Erik Erickson was a German-American development psychologist and psychoanalyst known for his theory on psychological development of human beings. Erik Erickson’s psychosocial development theory mainly talks about how human development happens in 8 stages and their personality development also takes place through these eight stages starting from infancy to old age. His argument was about how a social life was important and how in each stage, when we interact with other humans, we learn and grow together and help us understand our social environment and surroundings.
The psychosocial development is influenced by Sigmund Freud’s Id, Ego and Super Ego. Development is a lifelong process and is divided into eight stages and is called ‘crisis in personality’, later referred to as competing tendency. The eight stages are:
• Trust Vs Mistrust:
The first stage begins at the age of 12 months and continues till 18 months. The crisis in this stage is trust Vs mistrust. In the stage, the child learns a virtue in this stage called Hope. The first stage is where the child learns whom to trust and whom not. The mother is the most trusted person as the child feels more safe and connected to the mother than to anyone else.
• Autonomy Vs Shame:
The second stage is Autonomy Vs Shame. This stage starts from (12-18) months to 3 years. The virtue learnt here is Will. In this stage, child engages in activities and learns to be independent or the child grows up to be shy and timid. Autonomy means independence. So, their own decision of doing something or not is what is learnt in this stage.
• Initiative Vs Guilt:
The third stage is from 3 years to 6 years. The crisis here is initiative Vs guilt and the virtue learnt here is purpose. The child price to be initiative and creative and tries to learn new things of feels guilty towards learning anything new. The child takes initiative in learning new things and exploring new possibilities or the child feels like if they try to do something new it’s wrong or it shouldn’t be done that way.
• Industry Vs Inferiority:
The fourth state starts from 6 years and last puberty. The crisis here is industry Vs inferiority. The main virtue learnt here is competence. In the states the child learns new hobbies for activities and tries to be bold or the child feels inferior to others. This state is where the child explorers new activities or interest of their own or when they see other people doing new things or activities they feel they are not good enough for feel inferior to others.
• Identify Vs Identify Confusion:
The first stages from puberty to young adulthood. The crisis identity Vs identity confusion and the virtue learnt here is fidelity. At this stage the child tries learning about themselves and tries to establish and identity for themselves for the child is confused about who they are. This is an important stage as this is the building blocks for the rest of your life. If one does not know who they are then they cannot go on with their life.
• Intimacy Vs Isolation:
The 6th stage is young adulthood where the crisis is intimacy Vs isolation. The virtue learnt here here is love. Here, the child learns to communicate with the opposite sex and establishes a connection or is shy and spends time in isolation.
• Generativity Vs Stagnation:
The 7th stage is middle adulthood. The virtue learnt here is care. Here, the person learns to care for others and to be productive or is stagnant. Either they try to help other people how they learnt from their mistakes or they just do not care about anyone else other than themselves.
• Ego Integrity Vs Despair:
The eight stages late adulthood. The virtue learnt here is wisdom. Here, the adult is either a smart person who is proud of how they have led their life or someone who’s in despair because of how they lived. You can either be proud of who you are or you will regret what ever you have done in your life. That is what this stage is about.
Development just doesn’t take place in one particular time period. It lasts throughout your lifetime and therefore it is important to learn from your mistakes and make sure to lead a good life so when you look back at how you led your life, you can be proud of who you are and were.