Sigmund Freud

Start Free Trial

Who do you think was Freud's greatest influence?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Freud, like any psychological theorist, was most likely influenced by his own life experience and development.  His father was incredibly authoritarian like many other men during the nineteenth century.  His family did not have a great deal of money and were forced to live in a crowded apartment.  Regardless of their limited resources, Freud's parents made every attempt to ensure that their children were highly educated.  Although Freud had several interests, his options were severely limited because of his Jewish heritage.  He earned his medical degree from the University of Vienna at the age of 26, and served as a lecturer at the college.

Freud's most prominant research and intellectual developments occured in his early 40's when he was suffering from several psychosomatic disorders along with exaggerated fears of dying and many other phobias.  Furthermore, he began to track his dreams and analyze their meaning as a method of gaining insight into how his personality developed.  Through the process of decoding his dreams and reflecting on childhood memories, he discovered that he felt extreme hostility towards his father and sexual feelings towards his mother.  His development of psychoanalysis proceeded from there.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial