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MS in Psychology Insight: The History Behind the Freudian Slip

Study alongside Walden University students with this required reading taken from the MS in Psychology degree course Themes and Theories of Psychology.

Ever say something you didn’t mean? You probably called it an accident, but those who study psychodynamics would disagree. You see, according to the field of psychodynamics, our behaviors—including our words—are never an accident.

Originated by Sigmund Freud, psychodynamics is a field of psychology research and theory that sees our behaviors and personalities as a function of the drives and forces within us, particularly our unconscious. Everything we do and say reveals something about what’s going on inside, even if we ourselves can’t “see” it.

MS in Psychology Insight: The History Behind the Freudian Slip

In Walden University’s MS in Psychology program, students study this concept as part of the Themes and Theories of Psychology course. In particular, they read Saul McLeod’s article “Psychodynamic Approach,”1 which explains how our unconscious affects our behaviors in a section about Freudian slips. In this section, McLeod writes:

Psychodynamic theory is strongly determinist, as it views our behavior as caused entirely by unconscious factors over which we have no control.

Unconscious thoughts and feelings can transfer to the conscious mind in the form of parapraxes, popularly known as Freudian slips or slips of the tongue. We reveal what is really on our mind by saying something we didn't mean to.

Freud believed that slips of the tongue provided an insight into the unconscious mind and that there were no accidents—every behavior (including slips of the tongue) was significant (i.e., all behavior is determined).

So, next time you say something by accident, ask yourself: Was it really an accident?

What Else Can a Master’s in Psychology Program Teach You?

The concept behind Freudian slips is just one of the many subjects you can study in Walden’s psychology master’s program. And psychodynamics is just one of the many approaches to psychology that Walden master’s in psychology students can choose to explore. In fact, in addition to core courses covering the breadth of psychological study, Walden offers a number of other courses that allow you to develop a psychological specialty. This can help you start a career in psychology or advance a career in one of the many industries that use psychological research, including marketing, human resources, and even politics.

If you weren’t a psychology major in college, that’s not a problem. At Walden, you don’t have to hold a Bachelor of Science in Psychology to earn a master’s degree in psychology. And neither do you need to worry about living close to a campus, because Walden uses an online learning format. Instead of driving to class, you can take online psychology courses from home. Plus, an online master’s in psychology program allows you to choose when in the day you attend class, so you can arrange your class schedule around your job and other responsibilities.

A master’s program in psychology can give you insight into why we are the way we are, which can help you excel in a variety of careers. And with the online education options offered at Walden, you can make earning an advanced psychology degree a reality.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering an MS in Psychology degree program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree using a convenient, flexible learning platform that fits your busy life.


Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,