Erik Erikson, an ego psychologist, conceives of personality in psychosocial terms and sees personality development as a lifelong process through eight stages.
A. Erikson's first four stages.
According to Ericson a child develops a basic sense of trust during what Freud called the oral period, autonomy during the anal period, and initiative during what Freud called the phallic period. Failure to meet the development tasks of these period leads, respectively to mistrust, shame and doubt, and guilt.
1. Oral - Basic Trust vs. Mistrust
2. Anal - Autonomy vs. Shame, Doubt
3. Genital - Initiative vs. Guilt
However, Erikson does not adhere to the Freudian belief that personality in unalterably determined in the initial years of life. He sees personality as continuing to develop through the life --- placing equal emphasis on the child's efforts to master the skills valued by society, on the adolescent's striving to achieve a sense of identity in that society, on the young adults's quest for intimacy, and on the mature person's desire to guide younger genwerations and thus --- to society: depending on how an individual person negotiaties these challenges, old age --- bring a sense of integrity or despair.
4. Latency - Industry vs. Inferirity
5. Puberty and Adoloscence - Identity vs. Role Confusion
6. Young Adulthood - Intimacy vs. Isolation
7. Adulthood - Generativity vs. Stagnation
8. Maturity - Ego Integrity vs. Despair.
B. Attachment and Imprinting
During infancy, social & personality development center around attachment, the bond between an infant and her or his main care givrs. as the infant learns that the mother is the primary source of food, wormth and comfort, an attachment to her develops as positive response to a person who satisfies these needs. Attachment is also viewed as having adaptive significance. It helps babies to survive by keeping them near adults who provide them with necessary care and protection. A secure attachment not only helps babies survive but also encourages the development of social and cognitive skills by providing the emotional security that allows the baby to interact freely with others and to explore the world. Once attachment has developed, babies show separation distress, protesting at separation from a care giver and showing a joy at the care giver's return, followed by warriness of strangers. The nature of the interaction between infant and care giver, not the amount of time spent together is the important aspect of the bond.
Adaptive behaviour is any behaviour, that increases an individual's chances of survival. Adaptive behaviour in animals has been studied by ethologists, who observe animals in their environments, looking for species - specific behaviour. Species - specific behaviour may be governed by a closed genetic programe, which can be changed only slightly by experience or by an open genetic program, which can be modified by experience. Imprinting, the process by which some species of birds and mammals form early social attachment, is an open genetic program.
Konrad Lorenz (1965), first found that a newly hatched duckling or gosling will form an attachment, or "imprint" to the first moving object it encounters and will then follow the object. In essence, the baby bird's genetic program dictates that a specific type of learning will take place regarding that first moving object. This object, the program says, is "to be followed", no matter what it is. the baby bird will follow a human being, a box on wheels or a bird of another species. In the wild, the first moving object s duckling sees is usually the mother.
Parents must also be able to identify their own offspring, and many animals to this through other kinds of open imprinting programs. For example, a mother cow licks her calf as soon as it is born. From that time, she can identify her own calf by the smell, and she will reject any other calf. If for some reason, she is prevented from licking her calf within a short time it is born, she will reject the calf.
D. The development of Gender
As children grow, the parents' primary role switches from physical care to socialization, in which children absorb society's attitudes, values and customs. With internalization, the child incorporates these standards so that their violation provides a sense of guilt. Family and the wider community also exert a powerful influence on the child's development. Children soon aquire gender roles, attitudes and behaviour considered gender appropriate in their society. Biology apperently has some effect on gender - related behaviour, because temperamental differences between boys and girls exist at birth. These gender - based predispositions interact with the way people respond to children and with the physical environment to produce behavioral differences. Socilization also has a powerful impact on sex - typed behaviour, behaviour that is considered appropriate for only one sex. According to social learning theorists, parents, peers and other adults use rewards and punishment to steer children toward sex - typed behaviour; these people also serve as models of such behaviour. Cognitive - developmental theorists believe that identification must follow gender identity, the child's understanding, that she or he will always be male or female. However, some theorists believe that even before this time, children develop gender schemes, organizing new information in terms of these schems. Instead of being highly sex - typed, some people are androgynous, their gender roles embrace characteristics of both sexes.