Erikson's Theory Of Psychosocial Development

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Running head: ERIKSON'S THEORY

Erikson's Theory of Psychosocial Development
Veronica L. Lawrence
American Military University
EDUC210 I006
Dr. Joanetta Ellis
June 24, 2013
This essay discusses research concerning Erikson's Theory of Psychosocial Development. Discussion topics include the physical, social, emotional, and intellectual aspects of this theory. Erik Erikson’s work is distinct because he deliberated beyond the psychosexual stages highlighting Sigmund Freud’s work. While Erikson accepted Freud’s ideas, he introduced psychosocial stages of development to categorize personality development over a lifespan. He included the id, ego, and superego in his theories as means for resolution and understanding. The stages of development begin at birth and evolve with physical, mental, and cultural influence. Development occurs contiguously upon the preceding stage. They are punctuated by a psychosocial crisis. Erikson believed the outcome was impermanent and can be altered by future changes and influences in one’s life.
Erikson's Theory of Psychosocial Development
Psychosocial development is a fundamental aspect of personality development. A relationship between learning style and personality type exists. In the classroom, as teachers apply Erikson’s psychosocial development theory and understand the stages they encourage and facilitate the learning process. They create an environment where children feel comfortable with learning and explore peer relationships with more confidence (Brooks, 2010). Teachers’ efforts benefits all involved as they may devise methods to address a variety of students, each with unique personalities and social situations. The stages of development address specific aspects of physical, social, emotional and cognitive maturity which benefit from diligence in the classroom. The objective is to understand how the parts fit to reveal the whole and functional concepts at work. The physical is addressed in part of Erikson’s theory as it is divided into approximate age groups. The social aspect is contingent upon the interactions between the individual and people in direct contact with the individual. Emotional aspects relate to the achievements and outcomes throughout the stages. The ability to comprehend and build upon learning expresses the cognitive aspect of this theory. Cumulatively, Erikson’s theory is multifaceted but elegant in it adaptability. Unlike Freud, whose theory was unwavering and pronounced complete by age five, Erikson’s theory revealed facets addressing realistic circumstances, favorable, unfavorable, and neutral. Situational changes impact perspective in some sense. It is reasonable to conclude such changes may transform previously accepted views to accommodate the current situation in which one must function. Individuals showing an unwavering commitment to ideologies which may become inapplicable due to changes in the environment cause a deficit in their functional capacity. In the classroom, as teachers encounter different personalities, it is beyond beneficial to allow for such changes (Brooks, 2010).
Erikson’s theory has eight distinct stages encompassing the entire lifespan. He believed personality develops in a predetermined succession and all stages involve social, psychological, and biological functions simultaneously. As people proceed through the stages, he believed they must find balance between the basic virtues and basic strengths to achieve a successful outcome. Strength is identified to highlight the triumph gained during the particular stage. The virtue focuses on the healthy outcome in relation to the stage encountered (Brooks, 2010). He was reluctant to claim people achieved success in surmounting the stages. Using this terminology suggests an absolute position and irrefutable commitment to placement in that stage. A notable aspect of his theory is the compensation for change and evolution. One may alter or defy