Erickson's Theory of Psychosocial Development, Psychology Essay Example

Published: 2022-04-06
Erickson's Theory of Psychosocial Development, Psychology Essay Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Human development
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 944 words
8 min read

The Erickson's theory of psychosocial development is essential and highly regarded as a meaningful concept that enhances our understanding of human development. The model entails eight stages of development starting from infancy through old age, and it is often perceived as an extension of Freud's work. In his model, Erickson stressed the significance of social interaction. Each of the eights stages of development as illustrated in this model present unique challenges known as crises. Successful development of personality thus relies on meeting and overcoming these challenges at every step. Additionally, at every stage, opposing forces challenges a child or an adult and the individual must experience both aspects of the conflicts such as trust versus mistrust to arrive at a proper resolution that defines the development or personality of the person (Tanner & Inhelder, 2001). The paper will thus discuss my development as well as the outcomes in a while using the Erickson's theory of psychosocial development.

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Relation of the Theory to Personal Play Experience

The selected model has three essential stages that help in defining one's perspectives and attitudes towards various ideas and activities. As a child, the mind is always open to new ideas, and whatever we encounter tend to shape our approach towards life. Erickson outlined several principles that applied in my childhood play experience. The first was the trust versus mistrust. Based on the idea that only trusted my family members, it was challenging to me to trust others in social interaction. However, my trust towards others developed when I learned to accept the absence of my family members. The other aspect of the model that applied to my play experience was the autonomy versus shame and doubt. I suffered from self-doubt, and this hindered my interaction with others, and this is because I was always afraid to make mistakes as a child. The theory thus relates to the fact I lacked a sense of autonomy. My hindered development regarding trust and the capacity to exercise my will are thus reflected in the first two stages of this model of development.

New Found Information

The strength of the first stage of development according to this model is hope or the expectations that the challenges in life will, in the end, have a positive outcome (Sacco, 2013). This is to mean that development cannot happen without this first phase whereby, an infant sets hope to meet the challenges that will later occur in life. Poor development of trust hinders the development of all the other stages, as the child grows up with dimmed hope towards himself, and towards life resulting in withdrawal. Additionally, irrespective of the similarities found in the stages of development, parental and cultural expectations can affect the choices that the children make as well as their perspective towards life's outlook (Marcia & Josselson, 2013). It is thus essential that in the first and second stages of development the parents teach the children the need to trust and gain autonomy as these are the foundations to growth.

The Impact of the Theory on my Life

Understanding the theory continues to improve my awareness towards understanding self and how I interact with others. It is through following the established stages by Erickson that I can identify my areas of weakness, as well as the stages that I did not successfully overcome the crises. Lastly, the model helps me in establishing a meaningful relationship that matches with the demands of my stage and age so that I reduce the unnecessary stress that might hinder my development. Therefore, this theory acts as a tool that guides my psychosocial development and improves my emotional intelligence.

How the Lessons Learned Altered my Perspective on Play

I have often presumed that playing is a way of a child staying active while enhancing their physical abilities. However, the lessons from this study gave me an opportunity to understand the significance of playing. Social interaction is an integral part of the development, and the parents are responsible for creating an environment that encourages playing. Furthermore, the theory advances my understanding on what sort of play is relevant to particular children, and this is helpful in instituting a play that will promote efficient development and ensure that the children can realize the conflicts of opposing forces that help in the psychosocial development. The knowledge hence aids in establishing standards of proper behaviors and play through social interaction.

Implementation of the Theory into Classroom

The first step will entail acknowledging the theory is a benchmark for teachers to assess the personalities of the students, and adapt to their requests. This will then help in identifying the weaknesses of every student regarding their age group. After establishing the students' shortcomings, I will help the students feel safe and comfortable around each other. This will be followed by developing a playing strategy that encourages them to have strong willpower and sense of autonomous. As an instructor, I will help the learners initiate projects for their course, which will assist in gaining insight into responsibility by realizing their capabilities. Furthermore, I can use the model to aid students to settle on an identity in which they are comfortable. These elements will then foster a group of individuals who possess a strong will to face the challenges in every stage of development.


Marcia, J., & Josselson, R. (2013). Eriksonian Personality Research and Its Implications for Psychotherapy. Journal Of Personality, 81(6), 617-629.

Sacco, R. (2013). Re-Envisaging the Eight Developmental Stages of Erik Erikson: The Fibonacci Life-Chart Method (FLCM). Journal Of Educational And Developmental Psychology, 3(1).

Tanner, J., & Inhelder, B. (2001). Discussions on child development. London: Routledge.

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