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Gillett, E. (1996). Learning Theory And Intrapsychic Conflict. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 77:689-707.

(1996). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 77:689-707

Learning Theory And Intrapsychic Conflict

Eric Gillett

This paper is one in a series (Gillett, 1990, 1994) attempting to explore the implications of modern ideas about learning for psychoanalytic theories of treatment and pathogenesis. The key concept is that of learned expectations, which establishes links with Freud's 1926 theory of neurotic anxiety as caused by the expectation of danger. The new understanding of classical Pavlovian conditioning entails changes in the basic theory of intrapsychic conflict described in previous papers (1990, 1994). The relationship of learning theory to Freud's 1926 theory of intrapsychic conflict has received insufficient attention in the psychoanalytic literature because of insufficient familiarity with the repudiation of behaviourism by psychologists in favour of a representational theory of the mind.

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