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Industry vs. Inferiority Relationships

Erik Erikson identified industry versus inferiority is the fourth stage of psychological development. This stage starts at the age of six and finishes at the age of eleven posing a question, “How can I become good?” (Feist et al., 2018). What is more, school plays a vital role as the teachers and classmates help one progress through industry and inferiority. Through proficiency at schoolwork, children can reveal a sense of competency. During social interactions, they can identify their best abilities and be proud of themselves, or they may discover weak areas and feel inadequate comparing themselves to others.

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I think I encountered the stage of industry versus inferiority when I first entered primary school. Growing up in a supportive and loving family, I often felt encouraged to learn new phenomena and facts. As a result, I was eager to study and gain new knowledge. As soon as I entered the school and met my teachers and classmates, I felt disappointed because I could not realize how one person should teach 30 kids simultaneously. Nonetheless, my experience was positive due to each teacher’s high level of competency and my desire to process new information, which helped me participate in all the possible knowledge contests. Undoubtedly, I had problems with maths as any other kids once did, but it was a matter of time to learn how to divide and multiple figures.

In my practice, not a single teacher has ever made me feel inferior. Instead, they all motivated me to set more significant goals. In particular, my Art teacher often told me that my imagination is incredible and that I can become a professional artist as my childhood paintings seemed entirely meaningful. Erikson explained that encouragement and not overpraising helps children discover their abilities (Feist et al., 2018). Therefore, each teacher may significantly impact one’s personal development.


Feist, J., Feist., G., & Roberts, T. (2018). Theories of personality (9th ed.). McGraw Hill.

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