Erik Erikson Psychological Crisis Fight!
The Battle for the Human Psyche

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...

What would win in a fight?*

To figure it out, we are having a tournament, where you vote for what you think would win in these existential matchups. The tournament is going to be running all week, with a new round each day, until the winner is crowned on Friday.

Then, we will know what is the ultimate existential outcome for the human psyche.

Details of the fight, such as battleground, weapons, and criteria for victory and defeat are left as a exercise for the reader.


Some extra reflections:

I think this running a tournament like this of your own would be a good idea if you wanted to teach people about the stages.

It was silly, but I think having to writing about all these matchups really made me learn what the different concepts were!

If you are someone who wants to do this, let me know. I will help with all the graphical support I can muster!

If you enjoyed this tournament, perhaps you would enjoy my comic? Or me?