A reflective essay on self, identity, personality, and factors influencing identity based on James Marcia’s theory on personality development.
People come in different shapes and sizes. Some are big while others are small, some are fat and some are slim, some are short while some are tall. People have many similarities. Unless born with a physical defect we all have one head, two eyes, two ears, one nose, one mouth, two arms with five fingers each, and two legs with five toes each. So basically we are all physically alike. What makes us each uniquely different is our personality inside of us. A personality can be described as a person’s own distinctive character or the qualities that makes someone interesting or popular. Growing up I would wonder how one’s personality could be theorized. My quest was soon over as I learnt of the James Marcia’s theory on personality development. Based on Erik Erikson’s groundbreaking work on identity and psychosocial development in the 1960s, Canadian developmental psychologist James Marcia refined and extended Erikson’s model, primarily focusing on adolescent development. Addressing Erikson’s notion of identity crisis, Marcia posited that the adolescent stage consists neither of identity resolution nor identity confusion, but rather the degree to which one has explored and committed to an identity in a variety of life domains from vocation, religion, relational choices, gender roles, and so on. Marcia’s theory of identity achievement argues that two distinct parts form an adolescent’s identity: crisis (i. e. a time when one’s values and choices are being reevaluated) and commitment. He defined a crisis as a time of upheaval where old values or choices are being reexamined. The end outcome of a crisis leads to a commitment made to a certain role or value. These are not stages, but rather processes that adolescents go through. All adolescents will occupy one or more of these states, at least temporarily. But, because these...
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