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Schwartz, F. (1973). Psychoanalytic Research in Attention and Learning: Some Findings and the Question of Clinical Relevance. Ann. Psychoanal., 1:199-215.

(1973). Annual of Psychoanalysis, 1:199-215

Interdisciplinary Studies

Psychoanalytic Research in Attention and Learning: Some Findings and the Question of Clinical Relevance

Fred Schwartz, Ph.D.

Some years ago, David Rapaport asked a group of us to carry out experiments aimed at testing his theory of the relationship between perception, short-term memory, and learning. The approach taken was to link the general theory of psychoanalysis to laboratory observation through a number of lower-order experimental hypotheses, just as the general theory is linked to clinical observation by lower-order clinical hypotheses. This program generated a series of experiments, most of which have been reported elsewhere (Schwartz and Schiller, 1970). In this earlier report we evaluated the findings and their theoretical implications. We then asked: are these findings of clinical relevance? In the past, proponents of learning theory have attempted to generalize from the laboratory to the clinical situation (e.g., Dollard and Miller, 1950; French, 1933; Kubie, 1934).

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