Freud, Erikson, Pavlov Freud, Erikson, Thesis

Excerpt from Thesis :

For Pavlov, there was less an emphasis on constant, internal conflict and strife, and an even greater stress than Erikson upon the ability of the environment to shape behavior, and by shaping external behavior shape the psyche. Conflict did not occur within the individual, rather it was imposed upon the individual externally by a stimulus, positive or negative associations were given with that stimulus, and learning and development took place as behaviors continued, even in the absence of the original reward or punishment. This learning could be sexual or asexual in nature, and learning took place throughout an individual's lifetime.

All theorists, albeit to different degrees, addressed the complex interaction of cognitive, physical and emotional development on the overall development of the child.

Freud stressed that a child 'learns' the correct sexual and social identity from the conflicts of early childhood, and the way these conflicts are resolved can produce trauma and arrested development, or a normal, healthy attitude towards sexuality. Freud does not deny the importance of physical development, although he is less interested in biology than later theorists. Still, the biologically wired desire to survive and engage in sexual activity, as well as the prepubescent repressive childhood phase seems implicitly integral to his ideation. Erikson's stages are all marked by years which are differentiated by physical as well as psychological and emotional milestones -- the adolescent must deal with sexual desire, as the adult must deal with the stresses of childbearing, and the old must deal with aging (David & Clifton 2008). Pavlov, of course, chronicled the ability of classical conditioning to cause a dog to salivate at a bell, noting how the environmental and emotional aspects of learning affect not just the individual's cognitive faculties, but even the body.

Regardless of the theorist one believes is most fully complete or correct, it is vital to understand how normal child and adolescent development proceeds, to ensure that not too much is expected of a child or too little. A teacher must be cognizant of the idea of an elementary school child's need to establish a sense of autonomy from parents, and to take the initiative in various projects, according to Erikson, and understand how creating a positive learning environment with the right sorts of stimulus can make the child associate school activities with pleasure rather than pain as suggested by Pavlov.

All developmental theories are somewhat imperfect and always under revision by modern theorists. But by using them as a guide when dealing with the individual child in terms of his or her family, the rest of the class, or even simply designing the room and classroom activities to condition the child to produce desired responses, learning about the theories of Erikson, Freud, and Pavlov can prove beneficial.

Works Cited

David, Doug & Alan Clifton. "Psychosocial Theory: Erikson." Haverford College. Retrieved 5 Aug 2008. http://www.haverford.edu/psych/ddavis/p109g/erikson.stages.html

Ivan Pavlov." (1998). PBS.org. Retrieved 5 Aug 2008. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aso/databank/entries/bhpavl.html

Stevenson, David. "Id, Ego, and Superego." The Freud Web. Retrieved 5 Aug 2008. http://www.victorianweb.org/science/freud/freud_ov.html

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

David, Doug & Alan Clifton. "Psychosocial Theory: Erikson." Haverford College. Retrieved 5 Aug 2008. http://www.haverford.edu/psych/ddavis/p109g/erikson.stages.html

Ivan Pavlov." (1998). PBS.org. Retrieved 5 Aug 2008. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aso/databank/entries/bhpavl.html

Stevenson, David. "Id, Ego, and Superego." The Freud Web. Retrieved 5 Aug 2008. http://www.victorianweb.org/science/freud/freud_ov.html

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