Essay On Ego Development

Submitted By clucas7794
Words: 1675
Pages: 7

Ego Development
Chelsea Lucas
October 20, 2014
Personality Psychology

Erik Erikson was an Ego psychologist who focused on the development of the ego. Erikson believed that human behavior and personality was determined by a combination of the internal world, or the Id, Ego, and Superego, and external world, or the social influences. From this belief Erikson developed the epigenetic sequence, it has eight stages starting from birth and going till death. Each stage has a different crisis that the individual has to face, and complete, in order to move on to the next stage. In addition, to each crisis if the individual is successful in passing through the crisis they will also gain an Ego strength (Sollod, p. 290). While the epigenetic sequence closely models the psychosexual stages of Sigmund Freud, Erikson added an additional three stages to included adulthood, which Freud’s model had failed to include (Erickson). In addition, Erikson, unlike Freud, felt that social influences affected individuals just as much as inner struggles affected and determined personality of an individual. Erikson, like others in his field, felt that Freud had failed to fully develop the Ego, as he had fully developed the Id. Furthermore, Erikson believed that the Ego was the root of an individual’s personality, while Freud believed the sole purpose of the Ego was to control the Id, contrary to Erikson’s belief. Erikson developed the epigenetic sequence, the sequence basically states that our personality is determined by ones success or lack of success as they pass through all eight stages (Boeree). There are eight stages to epigenetic sequence, each stage has its own specific crisis, and from those crisis are a positive and negative outcomes. While the positive outcome is the desired outcome, it is necessary to have a mixture of both negative and positive, with the positive out weighting the negative. The first stage is known as the Oral-Sensory stage, the individual is in this stage from birth to one year in age. In this stage, the crisis is trust vs. mistrust, the infant learns trust though how the caretaker responds to their needs and desires (Boeree). If the care taker is consistent, loving and caring, then the child will develop trust. However if the caretaker is aloof, neglectful, and emotionless when taking care of the child, the child will develop mistrust of the parent or caretaker. However it is necessary to have some of both. One does not want to completely trusting and become somebodies puppet, so it is necessary to have some mistrust. In a healthy infant the infant will have mostly positive experiences however they will also have some negative, with the positive out weighing the negative. Not only has the infant gained the ability to trust and occasionally mistrust when necessary, they gained the ego strength that goes along with this stage. In the first stage, if the individual is successful they gain the ability to hope. If the person is unsuccessful they will fail to gain the ego strength, however, our healthy individual moved through the first year of life successfully and learned to trust with a little bit mistrust and secured the ego strength of hope, which allows them to look at everything in life as being attainable from wishes to desires, and as nothing is too big or too small to obtain (Sollod, p.281). Unlike the child who became mistrustful of the world and became pessimistic. At the age of two the toddler is now in the autonomy vs shame and doubt, as with the first stage this will last for about a year. During this time the toddler is learning self-control, specifically when it comes to toilet training. During this stage the child is learning how to independently and willfully control his bodily functions and physical activities (Sollod, p. 282). If during this time that if the child is overly shamed for accidents, it will result in an over-controlling adult. Furthermore,