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Monday, December 18, 2017

The relevance of Freud's research in the modern world

Sigmund Freud died more than 70 years ago, but his ideas still have a strong impact on science and culture development. It is officially proved, that most of his postulates are baseless and controversial. At the same time, Freud was the first who conducted the psychological revolution. You may love him or hate him, but it is impossible to underestimate Freud’s impact on the psychological field. Some of his works, like ‘The Interpretation of Dreams,' ‘Jokes and their Relation to the Unconscious’ and ‘The Ego and the Id’ turned out to be real sensations in the world of neurology, psychotherapy, and psychoanalysis.

Sigmund Freud, known as a founder of psychoanalysis, impacted on psychology, medicine, sociology, anthropology, literature and even art of the XX century. His ideas and views on human nature were path-breaking scientific inquiries for his time, and during all his life it kept exciting resonance and Freud criticisms in the scientific community. Despite many controversial postulates, Sigmund Freud and his theories are still popular.

Among Freud’s achievements, the most significant and innovative are the model of psychic structure comprising id, ego and superego development.

Despite the fact that there is no doubt about Freud’s greatness, many researchers consider his works as intellectual quackery. Almost every fundamental postulate of Freud's psychodynamic theory was criticized by prominent scientists and writers, such as Karl Jaspers, Erich Fromm, Karl Kraus. But these imputations didn’t prevent Freud’s work from becoming a significant impact in psychiatry establishment and, hence, they didn’t lose its popularity. So, is Freud’s research still relevant in the modern world? Does Sigmund Freud still matter? Was his psychodynamic theory of personality an intellectual charlatanism or pure innovation? There are some thoughts about this.

Psychologist and critic of Freud’s approach, John F. Kihlstrom admits that despite some disadvantages of his conception, there is no another genius figure, who can hold the same position as Sigmund Freud in psychoanalysis. Every day we use words and Freudian terms
referring to his theories, like ‘Freudian slip,' ‘sublimation,' ‘Oedipus complex,' ‘phallic symbol’ and many others.

Academic psychology does not refer to Freud’s works as a reliable source. Most of his methods and approaches are criticized, and scientist’s views on sexual aspects and homosexualism problems evoke real exasperation of feminists public figures.

One of the crucial problems of the Austrian neurologist’s concepts is that there is no scientific data that can prove its validity. For example, the idea that boys lust their mothers and hate fathers subconsciously has no practical or experimental evidence. Freud’s statements about envy of penis also sound ridiculous and primitive. There is no striking empirical illustration to the fact that during the life a man undergoes 5stages of development (oral, anal, phallic, latency and genital).

Anyway, Sigmund Freud was absolutely right in other assumptions, for instance: he approved that we are not owners of our mind – person’s thoughts, actions, and experience are formed not by our conscious mind, but by an irrational subconscious process that is not subordinate to a human beings. He considered psychoanalysis as a tool with the help of which we can investigate and control our strengths.

It is worth saying that the founder of the psychoanalysis was not a first scientist who handled a certain notion like ‘the unconscious’ –he took this idea from French psychiatrist Pierre Janet. The most powerful impact on the neurologist’s theories was occurred by his scientific coach Jean-Martin Charcot, who was a famous neurologist. In this case, a student surpassed his teacher by developing a well-known method or referring to the unconscious – the method of free association. To sum up, scholars name 5 main Freud’s postulates in the Freudian personality test still relevant in the modern world: the existence of unconscious psychic processes; the role of conflicts and ambivalence in person’s behavior; the bedrocks of personality are created in the childhood; the mental views effects on social behavior and the existence of several stages in psychiatric development of a human being.

Jeremy Raynolds is a famous American scholar in the field of psychiatry. The psychoanalysis, psychology and mental process are among his favorite interests. Also, he has been working as a writer for 3years, investigating psychological processes in human mind and neurological disorders.


  1. Academic psychology does not refer to Freud’s works as a reliable source. Most of his methods and approaches are criticized, and scientist’s views on sexual aspects and homosexualism problems evoke real exasperation of feminists public figures.

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  4. Good article. Freud was the eminent person. He changed the perception of psychology sience in his times. Now, of course, some of his theories are reviewed. But thanks a lot for such an informative article.

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