Freudian Slips and Our Personalites

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Psychologist Sigmund Freud had developed many fascinating yet controversial ideas throughout his life and career. His theories ranged from the description of our inner psyche and how its components interact to form our personalities to the stages of psychosexual development. Many of his ideas have been criticized as pseudoscientific; they are often unable to be falsified and their effects on our individual personalities often have simpler explanations. However, his unique thinking has influenced many other psychologists in their theories of the role of our unconscious in our decision-making and personalities.

Freud was a believer in psychic determinism, the assumption that all psychological events have a cause. Freudian slips are one topic of psychic determinism. This occurs when something slips out of your mouth that you didn't mean to say. Have you ever had something slip out of your mouth in the middle of a sentence that might have been embarrassing? You probably had no intention of saying this, or weren't even thinking about the word but it still slipped out! According to Freud, this is part of your deep psychological unconsciousness coming up to the surface; the slips serve as a window into our inner conflicts.

Newscasters are known for having Freudian slips every once in awhile. Their slips are probably more noticeable because they are being broadcasted to thousands of people. See the attached link below for a slip by Gene Rayburn, the host from "The Match Game." Freud believed that our unconscious contained many suppressed ideas about sex and these are noticed in our slips. But isn't it possible that our slips in speech are not always about sex? If Gene Rayburn had said a more common word such as ripple instead of nipple, we may not have even noticed it, and wouldn't have classified it as a Freudian slip. So perhaps it only seems our slips are about sex because that is what we notice and remember. Freud's theory that our slips in speech have a cause is difficult to support with evidence, slips can be easily described as just a random mistake in speech. Overall, Freud's ideas are quite controversial and difficult to support with evidence; however, they offer intriguing insight to what may be happening in our minds.

The Match Game - Gene Rayburn slip

Slip pic.jpeg

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Is there evidence out there to suggest that more of our verbal slips are or are not related to sex? What could be some other explanations of these slips?

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This page contains a single entry by menig001 published on November 20, 2011 11:33 PM.

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