Sigmund Freud's Personality Theory

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Sigmund Freud is considered by many to be the greatest psychologist in history. Opinions vary greatly on the validity of this, though all must agree that he is one of the most well known psychologists in history. He was well know for his research into the science of the mind, and is famous for his theories about the functions of the mind and the human psyche.

Freud was born in 1856 to a Jewish family in Freiburg, Austria-Hungary. When he was 4 years old, his family moved to Vienna. In 1873, he began attending the University of Vienna's medical school. He hoped to break into the new science of neurophysiology, though research was difficult to fund without your own independent wealth. As his father was a merchant, this was not an easily attained goal. He received his medical degree in 1881, and in 1885 won a scholarship to go to Paris and continue his studies hysteria and the uses of hypnosis.

Freud returned to Vienna in 1886, and there he stayed for all but the last year of his life. He opened a private practice, specializing in nerve and brain disorders. He practiced hypnotism and other ways of getting patients to 'open up'. He found that often he could do so just by relaxing them and talking to them. This method was later referred to as 'the talking cure'. He continued his practice and research until 1938, when German forces occupied Vienna. Although Freud was a strong atheist, his Jewish background forced him to leave the country. He died in London the following September.

During Freud's years of study, he created many psychological theories over a broad range of subject matter, though all stem back to his ideas about the essence of the human mind. Many of these psychological theories...