Erikson’s 8 Stages Of Personality Development

If you want to celebrate your uniqueness, you need to unravel the passion that resides on the sidelines of your existence and give it a boost. The transition from an inactive to a fervent state leads to personality development and it is very crucial in order to lead a zealous and a motivated life.

Psycho analysts like Freud and Erikson are of an opinion that facets of personality development are a lifelong process; they are development and matured in each stage of human life from infancy to old age.

Erikson Model Of Personality Development :

Erikson thus presents his model of personality development and asserts the idea that human life see a conflict and transitional phase from one aspect of personality to another with respect to their age. Personality development follows a preset pattern and builds up in each stage of our lives.

Although his theory draws inspiration from Freud, it is little deviated from Freudian psychology as the social concept peeps in. Erikson model depicts psychological conflicts of human lives in the light of society, relationships, thought process and confirming to a belief system. He believes that human in each of the eight stages of their lives need to conquer these conflicts in such a way that they end up making their contribution as a successful and a confident member of the society.

Failure to do so with lead to inadequate and negative results which affects not the individual but the social lives that surrounds them.

erik-erikson-stages-of-development-

So in order to make the Erikson model more approachable, let us discuss the eight stages of psychological conflict in detail and decipher how they impact our lives from a social standpoint:

Stage 1 : Trust VS Mistrust:

This is the foremost conflict faced by humans in their infancy when they are truly dependent on their parents, guardians or caregivers. Erikson believes that this conflict need to be resolved in the very first stage because trust is the bedrock of building any relationship or aids in leading a positive life. If you ignore a crying baby in the midst of your own preoccupations or tend to ignore their needs out of your sheer negligence, the baby will suffer the consequences.

The baby who looks upon you from your care and assistance and when he finds nothing caring coming from your side he will develop feelings of mistrust and abandonment. They will in turn view the world as hostile and uncertain where there is no hole of love. This will negatively impact him in later stages of his life when he is in the phase of making relationships or become a parent because that was what he has faced poignantly in his most dependent stage.

Stage 2 : Autonomy VS Shame:

Your child is growing and is ready to face this second conflict in his toddling stage. The mode of your child’s need are changing; there is a transition from their attention seeking needs to be self-dependency in choosing their own toys, books clothes and displaying their abilities in an ardent fashion. Parents are expected to create a motivating environment for their child to explore their abilities till the child asks for assistance.

For example if you child volunteer to take off his own socks let me try to his utmost ability till he asks for your aid. In doing so your child feels elated that he has been given a chance to prove his effort and abilities to maximum while at the same time given protection from their parent’s side to avoid any letdowns. This will lead them being confident adults because their childhood was cherished with their enlightened abilities which aggravated their self-esteems.

Stage 3 : Initiative VS Guilt:

Your child is at the threshold of his schooling years. He has stepped out of the comforts of his home and fantasy of his inanimate objects in to a world where interaction and encounters with other kids reigns. In this stage the child needs to assert his will the most, by taking initiatives in games, decisions and plan activities with vigor and energy.

If the child is given space and free hand to take initiatives within boundaries; imagine the level of confidence your child can reach which will help them being leaders on the long run. Furthermore, in this stage your child will be seen with immense quest and thirst for knowledge; his curiosity will unbound limitless questions as he is now an active participant of the outer world. If his queries are not responded by the adults on a serious note and are disregarded as trivial or silly, the child will descend in to guilt for being an embarrassing figure.

Stage 4 : Industry VS Inferiority:

The interest of your child has now turned towards reading and writing. They want to take pride in their accomplishments through writings by making their place in the competitive environment provided in the schooling years. Teachers are required to provide an effective academic platform to channelize their student’s writing skills and need encouragement from their mentors.

Such motivation makes the children industrious and confident to achieve their aims in the academic realm. If such initiative is restricted by teacher or parents because of their negligence and lack of interest in their students/ child talents, the students will become a victim of inferiority complex and become sidelined from the mainstream academic society.

Stage 5 : Identity VS Role Confusion:

The conflict in this stage is most heightened because the stage is now most complex. It’s the adolescent stage that is a middle ground between childhood and adulthood. With changing body shape and raging hormones; the adolescent now struggles with an identity crisis and what lifestyle or career choices he should make.

He envisions myriads of possibilities around him but what makes him unsure is how to adapt with his changing moods. In the midst of uncertainty entails the adolescent quest of searching his personal identity and the role he needs to develop through an intense exploration of personal insight and beliefs and morals that encapsulate the society around him.

Overcoming this conflict is essential so that the adolescent can now prepare himself as to what role he needs to take as an active member of the society to either bring about change or make a positive contribution from his side.

Stage 6 : Intimacy VS Isolation:

We have now entered the blossoming phase of early adulthood where our passions and emotions are at their pinnacle. We are in a phase that require forming long term relationships based of mutual love, respect, care, trust, and commitment.

Erikson believes that even here we are confronted with conflicts because of our fear in entering in to commitments and responsibilities that a relationship requires. This leads to barren empty lives of the individuals that are barred of happiness, comfort and bliss of love.

Stage 7 : Generativity VS Stagnation:

In the middle adulthood phase society holds immense expectations from us to make positive contributions that are for the greater good. We as parents can be generative from this standpoint by actively providing our society with nurtured and well taught children who by keeping their parents preaching intact grow to be prospering adults.

Or by positively participating in societal organizations we can give a thumbs up contribution from our side. Failure to do so will lead us developing stagnant and inadequate feeling about ourselves that we are good for nothing!

Stage 8 : Ego Integrity vs Despair:

You are now a senior citizen leading a life of retirement. At this stage you are the most wise and contemplative as you have all the time in the world to see your life in retrospective. If you find that you have made appositive contribution to the society by giving your lifeblood, your zeal, your brains, your maximum potential than feel satisfied that you have lived worthwhile.

On the other hand if you perceive yourself otherwise, then till your death a feeling of despair would hover on you like a dark shadow that you lived a hopeless life. Wisdom, plays its role here because at this point older people, when confronted with both despair and integrity try to balance them and face their end without any fear.

The best thing about this theory of personality development is that Erikson has merged the psychological conflicts of human lives with its societal implications. By resolving these conflicts we can only play an active and a positive part in our society.



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Erikson’s 8 Stages Of Personality Development

If you want to celebrate your uniqueness, you need to unravel the passion that resides on the sidelines of your existence and give it a boost. The transition from an inactive to a fervent state leads to personality development and it is very crucial in order to lead a zealous and a motivated life.

Psycho analysts like Freud and Erikson are of an opinion that facets of personality development are a lifelong process; they are development and matured in each stage of human life from infancy to old age.

Erikson Model Of Personality Development :

Erikson thus presents his model of personality development and asserts the idea that human life see a conflict and transitional phase from one aspect of personality to another with respect to their age. Personality development follows a preset pattern and builds up in each stage of our lives.

Although his theory draws inspiration from Freud, it is little deviated from Freudian psychology as the social concept peeps in. Erikson model depicts psychological conflicts of human lives in the light of society, relationships, thought process and confirming to a belief system. He believes that human in each of the eight stages of their lives need to conquer these conflicts in such a way that they end up making their contribution as a successful and a confident member of the society.

Failure to do so with lead to inadequate and negative results which affects not the individual but the social lives that surrounds them.

erik-erikson-stages-of-development-

So in order to make the Erikson model more approachable, let us discuss the eight stages of psychological conflict in detail and decipher how they impact our lives from a social standpoint:

Stage 1 : Trust VS Mistrust:

This is the foremost conflict faced by humans in their infancy when they are truly dependent on their parents, guardians or caregivers. Erikson believes that this conflict need to be resolved in the very first stage because trust is the bedrock of building any relationship or aids in leading a positive life. If you ignore a crying baby in the midst of your own preoccupations or tend to ignore their needs out of your sheer negligence, the baby will suffer the consequences.

The baby who looks upon you from your care and assistance and when he finds nothing caring coming from your side he will develop feelings of mistrust and abandonment. They will in turn view the world as hostile and uncertain where there is no hole of love. This will negatively impact him in later stages of his life when he is in the phase of making relationships or become a parent because that was what he has faced poignantly in his most dependent stage.

Stage 2 : Autonomy VS Shame:

Your child is growing and is ready to face this second conflict in his toddling stage. The mode of your child’s need are changing; there is a transition from their attention seeking needs to be self-dependency in choosing their own toys, books clothes and displaying their abilities in an ardent fashion. Parents are expected to create a motivating environment for their child to explore their abilities till the child asks for assistance.

For example if you child volunteer to take off his own socks let me try to his utmost ability till he asks for your aid. In doing so your child feels elated that he has been given a chance to prove his effort and abilities to maximum while at the same time given protection from their parent’s side to avoid any letdowns. This will lead them being confident adults because their childhood was cherished with their enlightened abilities which aggravated their self-esteems.

Stage 3 : Initiative VS Guilt:

Your child is at the threshold of his schooling years. He has stepped out of the comforts of his home and fantasy of his inanimate objects in to a world where interaction and encounters with other kids reigns. In this stage the child needs to assert his will the most, by taking initiatives in games, decisions and plan activities with vigor and energy.

If the child is given space and free hand to take initiatives within boundaries; imagine the level of confidence your child can reach which will help them being leaders on the long run. Furthermore, in this stage your child will be seen with immense quest and thirst for knowledge; his curiosity will unbound limitless questions as he is now an active participant of the outer world. If his queries are not responded by the adults on a serious note and are disregarded as trivial or silly, the child will descend in to guilt for being an embarrassing figure.

Stage 4 : Industry VS Inferiority:

The interest of your child has now turned towards reading and writing. They want to take pride in their accomplishments through writings by making their place in the competitive environment provided in the schooling years. Teachers are required to provide an effective academic platform to channelize their student’s writing skills and need encouragement from their mentors.

Such motivation makes the children industrious and confident to achieve their aims in the academic realm. If such initiative is restricted by teacher or parents because of their negligence and lack of interest in their students/ child talents, the students will become a victim of inferiority complex and become sidelined from the mainstream academic society.

Stage 5 : Identity VS Role Confusion:

The conflict in this stage is most heightened because the stage is now most complex. It’s the adolescent stage that is a middle ground between childhood and adulthood. With changing body shape and raging hormones; the adolescent now struggles with an identity crisis and what lifestyle or career choices he should make.

He envisions myriads of possibilities around him but what makes him unsure is how to adapt with his changing moods. In the midst of uncertainty entails the adolescent quest of searching his personal identity and the role he needs to develop through an intense exploration of personal insight and beliefs and morals that encapsulate the society around him.

Overcoming this conflict is essential so that the adolescent can now prepare himself as to what role he needs to take as an active member of the society to either bring about change or make a positive contribution from his side.

Stage 6 : Intimacy VS Isolation:

We have now entered the blossoming phase of early adulthood where our passions and emotions are at their pinnacle. We are in a phase that require forming long term relationships based of mutual love, respect, care, trust, and commitment.

Erikson believes that even here we are confronted with conflicts because of our fear in entering in to commitments and responsibilities that a relationship requires. This leads to barren empty lives of the individuals that are barred of happiness, comfort and bliss of love.

Stage 7 : Generativity VS Stagnation:

In the middle adulthood phase society holds immense expectations from us to make positive contributions that are for the greater good. We as parents can be generative from this standpoint by actively providing our society with nurtured and well taught children who by keeping their parents preaching intact grow to be prospering adults.

Or by positively participating in societal organizations we can give a thumbs up contribution from our side. Failure to do so will lead us developing stagnant and inadequate feeling about ourselves that we are good for nothing!

Stage 8 : Ego Integrity vs Despair:

You are now a senior citizen leading a life of retirement. At this stage you are the most wise and contemplative as you have all the time in the world to see your life in retrospective. If you find that you have made appositive contribution to the society by giving your lifeblood, your zeal, your brains, your maximum potential than feel satisfied that you have lived worthwhile.

On the other hand if you perceive yourself otherwise, then till your death a feeling of despair would hover on you like a dark shadow that you lived a hopeless life. Wisdom, plays its role here because at this point older people, when confronted with both despair and integrity try to balance them and face their end without any fear.

The best thing about this theory of personality development is that Erikson has merged the psychological conflicts of human lives with its societal implications. By resolving these conflicts we can only play an active and a positive part in our society.



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