Karen Horney (pronounced "Horn-eye", 1885-1952) was a German-American psychoanalyst She is usually classified as "neo-Freudian").

Horney was born in Hamburg into a Norwegian-Dutch family.

Like Sigmund Freud, she placed great importance on childhood experiences. However, she was more concerned with social relationships, especially with parents, whereas Freud emphasized internal conflicts. She created the concept of basic anxiety, a child's insecurity and doubt when a parent is indifferent, unloving, or disparaging. This anxiety, according to Horney, leads the child to hostility toward his or her parents. The child may then become neurotic as an adult.

Horney, like many later psychologists, challenged many of Freud's ideas as being misogynist, particularly his concept of penis envy. Horney countered with the claim of "womb envy", that males perceived females as being inferior largely due to males' inability to give birth. She also downplayed Freud's theory of Oedipal complex.