The 8 Stages Of Human Life: How Do They Affect Us?

Are there stages in human life that determine our personality? What are the different stages of human development? Discover the psychosocial theory of Erik Erikson.

What are the different stages of life?

One of the best-known theories of personality is the one proposed by psychologist Erik Erikson. In the theory of psychosocial development, this psychologist differentiates the different stages of life that exist from our birth to death. By going through these phases of life, people evolve on a psychological level to be able to face the problems that arise in each of them.

What are the stages of human development?

Erik Erikson was a psychologist specialized in child psychoanalysis. Through his research, he proposed the theory of psychosocial development where individuals go through different stages of life. In each of these phases of life, people face a conflict that serves as a turning point for our development. In this way, when the conflict is successfully resolved, the person develops a quality that is associated with these vital stages. Therefore, these stages of development They suggest that people go through phases of life in which we must adapt our individual needs to the demands placed on us in society.

The different stages of life

In Erickson’s theory of psychosocial development we can see how humans develop throughout our lives. Each of them has a range of ages in which individuals usually face a conflict with society. Therefore, according to the evolutionary psychology, the stages of human development are the following.

  1. Trust versus distrust: This is the evolutionary stage earlier. It happens during the first year of our lives. These stages are critical to our development, as babies are completely dependent on their caregivers. Developing trust or mistrust is linked to whether or not parents or caregivers respond to a child’s needs in a consistent and affectionate way. When this happens, you learn to trust the world and the people around you.
  2. Autonomy versus shame and doubt: During these growth stages People must confront the conflict between autonomy and shame or doubt. As children enter the preschool age range they tend to acquire a greater sense of personal control. In this way, tasks such as learning to use the bathroom or choosing toys help us learn to have a greater sense of independence.
  3. Initiative versus guilt: In these phases of life Approximately between three and five years old, people face initiative and guilt. This stage focuses on developing our own initiative, instead of seeing guilt for those activities or actions initiated by us.
  4. Industriousness versus inferiority: From ages six to eleven, children enter the stages known as industriousness versus inferiority. In it, people begin to interact socially with friends, as well as different activities are already carried out at school that allow children to develop their sense of pride and achievement due to their work and skills. During these phases of life, those who are praised begin to feel competent in front of others. On the other hand, those who are discouraged usually end up perceiving themselves with a feeling of inferiority. The different stages of human life
  5. Identity versus confusion: In these vital stages, people focus on the development of our personal identity. These stages of development occur during our adolescence, and that is why people during these years usually explore different behaviors, roles and identities. According to Erickson, these stages of growth are particularly crucial to finding a future direction in our lives. That is, those who find a sense of identity become self-confident, more independent and feel capable of facing whatever may happen in the future. On the other hand, when people do not develop their personal identity, they tend to remain confused and insecure about all the probabilities that life awaits them.
  6. Intimacy versus isolation: The sixth psychosocial stage is focused on forming intimate and loving relationships with other people. During these age ranges, marriage or partnership, family and friendships are very important. According to Erikson these evolutionary stages They usually last approximately between 19 and 40 years. In these cases, when these stages of life are successfully faced, people can experience love and intimacy with others. On the other hand, those who do not achieve this often feel isolated and alone.
  7. Generativity versus stagnation: The psychosocial conflict that adults at these ages must face is the need to build or generate things that survive them. That is, during these stages of life, people often seek to try to leave their mark through family, work, or contributing to society. Thanks to this, individuals can gain a sense of purpose. On the other hand, those who do not find a way to contribute to society may feel disconnected and useless.
  8. Integrity versus despair: The useful life cycle stage of the human being begins around the age of 65 and lasts until death. In it, people usually value what they have done with their lives. Thus, the main question during these stages of life is: Does my life have meaning? If the answer is affirmative, people will feel at peace with themselves. On the other hand, those who look at their lives with bitterness and regret usually experience different feelings of despair.
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Psychosocial development

Are there really evolutionary stages of the human being?

Erikson’s theory of psychosocial stages has been criticized by the scientific community because it is suggested that the different stages They do not necessarily have to have a sequential order. According to critics, people can experience these changes and challenges at different times in their lives and not in the age range suggested within this theory.

In each of the stages of development What Erikson suggests we can see that one of the most decisive factors is working with our interior. That is why knowing ourselves from the inside, whether with our effort or with the help of a professional psychologist, will allow us to evolve towards our best version.