Lexi MacDonald 1/10/18Period 2 Erik Erikson Biography Erik Erikson is a very important psychologist that developed theories based on the development of humans. He was born in Germany and lived from 1902 to 1994. Erikson had two different last names before he chose this one.
His last name that he was born with was Salomomsen. His mother remarried and she changed Erik’s last name to her new husband’s name which was Homberger. After that, he decided he was going to give himself his own last name and the name he created for himself was Erikson. He went to school at a Nordic school where he was made fun of by the other children because he was Jewish. He stayed in Germany until he completed high school and then he moved to Florence, Italy to pursue his interest in art.
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He got a job as an art teacher at a children’s school, but shortly after he moved and changed his career. He decided to immigrate to the United States and went back to school to study psychoanalysis. He went to Harvard and joined the Medical School faculty but then left there and joined the department of psychiatry at Yale University. This was all very unusual since Erik never received his bachelor’s degree before teaching at an Ivy League school. Yale was where he began his first studies on psychological development of cultural influences.
After Yale, he went and taught at U.C. Berkeley, but left after a short period of time because he wanted to focus on studying the development of humans. Erikson created the theory of the eight stages of psychological development. He believed that the personality of people were developed in stages and that social experience can impact the stages throughout everyone’s lifespan. Erikson believes that people have to experience a conflict that is a turning point to begin a new stage. The conflicts would either be developing a psychological quality or failing to do so. If they successfully develop the quality they will proceed to the next stage and the strength they had to do this will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
If one were to fail to develop the quality they most likely will not develop skills needed for their life to prosper and they will continue on to the next stage feeling inadequate. Stage one normally happens when the person is an infant and it occurs from the birth of the child to 18 months. At this point in the child’s life he or she is dependent on their caregiver to give him or her everything they need to survive. If the caregiver of the child fails to love and take care of the child then the child will feel that he or she will not be able to trust or depend on the adults that are there in their lives. If the child develops a sense of trust with their family members, then as they continue their lives they will feel safe. If the caregivers fail, the child will too. The child will not be able to trust anyone because they will have fear and believe that the world is unpredictable. During early childhood, around 2 to 3, stage two will occur.
This is when the children start to become more independent and make simple decisions. The child will become more independent when learning how to control one’s body functions, food choices, toy selection, and clothing selection. When children complete this stage they feel confident in themselves, while others that fail this stage feel uncertain. The third stage takes place from age 3 to 5 or the preschool years. During this stage children begin to socially interact with others and be confident in themselves when they are talking to others. If the child can do this they will be feel like they can be a leader and that they can work with the people around them effectively. If the child does not acquire these skills then they tend to feel self doubt and guilt.
Stage four begins when the child is in school, from age 6 to 11. Children begin to either feel successful in what they accomplish or they feel that they are incapable and they are not proud in the skills they have. The children that are proud of their skills are normally supported my their family members and teachers and other people that are always around in their lives. Children who have a hard time believing what they do is good is because their parents and teachers are not encouraging them and so then it no longer matters to the child what they do. When the child becomes an adolescent and is in the ages of 12 to 18, stage five begins. This stage is when the child is developing their personal identity and this affects the rest of the person’s life. The people that have been encouraged by the people around them will feel strong and independent. On the other hand, the people that had little or no encouragement or support from anyone will feel insecure about themselves and their future.
Erikson believed that ego identity was very important to human development and this occurs when humans experience something new and interact with new people to then learn new things. He thought that this was a very important part of this stage. The sixth stage is the years of young adulthood from ages 19 to 40.
This is the beginning of when people start to focus on personal relationships. Erikson believes this is a very crucial stage in people’s lives. People that have a strong sense of personality identity will have good strong healthy relationships. While others that have a poor sense of personality will have commitment issues and they will end up being very lonely and depressed.Stage seven, from ages 40 to 65, is considered middle adulthood.
This is when people really focus on their families, their career, and building their lives. If people are successful during this stage they will feel that they are making a difference and really contributing to their community and outside world. They will also feel proud of their families and in what they’ve accomplished.
The people that do not go through this stage successfully end up feeling like they haven’t done anything for the world and are very unproductive. The last stage that Erikson believed in was stage eight. This stage was from age 65 to death and this is when people reflect back on their own life and determine if they are content with what they did or if they regret the decisions that they made. People that ended looking back and thinking they had a very successful life will feel satisfaction and they will also feel wise when they confront death. The people that are unsuccessful will regret wasting their life and feel very depressed and bitter. After identifying the eight stages he was asked to speak at the Jefferson Lecture by the National Endowment of the Humanities, which is the United States’ highest honor for achievements in the humanities.
He also won the Pulitzer Prize for his contribution to psychology through his writings and a United States National Book Award in the category of philosophy and religion. Erik Erikson made the people think about where they are in their lives and how people can be successful. He also showed them if you are successful in life then it will be a happier life to live. People that live in the unsuccessful lifestyle will end up being depressed with many regrets. Works Citedhttps://www.verywell.com/erik-eriksons-stages-of-psychosocial-development-2795740https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/erik-erikson-1361.phphttps://www.erikson.edu/about/history/erik-erikson/https://www.biography.com/people/erik-h-erikson-37751