The study of Psychology has made a dramatic change in the way we look and cope with society today. There are several famous theorists who have contributed to the world of psychology and sociology over the last several centuries. The theorists have done research to coin different theories in the psychological aspect of why people do what we do. The theorists have explained different aspects of psychology and what makes people react to different situations and what causes them to have actions that others may not have. One of the great theorists that will be discussed is Erik Erikson.
Erik Erikson was also a well-known theorist who had come up with several theories in the world of psychology. His ideas were branched from observations and research he had put together to help understand society and the people who lived in it. He was a psychologist and was influenced by Sig Freud theories and analysis in psychology. The one area that Erikson did not agree with was the personality and ego of the mind. Freud focused his findings on the id and superego. Erikson did not agree with the thoughts on Freud’s theory of the id and superego but instead focused on the ego itself.
Erik Erikson had focused his study of psychology in the social and cultural environment and how our egos reacted and thought. His research and analyzation brought forth the Theory of Personality. “Erikson extends on Freudian thoughts by focusing on the adaptive and creative characteristic of the ego, and expanding the notion of the stages of personality development to include the entire lifespan” . Erikson had taken steps further and added three more stages of personality development and concluded them into adulthood.
Erikson’s personality theory revolved that personalities are developed crucially in the adolescent years and progress in stages called principle of epigenic which evolves way into adulthood. This has been a proven factor in today’s psychological findings. He put his focus on how kids interacted socially and how this built their self and personality in life.
The psychosocial theory of personality developed has helped pave the way social psychology is treated today. His theory had proven useful in the ways social interaction plays a role on personality development and growth. Erik Erikson’s eight stages of personality development has proven as a great resource across all cultures of present psychology. “Erikson’s eight stages serve as an outline when it comes to defining our culture or even comparing it to a culture that had existed a few centuries ago” His look at how adolescents identify themselves personally does have effects on adulthood. When a child does not have a social interaction through adolescents than the child may have social personality disorders or issues because of the lack of interaction growing up. This could cause adolescents’ to grow into adulthood with a shy, and bashful personality interaction.
Even though Erikson’s psychosocial personality theories have helped build the mold for psychology there is a few negatives to his theories. His eight stages he had come up with does not always fit every culture faithfully. In some cultures kids develop in stages quicker than in other cultures. The eight stages work fine if they are only looked at in stage form. If the stages are broken down into all kids, adolescents, and adulthood actions then the stages are not always accurate. Some cultures have children potty training before a year old, and in other cultures kids may be potty trained at a couple years old. Not all cultures fit the eight stages of development and milestones that Erikson formulated. Marriage is another cultural difference that we have seen in different lifestyle rituals. In some cultures marriage at an early age as fourteen is seen as normal, and treated as such. In other countries this type of marriage style would be illegal and frowned upon in society. Another criticism of Erikson’s theory is “identity formation” . He had paid close attention to the identity of children and adolescents but had not put as much emphasis into adulthood identity. The revelation of who people are as adults are not the same as they are as children. The look on life is different and life changing experiences happen. Identity as an adult may differ than a child or teenage identity. The stages do not fit every cultural situation.
Erik Erikson’s theories can be used in a therapist setting. If an adolescent came into the clinic and had issues with socializing, fitting in, and personality development; then Erikson’s theories would be used. The adolescent would need to analyze as to what development level she is at, and what would need to be done to address her concerns and issues. The eight stages would be used to address the level of development and social stance she was currently in. Her social interaction would be accessed and determined as to whether a personality disorder or phobia was in place. The findings of this would conclude if there was more issues that assisted in the findings. Proper treatment is relied heavily on proper diagnosis and assessment.
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