Upon review of all the theories of human development, I believe that Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development is much easier to accept and much believable than Freud’s and Piaget’s theories. I believe that not all things in our life are dominated by sexual instincts. I believe that social conflicts and personal dilemmas shape a person on becoming who he is right now. According to Erikson’s theory, the personal conflicts that we encounter every day and every stage of our development is our determinant on how we will develop in life.
If the conflict is not resolved, this may result to a stagnancy of development or abnormality in our psychological development. In the first stage of Erikson’s theory (birth to one year), infants should be able to solve the issue of trusting others or “trust versus mistrust” stage. In this stage, the primary caregiver, mostly the mother, needs to establish that the world has the basic things that he needs, food, water, air, love, and etc.
This is necessary in our development because, as infants, we cannot talk to our parents of what we need.
So, the primary caregiver needs to be sensitive enough to know the needs of a child and assure him that everything will go well. In this case, the mother, whom is the primary giver of care and love to us, needs to be on her toes to keep him safe from any negativity. Inconsistency may lead to mistrust because he may think that he cannot rely on any one person. I believe that this is crucial in the early stage because people who did not get the attention they needed from there primary caregivers do not easily trust anyone, even there family and friends.
In my experience, I know some who did not grow up with their parents so they developed mistrust with the people around them. They can be very selfish because they cannot trust anyone but themselves only. In the second stage of his theory (one year to three years), the child needs to feel being autonomous or “autonomy versus shame and guilt”. In this stage, parents are still the key social agents for this to be solved. The child needs to feel that he can be independent. He needs to do things on his own, like feeding, taking a bath, drinking, etc.
Still, he needs the supervision of his parents. Failure to do so may result to shame of not getting things right and guilt that he cannot do things. I believe that this stage is important, as we grow old, because we know that our parents are not always there to support us. Yes, they can be there for us but not all the time. Inside the school, they cannot defend us when we have recitations. During meetings in the office, parents cannot be there to cheer for us when we do our presentations. Autonomy is important so we may build confidence.
In the third stage of his theory (three years to six years), the child needs to accept higher responsibilities to gain more confidence or “initiative versus guilt”. The child will attempt to accept more roles and responsibilities to please themselves and there families. Family is the key agent that can build his initiative. If these are not met, they become guilty that they did not finish a certain task and may lead to life-long dilemma. Some people that I know tend to have no initiative with things. When they are given responsibilities, they become guilty of not doing it responsibly or better than what it supposed to be.
The fourth stage (six years to twelve years) is developing his becoming industrious in everything he does or “industrious versus inferiority”. The child starts to learn new things and schooling. In this stage, developing socially and academically is important because this will develop his industriousness in every aspect of his life. He compares himself with others. He feels assured of himself if he acquires the necessary social and academic mastery he needs based on his age group. Failure to do so will result to inferiority among his peers.
Agents of development in this stage will be his peers and teachers. Personally, I agree with this. This is the time where I developed the concept of studying for greater goals. Achieving the goals I set for myself makes me feel superior on everything I do. I strongly believe that having the assurance of my peers and teachers made me who I am. Ultimately, achieving the goals that I made for myself makes me more re-assured of myself that I can do things. The fifth stage according to Erikson’s theory (twelve to twenty years) is how to answer the question “Who am I? or “Identity versus Role Confusion”. This stage is the stage of finding one self, knowing the things a person wants, and the likes. In this stage, the person continuously asks who he is, why is he here, and when will he get the answers to all his questions. The only one who can answer the question he posted to himself is himself. Naturally, peers and the society help him to answer these questions to give him insights of who he is. I am now in this stage. Yes, I have a lot of questions but I know this cannot be answered in a blink of an eye.
This needs time and proper thinking. I know that I am a girl, a woman for that matter. But still, what I do not know is how will I cope up with other people who does not like who I am. I still tend to please people but with this I lose in touch with myself. At the end of the day, I still think that most of the people, if not all people will accept who I am. Twenty to thirty years old is the stage of finding the right partner or “intimacy versus isolation”. This is the most common question during this stage because people need to find the right mate.
People think about their future. People think of how many kids do they want. People think of how to build a family. But before achieving this, they need to find their partner. It is a long process because we need to think about it over and over again. We do not want to make mistakes for the rest of our lives. I am not yet in this stage but I know sooner I will be in that dilemma. I still enjoy myself now but come to think of it, not all of my friends will still be there because maybe they have families already.
The last two stages of his development is crucial to longer lasting happiness. If we cannot attain the goals we need for the last two parts of our life, peace will be uncertain. We will have doubts with the way we lived our life if the goals of generativity and our ego will not be met. I think this is the best way to describe human’s development. People change based on the surroundings and the people around us. I still believe that genes contribute to our attitudes and behaviors in life. But still, our surroundings play an enormous role on how to handle things in life.
Cite this Theory of Psychosocial Development by Erikson
Theory of Psychosocial Development by Erikson. (2016, Oct 30). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/theory-of-psychosocial-development-by-erikson/