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Moraglia, G. (1991). The Unconscious in Information Processing and Analytical Psychology. J. Anal. Psychol., 36(1):27-36.

(1991). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 36(1):27-36

The Unconscious in Information Processing and Analytical Psychology

Giampaolo Moraglia, Ph.D.

Introduction

In his last published work Jung remarked that research in psychological areas was mostly focused on the study of man's conscious mental functions, while the study of the unfamiliar part of the mind remained, regrettably, a concern of the few (Jung 16, p. 93). While, in a general sense, his remark still applies to academic psychology, it is not to be denied that in that domain as well issues pertaining to the unconscious determinants of mental processes have gained increasing attention in recent years (Bowers 2).

The resurgence of interest, theoretical and empirical, in unconscious processes stems from the emergence (well documented by Lachman, Lachman and Butterfield 18) of the information processing (IP) paradigm in the laboratory-based study of mind. This approach vindicated, against the behaviouristic censorship, the scientific acceptability of concepts such as attention, thinking and consciousness; inevitably, the study of such functions carried with itself the reconsideration of the unconscious side of mental activity.

This development, in turn, raises the question of the relationship between the IP view of non-conscious mental processes and conceptions of the unconscious elaborated within the domain of dynamic psychiatry (Ellenberger 7). This issue is, as yet, still being evaded, due in part to the difficulties and risks associated with comparisons made between theoretical constructs and empirical findings from vastly different research paradigms (Feyerabend 9).

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