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Gordon, J. (1991). Comment on Paper by David H. Rosen et Al.. J. Anal. Psychol., 36(2):229.

(1991). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 36(2):229

Comment on Paper by David H. Rosen et Al. Related Papers

Jill Gordon

The Paper by David H. Rosen, Steven Smith, Holly Huston, and Gilbert Gonzales describes an attempt to find and then to use a methodology with which to establish a basis for testing some of Jung's hypotheses. Such an attempt is valuable and should be encouraged.

But although the methodology used here has been constructed carefully and seems capable of yielding thought-provoking results, there is a serious flaw in the terms the authors use. For they describe the research material—the designs, the virtual forms—as ‘archetypal symbols’. This, so it seems to me, defeats the very purpose of the research; for its very objective is to differentiate visual forms that evoke personal and private associations from those forms that provoke more or less similar or even identical associations from a majority of people, as revealed in the learning efficiency of the visual stimuli and the meanings attributed to them in the test material. Only the latter warrant the assumption that they might indeed be archetypal symbols. To describe the research material as ‘archetypal symbols’ really pre-empts the possible results of this investigation.

Obviously in order to be able to claim that any particular visual form is archetypal a lot of cross-cultural studies are needed. The authors acknowledge this and are already acting on it and planning for it.

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