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The Psychopathology of Everyday Life

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  3,858 ratings  ·  156 reviews
In "The Psychopathology of Everyday Life" Freud examines the psychological basis for the forgetting of names and words, the misuse of words in speech and in writing, and other similiar errors. Freud's examination of the subject is extensively discussed through the use of anecdotes and examples. "The Psychopathology of Everyday Life" makes for one of Freud's more readable w ...more
Paperback, 116 pages
Published January 1st 2005 by (first published 1901)
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Emily Rosewater why did you start and then stop reading, ask yourself - that's a main reason for reading it at all (there's no esoteric "charm" in it, anyway).

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3.86  · 
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 ·  3,858 ratings  ·  156 reviews

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I felt reading that perhaps the best review would be to simply refer to this picture.

This because Freud in this book is pointing towards a range of everyday phenomena: forgetfulness, slips of the tongue or pen, mis-printings, misreadings, inadvertent actions, and asserting that they are not what they appear. For social reasons we class these things as forgetfulness or accidents, but in some cases, such as the ones Freud describes and explains in this book, there is purpose and meaning.

It was a f
Jun 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
I learned why I have lost so many umbrellas in my life. Why I try to open my office door with my house key. Now, why should my hats and caps have half-lives of less than a year? Where is that mosquito control association cap I got from the World's Leading Authority? Freud pretty much convinced me that what my grandma told me - "Lost objects go to the Moon" - is not true. Venus, maybe.
Michael A.
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant and accessible, demonstrating a wide variety of examples and phenomena that are posited by Freud as essentially repressed/unconscious associations coming to the forefront (i.e. the first number that pops into your head isn't really "random", the classic "Freudian slip" [translated as speech-blunder here], when you forget the name of something but "know you'll recognize it when you see it", etc.)

Fundamentally changed my outlook on the psyche and got me into the world of psychoanalysis..
Curt Bozif
Oct 02, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who read his Interpretation of Dreams
Shelves: psychoanalysis
How to make people really self-conscious when they drop, slip, miss-spell, forget, are late, or bump into something.
May 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Surprisingly good.

Now that we live in a post-Fruedian universe - it is very interesting to go back and see how it all came about - this book was very readable, the stories he tells, he tells well. It's not always easy to catch everything he is getting at - but in general a very good thesis.

i don't go all the way with his ideas, and he was pedantic, a little Victorian demigod, but all the same fun to read.

Sep 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: freud
Once I had corrected his mistake, I asked him to explain it, and received the usual rather surprised answers: surely everyone had a right to make a slip of the tongue now and then, it was only a coincidence, there was nothing behind it, etc. I replied that every slip of the tongue was made for some reason . . . He added that a man like me, meticulously studying every tiny detail, was positively dangerous, and then he suddenly recollected another appointment and left us.
If one of my fa
Alex Csicsek
Sep 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
Yeah yeah yeah, Frued has been discredited by over half a century of physiological study, and his theories are filled with holes and contradictions even when taken on their own terms, but come on... this stuff is fun.

The Psychopathology of Everyday Life is an interesting, accessible book demonstrating the existence of the psyche in the most mundane of circumstances, such as when having a conversation or trying to recall a name. Each chapter deals with the different manifestations of the psyche t
Sep 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Interesting book with a lot of theories that make you think about little memory quirks in day to day life. I did not agree with everything, but that is also not really the point with books like that. The fact that theories are explained well is more important. Also he uses a lot of examples to explain his points, which was very functional in my opinion.
Jan 18, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Finished it finally. Jung's next.
I don't think I'll read Freud again. Why? Because I've had the impression that Freud's full of himself, the quantity of the examples are too damn much and the theories... I have to admit, some of them were interesting and made me think, but most of them are just annoying. The whole book is annoying and doesn't make any sense. I cannot believe most of psychology is based on this guy's thoughts.

And I have another thing I have to mention, but it's not Freud's fault.
I have a confused perception of Freud, something this book exacerbated rather than demystified. I'm not a psychologist, but I am someone that's been alive, interested and at least semi-observant of human behaviour for over twenty years. To that end, I feel as though I should be able to come to some conclusions about what people are like, their individuality, what drives them, innermost emotions etc. One has to, to a degree, understand people just to get on with living.

That 'degree' is what's so
Shahine Ardeshir
Jun 18, 2014 rated it did not like it
Since Psychology was my undergraduate major, I am no stranger to Sigmund Freud. So you could argue that I had some idea of what I would be getting into when I picked this book up.

Unfortunately, that didn't help make it any more enjoyable.

I was reminded repeatedly of a line I read in one of our Psychology text books, which pointed out while some of Freud's ideas did in fact shape the way we see therapy, a lot of his work did more to propel dissension (and hence encourage more people to join the
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is a clear shock if you're used to read peer-review studies with graphs and statistics.

I probably should've picked someone easier to get myself introduced into psychoanalysis but Freud really gives you a literal crash course into it, where you kinda get the feeling of it from the sheer frustration you get by his lack of classical science-y methods and achieving a somewhat undebatable conclusion with his "find the meaning in the hay stack" way of doing things.

Besides the total ignoranc
Marty Kausas
Jan 07, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Reason for reading:
I desired to learn about why we are forgetful.

Freud proposed that we forget due to negative subconscious associations or because the word is not beneficial to our sexual reproduction.

This is all fine; however, his evidence for this not exhaustive and far-fetched. He draws only from personal conversations he has with people in passing and the associations he finds seem artificial.

This is a fairly negative review as I did not feel I got what I wanted out of the book, b
May 12, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: psychology
I read this as a required reading in one of my classes in graduate school (which may have something to do with how I rated it). At the end of the book I was left wondering if anyone would ever suggest this book if the authors name wasn't Freud.
Gytis Dovydaitis
Aug 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: academic
A couple of peculiar things happened a couple of days ago: during one of conversations I forgot Yves Klein's name, then I unintentionally postponed replying an important email by going to read a book, finally biting my tongue while eating a piece of commercially prepared bread. Seems that I should see a psychoanalyst... Freud argues that every action of ours has a subconscious motivation, thus non of them are random.

This book induces an unique increase in awareness: by observing yourself and you
Ganesh Sanal
Jul 27, 2016 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one
A word to everyone that's about to read this: This is not Psychiatry 101. The author's subconscious repressed the fact that there are non-psychiatric people like us exist.

The most excruciating read ever. Sigmund Freud is the most terrible author that I have ever came across. He may be a great psychiatrist but he is the kind of author that make you quit reading altogether. Phew...


Okay. Calm down...


This is something that lies between a research paper and a generic book. It's too technical to be c
Sep 16, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
After showing how cases of hysteria (1895, with Joseph Breuer) and dreams (1899) are results of the interplay between the unconsciousness - which houses all our true wishes and urges - and the consciousness - which manifests only the morally accepted wishes and urges -, Sigmund Freud faced the difficult task to make his new revolutionary psychological science acceptable to both academic and popular circles. The problem? He used (1) non-representative data (mentally sick people; dreams) and (2) h ...more
Jan 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology, theory
Freud's work is foundational for understanding theory. Without reading his work, we can't possibly get all the references of the other theorists who followed. So... as part of my MFA program, we read the entire body of Freud's work.

I had a lot of resistance to Freud... mostly feminist critique. But to be fair, even the feminist theorists are grounded in at least an understanding of Freud (if not Freudian themselves). But about this book...

I guess I took issue with Freud's assumption of perfecti
Ioana Fotache
Dec 01, 2014 rated it liked it
While I appreciate its place in history, the easily comprehensible language, and the general encouragement to self-discovery via analysing ourselves and our everyday life, *damn* does Freud have a way of stretching things.
Kausik R
Jul 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
i was flabbergasted when i read this book ... forgetting names and slip of tongue is not a simple science...
Joanne Gordon
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved his take on jokes, and his explanation of Freudian slips
Nov 15, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: pop-science, 2011
Quaint misogynistic ramblings of an old fuddy duddy.
Cole Whetstone
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Unity: Repression is the language of the unconscious, and psychoanalysis of forgetting is our Rosetta stone.
3 Prompts:
1. Why do people forget things they clearly have already learned? This is the central research question of this book. Freud is not so much concerned with forgetting during learning as he is with this everyday forgetting (though perhaps his theory can explain problems of forgetting in learning via an affective barrier that is always up). Indeed, when asked, this question is quite
Dec 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A fitting start to Freud's work. This book is a long list of the things that we often dismiss as inconsequential but can actually be traced back to our thoughts when it happened. Or our disagreeable thoughts about a matter, which can be associated with the present one. Freud makes a dispassionate argument throughout the book, allowing for mistakes and accepting that although it might all seem very circumstantial after the fact, we must try to be as objective as we possibly can.

Some of the quotes
Soko Tomic
May 08, 2018 rated it liked it
The fascinating thing about this book was how it showed the truly unique way of thinking Sigmund Freud had when it came to people, how they think, feel and interact with each other.

Nevertheless, despite the fact that I highly appreciate and respect his observational methodologies, I was not really impressed by the conclusions he came to based on these observations. Also in some points of the book, it seems as if he is just thinking on paper, not even trying to make meaningful and reliable claims
Anna Elissa
I *want* to really like this book. Truly. I want to find it difficult to put down and I want to go recommend it enthusiastically to anyone who would listen to me. I mean come on, it's Freud! And everyday psychopathology! Wow!
But I can't. I don't know whether I should be disappointed in the book or in myself. The topic of this book is fascinating and there are indeed so many gems and funny bits of psychoanalysis in it. But the language (or the translation?) makes it difficult to read. 3 star rati
Kirk Johnson
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As usual, Freud stretches the support for his theories a bit too thin in places, but for an entertaining read and as a tool for investigating oneself, this book is exceptional. In large part a collection of anecdotes with a bit of theoretical musing to fill in the gaps - or the opposite, one could argue - Freud shows that he both knows how to write a story with verve and how to present a theory succinctly and painlessly.

The introduction is a better affair than most. Perhaps its author is a bit o
Johnn Escobar
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Deeper teachings about failed acts and their corresponding interpretation, as well as déjà vu are some of the broad themes that come to be learned.
Sigmund Freud in each of his books succeeds in submerging the reader in a class rich in knowledge, because it allows to understand and analyze the forgetfulness or omission of names, as well as the failed readings, or an analogous case in the writing revealing hidden desires in the unconscious.
In my opinion it is a book that can not be lacking in the
Ahmed Hamad
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
While I believe Freud makes a lot of errors in this book, by basing his ideas on anecdotes without providing much evidence (other than "it fits in my opinion"), the thought process is nothing short of utter magnificence. Even with all those errors, it seems like the ideas here, along with those in the interpretation of dreams, opened the door for us to explore and develop all of what we know about psychoanalysis, so thanks Freud..
Maha Shangab
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: top-10-books
A book's worth is determined by how much it adds to you and how much it enriches your mind.
Freud has succeeded in altering the way I view day to day matters, things that I once thought trivial and overlooked.

Nothing is arbitrary, nothing is unintentional, nothing is a mere mistake, nothing is a mere slip when it comes to people's actions. This shall be the principle I adopt until further study confirm it or contradict it.
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Dr. Sigismund Freud (later changed to Sigmund) was a neurologist and the founder of psychoanalysis, who created an entirely new approach to the understanding of the human personality. He is regarded as one of the most influential—and controversial—minds of the 20th century.

In 1873, Freud began to study medicine at the University of Vienna. After graduating, he worked at the Vienna General Hospital
“Perciò la differenza tra me ed un uomo superstizioso consiste in questo: io non credo che un avvenimento verificatosi senza alcuna partecipazione della mia vita psichica possa rivelarmi cose arcane sul futuro; credo invece che un'espressione non intenzionale della mia vita psichica possa rivelarmi qualcosa di ignoto che, in fondo, appartiene solo alla mia vita psichica; credo alla casualità esterna (reale) ma non a quella interna (psichica). Insomma, il mio è l'atteggiamento esattamente opposto a quello del superstizioso; egli, non sapendo nulla della motivazione degli atti casuali e degli atti mancati, crede nella casualità psichica; è portato ad attribuire al caso esterno un'importanza che si manifesta nella realtà futura, ed a vedere nel caso un mezzo d'espressione di qualcosa che è nascosto nella realtà. Ci sono dunque due differenze tra me e l'uomo superstizioso: prima di tutto egli proietta all'esterno una motivazione che io cerco all'interno; in secondo luogo, egli interpreta il caso per mezzo di un avvenimento che io riconduco ad un'idea. Ciò che per lui è occulto per me è inconscio; in noi c'è la tendenza comune a non considerare il caso come tale, ma ad interpretarlo.
Ora io sostengo che quest'ignoranza cosciente e questa conoscenza inconscia della motivazione delle casualità psichiche sono una delle radici della superstizione. Proprio perché il superstizioso non sa nulla della motivazione dei suoi atti casuali e perché questa motivazione cerca di imporsi alla sua conoscenza, egli è obbligato a spostarla ed a collocarla nel mondo esterno.”
“Various sources force us to assume that the so-called earliest childhood recollections are not true memory traces but later elaborations of the same, elaborations which might have been subjected to the influences of many later psychic forces. Thus, the "childhood reminiscences" of individuals altogether advance to the signification of "concealing memories," and thereby form a noteworthy analogy to the childhood reminiscences as laid down in the legends and myths of nations.” 2 likes
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