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Who Am I? American Psychologist Profile

Modern psychology is a scientific discipline system, among which a special place is occupied by developmental psychology. Lifespan development deals with physical growth, cognitive, emotional, and social transformations from birth to dying days. It analyzes psychological problems from the perspective of conditions and mechanisms of “changes and constancies” (Clegg-Kraynok et al., 2017, p. 4). The person’s life, thus, is the sequence of changes and invariabilities occurring systematically. This paper aims at discussing the professional motives and accomplishments of one of the most outstanding figures in psychological science.

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This person made a considerable contribution to psychology as we know it today. He was born in 1902 in Germany, near Frankfurt (Roazen, 2018). He was raised by his mother, a Jewish woman of Danish descent, and his stepfather, who worked as a pediatrician whom his mother met when the boy was three years old. His birth father had separated from his mother before the birth of his son. Tall, blue-eyed, and blond, he was more perceived by those around him as Danish. However, brought up in other traditions, he did not consider himself as such. As a child, in a Jewish school, the young man was teased for having a Nordic appearance, and in the gymnasium, they laughed at the fact that he was a Jew (Roazen, 2018). Later, the scholar admitted that this confusing background contributed to his keen interest in identity and lifespan development (Schachter & Galliher, 2018). Thus, he gave the world the psychological term “identity crisis.” It was an essential step in the world of psychology and psychoanalysis.

This famous development psychologist is considered to be one of most famous Freud’s disciples. He then studied psychoanalysis at the University of Vienna, but Germany’s Nazi invasion forced the family to immigrate to the United States (Roazen, 2018). In Boston, he found a wide range of practice in applying psychoanalysis to children and has also worked at various medical schools, including Harvard University and the University of California. This man studied children’s psychology from different social structures, considered emotional and psychological problems, and recorded the observations (Schachter & Galliher, 2018). His most important contribution was the personality development model, which covers the entire period of human life. The scientist contrasted Freud’s theory, which divided psychological development into five stages, with his scheme, in which there were eight such stages (Clegg-Kraynok et al., 2017). Moreover, the scholar associated the theory of development stages with the concept of an identity crisis.

Another significant discovery that modern psychologists often refer to is the identity crisis. This person believed that people tend to seek their place in life and doubt the chosen path, while Freud adopted a fatal position, stating that any person is doomed to social extinction if it is possible to obey his instincts and aspirations (Roazen, 2018). His disciple adhered to a positive perspective and explained that a personal crisis leads to further development and helps find the right path in life (Schachter & Galliher, 2018). Thus, his contributions to psychology have transformed the understanding of human development and the relationship between the individual and society.

He made several fundamental discoveries, described stages of human development in detail, proved that an identity crisis is a necessary frontier and a way of personal growth. Each of his theories results from careful observation of people from various cultures with different value systems. The most important works of his, Childhood and Society, and Identity: Youth and Crisis, are still used in their practice by the best psychologists (Clegg-Kraynok et al., 2017). This person is Erik Homburger Erikson, a prominent American psychologist.


Clegg-Kraynok, M., Seifert, K., Hoffnung, R. J., & Hoffnung, M. (2017). Lifespan development (3rd ed.). Academic Media Solutions.

Roazen, P. (2018). The trauma of Freud: Controversies in psychoanalysis. Routledge.

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Schachter, E. P., & Galliher, R. V. (2018). Fifty years since “Identity: Youth and Crisis”: A renewed look at Erikson’s writings on identity. Identity, 18(4), 247-250. Web.

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