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7. The influence of the "social field" on behaviour in the interview situation

John Rickman Karnac Books ePub

It is sometimes permitted in scientific work to use the broadest or, if you prefer, the crudest generalisations if by so doing a new point of view be thus obtained and a new basis established for making more exact observations. Two such crude generalisations will now be considered; both employ the concept of “psychological or social movement”.

We can simplify the relation of the organism to its objects, to one of simple positive or negative “tropisms” or movements. If the object is “good” the organism desires to approach it, to hold it within its grasp, to have more of it, to wish that its like may never perish from the earth. We might say that in certain cases the organism “loves” that object, or simplifying still further we can say that the relation is a “positive” one. If the object is “bad” the organism desires to put a distance between the object and itself, to shun it, to have less of it, to wish that its like may perish from the earth. We might say that in certain cases the organism “hates” the object, or simplifying still further we can say the relation is a “negative” one.

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23. A Survey: The Development of the Psycho-Analytical Theory of the Psychoses 1894-1926 (1926-1927)

John Rickman Karnac Books ePub

1. Introduction

The contributions of psycho-analysts to psychiatry may be divided into three groups which fall roughly into three periods. The first period ranges from 1893 to 1914, the second from 1914 to 1923, the third from 1923 till the present. The first group is characterized by a simplicity not found in later work, and may be summarized by saying that the psychoses were viewed from the aspect of libido development; stress is laid on fixation points, on defence mechanisms, on the aims of the sexual instinct and on object cathexis. The second group, while rejecting nothing in the work already done, makes additions which give rather a different orientation, the psychoses are viewed from the aspect of ego development In the third group the economic factor is introduced, the subdivision of the ego into super-ego iand real ego, catkexis of the ego, the castration complex and the types of object-relationship are brought to the foreground. These divisions into groups may serve for a brief exposition, but it must be confessed that they do violence to the chronological sequence of the contributions, There is no harm in this if the reader is aware of the fact that psycho-analytical psychiatry is only a part—and a small part— of psycho-analysis, and that he must add to his study of the part by an examination of the whole, preferably by a careful chronological study. The most that this paper can do is to give an account of selected contributions that will assist in the larger work of a systematic, chronological examination of the literature.

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2. Experimental psychology and psychoanalysis: a comparison of the techniques

John Rickman Karnac Books ePub

The aim of this paper is to consider the relation between psychology and psychoanalysis in the past and present and their possible relation in the future. Psychology has roots in two disciplines, in philosophy and in the experimental laboratory, psychoanalysis in one—clinical medicine. I think it would be simpler if we left the connection of psychology with philosophy out of our discussion, because for reasons that soon will be apparent the issues can be narrowed down to workable dimensions if we consider the contrasts and similarities between experimental psychology and psychoanalysis.

Let us begin with an exceedingly simple situation in the Experimental Psychological Laboratory.

The situation in an Experimental Psychological Laboratory

The first and most obvious thing is that an experiment is going to be performed by the experimenter on the subject, but it is not going to be done to find out something about the subject personally, or his particular mind, but about a mental function possessed by him as by thousands of others. The experimenter knows within limits what is going to happen and so within limits does the subject; measured stimuli will be given and the responses will be measured. Experimenter and subject participate in the experiment with awakened attention, and both are aware that the experiment can be repeated over and over again. Both can, and usually do, play the part of observers. The subject is asked after the experiment to make notes on his introspections and sensory or motor experiences at the time of the experiment. The experimenter observes the subject’s behaviour in general or towards the apparatus at the time of the experiment. I want to stress that this temporal aspect, the stimulus and the response and the introspective experiences are all concerned with the present. The typical experiment deals with stimulus and response rather in the manner of eliciting a reflex. Indeed, the mind may be pictured as a reflex apparatus with a perceptual end, which receives a measured stimulus, and with a motor end that has to press a button. The experimental psychologist wants to study the motor or perceptual functions of the organism in its response to the external world. Psychologist and subject are dealing with external relations, usually of a rather impersonal kind; if they do deal with personal relationships, it is a matter of objective observation.

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22. Number and die Human Sciences (1951)

John Rickman Karnac Books ePub

AN article for Géza Róheim’s Festschrift should be about psychoanalysis and anthropology: as I have contributed nothing to either subject and he has contributed much to both it would be prudent to keep off both topics and talk about something else’ let us say psychology,

Suppose one of those oft spoken of but seldom met travellers from Mars visited us to satisfy his naive curiosity about psychology; he would find a state of affairs which might at first seem somewhat puzzling. In the write-up of his field work he would report on one-person psychology, two-person psychology, three-person psychology, possibly a four-person psychology, and a multi-person psychology; what would strike him most would of course be the interrelation of these aspects of the subject.

’The breakup of the whole field of psychology into categories according to the minimum number of persons essential to the study of each branch of the subject is the first thing that strikes the visitor’, he might write in his thesis, adding that distressing confusions sometimes occurred because these simple categories were thought to be irrelevant to the study of detail by the practitioners of each category and the implications so disconcerting that they were generally ignored.

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18. The Development of Psychological Medicine (1950)

John Rickman Karnac Books ePub

THE half-century which this series of essays is designed to cover also spans the history of modern psychological medicine, which is also the history of a new skill. Every advance in medical science can be related to the development of skills—in clinical observation, in the design and use of apparatus of research, in the interpretation of data obtained by the use of the apparatus, and above all in conceptualizing the problem that is being faced. To this general rule the development of psychological medicine is no exception; but since the data differ so greatly from those of the physiologist and pathologist the means by which the facts are collected also are different. Both kinds of research are concerned with answers to the fundamental question, ’What goes with what?’ If the data of the pathologist cannot be immediately linked with the data of the psycho-pathologist and psychiatrist, and vice versa, it simply means that ’total medicine’ has not yet found a theory which combines the two.

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