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Baudry, F. (1996). Responds. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 44:1005-1006.

(1996). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 44:1005-1006


Francis Baudry

I face a difficult task in answering Brody's objection to my review since her letter largely claims that I do not understand her research and yet fails to address any of the methodologic pitfalls which I enumerated in my review.

It may well be that researchers and clinicians approach problems and issues from very different perspectives. It is also probable that Brody and myself have very different working hypotheses about character, its origin, and its manifestations.

I have reservations about the research strategy and the selection of “oral derivatives” as a chosen variable. In the first place classical analytic theory does not have a well-worked-out model for the transformation and development of experiences in the first period of life. We do not really know how early experiences become encoded, first as memory of a primitive nature to be followed by structure formation. As a result the investigators had to rely on behavioral observations and had a real problem in connecting what they observed with character formation. Further, their observations were so spotty that it is very hard to assume that the variables which they observed in a limited way could have such far-reaching effects without taking into consideration many other factors, some of which I indicated in my review. This is required if one chooses to study character, which is a global concept just short of the total personality organization.

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