Erik Erikson was a developmental psychologist. His birthday was June 14, 1902.
To commemorate it, we are having a tournament!
One of Erikson's chief contributions to the field is describing stages of psychosocial development. He described eight stages of psychosocial development a human confronts from infancy to adulthood. Each of these stages is centered around a crisis. For infants, for instance, the crisis is "trust vs. mistrust". Can an infant learn to trust the world, or will they instead learn that the world is unsafe, unnurturing, and unpredictable, and learn to mistrust it?
The 8 crises are:
Trust vs. Mistrust
Autonomy vs. Shame
Initiative vs. Guilt
Industry vs. Inferiority
Identity vs. Role Confusion
Intimacy vs Isolation
Generativity vs. Stagnation
Ego Integrity vs Despair
Which way these crises resolve is variable and depends on the individual and the situation. Sometimes trust wins out; sometimes mistrust.
But let's ask the important questions...
Then, we will know what is the ultimate existential outcome for the human psyche.
Did you know you can move and talk and put your clothes on? Well, you can! Because in the first round AUTONOMY conquered shame, now nothing can stop you from practicing your power.
Nothing can stop you from acting. But on the other hand, Why act though??? Because TRUST defeated mistrust, you know that the world is essentially a trustworthy place, and will take care of you. So why take care of your self, right?
You can do things! You can make plans! Because in the first round shame lost out to INITIATIVE, you can have an idea and make stuff happen.
And, because INDUSTRY beat inferiority, you can even have useful ideas! Useful to society, maybe? But honestly, that kind of seems like you are wasting a lot of plans and vim if you limit yourself to only doing things with value.
INTIMACY is wonderful. Sure beats isolation, right? Being with someone else is a really good ways to spend your time.
Of course, there are a lot of great ways to spend your time. And if you resolve all your role confusion and develop an IDENTITY, you can develop hobbies, get a job, hone some skills. There are so many great things to do it seems like a waste to rush into being with someone. Be your cool self! Who needs other people!
Generativity defeated stagnation. You can place value in the next generation. You can place value in society.
But maybe you don't need to do that. despair was defeated by EGO INTEGRITY because you are, as a group, a bunch of Pollyannas who picked all the good options in the Round of 16. With ego integrity, you can look at your life as see how great you are! Why raise up the next generation when you have your amazing life to feel proud of?