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Erik Erikson Research Papers

As one of the most famous psychologists, Erik Erikson research papers may overview his achievements, his psychological theories or compare and contrast his theories to other great psychologists. Whatever you need, Paper Masters can custom write a research paper for you on any aspect of Erik Erikson for your psychology classes.Erik Erikson

Erik Homberger Erikson’s theory of development is perhaps one of the most widely applied models to emerge from the field of psychology during the last century. Born in Frankfurt, Germany to Danish parents in 1902, the young Dane was an indifferent student who felt he did not “fit in” with regard to formal educational settings. Perhaps his self-awareness helped him to formulate his very unique theory.

Erikson and Freud

Erikson might be described as a disciple of Sigmund Freud. He considered himself psychoanalytic in terms of theoretical or philosophical perspective, and he agreed with Freud on many basic assumptions . Like Jung, Horney, and others, Erikson began with Freudian assumptions and built upon them. The result is a theoretical perspective quite distinct from that of the “master.”  

Erik Erikson’s Ideology

Sigmund Freud’s Ideology

Epigenetic sequence of personality development over the lifespan.

Personality was essentially established when the Oedipus and Electra complexes were successfully resolved.

Places considerably less emphasis on the role of sexual instincts and drives and more on the social context in which the individual grows and develops.

Focuses on the psychosexual stages of development that are interpersonal struggles of stages of sexuality .

Erikson’s theory focuses psychosocial.

Freud speaks of psychosexual stages.

Major happenings are a result of interaction between individuals

Major “happenings” that impact personality occur within the mind


Erikson’s theory, then, is characterized by several “points of departure” from his mentor’s approach. The most immediately obvious difference is that Erikson places considerably less emphasis on the role of sexual instincts and drives and more on the social context in which the individual grows and develops. This deviation from Freudian theory is apparent even in the labels placed on stages described by the two – Freud speaks of psychosexual stages, while the developmental sequence described by Erikson is usually referred to as psychosocial. Erikson’s theory, then, gives considerable attention to interpersonal elements – such as the infant’s development of trust through consistent caregivers in the first year of life. Freud’s approach emphasizes intrapsychic phenomena – the major “happenings” that impact personality occur within the mind of the individual rather than as a result of interaction between individuals.

Erikson and Personality


Perhaps even more importantly, Erikson was the first major theorist to suggest an “epigenetic sequence of personality development over the lifespan” . Freud suggested strongly that that personality was essentially established when the Oedipus and Electra complexes were successfully resolved. Thus, many historians of psychology believe that Erikson’s major contribution to the field was his proposal that intellectual and emotional development continue until death.

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