Child Development: Industry vs. Inferiority and Schemata

Paper Info
Page count 2
Word count 710
Read time 3 min
Topic Psychology
Type Essay
Language 🇺🇸 US


Piaget and Erickson are two thinkers who significantly contributed to the understanding of child development. The two studied children’s actions through processes and behaviors considering the role of environment and exposure. They had an immense influence on psychological development and understanding, including cognitive and emotional attributes. This paper highlights Industry vs. inferiority by Erick Erickson and the Cognitive Development theory by Jean Piaget and how the two compare and contrast each other and the psychologist’s thoughts.

Piaget’s Theory, Schemata

Born and raised in Switzerland, Jean Piaget, living between 1896 and 1980, was a psychologist and genetic epistemologist. Piaget’s theory of development relates to diverse childhood development stages as the child transitions through the phases. The main point of the idea explains that cognitive development is similar to stepping stones where one forms the other. The schema theory is a cognitive science branch which deals with knowledge and brain structures (Carpendale et al., 2019). Generally, a schema refers to a unit of knowledge that is well organized for an event or subject.

Schema relies on experience to be able to understand the current happenings. Piaget argued that the external forces influence the development phases (Carpendale et al., 2019). For example, a child’s mental structure changes and depends on the environment when learning new things. According to Piaget, age and ability is the basis of the stages of development. The steps include the sensorimotor stage, preoperational, concrete, and formal operational setting. In the nursing practice, it is essential to understand that children develop at their own pace. Therefore, for nurses, it is critical to understand children, which helps build good relationships. Further, this boosts the patient’s honesty creating an environment to discuss the fears freely.

Industry vs. Inferiority

Erickson, a German-American developmental psychologist, and psychoanalyst was born in 1902 in Germany and died in 1994 in the USA. He developed his child development theory years after Piaget’s contribution in the field of psychology. Accordingly, he used stages to explain development, referring to them as hurdles. The child’s progress to the next step highly depended on how the child overcomes the limitation. The Industry vs. inferiority theory is the fourth among the eight stages of psychosocial development by Erickson. The development stage is between 6 and 11 years, where children learn to be productive and participate in the evaluation. During this stage, children strive to master new skills (Syed & McLean, 2017). However, some children may struggle while developing this competency sense and create feelings of inferiority and failure. Children managing to succeed in this stage are also believed to make meaningful roles in their community and give back. Throughout the nursing practice, the nurses take care of patients of all ages. For instance, when giving medication to a month-old bay and ten years old, using the same approach will be unsuccessful. Therefore it is essential to master the tasks and conceptualize the values in human relations.

Similarities Between the Piaget and Erickson Theories

Both the schemata and Industry vs. inferiority recognizes that the child development process is through stages. Also, they try to believe that the young ones undertake the phases sequentially without skipping any of them. Secondly, there is a similarity that personality develops over the child’s lifespan in every child’s development process. According to the two theorists, they believed that factors such as environment and social circumstances shape the child’s personality. Therefore, children tend to learn more from what they see alongside their social interactions.

Differences Between the Piaget and Erickson theories

Although the concepts seem to bear significant similarities in tackling young ones’ growth and development, they both have distinctive attributes. The main difference between the two theories is that Piaget majorly focused on cognitive development while Erickson focused more on the emotional aspect. Secondly, according to Piaget, experiences determine stages, while in Erickson, all steps are essential in a child’s development. Thus children must undergo all phases to realize complete development.


The two theorists contribute positively to the understanding of child development. Therefore, it is vital to recognize the significance of how children develop their emotional sense and cognitive. However, none of the theories is wrong or right; hence, one requires comprehensive analogy to apply the concepts. The theorists’ perceptions involved personal experiences and learning procedures.


Carpendale, J. I., Lewis, C., & MĂĽller, U. (2019). Piaget’s theory. The Encyclopedia of Child and Adolescent Development, 1-11. Web.

Syed, M., & McLean, K. C. (2017). Erikson’s theory of psychosocial development. Web.

Cite this paper


NerdyBro. (2022, June 7). Child Development: Industry vs. Inferiority and Schemata. Retrieved from


NerdyBro. (2022, June 7). Child Development: Industry vs. Inferiority and Schemata.

Work Cited

"Child Development: Industry vs. Inferiority and Schemata." NerdyBro, 7 June 2022,


NerdyBro. (2022) 'Child Development: Industry vs. Inferiority and Schemata'. 7 June.


NerdyBro. 2022. "Child Development: Industry vs. Inferiority and Schemata." June 7, 2022.

1. NerdyBro. "Child Development: Industry vs. Inferiority and Schemata." June 7, 2022.


NerdyBro. "Child Development: Industry vs. Inferiority and Schemata." June 7, 2022.