• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Critical evaluation of whether certain assumptions are present in Erikson's psychosocial development theory and how important these assumptions are in the context of South Africa.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Course: Development Psychology Essay Topic: Critical evaluation of whether certain assumptions are present in Erikson's psychosocial development theory and how important these assumptions are in the context of South Africa. Word count: 1118 (excluding reference list) Three assumptions present in developmental theories, as mentioned by Duncan, van Niekerk and Mufumadi (2003) will be described in a concise fashion. The assumptions, 'development follows a predictable pattern', 'human beings are resilient', and 'development is a function of the interaction between innate and environmental functions', will also be examined insofar as they relate to the issues and concepts of Erikson's theory. Furthermore, these assumptions and the theoretical concepts of Erikson's theory will be discussed in terms of their importance in a South African context. Interwoven with this, is the argument that although Erikson's theory has validity in certain instances, it relies on specific assumptions to hold true, and is ultimately convincing and applicable only within a definite societal context. Duncan et al (2003) mention the assumption 'human development follows a predictable pattern'. What they mean is physical, cognitive and psychosocial processes of development in humans tend to follow a particular trend. This assumption is reflected in Erikson's socioemotional theory, as evidenced by him systematically laying down definite psychosocial stages of development, which are inextricably linked to specific age periods in a lifespan (Santrock, 2003). ...read more.

Middle

In that scenario, the assumption 'development follows a predictable pattern' would apply (certainly the first four stages). In the current South African context however, application of this theory based on this assumption would be, in the author's opinion, erroneous, because of the factors highlighted in the previous paragraph. Following on from this, the next assumption to be examined is 'human beings are resilient'. What this means is despite experiencing an adverse environment during their development, people have the potential to become healthy individuals in the psychosocial sense of the word (Duncan et al, 2003). Erikson does not refer much to the resilience of humans in his theory, except to state that people can go back and positively resolve stages that were previously negatively actualized. (Louw et al, 1999). An example of human resilience would be, despite many South Africans having lived with political, racial and educational oppression from childhood, some of them have risen above their circumstances, educated themselves and gone on to lead successful lives financially, socially and emotionally as adults (Jordaan & Jordaan, 1998). As quoted in Freeman's article "The fact that so many people have managed to survive abominable circumstances is, as Straker et al. (1992) put it, 'a tribute to the human spirit's capacity to deal with adversity'"(1993, p.158). Therefore, human resilience is important when applied to the South African context, however has limited presence in Erikson's theory. ...read more.

Conclusion

Reference List: Chisholm, L. (2005). The state of South Africa's schools. In J. Daniel, R. Southall and J. Lutchman (eds.). State of the Nation. South Africa 2004-2005. Cape Town: HSRC Press. Duncan, N., van Niekerk, A. and Mufumadi, J. (2003). Developmental Psychology: A lifespan perspective. In L. Nichols (ed), Introduction to Psychology. Landsdown: UCT Press. Erasmus, Z. (2005). Race and identity in the nation. In J. Daniel, R. Southall and J. Lutchman (eds.). State of the Nation. South Africa 2004-2005. Cape Town: HSRC Press. Freeman, M. (2003). "Seeking identity - township youth and social development" South African Journal of Psychology 23: 4, 157-166 Freeman, M. (2004). HIV/Aids in developing countries: Heading towards a mental health and consequent social disaster? South African Journal of Psychology, 34 (1). 139-159. Hergenhahn, B.R. (1994). An Introduction to Theories of Personality. (4th Ed.) Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall. Jordaan, W. & Jordaan, J. (1998). People in Context (3rd Ed.). Sandton: Heinemann Higher & Further Education (Pty) Ltd Louw, D.A., van Ede D.M. and Louw, A.E. (1999). Human Development (2nd Ed.). Pretoria : Kagiso Publishers. Richter, R. (2003) The Impact of HIV/AIDS on the development of children. Paper presented at the seminar : HIV/AIDS, Vulnerability and children : What does it mean for Southern Africa's security?, Institute for Security Studies, Pretoria, April. Santrock, J.W. (2003). Psychology (7th Ed.). Dallas: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Developmental Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay


The essay starts with a good introduction and the writer references the work well. However, there is too little detail in the rest of the work. First of all Erickson's psychosocial development theory needs to be explained more fully by discussing the development of trust, autonomy, independence, shame, fear etc.

Although 'assumptions' are mentioned there is no real connection between Erickson's stage theory, assumptions and South Africa.

The writer needs to improve this work by making a well structured plan.

Score

1 star

Marked by teacher Linda Penn 01/05/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Developmental Psychology essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Compare and contrast two of the main approaches to personality psychology

    3 star(s)

    This is a form of learning in which expectancy about reinforcement is formed merely by observing another's behaviour and the consequences it produces. Unlike many personality researchers, Bandura does not believe that either personal characteristics (traits) or the environment alone determines personality (Bandura, 1978).

  2. Describe processes for initiating, maintaining, developing and concluding a counselling relation.

    The counsellor must understand themselves what the client has spoken to them about, if they do not they must ask the clients questions so they do. This will help them to make a decision on whether they can help the client with their problems or whether the client feels that they need different help, and to discuss this with them.

  1. Describe and evaluate Piaget's theory of cognitive development

    in the two rows before and after they are rearranged, could correctly say that the number of beads stayed the same. However the conservation of volume is harder to achieve, as it involves taking into account the operations involves in the conservation of liquids and of mass.

  2. discuss freud's psychodynamic theory and compare and contrast to the humanistic theory

    This hierarchy can be applied to specific situations such as in the work place to motivate and train staff and also in teacher training to help with motivating students. (Eysenck 1996, Mcilveen & Grogs 1999) Carl Rogers saw the personality as one unit and not broken up in separate sections

  1. Factors that Affect Growth and Development.

    For, example, if a child bumped himself on a table he may say 'naughty table.' Conservation Piaget had several test to see if children could understand that even if a material changed shape or form, its other properties would remain the same.

  2. Communication skills in a group interaction.

    Norms are the shared expectations of the group on one another. These norms enable the group to be able to work together. * Performing - the group can now start to perform well because the group shares the same values and norms.

  1. Compare and Contrast The Cognitive Developmental and Social Learning Theories Of Moral Development

    His work has a much low ecological validity as his the research for his theory was gained in a laboratory. Taking his evidence from such an alien setting such as a laboratory effectively removes the valid social setting. This devalues the work on the basic level that any study that

  2. Critically discuss the implications of attachment theory for different forms of childcare

    Belsky's conclusions regarding day-care have been disputed by Clark-Stewart (1988) who argues that the differences in attachment styles between infants attending non-maternal day-care for less than twenty hours a week and more than 20 hours a week are not large enough to conclude that working mothers put their children at risk of suffering from psychological problems.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work