Comparison of Erikson and Maslow Essay

1075 Words Aug 16th, 2012 5 Pages
Comparison of Erikson and Maslow
Tianna Hillis
PSY 405
January 30, 2012
Jill Bean

Comparison of Erikson and Maslow
Personality affects many aspects of life. It influences behavior and social relations. Erik Erikson is a theorist known for his stages of personality development. He explains that certain stages of development affect personality in separate ways. Abraham Maslow is a theorist known for his hierarchy of needs. He explains that fulfilling needs influences personality. This paper will discuss personality characteristics of both theories and how personality affects situational behavior and interpersonal relations.
Erikson’s theory of personality is based on his eight stages of development. In each of these eight stages of
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Abraham Maslow’s theory of personality is based on his hierarchy of needs. Each level of needs is associated with specific traits if that need is not met. The first need on Maslow’s hierarchy is physiological needs (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, n.d.). These include food, thirst, and sleep. When these needs are fulfilled, the individual may continue to fulfill the next step. If these needs are not met, a person may begin to show criminalist traits such as stealing. The second need in Maslow’s hierarchy is safety (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, n.d.). When a person’s need for safety is not met, he or she may become paranoid and defensive. The third level of the hierarchy is love and belonging. Without fulfillment of this need, a person may become depressed and feel isolated (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, n.d.). The fourth level of the hierarchy of needs is self-esteem. A lack of self-esteem can cause many psychological issues. The fifth and final level of the hierarchy of needs is self-actualization. Without achieving self-actualization, Maslow believes that a person cannot feel complete or meet his or her full potential. He describes a person who has self-actualized with the traits goodness, wholeness, uniqueness, and autonomy. Maslow also believes that a deficiency at any level may cause neurosis or psychotic behavior (Rensselaer Polytechnic

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