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Rosenblatt, A.D. (1994). Person Schemas and Maladaptive Interpersonal Patterns: Edited by Mardi J. Horowitz. Chicago: Univ. Chicago Press, 1991, 433 pp., $34.95.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 42:915-919.
(1994). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 42:915-919
Person Schemas and Maladaptive Interpersonal Patterns: Edited by Mardi J. Horowitz. Chicago: Univ. Chicago Press, 1991, 433 pp., $34.95.
Review by: Allan D. Rosenblatt, M.D.
Psychoanalytic researchers here join forces with social learning theorists and cognitive scientists to explore the concept of "person schemas." The outcome is an interesting example of the recent interdisciplinary efforts expanding psychoanalytic research.
Although slightly varying definitions of person schemas (which include self schemas) are offered throughout the book, Horowitz defines them as "structures of meaning that integrate knowledge about self and others. They operate consciously and unconsciously to organize thought, complex mood states, self-appraisal, and interpersonal actions" (p. 1). The correlation with the familiar psychoanalytic concepts of self- and object representations is obvious, and it is curious that no attempt is made in the book to explicate the relationship. The terms, self-representation and objectrepresentation, are mentioned in passing by only two authors, and neither term is in the index.
The book has an Introduction and 17 chapters written by a total of 23 contributors, some of whom participate in writing more than one chapter. In the Introduction, Mardi Horowitz reviews the historical background and evidence for multiple self schemas, presenting a number of definitions of terms.
The first three chapters, Part 1 of the book, are devoted to a theoretical orientation. Horowitz explores the properties of person schemas and applies the concepts to phases of mourning, work that he has previously published. Jerome Singer and Peter Salovey then sketch a brief history of notions of schemas in cognitive science and psychoanalysis.
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