Psy 230

Stages of Ego Development
Instructor: Jennifer Seifried
Heather Barkey

Jane Loevinger’s theory used sentence completion paradigm with her subjects. There were nine main stages in her theory. The first stage is usually started at infancy and is known as the pre-social and symbiotic stage. An infant’s ego in this stage; are focusing in self-gratification. In most cases the primary caregiver of a baby is the mother, babies are attached to the primary caregiver usually. Babies have difficulties separating the world from the primary caregiver. Impulsive stage is the second stage within these theories. Self- gratification and self needs are within this stage and are still the focus of the body. This stage, even though found most toddlers to be in, many stay in this stage throughout life usually. The third stage in Jane Loevinger’s theory is; self-protective stage. This self-protective stage is when a subject uses awareness of the consequences and cause and effect to get what they need or want out of other persons. This stage is more of a manipulation stage. This stage is when people try not to reveal or get caught and get what they want out of the other person.
The conforming stage is the fourth stage. People are concerned more about having acceptance into groups, in this stage. In this stage people are acting in ways they assume that they would be considered a part or member of the group.   Within this fifth stage; self-awareness stage, persons are aware more. They realize being considered part of the group does not mean they need to act, they are allowed to be themselves. Individualistic stage is the next stage; people begin to value relationships more. The autonomous stage; individuality, self-actualization, and uniqueness are valued. The integrated stage is the final stage. Ego exhibits more wisdom, and less concern with inner conflicts.