Freud's Five Stages of Personality Development.
Ever wonder why some people bite their nails? Or why some people seem to be very critical of others? Well according to Sigmund Freud's theory it all has to do with childhood experiences (Mitchell & Black, 1995). Freud formed a theory of psychosexual development where he divided the theory down into five stages which shape a person's personality:.
It is important to understand that there is no evidence to support Freud's theory (Nye, 2000). If there was support it would be great so that every time you get into an argument with your parents you can fault them because they were too strict with toilet training. How could they be angry with you for something that's not in your control? But unfortunately not many psychologists support Freud's theory, they feel it is too narrow. For example, Dr. Margaret Signorella, a professor of psychology and women's studies at Penn State McKeesport, believes that "Freud should have been a novelist, and used his imagination to entertain rather than to make up scientifically unsupportable and sometimes harmful theories." Many psychologists agree with this point of view. I"m sure when people think Freud they think that he was a pervert, who thought everyone wanted to have sexual relations with the parent of the opposite sex. Although Freud's theories were unique he is still considered the father of psychology. .
An understanding of certain terms is required before getting into the stages. In the development of personality Freud believed that there are erogenous zones, which give more pleasure in one part of the body more than the others (Papalia, Wedkos-Olds, & Duskin-Feldman, 2002). An example would be for a baby the erogenous zone is the mouth, which will be discussed later. Fixation, another term, is if a person gets too much or too little pleasure from a stage they become fixated.