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Education Psychology


Theorist Information

Theorist: Erickson


Theorist: Albert Bandura




Theory Overview

Theory of Psychosocial Identity Development (Erickson, 1963)- This theory talks about identity development beginning from the early life of a teenager through maturity. It gives an elaboration of the formation of a healthy identity and the stages in which it is formed. Erickson says that Identity formation is all about overcoming the struggles that people go through when they are teenagers and initial adulthood (Kim,2012)

Observation learning or modeling theory addresses how people learn by observing the acts of other individuals. It involves imitating someone’s behavior so that you act like them.

Aspect of Lifespan Development (Module Focus)

The theory focus is social development

The theory focus is behavior development.

Theory Components (List)

The theory constitutes the stages of psychosocial identity formation which include the following. The first stage is basic trust versus mistrust followed by autonomy versus shame and doubt, initiative versus guilt, industry versus inferiority, identity versus identity diffusion, Intimacy Versus Isolation, generativist versus stagnation and Ego Integrity versus despair.

For modeling to occur the following must be observed.





Process (Expansion of Theory Components)

Basic trust versus mistrust happens in the initial year of birth since the newborns are not entirely conscious about trust. When they interact with their guardian, they can visualize trust during growth. As they learn how to trust, they can reciprocate. When upbringing strategies get into disruption, the babies become distrustful.

In autonomy versus shame and doubt, kids start picking out the difference between them and the rest of the people. The parents should support them and exercise patience so as to get past the conflicts that emerge. Identity disaster happens when caregivers use punitive measures to a child due to the failure of achieving expected task for instance when kids train to go to the latrine.

In Initiative versus guilt, children are in the stage of starting school and begin interacting with other kids. Here, children are capable of differentiating between right and wrong and take responsibilities for their actions.

In Industry versus inferiority, children start establishing their social life and stop being solemnly dependent on their parents

Identity versus identity diffusion- there is a change from childhood to adulthood. These persons have beliefs, goals, and morals of their own.

Intimacy versus isolation- Individuals at this stage are young adults and must choose if they want to be intimately involved with other people. In cases where individuals do not have strong identity, they may end up not wanting any relationships and may undergo stressful situations and thus isolate.

Generativity versus stagnation – Individuals are in their midlife and they tend to concentrate on their professions and child upbringing. If neglected, stagnation occurs.

Ego integrity versus despair- Old People replicate on what they have achieved because they are stimulated by unavoidable death.

Attention- For the process of learning to take place effectively, one must pay close attention to it. Any stimuli that tamper with the level of concentration, disrupts learning.

Retention- Retaining what you see or hear in modeling is very importance for the process. Images and oral descriptions are ways of information storage.

Reproduction- The capability to imitate is harnessed by how often the repetition of behavior happens. The images we see or words we hear undergo transition into actions.

Motivation- Having a drive or purpose for learning the behavior. There is negative reinforcement (Bandura, 2001)and the negative reinforcement. An examples of negative motivation include past punishment, promised punishment and past punishment. Example of positive reinforcement is incentives.

Application to Learning/Education

Psychosocial theory should be applied in all levels of education such as preschool, elementary and middle school. In middle school, it can be used to know the interests of the pupils and praise and reinforce students when they do well. A classroom example that psychosocial theory can encourage students not to despise the anti-social students and those who are academically weak but rather help them become better. In middle school, stimulation of student’s confidence should be encouraged by them to solving problems in different ways.

Modeling can be useful in learning by students identifying with good behavior from other students or teachers and having the urge to be like them. A low performing student may imitate a high performing student thus and identify with his good character. This leads to improvement of the poor student.

Application to Educator Role

Teachers are required to apply psychosocial identity theories if they are focused on high student achievement (Allen, 2010) The reason as to this is that the theories expound on the way in which students perceive information and relate to their past happenings. A teacher is able to know how to appropriately handle a pupil at each stage when teaching

Teachers can use observation learning to stop bad manners among the students(Mazur,1994). For instance, when a teacher punishes a student, the others may observe and avoid the mistake. He can also reinforce good character which makes other students observe and desire the same thing.

Theory: Mechanisms of Change

The earliest stage of development has to be taken seriously in a child’s life because the kid solemnly depends on the caregiver for attachment. When there are alterations and the baby is not able to establish trust at this stage, it might affect his social life completely.

It is important to take reinforcement as a necessary ingredient for growth of a child. There is the harnessing of performance when you reinforce a good behavior in a child, and the child desires even to do better. Failure to strengthen the conduct makes the response distinct.

Self-Study: Personal Mechanisms of Change

Generativity versus stagnation- At my age I am focused with my career, education and raising my kids.

Reproduction- Repeating what I saw often changed my life. I practiced algebra a lot which harnessed by ability to perform.

Self-Study: Reflection of Reaction to Theory

Autonomous versus shame stage was affected because I was ridiculed and punished due to failure to take myself to the toilet. Other children were able to perform the task way earlier than me.

Motivation-failure to have the drive to learn contributed to poor grades when I was young. First I hated school generally, and I did not understand why it was compulsory to learn. As a result of lacking the self-drive to learn, I did not work hard.

Self-Study: Application to Specific Part of the Lifespan

The age range affected so much was 0-4 years because I did not have someone to trust. I didn’t have any friends.

At the age 4-5, I had friends that I used to spend time with, but they were cruel and immoral. It felt good to have friends and I viewed them from a different perspective with admiration. I identified with bad behavior because of emulating them.

Self-Study: Factors that Affect Normal Development (List &amp Justify)

Rejection by my birth mom made me become an anti-social person and not being able to trust people.

Lack of reinforcement made me become a poor performer in school. Whenever I brought a good grade home,there was no one to recognize or congratulate me. It didn’t take long before I began failing.

Self-Study: Where Am I Now?

I am in Generativist versus stagnation stage because I am in my middle life.43 is my age 20 years in education field – 2 teaching in Edinburg located in the Rio Grnade Valley Edinburg has one of the highest dropout rates in the nation and one of the highest migrant populations in the nation. I have taught chemistry for seventeen years, coached varsity basketball for seventeen years. Now I teach a migrant lab where students recover lost credits due to working up north in the fields. Currently, am working on my masters in counseling to be a high school counselor. I’m married with 2 children and3 year old and a 7-year-old.

I need motivation in the place that I am right now so as to make it in my education and career. I need to be self- driven by the success that I need so much. With this, I can guarantee I will flourish.

Self-Study: Where Am I Going?

I am heading to ego integrity versus despair stage whereby I will be old and replicating on what I will have achieved because I will be stimulated by unavoidable death.

I am heading to a becoming a role model that other young people can aspire to be like.


Kim, E. (2012). An alternative theoretical model: Examining psychosocial identity development of the international students the United States. College Student Journal, 46(1), 99-113.

Erikson, E. H. (1963). Childhood and Society (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Norton.

Allen, J., Robbins, S. B., &amp Sawyer, R. (2010). Can measuring psychosocial factors promote college success? Applied Measurement in Education, 23(1), 1-22.

Bandura, A. (2001). Social cognitive theory: An agentic perspective.&nbspAnnual Review of Psychology, 52&nbsp, 1-26. Retrieved July 24, 2007, from EBSCO Online Database Academic Search Premier.

Mazur, J. (1994).&nbspLearning and Behavior&nbsp(3rd ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc.