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Erik Erikson Theory

Psychologist Erik Erikson (1902-1994) is perhaps best remembered for inventing the phrase “identity crisis” to describe the process through which an individual passes through life’s stages. Born and raised in Vienna, Erikson studied at Freud’s Vienna Psychoanalytic Institute and also studied the Montessori method for childhood education, which would greatly influence his theories. Paper Masters can compose a custom written research paper on Erikson’s theory that follows your guidelines.


Erik Erikson Theory

Erikson’s Theory

Erikson’s theory stressed the importance of the ego in human development and believed that one’s environment was essential in the development of identity. Ego psychology grew out of Freud’s three-part system of:

Erikson saw life as push and pull. A person’s biological urges pushed the ego’s development, while social and cultural forces pulled the person.

Erikson’s Theory and Identity Crises

His theory developed into an eight-stage system of identity crises that occur throughout a person’s life. At each crisis, the person must successfully understand and accept the extremes of reality. Conflict arises between ego identity and role confusion. The successful completion of the crisis allows the person to develop his or her own individuality. One of the greatest dangers to the individual, however, is the perpetuation of role confusion, which can prevent the individual from becoming a productive member of society. Erikson’s theories were best presented in his 1950 book Childhood and Society.

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