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Video:Erik Erikson's Psychosocial Stage of Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt

with Dr. Robert Reiner

Erik Erikson's stages of development link shame and doubt to toilet-training in early childhood. Learn more about this pyschosocial theory in this psychology video from About.com.See Transcript

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Transcript:Erik Erikson's Psychosocial Stage of Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt

My name is Dr. Robert Reiner from Behavioral Associates in New York City here for About.com. The topic now is the development of shame and doubt in early childhood.

Erik Erikson's Stages of Development

These theories originated from Erik Erikson and it really has to do with the toilet training phase of life. He believed that how you adjusted and how you were able to control bowel and bladder functions had an effect later on of the issues around guilt, shame, predictability about your body.

The Psychology of Trusting Yourself

He also, or, his followers have made connections to 'how comfortable are you about abandoning yourself as a person' how much do you trust your body's ability to make the right response. That can be linked later on to sexual performace, to how comfortable you may be on a dance floor.

Shame Can be Linked to the Toilet-Training Stage in Life

Yeah, there are certain people who feel very comfortable in public abandoning themselves: they have this basic trust that things are going to be okay, whereas other people, they never seem comfortable in their skin. There's this constant sense of this lurking sensation that 'I'm doing something wrong and people are looking at me funny and I feel ashamed. Erikson and his followers believed that this all stemmed back to early experiences related to the success or lack of success around toilet-training.

I'm Dr. Robert Reiner for Behavioral Associates in New York. If you have any more questions about this, go to About.com.

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