Essay on Sigmund Freud

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Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud was the first major social scientist to propose a unified theory to understand and explain human behavior. No theory that has followed has been more complete, more complex, or more controversial. Some psychologists treat Freud's writings as a sacred text - if Freud said it, it must be true. On the other hand, many have accused Freud of being unscientific, proposing theories that are too complex ever to be proved true or false. He revolutionized ideas on how the human mind works and the theory that unconscious motives control much behavior. “He applied himself to a new field of study…and struggled with an environment whose rejection of his work endangered his livelihood and that of his family” (Freud 3). His
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But Freud eventually attracted followers, and by 1910 he had gained international recognition. During the next ten years, Freud's reputation continued to grow, with the exception of two of his earliest followers and close friends, Alfred Alder and Carl Jung (Garcia 132). This is because they were developing their own theories of psychology and personnel conflicts were getting in the way. Freud was always changing and modifying his ideas, and in 1923 published a revised version of his earlier ideas. Freud married and had a daughter named Anna, who grew up and became a leader in the fields of child psychoanalysis (Gay 67). Freud was a cocaine user and a cigar smoker for a big part of his life. In 1923, he learned that he had cancer of the mouth from the cigars. He continued his work, though the cancer made it difficult, along with him not being able to quit the habit of smoking cigars (Gay 67).

In 1938, the Nazi's gained control of Austria, and under their rule, Jews were persecuted. Freud, who was Jewish, moved to England with his wife and children, to escape being arrested and persecuted (Clark 122). There, he died of cancer in 1939. Freud observed that many patients behaved according to drives and experiences of which they were not consciously aware. He then concluded that the unconscious plays a major role in shaping one's behavior. He also concluded that the unconscious is full of memories of

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