Erik Erikson Theory

Erik Erikson Theory

ErikErikson Theory

TheErik Erikson theory of psychosocial with regard to social developmentapproach on behavior extends from Freudian theory on psychosexual.Evidently, Erikson’s theory is exclusive since it encompasses thewhole life cycle and acknowledges social, historical and culturalimpact on human personality. The theory is recognized for its idea onidentity crisis. The concept curtailed from the personal identitycrisis Erikson went through during his early age. Indeed, Eriksonnoted that his close friends coaxed him that there was necessity torename the crisis as well as identify it with anybody else for him tocome in terms with himself[CITATION San05 l 1033 ].

HowErikson contributed to our understanding of human behavior

WhileErikson believed that Freud misinterpreted significant dimensions ofhuman behavior and development, he recognized Freudian theory basicnotions. Erikson’s have developed our understanding and admittingthat humans develop throughout their life-time. This dismisses theearly understanding that human behavior and personality aredetermined and fully shaped by five years of age. The theory furtherelaborates understanding of human behavior through the development of8 psychosocial stages that human come across during their lives.According to Saul Mcleod (2008), the stages include trust versesmistrust, role confusion verses Identity, autonomy verses shame andDoubt, Industry verses Inferiority and other subsequent stages[CITATION Sau08 l 1033 ].

Erikson’stheory in relation to personality development

Thefirst stage of Erikson’s personality development cycle, forinstance, is trust verses mistrust. According to Krishnamurtifoundation (2015), this stage takes place between the day of birthand the age of one year. Trust is defined as an importanttrustfulness of other persons and ultimate sense of oneselfcredibility. A child, for example, who is comforted when they requirecomfort as well as fed when they are starving, will create trust.However, mistrust is essential in discriminating between dishonestand honest people. In the case that mistrust overshadows trust, thechild will display some form of suspicion, frustration, withdrawaland will show nonexistence some form of self-confidence. The secondstage of Erikson’s theory, which is Autonomy verses Doubt andshame, assert that parents needs to develop a supportive environmentbetween the ages of two to three. During this stage, the child willcreate self-control while maintaining self-esteem. Shame and doubtwill be developed in case trust was not sufficient in the precedingstage. Furthermore, the child will be exposed to rules, particularlyon area allowed to explore within the house[ CITATION Kri15 l 1033 ].

Fromthe above stages, it is evident that preceding stages affect thesubsequent stages. After the child has developed self-esteem in stagetwo, the child will be able to identify the kind of persons theywould like to be. Subsequently, they will create the sense ofresponsibility thus increasing imitativeness during the ages of fourand five. Indeed, Erikson identified that guilt, in contrast, will becompensated by some form accomplishment. Importantly, development isparticularly qualitative since personality changes are perceived instages however, they are also quantitative since individual’sidentity becomes stronger while their convictions strengthen.

Howmodern theorists have contributed subsequent knowledge andunderstanding beyond this initial contribution

Thepsychosocial theory by Erikson is highly and widely regarded bymodern psychologist and theorists. Erikson’s theory is consideredfundamental since he was both humanitarian as well as psychoanalyst.Indeed, this theory is useful beyond the psychology field, such asapplications regarding personal development and awareness. The moderntheorist who supports Erikson’s theory finds its influence useful,while those in disagreement with the theory may ignore the aspect ofFreudian and still find the theory helpful in the development oftheir theories. It is therefore evident that Erikson’s theory isnot entirely dependent on Freud for its significance and robustness.

Modernpsychological theorists of human personality and its development havetheir believes originate from Erikson theory. Some of the moderntheorists have emphasized that dynamics and forces within a personare accountable for their behavior. A number of theorists haveexpanded on Erikson’s as well as Freud’s theory, which is anintellectual progression like the observation made in the field ofbiology. Ann Freud, for example, recognized Erikson’s contributionin her clinical experiment and investigation. In addition topersonality development cycle, Ann asserts that biological andenvironmental factors contribute to personality development as well.


Krishnamurti Foundation. (2015). Journal of the Krishnamurti . Erik Erikson`s Theory of Development: A Teacher`s Observations, 8-13.

Santrock J. W., S. (2005). Life-Span Development. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Saul McLeod. (2008, August). Developmental Psychology. Retrieved September 23, 2015, from Simply Psychology: