Erikson's development stages

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Erik Erikson studied first with Sigmund Freud in Austria. After his mentor died, he worked with Sigmund's daughter, Anna Freud. Like many of Freud's supporters, Erikson initially felt that his own theory was simply an elaboration of Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytic theory. Ultimately, though, he decided he disagreed with too many of Freud's key points. He felt Freud was accurate in noting that people undergo definite junctures in developing their personalities, however, believed that Freud had overemphasized the responsibility that sexual development plays and had neglected adult personality development. In his theory Erikson acknowledged eight separate phases of personality development. During every stage, he thought, the individual undergoes a "crisis" that will lead to either a healthy or an unhealthy trait. For example, if an infant's physical and emotional needs are met suitably, the infant is successful in his/her task -- developing the ability to trust others. However, a person who is hindered in a challenge may go on to the next situation, but bears the results of the unfinished task. For instance, if a toddler is restricted from learning through experience, the child develops uncertainty in his or her abiliti

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