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Whereas Piaget’s theory is called Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development, Erickson’s is known as Erickson’s Psychosocial Stages of…
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Psychology Ericksons Psychosocial Stages of Development v. Piagets Cognitive Stages of Development Jean Piaget and Erick Erickson are some of the psychologists who came up with theories explaining the process of human development. Whereas Piaget’s theory is called Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development, Erickson’s is known as Erickson’s Psychosocial Stages of Development. Basically, both the theories examine the process of personality psychological development through the use of phases because it arguably occurs during an individual’s lifespan. Meaning, as one grows, one progresses from one stage to another.
Despite shedding more light on the process of personality development, these theories have lots of differences. First, the two theories focus on different areas of the development of human beings. Whereas Erickson’s theory looks at the social aspect of human development, Piaget differs because he majors on the cognitive aspect of growth. Meaning, according to Piaget, focus should be put on the development of cognitive skills that are required for thinking. Such acquisition, in Piaget’s opinion, becomes complex as one grows and progresses to the subsequent stages. At earlier stages, one’s cognitive skills are not fully developed. However, cognitive skills become more complex as one grows and interacts with the environment. Erickson however says that the success of a stage depends on the success of the previous one just because human beings are confronted with lots of social challenges that they need to learn to deal with as they grow up. The opposite is true because any failure in a preceding stage, negatively impacts on the subsequent ones.
The other difference between these theories is that Piaget occurs in 4 stages while Erickson’s go through 8 stages. The stages in Piaget’s theory are Sensorimotor stage; Preoperational period; Concrete stage; and Formal operation stage which occur in the way they appear in this list and changes as one grows right from birth up to the adolescence stage. Their division is mainly based on the cognitive abilities that are demonstrated during each of them. However, they are not a must for everybody because some people can skip any of them. On the other hand, Erickson’s theory has got the following stages trust vs. mistrust; autonomy vs. shame and doubt; Initiative vs. guilt; industry vs. inferiority; identity vs. confusion; intimacy vs. isolation; and generativity vs. stagnation integrity vs. despair. Unlike in cognitive development, Erickson’s theory runs throughout an individual’s life right from birth up to death through childhood, adulthood and elderly stages. He also says that all these stages are mandatory for everyone to follow as they grow up.
Moreover, unlike Erickson’s theory, Piaget’s include the concept of schemata (schema plural). This simply refers to mental structure that is internalized by individuals to help them in visualizing the world. The development of schema differs with age and becomes more sophisticated as one learns to interact with the world through accommodation and assimilation. It helps in a coordinated acquisition of a new knowledge or modification of the already existing ones. On the other hand, Erickson does not include the concept of schemata in his theory. Instead, he holds the view that individuals can only acquire knowledge from their immediate environment as they interact with it on day to day basis. In other words, a person becomes a product of the immediate environment.
Last, but not least, Piaget and Erickson differ in that they subscribe to different schools of thought. While Piaget draws his theory from scientific research, Erickson merely base his conclusions on experience. To Erickson, one’s development is determined by the ego that constantly changes to influence the kind of personality one adopts. Piaget however rejects the concept of ego because his theory has nothing to do with psychoanalysis, but mental development which ends at the age of 12 years. Read More
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