Course Outline | Psych I | EnvironmentalET


1 Infancy and Childhood
2 Adolescence
3 Adulthood
4 Aging
5 Eriksonís Psychosocial Stages
6 Kohlbergís Theory of Moral Development

6 Freud's Psychosexual Stages


    1. Throughout life, we experience change in our behavior, feelings, attitudes, thoughts, values, and so forth. Many of these are highly individual, a dramatic response to unusual life events or a simple unfolding of our unique characteristics. Nonetheless, there are regular and predictable physical, mental and social changes that most people undergo in some way.
    2. Part of our life is determined by our biological heritage (nature) while part is due to environment (nurture). The interplay of these follows certain patterns that have been studied by developmental psychologists.
    3. We will divide human life into four stages from birth to old age and examine one or more of the major changes in each stage.
    4. Three psychologists have become legendary in the field of development. We will consider Piagetís Stages of Cognitive Development in connection with infants and children. Finally, we will look at Eriksonís theories of identity and Kohlbergís theories on moral development.
  1. Infancy and Childhood (0-12 years)
  2. (top)
    1. Piagetís Stages
    2. Challenges to Piaget
    3. Parenting Styles
    4. Low Control

      High Control

      Low Responsiveness



      High Responsiveness



  3. Adolescence (12-18 years or so)
  4. (top)
    1. From Parents to Peers
    2. Identity Formation
  5. Adulthood (19-65 years)
  6. (top)
    1. Marriage and Family
    2. Work and Career
  7. Aging (65 and more years)
  8. (top)
    1. Cognitive Changes
    2. Changes in Activity
  9. Eriksonís Psychosocial Stages
  10. (top)


Central Conflict

Positive Resolution

Negative Resolution

Infancy (0-18 mos)

Trust vs Mistrust

Consistent warmth fosters trust

Neglect leads to fear & mistrust

Toddlerhood (18-36 mos)

Autonomy vs Doubt

Encouragement fosters independence, self-sufficiency and self-esteem

Restrictions promote self-doubt and low self-esteem.

Early Childhood (3-6 yrs)

Initiative vs Guilt

Child initiates activities and developments a sense of responsibility

Over-control stunts child's spontaneity and sociability; promotes guilt and fear

Middle/Late Childhood (6-12 years

Industry vs Inferiority

Success with peers and parents leads to pride and social competence

Failure with peers and parents leads to inferiority and inadequacy


Identity vs Identity Diffusion

Adolescent tries on different roles and develops a stable self-definition and commitment to adult goals

Adolescent does not experiment (through apathy or demands from others) becomes confused about self and future roles

Young Adulthood

Intimacy vs Isolation

Lasting and meaningful relationships promote connectedness and intimacy

Fear of rejection or narcissism inhibits intimate relationships leading to isolation

Middle Adulthood

Generativity vs Stagnation

Unselfish concern for the next generation is manifested in work, community activities and child-rearing

Self-indulgence and self-absorption promote boredom, stagnation and failure

Late Adulthood

Ego Integrity vs Despair

Older adult looks back on a meaningful and satisfying life

Older adult looks back with disappointment, dissatisfaction and regret

  1. Kohlbergís Theory of Moral Development
  2. (top)
    1. Preconventional Level: Moral reasoning is guided by external consequences with no internalization of values or rules.
      1. Punishment and Obedience
        • It is right to obey the rules simply to avoid punishment because others have power over you and can punish you. Eg, Heinz shouldn't steal the drug because he'd go to jail if caught.
      2. Mutual Benefit
        • What is right is an even or fair exchange in which both parties benefit. Moral reasoning is guided by a sense of fair play. Eg, Heinz should steal the drug because the druggist is being greedy.
    2. Conventional Level: Moral reasoning is guided by conformity to expectations, rules, and social roles that are learned and internalized.
      1. Interpersonal Expectations
        • It is right to be a good person by conforming to social expectations, such as showing concern for others and following rules set by others so as to win their approval. Eg, Heinz should steal the drug because that's what a devoted husband would do.
      2. Law and Order
        • It is right to help maintain social order by doing one's duty, obeying laws simply because they are laws, and showing respect for authorities just because they are authorities. Eg, Heinz should not steal the drug because that would be against the law.
    3. Postconventional Level: Moral reasoning is guided by internalized legal and moral principles that protect the rights of all members of society.
      1. Legal Principles
        • It is right to help to protect the basic rights of all members of society by upholding the principles of laws that promote the values of fairness, justice, equality, and democracy. Eg, Heinz should steal the drug because his obligation to save his wife's life is bigger than his obligation to respect the druggist's property rights.
      2. Universal Moral Principles
        • It is right to follow self-chosen ethical principles that underscore one's profound respect for ideals such as the sanctity of human life, nonviolence, equality, and human dignity. When these moral principles are in conflict with democratically determined laws, the person's self-chosen moral principles take precedence (such as for a conscientious objector). Eg, Heinz should steal the drug, even if it were for a stranger and not for his wife, because his conscience tells him to value life over money.
  3. Freud's Psychosexual Stages of Development
  4. (top)

Return to: Top | Course Outline | Psych I | EnvironmentalET

Anthony G Benoit
(860) 885-2386