Basic trust versus Basic mistrust

Basic trust versus Basic mistrust

The first of Erik Erikson’s eight stages of psychosocial development, this stage, which occurs in the first year of life, sets the foundation of human growth and development. Newborns and infants by their nature are solely dependent upon the adults around them to care for their every need. If the responses infants experience involves a consistent, nurturing meeting of their needs, they will learn to develop a sense of trust and security. When needs are not consistently met, infants will learn a sense of mistrust. Erikson does not speak in all-or-nothing terms; in fact, he suggests that the ideal is a proper equilibrium between trust and mistrust, which will allow for the development of hope. Ultimately Erikson saw hope as an ego strength that consists of openness to experiences in combination with caution toward danger.

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