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Flashcards in Psychosocial Deck (36):

Who developed Psychosocial Theory?

Erik Erikson



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Where did Erik Erikson grow up?

Frankfurt, Germany


What brought Erikson to Vienna where Freud was?

Erikson was hired to teach art and other subjects to children of Americans who had come to Vienna for Freudian training


How was Erikson admitted into the Vienna Psychoanalytic Institute?

Through his teaching job in Vienna


What brought Erikson to America?

The facist movement

Erikson was Jewish


What aspects of Freudian theory did Erikson agree with?

1. Psychosocial structures
2. Unconscious and Conscious
3. Drives
4. Psychosexual Stages
5. Normal-Abnormal continum
6. Psychoanalytic Methodology


How did Erikson expand upon Psychoanalytic?

1. Developed a set of eight psychosocial stages covering the lifespan
2. Studying the development of identity
3. Developing methods that reach beyond the structured psychoanalytic setting with adults


Example of how Erikson intergrated psychoanalytic with psychosocial:

Psychoanalytic: A toddler's oral pleasure when making speech sounds

Psychosocial: the role of speech communication in shaping his relationship with his parents and significant others


What is cogwheeling of life cycles?

An adult's needs to become caretakers coincide with children's needs for caretaking


What psychoanalytic stage coincides with the psychosocial stage of Trust vs. Mistrust?

Oral-respiratory and sensory-kinesthetic


What psychoanalytic stage coincides with the psychosocial stage of Autonomy vs. Shame/Doubt?

Anal-urethral and muscular


What psychoanalytic stage coincides with the psychosocial stage of Initiative vs. Guilt?

Infantile-genital and locomotor


What psychoanalytic stage coincides with the psychosocial stage of Industry vs. Inferiority?



What psychoanalytic stage coincides with the psychosocial stage of Identity and Repudiation vs. Identity Difussion?



What psychoanalytic stage coincides with the psychosocial stage of Intimacy and Solidarity vs. Isolation?



Psychosocial Stages (in order):

  1. Basic Trust Versus Basic Mistrust (birth to 1 year)
  2. Autonomy Versus Shame and Doubt (2-3 years)
  3. Initiative Versus Guilt (4-5 years)
  4.  Industry Versus Inferiority (6-Puberty)
  5.  Identity and Repudiation Versus Identity Diffusion (Adolescense)
  6. Intimacy and Solidarity Versus Isolation (Young Adulthood)
  7. Generativity Versus Stagnation and Self-Absorption (Middle Adulthood)
  8.  Integrity Versus Despair (Late Adulthood)


Stage 1: Basic Trust Versus Basic Mistrust (Birth-1 year)

Main task: aquire a favorable ration of trust to mistrust

Trust can predict that an infants mother will come back.


Mistrust detects impending dangers or discomfort and discriminate between honest and dishonest persons.


Stage 2: Autonomy Versus Shame and Doubt (2-3 years)

New neurological and muscular development


anxiety over seperation from parents and pooping themselves



Stage 3: Initiative Versus Guilt (4-5 Years)

Taking initiative, forming and carrying out goals, and competing


severe conscience that punishes sexual fantasies and immoral thoughts or behavior


Stage 4: Industry Versus Inferiority (6-Puberty)

Children are excited about knowledge and work (I am what I learn) and being successful


Failure brings feelings of inadequacy and inferority

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Stage 5: Identity and Repudiation (truthfulness) Versus Identity Diffusion


Integrate the various identifications they bring from childhood into a more complete identity


teenagers are trying out new identities through the identities of their different peer groups


Stage 6: Intimacy and Solidarity vs. Isolation

(Young Adulthood)

Only if a well-intergrated identity emerges from Stage 5 can intimacy with others be possible

Intimacy and "us against them"


failed attempts at intimacy that lead to retreatment

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Stage 7: Generativity Versus Stagnation and Self-Absorption

(Middle Adulthood)

"Interest in establishing and guiding the next generation"


lack of generativity equals a lack in psychological growth

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Stage 8: Integrity Versus Despair

(Late Adulthood)

Have to live with what you built over lifetime, ideally integrity


Regret for what one has or has not done in lifetime

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How might psychosocial theory be applied in the real world?

Couselors draw on his work on adolescence to help young people successfully make personal and occupational decisions


What was revolutionary about Erikson that influences today's work in development?

Erikson included the idea that development continues throughtout adult life.


What is the focus of new contemporary research on Erikson's work?

Emerging adulthood

Because more teens go to college now, this period is considered the time between late teens and mid-twenties that is characterized by teens entering into adult world

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What were the mechanisms (broad ideas) of development for Erikson?

Physical maturation writes the general timetable for development.

Culture nurtures or destroys

Development is the resolution of conflict at different stages


What was the specific mechanism of development in Erikson's theory?

Play: imagination to try out ways of mastering and adapting to the world

Rituals: bring humans in every stage into the cultural mainstream and provide ready-made solutions to problems


What were Erikson's positions on developmental issues?

  1. Optimistic view of human nature
  2. Contextualistic worldview
  3. Nature determines sequence of stages
  4. Development is a lifelong process



Strength of Psychosocial Theory:

  1. Expansion of Psychoanalytic Theory
  2. Broad Perspective given to children's behaviors


Explain Erikson's Expansion of Psychoanalytic Theory:

-psychosocial to the psychoanalytic
-cutural to the biological
-ego identity to the ego defenses
-normal to the abnormal
-cross-cultural to the culture-specific
-child observations to adults' reconstructions from childhood
-adult development to child development

emphasis on cultural factors and life-span devleopment was especially important for Development as a field


Explain Erikson's Broad Perspective of Psychoanalytic Theory:

Broad perspective he gives to children's behavior

Behavior influenced by his: history, present situation, and the past and present history of his own culture and world



Weakness of Erikson's Psychosocial:

  1. Lack of Systematicity
  2. Lack of Specific Mechanisms of Development


Explain Erikson's Lack of Systematicity

  1. Methodological inadequacies
  2. Observations laden with interpretations


Explain Erikson's Specific Mechanisms of Development:

  1. No explanation of how a child moves from stage to stage
  2. No explanation for how conflict is resolved in each stage