhaps manifested by an addiction to cigarettes or food.
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Erikson's Psychosocial Theory
Erikson's theory is based on Freud's, except Erikson expands on the more social or cultural elements that can impact personality development. Also, his theory includes eight stages instead of five. Erikson's stages are basic trust vs....