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Pine, F. (1983). The Development of Ego Apparatus and Drive—A Schematic View. Contemp. Psychoanal., 19:238-247.

(1983). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 19:238-247

The Development of Ego Apparatus and Drive—A Schematic View

Fred Pine, Ph.D.

NOT INFREQUENTLY IN RECENT YEARS, one hears psychoanalysts expressing an interest in cognition, perception, and learning, often in particular an interest in the body of work produced by Piaget or others with related interests in the development of cognitive processes. Whence this interest? Classically, psychoanalysis has made unique contributions to the study of the development and characteristics of drive, of affect, of conflict, and of fantasy. It has been in the fields of psychology and education, the one more theoretically and the other in more applied ways, where a central focus has always been on cognition, perception, and learning. And yet the two areas have come together with considerable mutual gain. It is the aim of this brief communication to outline, in schematic form, some of the bases and forms of this coming together. In particular, I shall try to illustrate the distinctive contributions that psychoanalysis can make to an understanding of development in the cognitive sphere, in so doing attempting to clarify aspects of psychoanalytic developmental theory itself.

There is no doubt that psychologists and educators have generated an enormous research literature on thinking, on learning, on memory, and on perception. This research is in part descriptive (answering the question: what are thought and learning like?) and in part developmental (how do they change over time?); it is in part theoretical (addressing issues, for example, of the essential characteristics of learning), and in part applied (addressing issues, for example, of how our understanding can help us in education).

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