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The Life Cycle Completed

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  178 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
For decades Erik H. Erikson's concept of the stages of human development has deeply influenced the field of contemporary psychology. Here, with new material by Joan M. Erikson, is an expanded edition of his final work. The Life Cycle Completed eloquently closes the circle of Erikson's theories, outlining the unique rewards and challenges—for both individuals and society—of ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published June 17th 1998 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 1982)
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Jun 25, 2015 Chris rated it really liked it
Erik Erikson can drive a person mad with his florid language and abstractions, and his antediluvian sexual stages are nearly nails in his coffin (lo-rest-his-so), but the man and his wife were a force of nature. He never finished his bachelor’s degree, but he knew what it meant to be human. Who does that? The sense kept washing over me that he was jumping ahead of empirical data and taking hold of a reality-in-itself that transcended his case studies. I can’t help thinking that, even when he was ...more
Billie Pritchett
Sep 19, 2014 Billie Pritchett rated it it was ok
Shelves: psychology
Erik Erikson's Life Cycle Completed is a book I'd been looking forward to reading for a long time. Having had some experience reading about Erikson's theory of personality, which mostly involves his eight stages of human development, I thought this might be an illuminating read. It wasn't. It's pretty horribly written, and unnecessarily abstruse.

I'll give you an example of what I mean. Here's a quote from the book that I chose randomly from the earlier portion which is representative of the Erik
Det nästsista (?) avsnittet om åldrande var det finaste <3
Ana Ruiz
Oct 13, 2016 Ana Ruiz rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016, psychology
Who am I to judge a famed psychoanalyst who probably got more done in a year of his life than I will, ever. It would be just a little bit pretentious.

I can, however, refuge myself in an old yet true critique of psychoanalytical theory: I HATE THIS SHIT. I hate how far-reaching it is, how stupid, how overblown and oh did I mention how stupid? I know that Erikson is like the best thing you can get in psychoanalysis, because he centers his theory on the ego and bla bla bla. I know this when it is
Jan 17, 2015 Becky rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology
I'm so glad I read this. I found it by way of Michael Britt, who hosts a podcast named The Psych Files (it's very good and enjoyable). Britt is interested in psychology and memory so he filmed a video episode illustrating the peg system of memory devices by showing one way you could memorize Erikson's eight stages. I learned the stages but didn't know what they represented and I wanted to know more, particularly as it reminded me of that bit of Carl Jung's ideas about the domains of development, ...more
Marek Benes
Apr 22, 2016 Marek Benes rated it liked it
It was somewhat a struggle for me to read. I admit I was in a bit of a hurry. The contemplative way, in which it is written, was hard to get through. I feel like I would enjoy the book lot more if I was more familiar with his theory beforehand, because I would know what to look for amidst long and sprawling sentences.
Feb 09, 2008 Carl rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Erikson
Shelves: psych-sociology
I would say that this book is not as good as I had anticipated, given some of the Erikson's other writings.


I was first exposed to the theories of Erik Erikson in my psychology classes in college. I found his theories to be well thought out, and in a different vain than any others I had read.
Feb 11, 2009 ashley added it
Certainly a book to be read at all stages of development since we are constantly evolving. Surely you will get a new perspective each time you pick it up. I loved seeing a husband and wife academic team. Joan Erikson is very poetic in her writing which nicely balances Erik's numerable "50-cent" words.
Lyndon Bailey
Sep 01, 2013 Lyndon Bailey rated it liked it
Was hoping for something more systematic. I honestly think an online chart would be more useful. Some fascinating psychoanalytic insights by the author but the whole book felt rambling and didn't seem to hold together.
Daniel Swayze
Aug 22, 2014 Daniel Swayze rated it really liked it
A bit dense, but considering that it appears to have psychology students and professors as their target audience it's reasonably digestible. I enjoyed the characterizations of each stage of life, and how each one influences the next.
Charlotte Carroll
Jul 29, 2015 Charlotte Carroll rated it liked it
This is a classic about stages of development for adults, but I found the late Erik's writing dense and tough to read, while his wife writes beautifully (an intro and a final chapter, which extends the stages to a ninth one, elder elders.
Apr 09, 2009 Marlena rated it it was amazing
I've always been a fan of Erik Erikson in textbooks. Great book. Pretty short and easy to read (if you have some background in psychosocial / stage developmental theory). I'll probably refer to this book often in program planning and understanding the development of college students.
May 28, 2012 Carla rated it it was amazing
The material on the 9th Stage of Development is ground breaking in the area of human growth and aging. A must read for any gerontologist and anyone interested in adult development
Kathryn Roosa
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Troy C. Hill
Troy C. Hill rated it it was amazing
Jul 24, 2016
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Dec 27, 2011
Carolyn rated it it was amazing
Aug 30, 2008
Ludmila Shumilov
Ludmila Shumilov rated it it was amazing
Aug 24, 2013
John Maerz
John Maerz rated it really liked it
Dec 04, 2014
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Apr 23, 2008
Lindsay rated it liked it
Jul 29, 2007
Catherine Woodman
Jul 29, 2011 Catherine Woodman rated it really liked it
A later in life reflection on his stages of human development across the life span
Ignacio Ahumada
Ignacio Ahumada rated it it was ok
Aug 20, 2016
Jonathan Lemaster-smith
Jonathan Lemaster-smith rated it it was amazing
Mar 06, 2013
Terry Threadwell
Terry Threadwell rated it really liked it
Nov 20, 2014
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Erik Erikson was a German-born American developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst known for his theory on psychosocial development of human beings. He may be most famous for coining the phrase identity crisis. His son, Kai T. Erikson, is a noted American sociologist.

Although Erikson lacked even a bachelor's degree, he served as a professor at prominent institutions such as Harvard and Yale.
More about Erik H. Erikson...

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