Erickson’s Psychoanalytical Perspective on Human Development Final Project Paper
Excelsior Community College
This paper was prepared for PSY 235, Lifespan Development.
The growth and development happening throughout a human’s life have been divided into five broad categories including infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and aging. However, in accordance with Erick Erickson, human development happens in eight different psychosocial stages. And that with every single stage, new conflicts arise. Yet, these crises happening in one’s life should be fully resolved before moving on to the next level. Based on Erickson’s theory of psychosocial development, each one of these stages are crucial in one’s life, building blocks of emotional and social development of human beings. In this term paper, an introduction to the Psychoanalytical Perspective will be explored, focusing on Erick Erickson’s theory on human development involving personality, emotional and social changes happening in one’s life.
Introduction Psychoanalytical Perspective
Perspectives on Developmental Psychology explores the growing areas of mutual influence between Psychoanalytic Theory and the study of human development. (Masling, J.1996). In accordance with Berk, somewhere in between 1930’s and 1940’s, people were searching for answers, trying to understand how and why they were who they were. Therefore, a high increase of people started searching for professional help to deal with their emotional problems. For these reasons, the Psychoanalytical approach to study and comprehend personality development was developed; however, emphasizing in the unique history of each individual. (Parrish, M. 2009). The Psychoanalytical Perspective gives importance to the unconscious mind, instead of only focusing in the conscious mind. According to this perspective, people move through life by a series of stages, and in each stage, conflicts may arise, causing people to actually feel as if an internal battle was happening between biological urges and social expectations. Yet, only after these conflicts have been fully resolved is that one’s ability to learn, cope and socialize with others can be determined (Berk, L. 2014). Although many names have caused significant contribution to the psychoanalytic perspective, Erick Erickson is known as being one of the major influences, the father of the Psychosocial Development within the Psychoanalytical Perspective. (Berk, L.2014)
Erik H. Erikson (1902–1994), was a Professor at Yale, also at the University of California at Berkeley. He is generally considered among the vanguard of ego psychologists and similar to Freud, Erikson believed in a stage-dependent approach. However, Erickson didn’t agree with Freud’s psychosexual concepts; in his opinion, people’s personality should not be described based on one’s sexuality. (Bornstein, M. & Erickson Lerner, R.) In addition, Erickson believed that personality continue on being developed beyond five years of age and that one’s personality should not be defined in early childhood. Actually, in accordance with Erickson, one’s personality continues to develop throughout life. (Davis D. & Haverford A. C. 1995) Erickson studied and emphasized the impact of one’s culture and the environment related to human development. He focused on human development involving personality, emotional and social changes happening in one’s life. He pointed it out that normal development must be understood in relation to each culture’s life. He emphasized social influences as a way to study individual behaviors such as family members, friendships, classmates, siblings, teachers, or any role models within a culture. He focused on a psychosocial approach to understanding people’s development, and for these reasons, he suggested that human development happens in eight different stages instead of five, as...
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