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Rangell, L. (1969). Choice-Conflict and the Decision-Making Function of the Ego: A Psychoanalytic Contribution to Decision Theory. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 50:599-602.

(1969). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 50:599-602

Choice-Conflict and the Decision-Making Function of the Ego: A Psychoanalytic Contribution to Decision Theory

Leo Rangell

I was very pleased to have been invited to contribute to the celebration of this important anniversary. The International Journal of Psycho-Analysis has served for 50 years as one of the major representatives of psychoanalysis to the scientific and literary world. I wish to congratulate last year's outgoing Editor, Dr John D. Sutherland, who has continued and developed further the tradition and value of this important vehicle, and to wish well to Dr Joseph Sandler at the end of his first year as Editor, for through him we can look forward with confidence to the future.

As my own contribution to this auspicious occasion, and in the brief space allotted, I wish to present and highlight one idea, namely to add and make explicit 'a decision-making function of the ego' among the inventory of ego functions. Although I have expressed this thought several times before, this has occurred each time within a larger work (on intrapsychic conflict, the psychoanalytic theory of anxiety, psychic trauma or the 'intrapsychic process') in which it was submerged and in which it occupied only a peripheral and tangential position. To extract this function and treat it on its own, and to establish its centrality in psychic life, is not only for the purpose of adding what I consider a vital link in our theoretical framework, to explain more fully the sequence of intrapsychic events, but also because it is a nodal point of enormous external and 'applied' importance. With the latter I am referring to a contribution which I believe psychoanalysis can and should make to understanding the decision-making process of man.

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