Englisch: Erik Erikson 's Theory of Psychosocial Development Stages
Trust vs. mistrust (0-1 yrs) refers to the first stage of Erik Erikson's theory of Psychosocial development where the infant is totally dependent on the care of others.

If the child perceives the caretaking as satisfactory, he or she becomes trusting; if not, he or she goes through life with a basic mistrust of others.


In psychology, the concept of trust vs. mistrust is a stage of development in Erik Erikson's theory of psychosocial development, which occurs during infancy. This stage focuses on the infant's ability to trust their caregivers and the world around them. If the infant's needs are consistently met with warmth, attentiveness, and reliability, they develop a sense of trust. However, if their needs are inconsistently met or ignored, they may develop a sense of mistrust towards others and the world.

Trust vs. mistrust lays the foundation for future relationships and interactions with others. It is a crucial stage in shaping an individual's view of themselves, others, and the world. This stage sets the precedent for the development of healthy attachments, emotional regulation, and overall well-being.

Application Areas

  • Parenting
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Counseling and Therapy

Treatment and Risks

  • Therapy focused on building trust and addressing past traumas
  • Risks include developing attachment disorders, anxiety, and difficulties in forming relationships


  • An infant who is consistently comforted and attended to when crying is more likely to develop trust in their caregivers and the world
  • An infant who is frequently neglected or has inconsistent care may develop mistrust towards others and struggle with forming secure attachments

Similar Concepts and Synonyms

  • Basic Trust vs. Basic Mistrust
  • Trustworthiness vs. Distrust


Trust vs. mistrust is a fundamental stage of development in Erikson's theory, occurring during infancy. It shapes an individual's ability to trust others and the world, laying the groundwork for future relationships and well-being.