Freud’s psychoanalytic strategy

Elms has led through many printed works including psychobiographies on Allport (1972), Freud (1980), Skinner (1981), and Murray (1987) to psychobiography.

Ostwald, Peter. “Genius, Madness, and Health: Examples from Psychobiography.” ed. Peter Ostwald and Leonard Zegans. Madison, CT.: International Universities Press, Inc., 199 167 19.Psychobiography

Freud’s psychoanalytic strategy (Freudian view) isn’t generally used in its entirety but it’s had a long-term impact on the evaluation of behaviour in other areas. To be able to sift through a very long time of advice and find areas that are critical in the development of the area there should be a system and psychoanalysis provided the foundation because of this.

Freud understood primacy, the first exposure or encounter, as an essential aspect in character growth , and it has stayed a vital feature and psychobiography. Frequency, activities or continued exposure, is additionally significant, but its importance can change.

If the frequency of an activity is low then it’s viewed as unimportant, and additionally becoming less significant in psychobiography, if the frequency is too high it becomes passive and overlooked. Freud’s knowledge of the need for frequency is demonstrated in the investigation of mistakes, dreams, slips, and comedy by understanding that repetition leads individuals to disregard these behaviours or stimuli.

The need for including slips and distortions, mistake in psychobiography, can be used to identify concealed motivations and is also rooted in Freudian psychoanalysis.


One of the first great examples of this subject’s utility was Dr. Henry Murray’s report on the analysis of Adolf Hitler’s style during the ending of WWII. By using a theory of personality that consisted of 20 psychogenic needs, Dr. Murray presumed Hitler’s personality as “counteractive narcism”, and was able to correctly predict the German leaders suicide in the face of his nation’s defeat. This work by Dr. Murray not only helped create personality psychology as a behavioral science, but it also showed how the field of psychobiography could be used as a means of psychoanalysis.

Sigmund Freud’s evaluation of Leonardo da Vinci (titled “Leonardo da Vinci and a Memory of His Youth”) is generally regarded as the first “modern” psychobiography. Persons who’ve been the area of psychobiographical research comprise Freud, Adolf Hitler, Sylvia Plath, Carl Jung, Vincent van Gogh, Martin Luther, Abraham Lincoln, Elvis Presley, Soeren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, Andrew Jackson and Richard Nixon.