The Theories of Erikson and Piaget on Psychology
10 Pages
2434 Words

Intelligence and personality are two integral components involved in psychological development that can be examined according to concrete stages. The two most prominent researchers that investigated psychological development using stage theories are Piaget and Erikson. These two researchers provided perspectives on the study of psychology that had never been experienced before, and pioneered revolutionary ideas, especially in regards to stages of child development for Piaget and stages of development throughout the life-span for Erikson. Like all theories, the ideas proposed by these researchers have limitations, but they also both have important implications for the study of development as well as for the field of social work. Both Erikson and Piaget introduced theories that would continue to influence psychological research and practice.

Erikson developed an eight-stage theory of psychological development that occurs as people grow through the entire lifespan. Each stage contained within this theory of development consists of a crisis that must be confronted and overcome. These crises represent psychological turning points that are characterized by "increased vulnerability" and "enhanced potential" (Essortment, 2002). Healthy development results from the effective resolution of the crises within these psycho-social stages of development. The first stage of in Erikson's theory is the trust vs. mistrust., and this occurs in the first year of life. In order for an infant to feel trust in this stage, he must feel physical comfort and little fear about the future, and if the infant has a strong basic trust, he will maintain a hopeful attitude (, 2005). If the infant does not have his basic needs satisfied at this stage in life, a sense of mistrust is developed, which, when severe, may result in the child being withdrawn with self-esteem issues (, 2005). Erikson believed that a basic sense of tru...

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