Difference Between Freud and Jung (With Table)

The core researches conducted in psychology will always be considered incomplete if they do not shed light upon the contributions of Freud and Jung. Though their combined efforts have raised the bar for psychological methods, some marked differences in the hypothesis are still relevant. Both of them have furthered the interests of the behaviorist school only.

Freud vs Jung

The main difference between Freud and Jung is that the former focused on sexuality while the latter shunned it. This difference has always been open to interpretation for streamlining the development of various schools of psychology. Though the core subject is the same, contradictory views have been expressed by them.

Freud is the common name for Sigmund Freud. He was a student of medicine and shifted towards the intricacies of psychology in the later years of his career. He developed the highly revered theory of psychoanalysis and gave the idea of an unconscious brain. All the discoveries proved to be a breakthrough.

Jung (read as “Yoong”) is the common name for Carl Gustav Jung. He was professionally a psychiatrist, as well as a psychologist. His domain was to prove the sexual aspect wrong, contrary to what was popularized by Freud. Jung’s main focus was on developing a new school, which should not rely solely on available literature.

Comparison Table Between Freud And Jung

Parameters of ComparisonFreudJung
Main TheoryFocused on the effect of childhood trauma on later life, among other factors of analysisFocused on parapsychology and related fields
Famous Works The Interpretation of Dreams, The Ego and the Id, etcMan and His Symbols, The Undiscovered Self, etc
Relevance in Psychological FindingsUnderstanding disorders and other mental health issues concerning the psychosexual aspectUnderstanding development without referring to the sexual aspect

What is Freud?

The theory of Sigmund Freud tries to establish the significance of analytical psychology. Psychoanalysis implies the use of psychosocial stages of development in the determination of how a person handles pressure in later life. The main stages include the infancy stage, anal stage, oral stage, phallic stage, latency stage, and genital stage. They are based on a specific chronological order observed in the various Freudian experiments.

Applications of the psychoanalytic approach include dream analysis and the realm of the unconscious. The most famous theory was that of “tip of the iceberg”. This means that the structure of the human mind is not explored much as the actual depth is covered by the unconscious mind. Almost eighty percent of the mind is not used up. Mental issues like depression and anxiety also stem out from the suppressed thoughts and ignored emotions.

Certain disadvantages of the Freudian approach include an excessive emphasis on the childhood phase. Gestaltists contended that Freud neglected other crucial issues due to exaggerated opinions on libido and its various aspects. It was observed later that certain neo-Freudians also went against this biased approach. Though the initial stages play an important role in psychoanalysis, they cannot be considered as exclusive factors for the study.

What is Jung?

The theory of Carl Jung tries to establish the importance of life experiences. As and when the person goes through something new, a connection is established inside the brain which then determines how the person will react in similar situations in the future. Jung’s books also focus on the antithesis of what was set forth by Freud – psychic energy does not necessarily imply the sexual aspect of expressed behaviors in human beings.

Applications of the behaviorist approach include the combination of parapsychology with emotional reactions which are not under the control of human senses. In case a person is deeply connected with mythology, the findings of Jung might help in establishing a better connection with the dark world. This is also referred to as the behaviorist approach to parapsychological principles of life. Therefore, Jungian psychology was completely accepted by all.

Certain disadvantages of the Jungian approach include the complex meaning given to archetypes and the shallow stance on psychoanalysis. The criticism went to the extent that the focus of this principle shifted from solving problems to negating the views held earlier. Distortion was not explained clearly since the researchers were not considering this aspect related to behavior. Later on, several changes were made in the doctrines given by Jung.

Main Differences Between Freud And Jung

  1. The main theory of Freud focuses on how happenings in childhood shape the whole life of an individual. Jung majorly worked on the aspect of parapsychology and learning through life experiences (modelling).
  2. The original work of Freud was on the principles of psychoanalysis, while Jung chose to be known as a Behaviorist.
  3. Freud was an Austrian who was studying medicine while Jung was already an established psychiatrist and psychologist who then understood his potential of writing.
  4. Several classics written by Freud include “The Interpretation of Dreams”, and “The Ego and the Id”. Jung wrote about his findings in “The Undiscovered Self”, and “Man and His Symbols”, among others non-fiction works.
  5. The works of Freud still find relevance in determining the various psychological disorders while Jungian model is helpful in studying the expressed behaviour.


Both the theories are like distributaries of the stream of psychology which ultimately flow into the same stream by taking different routes. Initially, Jung took inspiration from Freud but later took a different path. Had it not been for such a diversion, the behaviorist theory would also be considered as an offspring of Freudian principles. All researches that were conducted held true on both the parameters, despite the clear distinctions.

One of the most famous Freudians was Anna Freud, the daughter of Sigmund Freud. Later, a new generation of neo-Freudians emerged to take forward the legacy established by the combined contribution of Freud and Jung in their respective fields. It is believed that the behaviorist aspect could not be understood without focusing on the deeper meaning attached by the findings of Freud. Overall, they tried to improve the core mindful concepts.


  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1465-5922.00420
  2. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1957-01978-000
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