Jan 12, 2018 in Analysis

Erikson’s Theory

Kendra Cherry’s online article focuses on psychological development on the basis of Erik Erikson’s theory. It begins by explaining the basis of psychological development stemming from social relations that a child is exposed to. As a result, Erikson used the term ‘psycho-social’ development. In other words, following Sigmund Freud, he believed that personality was a result of the interaction of the mind and the social environment. This write up seeks to offer a brief summary of the article, verify the correctness of the facts presented, specific the issue that the article relates to and the significance of the article in the context of personal experience.

According to Cherry (Web), Erikson breaks the first two years of human development into two psychosocial stages which he calls ‘Trust versus mistrust’ and ‘Autonomy versus doubt or shame’. According to him, the first year after birth is characterized by the intensive care giving to the child. Therefore, the development of the child’s trust is based on how well or bad the care givers treat the child. In other words, if the care giver is not consistent or available in terms of emotional support, the child develops fear and mistrust believing that the world is unpredictable. In the second year, the child begins to get personal autonomy. Important aspects in this stage are toilet training and selection of clothing, toys, and foods. Care givers who succeed in supporting children in this stage make them confident; otherwise, children become shameful or doubtful if they do not get it right.

Regarding the way how the article was presented in Internet, there appears to be an immense sense of validity. This is because the writer marries Erikson’s views with those of Sigmund Freud. It is observed that while Freud did not believe that children could control their feelings and instincts, Erikson wrote that with the necessary support, children learn how to use the toilet. In essence, Freud based his ideas on a structured personality that involved inner ‘instincts’ that determined behavior. To some extent, there were similarities and differences regarding Freud’s and Erikson’s views. To further verify the discreteness of the facts presented, more research showed that babies know people on the basis of how they treat them.

Cherry’s article is closely related to the developmental issues tackled in class. Specifically, there is much semblance with the development of brain as it is taught. It was clear that the right and the left sides of the brain begin to differentiate. Additionally, other competencies begin to develop in a bid to make the baby more independent as it is seen in Erikson’s theory discussed by Kendra Cherry.

The ideas, issues, and phenomena presented above have illumined my understanding of my adult personality. Precisely, my confidence levels, feelings of doubt and shame as well as worldview derive from how I was brought up. My first two years were characterized by immense support from family; a reason for my confidence and emotional stability. It also appears that some of the competencies I possess today were instilled during my first two years. Personality evaluation is very significant, because it leads to self-awareness. With the help of evaluation, one becomes aware of their fears. For me, I was not able to understand myself until I evaluated my personality according to Erikson’s model of psychosocial development. Lastly, it is also very important to understand that physiological, psychological, and emotional developments are interconnected and contribute to each other in a reciprocal manner.

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