Exam marks discussion
Personality through developmental context – how significant human development is in
shaping the tasks we face at each life stage, it’s one thing to know someone is extraverted
at age 16 and 36 but how the extraverted individually may have changed in terms of
preoccupations, concerns, and etc. differences in environmental staging of tasks is needed
if having complete understanding of development.
Erik Erikson and psychosocial development
Reformulation of Freud’s developmental stage model of psychosexual development
Erikson’s primary achievements were reformulate psychosexual development into life
long theory of psychosocial development. Two distinguishing features – way Erikson
appropriates and re-conceptualizes each of the Freudian stages and how he extends
Freud’s model beyond childhood to postulate continued development.
Two key ideas that seem to underlie a lot of Erickson’s thinking – epigenetic principle –
the idea that personality he imagined was designed to unfold in a predetermined series of
developmental stages - Each stage confronts us with a particular developmental challenge
and this challenge must be addressed although not necessarily succeed.
For each of these tasks there is an optimal time for each challenge – crucial we take each
challenge at the right time.
Development can’t be hurried or stalled.
Upon confronting each psychosocial challenge, one requires a psychosocial strength – a
virtue that is a psychosocial strength that comes from adequately addressing a
Often these challenges involve competing outcomes, for example trust vs. mistrust – two
alternative outcomes and from Ericksonian point of view the virtue/strength is to be
found between those two outcomes. One could fail in developmental challenges by
resolving conflict too much one way or another, leading to excess or a deficiency with
respect to the particular characteristic you are intended to acquire. Should fall between
these two outcomes to achieve the virtue.
Triple book keeping – idea that individuals life must be understood on three
complementary levels of analysis – multiple levels of description when it comes to
Body – libinal urges that are housed inside the body
The ego – individuals conscious understanding of world