The reason for this essay is to compare two competing internal theories of real human behaviour and focus on at least one level of human being development. The region of individual development that this essay will explore is young adulthood. Both competing theories will be Erik Erikson's 'Eight periods of individual development' and Abraham Maslow's 'Humanistic theory of self-actualisation'.
Erikson's 'Eight phases of human being development' are an extension of Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytical theory. Freud developed his psychoanalytic notion during the early part of the nineteenth century. The essential assumption of the theory is that most of our 'behaviour is due to unconscious operations' (Atkinson et al :11). Freud is seen as the founding daddy of the psychoanalytic movements.
Freud's work was very intensive and some of the matters of his theories are the real human psyche, libido and the unconscious head. Freud's theory regarding the human being psyche could be divided into three parts: ID, ego and the super ego. (Scott J. Marshall G. (ed) 2009).
Freud's other main theory was the unconscious head. He spoken of the unconscious brain as being as an iceberg with most of its framework being below the surface and hidden. Freud thought that the unconscious head could be split into three parts, the conscious, preconscious and unconscious. It had been his inspection into this that became a cornerstone of present day psychoanalysis. (Scott J. Marshall G. (ed) 2009).
Another of Freud's theories was his five levels of psychosocial development. They are the oral stage, anal stage, phallic level, latency stage and finally the genital level. All of these stages take place during years as a child. Erikson extend Freud's five periods of psychosocial development into eight levels that expand over the entire life cycle somewhat than just years as a child. He also sensed that the ego prevails from delivery. (Scott J. Marshall G. (ed) 2009).
Erikson's theory talks of a 'series of psychosocial phases' that happen throughout life. Each stage is punctuated with a 'crises' which must be passed to realize that skill or personality characteristic. These eight phases are Infancy, early childhood, play time, school age, adolescence, young adulthood, adulthood and old age. The 'crises' that corresponds with each level are basic trust V basic mistrust, autonomy V pity and doubt, effort V guilt, industry V inferiority, id V identity bafflement, intimacy V isolation, generativity V stagnation, integrity V despair. (Erikson E. and Erikson J. 1998).
As the individual passes through each of these stages they'll ether go away or fail which will leave them with a long lasting feeling 'ego durability' or the sensation of inadequacy (www. psychology. about. com). The 'ego durability' or the sensation of inadequacy is cumulative and can impact our sense of self at each stage. Once a level has past it can't be revisited. (www. psychology. about. com)
Abraham Maslow's 'Theory of self-actualisation' is a humanistic theory. Humanistic theories were first produced by Carl Rodgers through the 1950's. It is based around the individual and their own drives and desires. It states that people are inherently good and are striving to improve ourselves. Maslow mentioned that 'Mindset should be about exhibiting everyone how to fully achieve the best motives, the greatest knowledge, the fullest understanding and the best possible control and appreciation of the emotions of which they may be capable'(Davenport: 46).
To display this theory Maslow developed the 'hierarchy of needs'. The central idea of this theory is that we now have levels in life that you need to master to have the ability to progress onto another level. A person although constantly trying to improve themselves can get held up at a level and can not have the ability to progress. The phases we go through matching to Maslow are the basic Biological and Physiological needs - air, food, drink, shelter, warmness, sex, sleeping, etc. The next layer is Protection needs - security from elements, security, order, rules, limits, stability, etc. The 3rd part is Belongingness and Love needs - work group, family, love, interactions, etc. The fourth covering is Esteem needs - self-esteem, achievement, mastery, independence, position, dominance, prestige, managerial responsibility, etc. The final layer and the ultimate goal is Self-Actualisation. Maslow describes Self-Actualisation as 'achieving ones potential'. (www. simplypsychology. pwp. blueyonder. co. uk).
Self-Actualisation can be attained through anything that eventually satisfies and fulfills your probable. Maslow explained 'Music artists must make music, painters must coloring, poets must write if they are to be eventually at serenity with themselves' (Maslow: 22).
Maslow listed a group of individuals that he sensed acquired Self-Actualised. He was enthusiastic about their personal characteristics, the way they looked at themselves and the way others looked at them. It had been from this set of individuals who he developed his theory. The list includes such people as Einstein, Dalai Lama and Abraham Lincoln.
Although both of these theories seem outwardly completely different, they do involve some similarities.
There is not a empirical facts to either theory, as both are established around inside drives and wishes within the mind. The results are based after 'subjective interpretation' and are therefore impossible to quantify (Davenport: 19).
Both ideas have 'levels' that the individual will have to go through. Although these phases happen at different age range they both discuss the idea of how we progress and evolve once we grow older. Erikson described his periods as 'crises' whereas Maslow called his 'steps' (www. simplypsychology. pwp. blueyonder. co. uk).
Each of the ideas is situated around experiences that people have been through in life, and just how they condition our future. Erikson talks of ego power and Maslow of our own capability to self-actualise.
Although we've shown some similarities between your two theories there are far more differences.
Psychoanalytical ideas are formed around the 'individual psyche' (Davenport: 26). This differs from humanistic theory as it refers to all life, not just human. 'The theory characteristics of all organisms' (www. allanturner. co. uk). Rodgers discussions of your sack of potatoes in a cellar and the way they strive to reach the light.
Erikson seems that the personality is deep rooted within inside our subconscious and that failure is cumulative. Whereas Maslow's strategy state governments that the personality goes on developing through the whole life period which is 'much easier to change' (Eysenk: 429).
Maslow's 'Theory of self-actualisation' areas that we are constantly changing the stage we are in on our search for self-actualisation. It states we move up or down through his levels. This differs from Erikson's theory as his are time related and once a 'crises' has been past it can't be resolved later without considerable psychotherapy.
Another of the variations is the fact that psychoanalytical theories concentrate upon abnormal behavior and development while Maslow's humanistic psychology focuses on the development of healthy individuals.
With Erikson's theory if you are unsuccessful a crisis you still move on to the next level but carrying a sense of inadequacy. Whereas with Maslow's model you may become caught at a developmental level and you will be unable to progress until you attain that skill or quality. (www. allpsych. com)
Erikson's theory declares everyone will pass through the entire turmoil levels during their life cycle whereas with Maslow's theory claims that some steps will never be reached, the organism may stay at the essential level of natural and physiological needs and improvement no more.
Another difference between the two theories is that Maslow's theory has an ultimate goal which you work towards whereas Erikson's is defined in crisis you pass through.
The purpose of this article was to compare and contrast two competing internal theories of human being behaviour. Both theories that were chosen were Erik Erikson's 'Eight stages of human development' and Abraham Maslow's 'Humanistic theory of self-actualisation'. These were chosen because of the fundamental differences of the approaches to individual development they relate with. Erikson's theory originated from a psychoanalytical track record, where we are given birth to as a empty canvas and develop our personality during our child years. Whereas Maslow's theory is from a humanistic history, and takes a far more holistic method of development and of our 'uniqueness'. (www. simplynumbers. com). In addition, it shows our potential to develop over the complete life routine and not merely during youth. This essay has shown that although there are a few similarities between your two theories there are a far greater range of variations. The similarities it shows are just relatively superficial and this anticipated to opposing characteristics of the two basic theories the dissimilarities are much larger.
Word Count number 1, 481
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