Erik H. Erikson
Erik Homburger Erikson (1902–1994) was an American psychoanalyst. He was born in Germany to Danish parents, and later emigrated to the United States. In his most famous work, Childhood and Society, he developed his theory of psycho-social stages, outlining eight ages of the human lifespan. Although he considered himself a Freudian, there are significant differences between the assumptions underlying his work and that of Sigmund Freud, perhaps most notably that personality can change throughout life. He wrote psycho-biographies, such as Young Man Luther and Gandhi's Truth.
Erikson's eight stages of the human lifespan are each marked by a conflict, which if resolved successfully, result in a favourable outcome. His eight stages are as follows: (i). Infancy. This is marked by trust versus mistrust, and the favouorable outcome is seeing the world as a trustworthy place. (ii). Early childhoood. The conflict here is autonomy versus shame and doubt, and the favourable outcome is autonomy. (iii). The infantile-genital stage. The conflict here is initiative versus guilt, and the favourable outcome is belief that one can develop one's own activities. (iv). School age. Here the conflict is industry versus inferiority. (v). Adolescence. Here the conflict is between identity and confusion, and the favourable outcome is to find a well-articulated self-concept. (vi). Young adulthood. Here the conflict is between intimacy and isolation, and the favourable outcome is to make lasting relationships. (vii). Later adulthood. Here the conflict is generativity versus stagnation, and the favourable outcome is concern for family and future generations. (viii). Old age. Here the conflict is between fulfilment and despair, and the favourable outcome is to find a sense of fulfilment with life.