Personality Development

GENERAL OBJECTIVE At the end of the discussion, the students are expected to have known the principles and significance of the different theories of human development and behavior.

SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES At the end of the term, the students are expected to: ‡ Have a more comprehensive analysis of the different theories of personality, their dynamics and development. ‡ Gain insights in dealing with different personality and behavior. ‡ Show sensitivity to human needs and problems. ‡ Show awareness about the importance of theories to the understanding of personality.

‡ Erikson's Psychological Development ‡ Freud's Psychosexual Development ‡ Freud's Structural Model of Personality ‡ Kohlberg's Theory of Moral Development ‡ Piaget¶s Cognitive Development

Eriksonjs Psychosocial Development

What is Psychosocial Development?
Psychosocial development as articulated by Erik Erikson describes eight developmental stages through which a healthily developing human should pass from infancy to late adulthood. In each stage the person confronts, and hopefully masters, new challenges. Each stage builds on the successful completion of earlier stages. The challenges of stages not successfully completed may be expected to reappear as problems in the future.

Psychoanalyst Erik Erikson describes the physical, emotional and psychological stages of development and relates specific issues, or developmental work or tasks, to each stage. For example, if an infant's physical and emotional needs are met sufficiently, the infant completes his/her task -- developing the ability to trust others. However, a person who is stymied in an attempt at task mastery may go on to the next state but carries with him or her the remnants of the unfinished task. For instance, if a toddler is not allowed to learn by doing, the toddler develops a sense of doubt in his or her abilities, which may complicate later attempts at independence. Similarly, a preschooler who is made to feel that the activities he or she initiates are bad may develop a sense of guilt that inhibits the person later in life.

Stages of Psychosocial Development in Infancy and Early Childhood

Psychological Stage 1 - Infancy (Birth -18 months)

‡ Psychosocial Crisis: Trust vs. Mistrust ‡ Developing trust is the first task of the ego, and it is never complete. The child will let its mother out of sight without anxiety and rage because she has become an inner certainty as well as an outer predictability. But when a mother is not present, the father becomes the inner certainty along with other relatives usually surrounding the child daily. The balance of trust with mistrust depends largely on the quality of the maternal relationship.

‡ Main question asked: Is my environment trustworthy or not? ‡ Central Task: Receiving care ‡ Positive Outcome: Trust in people and the environment ‡ Ego Quality: Hope ‡ Definition: Enduring belief that one can attain one¶s deep and essential wishes ‡ Developmental Task: Social attachment; Maturation of sensory, perceptual, and motor functions; Primitive causality. ‡ Significant Relations: Maternal parent

Erikson proposed that the concept of trust versus mistrust is present throughout an individual¶s entire life. Therefore if the concept is not addressed, taught and handled properly during infancy (when it is first introduced), the individual may be negatively affected and never fully immerse themselves in the world.

Psychological Stage 2 - Toddler (1 1/2 - 3 Years)

‡ Psychosocial Crisis: Autonomy vs. Shame & doubt ‡ If denied independence, the child will turn against his/her urges to manipulate and discriminate. Shame develops with the child's selfconsciousness. Doubt has to do with having a front and back -- a "behind" subject to its own rules. Left over doubt may become paranoia. The sense of autonomy fostered in the child and modified as life progresses serves the preservation in economic and political life of a sense of justice.

‡ Main question asked: Do I need help from others or not? ‡ When a child reaches the age of one to the age of three, Erikson explains, the child is developing a sense of autonomy . During this age, the toddler discovers he/she is no longer attached to the primary caregiver but is a separate individual (Gonzalez-Mena & Eyer, 2004). Autonomy is the independence a toddler strives for from caregivers. Toddlers¶ autonomous behavior is a way of forming their own identity away from their caregivers (Bigner, 2006). This stage is a time where a toddler has the ³will´ to become independent. Shame and doubt is likely to occur when the toddler is not given any choices or boundaries because the toddler is determined to become independent.

‡ Parents who are assertive and too demanding may find themselves in a power struggle with their toddler (Gonzalez-Mena & Eyer, 2006). In addition, parents may be too demanding for only ³good´ behavior from their toddler. Autonomy can be gained for the toddler when given reasonable choices and proper guidance from the caregiver. Parents can give healthy and wise choices to assist their child to succeed at this stage.

Psychological Stage 3 - Play Age (3-6 Years)

‡ Psychosocial Crisis: Initiative vs. Guilt ‡ Initiative adds to autonomy the quality of undertaking, planning, and attacking a task for the sake of being active and on the move. The child is learning to master the world around him or her, learning basic skills and principles of physics; things fall to the ground, not up; round things roll, how to zip and tie, count and speak with ease. At this stage the child wants to begin and complete his or her own actions for a purpose. Guilt is a new emotion and is confusing to the child; he or she may feel guilty over things which are not logically guilt producing, and he or she will feel guilt when his or her initiative does not produce the desired results.

‡ Main question asked: How moral am I? ‡ The development of courage and independence are what set preschoolers, ages three to six years of age, apart from other age groups when Erik Erikson discussed his third psychosocial stage. Young children in this category, ranging between three to six years of age, face the challenge of initiative versus guilt (Boer, 1997) Importance of adults ‡ The relationship between parent and child must include a positive balance between helping the child develop guilt, of which will encourage self-control, and establishing independence for the goals the child chooses. Independence is significant to goal development and child development in that the child will learn to form a foundation for decision-making and in taking the steps required to set goals.

Importance of responsibility

‡ In order to promote a safe balance between initiative and guilt, parents must provide the child with achievable responsibility. Cramer, Flynn, and LaFave (1997) describe two different outcomes, both positive and negative, that may occur if a child is not given responsibilities, such as cleaning a room or walking a dog; all of which can create independence and dependability. For a healthy balance of initiative and guilt, the child should be able to accept feelings of guilt while understanding that certain activities and situations he or she chooses may or may not be permitted by others.

Psychological Stage 3 - School Age (7-12 Years)

‡ Psychosocial Crisis: Industry vs. Inferiority To bring a productive situation to completion is an aim which gradually supersedes the whims and wishes of play. The fundamentals of technology are developed. To lose the hope of such "industrious" association may pull the child back to the more isolated, less conscious familial rivalry of the oedipal time.

‡ Main question asked: Am I good at what I do? - According to Allen and Marotz (2003), "children at this age are becoming more aware of themselves as individuals." They work hard at "being responsible, being good and doing it right." They are now more reasonable to share and cooperate. - According to Robert Brooks (2001) parents can nurture self esteem and resilience in different ways: a. Understand and accept children's learning problems (highlight strengths) b. Teach children how to solve problems and make decisions c. Reinforce responsibility by having children contribute d. Learn from, rather than feeling defeated by mistakes e. Make the child feel special (create special times alone with them each week

Psychological Stage 4 - Adolescence (12-18 Years)

‡ Psychosocial Crisis: Identity vs. Role Confusion The adolescent is newly concerned with how he or she appears to others. Superego identity is the accrued confidence that the outer sameness and continuity prepared in the future are matched by the sameness and continuity of one's meaning for oneself, as evidenced in the promise of a career. The ability to settle on a school or occupational identity is pleasant.

Psychological Stage 4 - Young Adulthood (1940 years)

‡ Psychosocial Crisis: Intimacy vs. Isolation Body and ego must be masters of organ modes and of the other nuclear conflicts in order to face the fear of ego loss in situations which call for selfabandon. The avoidance of these experiences leads to openness and self-absorption. - According to Erik Erikson the young adult stage, Intimacy vs. Isolation, is emphasized around the ages of 19 to 34. At the start of the Intimacy vs. Isolation stage, identity vs. role confusion is coming to an end and it still lingers at the foundation of the stage (Erikson 1950). Young adults are still eager to blend their identities with friends.

Psychological Stage 5 - Middle Adulthood (40-65 Years)

‡ Psychosocial Crisis: Generativity vs. Stagnation Generativity is the concern of establishing and guiding the next generation. Sociallyvalued work and disciplines are expressions of generativity. Simply having or wanting children does not in and of itself achieve generativity.

Psychological Stage 5 - Late Adulthood (from 65 years)

‡ Psychosocial crisis: Integrity vs Despair ‡ One strength of Erikson's theory is that it acknowledges that development continues throughout the life cycle. According to Erikson, even older people are not finished developing. Older people who are coming to terms with their own mortality have a deep need to look over their whole lives. A person who can look back on good times with gladness, on hard times with self-respect, and on mistakes and regrets with forgiveness, will find a new sense of integrity and a readiness for whatever life or death may bring. A person caught up in old sadness, unable to forgive themselves or others for perceived wrongs, and dissatisfied with the life they've led, will easily drift into depression and despair.

‡ The fundamental question is, "What kind of life have I lived?" A positive outcome of this crisis is achieved if the individual gains a sense of fulfillment about life and a sense of unity within himself and with others. That way, he can accept death with a sense of integrity. Just as a healthy child will not fear life, the healthy adult will not fear death. ‡ A negative outcome of this crisis causes the individual to despair and fear death.

Freud's Psychosexual Development

What is psychosexual development?
‡ The concept of psychosexual development, as envisioned by Sigmund Freud at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century, is a central element in the theory of psychology. It consists of five separate phases: oral, anal, phallic, latency, and genital. In the development of his theories, Freud's main concern was with sexual desire, defined in terms of formative drives, instincts and appetites that result in the formation of an adult personality.

Freud's Model of Psychosexual Development

Stages Oral

Age Range 0-18 months

Erogenous zone(s) Mouth

Consequences of Fixation Orally aggressive: Involves chewing gum or ends of pens. Orally Passive: Involves smoking/eating/ kissing/fellatio/ cunnilingus Anal-retentive: Obsession with organization or excessive neatness Anal-expulsive: Reckless, careless, defiant, disorganized, Coprophiliac Oedipus complex Electra complex


18-36 months

Bowel and bladder elimination


3-6 years


Stages Latency

Age Range 6 years-puberty

Erogenous zone(s)

Consequences of Fixation

Dormant (People do not tend to sexual feelings fixate at this stage, but if they do, they tend to be extremely sexually unfulfilled.) Sexual interests mature Frigidity, impotence, unsatisfactory relationships


Puberty and beyond

Oral phase The oral stage in psychology is the term used by Sigmund Freud to describe the child's development during the first eighteen months of life, in which an infant's pleasure centers are in the mouth. Anal phase The next stage of psychosexual development is centered around the rectum, but can also include bladder functions. This phase usually occurs from eighteen months to thirtysix months of age. In this stage children learn to control the expulsion of feces causing their libidinal energy to become focused in this area. The added awareness of this erogenous zone arises in children from concentrating on controlling their defecation.

Phallic phase
At thirty-six months to about seventy-two months of age the libidinal energy shifts from the anal region to the genital region. At this point, according to Freud's model, the Oedipus or Electra complex can develop. The Oedipus complex is central to the psychodynamic fixations in this time period for men; the Electra complex for women. Around this time in males, according to Freud, the young boy falls in love with his mother and wishes that his father was not in the way of his love. At this point he notices that women have no penis and fears that the punishment of his father for being in love with his wife is castration. This fear is enhanced if he is castigated for masturbation at this stage. Once the fear of retaliation has subsided the boy will learn to earn his mother's love by becoming as much like his father as possible. Thus, the superego is born. He will adopt his father's beliefs and ideals as his own and move on to the latency stage.

Latency phase The latency period begins sometime around the age of six and ends when puberty starts to begin. Freud believed that in this phase the Oedipus complex was dissolved and set free, resulting in a relatively conflict-free period of development. In this phase, the child begins to make connections to siblings, other children, and adults. This phase is typified by a solidifying of the habits that the child developed in the earlier stages. Genital phase The genital stage starts at puberty, allowing the child to develop opposite sex relationships with the libidinal energy again focused on the genital area. According to Freud, if any of the stages are fixated on, there is not enough libidinal energy for this stage to develop untroubled. To have a fully functional adulthood, and to accomplish "appropriate" heterosexual maturity, the previous stages need to be fully resolved.

Freud's Structural Model of Personality (id, ego, superego )

Id (Pleasure Principle)
According to Freud, we are born with our Id. The id is an important part of our personality because as newborns, it allows us to get our basic needs met. Freud believed that the id is based on our pleasure principle. In other words, the id wants whatever feels good at the time, with no consideration for the reality of the situation. When a child is hungry, the id wants food, and therefore the child cries. When the child needs to be changed, the id cries. When the child is uncomfortable, in pain, too hot, too cold, or just wants attention, the id speaks up until his or her needs are met. i

Ego (Reality Principle)
Within the next three years, as the child interacts more and more with the world, the second part of the personality begins to develop. Freud called this part the Ego. The ego is based on the reality principle. The ego understands that other people have needs and desires and that sometimes being impulsive or selfish can hurt us in the long run. Its the ego's job to meet the needs of the id, while taking into consideration the reality of the situation.

Superego (Moral Principle)
By the age of five, or the end of the phallic stage of development, the Superego develops. The Superego is the moral part of us and develops due to the moral and ethical restraints placed on us by our caregivers. Many equate the superego with the conscience as it dictates our belief of right and wrong.

Kohlberg's Theory of Moral Development

What is Kohlberg's stages of moral development?
‡ Kohlberg's stages of moral development are planes of moral adequacy conceived by Lawrence Kohlberg to explain the development of moral reasoning. Created while studying psychology at the University of Chicago, the theory was inspired by the work of Jean Piaget and a fascination with children's reactions to moral dilemmas. He wrote his doctoral dissertation at the university in 1958, utlining what are now known as his stages of moral development.

Stage one (obedience and punishment driven) individuals focus on the direct consequences that their actions will have for themselves. For example, an action is perceived as morally wrong if the person who commits it gets punished. The worse the punishment for the act is, the more 'bad' the act is perceived to be. In addition, there is no recognition that others' points of view are any different from one's own view. This stage may be viewed as a kind of authoritarianism. Stage two (self-interest driven) espouses the what's in it for me position, right behavior being defined by what is in one's own best interest. In stage two concern for others is not based on loyalty or intrinsic respect. Lacking a perspective of society in the pre-conventional level, this should not be confused with social contract (stage five), as all actions are performed to serve one's own needs or interests. For the stage two theorist, the perspective of the world is often seen as morally relative.

Stage three (interpersonal accord and conformity driven), the self enters society by filling social roles. Individuals are receptive of approval or disapproval from other people as it reflects society's accordance with the perceived role. They try to be a good boy or good girl to live up to these expectations, having learned that there is inherent value in doing so. Stage three reasoning may judge the morality of an action by evaluating its consequences in terms of a person's relationships, which now begin to include things like respect, gratitude and the 'golden rule¶ Stage four (authority and social order obedience driven), it is important to obey laws, dictums and social conventions because of their importance in maintaining a functioning society. A central ideal or ideals often prescribe what is right and wrong, such as in the case of fundamentalism.

Stage five (social contract driven), individuals are viewed as holding different opinions and values. Along a similar vein, laws are regarded as social contracts rather than rigid dictums. Those that do not promote the general welfare should be changed when necessary to meet the greatest good for the greatest number of people.

Stage six (universal ethical principles driven), moral
reasoning is based on abstract reasoning using universal ethical principles. Laws are valid only insofar as they are grounded in justice, and that a commitment to justice carries with it an obligation to disobey unjust laws. Rights are unnecessary as social contracts are not essential for deontic moral action. Decisions are not met hypothetically in a conditional way but rather categorically in an absolute way (see Immanuel Kant's 'categorical imperative').

Piagetjs Cognitive Development

What is Theory of Cognitive Development?
The Theory of Cognitive Development, one of the most historically influential theories was developed by Jean Piaget, a Swiss psychologist (1896±1980). His theory provided many central concepts in the field of developmental psychology and concerned the growth of intelligence, which for Piaget, meant the ability to more accurately represent the world and perform logical operations on representations of concepts grounded in the world. The theory concerns the emergence and acquisition of schemata²schemes of how one perceives the world²in "developmental stages", times when children are acquiring new ways of mentally representing information.

‡ ‡ ‡ ‡

Piaget divided schemes that children use to understand the world through four main periods, roughly correlated with and becoming increasingly sophisticated with age: Sensorimotor period (years 0±2) Preoperational period (years 2±7) Concrete operational period (years 7±11) Formal operational period (years 11 and up)

Sensorimotor period (years 0²2)
Sensorimotor period is the first of the four periods. According to Piaget, this stage marks the development of essential spatial abilities and understanding of the world in six substages: ‡ The first sub-stage, known as the reflex schema stage, occurs from birth to six weeks and is associated primarily with the development of reflexes. ‡ The second sub-stage, primary circular reaction phase, occurs from six weeks to four months and is associated primarily with the development of habits. ‡ The third sub-stage, the secondary circular reactions phase, occurs from four to nine months and is associated primarily with the development of coordination between vision and prehension.

‡ The fourth sub-stage; called the co-ordination of secondary circular reactions stage, which occurs from nine to twelve months, is when Piaget (1954) thought that object permanence developed. ‡ The fifth sub-stage; the tertiary circular reactions phase, occurs from twelve to eighteen months and is associated primarily with the discovery of new means to meet goals. ‡ The sixth sub-stage, considered "beginnings of symbolic representation", is associated primarily with the beginnings of insight, or true creativity.

Preoperational period (years 2²7)
‡ The Preoperational stage is the second of four stages of cognitive development. By observing sequences of play, Piaget was able to demonstrate that towards the end of the second year a qualitatively new kind of psychological functioning occurs. ‡ (Pre)Operatory Thought in Piagetian theory is any procedure for mentally acting on objects. The hallmark of the preoperational stage is sparse and logically inadequate mental operations. During this stage the child learns to use and to represent objects by images and words, in other words they learn to use symbolic thinking. Thinking is still egocentric: The child has difficulty taking the viewpoint of others.

The Preoperational Stage can be further broken down into the Preconceptual Stage and the Intuitive Stage ‡ The Preconceptual stage (2-4 years) is marked by egocentric thinking and animistic thought. A child who displays animistic thought tends to assign living attributes to inanimate objects, for example that a glass would feel pain if it were broken. ‡ The Intuitive(4-6 years) stage is when children start employing mental activities to solve problems and obtain goals but they are unaware of how they came to their conclusions. For example a child is shown 7 dogs and 3 cats and asked if there are more dogs than cats. The child would respond positively. However when asked if there are more dogs than animals the child would once again respond positively. Such fundamental errors in logic show the transition between intuitiveness in solving problems and true logical reasoning acquired in later years when the child grows up

Concrete operational period (years 7²11)
‡ The Concrete operational stage is the third of four stages of cognitive development in Piaget's theory. This stage, which follows the Preoperational stage, occurs between the ages of 6 and 11 years and is characterized by the appropriate use of logic. Important processes during this stage are: ‡ Seriation²the ability to sort objects in an order according to size, shape, or any other characteristic. For example, if given different-shaded objects they may make a color gradient. ‡ Classification²the ability to name and identify sets of objects according to appearance, size or other characteristic, including the idea that one set of objects can include another. A child is no longer subject to the illogical limitations of animism (the belief that all objects are alive and therefore have feelings).

‡ Decentering²where the child takes into account multiple aspects of a problem to solve it. For example, the child will no longer perceive an exceptionally wide but short cup to contain less than a normally-wide, taller cup. ‡ Reversibility²where the child understands that numbers or objects can be changed, then returned to their original state. For this reason, a child will be able to rapidly determine that if 4+4 equals 8, 8í4 will equal 4, the original quantity. ‡ Conservation²understanding that quantity, length or number of items is unrelated to the arrangement or appearance of the object or items. For instance, when a child is presented with two equally-sized, full cups they will be able to discern that if water is transferred to a pitcher it will conserve the quantity and be equal to the other filled cup.

Formal operational period (years 11 and up)
‡ The formal operational period is the fourth and final of the periods of cognitive development in Piaget's theory. This stage, which follows the Concrete Operational stage, commences at around 12 years of age (puberty) and continues into adulthood. It is characterized by acquisition of the ability to think abstractly, reason logically and draw conclusions from the information available. During this stage the young adult is able to understand such things as love, "shades of gray", logical proofs, and values. Lucidly, biological factors may be traced to this stage as it occurs during puberty (the time at which another period of neural pruning occurs), marking the entry to adulthood in Physiology, cognition, moral judgement (Kohlberg), Psychosexual development (Freud), and psychosocial development (Erikson).

Internet: ‡ cognitive_development ‡ al_development.html

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