Sigmund Freud: Life, Work & Theories (2023)

Table of Contents
Life Work FAQs Videos

By Alina Bradford

published

Sigmund Freud: Life, Work & Theories (1)
(Video) Biography of Sigmund Freud, Austrian neurologist & father of modern Psychology, Part 1

Though his ideas were controversial, Sigmund Freud was one of the most influential scientists in the fields of psychology and psychiatry. It has been over 100 years since Freud published his theories, yet he still influences what we think about personality and the mind.

Life

Freud was born to a wool merchant and his second wife, Jakob and Amalie, in Freiberg, Moravia, in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, on May 6, 1856. This town is now known as Příbor and is located in the Czech Republic.

For most of his life, he was raised in Vienna, and he was married there in 1886 to Martha Bernays. They had six children. His daughter, Anna Freud, also became a distinguished psychoanalyst.

In 1909, Freud came to the United States and made a presentation of his theories at Clark University in Massachusetts. This was his first presentation outside of Vienna. By this point, he was very famous, even with laymen.

In 1923, at age 67, Freud was diagnosed with cancer of the jaw after many years of smoking cigars. His treatment included 30 operations over the next 16 years, according to the PBS program, "A Science Odyssey."

Freud lived his adult life in Vienna until it was occupied by Germany in 1938. Though Jewish, Freud's fame saved him, for the most part. The Nazi party burned his books throughout Germany, but they let him leave Austria after briefly confiscating his passport. He and his wife fled to England, where he died in September 1939.

Work

In 1873, Freud entered the University of Vienna medical school. In 1882, he became a clinical assistant at the General Hospital in Vienna and trained with psychiatrist Theodor Meynert and Hermann Nothnagel, a professor of internal medicine. By 1885, Freud had completed important research on the brain's medulla and was appointed lecturer in neuropathology, according to theEncyclopedia Britannica.

Freud's friend, Josef Breuer, a physician and physiologist, had a large impact on the course of Freud's career. Breuer told his friend about using hypnosis to cure a patient, Bertha Pappenheim (referred to as Anna O.), of what was then called hysteria. Breuer would hypnotize her, and she was able to talk about things she could not remember in a conscious state. Her symptoms were relieved afterwards. This became known as the "talking cure." Freud then traveled to Paris to study further under Jean-Martin Charcot, a neurologist famous for using hypnosis to treat hysteria.

(Video) The Life & Work of Sigmund Freud| Biography of Freud| Psychoanalytical Approach |Explanation in Urdu

After this new line of study, Freud returned to his hometown in 1886 and opened a practice that specialized in nervous and brain disorders. He found that hypnosis didn't work as well as he had hoped. He instead developed a new way to get people to talk freely. He would have patients lie back on a couch so that they were comfortable and then he would tell them to talk about whatever popped into their head. Freud would write down whatever the person would say, and analyze what they had said. This method of treatment is called free association. He published his findings with Breuer in 1895, in a paper calledStudien über Hysterie (Studies in Hysteria).

In 1896, Freud coined the term psychoanalysis. This is the treatment of mental disorders, emphasizing on the unconscious mental processes. It is also called "depth psychology."

Freud also developed what he thought of as the three agencies of the human personality, called the id, ego and superego. The id is the primitive instincts, such as sex and aggression. The ego is the "self" part of the personality that interacts with the world in which the person lives. The superego is the part of the personality that is ethical and creates the moral standards for the ego.

In 1900, Freud broke ground in psychology by publishing his book "The Interpretation of Dreams." In his book, Freud named the mind's energy libido and said that the libido needed to be discharged to ensure pleasure and prevent pain. If it wasn't released physically, the mind's energy would be discharged through dreams.

The book explained Freud's belief that dreams were simply wish fulfillment and that the analysis of dreams could lead to treatment for neurosis. He concluded that there were two parts to a dream. The "manifest content" was the obvious sight and sounds in the dream and the "latent content" was the dream's hidden meaning.

"The Interpretation of Dreams" took two years to write. He only made $209 from the book, and it took eight years to sell 600 copies, according toPBS.

In 1901, he published "The Psychopathology of Everyday Life," which gave life to the saying "Freudian slip." Freud theorized that forgetfulness or slips of the tongue are not accidental. They are caused by the "dynamic unconscious" and reveal something meaningful about the person.

In 1902, Freud became a professor at the University of Vienna. Soon, he gained followers and formed what was called the Psychoanalytic Society. Groups like this one formed in other cities, as well. Other famous psychologists, such as Alfred Adler and Carl Jung, were early followers of Freud.

In 1905, one of Feud's most controversial theories, those about sexual drive, was published as "Drei Abhandlungen zur Sexualtheorie(Three Contributions to the Sexual Theory)." He theorized that sexual drive is a large factor in determining a person's psychology, even in infants, an idea he had touched upon in earlier works. He also developed the theory of the "Oedipus complex." This theory states that boys have sexual attractions toward their mothers that can create jealousy toward the father.

Another of Freud's controversial sexual theories was talked about in his 1933 lecture titled "Femininity." The theory, which he called "penis envy," stated that females become envious of penises as children, and this envy manifests as a daughter's love for her father and the desire to give birth to a son, because those are as close as she would ever get to having a penis of her own.

(Video) PSYCHOTHERAPY - Sigmund Freud

Freud is often joked about for his propensity to assign everything with sexual meaning. A likely apocryphal story is that, when someone suggested that the cigars he smoked were phallic symbols, Freud reportedly said, "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." Some have called this "Freud’s ultimate anti-Freudian joke." However, there is no written record that this quote actually came from Freud, according to Alan C. Elms in a paper published in 2001 in the Annual of Psychoanalysis.

There has been much arguing in psychology and psychiatry circles about Freud's theories during his life and since his death, which may just prove his ideas, according to some. "Freud discovered and taught about the unconscious mind and psychological defenses, including denial and repression," said Dr. Carole Lieberman, a Beverly Hills psychiatrist who studied under Anna Freud at her London clinic and practices Freudian psychoanalytic therapy. "So, in fact, in trying to deny Freud's insights, people are actually affirming them."

Additional resources

Alina Bradford is a contributing writer for Live Science. Over the past 16 years, Alina has covered everything from Ebola to androids while writing health, science and tech articles for major publications. She has multiple health, safety and lifesaving certifications from Oklahoma State University. Alina's goal in life is to try as many experiences as possible. To date, she has been a volunteer firefighter, a dispatcher, substitute teacher, artist, janitor, children's book author, pizza maker, event coordinator and much more.

More about culture

Deductive reasoning vs. Inductive reasoningWhat is culture?

Latest

Nevada boy dies of rare brain-eating amoeba infection after swimming in Lake Mead
See more latest►
(Video) Sigmund Freud's life work/theory/MA English/Neurolinguistics/MS/BS English

FAQs

What are Freud's main theories? ›

Freudian theory postulates that adult personality is made up of three aspects: (1) the id, operating on the pleasure principle generally within the unconscious; (2) the ego, operating on the reality principle within the conscious realm; and (3) the superego, operating on the morality principle at all levels of ...

What is Freud's most important work? ›

Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality, or Drei Abhandlungen zur Sexualtheorie, is considered one of Freud's most important works. In these essays, he outlines his theory of psychosexual development and introduces other important concepts including the Oedipus complex, penis envy, and castration anxiety.

What is life according to Sigmund Freud? ›

According to Freud, the meaning of life is an illusion to itself. People searching for the meaning of life while they don't see the importance of the present moment. It is our mind, which defines the meaning and meaningless. It all has to play with the conscious and subconscious mind.

What was Sigmund Freud's most important discovery? ›

What was Freud's most important "discovery"? Freud had a variety of influences on psychology, psychiatry, anthropology, history, and literary studies, but his most important contribution was probably the simple claim that many of our behaviors are motivated by unconscious, often unpleasant desires.

What is Freud's first theory? ›

Based on his early clinical work, Freud postulated that unconscious memories of sexual molestation in early childhood were a necessary precondition for psychoneuroses (hysteria and obsessional neurosis), a formulation now known as Freud's seduction theory.

Why is Sigmund Freud theory important? ›

Sigmund Freud (1856 to 1939) was the founding father of psychoanalysis, a method for treating mental illness and also a theory which explains human behavior. Freud believed that events in our childhood have a great influence on our adult lives, shaping our personality.

What does Freud say about work? ›

Sigmund Freud said, “Love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness.” That insight—that productive labor and positive human relationships improve one's physical and mental health—is part of the increased interest in health care's role in addressing the social determinants of health.

What are the 3 meaning of life? ›

The three meanings of meaning in life: Distinguishing coherence, purpose, and significance.

What are 5 main ideas of Freud's personality theory? ›

Psychosexual development: Freud's theory of psychosexual development posits that there are five stages of growth in which people's personalities and sexual selves evolve. These phases are the oral stage, anal stage, phallic stage, latent stage, and genital stage.

What is the true concept of life? ›

Life is the aspect of existence that processes, acts, reacts, evaluates, and evolves through growth (reproduction and metabolism). The crucial difference between life and non-life (or non-living things) is that life uses energy for physical and conscious development.

How did Sigmund Freud theory impact society? ›

Freud's most obvious impact was to change the way society thought about and dealt with mental illness. Before psychoanalysis, which Freud invented, mental illness was almost universally considered 'organic'; that is, it was thought to come from some kind of deterioration or disease of the brain.

Is Sigmund Freud's work still used today? ›

Although they are sometimes seen as a primary contributor to the historical study of the human mind, Freud's theories today have no mainstream applications outside of the abstruse world of Freudian and Jungian psychoanalysis.

What is the famous line of Sigmund Freud? ›

The only person with whom you have to compare yourself is you in the past.” “The mind is like an iceberg, it floats with one-seventh of its bulk above water.” “The interpretation of dreams is the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind.” “Thought is action in rehearsal.”

What is work according to psychology? ›

n. 1. any physical, mental, or emotional activity directed toward accomplishing a task or transforming inputs in the form of physical materials, information, and other resources into goods or services.

What does 42 mean? ›

42 and the asterisk symbol

Forty-two is the ASCII code for the symbol * also known as the asterisk. This symbol is often thought to translate to anything or everything. In this instance, 42 = everything, the meaning of life.

What's the purpose in life? ›

Since our biological evolution is the foundation of our existence, a purpose of our lives is to continue to "evolve" during our lifetime by learning and growing. Each day, our purpose is to strive to be a little bit better than the day before and to continue this evolutionary process throughout our lifetime.

What are the 3 keys to life? ›

Three Keys to a Happy Life
  • Nurturing a strong network of family and friends.
  • Eating healthy.
  • Exercising regularly.
Oct 4, 2016

What are the 4 theories of personality? ›

Psychoanalytic, humanistic, trait perspective and behaviorist theory are the four main personality theories.

What are the 3 theories of personality? ›

Here are three leading theories of personality, their implications, and their applications in everyday life.
  • Freud's Theory. ...
  • Eysenck's Personality Theory. ...
  • Cattell's 16PF Trait Theory.

What are the 5 theories of dreams? ›

5 theories on why we dream
  • #1. Freud's wish fulfillment theory.
  • #2. Threat simulation theory.
  • #3. Carl Jung's direct mental expressions.
  • #4. Activation-synthesis theory.
  • #5. Information processing theory.
May 21, 2022

What are the 7 concepts of life? ›

The seven characteristics what makes an organism living are: Environmental responses, cells, change and growth, reproduction, having complex chemistry, and homeostasis and energy processing. Sometimes non-living things can portray some of the above characteristics, but a living being consists of all.

What is the theory of life? ›

theory suggests that life may have begun at submarine hydrothermal. vents and ejecting hydrogen rich molecules. Their rocky nooks could then. have concentrated these molecules together and provided mineral. catalysts for critical reactions.

What is the basic basis of life? ›

All living organisms are made up of one or more cells, which are considered the fundamental units of life. Even unicellular organisms are complex! Inside each cell, atoms make up molecules, which make up cell organelles and structures. In multicellular organisms, similar cells form tissues.

› Psychology ›

The psychoanalytic theory of Sigmund Freud, or Freudian theory, is a theory about personality organisation, the dynamics between the various stages of personali...
Noble sentiments, perhaps, but a hard thing to prove, and one which is often denied. Australian sociologist Michael Casey has analysed why so many people in mod...
Sigmund Freud was an Austrian Neurologist and inventor of psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis is a clinical way of treating psychopathology by communicating with pat...

What are 5 main ideas of Freud's personality theory? ›

Psychosexual development: Freud's theory of psychosexual development posits that there are five stages of growth in which people's personalities and sexual selves evolve. These phases are the oral stage, anal stage, phallic stage, latent stage, and genital stage.

What are the 4 theories of personality? ›

Psychoanalytic, humanistic, trait perspective and behaviorist theory are the four main personality theories.

What are the three levels of Freud's theory? ›

Sigmund Freud divided human consciousness into three levels of awareness: the conscious, preconscious, and unconscious. Each of these levels corresponds and overlaps with his ideas of the id, ego, and superego.

What are the 3 theories of personality? ›

Here are three leading theories of personality, their implications, and their applications in everyday life.
  • Freud's Theory. ...
  • Eysenck's Personality Theory. ...
  • Cattell's 16PF Trait Theory.

What are the 5 theories of dreams? ›

5 theories on why we dream
  • #1. Freud's wish fulfillment theory.
  • #2. Threat simulation theory.
  • #3. Carl Jung's direct mental expressions.
  • #4. Activation-synthesis theory.
  • #5. Information processing theory.
May 21, 2022

What are the 8 personality theories? ›

The major theories include dispositional (trait) perspective, psychodynamic, humanistic, biological, behaviorist, evolutionary, and social learning perspective.

What are the 6 theories? ›

Some of the widely accepted psychological theories are the behavioral theories, the cognitive theories, humanist theories, biological theories, psychodynamic and the social psychology theories.

What are Freud's personality types? ›

Freud's personality theory (1923) saw the psyche structured into three parts (i.e., tripartite), the id, ego and superego, all developing at different stages in our lives.

What are the 6 Theories of Personality? ›

In describing personality, we'll go through six different personality theories: psychoanalytic theory, humanistic theory, trait theory, social-cognitive theory, biological theory, and behaviorist theory.

What is Freud's superego theory? ›

The superego is the ethical component of the personality and provides the moral standards by which the ego operates. The superego's criticisms, prohibitions, and inhibitions form a person's conscience, and its positive aspirations and ideals represent one's idealized self-image, or “ego ideal.” Sigmund Freud.

Videos

1. Biography\Hitory of Sigmund Freud Part 2 in simple Urdu\Hindi.
(Psychological World)
2. The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud (summary in hindi) ||MEG-05 ||
(rs creation study)
3. Sigmund Freud Biography
(Famous Biographies)
4. About Sigmund Freud#सिग्मंड फ्रायड
(Brain Dynamics : Because Mental Health Matters)
5. SIGMUND FREUD THE FATHER OF PSYCHOANALYSIS Full Rare Documentary
(BBC Documentary)
6. Sigmund Freud: The Father of Psychoanalysis
(Biographics)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Jamar Nader

Last Updated: 11/17/2022

Views: 6329

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (55 voted)

Reviews: 86% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Jamar Nader

Birthday: 1995-02-28

Address: Apt. 536 6162 Reichel Greens, Port Zackaryside, CT 22682-9804

Phone: +9958384818317

Job: IT Representative

Hobby: Scrapbooking, Hiking, Hunting, Kite flying, Blacksmithing, Video gaming, Foraging

Introduction: My name is Jamar Nader, I am a fine, shiny, colorful, bright, nice, perfect, curious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.