Karen Horney

Born September 16, 1885. Died December 4th, 1952.

"If I couldn't be pretty, I decided I would be smart."

Horney proposed the concept of womb envy, because of Freud, in which men experience feelings of inferiority because they cannot give birth to children.


  • In 1906, she entered medical school against her parents' wishes.
  • Horney had one more way of looking at neurosis -- in terms of self images. For Horney, the self is the core of your being, your potential. If you were healthy, you would have an accurate conception of who you are, and you would then be free to realize that potential.
  • She developed a crush on her brother and when he distanced himself from her, she fell into depression which would last all throughout her life.

Contribution to Psychology

  • Karen Horney developed a theory of neurosis that is still prominent today.
  • She identified ten neuroses, including the need for power, the need for affection, the need for social prestige, and the need for independence.
  • She disagreed with the views of Sigmund Freud. She rejected his concepts and felt they were inaccurate and demeaning to women.
  • Her refutation of Freud's theories about women generated more interest in the psychology of women.
  • Horney also believed that people were able to act as their own therapists, emphasizing the personal role each person has in their own mental health and encouraging self-analysis and self-help.

Boeree, George C. "Karen Horney." Karen Horney. N.p., 2006. Web. 08 Jan. 2014.

Cherry, Kendra. "Karen Horney Biography." About.com Psychology. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Jan. 2014.