psychical determinism

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In psychoanalysis, the assumption, first introduced by Sigmund Freud (1856–1939), that no psychological phenomena, not even dreams, symptoms, or parapraxes, occur by chance, but that they can always be assigned definite causes. Freud discussed this concept at length in his book The Psychopathology of Everyday Life (1901, Standard Edition, VI), citing numerous anecdotal instances. Also called psychic determinism. See also overdetermination, reductive interpretation.

Subjects: Psychology.

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