Freud, Sigmund Schlomo (Psychologists and Their Theories)
AUSTRIAN PHYSICIAN, PSYCHIATRIST
VIENNA UNIVERSITY, M.D., 1881
Although Sigmund Freud was not the first person to formally study psychology, many consider him the most pivotal figure in the development of the field as we know it today. Freud changed the way society has come to think about and treat mental illness. Before Freud, mental illness was thought to result from deterioration or disease of the brain. Freud changed all of this by explicitly rejecting the purely organic or physical explanations of his predecessors. Instead he believed that unconscious motives and drives controlled most behavior.
During a career that spanned 58 years, beginning with an earned medical degree in 1881 and continuing to his death in 1939, he developed and repeatedly revised his theory of psychoanalysis. Most of Freud's theory was developed from contact he had with patients seen in his private practice in Vienna. This type of "clinical" work was a radical departure from the laboratory research that was practiced by most leading psychologists of the day.
When Freud first presented his ideas in the 1890s, many of his contemporaries reacted with hostility. In fact, throughout his career, Freud faced enormous opposition to many of his ideas. Those especially controversial included notions about...
(The entire section is 19069 words.)
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