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February 19, 1944

Survey of Objective Studies of Psychoanalytic Concepts: A Report Prepared for the Committee on Social Adjustment

JAMA. 1944;124(8):541. doi:10.1001/jama.1944.02850080069033

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Abstract

This report discusses studies in which effort has been made to verify certain of the psychoanalytic concepts and suggests a further program for research. Professor Sears points out that Freud, dealing with problems of therapy, necessarily had to proceed independently of experimental psychology in the construction of his theories. Only in recent years have objective technics been developed for studying some of the aspects of behavior in which Freud was interested. The report covers studies pertaining only to concepts derived from early freudian theory. Material relating to aggression has been excluded on the ground that Freud never formalized his theories of aggression in such a way as to give meaning to experimental data. Except for one study published in 1924 (The Passing of the Oedipus Complex) and reference to the 1933 edition of Freud's Introductory Lectures, all studies by Freud referred to dates earlier than 1916.

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