Psychosocial development incorporates the behavioral advancement of an individual from childhood to adulthood. According to Erikson, personality development is based on the attitudes developed by each individual. The concept displayed by Erickson shows that two people in the same age group can present completely different character traits while reacting to similar life situations. Moreover, the manner in which a person carries himself through one stage determines the success of the succeeding stage. Erickson asserts that there is a crisis at the end of every stage as a person transits to the next stage.
In the first stage the baby has a challenge to trust or mistrust the people around him/her. However, I observe that there is a change of trend when it comes to the second stage. The kid develops autonomy which is can be observed from the repeated desire to perform things on his/her own without interruptions. At this stage the child develops doubts concerning many other things which may end up in a crisis in case it is not curbed. The child then identifies their unique abilities and as a result, self esteem is either built or demoralized. The trend from the third stage to the eighth stage shows that unless the kid improves on the prevalent weaknesses, then he/she can grow up in confusion, isolation, stagnation and desperation.
Movement and growth through Erickson’s stages influences personality development since the result of one stage influences the next. There is a probability that the child shall develop negative mindset. This is so especially if from the beginning he/she grows with mistrust and doubt which may in turn become inferiority complex, confusion, isolation and desperation. The positive personality on the other hand, can be developed if the parents keep a close check on disciplining the child and encouraging him/her to develop a confident self image. Generally, Erickson explains that personality developed as a result of continued development through all the psychosocial trait.
Freud’s stages compares closely with the Erickson’s explanation of stages in that they both define human growth and development. The only difference is that Freud’s explanation gives an account of psychosexual attributes that are easily observable and sometimes tangible. Erickson on the other hand, defines psychosocial traits using the psychological responses of the human beings to diverse situations. Additionally, Freud’s description does not go beyond the age of 40 years but terminates at the age of 18 years as compared to Erickson’s description that goes up to when a person dies.
Personally, I feel that the explanation by Erickson best describes my character trait. I find it easy to analyze my past and future and thus classify my current personality. For instance, it is clear that I am in the stage characterized by the need to exercise connection and intimacy with the people I choose. I easily make friends and sustain each of them with ease. Additionally, looking back I realize that I was very industrious and this led me to identify the right peer group during adolescence.
Gross, F. L. (1987). Introducing Erik Erikson: An invitation to his thinking, Lanham, MD: University Press of America. p. 39
Wright, Jr, J. Eugene (1982). Erikson: Identity and Religion. New York, NY: Seabury Press. pp. 73
Stevens, Richard (1983). Erik Erikson: An Introduction. New York, NY: St. Martin's Press. pp. 48–50