Erik Erikson

Conner Hanke

About Erik Erickson

  • Psychoanalyst
  • Born in 1902, in Frankfurt, Germany
  • Best known for his 8 stages of Development
  • Took psychoanalyst training at the Vienna psychoanalytic institute

First 4 Stages of Development

1. Trust vs Mistrust (Age 0 to 1 1/2) - During this stage the infant is uncertain about the world they live in. To resolve these feelings the child looks to their primary caregiver (usually their parents) for stability and consistency of care. Children that receive the stability and care they need at this stage, develop the virtue of hope. Children that fail to receive the required care needed, develop a stronger virtue of fear.


2. Autonomy vs Shame (Age 1 1/2 to 3) - In this stage, the child begins to exhibit his/her independence, as he/she begins to walk away from its mother, chooses what toys to play with, what clothes it wants to wear, what food it wants to eat, etc. Children that are encouraged by their parents to display some independence, will become more confident in their ability to survive out in the real world


3. Initiative vs Guilt (Age 3 to 5) - During this stage children begin to regularly interact with other children at school. Play goes hand in hand with this stage, as it allows children to explore their interpersonal skills through initiating activities. If children are allowed the opportunity to make up games, plan activities, and initiate activities with others, they tend to develop a sense of initiative, and feel secure in their ability to lead others and make decisions. Children that are denied this opportunity, or to restricted by their parents, generally children develop a sense of guilt and feel that they might be looked at as a nuisance by others, becoming followers and thereby lacking initiative.


4. Industry vs Inferiority (Age 5 to 12) - at this stage, the childs peer group will begin to have greater significance and become a major source of the childs self esteem. Now the child will feel the need to gain approval by demonstrating certain skills that are valued by society. If children are encouraged and reinforced for their initiative, they begin to feel industrious and feel confident in their ability to achieve goals. a child may begin to feel inferior or doubt his abilities, if he/she is restricted by his parents by the initiative not being encouraged.

Works Cited

"Erik H. Erikson." Erikson Institute. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2015.

"Erik Homburger Erikson." Success. N.p., 2014. Web. 9 Mar. 2015.

"Erikson's Psychosocial Stages | in Chapter 11: Personality | from Psychology: An Introduction by Russ Dewey." Erikson's Psychosocial Stages | in Chapter 11: Personality | from Psychology: An Introduction by Russ Dewey. N.p., 2007. Web. 09 Mar. 2015.

Mcleod, Sam. "Erik Erikson | Psychosocial Stages | Simply Psychology." Erik Erikson | Psychosocial Stages | Simply Psychology. N.p., 2008. Web. 11 Feb. 2015.

Osuji, Ozodi. "Erik Erikson: Men Of Ideas - ChatAfrik." Erik Erikson: Men Of Ideas - ChatAfrik. N.p., 22 Jan. 2012. Web. 05 Mar. 2015.

"Vamýk D. Volkan." Vamýk D. Volkan. N.p., 28 May 2012. Web. 09 Mar. 2015.

Erik Erikson's Theory of Psychosocial Development in Infancy and Early Childhood