Impact on Western Society

Freud's theory has had a dramatic impact on Western society, strongly influencing the ways people view themselves and their interactions with others. Terms such as "Freudian slip," "Oedipus complex," and "unconscious" are part of everyday language. Emotions may be seen as "buried deep," and emotional expression may be called therapeutic. Assumptions about the un conscious influence both popular and professional conceptions of mental life.

The assumption that the expression of emotion is healthy and the repression of emotion is unhealthy may be traced to Freud. To some extent, this idea has received support from research which suggests that unresolved anger may contribute to physical health problems. Unfortunately, the release of anger in verbal or physical aggression may cause those aggressive behaviors to increase rather than decrease. The vicarious experience of aggression via watching television or films may also teach aggression rather than reduce the urge to act aggressively.

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