Erik Erikson 's Psychosocial Theory

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Erik Erikson 's psychosocial theory and Sigmund Freud 's psychosexual theory are two well-known theories of personality development with various similarities and differences. While Erikson was influenced by Freud 's ideas, his theory differed in a number of important ways and was ultimately created to be an improvement to Freud’s personality development theory (Friedman & Schustack, 2012). Like Freud’s psychosexual theory, Erikson agreed that personality progresses in a sequence of predetermined phases. However, unlike Freud’s theory of psychosexual stages, Erikson’s theory describes the impact of social experience across the whole lifespan (Hoare, 2005). According to Freud’s psychosexual theory, personality develops across 5 sexual stages while Erikson’s develops among 8 social stages. Freud’s theory has fewer stages due to his belief that the last stage of identity develops during adolescence, while Erikson’s theory had more stages because he believed an individual’s identity continually evolved over their entire lifetime (Hoare, 2005). The 5 stages of Freud’s theory: Oral, Anal, Phallic, Latency and Genital, will be discussed, compared and contrasted with Erikson’s 8 stages: Trust vs. Mistrust, Autonomy vs. Doubt, Initiative vs. Guilt, Industry vs. Inferiority, Identity vs. Role Confusion, Intimacy vs. Isolation, Generativity vs. Stagnation, and Integrity vs. Despair (Passer, Smith, Atkinson, Mitchell & Muir, 2011). Each stage in Erikson’s theory involves a
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