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Erikson’s theory of development | Psychology homework help

Erikson’s theory of development proposes that we pass through eight major psychological stages over the course of our lifetime – each involving a struggle or conflict between two opposing outcomes. In infancy, for instance, we must pass through Trust vs Mistrust – as helpless infants we rely on the care and attention of our parents/guardians to fulfill our needs; if they are not met we learn that the world is a place not to be trusted which is a mentality we carry into adulthood. In our teens, Erikson proposes we must pass through the Identity vs Confusion stage, which is just what it sounds like! If we cannot leave this stage of our lives with a strong, integrated sense of our personal identity with a clear path of how to get to being the person we want to be and who we want the world to see us as – we enter into early adulthood confused, unsure of who we are or what we want, leading to a number of maladaptive patterns of behavior.

Think back to your adolescence, where did you find yourself on the continuum between IDENTITY <———————->CONFUSION? What experiences do you think led you to where you found yourself in this stage? Where there people in your life that influenced which end of the continuum you ended on? How do you think your parents parenting style, your socioeconomic, and cultural background influenced this stage for you?

Lastly, share a link or the lyrics to a song that best describes how you remember feeling as a teen…(Side Note: did you know that one reason we have a preference for our own generation’s music is due to the heightened sensitivity of the teenage brain to feel good neurotransmitters (dopamine and serotonin) which results in a stronger association with rewarding stimuli (i.e. music) and pleasure? You brain will never again be that sensitive to those neurotransmitters. Now you know!).


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