Freudian slip is an error, which roots, as analysts believe, to be found in the unconscious. Most of such slips are given out by thoughts and feelings that people keep with them and sometimes don’t know about their existence. Fairly typical situation is when people call their spouse by the name of the exes, or use the wrong word in a conversation, or simply misinterpret spoken or written words by others.
Famous psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud was the first to describe the different types and examples of such slips in his book The Psychopathology of Everyday Life.
Today, the expression Freudian slip is a kind of proverb, used when a person makes a mistake in the speech. People often notice (jokingly, of course) that the error shows the hidden emotions of the speaker.
Freud gave great importance to the hidden meaning of these errors; however, slips are inevitable, thus they rarely have any meaning. In an article for Psychology Today Jena Pincott suggested that people make 1-2 errors per 1,000 words they say. The average is 7 to 22 of slips per day – depending on how much a person speaks.
Several studies confirm Freud’s idea that the unconscious or repressed thoughts may increase the likelihood of such errors. Motley and Beers have shown that people, who thought that they could get an electric shock, were more inclined to have related slips. The men next to a beautiful female experimenter are also more likely to make slips related to her beauty.
Freud suggested that the seemingly insignificant and meaningless erroneous actions serve to realization of unconscious desires, being compromise formations created by the appropriate conscious intention and partial simultaneous implementation of unconscious desires.
Despite the apparent absurdity and their innocence, Freud denied such actions in triviality, treating them as a significant phenomenon in psychological terms – the outward manifestation of unresolved subconscious conflicts and repressed desires. As in dreams, Freud saw in parapraxis potential road to the unconscious secrets.
Not all wrong actions are easy to understand, but in the course of analytic work with the patient it is sometimes possible to speculate about what the exact meaning of the slip, even of the most confusing and erroneous actions. Erroneous actions of the patient (for example, forgetting time of the session or making a payment for the treatment) allows the analyst and the patient obtain important information about the resistance and transference.
Freudian slip is an error, which roots, as analysts believe, to be found in the unconscious. Most of such slips are given out by thoughts and feelings that people keep with them and sometimes don’t know about their existence.