Developments in 19th Century Psychological Studies


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Sigmund Freud Contributions to Psychology

In the 19th century earlier psychological developments stressed more on the conscious experience in humans. Todays studies in psychology may prove this to be an incomplete view of psychology, because it lacks the subconscious aspect for completeness. This had been the situation for the major part of the 19th century, however; the contributions of Sigmund Freud brought about a great advancement and change to the psychological field. Freud introduced the theory on personality which laid greater emphasis on the unconscious mind.

Up till time the unconscious mind had been excluded from psychological research and study-thus missing a lot on making comprehensive studies on the subject. Freuds work with hysterical people and children gave him insight into the fact that the experiences of an individual, especially; those held from childhood and unconscious activities of the mind affect the development of personality and behavior in adulthood. Freud proposed that disorders of psychology develop as a result of conflicts that take place at the sub-conscious level, which eventually lead to an imbalance (Leahey, 2003).

Freuds theory had a great influence on the psychology that developed throughout the 20th century. This work is particularly interesting because it connects past experiences and the unconscious to the present working of the mind (Leahey, 2003). The theory shows how the patients can be their own enemies and thus developing a method of psychoanalysis through which patients can be made aware of their inner conflicts and be given insight on how to solve them internally through their conscious activity. This is actually a basis for the current day counseling practice, and should be regarded as a great development in the field of psychology.


Leahey, T.H. (2003). A history of psychology: Main currents in psychological thought, 6th edition, Pearson Prentice Hall


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