Has Anyone Put Any Psychological Thought Into How They

1483 WordsApr 20, 20176 Pages
Has anyone put any psychological thought into how they develop their identity? Two psychologists, Erik Erikson and Jean Piaget, dedicated their lives to this type of development. Erikson theorists would take a social influence stance, and Piagetian theorists focus on one’s cognition. So, who is right? More knowledge has been obtained to know that human behavior should be social and the need to socialize with other people. Erikson believes this whereas Piaget thought of qualitative thinking that shapes a child. Erikson is more influential about identity development because he explains his theory with more stages than Piaget, appropriate age periods, and focuses on the social environment rather than cognition. Erik Erikson is the more…show more content…
Erikson goes into depth about development with eight stages; therefore, when one continues to develop, they can understand and identify themselves more precisely. Erikson created eight stages to describe development; the amount of stages is important because one of his stages are dedicated to identity. In phase five of Erikson’s social theory, “a sense of identity is formed at the end of adolescence, and it is based on all pre-adult experiences” (Barnes). Establishing ‘Who am I?’ is crucial for making adult decisions. This stage cannot be found in Piaget because he did not incorporate adulthood into his theory. However, Erikson knew the importance of identity involvement because this fifth stage maps out the rest of one’s development and how they view themselves. In order to fulfill the next three stages, identity must be formed since one cannot struggle with identity and face the difficulties of the following stages. With more stages, each stage is specific to a key aspect in one’s lifetime. In phase six, “Graduation from adolescence requires a sense of identity; graduation from the first phase of adulthood requires finding a sense of shared identity” (Maier 70). Having a partner means incorporating one’s identity into themselves; therefore, it is important to discover oneself in phase five. One cannot be in a committed relationship when they themselves do not have a solidified identity.
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