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Horner, T.M. (1985). Subjectivity, Intentionality, and the Emergence of Reality Testing in Early Infancy. Psychoanal. Psychol., 2(4):341-363.

(1985). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 2(4):341-363

Subjectivity, Intentionality, and the Emergence of Reality Testing in Early Infancy

Thomas M. Horner, Ph.D.

The peek-a-boo behavior of a young infant is used to illustrate early processes of intentionality and reality testing. Based on the observations made in this study, as well as findings from similar studies of face-to-face behavior in infants, a general paradigm of cyclical engagement-disengagement of objects on the part of infants is described and discussed. Observations of the transfer of engagement-disengagement behavior on the part of the infant from oral to visual modalities are presented. The observations are discussed from a psychoanalytic object-relational standpoint with integrations of cognitive theory. Implications for an emerging subjectivity in the infant are briefly addressed.

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