Biology Tutorials > Human Neurology > Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung

Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung

Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung

An artistic depiction of the two notable psychiatrists, Sigmund Freud (left) and Carl Jung (right)

Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud was a famous Austrian neurologist (1856 – 1939), who stated that dreams were the manifestation of the unconscious. Himself and another neurologist, Carl Gustav Jung (1875 – 1961), believed that conscious behavior derived from unconscious instinct which exists in all of us.

These unconscious thoughts were linked to suppressed sexual desires. Freud identified three key stages in the life cycle where the child’s tendency to focus on sexual areas of the body changes over time.

  • In the first year of a babies’ life, they focus on the mother’s mammary gland for feeding (the breast).
  • This state is succeeded from age 1 to 3 where the toddler is learning how to control their bowel and concentrates on their anal region.
  • This is in turn succeeded by attention towards the reproductive organs at age 3 to 4.

Freud argued that in these stages of unconscious repression, male children are attracted to their mother and become instinctively aggressive towards the father. The father reciprocally injects fear into the child by his male superiority, thus insinuating an essence of competition and games theory. Either way, the prime fact is that the child must grow to become sexually active and mature.

Differences Between Jung and Freud

Jung believed that a persons’ brain consisted of the forgotten consciousness and a cluster of memories of past experiences. He came to this hypothesis by studying humans suffering a mental disorder, who had hallucinations that were not a past recollection, thus Jung deduced there was another component of the brain adding to this illusion, i.e. the unconscious.

Freud, on the other hand, believed that the brain was divided into three parts

  • The ID – Inherited natural instincts
  • The Ego – The sense of self and attitude towards the external environment
  • The Superego – Superimposed values deriving from society and parental guidance

Essentially, this method of thinking, and approaching the brain from a self-realizing approach, neurology has been able to develop since these initial theories by Jung and Freud.

It also paved advances in psychiatry, and methods of psychotherapy to combat mental disorders, which are investigated upon in the next tutorial.


Credit: Aeon Video


Who is the proponent of the following theories? Select the best answer.

1. Dreams were the manifestation of the unconscious.
2. A persons’ brain consisted of the forgotten consciousness and a cluster of memories of past experiences.
3. Male children apparently are more attached to their mother than to their father.
4. The brain consists of the inherited natural instincts, the sense of self, and the superego.
5. The unconscious is another brain component based on a study of a mental disorder wherein the patient had hallucinations that were not a past recollection.

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Biology Tutorials > Human Neurology > Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung

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