A common definition of a Freudian slip is an unintentional error that usually reveal unconscious/ subconscious feelings, desires, attitudes. It can happen in speech or in writing especially when we’re tired, stressed, nervous or speak quickly. Sigmund Freud included this concept in the psychoanalysis theory he formulated last century and used it in his practice. He initially named these performances “faulty actions” or “faulty functions”.
(If you haven’t heard about Sigmund Freud yet, you may read this page to find out more.)
Recently, cognitive psychologists tried to give another explanation for the linguistics slips. They say that these slips may be due to cognitive processes that can take a variety of forms – lost of temporary memory, inattention, bad hearing or insufficient knowledge. However, their explanation is not quite right for all the slips that happen.
For instant, a trainer who was giving a presentation about dealing with aggression at some point he says dealing with attraction instead of dealing with aggression. A cognitive psychologist would say that he was tired and didn’t pay attention. Freud would have said that this mistake reveals some hidden/ unconscious feelings of attraction toward somebody.
Who is right? We cannot know for sure, however in the classroom there was an attractive young blonde girl who caught the trainer’s attention all day long. My guess is that in this case Freud is right. Because this trainer is a married man with children and it was obvious that he was attracted by that girl. He was looking more often to her, he paid more attention to her opinion, likes and dislikes. I assume that his mind was trying to find ways how to deal with that attraction. 🙂 So, instead of “how to deal with aggression” he read “how to deal with attraction”, revealing his hidden feelings.