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Examples for Erikson's 8 Stages of Development

1. From Susan Keach Sweeney, Howard Community College, Columbia, Maryland:

One great example for Erikson's stages is James Brown in the American Masters PBS video. He particularly shows how things may not go well at some stages, and these trauma may leave lasting scars, but you can still recover in many ways.

2. From Michael Britt, The Psych Files:

Another good example of different stages is to look at the life of Solomon. Have your students read The Song of Songs, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes. Contrast the different life stages - Intimacy vs. Isolation, Generativity vs. Stagnation, and Ego Integrity vs. Despair.

Trust vs. Mistrust

Autonomy vs. Shame, Doubt

Initiative vs. Guilt

Industry vs. Inferiority

Identity vs. Role Confusion

Intimacy vs. Isolation

Generativity vs. Stagnation

1. From Shelby Morrison, Valencia Community College, Orlando, FL:

I have found that showing the video Life as a House, with Kevin Kline, in class when we're looking at Erikson is most effective for the Middle Adulthood stage. The film delves into all of the developmental tasks and helps students understand the life review in a most dramatic and effective way.

Integrity vs.Despair

1. From Michael Britt of The Psych Files:

Harold Kushner

Dr. Weill

Julia Child

Maya Angelou

Walter Cronkite

Joan Erikson

Katharine Hepburn

Angela Lansbury

Daniel Schorr

Jimmy Carter

The Dalai Lama

Eleanor Roosevelt

Mike Melvill (The pilot who took up Space Ship One for Scaled Composites to win the Ansari X-Prize. See their website for good video.)

James Brown (See the American Masters PBS video series.)

2. From Kelly Spillman:

I think you might be able to find a you tube video of Mike Wallace on 60 minutes. He's 89 and still does great interviews. This also shows students how 89 year olds can still have very strong cognitive abilities. Unfortunately many students have a bleak picture in their minds about what our brains will be like at 89.

3. From Kelly Spillman:

I think another good example would be a discussion about Liviu Librescu. At 76, he was the head of the aeronautical engineering department at Virginia Tech. The Chronicle of Higher Ed did a piece on him recently on how passionate he was about teaching and how he had no intention of retiring any time soon. He was killed in the massacre shielding the door with his own body so his students could jump out of the window.

4. From Kelly Spillman:

I actually show the last scene in the film About Shmidt and ask students which stage they think he is in despair or integrity. I think the scene does a fantastic job of showing both stages.

5. From Lori Rosenthal, Lasell College, Newton, Massachusetts:

I think Morrie Schwartz is a good example of the integrity "part" of ego integrity vs. despair. There is a great Nightline containing three separate interviews with him. I've also used it in discussions of Kubler-Ross's stages because he very clearly exemplifies the acceptance stage (although you don't see that much evidence of the other stages in the video).

6. From Y.Hopkins: I thought of Erikson as I watched the movie, "The Bucket List"...

7. From Marianne Miserandino, Arcadia University:

Integrity vs. Despair: Johnny Cash Hurt The images of an aged Johnny Cash singing the song Hurt interspersed with images of him as a young man poignantly illustrate the despair aspect of Erikson's Developmental Stage Integrity vs. Despair: What have I become? My sweetest friend. Everyone I know goes away in the end. And you could have it all: my empire of dirt. Music and lyrics by Trent Reznor. (4 minutes, 2 seconds).

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Page last modified by September 11, 2012, at 01:11 AM