Primary Process

By Renée Grinnell

According to Freud, primary process thinking is the visual, unstructured logic typical of one’s id (the unconscious, instinctual part of the psyche). This mode of thought is typical in children, in dreams, and in those with psychoses.

Example: In dreams, an idea may be represented by its opposite, or an object by any of its component parts.


    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 26 Oct 2008