Sociology Index


Freudian slip is an unintentional, especially spoken error that seems to reveal subconscious feelings. These errors reveal our hidden wishes and desires. Psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud argued that our hidden or suppressed thoughts have a tendency to emerge unexpectedly in what appear to be ordinary mistakes of language or errors of memory called Freudian slip.

Sigmund Freud was the first to draw attention to the significance of unconscious processes in normal and neurotic behaviour, and was the founder of psychoanalysis as both a theory of personality and a therapeutic practice. Through his concept of Freudian slip Sigmund Freud proposed the existence of an unconscious element in the mind which influences consciousness, and of conflicts in it between various sets of forces.

There's a certain delight in catching a person in a "slip of the tongue", a so-called Freudian slip. Unintentionally, the person speaking has let us into his inner thoughts and revealed a concealed, sometimes profound, perception.

An Account of the Freudian Slip in Reading and Writing - Richard S. Ruch, Department of Communication and Organizational Behavior, General Motors Institute, Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, Volume 4, Number 3 / Summer 1974.

Abstract: In our efforts to more effectively communicate, the Freudian slip is one phenomenon that frequently reminds us that we are imperfect communicators. We don't always mean what we say or say what we mean. This paper is a sequel to "An Analysis of the Freudian Slip and Errors in Speech Communication," which appeared in the October, 1972, issue of this journal. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the occurrence of the Freudian slip in reading and writing.

The Freudian Slip Revisited: A Case of Mistaken Identity in "Finnegan's Wake."
MacMahon, Barbara - Language & Communication, v15 n4 p289-328 Oct 1995
Abstract: Focuses on concepts and arguments from psychoanalysis and presents an example of a counterargument on the slip of the tongue or Freudian slip. The article delineates psycholinguistic accounts of speech errors, showing how these accounts can enhance a comparison of three samples of literary and nonliterary word substitutions that elucidate claims being made in literary theory.

An Analysis of the Freudian Slip and Errors in Speech Communication
Richard S. Ruch, College of Applied Sciences, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan
Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, Volume 2, Number 4 / October 1972,
Abstract: The Freudian slip is a common, yet little understood, phenomenon of speech communication. Though we can usually identify a Freudian slip easily, most of us are unfamiliar with how, why, and where the Freudian slip occurs. In all of his writings Freud never addressed himself to the Freduian slip per se. It is the Freudian account of id drive, however, that allows us to establish a working definition of the Freudian slip and investigate the differences between the Freudian slip and errors in speech. The central purpose of this article is to attempt to formulate a theory of the Freudian slip and speech errors in the context of the information theory model.