Carl Jung Explains His Groundbreaking Theories About Psychology in a Rare Interview (1957)

Here’s an extraordinary film of the great Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung speaking at length about some of his key contributions to psychology. Jung on Film (above) is a 77-minute collection of highlights from four one-hour interviews Jung gave to psychologist Richard I. Evans of the University of Houston in August of 1957. In “Sitting Across From Carl Jung,” an article for the Association of Psychological Science, Evans explains how the interviews came about:

I was teaching a graduate seminar called Approaches to Personality when it seemed like an interesting idea to have the graduate students in the seminar role-play in front of the class and pretend to interview the various personality theorists that I was presenting. Carl Jung was one of those theorists, and during the seminar, I learned that he had never agreed to an extensive recorded interview except for a brief exchange on the BBC. I wrote a letter to Dr. Jung to request an interview because I believed that filmed interviews of eminent psychologists would encourage students to read their work.

Jung, who was 82 years old at the time, agreed to the interview and set aside an hour a day over a four-day period. Evans met with Jung in Zurich at the Federal Institute of Technology, or ETH. In the excerpts above, Jung talks about his early association with Sigmund Freud and how he came to disagree with Freud’s fixation on the sex drive as the primary influence in mental life. He talks about his theory of personality types and about universal archetypes, including the anima and animus. He talks about the interplay between instinct and environment, and about dreams as manifestations of the unconscious. At one point he stresses the urgency of understanding psychology in a world where man-made threats, like the threat of the hydrogen bomb, are greater than those posed by natural disasters. “The world hangs on a thin thread,” says Jung, “and that is the psyche of man.”

Note: You can download seminal works by Carl Jung as free audiobooks if you sign up for a 30-Day Free Trial with Find more information on that program here.

If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newsletter, please find it here.

If you would like to support the mission of Open Culture, consider making a donation to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best free cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere. You can contribute through PayPal, Patreon, and Venmo (@openculture). Thanks!

Related content:

Carl Gustav Jung Ponders Death

Face to Face with Carl Jung: ‘Man Cannot Stand a Meaningless Life’

Sigmund Freud Speaks: The Only Known Recording of His Voice, 1938

by | Permalink | Comments (2) |

Support Open Culture

We’re hoping to rely on our loyal readers rather than erratic ads. To support Open Culture’s educational mission, please consider making a donation. We accept PayPal, Venmo (@openculture), Patreon and Crypto! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Comments (2)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
  • izabel says:

    Happy to know about this,great contribution to humanity!

  • Russell Scott Day says:

    Since another study of Beats I believe the recognition of the atom bomb as changing everything is what they were most right about. If Jung influenced the perception more than the news or someone else I can’t say now. Still it is significant to see Jung reported at that time to say it is the greater threat. Normalcy bias implies mankind is doomed to ignore the new threat because it is new and subterranean. Poets who “feel” it’s threat as most important are seen by normal people as insane and deviant for crying of the danger.

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.