Psychology Sayings and Quotes

The mind and the study of it is endlessly quotable. Here are some of the best quotes we've found about psychology, the brain, and emotions. Here you'll find perspective and wisdom from the classic sayings of Freud, Jung, and other famous noggin analyzers. You'll also find insight from poets like Dickinson and philosophers from Plato to Sarte, who all had something brilliant to say about the way we think.


The purpose of psychology is to give us wholly novel ideas about the things that we know best.     

Paul Valery

The brain is wider than the sky.     

Emily Dickinson

Psychology keeps trying to vindicate human nature. History keeps undermining the effort.     

Mason Cooley

Introspection is always retrospection.     

Sartre

The chief difficulty for those who begin the study of scientific psychology is that all men indulge in popular psychology.     

Karl Friedrich Muenzinger

It is not easy to treat feelings scientifically.     

Sigmund Freud

The separation of psychology from the premises of biology is purely artificial, because the human psyche lives in indissoluble union with the body.     

Carl Jung

You are the creator of your own reality, and life can show up no other way than that way in which you think it will.     

Neale Donald Walsh

The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.     

William James

The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.     

Marcus Aurelius

But psychology is a more tricky field, in which even outstanding authorities have been known to run in circles, describing things which everyone knows in language which no one understands.     

Raymond Bernard Cattell

It is easier to understand mankind in general than any individual man.     

Francois de la Rochefoucauld

The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.     

William James

Perception is a clash of mind and eye, the eye believing what it sees, the mind seeing what it believes.     

Robert Brault

It seems a pity that psychology has destroyed all our knowledge of human nature.     

G.K. Chesterton

To the intelligent man with an interest in human nature it must often appear strange that so much of the energy of the scientific world has been spent on the study of the body and so little on the study of the mind.     

Edward Thorndike

Knowing reality means constructing systems of transformations that correspond, more or less adequately, to reality.     

Jean Piaget

Nothing is so dangerous to the progress of the human mind than to assume that our views of science are ultimate, that there are no mysteries in nature, that our triumphs are complete and that there are no new worlds to conquer.     

Humphry Davy

Learn one way; react. Learn many ways; understand.     

Tadeu Dias

When the mind is thinking it is talking to itself.     

Plato

Idleness is the parent of psychology.     

Friedrich Nietzsche

No one who, like me, conjures up the most evil of those half-tamed demons that inhabit the human breast, and seeks to wrestle with them, can expect to come through the struggle unscathed.     

Sigmund Freud

Genuine feelings cannot be produced, nor can they be eradicated. We can only repress them, delude ourselves, and deceive our bodies. The body sticks to the facts.     

Alice Miller

Cognitive psychology tells us that the unaided human mind is vulnerable to many fallacies and illusions because of its reliance on its memory for vivid anecdotes rather than systematic statistics.     

Steven Pinker

A large part of the popularity and persuasiveness of psychology comes from its being a sublimated spiritualism: a secular, ostensibly scientific way of affirming the primacy of spirit over matter.     

Susan Sontag

Great spirits have often overcome violent opposition from mediocre minds.     

Albert Einstein

Hence, wherever we meet with vital phenomena that present the two aspects, physical and psychical there naturally arises a question as to the relations in which these aspects stand to each other.     

Wilhelm Max Wundt

Seeing ourselves as others see us would probably confirm our worst suspicions about them.     

Franklin P. Jones

No man's knowledge here can go beyond his experience.     

John Locke

Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather he must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.     

Victor Frankl