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(1951). 'Repression as a Factor in Learning Theory.': Herbert I. Harris.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 32:263-264.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: 'Repression as a Factor in Learning Theory.': Herbert I. Harris.

(1951). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 32:263-264

'Repression as a Factor in Learning Theory.': Herbert I. Harris.

The Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 1950, Vol. XIX, No. 3, p. 410.

In addition to the widely accepted factors of practice, reward and punishment, it is proposed that the learning process involves the efficient use of repression and repressive mechanisms. Repression can be considered a more complex form of the processes of suppression and inhibition.

Life activity is in essence an exchange of energy between the organism and its environment. Any repression of outpouring energy by the organism is of value to it only if greater mastery of the environment is thereby accomplished.

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In autonomic nervous system impulses, repressive mechanisms appear to be employed constructively to accomplish maximal environmental mastery. Toilet rituals, constipation and emotional diarrhoeas are all examples of the waste of emotional energy in which inefficient repressive as well as expressive mechanisms are involved.

Students who learn with difficulty often show similar patterns of inefficient repressive activity. In a large number of students under treatment, striking improvement in learning and habits of study has followed the expression of anger and resentment towards the parent in the permissive atmosphere provided by the psychiatrist, a father surrogate.

Author's Abstract.

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Article Citation

(1951). 'Repression as a Factor in Learning Theory.'. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 32:263-264

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