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Sigmund Freud Sigmund Freud was the first major social scientist to propose a unified theory to understand and explain human behavior No theory that has followed has been more complete more complex or more controversial Some psychologists treat Freuds writings as a sacred text - if Freud said it it must be true On the other hand many have accused Freud of being unscientific proposing theories that are too complex ever to be proved true or false He revolutionized ideas on how the human mind works and the theory that unconscious motives control many behaviors He applied himself to a new field of studyand struggled with an environment whose rejection of his work endangered his livelihood and that of his family Freud 3 His work greatly improved the fields of psychiatry and psychology and helped millions of mentally ill patients Sigmund Freud was born on May 6 1856 in Freiberg Moravia a region now in the Czech Republic His father was a wool merchant and was forty when he had Sigmund the oldest of eight children Gay 78 When Freud turned four his family moved to Vienna Austria After graduating from the Spree Gymnasium Freud was inspired by an essay written by Goethe on nature to make medicine as his career After graduating from the medical school of the University of Vienna in 1881 Freud decided to specialize in neurology the study and treatment of disorders of the nervous system Gay 79 In 1885 Freud went to Paris to study under Jean Martin Charcot a famous neurologist Charcot was working with patients who suffered from a mental illness called hysteria Some of these people appeared to be blind or paralyzed but they actually had no physical defects Charcot found that their physical symptoms could be relieved through hypnosis Garcia 209 Freud returned to Vienna in 1886 and began to work extensively with hysterical patients While discussing the case history of one
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