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empirical findings demonstration of the role of unconscious processes in human behavior.

Sigmund Freud (1856 to 1939) was the founding father of psychoanalysis, a method for treating mental illnessand also a theory which explains human behavior.

Freud believed that events in our childhood have a great influence on our adult lives, shaping our personality. For example, anxiety originating from traumatic experiences in a person’s past is hidden from consciousness, and may cause problems during adulthood (in the form of neuroses).

Thus, when we explain our behavior to ourselves or others (conscious mental activity), we rarely give a true account of our motivation. This is not because we are deliberately lying. While human beings are great deceivers of others; they are even more adept at self-deception.

Freud’s life work was dominated by his attempts to find ways of penetrating this often subtle and elaborate camouflage that obscures the hidden structure and processes of personality.

His lexicon has become embedded within the vocabulary of Western society. Words he introduced through his theories are now used by everyday people, such as anal (personality), libido, denial, repression, cathartic, Freudian slip, and neurotic.