Lecture 10 (2012)

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18 Apr 2012
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Lecture 10 Stages of life-Span Development
-this is the SECOND LEVEL of personality development
Part I: Erik Erikson Theory of Psychosocial Development
-he had 8 stages of man
-looking at the 8 stages of life span development
-life tasks/ and issue we confront at these stages
-he believed we must cultivate a particular psychosocial skill in each stage
-cirtues/strengths that are supposed to follow from struggling these stages
Erik Homburger & Erik Erikson
-he was born erik hamburger- a jew protestant and he was an outsider nto Christian because jewish,
not jewish because Christian
-he was a wandering artist: went travelling and ended up living in Vienna and worked as a teacher in a
school related to a neuology and psychiatry clinic
-he was a teacher for the children of the patients who went there.
-the clinic was run by Sigmund Freud and he gets motivated to become a psychoanalyst
-he learned from the clinic and to be a psychoanalyst you must first undergo psychoanalysis which
Freud did for Erikson
-then he came to Canada and he was a teacher at top institutions, and changed his name to Erik
Erikson to reinvent himself
-erik erikson means son of himself
-erik erikson become one fo the most prominent figures in the field
-and he proposed the first life span framework
-freud also proposed one, but he said his stages resolved themselves by puberty much of what is
personality is set at about the age of 5 -6 years of age
-Erikson expanded the view of development. Not everything si formalized by the age of 6, and he
imagined development goes past puberty and he outlined what happens in adolescence, early
adulthood etc
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-he also changed what freud had proposed as psychosexual stages erikson did not think about them
all as motivated by libido and psychosexual basis and he changed it to psychosocial stages
-he deempahsized the ego’;s relation to the id, but instead ego’s relationship to society
-evolve with the larger interactions we have as we age and evolve into adults
Fundemental Eriksonian concepts
-Epigenetic Principle
-one of the most important principles in eriksonian thinking
-personality is thought to unfolds across a sequence of predetermined developmental stages
-each stage presents us with a crisis task, or issue to address (not necessarily to resolve)
-it is not guaranteed we will resolve that issue
-even if we fail, we move on to newer tasks later in life
-critical to this principle is that these each of these psychosocial challenges presents a pair of contrasts:
eg. trust vs mistrust: and the challenge is for us to find the right balance betweene those two contrasts
-even though one site over the other might sound cool, but there are developmental pitfalls even if we
fall to close to each extremes
-optimal time: each challenge comes at a certain time, and MUST be taken only at that tim.
Development cannot be slowed, and it cannot be rushed. It all comes at a particular time.
-development is coauthored by us and our scoeity we don’t have a say
-virtue: if you take it on at the right time and find the correct balance between btoh opposing contrasts,
you will achieve a psychosocial virtue (or psychosocial strength)
-it comes from having the adequately addressing a psychosocial challenge
-failing in to cultivate this virture/strength unique to each stage, will result in some defiicte or excess in
the virture
-neither of those is desirable in the perspective of our development
-Too Much: when you have a good thing of the virtue then you have a maladaptation (an excess of the
given strength)
-Too Little: if you fail to cultivate enough of the virtue, then you are left with a deficit that arikson called
a malignancy
-we don’t want the “Ms” we want the V in the middle the virture
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-Triple Bookkeeping Concept
-if you want to understand a person as they develop, you have to keep record of them in 3 different
ledgers of their life
-there isn’t a single book of records of us, we can be at minimal described in terms of 3 things
Body: we can be described in our libidinal and sexual dynamics. Level of the body’s development over
tiem and how that naturally involves maturattiona dnr eorganization fo the libido
-Ego: at the level of ego we describe them in terms of their conscious understanding of the world
-Family/society: as we age we develop a developmental history, of ourselves and our interactions with
out environment.
-need to look at all three of these levels because we exist at all three of these levels
8 Psychosocial Stages (ongoing interactions with the environment)
-each stage has its counterpart in Freudian stages
Stage 1 Infancy (0-1 yr)
-Primary Issue: Trust vs. Mistrust
-how can I be secure?
-first relationship is with the mother Can mom be counted upon, and later can I trust others
-the virture meant to be cultivated is Hope (the belief that things will work out in the end)
-enables us to overcome adversity and disappointment
-hope is what allows us to persevere in face on immediate issues
-we want hope, that is BALANCED between trust and mistrust. We don’t want to be too trusting
-Maladaptation: Sensory Distortion - excessive trust and gullible. Must be somewhat doubtful or you
will be exploited. Goal is to cultivate hope
Malignancy: Withdrawal: can be manifested as depression and being paranoid.
-the goal is to have a realistic sense of hope out of this stage no either of these extremes.
-moves from maternal to further external
-this stage is similar to the oral stage
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