Psychology

Ever Used These Terms? Thank Sigmund Freud

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Though modern psychology has all but renounced Sigmund Freud's ideas about the subconscious, modern culture has fully embraced his principles...in everyday language, at least. If you've ever whispered about an "anal-retentive" co-worker or lamented a friend's "inferiority complex," you were calling on Freudian theories about neuroses that stem from a troubled childhood. You might get Freudian by referring to someone's tendency to joke around as a "defense mechanism," or by saying they're "projecting" or "repressed." And of course, saying a sleek sports car or a towering skyscraper is a "phallic symbol" touches on one of Freud's most famous ideas about the phallus as a token of power and fertility. One term he never used? "Freudian slip." Sigmund Freud referred to these slips of the tongue as "parapraxes."

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. In 1885, Freud was inspired by neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot and began experimenting with hypnosis. It was then that he developed talking therapy, a precursor to psychoanalysis. 01:44

  2. Freud used dream analysis to better understand the human psyche, developing a model in which he named the three instances of the human psyche the Id, the Ego, and the Superego. 02:57

  3. Freud has often been criticized for being phallus-centric. He believed the penis to be the superior sex organ. 06:10

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