Essay on Compare and Contrast Erik Erikson & Sigmund Freud

909 Words Sep 15th, 2011 4 Pages
Compare and Contrast Erik Erikson & Sigmund Freud

This research paper will compare and contrast two of the most influencial psychologists who helped shape the way we understand the development of the human mind; Sigmund Freud and Erik Erikson. The paper will focus on the similarities and differences between Freud’s Psycho-sexual theory, and Erikson’s psychosocial theory. Freud was one of the very first influencial psychologists who changed the way we study humans. Erikson recognized Freud’s contributions, and although he felt Freud misjudged some important dimensions of human development, he was still influenced by Freud, which caused some similarities in their theories. . Even though Erikson had eight stages compared to
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Erikson believed that during this age children begin realizing that they have a will and they begin to understand that their actions are their own. Children will begin to accept and proclaim their own independence. However, just like Freud, Erikson believed that if parents are too strict with their children, or punished them too harshly this could result with the child having unhealthy feelings of shame and doubt. There is another similarity seen at another period in each theorist’s stages of development. Freud’s last stage is called the Genital Stage and takes place from puberty onward. This stage is described as “a time of sexual reawakening” and the young adult looks outside the family in search of sexual pleasure. After some time the person will be able to become an independent adult and will involve themselves in a mature, loving relationship. Freud has a stage similar to Freud’s genital stage, although he believed this developmental part of a person’s life occurred later than at the onset of puberty. He called this stage Intimacy versus Isolation and believed it happened during early adulthood when a person is in their twenties or thirties. Similar to Freud, Erikson saw this stage as a time when a person will start attempting to form intimate relationships with others. Unlike Freud however, Erikson did not believe the person’s motivation would necessarily be