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Erik Erikson & Kohlberg's Theory

I. Erik Erikson believed that as people grow and develop in life, we experience a variety of crises. At each crisis point, Erikson believes we should try to balance two opposing sides (a positive alternative and a potentially unhealthy alternative)

A. In the first stage, imagine a see-saw with trust on one side and mistrust on the other. Why wouldn't you want a young child to have 100% trust? Why does Erikson encourage a balance of these alternatives?

B. List each of the eight stages and give an example of how someone could successfully balance the two alternatives.

Stages:

1, Basic trust versus basic mistrust
2. Autonomy versus shame/doubt
3. Initiative versus guilt
4. Industry versus inferiority
5. Identity versus role confusion
6. Intimacy versus isolation
7. Generativity versus stagnation
8. Ego integrity versus despair

C. Erikson suggests that we may struggle with the same crises later in life. Give an example of one of the first five crises that you have struggled with or balanced recently.

II. What stage(s) of Kohlberg's theory do you believe most high school students will be in? Why?

III. (Kohlberg's Theory) How does Moral Behavior affect a high school class?

Please provide answers in paragraph format. Any help will be much appreciated. Thank you.

Solution Preview

Interesting set of questions! Let's take a closer look through discussion and examples, which you can draw on for your final copy. I also attached some extra reading resources at the end of this response.

RESPONSE:

I. Erik Erikson believed that as people grow and develop in life, we experience a variety of crises. At each crisis point, Erikson believes we should try to balance two opposing sides (a positive alternative and a potentially unhealthy alternative)

A. In the first stage, imagine a see-saw with trust on one side and mistrust on the other. Why wouldn't you want a young child to have 100% trust? Why does Erikson encourage a balance of these alternatives?

According to Erikson, developing trust is never complete. However, there needs to be a balance, mainly because some situations are indeed not trustworthy, such as trusting a stranger, or walking into traffic. A basic sense of trust must be instilled in children; however knowledge and understanding of both trust and mistrust (for things that are not trustworthy) is also important in order to develop the virtue of hope. For example,

· Developing trust is the first task of the ego, and it is never complete.

· The child will let mother out of sight without anxiety and rage because she has become an inner certainty as well as an outer predictability.

· The balance of trust with mistrust depends largely on the quality of maternal relationship. http://www.haverford.edu/psych/ddavis/p109g/erikson.stages.html

The child develops the virtue of hope only when trust and mistrust is balanced, meaning the child understands both extremes. Stages of development may start at certain times, but they don't stop; they are ongoing. This stage of Trust vs. Mistrust will get reworked throughout Joe's lifetime; in fact every time he meets a stranger it will get reworked! http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/252148/parenting_babyhood_according_to_erik.html?page=2

B. List each of the eight stages and give an example of how someone could successfully balance the two alternatives.

Stages:

1. Basic trust versus basic mistrust (0-1 years)

The mother usually balances basic trust with mistrust, for example, through slowly changing the babies feeding schedule to 4 hours, to 6 hours to 8 hours. Initially, the baby cries, but then learns that the mother is still trustworthy and consistent. The baby soon sleeps through the night. when the parents present consistent, adequate, and nurturing care, the child develops basic trust and realizes that people are dependable and the world can be a safe place. The child develops a sense of hope and confidence; this is a belief that things will work out well in the end. However, when the parents fail to provide these things, the child develops basic mistrust, resulting in depression, withdrawal, and maybe even paranoia. http://www.psychpage.com/learning/library/person/erikson.html

Both, 'trust' and ' mistrust' must both be understood and embraced, in order for actionable 'hope' to emerge as a viable solution at the first stage.

2. Autonomy versus shame/doubt (2-3 years)

When a child leans to be toilet trained, the child has gained autonomy. The child must understand both 'autonomy' and 'shame/doubt' but work successfully through the crisis, e.g., the child might have doubts about being toilet trained, but overcomes these feelings through the mother encouraging the child and not shaming her. However, if this psychosocial crisis is not solved, the child might develop a sense of doubt and shame. So, if parents guide children gradually and firmly, praise and accept attempts to be independent, autonomy develops. The result will be a sense of will which helps us accomplish and build self-esteem as children and adults. However, if parents are too permissive, harsh, or demanding, the child can feel defeated, and experience extreme shame and doubt, and grow up to engage in neurotic attempts to regain feelings of control, power, and competency. This may take the form of obsessive behavior; if you follow all rules exactly then you will never be ashamed again. If the child is given no limits or guidance, the child can fail to gain any shame or doubt and be impulsive. Some is good, as it causes us to question the outcomes of our actions, and consider others' well being. This may also result in Avoidance; if you never allow yourself to be close to others, they can never make you feel ashamed

However, both, 'autonomy' and 'shame/doubt' must both be understood and embraced, in order for actionable 'will' to emerge as a viable solution at the second stage. http://www.psychpage.com/learning/library/person/erikson.html

3. Initiative versus guilt (4-5 years)

The child becomes curious about people and models adults. Erickson believed the child does attempt to possess the opposite sex parent and experience rivalry toward the same sex parent; however, a true Oedipal Complex only develops in very severe cases. If parents are understanding and supportive of a child's efforts to show initiative, the child develops purpose, and sets goals and acts in ways to reach them. If children are punished for attempts to show initiative, they are likely to develop a sense of guilt, which in excess can lead to inhibition. Too much purpose and no guilt can lead to ruthlessness; the person may achieve their goals without caring who they step on in the process. http://www.psychpage.com/learning/library/person/erikson.html

So, initiative develops through a sense of independence e.g., letting the child help prepare breakfast, which the parent must encourage and support, with limits. Both, 'initiative' and 'guilt' must both be understood and embraced, in order for actionable 'purpose' to emerge as a viable solution at the third stage.

4. Industry versus inferiority (6-12 years)

For example, the child begins school and must tame imagination and impulses, and please others. If adults support the child's efforts, a sense of ...

Solution Summary

This solution responds to the set of questions on aspects of Erik Erikson and Kohlberg's Theories of human development. Provides comprehensive coverage of both theories including real live examples.

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