PSY311 Chapter 2:Classical Theories of Social and Personality Development (If any unclear
def. Refer to glossary)
• Freud’s viewpoint
• depicts human beings as servants to inborn biological instincts that mature gradually over the
course of childhood and play a major role in determining who we are and what we are likely to
• maturation of sex instinct underlies:
• 1)stages of personality development
• 2) how parents manage children’s instinctual impulses will determine that traits children come
Freud’s Psychosexual Theory
• a restatement of Thomas Hobbes’s doctrine of original sin.
• central to his psychoanalytic theory: human beings are driven by powerful,undesirable, bi-
ological urges that must be satisfied.
• newborn as “seething cauldron”: inherently selfish driven by 2 kinds of instincts
>(def) Instinct: inborn biological force that motivates response
2 types of instincts:
1)Eros (life instinct):
• promote survival by directing life-sustaining activity
• i.e. breathing, eating, sex
-fulfillment of all other bodily needs.
• Freud’s term for inborn self-destructive instinct that characterize humans
• i.e.arson , fistfight,sadistic aggression, murder even masochism
2.Free association (quick spelling out of one’s thought)
All 3 of these help to seek the unconscious motives that the patients had repressed.
(def) Unconscious motives:
-Freud’s term for feeling, experience and conflicts that affect thinking and behavior
- it is out of awareness
-a type of motivated forgetting - forces out anxiety-provoking thoughts and conflicts out of conscious awareness
Freud analyzed the motives and events that cause suppression
Conclusion: human development is a conflictual process
Humans have sexual and aggressive instincts (inborn biological force that motivates specific re-
sponse) that must be served. But society dictates many of these needs as undesirable and
must be restrained.
Three Components of Personality
Freud believes how parents manage the sexual and aggressive urges in the first few years of
life is crucial to the shaping of child’s conduct and character.
Freud’s psychosexual theory -> 3 components of personality
These three components gradually become integrated into 5 psychosexual stage.
Id: inborn component of personality that is driven by instincts
function: satisfy inborn instinct, it tries to do so immediately
i.e. baby cries when hungry
* Young infants are “all id”, they cry and fuss until their needs are met.
Ego: conscious, rational component. It reflects child’s emerging ability to learn, remember and
function:it finds realistic ways to satisfy needs. It controls Id.
i.e. when hungry asks for food instead of crying.
Superego: internalized moral censor, develops at age of 3-6 as child internalizes the moral val-
ues and standards of his parents.
Function: determines whats good or bad or right or wrong.
-once superego developed, children aware of whats socially acceptable and whats not.
- insist the ego find socially acceptable ways to deal with the id’s undesirable impulse.
i.e. with superego, children know not to take their clothes off in the public
Stages of Psychological Development:
Freud thought sex was the most important instinct.
-he found mental disturbances of patients revolved around childhood sexual conflict.
-believes that as sex instinct mature, it shift from one part of body to another
5 Psychosexual stage page 40
Oral Birth -1 year sex instinct center:mouth .Get pleasure from
oral activities (sucking,chewing...) Anal 1-3 year Gratify sex instinct through: voluntary urination
-toilet training is a conflict btw parent& children
-kids who punished for toilet accident may
become: inhibited, messy or wasteful
Phallic 3-6 year sex instinct center: genital. Have attraction
(most controversial) towards opposite sex parent
Latency 6-11 year trauma's of phallic stage cause sexual conflicts to
be repressed and sexual urges to rechanneled into
Genital 12 year &above puberty triggers & reawaken sexual urges.
Need to learn how to express urges in socially
Electra complex- boys have incestuous desire for mothers & hostile rivalry with fathers at 3 -6
years old ( phallic stage)
Oedipus complex- girls have incestuous desire for father & hostile rivalry with mothers at 3-6
years old (phallic stage)
Freud claimed permitting too much or too little gratification will cause the child to become ob-
sessed with the activity thats being encourage or discourage. Which can lead to fixation. Early
experiences and conflicts can haunt us for years and shape adult interests, activities, and per-
-Fixation: arrested development at a particular psychosexual stage. its occurrence is a means
of coping with existing conflicts & prevent movement to next stage.
i.e. A baby who is punished for sucking thumb might express oral fixation through substitute ac-
tivity like smoking or oral sex.
Google term: Arrested Development
Contributions and Criticisms of Freud’s Theory
-There’s not much evidence that oral, anal and genital conflicts can reliably predict one’s later
-Freud collected data from a relatively small number of emotionally disturbed adults, and their
experiences may not apply to most people.
-Freud’s greatest contribution was “unconscious motivation”.
-mid-19th century, scientists study only consciousness, Freud claims most psychic experience
lay below level of consciousness.
-Freud’s focus on importance of early experience for later development.
_______________________________________________________________ Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development
-accept many of Freud’s idea
-but differed from 2 important aspects
Comparing Erikson with Freud
1. children are active, curious explorers who seek to adapt to environments
(Freud: children are passive to biological urges who are molded by parents)
2. Erikson places far less emphasis on sexual urges and far more emphasis on cultural
*Erikson labeled as “ego” psychologist , believe at each stage of life , people just cope with so-
cial realities( in ego function) in order to adapt successfully and show normal pattern of develop-
3. Erikson: much less emphasis on sexual urge
-more emphasis on cultural influence
(Freud: focus on sexual urges)
-Erikson’s revision of Freud’s theory
-emphasize social and cultural aspects of development
-presumes 8 psychosocial conflict that people must resolve to display healthy psychological ad-
Erikson’s stage of development
Age Erikson’s stage Erikson’s viewpoint:significant Corresponding
events and social influences Freudian stage
birth to 1 year Basic trust VS Mis- -infants must learn to trust other to Oral
trust care for their basic needs
-rejection of caregivers cause infant
to perceive the world as dangerous
and filled with untrustworthy people.
social agent: mother / primary
1-3 year Autonomy VS -children must learn to be autono- Anal
Shame& Doubt mous -> to feed, dress, look after
their own hygiene...
-failure to learn may force children
to doubt his or her ability and feel
social agent: parents Age Erikson’s stage Erikson’s viewpoint:significant Corresponding
events and social influences Freudian stage
3-6 year Initiative VS Guilt Phallic
6-12 year Industry VS Inferior- -children must master social and Latency
ity academic skills. they compare
themselves with their peers. Acquir-
ing social & academic skills -> feel
-failure to do so leads to feeling of
social agent:teachers and peers
12-20 years Identity VS Role -This is the crossroad between Early Genital
confusion childhood and maturity. Adolescents (adolescence)
must establish basic social and oc-
-Failure to do so will cause them to
be confused about their roles.
social agent: society of peers
20 to 40 years Intimacy VS Isola- -Forming strong friendships to Genital
(yound adult- tion achieve sense of love and compan-
hood) ionship with another person.
-failure to do so will cause the feel-
ing of loneliness or isolation.
social agent:lovers, spouse and
close friends Age Erikson’s stage Erikson’s viewpoint:significant Corresponding
events and social influences Freudian stage
40-65 years Generatively VS -adults face the task of becoming Genital
(middle adult- Stagnation productive and raising their families.
*standard of productivity is defined
by one’s culture
-failure to do so will become stag-
nant or self-centered
social agent:souse, children, and
old age Ego integrity VS -looking bacl at life to see whether iGenital
Despair was meaningful or full of disappoint-
social agent: social experiences
Contributions and Criticism of Erikson’s Theory
More people prefer Erikson’s theory because
1.Erikson emphasize social conflicts that many people are experiencing or easily anticipate.
2. Erikson seem to capture the central issues in life
i.e. emotional development of infants, the growth of self-concept in childhood ...
1.Erikson’s theory is vague about cause of development
i.e what kind of experiences must a child have to develop autonomy?
Conclusion: The theory is descriptive of human social and emotional development. But it
lacks explaination of how and why development takes place.
Psychoanalytic Theory Today
-challenged Freud’s idea about sex differences in development
-founder of psychology of women*
-contemporary of Freud
-suggest siblings are important influences on social and personality development Harry Stack Sullivan
-wrote about chumships (close friendships) of preadolescence set stage of love relationship in
**These three neo-Freudians place more emphasis on social contribution and less on sexual
Only little number of developmentalists support psychoanalytic perspective.
1. Its propositions are difficult to verify or disconfirm (it is untestable)
i.e. There’s no way to measure psychic energy is evenly distributed by id, ego, and superego.
2. Psychoanalytic assertion can only be test by interview or clinical approach.
- Least objective comparing to other methods.
3. Other theories seem more compelling
i.e. behaviorist or social-learning approach
Behaviorism or Social-Learning Theory
-downplay biological contribution to human development
-portrays children as tabula rasa( heavily influenced by socializing environment)
-development is continuos process of behavioral change (shape by environment)
conclusion that human development should be based on observations of overt behavior rather
than unobservable cognitive process or unconscious motives.
- Watsons view as “building block of human development
- well-learned associations between external stimuli and responses that represent stable as-
pects of one's personality. (def)
Little Albert experiment
-done by Watson and Rosalie Raynor
-pairing fear to furry animals
-fear was learnt refer to page 45
Skinner’s Operant-Learning Theory (Radical Behaviorism)
-animals or human will repeat acts that lead to favorable outcomes
-suppress acts that lead to unfavorable outcomes
i.e. mouse presses a bar and receives food -> mouse will press the bar more often.
Operant:learn behavior i.e. the action of bar pressing
Operant Learning: A form of learning in which voluntary acts become either more or less proba-
ble, depending on the consequences they produce.
-any consequence of an act that increase the chance of the act will recur.
i.e. the food : it strengthens the action of pressing bar
-an opposite of reinforcer
-any consequence of an act that decrease the probability that it will recur
i.e. deduction of pocket money if homework is not completed.
Conclusion: Skinner believes that how we develop depends on external stimuli (reinforcers
* Many argue that Skinner ignores the importance of cognitive contributors to social learning
i.e. Albert Bandura
Bandura’s Cognitive Social learning Theory
Bandura agrees with Skinner that
1.operant conditioning is an important type of learning * especially for animals
-humans are cognitive beings (active information processors *unlike animals)
-human are likely to think about relationships between behavior and consequences.
*often more likely to be affected by what they believe
i.e. the complication of being a student-> the boring readings are unpleasant
but-> you suck it up because you anticipate the greater rewards that comes after your degree.
-according to Bandura, it is central developmental process
-learning that result from observing the behavior of other people ( these people known as
i.e. a 2 year-old learn how to approach and pet a puppy by observing what her sister does.
-observational learning can’t occur without cognitive processes
-we attend, encode and store what we learn
Why Bandura stress observation learning in his social-learning theory ?
-it allows young children to quickly learn thousands of responses in different environment where
the models are not purposely teaching them anything.
-many behaviors children learn are often discourage
i.e. swearing, smoking
-Bandura claims children are continually learning both desirable and undesirable by “keep
their eyes an ears open”
Developmental Trends in Imitation and Observational learning
Bandura assumes that -observer construct images or “symbolic representations” of a models’ behavior
-then use them as mediators to reproduce what he/she saw
Origins of Imitation and Observational Learning
-newborns imitate limited number of motor responses ,such as sticking out their tongues
* these maybe involuntary reflexes
-voluntary imitation of novel responses are first found : later in first year.
- the model must be present and continue to perform new response before child is able to imi-
-reproduction of activity of a modeled activity that has been seen in the past
-develops rapidly during second year
i.e. by 6 month of age, some babies are able to imitate very simple act that the model perform
24 hours ago. such as pressing a button of a toy.
* 14-months baby are more likely to imitate actions of live model rather than the televised
Toddlers tend to reproduce model’s act if the model’s intention is clear.
i.e. opening a box to retrieve a toy
-reproduction of model’s goal or outcome by using different means
i.e.after seeing an adult in a blanket uses his head to turn on the switch of a light.when given
the opportunity, the child turn on the light using their fingers.
*reproduction of model’s goal ( turning the light on) by using different means ( using their fingers
at age of 2, children tends to imitate model’s specific actions (rather than to emulate), this is
particularly if the model has been friendly to th