The Developmental Theories of Jean Piaget, Sigmund Freud, and Erik Erikson

1976 Words Dec 21st, 2011 8 Pages
The developmental theories of Jean Piaget, Sigmund Freud, and Erik Erikson

Jean Piaget, Sigmund Freud, and Erik Erikson are all respected theorists in the study of psychology. All three have theories that help to explain why and how children develop into adolescents and adult hood. Although all three provide their own theories on this subject each theory shares similarities and differences with one another. Having a better understanding of each theory and the theorist will lend a better understanding to developmental processes that go into a child growing to an adult. Jean Piaget is best known for his theory that suggested children think differently than adults. His theory proposed that children’s cognitive development developed in
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He said child development is described as a series of 'psychosexual stages. Freud outlined these stages as oral, anal, phallic, latency and genital. Each stage involves the satisfaction of a libidinal desire and can later play a role in adult personality. If a child does not successfully complete a stage, Freud suggested that he or she would develop a fixation that would later influence adult personality and behavior.
Freud mostly based his theory from his therapy sessions with his adult patients consisting of many with various psychosomatic disorders. According to Freud’s theory these patients were experiencing physical symptoms because there was a psychosexual stage which they had not fully fulfilled. “He believed that our most basic instinct is to derive pleasure by giving in to our innate aggressive and sexual impulses.” (Mossler, 2011 section 1.5)
Freud described humans as having three essential components that built personality. The three components were the id, the ego, and the superego. He described the id, as being what governed an infant’s drive to overcome their primitive biological desires. According to his theory infants had no other goal than to release the tension that built up when their