Erikson's Psychological Theory of Identity

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Erikson's psychological theory of identity is based on a psychosocial model, taking into account the social environment including peers and family group. According to Erikson, individuals form a core identity in part via membership in a community. Erikson understood that psychosocial development was a process, involving a series of stages. Progress through these stages usually entails a normative conflict or crisis that pits individual needs with social norms or demands. Erikson identified eight stages of psychosocial development. These stages generally follow the chronological age development of the individual from birth to death. Each stage is defined by its normative crisis. The first stage occurs during the first year of life, and involves the normative crisis of trust versus mistrust. Outcome of this stage is either the ability to trust or mistrust other people. The second stage of psychosocial development is defined by the conflict between autonomy and doubt. It lasts from age one to age three. Possible outcomes include self-control or self-doubt. The third stage lasts from between age three and age six. It focuses on the conflict between initiative and guilt. Positive resolution of the crisis leads to a sense of purpose; whereas insufficient conflict resolution leads to low self-esteem. The fourth stage lasts between the ages of six and eleven. Its normative crisis is between industry and inferiority. Outcomes include competence or helplessness. During adolescence,
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