Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
:
Login
Tip: To see statistics of the Most Popular Journal Articles on PEP-Web…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Statistics of the Most Popular Journal Articles on PEP-Web can be reviewed at any time. Just click the “See full statistics” link located at the end of the Most Popular Journal Articles list in the PEP Section.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Fonagy, P. (1982). The Integration of Psychoanalysis and Experimental Science: A Review. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 9:125-145.

(1982). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 9:125-145

The Integration of Psychoanalysis and Experimental Science: A Review

Peter Fonagy

Introduction

The present paper aims to examine the uses and limitations of empirical, psychoanalytically based research carried out in order to improve the scientific standing of psychoanalysis as a psychological theory. Freud's own conviction that psychoanalysis was a natural science was recently illustrated by Bowlby (1981). Critics of psychoanalytic theory, however, almost invariably discuss the aspirations of psychoanalytic psychology in this field in extremely disparaging terms. These assessments are numerous and so well publicized that yet another review seems unnecessary (the interested reader is referred to Cioffi, 1970; Jurievich, 1974; and Slater, 1975 for a recent representative sample).

The critics tend to take issue with two major components of the work of psychoanalytic writers. They stress first that the nature of the evidence used in psychoanalytic expositions is either private data or evidence drawn from non-scientific fields (folklore, mythology etc.). They claim that evidence obtained from patients' responses in treatment might be attributable to suggestion and that factual information (e.g. recovered memories) provided by them can achieve only a very low level of historical accuracy. They demand empirical validation of psychoanalytic contentions. The status of attempts made to meet this demand will be considered in the first section of this paper.

The second area of criticism concerns the quality of theorization. Critics claim that the scientific discipline, which psychoanalysis aspires to be, should not admit loosely defined terms and should abandon analogical, anthropomorphic thinking.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.