Heuristic Stages in Development
Infancy extends from a few minutes after birth to the appearance of articulate speech, however uncommunicative or meaningless. Childhood extends from the ability to utter articulate sounds of or pertaining to speech, to the appearance of the need for playmates -- that is, companions. cooperative beings of approximately one's own status in all sorts of respects. This ushers in the Juvenile Era which extends through most of the grammar-school years to the eruption, due to maturation, of a need for an intimate relation with another person of comparable status. This, in turn, ushers in the era that we call Preadolescence an exceedingly important but chronologically rather brief period that ordinarily ends with the eruption of genital sexuality and puberty, but psychologically or psychiatrically ends with the movement of strong interest from a person of one's own sex to a person of the other sex. These phenomena mark the beginning of Adolescence which in this culture (it varies, however, from culture to culture) continues until one has patterned some type of performance which satisfies one's lust, one's genital drives. Such patterning ushers in Late Adolescence which in turn continues as an era of personality until any partially developed aspects of personality fall into their proper relationship to their time partition; and one is able, at Adulthood to establish relationships of love for some other person, in which relationship the other person is as significant, or nearly as significant, as one's self. This really highly developed intimacy with another person is not the principal business of life, but is, perhaps, the principal source of satisfaction in life; and one goes on developing in depth of interest or in scope of interest, or in both depth and scope, from that time until unhappy retrogressive changes in the organism lead to old age
In Sullivan’s heuristic development, we can see that, he really define and give somehow a good point on what are the corresponding behaviors of a person from infancy to adulthood.
In psychology, heuristics are simple, efficient rules, hard-coded by evolutionary processes or learned, which have been proposed to explain how people make decisions, come to judgments, and solve problems, typically when facing complex problems or incomplete information. These rules work well under most circumstances, but in certain cases lead to systematic errors or cognitive biases.
In his stages of development, Sullivan tried to point out what really the things that corresponds to a specific period of children’s life. For example, in infancy, the child as he presented, started when the baby is born, until the child utters or articulate speech, but still, that speech of the baby is not understandable. In his ideas, he presented child, during infancy, as a child who learns to talk, and to crawl. In his second stage, Childhood, it extends from the ability to utter words, understandably to the appearance of needing companions, playmates. During this stage, the child is also experiencing the way or learning the sex differences and sexual modesty. The next stage is a stage where the child’s ability or appearance extends through most of the grammar school years to the eruption, due to maturation. This stage is called juvenile era. In this stage, the child develops his recalling ability and also his ability to recognize things. In this stage, there is a rapid understanding and accuracy of the concepts. Next stage is the preadolescence stage which is a product of the end of juvenile era. In this stage, child develops his ability to have relationships with opposite sex. During this stage, children cannot deny the fact that, when they rich the age limit of this stage, they are already capable of having children. We can say also that this period is just a short one. But this stage is a time of rapid growth and change. Adolescence, the next stage, extends from the time individual becomes sexually mature until 18. It is the age of legal maturity. During this stage, person’s interest carries to be most important and most universal interests of today’s adolescents: recreational interests, personal interests, social interests, educational and vocational interests and the like. During adolescent stage, the importance of major changes in morality is that, it helps the person to see what is wrong or what is right. Next stage is the late adolescence, in this stage, persons are preparing for an economic career or somehow, the so called emotional maturity of as person is at hand already. The person who is in the stage of late adolescence already achieved emotional independence from parents and other adults. Sullivan’s last stage of development is adulthood, which for me, already covers the middle age and old age. In this stage, a person establishes a relationship, somehow, of love to another person with opposite sex. Adulthood, at what we have learned before, is the settling down and reproductive age, and commonly, emotional tensions happen, a time of social isolation and a time of commitments and the like.
By the stages of development that Sullivan had presented and given to us, we cannot deny the fact, that all of us, persons of different color, of different race, of different parents, encounter the same stages of development and encounter the same problems in all stages, as long as we, as persons are all normal.
Identity Status Theory
( James Marcia)
Based on Erik Erikson’s groundbreaking work on identity and psychosocial development in the 1960s, Canadian developmental psychologist James Marcia refined and extended Erikson’s model, primarily focusing on adolescent development. Addressing Erikson’s notion of identity crisis, Marcia posited that the adolescent stage consists neither of identity resolution nor identity confusion, but rather the degree to which one has explored and committed to an identity in a variety of life domains from vocation, religion, relational choices, gender roles, and so on. Marcia’s theory of identity achievement argues that two distinct parts form an adolescent’s identity: crisis and commitment. He defined a crisis as a time of upheaval where old values or choices are being reexamined. The end outcome of a crisis leads to a commitment made to a certain role or value.
Upon developing a semi-structured interview for identity research, Marcia proposed Identity Status of psychological identity development:
1. Identity Diffusion – the status in which the adolescent does no have a sense of having choices; he or she has not yet made (nor is attempting/willing to make) a commitment
2. Identity Foreclosure – the status in which the adolescent seems willing to commit to some relevant roles, values, or goals for the future. Adolescents in this stage have not experienced an identity crisis. They tend to conform to the expectations of others regarding their future (e. g. allowing a parent to determine a career direction) As such; these individuals have not explored a range of options.
3. Identity Moratorium – the status in which the adolescent is currently in a crisis, exploring various commitments and is ready to make choices, but has not made a commitment to these choices yet.
4. Identity Achievement - the status in which adolescent has gone through a identity crisis and has made a commitment to a sense of identity (i.e. certain role or value) that he or she has chosen
Note that the above statuses are not stages and should not viewed as a sequential process.The core idea is that one’s sense of identity is determined largely by the choices and commitments made regarding certain personal and social traits. The work done in this paradigm considers how much one has made certain choices, and how much he or she displays a commitment to those choices. Identity involves the adoption of 1) a sexual orientation, 2) a set of values and ideals and 3) a vocational direction. A well-developed identity gives on a sense of one’s strengths, weaknesses, and individual uniqueness. A person with a less well-developed identity is not able to define his or her personal strengths and weaknesses, and does not have a well articulated sense of self.
To better understand the identity formation process, Marcia conducted interviews with young people. He asked whether the participants in his study (1) had established a commitment to an occupation and ideology and (2) had experienced, or were presently experiencing, a decision making period (adolescent identity crisis). Marcia developed a framework for thinking about identity in terms of four identity statuses.
In the theory of Marcia, the core idea is that, ones sense of identity is determined largely by choices and commitments made regarding certain personal and social traits.
Marcia’s states of developments are not stages; therefore, these states should not be viewed in sequential patterns. In his identity foreclosure, base on my reflection, it means that the adolescent blindly accepts the identity and values that were given in childhood by families and significant others. The adolescent’s identity is foreclosed until they determine for themselves their true identity. The adolescents in this state is committed to an identity but not as a result of their own searching or crisis. The adolescent has not had any opportunity to experience alternatives. The adolescent accepts what others have chosen for hi or for her. Usually these happens when an authoritative parents passes on their commitment to the adolescent. For example, if a father is a mechanic and owns his own business, then his son will become mechanic and take over the business. About the identity moratorium, an adolescent has acquired vague or ill-formed ideological and occupational commitments; he/she is still undergoing the identity search. They are beginning to commit to an identity but are still developing it. The term moratorium refers to a period of delay where someone had not yet made a decision. It is during this time that they experience different roles. During this period adolescents and young adults will court one another, look at different career opportunities, explore philosophies and so on.
The next state or another state is the identity diffusion; they said that it is the state of having no clear idea of one’s identity and making no attempt to find that identity. These adolescents may have struggled to find their identity, but they never resolve it and they seem to have stopped trying. There is no commitment and no searching in this status. It is also the status where adolescents have not experienced any identity crisis yet. They have yet to explore meaningful alternatives and they have yet to make any commitments. During this status, adolescents do not show interests in occupational and ideological choices. Lastly, Marcia’s last status is that, the identity achievement, it is the state of having developed well-defined personal values and self-concepts. In my own perception this status of person, their identities may be expanded and further defined in adulthood, but the basics are there. They are committed to an ideology and have strong sense of ego identity. Accordingly, it is also the status where individual has gone through a psychological moratorium and have made their decisions for life. It gives me the idea that, these individuals, who have this identity achievement, have explored different roles and opportunities and have come to conclusion and made decisions of their own.
In short, James Marcia found that, in my own understanding, a person’s identity is chosen, individuals go through a process, whether it is forced on them or not, to determine their identity. A person’s identity is made up of commitments made by the individual. These commitments are decisions made throughout one’s life that determines “who” that person will be.