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Erik Erikson’s theory of personality

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Erik Erikson’s theory of personality

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Erik Erikson’s
Theory:Theory of Psychosocial Stages
Introduction
 Erik Erikson was an ego psychologist.
 He emphasized the role of culture and
society and the conflicts that can take
place within the ego itself.
 Erik Erikson maintained that
personality develops in a
predetermined order, and builds upon
each previous stage. This is called the
epigenic principle.
Psychosocial Stages
 He assumes that crisis occurs at each
stage of development and they are of
the psychosocial nature.
 Successful completion of each stage
leads to a healthy personality and
acquisition of basic virtues.
 Failure to complete the stage
successfully can lead to inhibition in
completion of other stage and an
unhealthy personality.
Erik Erikson’s theory of personality
Trust vs. Mistrust
 This is stage takes place during the first
year of life or so.
 The infant looks towards the caregiver
for stability as he/she is unaware of the
world.
 If the infant receives care which is
reliable and consistent then a sense of
trust is available and in harsh and
inconsistent care, mistrust is developed.
 Success in this stage will lead to a virtue
of hope.
Autonomy vs. Shame
 This is a stage which lasts between the ages of
18months and three.
 The child learns to play with toys, wear their
clothes themselves etc. thus discovering their
skills and attaining independence and
autonomy.
 If the children are encouraged in this stage,
they become confident and secure in their
ability.
 If they are discouraged, they lack self-esteem
and feel a sense of shame.
 Success in this stage will lead to the virtue of
will.

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Erik Erikson’s theory of personality

  • 1. Erik Erikson’s Theory:Theory of Psychosocial Stages
  • 2. Introduction  Erik Erikson was an ego psychologist.  He emphasized the role of culture and society and the conflicts that can take place within the ego itself.  Erik Erikson maintained that personality develops in a predetermined order, and builds upon each previous stage. This is called the epigenic principle.
  • 3. Psychosocial Stages  He assumes that crisis occurs at each stage of development and they are of the psychosocial nature.  Successful completion of each stage leads to a healthy personality and acquisition of basic virtues.  Failure to complete the stage successfully can lead to inhibition in completion of other stage and an unhealthy personality.
  • 5. Trust vs. Mistrust  This is stage takes place during the first year of life or so.  The infant looks towards the caregiver for stability as he/she is unaware of the world.  If the infant receives care which is reliable and consistent then a sense of trust is available and in harsh and inconsistent care, mistrust is developed.  Success in this stage will lead to a virtue of hope.
  • 6. Autonomy vs. Shame  This is a stage which lasts between the ages of 18months and three.  The child learns to play with toys, wear their clothes themselves etc. thus discovering their skills and attaining independence and autonomy.  If the children are encouraged in this stage, they become confident and secure in their ability.  If they are discouraged, they lack self-esteem and feel a sense of shame.  Success in this stage will lead to the virtue of will.
  • 7. Initiative vs. Guilt  This is a stage around the ages three continuing to five where children assert themselves more frequently.  Children make friends, plan activities allowing them to develop a sense of initiative and developing their abilities to lead others.  If the children are criticized or controlled they make become followers and develop a sense of guilt and may feel like a nuisance to others.  Success in this stage will lead to a virtue of purpose.
  • 8. Industry(competence) vs. Inferiority  Children are aged 5 to 12 years in this stage and are learning to read, write, do sums etc.  The child’s peer group creates a significant source of the child’s self esteem.  If they are encouraged for their initiative they feel industrious and competent to achieve their goals.  If the opposite happens, they begin to feel inferior and doubt their own abilities and not reach their potential.  Success in this stage will lead to competence.
  • 9. Ego Identity vs. Role Confusion  This is a stage during adolescence i.e. age 12- 18 years.  Children begin to look at future in terms of career, relationships, family etc. the adolescent re-examines their identity to figure out what their who he/she is.  He says that the adolescent may feel uncomfortable about their body till until they can adapt the changes.  Role confusion involves the individual not being sure about themselves or their place in society.  Success in this stage will lead to the virtue of fidelity.
  • 11. Intimacy vs. Isolation  This stage occurs during young adulthood i.e. ages 18-40years where we begin to share ourselves more intimately with others.  Successful completion in this stage can lead to a comfortable relationship, a sense of commitment, safety and care etc.  Avoiding this can lead to isolation, loneliness and sometimes depression.  Success in this stage will lead to the virtue of love.
  • 12. Generativity vs. Stagnation  This stage occurs during middle adulthood i.e. ages 40-65years.  We establish a career, develop relationships, begin families etc.  We give back to society by raising our children, being productive at work, and becoming involved in community service etc.  Success in this stage will lead to the virtue of care.
  • 13. Ego Integrity vs. Despair  This occurs at the age of 65+ where we become senior citizens and we tend to slow down our productivity and explore life as a retired person.  If we see our life as productive, successful we are able to develop integrity.  If we see our lives unhappy and are dissatisfied with the goals we have achieved, we develop despair, hopelessness and can become depressed.  Success in this stage leads to the virtue wisdom.
  • 14. Strengths of the Theory Limitations of the Theory  It provides a broad framework which shows the development throughout the entire lifespan.  It also allows us to emphasize the social nature of human beings and the important influence that social relationships have on development.  He is vague about the causes of development.  Erikson does not explicitly explain how the outcome of one psychosocial stages influence personality at a later stage.  The theory fails to detail exactly what type of experiences are necessary at each stage in order to successfully resolve the conflicts and move to the next stage.