According to Carl Jung, the animus is the masculine side of a woman's personal unconscious. It can be identified as all the unconscious masculine psychological qualities that a woman possesses.

Jung also believed that every man has an analogous anima within his psyche, this being a set of unconscious feminine attributes and potentials.

Animus is also considered to be that natural and primitive part of the mind's activity and processes remaining after dispensing with persona, which is the "mask" displayed in interactions with others and which has been shaped by socialization.