Some Major Contribution of Sigmund Freud to Modern Science
Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, was one of the most influential psychologists of the 19th and 20th century. His work had a significant impact on the fields of psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy. He is widely known for his theories regarding the unconscious mind and its effect on human behavior. His ideas on dreams, sexual desire, and psychosexual development are popularly known as “Freudian concepts” or “theory of psychoanalysis”. Furthermore, his analytical method has also been widely adopted by therapists from different fields to understand their patients better. While Freud’s theories are not necessarily proven in all cases or areas of application (some have even questioned whether he qualifies as a scientist), it is undeniable that his contribution to the science of psychology has been monumental. Here we will discuss some major contribution of Sigmund Freud to modern science.
Psychoanalysis as a science of mind
A major contribution of Freud was his attempt to reduce the human mind to its basic parts and study their relationship to each other and their functions. This was the first approach of its kind, and it laid the foundation of the modern psychology. Freud’s breaking up of the mind into the “three parts” – the id, ego, and superego – is just one of his many theories that can be tested with experiments. Some of these experiments failed, but others have been shown to be correct. The study of dreams is a good example of an experimental field in psychology, where we have good reason to assume that the method is correct. The pre-Freudian psychology was a descriptive one. This means that it focused on describing the behaviour of humans in terms of their actions, feelings, and the environment they live in. In other words, the only thing that the questions of psychologies were concerned with was the “what”. With his psychoanalytic theory, Freud tried to explain the “why” behind human behaviour. He suggested that our behaviours are governed by unconscious desires and thoughts.
Theories of development
Freud’s theories on development explored how the human mind evolved from infancy to adulthood. He believed that our behaviours are governed by unconscious desires and thoughts. In other words, our conscious mind is only a small portion of the entire mind. He used the term id to refer to the part of the human mind that is present from birth. Here the only aim of the individual is to survive (both physically and mentally). The term superego refers to the part of the human mind that develops during childhood. This is the part that is responsible for morality, ethics, and social conventions. The term ego refers to the part of the human mind that develops during adolescence. This is the part responsible for moderating between the desires of the id and the superego.
The Id, Ego, and Superego
The next major contribution of Sigmund Freud to modern science is the theories of the id, ego, and superego. Freud proposed that the human mind is divided into three parts: the id, ego, and superego. The id, ego, and superego are the three main structural components of the human personality. The id is the unconscious part of the mind that contains our basic, instinctual drives and wishes, such as our desire for pleasure, food, and sex. The ego is the conscious part of the mind that is concerned with reality and the outside world, and is responsible for logical thinking, problem solving, and organizing behaviour. The superego is the other unconscious part of the mind that contains our internalized values and morals, shaped by our parents and upbringing, and is the source of our feelings of guilt and shame. The id is present from the time we are born, while the ego and superego develop throughout childhood.
The unconscious and its role in behavior
Another major contribution of Sigmund Freud to modern science is his theories on the unconscious mind. Freud argued that the unconscious mind plays an important role in our behaviour. He suggested that there are two parts to our minds: the conscious and the unconscious. The conscious part is the part of our mind that we can think about. The unconscious part is the part of our mind that we are not aware of, but that influences our thoughts and actions. Unlike the conscious mind, which is constantly thinking and taking in information from the outside world, the unconscious mind is mostly focused on internal desires, wishes, and memories. Freud believed that the unconscious mind is extremely important for understanding how the mind works. He argued that in order to understand why someone does something, such as having a particular thought or doing a certain action, we not only need to know what they are thinking, but also what they are not thinking. In other words, we need to know what is in their unconscious mind.
Another major contribution of Sigmund Freud to the modern science is his theories on the defense mechanism. Freud suggested that the human mind uses defense mechanisms to avoid facing or dealing with uncomfortable and unpleasant thoughts and feelings. He argued that we all use defense mechanisms, even though some people use them more frequently than others. Some of the most common defense mechanisms include denial, repression, displacement, rationalization, and fantasy. Denial is when a person refuses to acknowledge that something happened or that something exists. For example, a person who is confronted with the fact that they have a drinking problem may deny that they have a problem, even though they regularly drink too much and get into trouble as a result. Repression is when a person forces an unpleasant thought or feeling into their unconscious mind. This defense mechanism is often associated with childhood experiences, especially sexual abuse. Displacement occurs when a person redirects an urge or wish away from its original target, usually because it is too dangerous or inappropriate to act on it. For example, a person who is angry at their boss might go home and become angry at their spouse.
Dreams and their importance for the unconscious
Another major contribution of Sigmund Freud to modern science is his theories on dreams and their importance for the unconscious. He suggested that dreams are a window into the unconscious mind, and that they make use of symbols to represent hidden desires and ideas. He developed a technique called free association to understand what dreams mean. This technique involves writing down a dream and then writing down the first things that come to mind when reading the dream. By doing this, the dreamer can begin to understand the different symbols used in the dream and what they represent. Since dreams are unconcerned with reality, Freud suggested that they are driven by the unconscious mind. He also argued that many of our dreams are a result of wish fulfillment. That is, dreams often represent our desires and wishes, even if these desires are repressed in our conscious mind.
Sexual desire and its role in our behaviour
Another major contribution of Sigmund Freud to modern science is his theories on sexual desire and its role in our behaviour. Freud suggested that sexual desire is an energy that is present in the human mind. He argued that the source of this energy is repressed sexual and aggressive urges. He believed that humans have a natural urge to reproduce, but this desire is often repressed in childhood by parents who teach their children that sexuality is wrong and immoral. Freud believed that most of our desires are repressed because they are too extreme, and society does not allow us to fulfill these desires. He argued that the energy from these repressed desires is redirected and transformed into other energies, such as the desire to achieve and be successful. According to Freud, sexual desire plays a significant role in shaping our personalities and behaviours. This includes the ways we look at the world and interact with other people.
The article discusses the major contributions of Sigmund Freud to the modern science. Freud’s attempt to reduce the human mind to its basic parts and study their relationship to each other and their functions is the first approach of its kind, and it laid the foundation of the modern psychology. His theories on dreams, sexual desire, and psychosexual development are popularly known as “Freudian concepts” or “theory of psychoanalysis”. Furthermore, his analytical method has also been widely adopted by therapists from different fields to understand their patients better. The pre-Freudian psychology was a descriptive one. This means that it focused on describing the behaviour of humans in terms of their actions, feelings, and the environment they live in. In other words, the only thing that the questions of psychologies were concerned with was the “what”. With his psychoanalytic theory, Freud tried to explain the “why” behind human. No one can study psychology today with discussing major contribution of Sigmund Freud to modern science.
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