Sigmund Freud And Erikson's Theory Of Personality

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Personality does not have a specific definition, however its popular definition is ‘a dynamic organisation, inside the person, of a psychophysical systems that create the person’s characteristic patterns of behaviour, thoughts, and feelings’ by Allport (1961, as cited in Maltby, Day, & Macaskill, 2013, p. 5). Personality is important in many areas of life as it can be used to predict behaviour or even the success of a person. Thus, psychologists are interested to seek to explain the motivation basis of behaviour, development of personality, and personality disorders using different theories. One of the most comprehensive theories to personality is the psychoanalysis approach, which was first founded by Sigmund Freud. The approach was further…show more content…
Erikson believed that personality is developed throughout the lifespan, and not restricted to any age. Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development is based on the epigenetic principle, which states that the development involves a series of predetermined stages (Dunkel & Sefcek, 2007). The early stages are important as it influences the outcomes of later stages (Dunkel & Sefcek, 2007). Once the qualities of each stage are established, they will remain in the personality throughout the lifespan. Ego identity is the central element of Erikson’s theory (Erikson, 1968, as cited in Carver & Scheier, 2007). Ego identity is the conscious sense of self, which is derived from the social reality. Beside ego identity, competence and personal adequacy are other important elements of psychosocial theory. A person will either feel a sense of competency or inadequacy, depending on how well each stage of development is managed. There are eight stages of development (Erikson, 1950, as cited in Dunkel & Sefcek, 2007). Each stage has a crisis (psychosocial crisis) and a conflict (psychosocial conflict). Psychosocial crisis refers to the turning point of a stage, where the potential for growth is high while psychosocial conflict refers to the struggle of attaining a psychological quality at a stage (Carver & Scheier, 2007). At each stage, there are two psychological qualities against each other, one being…show more content…
The two qualities of adolescence stage are identity and role confusion. If the stage is managed well, the child is able to achieve a strong sense of self and feeling of independence and control. Otherwise, the child will be confused about self and will also have difficulties achieving a balance in the later stages. Also, the formation of identity results in the psychosocial strength of faithfulness in relationship (Dunkel & Sefcek, 2007). Collins & Bayless (2013) did a study on the influence of caregiving from parents on the development of adolescence. The results showed that adolescents with caregiving have lower life satisfaction and self-esteem, as compared to adolescents without caregiving. Additionally, adolescents with caregivers are generally having difficulties in making friends. Thus, this is aligned with Erikson’s theory that adolescents want to achieve a strong sense of self, independence and
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