Erik Erikson (15 June 1902 – 12 May 1994) was a Danish-German-American developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst known for his theory on social development of human beings. He used Freud’s work as a starting place to develop a theory about human stage development from birth to death. Unlike Freud’s theory of psychosexual development which places great emphasis on sex however, Erik Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development focuses more on the choices people make and the conflicts they face during different stages of their life.
Outcome: Erikson's theory differed from many others because it addressed development throughout the entire lifespan, including old age. Older adults need to look back on life and feel a sense of fulfillment. Success at this stage leads to feelings of wisdom, while failure results in regret, bitterness, and despair. At this stage, people reflect back on the events of their lives and take stock. Those who look back on a life they feel was well-lived will feel satisfied and ready to face the end of their lives with a sense of peace. Those who look back and only feel regret will instead feel fearful that their lives will end without accomplishing the things they feel they should have.
1. Give students many models for career choices and other adult roles.