Compare And Contrast Erikson And Piaget's Theory Of Cognitive Development

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The two theories that will be discussed throughout this paper are Jean Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development and Erik Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development. The major themes and concepts of the two theories share both differences and similarities. Specific emphasis will be placed on the earliest years of life and will also be related to separation, individuation, and attachment theory. Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development focuses on the concept of schemas and cognitive thought that helps an individual organize knowledge and understand the world in comparison to Erikson’s theory which focuses on conflicts that arise between and within the ego. Accommodation and assimilation occur throughout Piaget’s theory as a result of children…show more content…
The first stage, which happens between birth and 18 months, is trust vs. mistrust. During this stage, an infant is confused about the world being a safe place and wonders if his or her needs will be met. As a result, the infant looks to the primary caretaker for consistent care and hope that his or her needs can be met. Erikson explains that those that receive constant care during this stage will develop a sense of trust. The basic virtue in this stage is hope. The second stage of this theory is autonomy vs. shame and doubt, which happens between 18 months and 3 years. During this stage, there is an increase in mobility and independence. Erikson explains that it is critical to allow the child to explore their limits and allow failure. The basic virtue in this stage is will. Initiative vs. Guilt that happens between 3 and 5 years is the stage that follows. During this stage, children take more initiative to engage with peers. Erikson explains that during this stage if children are given the opportunity to take initiative, they will develop a sense of security in their ability to lead. The basic virtue in this stage is purpose. Industry vs. Inferiority, which happens between 5 and 12 years, emphasizes school and friendships. Erikson believes that during this stage, children will seek approval from others by displaying skills that are valued by others. Additionally, he believes that if…show more content…
During the first few stages of both theories, we see challenges in the development of the child and we also see challenges that a child might face during some, if not all forms of attachment theory. For example, a parent ignoring the child and speaking to them in a negative manner during insecure-avoidant attachment can be challenging for a child and lead to insecurities and the feeling of not being loved and/or wanted. Additionally, the theme of independence is seen throughout both theories and can also be related specifically to insecure-avoidant attachment where the child does not focus his or her attention on the parents but instead looks to the outside world for assistance. Both theories, as well as attachment theory, has an impact on childhood

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