August 11, 2014
Personality is an individual difference each of us displays. It is one’s character as others see us. It can be a collection of qualities such as physical, emotional, social, and mental. Personality has been studied by some of the best know theorists. Sigmund Freud developed theories in modern psychology, and personality development (Freud’s stages of Psychosexual Development). Freud’s theory was that we learned from the moment we were born, and we learned in stages. The first stage (the oral stage) was from birth until the age of two. He believed a baby’s focus was around their lips, and mouth because this is how they received nourishment from their mother by way of breast feeding or bottle feeding. The second stage (the anal stage) was from age two to four, and it was a child’s first accomplishment by becoming potty trained. He believed this accomplishment of natural urges and society norms led the child to be potty trained. By rewarding the child for doing well would lead to creativity and productivity later in life. The third stage is from age four to seven (the phallic stage) and is influenced by ego and social demands. This stage becomes more important as the child learns how to be driven from within, and starts to bond with their father. The final stage (the genital stage) is where the individual goes through puberty and becomes sexually developed.
Erik Erikson was another theorist who developed his own theory about personalities (Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development). He also believed we all learned in stages similar to Freud but what we learned in those stages were different. The first stage was from birth to one year old (the Trust or Mistrust stage). This stage is where children learned to trust or mistrust their caregivers. The second stage was from one to three years of age (the Autonomy versus Doubt Stage). Children develop how to control certain activities such as eating, talking and toilet training. This is where children become more mobile, and begin to display their independence. The third stage is from three to five years old (Initiative versus Guilt). This stage is where children start to explore, either at home with their families or at school with other children. Quite often children will take initiatives at this stage, but parents will normally stop them to try and protect them. This is also when children begin to ask many questions as their curiosity grows. If the parents do not handle this period with care the child can develop a sense of guilt for feeling like a nuisance. The fourth stage is from age five to twelve (Industry versus Inferiority). During this stage children learn to read and write and make things on their own. They also learn specific skills in school and become part of a peer group. This stage will play a big role in the child’s self-esteem. The fifth stage is from twelve to eighteen years of age (Identity versus Role Confusion). This is a major stage in the development of adolescence. This is where the transition from childhood to adulthood happens. Children will learn to become more independent as they learn what path they will take into adulthood. The sixth stage is from eighteen to forty years old (intimacy versus Isolation). During this stage we explore relationships and learn to have commitments with someone else other than family