Psychoanalytic Theories Explain Development As Unconscious Processes That Are Heavily Colored By Emotion

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Psychoanalytic theories explain development as unconscious processes that are heavily colored by emotion (Santrock 2014). Sigmund Freud was a psychoanalytic theorist who established a psychosexual theory believing that development occurred during life stage conflicts between a source of pleasure and the demands of reality. Many theorists after Freud believed that there was a good basis in Freud’s theory but it relied too much on the idea of sexual instincts. One such theorist was Erik Erikson, who developed a psychosocial theory about development. Erikson believed that human’s motivation lied in a desire to connect with other people. He believed the ability to handle each stage’s social crisis changed a person’s development. Freud and Erikson’s theories are extremely similar in many ways; however Erikson changed the psychoanalytic theory by taking the next step in recognizing the ability of humans to continue to develop throughout their lifespan. Freud and Erikson both held a belief that human development was influenced by unconscious thought. These theorists and other psychoanalysts believe that behavior is solely the surface characteristic. To truly understand, you must dig much deeper into a person’s mind. It is also believed that the early experiences of development with parents shape development (Santrock 2014). Both theorized that human development involved distinct stages or discontinuity. Erikson studied human development many years after Freud’s

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