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Sigmund Freud. Engraving of Sigmund Freud (1856- 1939), Austrian psychologist. Freud established the idea that mental impairments could have pysch- ological as well as physiological causes. He theo- rised that the human mind contains conscious and unconscious levels; unpleasant memories were rep- ressed and stored unconsciously, whilst still affecting behaviour. Freud studied the unconscious levels by analysing subjects' dreams. His studies led him to believe that sexual impulses were responsible for all irrational thoughts & behavi- our (neuroses). His work remains controversial, although Freud is generally acknowledged as one of the great creative thinkers of modern times.
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