Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Freud’s Psychoanalytic Theory

  • Luis CordonEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_1303-1



Sigmund Freud’s (1856–1939) revolutionary, unique approach to understanding the human mind and personality, emphasizing the role of unconscious conflicts and motivations in determining human behavior.


While its scientific utility (or indeed, its status as a scientific theory) remains a subject of much controversy, there can be no doubt that Sigmund Freud’s (1856–1939) psychoanalytic theory has had as great an impact, both within psychology and in the larger world of medicine and popular culture, as the work of any other thinker before or since. Where Kepler changed humanity’s view of itself by taking away our location at the center of the universe, and Darwin changed it again by taking away our unique status as the obvious pinnacle of biological development, separate from and above the animals, Freud changed our self-regard once more by removing much of our self-awareness, arguing that much of what motivates us...

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  1. Cordón, L. A. (2012). Freud’s world: An encyclopedia of his life and times. Santa Barbara: Greenwood.Google Scholar
  2. Freud, S. (1900/1953). The interpretation of dreams. Standard Ed., vol. 4. London: Hogarth.Google Scholar
  3. Freud, A. (1937). The ego and the mechanisms of defence. London: Hogarth Press/Institute of Psycho-Analysis..Google Scholar
  4. Freud, S. (1938/1973). An outline of psychoanalysis. London: Hogarth.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Eastern Connecticut State UniversityWillimanticUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Douglas Sellers
    • 1
  1. 1.Penn State Worthington ScrantonScrantonUSA