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Rosen, V.H. (1958). Abstract Thinking and Object Relations—With Special Reference to the Use of Abstraction as a Regressive Defense in Highly Gifted Individuals. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 6:653-671.

(1958). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 6:653-671

Abstract Thinking and Object Relations—With Special Reference to the Use of Abstraction as a Regressive Defense in Highly Gifted Individuals

Victor H. Rosen, M.D.

The tempo of technological advance in the present century has more than ever stimulated interest in abstract thought, a relatively neglected topic in psychoanalytic psychology. Perhaps the new emphasis in this psychological quest is less upon the process character of abstract theoretical thinking than upon the individual in whom it occurs (15), (16), (21), (22), (38), (39), (41).

There is much popular mythology and folklore about such personalities (a subject so well treated by Ernest Jones [22] in his Freud Anniversary address in New York in 1956). Much of this folklore deserves attention for its fantasy character and has little further interest for the psychologist. The rather widespread view that individuals with unusual intellectual gifts have certain psychological differences from the rest of the population is at least a truism by the very nature of the gift itself although it may be contended that this is one of degree rather than of kind.

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