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June 27, 2014

Article Critique: Psychosocial Theory: Erikson written by Doug Davis and Alan Clifton

Article Review
Introduction: Objectives and Domain:
The article, “Psychosocial Theory: Erikson” written by Doug Davis and Alan Clifton, whose review I am going to present here described different stages of growth and personality development of a person. The writers say that growth and psychological development of people is such an issue, which was disused by many psychologists among which Erikson was of the prime importance.
The objective of this article is to describe the different stages of growth and personality development defined by the theorist Eric Erikson.
This article is a conceptual article, which provides the generalized critique on the theory of Eric Erikson.
Brief Summary:  
As discussed earlier the article described the theory of Eric Erikson on growth and personality development of children. 
The article first discusses that according to Erikson, one of the most important reasons and forces responsible for the development of human personality, is the social interaction of human beings. He was the man, who refined the Freud’s theory of stages and defined that human personality developed in eight different stages.
The first five stages belong to children, from their infancy to teen ages while the later three stages described the personality development from teen to the late adulthood.
According to Eric Erikson, following are the eight stages of personality development described in this article:  
First Stage:
This is the stage from infancy to almost two years of age. In this stage, according to Erikson’s theory, child learns to trust the people. If the parents give the child proper care and attention, he or she will start feeling that the world is full of good people and a safer place to live. On the other hand if the parents have not given the proper attention to the child, he or she will develop mistrust and suspicion about the people of the world. If the balance of attention is right in this stage then it will help the child to develop hope in his or her personality.  
Second Stage:
This is the stage from almost two years of age to three to four years of age. If the parents allow their toddler to explore the environment, he or she will grow with feeling of independence and autonomy. This is an important stage as a proper balance is required from the parents and other caretakers, because the proper balance gives the child a sense of self-control with all the independence. If the parents discourage the child in exploring the environment at this stage, the child will grow with the sense of shame and doubt. If the proper balance is given to the child at this stage, the child will grow with the quality of strong willpower or determination.
Third Stage: 
This stage comprises of the age group from three years to six years of age. In this stage children learn how to prepare for the challenges of life. In other words, children learn to take initiatives in this stage. Most of the psychologists agree on the point that play helps in the advancement and social development of child’s personality. If the parents encourage the child in taking initiative he or she will grow with the clear vision and habit of taking initiatives. On the other hand, if the child is not encouraged to take initiative he or she will grow with the sense of guilt in his or her personality. If the proper balance is maintained at this stage, the child have the virtue of courage in his or her personality, otherwise he or she will become ruthless and do not care about other persons while taking initiatives.
Fourth Stage:
This is the stage of six to twelve years, which is the school-going age of the children. In this stage children learn how to plan and the feeling of success. Plays are very important at this stage of development, as it teaches the children how to abide by the laws and rules. If the parents, teachers, other caretakers or the peers do not encourage the child at this stage he may grow with an inferiority complex.
Fifth Stage:
This is the adolescence stage, which started at twelve years and lasts till nineteen or twenty years of age. In this stage, adolescent learns about their ego-identity. It means the boy or girl learns that who he really is and how he or she fits in the society. At this stage of life peers, groups or role model play much important role than parents. If they encourage the adolescent then he or she will grow with a sense of loyalty with the society otherwise he or she, most probably, grow with fanaticism in his or her personality.
Sixth Stage:
This is the stage between the ages of 18 to 30 years. This stage is more complicated than the earlier stages because the person now much more mature than earlier stages. According to Erikson if the young adult cope with the problems of this stage he or she will gain a psychological strength for rest of his or her life, which he called Love. On the other hand if he or she will fail to do so he or she may suffer isolation for rest of his or her life.
Seventh Stage:
This is the stage of middle adulthood between the ages of late twenties to middle fifties. It is the stage where most of the people of our society busy in raising children. This is the stage of generativity and stagnation. Generativity is the love of parents to their children while stagnation is the selfishness of a person. This stage depicts whether a person is having generativity or stagnation factor in his or her personality.
Eighth Stage:  
This is the stage of late adulthood starting from the age of sixty till the end of life. This is the stage of ego integrity and Despair. This is the most difficult stage as the person first experiences the uselessness and detachment from society and then uselessness of his or her body. If a person in this stage approach to death without fear then according to Erikson, he or she will attain strength of character, which he termed as wisdom. 
The article is basically described the research of Eric Erikson on personality development that is why it does not give any results of its own.
Class Readings:
This article does not cite any class reading.
The contribution of this article is that it presented detailed description of the theory of Eric Erikson.
This article is salient in the sense that it discussed the most important issues of the personality development as described in the theory of an important psychologist. 
The article was not a contemporary one because it was written on the research and theory of Eric Erikson. However, the theory described in this article is still not only valid, but rather it gained more credibility as Eric Erikson personality development theory is one of the most important and authentic theories of psychology. 
General Critique:
The following is my critique on this article:
This article, as discussed above, provides an appropriate foundation for the research on the topic of personality development and clearly depicts the theory of Eric Erikson. In the article the authors have used the most appropriate approach. The article was very well organized and most of the time used the logical outline. But at some sections, for examples where the authors describe different stages of personality development, they could have written more clearly.
Although the article does not cover a lot of area, but overall it is a good article to provide a detailed account of Eric Erikson’s theory on personality development.
Further Critique of a Conceptual Article:
The following is the further critique on this article:
Most of the time the article was logically consistent. The introduction of this article was very detailed, thorough and describes clearly the purpose of the article. All the main sections discussed in the article flowed logically from one to another. The summary of different stages was good, but it was better if the summary was also a bit detailed.

The audience of this article is psychologists or the students of psychology and personality development. 


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