Personality Theory And Erikson's Eight Stages Of Psychological Development

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Many psychologists have performed examinations over personality for many decades. With a vast amount of theories behind the meaning of personality, there still is no true explanation to why we are who we are. Some would argue that our personality is inherited and passed down through birth, whereas some theorist believes one’s personality is altered by life events and choices. I find it hard to grasp the idea that personality travels through the gene pool. I believe that personality changes frequently, in the sense that we adapt to our environment. Our surroundings, actions, and decisions all play a role in developing a personality. For example, a child that grew up in foster care might show signs of aggression or depression, whereas a child …show more content…

Erikson believes a person’s personality changes throughout their lifespan and primarily focuses on ego. Furthermore, ego is a person’s sense of self-importance or self- acceptance. This is a major factor when discussing personality because how we perceive ourselves, reflects onto others. Erikson’s eight stages of psychological development consist of infancy, early childhood, preschool, middle school, adolescence, young adulthood, middle age and old age. He indicates that during each stage of life a person experiences a psychological crisis, which could aid in a negative or positive result. During the infancy stage, the psychological crisis is trust vs. mistrust, meaning total dependence on the mother or father. If either or both parents show love and attention, then the child will develop trust, or otherwise mistrust if neglected. Early childhood, around the ages two to three years old a child becomes more mobile and shows signs of independence. The caregivers will either assist the child in all their needs or wait patiently as they figure them out on their own. Erikson distinguishes the importance of allowing children to face their own challenges with the tolerance of failure. This will provide the willingness to push through hard times and overcome adversity. Stage 3, initiative vs. guilt describes the interaction between other children and their ability to make decisions. A child will initiate activity with others continuously when he or she feels secure. Nevertheless, when children are told ‘no’ they react with feelings of guilt. The fourth stage of Erikson’s theory begins to explain inferiority. In this stage, a student will be introduced to teachers who become a major part of a child’s psychological development. With encouragement, children will feel confident in themselves, whereas negative reinforcement may cause self-doubt. Identity vs.

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