Essay For Psychology Class – Essay Example

Essay for Psychology Kohlberg and Erikson’s Theories The scenario depicts a thirteen-year old child d Ryan, who begun to challenge many of his parents values and to express his own set of highly idealistic standards. In this regard, the essay aims to compare and contrast the explanations for Ryans behavior that would be given by Kohlberg and by Erikson.
Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development proposed a six stage, three leveled continual process of development that transpires throughout a person’s life. Ryan is manifesting moral reasoning exemplified in Stage 2 (individualism and exchange) where “children recognize that there is not just one right view that is handed down by the authorities. Different individuals have different viewpoints” (Cain, 1985, par. 16). As explained by Cain, “respondents at stage 2 are still said to reason at the preconventional level because they speak as isolated individuals rather than as members of society. They see individuals exchanging favors, but there is still no identification with the values of the family or community” (Cain, 1985, par. 20).
On the other hand, Erikson’s theory focuses on eight stages where each person passes through one’s lifespan. Ryan, being 13 years of age, enters into the adolescent (fidelity) stage where there is identity versus role confusion (Learning Theories, 2008, pars. 12 – 13). At this stage, “an adolescent must struggle to discover and find his or her own identity, while negotiating and struggling with social interactions and “fitting in”, and developing a sense of morality and right from wrong” (Learning Theories, 2008, par. 12). Accordingly, “adolescents begin to develop a strong affiliation and devotion to ideals, causes, and friends”. Clearly, this is type of behavior is shown by Ryan through the expression of his personal set of ideals.
Works Cited
Crain, W.C. Theories of Development. Prentice-Hall. pp. 118-136. 1985. Print.
Learning Theories. Erikson’s Stages of Development. 2008. Web. 09 October 2010.