[Social representation of a psychoanalytical concept: what is the popular meaning of an "unconscious conflict"?].
ABSTRACT A majority of the population regards unconscious conflict as a possible cause for depression or schizophrenia. We examine to what extent people associate psychoanalytical concepts with this term.
Population-based telephone survey (n = 1010), open questions about the meaning and origin of the term unconscious conflict.
5 % gave a definition with clearly psychoanalytical elements, another 13 % perceived an internal conflict. 24 % thought of a conflict between persons, 23 % had no answer. Regarding the origin of the term, 4 % associated Freud or psychoanalysis, 27 % psychology. For both questions, answers closer to Freudian ideas were more common in West compared to East Germany.
A concretised understanding far from Freud's original conception of unconscious conflict dominates, which is even stronger in the former communist parts of Germany. Psychoanalytical terms do not necessarily carry a psychoanalytical significance with the public.