Erik Homburger Erikson (15 June 1902 – 12 May 1994) was a developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst known for his theory on social development of human beings, and for coining the phrase identity crisis.
- Healthy children will not fear life if their elders have integrity enough not to fear death.
- Childhood and Society (1950), p. 269
- When established identities become outworn or unfinished ones threaten to remain incomplete, special crises compel men to wage holy wars, by the cruelest means, against those who seem to question or threaten their unsafe ideological bases.
- "The Problem of Ego Identity" (1956), published in Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 4:56-121
- Someday, maybe, there will exist a well-informed, well considered and yet fervent public conviction that the most deadly of all possible sins is the mutilation of a child’s spirit; for such mutilation undercuts the life principle of trust, without which every human act, may it feel ever so good and seem ever so right is prone to perversion by destructive forms of conscientiousness.
- Young Man Luther : A Study in Psychoanalysis and History (1958), p. 70
- Children love and want to be loved and they very much prefer the joy of accomplishment to the triumph of hateful failure. Do not mistake a child for his symptom.
- Doubt is the brother of shame.