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Freud slips

Do we agree today with the psychoanalyst’s ideas?

By Peter Kellner   January 2012

We know who he was, but we don’t believe what he said. For this month’s Prospect poll, YouGov deserted the familiar terrain of politics, economics and Europe, and explored public attitudes to Sigmund Freud. We measured his recognition factor and tested five of his propositions about what makes humans tick.

First, more than three quarters of our sample correctly identified him as a psychoanalyst. We supplied respondents with ten possible occupations: 84 per cent picked one of these, while 16 per cent said either that they had heard of him but weren’t sure who he was (9 per cent) or…

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