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What are Freudian Slips

What are Freudian Slips

Freudian slips, or parapraxes as they are sometimes called, may take several forms: slips of the tongue, pen or word processor; bungled actions and blunders; or lapses in memory.  According to the principle of psychic or (preferably, to avoid connotations of that term) psychological determinism, nothing in the human mind or behaviour is random; there is always a deeper significance, tactic or intent. Thus, apparently innocent mistakes, such as classified above, may present clues to underlying strivings and conflicts.  This aspect of Freudian theory, in particular, brings in the realm of common experience and was described in The Psychopathology of Everyday Life. A good example of parapraxis was presented by Freud himself. He needed to buy some blotting paper (Fliesspapier in German), but forgot four days on the trot, despite being in town each day.  It soon dawned on him that this omission seemed to illustrate an unconscious intention to protect him from a concern over his colleague Fliess’s health and a recognition that their friendship was breaking up.

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