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Lasswell, H.D. (1947). The Data of Psychoanalysis and the Social Sciences. Am. J. Psychoanal., 7(1):26-35.

(1947). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 7(1):26-35

The Data of Psychoanalysis and the Social Sciences

Harold D. Lasswell

IT is impossible to conduct a phychoanalysis without disclosing data of interest to the social sciences. I shall undertake to make clear just why this is so, and to pose the question whether arrangements should be perfected to collect psychoanalytic data on a broad and systematic scale.

Values and Institutions

Possibly the most convenient introduction to the subject is a brief outline of the social process as it is investigated by modern social scientists. Man uses resources by means of institutions to shape and distribute values. A value, in the sense here used, is a category of desired events, the goal events of acts of evaluation. (1)

Social science is mainly concerned with two important groups of values to which we refer here as the welfare and the deference values. By welfare values we mean those whose possession to a certain degree is a necessary condition for the maintenance of the physical and psychic integrity of the person. Among the welfare values are well-being, wealth, skill, and enlightenment. Well-being relates primarily to the health and safety of the organism. Wealth is income: the services of goods and persons accruing to the individual in any way whatever. Skill is proficiency in any practice whatever, whether in arts or crafts, trade or profession. By enlightenment is meant knowledge, insight, and information about human relations.

Deference values are those that consist in being taken into consideration (in the acts of others and of the self). Power is participation in the making of decisions.

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