Stage theories

Topics: Developmental psychology, Erikson's stages of psychosocial development, Erik Erikson Pages: 3 (640 words) Published: December 3, 2013
Erikson believed that personality develops in a series of stages. Unlike Freud's theory of psychosexual stages, Erikson's theory describes the impact of social experience across the whole lifespan.

Psychosocial Stage 1 - Trust vs. Mistrust

-Because an infant is utterly dependent, the development of trust is based on the dependability and quality of the child's caregivers.

-If a child successfully develops trust, he or she will feel safe and secure in the world. Caregivers who are inconsistent, emotionally unavailable, or rejecting contribute to feelings of mistrust in the children they care for. Failure to develop trust will result in fear and a belief that the world is inconsistent and unpredictable.

-Of course, no child is going to develop a sense of 100 percent trust or 100 percent doubt. Erikson believed that successful development was all about striking a balance between the two opposing sides. When this happens, children acquire hope, which Erikson described as an openness to experience tempered by some wariness that danger may be present.

Psychosocial Stage 2 - Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt

-Children who successfully complete this stage feel secure and confident, while those who do not are left with a sense of inadequacy and self-doubt. Erikson believed that achieving a balance between autonomy and shame and doubt would lead to will, which is the belief that children can act with intention, within reason and limits.

Psychosocial Stage 3 - Initiative vs. Guilt

Children who are successful at this stage feel capable and able to lead others. Those who fail to acquire these skills are left with a sense of guilt, self-doubt, and lack of initiative. When an ideal balance of individual initiative and a willingness to work with others is achieved, the ego quality known as purpose emerges.

Psychosocial Stage 4 - Industry vs. Inferiority

Through social interactions, children begin to develop a sense of pride in their accomplishments and...
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