What Were Sigmund Freud's Contributions To The Study Of Human Psychology?

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parama9000 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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He constantly reinforced the fact that a person's deeper consciousness, or psyche was the key to solve psychological problems.

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Yojana_Thapa | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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Sigmund Freud proposed psychoanalytic approach. He was a neurological doctor. He believed that his patients problems didn't have any neurological sense. So, He believed that to really know their problems you need to dive in their unconscious. He developed free-association, where his patient said anything that came to their mind, didn't matter if it was embarrassing. He tried hypnosis. He believed that this revealed clues to their unconscious. Freud also was a huge impact on personality. He divided personality into three: id, ego, and superego . Id was a bad guy, it looked for immediate gratification and pleasure. It went for whatever felt right. This was in the unconscious. Ego was the executive, it mediated the superego and the id. It balances both. It acted based on the reality principle, conscious. Superego was the moral compass. It told the ego to not only consider the reality principle but also the ideal.  Superego focused on how we ought to behave.

Freud also created the psychosexual stages. 

  • Oral stage (18 months) (mouth)
  • Anal stage (18-36)potty training
  • Phallic (1-6) Oedipus complex, a boy would find their mother attractive and would be jealous of his father.
  • Latency - developing defense mechanisms / didn't think about anything sexual/ learning too place
  • Genital (12+) reaching full sexual maturity

Freud also talked about dreams:

- Manifest content is the remembered dream; it is the censored version of the not remembered Latent content.

Freud believed that some memories that are too painful are repressed. These can be retrieved in the pre-conscious. Repressed ones are blocked! They can come out in slips of the tongue (saying out loud what we aren't suppose to)  and dreams.

Overall, Freud contributed greatly to the study of human psychology.

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fact-finder | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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Although Austrian physician Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) was trained as a medical doctor, he is remembered for his psychological theories. Freud believed that disturbed mental states are influenced by repressed (buried) and forgotten impressions, many of them dating from childhood, and that if these recollections are revived in a process called psychoanalysis, the patient can be cured. He used a technique called free association, in which a patient talks about what is on his or her mind, jumping from one thought to the next. If patients were unable to free these deep, often painful thoughts, hypnosis (a sleeplike state in which a person is open to suggestion) might provide the information. Yet because some people could not be hypnotized, Freud turned to another expression of the unconscious mind (that part of the mind of which a person is unaware)—dreams. In 1899 Freud published The Interpretation of Dreams, one of many works he produced throughout his career. From his research, Freud concluded that the mind is made up of three parts: the id, the ego, and the superego. The id is the source of instincts and emerges at birth. Later the ego keeps the id, which wants only to satisfy its desires, under control. The superego is the conscience (the morals and ideas presented by other authority figures). Freud theorized that if part of the mind was in conflict with another, a neurosis (a mental or emotional disorder) takes places. Freud's theories were accepted among some scientists and became influential in child-rearing and education. Yet while Freudian analysis is credited with helping some mentally ill patients, a number of psychologists rejected Freud's theories and developed their own.

Further Information: Curtis, Robert H. Great Lives: Medicine. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1993, pp. 269–78; Gray, Paul. "The Assault on Freud." Time. November 29, 1993, pp. 46–50; Mann, Barry. Sigmund Freud. Rourke, 1993; Muchenhoupt, Margaret. Sigmund Freud: Explorer of the Unconscious. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

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