Comparison of Freud's and Erikson's Stages.

Essay by GRabneyCollege, Undergraduate May 2003

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The field of psychology has grown to be a respected, however, even the greatest psychologists can only theorize about what makes human beings act the way they do. Absolutes are not part of psychology, and everything is relative and open to speculation.

Human development is one of the most popular areas of interest for those who study psychology with Freud and Erikson as the great theorists with differing ideas concerning human development. Each theorist developed ideas and stages for human development in which human beings pass through different stages of life. Each theory differed on what these stages were and also differed with their respect towards paradigmatic assumptions, learning and development, and relationship towards educational practice.

Freud believed that human development was fueled by inner forces with the most powerful of inner forces being sexual. Freud linked everything with sex, including any bodily pleasure whatsoever, but when he discusses the sexual needs of children, they are not the same kind of sexual needs that an adult would experience.

Children experienced sexual gratification in different ways such as sucking their thumbs.

Freud's theory on human development was based on five psychosexual stages of development, in which he believed human beings passed through different stages in their life based on which part of their body gave them sexual gratification.

The Oral stage takes place from birth to about one year during when a child is orally oriented. Everything a child touches is put in his mouth and Freud believed this was for pleasure, a type of sexual pleasure.

The second stage takes place between the ages of two and three years of age and the erogenous zone shifts to the anal region. Freud believes children experience sexual gratification during bowel movements and when they withhold bowel movements. After the Anal stage...