Developmental Psychology and Erikson’s Psychosocial Development Theory

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Developmental Psychology and Erikson’s Psychosocial Development Theory Theresa Dehnert PSY 330 Theories of Personality Professor McPhatter October 27, 2012 Developmental Psychology and Erikson’s Psychosocial Development Theory Developmental psychology is concerned with the study of progressive behavioral changes in an individual from birth until death. Obtaining this knowledge helps us to better understand how we change and grow over time. One of the main contributors to developmental psychology was Erik Erikson. Erikson’s Psychosocial Development Theory is one of the best known theories of personality. Erikson believed “that individuals develop through a series of eight stages, each of which is defined by key developmental tasks that need to be mastered before proceeding to the next stage”, (Magnavita, 2012, pg. 159). This paper will cover those stages but first it will begin by covering some background information on developmental psychology and Erik Erikson. It will then examine his eight stages of development in detail and discuss how they relate to an individual’s behavior. Developmental psychology first appeared around the end of the 19th century with the introduction of the biological-maturationist model. According to this model, a child's development was viewd as primarily the consequence of factors intrinsic to the organism. G. Stanley Hall and Arnold Gesell were central figures to its inception. Hall and Gesell recognized the importance of "nature and nurture" in regards to a child's development. Developmental psychology later advanced to include behaviorism. The environment was now seen as playing a significant role in the development of a person's personality. John B. Watson and B. F. Skinner were major figures in its inception. Cognitive-developmentalism was later added during the late 1950s thanks to

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