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Developmental Stage Test

This instrument evaluates your personal features according to famed psychologist Erik Erikson’s model of life stages. By measuring attitudes and experiences, the Developmental Stage Test navigates the complex terrain of Erik Erikson’s developmental theory to deliver a composite reflecting your personal results across eight stages of life.

Where are you in terms of personal development? For each of the following questions, indicate how well it resonates with you below.

Question 1 of 48

I feel a sense of despair when reflecting on my past.



The IDRLabs Developmental Stage Test is inspired by psychometric methodology and based on research into psychosocial stage theory and developmental psychology.

The test provides feedback such as the following:

Trust vs. Mistrust: This stage centers on the infant's basic needs being met by the parents or caregivers. The consistency, predictability, and reliability of the caregiver's responses lead to a sense of trust in the infant. When an infant experiences warmth, regular feeding, and the comfort of their caregivers' presence, they learn that they can trust others and feel secure in the world. Conversely, if the infant's needs are often neglected or met with inconsistency or unpredictability, a sense of mistrust is likely to develop. This mistrust manifests as insecurity and suspicion towards the world around them. In this stage, the key psychological outcome is the development of a sense of hope, born from the consistent experience of trust. Erikson posited that successfully navigating this stage lays the groundwork for a healthy ability to trust others and form secure relationships throughout life. Conversely, failure to develop trust can result in fear and a belief that the world is inconsistent and unpredictable.

Autonomy vs. Doubt: This stage is marked by children beginning to assert their independence, exploring their abilities, and developing a sense of personal control over physical skills and a growing sense of autonomy. As toddlers start to assert their will, make choices, and show preferences for certain elements of their environment (like food, toys, and clothing), they are expressing their growing sense of autonomy. This stage is crucial for building self-esteem and confidence. Parents and caregivers play a vital role by encouraging this exploration and allowing the child to make choices. Successful navigation of this stage leads to a feeling of autonomy and a sense of being able to handle many problems on their own. However, if caregivers are overly critical, overly controlling, or do not allow the child to assert some level of control, the child may begin to feel inadequate in their ability to survive and may then become overly dependent upon others, lack self-esteem, and feel a sense of shame or doubt in their own abilities. This stage is foundational for developing a sense of self-control and willpower.

Initiative vs. Guilt: This stage is characterized by a growing sense of purpose and the ability to initiate activities. Children in this stage are increasingly asserting their power and control over the world through directing play and other social interactions. They begin to take initiative, which is not only defined as a desire to undertake actions but also the capacity to plan and set goals. Through play, exploration, and social interactions, children learn to lead and make decisions, developing a sense of initiative. However, this drive for initiative can come into conflict with the limits set by parents and societal norms. When children are discouraged from their attempts at initiative or when their efforts are met with too much criticism, they can develop feelings of guilt about their needs and desires. This guilt can lead to self-doubt and hesitancy to act. Successfully navigating this stage leads to a sense of purpose, where the child feels capable and able to exert some influence over their world. Conversely, failure in this stage can result in a sense of guilt, self-doubt, and a lack of initiative. It's a crucial period for developing a balance between the burgeoning sense of personal initiative and the necessary restraint imposed by social rules.

Industry vs. Inferiority: This stage is characterized by children's growing need to develop a sense of competence and achievement. During this period, children are increasingly exposed to the broader world beyond their families and start to engage more significantly with education, learning, socialization, and skill development. They begin to compare themselves to their peers and are eager to demonstrate their abilities. Success in this stage is marked by a feeling of industry, meaning children develop a sense of pride in their accomplishments, abilities, and competence. They become more diligent, feel more capable, and are likely to initiate projects and see them through to completion. Conversely, if children experience repeated failures or perceive a lack of support and validation from teachers, parents, and peers, they may develop feelings of inferiority. This can result in a lack of self-confidence, feelings of inadequacy, and a sense that one is less capable or worthwhile compared to others. Successfully navigating this stage leads to the virtue of "competence," where the child develops a belief in their skills and an ability to use their initiative and intelligence to solve problems. A failure to achieve this leads to a risk of developing an inferiority complex, potentially impacting self-esteem and confidence into adulthood.

Identity vs. Confusion: This stage is pivotal in the development of a person’s sense of self and identity. During adolescence, individuals face the task of discovering and understanding who they are and where they fit in society. This involves exploring various roles, values, beliefs, and goals. The successful resolution of this stage leads to the establishment of a strong identity and a sense of direction in life. Adolescents who successfully navigate this stage develop fidelity, characterized by the ability to commit to others and to their own self-defined goals and values. Conversely, failure to establish a clear identity leads to role confusion or an identity crisis. This can result in uncertainty about one’s place in the world, a lack of personal direction, and an inability to make decisions about the future. Adolescents who struggle in this stage may continuously search for their identity, leading to a lack of commitment to relationships, occupations, or ideologies. Erikson considered this stage critical for developing a coherent and stable personality. It's the time when individuals grapple with questions like "Who am I?" and "What do I want to do with my life?" The answers to these questions form the foundation for their adult lives.

Intimacy vs. Isolation: This stage focuses on the development of intimate, meaningful relationships with others, which can include romantic partnerships, close friendships, and strong professional or community connections. In successfully navigating this stage, individuals develop the capacity for intimacy, allowing them to form deep, lasting relationships based on mutual trust and respect. This requires not just physical closeness but also an emotional and psychological openness, where individuals can share themselves fully and honestly with others. The virtue gained from successfully resolving the conflict of this stage is love, understood as the ability to form and maintain stable, loving relationships. On the other hand, failure to establish such connections can lead to isolation. Individuals who struggle in this stage might feel lonely and disconnected, unable to form close bonds with others. They may experience social alienation, emotional detachment, or a sense of exclusion from meaningful relationships. In extreme cases, this can lead to a deep sense of isolation and a persistent fear of rejection, which can hinder personal and social development. The balance in this stage is crucial; it's about forming deep connections while maintaining a sense of self.

Generativity vs. Stagnation: This stage is characterized by the need to create or nurture things that will outlast the individual, essentially contributing to the next generation or the betterment of society. Generativity encompasses a broad range of activities and behaviors, such as parenting, teaching, mentoring, and engaging in activities that contribute to the community or society's future. It's about making your mark on the world through creating or nurturing things that will last beyond one's own lifetime. This could be through raising children, being productive at work, and being involved in community activities and organizations. The opposite pole, stagnation, involves a feeling of unproductiveness and a lack of involvement in the world. Individuals struggling with stagnation may feel disconnected, uninvolved, or uninterested in the growth of themselves or others. They may struggle with feelings of inadequacy in their role as parents or community members or feel that they have little to offer. Successfully managing this stage results in feelings of usefulness and accomplishment, while failure to achieve generativity results in shallow involvement in the world and a sense of stagnation. The virtue gained from successfully navigating this stage is "care," reflecting a deep concern for the welfare of others and a sense of contributing to future generations.

Integrity vs. Despair: This stage is marked by a deep reflection on one’s life history and accomplishments. The essence of this stage is the balancing act between integrity and despair. When individuals achieve ego integrity, they look back on their lives with a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. They accept their life history and their role in it, recognizing both successes and failures as part of a complete and well-lived life. This acceptance leads to a sense of wisdom and peace, even in the face of life's inevitable end. On the other hand, if individuals fail to achieve this sense of integrity, they may experience despair. This occurs when they look back on their lives with regret, focusing on failures, missed opportunities, and mistakes. Such a perspective can lead to feelings of bitterness, despair, and a belief that their life has been wasted. The inability to accept one’s life in its entirety often results in a fear of death and a sense of hopelessness. Successfully navigating this stage involves coming to terms with one's life, leading to a sense of fulfillment and wisdom. Failure to do so results in regret and despair, overshadowing the individual's final years with a sense of what might have been.

The Developmental Stage Test is inspired by research into relevant literature and methodological practices. While the Developmental Stage Test is inspired by different fields of research, it cannot be used to provide clinical assessments or an accurate evaluation of your personality. Clinical assessments should always be done in cooperation with a mental health professional. For more information about any of our online tests and quizzes, please consult our Terms of Service.

Developmental Stage Test

Why Use This Test?

1. Free. The Developmental Stage Test is provided to you free of charge and allows you to obtain your scores related to psychosocial development.

2. Statistical controls. Test scores are logged into an anonymized database. Statistical analysis of the test is conducted to ensure maximum accuracy and validity of the test scores.

3. Made by professionals. The present test has been made with the input of people who work professionally in psychology and individual differences research.