Erikson Theory Essay

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An individual’s sense of self-importance or self-esteem can go a long distance in determining his perspective of himself and the world around him. Erik Erikson, a developmental psychologist, highlights the importance of how the role of society and culture can affect an individual's ego. Erikson’s theory on the development of human beings discusses how a person’s level of confidence influences his ability to solve problems in society. Erikson believed that a person’s potential in trusting others, or how a person views himself personally is affected by how his confidence developed throughout certain stages of his life (McLeod, 2008). In order to expand on Erikson's ideas of the development of the human ego, he created a model that represents eight stages of development that occur in a person's lifespan. In this model, the first five stages take place up to adulthood and each of these three stages take place into and after adulthood. The progression and development of these stages is dependent on the previous stage (Davis & Clifton, 1995). The first stage in the development of human behavior is trust versus mistrust which occurs from infancy to one year and a half. In this stage the infant is oblivious to the new world that he has entered, which results in the infant becoming dependent on his guardian for safety and care (McLeod, 2008). If the infant is constantly presented with care and stability, then he will develop the ability to trust in future relationships (Adler, 2008). If the infant develops successfully, then when a problem arises, he will solve this problem with the help of others. However, if this infant lacks this ability then this he will develop fear. This will lead to the infant mistrusting others, which res... ... middle of paper ... is generatively versus stagnation which occurs between the ages of forty and sixty five. This is when people are most productive with themselves and their families (McLeod, 2008). Being productive is important so that the person carries their knowledge to other generations. Failure to being productive can lead to a feeling of stagnation. The eight stage occurs in ages sixty five years and older. This is when people become retired, and either regret the choices they made or are proud of them (McLeod, 2008). Erikson’s theory of human development helped provide ideas and information on how the development of these eight stages affects an individual’s ego. These ideas can guide parents as they are disciplining their children at different ages. His theory can help future psychologist research how events in certain ages can influence the way people look at life.
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