Basic trust

Basic trust

A belief in the possibility of need-satisfying relationships attained during the first, oral sensory, stage in Erik Erikson’s epigenetic growth of the self. Trust leads to hope that needs can be met even if temporarily frustrated and so gives emotional strength to the ego’s plans for the future.


Erik Erikson conducted an enormous amount of research on developmental issues. One such issue is that of attachment. He indicated that children who have secure attachments with their parents have a general sense that the world is predictable and reliable (this is basic trust). This basic trust, according to Erikson, is formed by loving, sensitive, care givers and not from genetic makeup or to a continuously positive environment.

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