Who pioneered the method of psychoanalysis? | Sociology for CUET by Vikash Ranjan | Sociology Guru

Pioneer of Psychoanalysis

Question: Who pioneered the method of psychoanalysis?

  1. John Piaget
  2. Festinger
  3. Sigmund Freud
  4. Erving Goffman

Answer: (3)

Sigmund Freud: The Pioneer of Psychoanalysis

The question posed in the MA CUET exam delves into the realm of psychology and the origins of psychoanalysis, a groundbreaking method that revolutionized our understanding of the human mind. The correct answer, Sigmund Freud, is synonymous with the inception and development of psychoanalysis. In exploring this answer, we will journey through the historical context, key tenets of psychoanalysis, Freud’s contributions, and the enduring impact of his revolutionary approach to the study of the mind.

  1. Introduction to Psychoanalysis:

Psychoanalysis is a comprehensive framework of theories and therapeutic techniques designed to explore the depths of the human psyche, particularly focusing on the unconscious mind. The roots of psychoanalysis can be traced back to the pioneering work of Sigmund Freud in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

  1. Historical Context:

The late 19th century was a period of significant intellectual and scientific ferment. Freud’s work emerged against the backdrop of burgeoning interest in understanding the intricacies of human behavior, cognition, and mental health. This era witnessed a departure from purely philosophical inquiries into the mind to a more empirical and psychologically oriented approach.

  1. Freud’s Path to Psychoanalysis:

Sigmund Freud, born in 1856 in what is now the Czech Republic, initially trained as a neurologist. His early medical career focused on neurology and neuropathology, but his encounters with patients suffering from various psychosomatic symptoms led him to delve into the complexities of the mind.

  1. The Foundations of Psychoanalysis:

Freud’s theoretical framework rested on several foundational concepts that formed the bedrock of psychoanalysis:

Unconscious Mind: Freud proposed that a significant portion of mental activity occurs in the unconscious mind, inaccessible to conscious awareness. This hidden realm harbors repressed thoughts, memories, and desires that influence behavior.

Repression: Central to Freudian theory is the concept of repression, whereby distressing thoughts and memories are pushed into the unconscious to shield the individual from psychological discomfort.

Psychosexual Development: Freud articulated the stages of psychosexual development, positing that childhood experiences and conflicts shape adult personality. The stages include oral, anal, phallic, latent, and genital phases.

Oedipus Complex: Freud introduced the Oedipus complex, suggesting that during the phallic stage, children experience unconscious desires for their opposite-sex parent and rivalry with the same-sex parent.

  1. Psychoanalytic Techniques:

Freud developed therapeutic techniques to unearth unconscious conflicts and bring them into conscious awareness. Notable among these techniques were free association, dream analysis, and the interpretation of slips of the tongue (Freudian slips).

Free Association: Patients were encouraged to express thoughts without censorship, allowing the analyst to discern patterns and identify repressed material.

Dream Analysis: Freud believed dreams offered a window into the unconscious. Analyzing dreams provided insights into unresolved conflicts and desires.

Freudian Slips: Errors in speech or memory, commonly known as Freudian slips, were interpreted as revealing unconscious thoughts and motives.

  1. Criticisms and Evolution of Psychoanalysis:

While Freud’s work was revolutionary, it was not without controversy and subsequent evolution. Critics challenged aspects of his theories, including the emphasis on sexuality, the universality of certain concepts, and the reliance on introspection. However, Freud’s influence persisted, and psychoanalysis evolved through subsequent generations of theorists, including neo-Freudians who modified and expanded upon his ideas.

  1. Freud’s Enduring Legacy:

Sigmund Freud’s legacy extends beyond the realm of psychology to permeate popular culture and interdisciplinary fields. His impact on literature, art, film, and the humanities attests to the enduring fascination with his ideas. Despite ongoing debates about the scientific validity of specific aspects of psychoanalysis, Freud’s contributions to understanding the unconscious mind and the intricate interplay of human motivations remain foundational.

  1. Relevance to the MA CUET Exam:

Aspirants preparing for the MA CUET exam may encounter questions that assess their understanding of psychoanalysis and its founder, Sigmund Freud. Potential exam questions might include:

Explanation of Psychoanalysis: Candidates may be asked to elucidate the fundamental principles of psychoanalysis, including the concepts of the unconscious mind, repression, and psychosexual development.

Significance of Freudian Techniques: Exam questions might explore the therapeutic techniques developed by Freud, such as free association and dream analysis, and their significance in uncovering unconscious conflicts.

Critiques and Evolution: Aspirants may be tasked with critically evaluating criticisms of Freud’s theories and understanding the subsequent evolution of psychoanalysis by neo-Freudian thinkers.

Freud’s Impact on Psychology: Questions may delve into Freud’s enduring influence on the field of psychology and his contributions to shaping the landscape of mental health studies.


In conclusion, Sigmund Freud’s pioneering work in psychoanalysis has left an indelible mark on the understanding of human behavior and the complexities of the mind. His conceptual framework, encompassing the unconscious mind, repression, and psychosexual development, has transcended disciplinary boundaries to influence diverse domains of knowledge. As MA CUET exam aspirants engage with questions related to psychology and the history of psychological theories, a comprehensive grasp of Freud’s contributions will serve as a valuable foundation for navigating the complexities of human thought and behavior.


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Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Question: Define the term “ethnic movement” and provide an example from India.

Answer: An ethnic movement refers to a collective effort by a group sharing common cultural, linguistic, or religious traits, seeking to assert their identity and rights; an example from India is the Khalistan Movement in Punjab.

2. Question: Identify the main objectives behind the Gorkhaland ethnic movement.

Answer: The Gorkhaland ethnic movement primarily seeks to establish a separate state for India’s Nepali-speaking population in the Darjeeling region, advocating for linguistic and cultural recognition and political autonomy.

3. Question: What was the Operation Blue Star, and which ethnic movement was it related to?
Answer: Operation Blue Star was a military action in 1984, aiming to remove Sikh militants hiding in the Golden Temple in Amritsar; it is related to the Khalistan movement, which sought a separate Sikh country.

4. Question: Mention a critical factor that triggered the emergence of ethnic movements in India, as discussed by Dipankar Gupta.
Answer: Dipankar Gupta emphasized that ethnicity is fundamentally a political process, wherein caste and religion, the key components of identity formation, are politicized by leaders for vested interests.

5. Question: What were the primary reasons for the Assam Ethnicity conflicts involving Bodo tribals and Bengali Muslim settlers?
Answer: The Assam Ethnicity conflicts primarily stemmed from issues related to immigration, land rights, and resource allocation, leading to clashes, riots, and evolving relationships among indigenous communities to address challenges.

6. Question: Briefly describe the role of the Dravidian Movement in terms of caste and societal structure.
Answer: The Dravidian Movement, led notably by E.V. Ramasamy, aimed to establish an egalitarian society, focusing on anti-Brahmanism and advocating for equal rights for backward castes, while also introducing reforms like self-respect marriages.

7. Question: Name the prominent ethnic movements in North-East India and specify one common objective.
Answer: Prominent ethnic movements in North-East India include the Nagas’ and Mizos’ struggles; a common objective was to gain autonomy and recognition for their distinct tribal identities and cultural uniqueness.

8. Question: What is the key argument of Gail Omveldt regarding traditional Indian society and multiculturalism?
Answer: Gail Omveldt opposed romanticizing traditional Indian society, arguing that hierarchy has always dominated it and dismissing the notion that multiculturalism is an intrinsic feature of Indian society as a myth.

9. Question: Briefly explain the social hierarchy factor as a contributing element to ethnic movements as suggested by Olzak.
Answer: Olzak suggests that the construction of hierarchies among ethnic communities, which often leads to the suppression of one group by another, is a key factor that can instigate social and ethnic movements.

10. Question: Identify one consequence of the unequal economic development factor within the context of ethnic movements in India.
Answer: One consequence of unequal economic development is the marginalization and underdevelopment of certain groups, leading to feelings of alienation and sometimes initiating ethnic movements as these groups strive for equality and recognition.

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