ERIckson - Molly Egan Erikson Crain, William (2011)....

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Molly Egan Erikson Crain, William (2011). Theories of Development: Concepts and Applications (6th Edition). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall. NATURE/NURTURE Identifying Erikson’s psychosocial theory of development as either favoring nature or nurture is quite a difficult task because according to Erikson, the emergence of the various developmental stages is determined by biological maturation (nature) as well as social expectations (nurture). For example, the important role of nurture in Erikson’s theory is demonstrated by the emphasis placed on infant-caregiver interactions and in particular whether the infant experiences consistent and reliable care giving in order to establish a basic sense of trust in their caregiver. (Crain, 2011, p.283) However, nature also appears to be important in Erikson’s theory as demonstrated by the following quote: “. ..maturation ushers in a sense of autonomy during the second and third years. (Crain, 2011, p. 287) The fact that Erikson believed that both nature and nurture played a fundamental role in development is made clear by the following passage from Crain (2011): “Erikson defined the conflict as that of autonomy versus shame and doubt. Autonomy comes from within; biological maturation fosters the ability to do things on one’s own- to control one’s own sphincter muscles, to stand on one’s own feet, to use one’s own hands and so on. Shame and doubt, in contrast, come from an awareness of social expectations and pressures” (p. 287 . PASSIVE /ACTIVE In contrast to Freud’s theory of development in which biology drove development and children were passive; according to Erikson’s Psychosocial theory of development, children actively explore their environment The eyes, first part of a relatively passive system of accepting impressions as they come along, have now learned to focus, to isolate, to ‘grasp’ objects from a vaguer background, and to follow them.” (Erikson, 1963, p, 77 as cited in Crain, 2011, p.283). QUANTITATIVE / QUALITATIVE “If development were just a matter of gradual quantitative change, any division into stages would be arbitrary. Erikson’s stages, however, give us a good sense of how behavior is qualitatively different at different points. Children at the autonomy stage sound very different from those at the trust stage, they are much more independent. ..Behavior has a distinctive flavor at each stage” (p.297) STABILITY/INSTABILITY Each stage contains a developmental task that an individual must successfully resolve in order to achieve optimal psychological development. For example, the developmental task during the first stage of infancy is trust/mistrust and
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This note was uploaded on 03/23/2011 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 512 taught by Professor K during the Fall '10 term at S. Connecticut.

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ERIckson - Molly Egan Erikson Crain, William (2011)....

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