PSYC 1200 Lecture 7b
Chapter 11: Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development
Erik Erikson (1902- Suggested that life is an obstacle course; achieving success and happiness requires that people overcome a series of crisis.
1994) His Stages of Life do not necessarily reflect the sequences in which people meet these challenges nor does it occur in the age range
these challenges are met.
Crisis #1: Trust vs. As Infants: whether we form close, trusting attachments to our caregivers as babies impacts on our ability to form close relationships
Mistrust as adults.
Crisis #2: Autonomy As Toddlers: whether we develop independence from our caregivers with confidence determines our ability to be independently
vs. Shame/Doubt effective as adults.
Crisis #3: Initiative vs. As Pre-Schooler: whether people achieve balance between using mental and physical skills they develop and controlling
Guilt inappropriate behaviour determines whether their talents are expressed or hidden.
Crisis #4: Industry vs. As School-Age Children: whether people become successful as adults depends on their achievement of critical intellectual (e.g.
Inferiority reading) and social skills (e.g. sharing, standing up for oneself).
Crisis #5: Identity vs. As Adolescents: whether you “find yourself” and discover what you want to become determines whether you are a happy and
Role Confusion productive adult. This is Identity Crisis.
Crisis #6: Intimacy vs. As Young Adults: whether you can commit in relationships, form loyal friendships, etc. determine whether your adult life is
Isolation socially/romantically fulfilling.
Crisis #7: Generativity In Middle Age: whether you succeed in keeping your life busy, creative, and interesting despite the passing of youth or become
vs. Self-Absorption selfish and bitter. Becoming a good parent is one solution, but not the only one.
Crisis #8: Ego Integrity In Old Age: whether you fear death and regret the choices you made in life or think of death as: “I gave it a good go and now its
vs. Despair someone else’s turn” and “I did pretty good, despite the odd mistake.”
Life Transitions In part, one’s own life is evaluated relative to one’s peers.
Socially Defined Life Transitions: Driver’s License, High School Graduation, Starting University, Graduating University, Getting
Married, Having Children, Buying A House, Having Grandchildren, Retiring, Buying a Motorhome etc.
Marriage Some decades ago people were often married before 18; now people rarely marry before 25.
Nowadays (generation X), people are getting married later because it is difficult to raise enough money for a house at the age of 20,
causing more people to prolong the time they stay with their parents.
Mid-Life Crisis/ Empty For the majority of people, ages 35-65 are the happiest and most productive.
Nest Syndrome Rather than representing a negative life transition, children leaving home are greeted positively as providing new opportunities.
The reasons people are unhappy at this age are due to job loss or divorce.
Middle Age Menopause: uncomfortable physical symptoms (e.g. “hot flashes”) are common, but only severe in 10% of women.
Emotionally, 97% of women view menopause positively or don’t care at all.
Old Age Not really considered one stage of life: Young Old (60-75), Old Old (75-85), Oldest Old (85+)
Mental functions that decline with age: formal reasoning, perception speed (e.g. reading), memory for recently-learned
information and fluid intelligence (ability to solve unfamiliar problems and acquire new knowledge).
Mental functions that don’t decline with age: verbal ability (e.g. vocabulary), arithmetic ability, and crystalized intelligence
(using knowledge and skills already acquired).
Aging alone does not cause mental impairment; factors, such as medications related to aging contributes to impairment.
Chapter 11: Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development
Thinking & During childhood, while more obvious changes in physical development occur, so do changes in cognitive sophistication.
Development In other words, the way people’s minds work partially depends on their age.
Jean Piaget (1896- The capacity for complex, abstract thought increases as child has more and more experiences.
1980) These changes can be seen as a sequence of stages.
Stages of Development Learning about the world and progression through the stages occurs by two processes:
Assimilation: fitting new experiences into what you already understand about the world ( cognitive schemas).
Accommodation: altering your understanding of the world to make it consistent with new experiments.
Stage 1: Sensorimotor From birth to 2 years:
Stage Baby is born with motor reflexes (e.g. sucking, arm flailing grasping, etc.) and thought is tied to these actions.
Learning progresses by body movements having an effect on objects in the environment (e.g. turn the object this way,
see a different angle; flail an arm, send a toy flying).
At birth, children do not search for their toys, when it is hidden from view, suggesting they don’t know it still exists.
Major accomplishment of this stage is Object Permanence:
By about 6 months, they will search for toys suggesting they can now represent things mentally and symbolically.
Stage 2: Ages 2-7:
Preoperational Stage Increase in the ability to reason symbolically on one aspect (e.g. able to pretend), but cannot perform multi-step mental
operations in reasoning, and cannot understand reversibility (6 x 2 = 2 x 6)
Children are egocentric: not able to understand another’s perspective.
Cannot understand the concept of conservation of matter: amounts do not change just because appearance changes.
Stage 3: The Concrete Ages 7-12:
Mental operations are applied to concrete experiences, without capacity for abstract thought.
Develop an understanding of conservation of matter and the capacity to perform multi-step mental operations.
Stage 4: The Formal Age 12-Adulthood:
Operations Stage Teenagers develop a capacity for abstract reasoning, allowing them to imagine circumstances they have not
experienced directly (e.g. can imagine future even