Psychological Foundations Towards Education Research Paper

  • Length: 6 pages
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  • Subject: Psychology
  • Type: Research Paper
  • Paper: #57954418

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Psychological Foundations Towards Education

Major characteristics of Freud's theory and Erikson's theory

Looking at pages 143-164 of the article, Freud and Erikson address the basic issue of self-definition. According to Freud believes that a person's sense of self stems from parental projections in the course of the genesis of super-ego. In addition, he argues that these introjects form the foundation of a person's self-definition in childhood and that such parental identifications are not significantly updated or revised during childhood or adolescence. Either way, an individual's self-concept is believed to be a function of the fundamental identification process, which takes place during one's pre-school years. Although Freud has extensively written on the human development process, Erikson was the pioneer in writing about the formation of identities. In his works, Erikson has gone far and beyond Freud's parental introjects and childhood identifications (Austrian 37). He argues that the presence of self-selected identity characteristics often distinguishes children from adolescents and adults. This implies that the consolidation of identity is the end of childhood.

On the other hand, Erickson believes that a single bipolar perspective can best represent identity, ranging from ego syntonic to ego dystonic identity. The synthesis of identity represents a simultaneous process and a reworking of childhood into a wide self-determined class of self-identified concepts. However, the confusion of identity depicts an inability to devise a workable class of concepts on which to ground an adult identity. Then, ego identity represents a consistent picture showing both to oneself and to the external world. Romantic preferences, political preferences and religious identity are among the elements that come together to form a mosaic that shows an individual's self (Lipsitt and David 21). When the mosaic is consistent and complete, the individual is close to ego identity synthesis. However, ego identity confusion is manifested when the mosaic is incomplete and disjointed.

A comparison of Freud's theory and Erikson's theory

Freud was the founder of the psychoanalytic discipline widely recognized for its view on basic human motivation. In his theory, Freud describes the fundamental developmental process as an unconscious act. While demonstrating the necessities of life as shelter, warmth, and food, Freud holds that fulfilling them instinct through development constructs the foundation of human sexuality. From his close observations, Freud proceeds to fabricate the five-stage theory composed of genital, latent, phallic, anal, and oral stages that in concert are known as the human development theory. The oral pioneers the process: it begins at infancy and ends at eighteen months. This stage concentrates on pleasure centered on the mouth, whereby biting and sucking tend to be the favorite activities (Miller and Ellin 33).

In his theory, Freud contends that early experiences play a great role in developing personality. This way, the personality of a child is established before reaching the age of five. While his concepts on anality and orality have been massively influential, his theory appears to overemphasize the function of sexuality in human psychological experience and development. Evidence supporting the linking of some conflicts in the course of these stages to later personality traits does not exist (Shwalb, Jun Nakazawa, and Barbara 94).

Erickson's theory of psychosocial development demonstrates a wider perspective of human development through the lifespan. The psychoanalyst is well-known for his works towards the cognitive sciences. Arguably, his vital contribution relates to the theory of psychosocial development. In his theory, the thinking process progresses via four different stages from infancy and adulthood. In most cases, children tend to be curious since schemes or structures become more complex. With the growing complexity of one's structures, they organize themselves to in a hierarchical fashion. This implies that the individual development occurs in a social context, making it a lifelong process (Harris 50). As such, Erickson holds the view that the development of oneself occurs through a set of fundamental stages of trust and mistrust. The first stage takes place between birth and eighteen months. In the first year of life, infants depend on others for their life necessities. This stage creates a positive sense of trust. When children grow in a caring and warm environment, they will aptly trust it. Similarly, if the guardian is angry, incapable, or anxious of meeting the child's necessities, the child will develop a sense of mistrust (Moshman, John, and Roger 34).

Erickson's, first and, most basic contribution to this study is that infants do think. After the first stage, the child continues to demonstrate intellect using motor and sensory skills. While knowledge of the world tends to be minimal, the child is still in the process of developing and learns through actively interacting with the environment. Erickson's approach is remarkably valuable. It has widely documented that children across different cultures achieve some Ericksonian tasks at the age and sequence predicted. In this way, Erickson's theory has reflected a broader perspective on child development throughout lifespan, which is widely influenced by an individual's ego development. This suggests that human beings develop a conscious sense through social interaction (Shwalb, Jun Nakazawa, and Barbara 45).

Erickson is concerned with becoming apt with an area of life. When each stage is handled appropriately, then the person will develop a sense of mastery, which is sometimes known as ego quality or ego strength. Freud's personality theory seems there is no unity in structure between the ego and the super-ego. As such, these facets are described in literary and intuitive terms, which imply scientific analysis. However, they are personified like homunculi operating in monochromatic fashions yielding a theory that has insufficiently justified the complexity, richness, and diversity of human personality. Despite of his commitment to a scientific perspective of viewing the world, Freud's concept appears to be less scientific and objective than he thinks. He has based his theory on clinical impressions, contrary to controlled empirical methods. The concepts and terms tend to be vague and difficult to measure. The scientific status of Freud's concept is questionable at various points (Lipsitt and David 70).

This is true regarding the human death instincts. Critics contend that it was triggered by the desire for theoretical consistency and personal consideration as opposed to empirical evidence. In addition, it is true that Freud's speculative approach of women's libidinal development has widely ignored socio-cultural facets. His constructs and concepts are stimulating, but not explicit or concrete enough to be subjected to rigorous experimental testing or to be formulated into operational definitions (Austrian 70).

Contrary, Erickson's theory is creatively built on Freudian foundation. With his emphasis on development of ego, nature, and one's relationship with others, he makes a lasting and significant contribution to this field. His concepts of the development of personality throughout the lifespan and acclimation to the social milieu give insightful contributions. This is true in terms of the identity crisis, the socio-cultural dynamics, and the lifecycle of neurosis. His innovative ability has been applied to the various topics to analyze the diverse conflict resolution in children. Erickson's ideas demonstrate a remarkable depth of talent and knowledge in integrating a psychoanalytic concept with anthropology and contemporary sociological concept (Shwalb, Jun Nakazawa, and Barbara 110).

Nevertheless, Erickson's compelling literal thought, even though slanted towards the anecdotal and popular, frequently suffers from unsystematic presentation and insufficient discrimination in usage of materials. Erickson diverged from the Freudian concept. It progressively de-emphasizes the function of instincts in one's behavior. He understands formation of one's identity as an outcome of communal and intrapsychic responses focusing on the concept of continuity and self-sameness, even though his idea of ego identity remains ambiguous, elusive, and impressionistic (Moshman, John, and Roger 39).

How these concepts impact my understanding of my formal schooling experiences

Freud and Erikson's theories demonstrate that implicit learning plays a fundamental role in basic human functions as the development of motor and development skills and language acquisition. Freud and Erikson suggest that my role as a teacher is the ability to acquire conscious throughout life. These theories provide evidence that my implicit learning capabilities are operational despite my progress in age and basic intelligence levels. These concepts have helped me develop a parallel line of the role of emotions in cognition. This leads me to conclude that other theories of human formation processes lack this vital component (Austrian 32).

From the two theories, the emotional centers of oneself acquire a frequency of data that guide my decisions. All people face the persistent barrage of data through all the five senses, which exceeds the capacity of consciousness. These theorists suggest that the decision I make in daily situations demand input from my emotions in the core part of the brain, feedback that is nonverbal and non-conscious but vital (Miller and Ellin 85).

As a human being, we acquire emotional memories non-consciously via automated frequency associations. According to Freud, my emotional center stores the adverse impact related to a decision so that thinking about the action that led to the adverse impact results in uneasy or uncomfortable feeling. From my evolutionary perspective, this theory makes a great deal of sense, as my precognitive…

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