Psych theories Essay

?Erikson’s Psychosocial Stages of Development Erikson believed that changes in a human personality occur throughout an entire lifespan. The first of his 8 stages is between the years 0-2, or infancy. This stage is Trust vs. Mistrust, which focuses on developing trust in the people and things we are familiar with at this age. This decides whether or not we grow up fearful of the world or trustful of the world. The second stage is Autonomy vs. Doubt, from ages 2-3, or early childhood. This stage focuses on developing a sense of independence and pride in being successful.

Ideally there would be a full sense of autonomy, but one can also doubt his or her abilities if the parents don’t allow them to do things on their own. Stage 3 from 4-5 years old is the Initiative vs. Guilt, in which children begin to ask questions and think more freely. This can be a success if parents help with these efforts and encourage them to ask questions and learn, but it can also be a failure if the parents don’t pay attention to the efforts the child is putting forth, which would cause a sense of guilt about initiated activities in the child. Stage 4 from 6-11 years of age is Industry vs.

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Inferiority, which focuses on building new things and having creative ideas. This can be taken down easily though if the parents don’t allow their child to create new things and have fun with new ideas they may have, instilling a sense of inferiority in the child. The fifth stage is during adolescence, about 12-20, and is called Identity vs. Role Confusion. In this stage, teens try and find a sense of who they are. Based on how the previous stages played out, young adults can find it difficult to figure out who they really are or what their life will be like in the future.

Stage 6 is from about 20-35 years of age, and is Intimacy vs. Isolation. In this stage a person figures out whether or not they want an intimate relationship and a marriage, or if they will live a life of isolation without any intimate relationships. Stage 7 deals with the middle ages of life and is Generativity vs. Self-Absorption. In this stage a person focuses on either helping younger generations and making things better, or being absorbed in your own life, which would lead to no sense of fulfillment in life. Finally, stage 8 is from about 65 to death.

In Integrity vs. Despair, one looks back on life and decides whether their life was lived to the fullest and successful, or if it was a waste and full of opportunities that one missed. Together these 8 stages describe the different aspects of a human’s personality through Erikson’s eyes. Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development Piaget studied different stages of mental development in children to find out why and how they different from adults mentally. In Piaget’s first stage, from 0-2, he said children are in the sensorimotor stage.

In this stage everything a child knows is based on how their senses perceive it. This means they only know things based on their 5 senses. The next stage is the preoperational from about 2-6 years of age. In this stage children know language and can use words and images to describe things, yet they still lack any logical reasoning behind things. The third stage is concrete operational which lasts from about 7-11 years of age. In this stage children can logically think about events that are actually happening and that they have seen or heard about.

They can also perform more complex arithmetic. Finally, the last stage is from 12 to adulthood, and is called formal operational. In this stage they develop moral reasoning and also abstract thinking, meaning they can think about things that haven’t actually happened. Piaget believed that this is the endpoint of cognitive development, and that no other stage is possible. Vygotsky’s Cognitive Development Vygotsky believed that cognitive development is affected by the culture a child lives and grew up in.

Vygotsky brought up a new idea known as the zone of proximal development. This zone is the amount that children are able to learn with the help of somebody more knowledgeable. This zone changes when the child learns more and more until eventually it caps out when there is nobody else that can teach them more. Language also plays a significant role in the development of a child. The language used by different cultures can tell children different ideas of what is accepted and how things are done.

When a mother tells a child “no” if he or she asks for some candy, later on that child could remember that it is not accept and say no to his or herself. Furthermore, the idea of scaffolding was introduced by Vygotsky as well. This idea says that a child should have adjusted help based on the level of help they need, until they need no help at all. Vygotsky says that culture affects the ways that one can develop cognitively. Kohlberg’s Stages of Moral Development Kohlberg studied reasoning as to why and how a person develops different moral standards.

Kohlberg was able to split this up into 3 different stages. The first stage is preconventional morality, which is where actions are considered by the consequences that the actions will have on the person doing the action, which is very much self-centered. The second stage is conventional morality, which is based on expectations that one is trying to live up to as well as how someone’s actions will affect their conscience. Finally, postconventional morality has to do with the idea of individual rights and then later on the idea of upholding universal principles and laws that have been set by society.

Postconventional morality is the highest level of morality attainable. Freud’s Psychosexual Stages of Development Freud uses 5 stages to describe the personality development of a child. The first stage is the Oral Stage, which occurs from about birth to 1 year of age. This stage’s primary interaction is through the mouth, most importantly used for feeding. This is where Freud came up with the rooting reflex, which is a reflex for an infant to search for a nipple when touched on the cheek. The second stage is the Anal Stage, which occurs from about 1-3 years of age.

During this stage, the child focuses on mastering the control of bowel and bladder movements. This stage can be very successful if the parent is praising and patient with the child, but it can drastically fail if the parent is harsh or ridiculing of the child. The third stage is the Phallic Stage, which is between the ages 3 and 6. During this stage children begin to figure out the difference between a boy and a girl, and they tend to be more attracted to the same-sex parent because they can relate to them more genital wise.

The fourth stage is the Latent Period, which occurs between 7 and 11 years of age. During this period the child is more focused on things such as school and friends and less concerned with the sexual aspects of life. This is the period where children gain large amounts of self-confidence. The final stage is the Genital Stage, which lasts from adolescence through adulthood. During this period a strong interest in the opposite gender occurs, especially during the puberty stage. This last all the way up until the end of life.

Freud also believed that the ending goal was to find a balance in all aspects of one’s life. Diana Baumrind’s Parenting Styles Baumrind looked into how parents affected the development of a child. Baumrind came up with 3 styles of parenting. The most effective style is the authoritative style. In this style, the parent sets down rules and guidelines that are to be followed, but they also listen to their children and accept input. This style is very democratic and tends to lead to the best raised children later in life. Another style is the authoritarian style.

This style is very much like a dictatorship, where the parent has all of the say and the children either obey them or get punished. Parents also usually respond to why they do this with no reasoning whatsoever. Finally, the last style is the permissive style. In this style parents have very few demands or expectations of their child. They rarely punish them and usually allow the child to do as he or she pleases. The problem with this style is that the child tends to feel like they are not loved or even acknowledged, which leads to psychological problems later in life.

Mary Ainsworth’s Attachment Theory Ainsworth tested how a child’s attachment level affects its actions. Ainsworth found two different types of attachment after doing an experiment she calls the Strange Situation. In this experiment she took an infant and observed its behavior while the parent and a stranger enter and leave the room at different moments. Ainsworth found that secure attachment is when a child is happy and free when the parent is in the room and will engage strangers only when the parent is present. When the parent is gone the child is visibly sad and will not engage strangers.

The other type of attachment Ainsworth found was insecure attachment, which is usually split up into anxious-resistant and anxious-avoidant. In anxious-resistant the child will be anxious around both the parent and the stranger, showing that is doesn’t really trust either of them. In anxious-avoidant, the child treats the parent and the stranger the same way and seems to have no attachment to either of them. Ainsworth/Baumrind Comparison Ainsworth and Baumrind both used the idea of parenting to come up with their theories.

Ainsworth said that secure attachment is when a child is very comfortable with their parent and trusts them when they bring strangers around. This idea is very much like Baumrind’s authoritative parenting style. The child is secure with the parent and feels like they are in good hands and the authoritative parenting style allows children to have a say in what they do, but also have expectations for them which results in the most happy child that feels loved and cared for. Ainsworth said that one type of insecure attachment is resistant, which goes well with Baumrind’s authoritarian style.

The authoritarian style results in the child not getting any say in the relationship and are overly strict. This results in a lack of trust from the child and a feeling of distance between the child and the parent, just as the resistant attachment says. Finally, Ainsworth’s last attachment was avoidant, where the child seems to have no connection to the parent. This is very similar to the permissive style of parenting where the parent lets the child do whatever they want to. This results in the child feeling unloved and detached from the family.

Vygotsky/Piaget Comparison Vygotsky and Piaget both commented on cognitive development of a child, but they did so in very different ways. Vygotsky bases his developmental ideas off of mostly the culture the child grows up in. He believes that language and education are very important in the shaping of one’s cognitive abilities, whereas Piaget believes more in the idea that maturing minds gradually go through different stages of thinking. Piaget uses different stages, beginning with sensorimotor and finally hitting the formal operational stage around the age of 12.

Vygotsky believes that there is a limit of cognitive development, but it differs depending on the culture and how the child is raised. The main point of Vygotsky is the idea of the Zone of Proximal Development, which is how people are taught based on the knowledge of others along with the knowledge the child possesses. This is very different from Piaget, who believes that the child learns most of everything on their own and develops different types of thinking and schemas based on what they encounter and how much they learn.

Although they are both cognitive development theories, the details of the theories are very different. Kohlberg/Piaget Comparison Kohlberg believed that there were 3 different stages of morality in one’s life. Along with that, Piaget also used stages for his theory on cognitive development. Kohlberg and Piaget relate not only because they both incorporate different stages into their theories, but they also have many similar ideas even though they relate to different things. Kohlberg and Piaget both use the idea of self-centered.

The preconventional stage is a very self-centered stage that only has to do with yourself. The early stages of Piaget’s theory also is like that in the sense that the child cannot comprehend the ideas of others or any abstract ideas. Furthermore, in both of the theories one moves up to the next stage by having a maturing mind. In Kohlberg’s theory, the more mature you become the more you understand about the outside world and the larger picture of the universe, just like in Piaget’s where the older you become the more advanced your thinking can become, until you can think abstractly.

Although they are similar in many ways, Kohlberg and Piaget’s theories do have some differences. Piaget believes that the stages begin at birth and go on throughout life, while Kohlberg said that morality doesn’t start until around the age of 7. Kohlberg and Piaget incorporated many of the same theories and ideas into their overall theories on morality and cognitive development, yet there were also some distinct differences. Erikson/Freud Comparison Erikson and Freud shared many similarities in their theories.

First, they both incorporate multiple different stages that are similar in age groupings. Erikson uses 8 different stages while Freud uses 5. This shows that they both believed that personality develops in predetermined stages. They also share the idea that in the early years children learn a sense of self-sufficiency and pride in the things they are able to do, which allows them to have a sense of accomplishment. Both theorist believed a big part of this stage was the idea of being toilet trained and able to go to the bathroom on their own.

Furthermore, the two theories both have the idea of relationships and intimacy. In Freud’s, this idea is known as the genital stage and it occurs during puberty and goes on as the last stage in life until you die. In Erikson’s theory, this occurs as young adults and only lasts about 15 years until the next stage in life occurs. Although Erikson and Freud have very similar theories, they also have a couple of glaring differences. First, Erikson goes into many more stages after the intimacy stage, whereas Freud believes that is the end of personality development.

Erikson goes on to talk about contributions to society and finally the idea of reflecting on life and wondering if it was a fulfilled like or a wasted one. Also, Freud focuses on the sexual aspect of personality development much more than Erikson. Freud mentions the Phallic Stage as well, which talks about the idea of children being closer to their same sex parent at this age because they can relate with them better at that young age. Freud and Erikson’s theories have both many similarities and differences and are very well respected.


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