Exploring Psychological Theorist Erik Erikson – Cognitive Theory

This paper explores the favorite psychological theorist whose ideas are relevant in regard to child development. In this regard, this paper focuses on Erik Erikson, a psychological theorist behind cognitive theory. In psychology, this is a learning theory, which endeavors to give an explanation of human behavior through analyzing the thought process (Maaq, 2003). Erikson relies on the basic assumption that human beings are logical and they make choices that they find relevant. It, also, focuses on the changes that occur in the manner in which children think. Erikson considers the child as being an active learner through all the necessary stages.

In considering vital components of this theory, Erikson outlines various psychosocial stages of development in order to provide a comprehensive analysis of the theory (Maaq, 2003). At the infancy stage (birth-18 months), the child experiences a lot of conflict in terms of trust and mistrust. The main activity during this stage is eating. In due course as the caregiver continues providing affection, reliability and care, a sense of trust develops in the child. The second stage occurs between 2-3 years where the child experiences shame and doubt vs. autonomy. The child undergoes toile training (Maaq, 2003). The child requires developing a sensible way of controlling physical things. The third stage is the preschool (3-5 years) and, at this stage, being initiative and guilt are the basic conflict that child experiences. This is, also, the stage at which the child does a lot of exploration. The fourth stage the school going age (6-11 years). The basic conflict at this stage is industry vs. inferiority. The fifth stage the young adulthood stage (19-40 years) where children engage in forming a lot of relationships. The basic assumption at this stage is intimacy vs. isolation. The sixth stage is the middle adulthood (40-65 years) where people engage a lot in parenthood and work (Maaq, 2003). The basic conflict at this is usually stagnation and generativity. The last stage is the maturity stage, which occurs from 65 years-death. This is a stage full of reflection on life and the basic conflict at this stage is despair vs. ego integrity.

In conclusion, every learner comes with a package of related experiences, skills and knowledge to the situation of learning. In considering vital components of this theory, Erikson outlines various psychosocial stages of development, as discussed above, in order to provide a comprehensive analysis of the theory.

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