PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT: THEORIES
Personality Development has been a major topic of interest for some of the most prominent thinkers in psychology. Our personality is what make us unique, but how exactly do we become who we are today? In order to answer this question, many prominent theorists developed stage theories to describe various steps and stages that occur on the road of personality development. The following theories focus on various aspects of personality development, including cognitive, social and moral development. Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development
Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development remains one of the most frequently cited in psychology, despite being subject to considerable criticism. While many aspects of his theory have not stood the test of time, the central idea remains important today: children think differently than adults. Learn more about Piaget’s groundbreaking theory and the important contributions it made to our understanding of personality development. Freud’s Stages of Psychosexual Development
In addition to being one of the best-know thinkers in the area of personality development, Sigmund Freud remains one of the most controversial. In his well-known stage theory of psychosexual development, Freud suggested that personality develops in stages that are related to specific erogenous zones. Failure to successfully complete these stages, he suggested, would lead to personality problems in adulthood. Freud’s Structural Model of Personality
Freud’s concept of the id, ego and superego has gained prominence in popular culture, despite a lack of support and considerable skepticism from many researchers. According to Freud, three elements of personality—known as the id, the ego, and the superego—work together to create complex human behaviors. Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development
Erik Erikson’s eight-stage theory of human development is one of the best known theories in psychology. While the theory builds on Freud’s stages of psychosexual development, Erikson chose to focus on the importance of social relationships on personality development. The theory also extends beyond childhood to look at development across the entire lifespan. Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development
Lawrence Kohlberg developed a theory of personality development that focused on the growth of moral thought. Building on a two-stage process proposed by Piaget, Kohlberg expanded the theory to include six different stages. While the theory has been criticized for a number of different reasons, including the possibility that it does not accommodate different genders and cultures equally, Kohlberg’s theory remains important in our understanding of personality development. II.
PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT: STAGES
The aspects of the existence of an individual are numerous, most of which are genetically determined and in the majority of cases, environment has a critical role in the completion of what nature has started. Personality and its changes over life span are a good example on such phenomenon. Personality is defined as the distinguishing characteristics of an individual which differentiate him/her from others when displayed in a wide variety of situations and circumstances especially social ones1. In fact, the development of personality which is the outcome as previously mentioned of interaction between genetic make-up of an individual and his environment, starts prenatally or even before conception since genetics has something to do with it. In children, personality has a considerable potential for growth and changes i.e. very flexible, but it is rigid i.e. unalterable in adults1. Personality and its development are under influence of some determinants. Environment is considered the major extrinsic one2. Cultural, racial, socioeconomic, educational, social guidance and health conditions could be environmental factors playing a critical role in personality development3. ...
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