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libido

libido (lĭbēˈdō, –bĪˈ–) [key] [Lat., = lust], psychoanalytic term used by Sigmund Freud to identify instinctive energy with the sex instinct. For Freud, libido is the generalized sexual energy of which conscious activity is the expression. C. G. Jung used the term synonymously with instinctive energy in general. Many psychiatrists now feel that Freud overemphasized the concept of libido as the determinant of personality development and did not adequately emphasize the results of socializing forces. The term drive is often used instead of libido but without the sexual implications of the latter. See psychoanalysis.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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