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Who Were the Neo-Freudians?

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Question: Who Were the Neo-Freudians?
Answer:

Neo-Freudian psychologists were thinkers who agreed with the basis of Freud's psychoanalytic theory, but changed and adapted the theory to incorporate their own beliefs, ideas and theories. Psychologist Sigmund Freud proposed a number of ideas that were highly controversial, but also attracted a number of followers.

Many of these thinkers agreed with Freud's concept of the unconscious mind and the importance of early childhood. There were, however, a number of points that other thinkers disagreed with or directly rejected. Because of this, these individuals went on to propose their own unique theories of personality.

Major Neo-Freudian Thinkers

Neo-Freudian Disagreements with Freud

There are a few different reasons why these neo-Freudian thinkers disagreed with Freud. For example, Erik Erikson believed that Freud was incorrect to believe that personality is shaped almost entirely by childhood events. Other issues that motivated neo-Freudian thinkers included:

  1. Freud's emphasis on sexual urges as a primary motivator
  2. Freud's negative view of human nature
  3. Freud's belief that personality is entirely shaped by early childhood experiences
  4. Freud's lack of emphasis on social and cultural influences on behavior and personality

While the neo-Freudian's may have been influenced by Freud, they developed their own unique theories and perspectives on human development, personality and behavior.

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