Erikson and Personal Psychosocial Stage

Topics: Erikson's stages of psychosocial development, Erik Erikson, Developmental psychology Pages: 5 (1681 words) Published: August 8, 2013
Renowned psychologist Erik Erikson is best known for his theory of psychosocial stages of personality development. Unlike Freud, Erikson’s theory spans a person’s entire lifespan, from childhood to old age. One of the main elements of Erikson’s psychosocial stage theory is the development of ego identity (Cherry, 2013). Ego Identity is the conscious sense of self that we develop through social interaction (Cherry, 2013). Erikson believed that our ego identity is constantly changing due to new experiences and information we acquire in our daily interactions with others (Cherry, 2013). The stages of Erikson’s theory are concerned with becoming competent in an area of life (Cherry, 2013). Erikson believed that if a stage is handled well the person will feel a sense of mastery or is often referred to as ego strength or ego quality (Cherry, 2013). He also believed that if a stage is handled poorly the person will emerge with a sense of inadequacy (Cherry, 2013). The eight stages as taken from my module 3 discussion board post where I put forth that I believed personality is developed in stages and used Erikson’s stages for my example are: Stage 1: Trust vs. Mistrust - Occurs between birth and 18 months of age.  Children develop a sense of trust when caregivers provide reliable care and affection.  Erikson believed that a lack of caregiver’s attention will lead to mistrust (Cherry, 2013). Stage 2 Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt - Occurs during early childhood, 2-3 years of age.  A major event during this period is toilet training and the ability to control one's physical skills.  Erikson believed that success during this stage of development leads to feelings of autonomy, while failure leads to shame and doubt (Cherry, 2013). Stage 3 Initiative vs. Guilt – Occurs during preschool, 3-5 years of age. According to Erikson during this stage children need to learn to assert control and power over their environment.  In Erikson’s view children may try to exert too much power which may result in disapproval thus leaving them feeling a sense of guilt (Cherry, 2013). Stage 4 Industry vs. Inferiority - School age 6-11 years of age.  According to Erikson children need to begin to cope with academic and social demands of the school environment.  He believes that success leads to a sense of competence, while failure leads to a sense of inferiority (Cherry, 2013). Stage 5 Identity vs. Role Confusion - Adolescence 12-18 years of age. Erikson believed that teens need to develop a sense of self and personal identity.  According to Erikson, success leads to an ability to stay true to yourself, while failure leads to a weak sense of self and role confusion. Stage 6 Intimacy vs. Isolation - Young Adulhood 19-40 years of age.  Erikson believed that young adults need to form loving intimate relationships with others. According to Erikson success leads to strong relationships, while failure leads to loneliness and isolation (Cherry, 2013). Stage 7 Generativity vs. Stagnation - Middle Adulthood 40-65 years of age.  Erikson theorized that adults need to create and nurture things that will outlast them.  It could be by having children or creating some kind of positive change that will benefit other people.  According to Erikson success leads to feelings of accomplishment and usefulness, while failure leads to shallow involvement in the world (Cherry, 2013). Stage 8 Ego Integrity vs. Despair - 65 years of age till death.  Erikson believed that older adults need to look back on life and feel a sense of accomplishment.  Success leads to feelings of wisdom, while failure leads to bitterness, regret and despair (Cherry, 2013).

The following is also from my module 3 discussion board post in response to a question from Professor Clark-Rapa. The successful completion of each stage results in a healthy personality and the acquisition of basic virtues (McLeod, 2008). Basic virtues are characteristic strengths which the ego can use to...

References: Cherry, K. (2013). Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development.
Erikson’s Psychosocial Development Theory. (2013) retrieved July 28th, 2013, from
McLeod, S. (2013). Erik Erikson.
* Staff, Psych Central. (2013) . Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder Symptoms.
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