A Comparison and Discussion of Erikson’s Psychosocial Theory of Development, Freud’s Psychosexual Stages of Development, and Piaget’s Stages of Cognitive Development

Topics: Jean Piaget, Developmental psychology, Psychosexual development Pages: 8 (2158 words) Published: June 1, 2014
A Comparison and Discussion of Erikson's Psychosocial Theory of Development, Freud's Psychosexual Stages of Development, and Piaget's Stages of Cognitive Development

Developmental Psychology I

Submitted on May 23, 2014

Written By




Gaziantep, Turkey


Human development is a highly complex concept among concepts of human sciences. Developmentalists claim that every single event in each stage of childhood development is extremely significant since any reaction to the behaviors in developmental stages has a vital meaning which is realized later in human life.Therefore I can state that every single action in childhood developmental stages has a certain impact on human's cognitive, social, and emotional development.

Science of human development is effected in a large extent by six broad theoretical traditions which are psychoanalytic viewpoint, the learning viewpoint, the cognitive-developmental viewpoint, the information- processing viewpoint, the evolutionary viewpoint, and the ecological systems viewpoint. In this research report, I am going to focus on Freud's Psychosexual Theory, Erikson's Theory of Psychosocial Development and the Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development.

If I were to state basically what I concentrate in this research report; on the stages of three human development theories which belong to Freud, Erikson and Piaget. I will compare these development theories through analyzing each stage of them while addressing some experiences which I have in my life or I have come across in my environment.

The purpose of comparing these three human development theories is basically to figure out their implications to parenting and early childhood education by analyzing the characteristics of the stages of these theories in childhood development. Through this research, I will be able to define the concrete examples of characteristics human development theories' stages in my life, which means that theoretical knowledge will be shaped in my mind through personal experiences.


Erikson' Psychosocial Theory of Development is a model which is based on eight stages. These stages are also called as crises in human development,because they involve psychological needs of the individual (i.e. psycho) conflicting with the needs of society (i.e. social).( McLeod,2008). Each stage is vitally important in human lifespan as each of them results in specific characteristic features and certain virtues in personality.

The first stage is trust versus mistrust; it occurs during the first year. What I have experienced about this stage is that the role of caregiver is highly important since the possibility whether the result of this stage will be positive or negative depends on the caregiver attitude towards infant completely. If I were to give an example; in care centers where babies without family are cared can not take sufficient and consistent affection from caregivers. this situation causes these babies to have a perception that the world is a place which is full of unreliable people, that is to say, they develop the sense of mistrust to world.

The second stage is autonomy versus shame and doubt which occurs in 1-3 years. In this stage, child is the beginning of the gaining his independence that is autonomy. An example of what I observed on child in this stage ; my cousin who is 2-year always is in fight with his parents as he always rejects his mother's help while eating, and he insists on wearing his clothes on his own. These are manifestation that he tries to get the autonomy. What his parents should do in this phase is to allow him to try provide his needs while scaffolding him, which results in a high confidence and independency in child's personality.

If children are criticized, overly...

References: Wood, K. C., Smith, H., Grossniklaus, D. (2001). _Piaget 's Stages of Cognitive Developmen_t. In M. Orey (Ed.), _Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology_. Retrieved from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/
Elkind, D. "Erik Erikson 's Eight Stages of Man." _New York Times Magazine_. 1970. Web. 18 May
Mcleod, S. (2008). _Erik Erikson._ Retrieved from http://www.simplypsychology.org/Erik-Erikson.html
Wagner, K.V. (2010). _Freud 's Stages of Psychosexual Development._ Retrieved from http://www.allbookez.com/pdf/14l5en/
Cook. M. (2006). _Freud 's Stages of Psychosexual Development._ Retrieved from http://valen1971.webs.com/Assessments/Freud 's%20Theory%20of%20Psychosexual%20Development.pdf
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