Jane Loevinger’s Stages of Ego Development Essay

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Jane Loeviger’s theory of ego development was a result of her practical researches and fundamental studies of the concept of human ego (which was introduced by Sigmund Freud) and other theories of moral development. In the framework of her model, Loevinger proposed a sequence of nine stages, which every individual passes through during the process of ego development. These stages can be grouped into three levels of personal development.

Pre-conventional level includes the following stages: (1) infancy, or total absence of ego, characterized with sensorimotor intelligence and communication only on the level of perception; (2) impulsive, including simple differentiation of the objects, impulsive reactions, absence of logic, judgment of other individuals according to their good or bad attitude, etc.; (3) self-protective, including development of the sense of own self, recognition of the viewpoints of other people, attempts to practice self-control and self-protection, etc.

Conventional level includes the following stages: (1) conformist, including awareness about social norms and rules, understanding of stereotypes and people’s roles, desire to be appreciated, ability to judge by external standards, etc.; (2) self-aware, including desire to reject oppression and be independent, to shape own inner life, to prove own individuality, etc.; (3) conscientious, including strong self-identity, desire to cooperate, feelings of responsibility and guilt for hurting someone, having own ideas and beliefs, etc.

Finally, post-conventional level includes the following stages: (1) individualistic, including understanding of the necessity to work for the benefits of the society, understanding of inner conflict and own responsibility for personal development, greater tolerance, etc.; (2) autonomous, including abilities to integrate various identities and tolerate ambiguity, development of freedom from stereotypes, understanding of emotional interdependence, etc.; (3) integrated, including completely worked out personal identity, self-actualizing, achieving of inner peace, as well as the highest level of personal, emotional and moral development.

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