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Based on Erick Erikson's Psychoanalytical Ego Psychology theory in general, what character type would you expect a person to have?

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Erick Erickson worked with Sigmund Freud who developed psychoanalysis and the concepts of the id, ego, and superego. In regards to ego psychology Freud proposed that the ego created compromise between the drives of the superego and id by regulating impulses.  Erickson later revised this concept to include his concepts of how society and culture effect behavior. He proposed that the internal forces of the id, ego, and super ego were not the only way we regulated our behavior and that external forces in our environment also have a determination in how our behavior is shaped.  Erickson proposed that the id, ego, and superego were internal forces that pushed our behavior within the environment while the external environment provides resistance which regulated and shaped the reactions of the id, ego, and superego.

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Based on Erick Erikson's Psychoanalytical Ego Psychology theory, what are typical personality traits for a well-developed person to have?

A well-rounded individual who has complied with most, or all, of Erickson's psychosocial stages of development is expected to behave as it is dictated in the outcomes of Erikson's negotiation phases.

For example, children who are properly taken-care of by caregivers and parents are presumed to develop stronger bonds with other people, thus growing up as healthy and sociable adults. This is because the first developmental stage, Trust vs. Mistrust, has as its main outcome of this stage is the development of healthy behaviors such as sharing, trusting, and reasonable thinking. Nurturing and nourishment are the key events of this stage which occurs from birth through 18 months. Neglected and abused children experience the pathological version of the outcome, which is a deeply-ingrained sense of mistrust which leads to selfish and hedonistic behavior such as hoarding, stealing, and cheating by the time the individual becomes and adult. Hence, the outcome of this stage must be compensated before it is too late.

The example above shows how socially- acceptable behaviors are created through the proper completion of Erikson's developmental stages. This being said, a mentally-healthy individual would possess the very traits that come with the stages.

  • Independent ability to problem-solve and make assertive choices (autonomy, initiative)
  • A realistic sense of self-awareness where the individual knows his or her role within society, within a family,and in a dyadic relationship (identity)
  • An ability and will to cope with daily stresses and undergo life changes within moderate parameters of stress. Also, the tendency to engage in meaningful tasks that engage responsibility and commitment (industry)
  • Ability to form solid and stable emotional relationships, and the proneness to nurture and support others (intimacy, generativity)
  • An overall sense of fulfilment, or overal contentment, with reality, and with life (ego integrity)

Therefore, the socially-adept individual will demonstrate, overall, how the integration of choice-making, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills come as a result of a positive upbringing and of nurturing, responsible parenting.

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