Main Menu

My Account
Online Free Samples
   Free sample   Psychology assignment eriksons psychosocial theory and piagets cognitive development theory

Psychology Assignment: Impact of Erikson’s Psychosocial Theory & Piaget’s Cognitive Development Theory



Psychology Assignment Brief: Using two (2) of the following theories, discuss the impact of the individual (e.g. preferences, needs, personality, temperament) on his/her own development.

  • Erikson’s Psychosocial Theory
  • Piaget’s Cognitive Development Theory
  • Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Theory
  • Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory


Need is termed as a basic component that helps an individual to live their life in a normal way. As per the research on psychology assignment, it is found that psychological needs of an individual can be satisfied with the help of relatedness, autonomy and competence (Collie,, 2016). Once, the basic needs like safety and security, food and water are satisfied then individuals shift towards preferences. The personality and temperament of an individual play a major role in shaping the preferences of that person. The aim of this report is to align few psychological theories to discuss the impact of an individual and his/her personality on their development. Erikson’s psychosocial theory and Cognitive development theory of Piaget has been used for the conducting the report.

Impact of Individual on His/Her Own Development

Erikson’s Psychosocial Theory
Individuals have the power to contribute and influence the process of their own development based on their different stages of life. In this regard, Erikson’s Psychosocial Theory has provided how such personal development can take place through the eight stages of a human being spread over the periods of childhood, adolescence and adulthood (Knight, 2017). This theory not only provides the process of developing oneself throughout the life cycle but also enables the individuals in gaining their identity and establishing coherent self. The eight stages of this theory are trust vs mistrust, autonomy vs shame and doubt, initiative vs guilt, industry vs inferiority, identity vs identity confusion, intimacy vs isolation, generativity vs stagnation or self-absorption and integrity vs despair (Orenstein& Lewis,2020).

The first four stages cover the childhood phase where individuals form their sense of realizing things and matters surrounding them. This phase does not have much potential in contributing towards self-development based on mental maturity (Dunkel & Harbke, 2017). The first stage of trust vs mistrust refers to the primary stage of a person’s life and remains dependent on the parents and caregivers for food, safety, nurturing and warmth. The second stage helps in developing the sense of self-sufficiency and greater sense of personal control in humans by being independent in their actions. The third stage enables the individuals in undertaking initiatives in different actions or interests and experience guilt in case of failure (Dunkel & Harbke, 2017). The fourth stage helps in personal development through different expectations in school and homes by receiving praise from achievements. Thus, in these four stages of childhood, individuals are able to gain basic sense, autonomy, experience guilt and other emotions for their self-development.

The phase of adolescence consists of the fifth stage of identity vs identity confusion. Here, individuals are children requiring constant support and encouragement from their teachers, parents and other family members for gaining sense of self and improving their own autonomy or independence (Maree, 2021). They further evaluate their previous experiences, understand societal expectations, analyse their aspirations and use various opportunities of performing complex tasks. These situations enable them to develop their own values and finding their true identity (Dunkel & Harbke, 2017). Thus, this is the phase of identity development for the humans through self-reflection, sensibleness and gathering wisdom.

The phase of adulthood consists of the sixth, seventh and eight stages of the theory. Intimacy vs isolation is the stage of developing various intimate and personal relationships and coming in contact with their trusting persons (Knight, 2017). This helps them to accept their vulnerability with such relationships, shaping their personality. In generativity vs stagnation stage, individuals further learn to care for others, which provides them a sense of meaning and purpose in life. The personal development occurs here as they learn to have concern for others without any expectations (Orenstein & Lewis, 2020). The last stage enables them to accept the idea of death and mortality, thereby providing them the chance to reflect on their lives. Thus, this is the phase of gaining self-reflection about one’s own development throughout the life cycle.

Piaget’s Cognitive Development Theory
Piaget was a person who studied Biology and intelligence testing. This eminent personality developed this Cognitive development theory. According to this theory, the thinking pattern of children is different to that of older adults and the wrong answers provided by children have a negative correlation with the age of children (Ahmad,, 2016). The different stages of development of a child is being characterized with the help of Language, morals, memory of the child and reasoning. If the cognitive development theory proposed by Piaget is looked at it can be seen that this theory emphasizes on the intellectual growth of the children. Once, intellectual aspects of children start growing it enhances their confidence. This further shape the need of the individual that contributes to the personality development.

Furthermore, the cognitive development theory comes with 4 different stages. The first stage is known as Sensorimotor. Children who belong to the age group of 0-2 years fall in this stage (Lourenço, 2016). At this stage, children are not well-aware of their needs or preferences therefore, the personality development at this stage is very less. The next stage is known as pre-operational thought. Children who belong to the age group of 2 to 7 years belong to this age. At this stage children tend to use symbols or painting to describe or represent certain things. At the beginning of this stage, children might speak properly so they tend to point out things to their parents or care-givers. For example, if a child wants any toy then he/she can point out the toy. Therefore, at this stage children builds ability to express their needs and preferences which further develops their personality at a slower pace.

The third stage is known as concrete operation. An individual who belong to the age group of 7 to 11 years fall into this stage (Lefmann & Combs-Orme, 2013). At this stage, the child starts growing up and they tend to have conversations that are logical and have relevant meaning. At this stage, the child goes to school and starts communicating with people who have similar thoughts and this is how friendship is made. The child starts to display its preferences, likes and dislikes through their logical conversations. Thus, it can be said thatthe type of conversation practiced at this stage slowly develops the personality of the child. The final stage according to this theory is known as Formal operation. This stage shows the shift of adolescence to adulthood. The primary goal of this stage is abstract concepts. At this stage, the person builds ability to understand things that tend to have no physical form. This stage also helps in demonstrating the intelligence of the person. When an individual builds ability to document any abstract concepts with relevant evidence then it demonstrates the temperament of an individual. Temperament means the process in which a person reacts. Thus, temperament of an individual also helps and individual to develop their personality.

The aim of this report was to undertake two different psychological theories and use these theories to understand the impact of an individual’s needs, temperament or preferences on his/her personality development. The report concludes that according to Erikson’s psychosocial theory, the personality development of an individual can take place through 8 different stages. At each of this stage, an individual tends to gather few characteristics that enhance their personality. On the other hand, according to the Piaget’s cognitive development theory, there are 4 different stages that helps an individual to grow mentally. This means the intellectual growth of the individual is explained in this theory. Thus, from both the theories it can be concluded that as an individual starts growing up their intelligence also starts developing. With the help of this intelligence, the person can interpret things or abstract objects of this world. This not only modifies their needs and preferences but it also helps in developing the personality of the person significantly.

Ahmad, S., Ch, A. H., Batool, A., Sittar, K., & Malik, M. (2016). Play and Cognitive Development: Formal Operational Perspective of Piaget's Theory. Journal of Education and Practice, 7(28), 72-79.

Collie, R. J., Shapka, J. D., Perry, N. E., & Martin, A. J. (2016). Teachers’ psychological functioning in the workplace: Exploring the roles of contextual beliefs, need satisfaction, and personal characteristics. Journal of Educational Psychology, 108(6), 788.

Dunkel, C. S., &Harbke, C. (2017). A review of measures of Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development: Evidence for a general factor. Journal of Adult Development, 24(1), 58-76.

Knight, Z. G. (2017). A proposed model of psychodynamic psychotherapy linked to Erik Erikson's eight stages of psychosocial development. Psychology assignment Clinical psychology & psychotherapy, 24(5), 1047-1058.

Lefmann, T., & Combs-Orme, T. (2013). Early brain development for social work practice: Integrating neuroscience with Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 23(5), 640-647.

Lourenço, O. M. (2016). Developmental stages, Piagetian stages in particular: A critical review. New Ideas in Psychology, 40, 123-137.

Maree, J. G. (2021). The psychosocial development theory of Erik Erikson: critical overview. Early Child Development and Care, 191(7-8), 1107-1121.

Orenstein, G. A., & Lewis, L. (2020). Eriksons stages of psychosocial development. StatPearls [Internet].


Related Samples

Question Bank

Looking for Your Assignment?

Search Assignment
Plagiarism free Assignment









9/1 Pacific Highway, North Sydney, NSW, 2060
1 Vista Montana, San Jose, CA, 95134