This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.
In the investigation of the human personality one deals with a psychobiologically integrated whole. Methods which have proved valuable in other fields (e. g., in experimental work in physics and chemistry) may therefore be of little value. Psychiatry must find its own methods and scientific rules, derived from and adjusted to the material with which it deals. Methods can be considered valid which lead to a control of the facts. In addition to the objective data of this material, subjective experiences must also be considered and evaluated. Introspection and subjective description, while not always critically dependable, are nevertheless valuable amplifications of factual knowledge and deserve careful scrutiny.
Psychiatric studies must always be linked with treatment. One should never make a patient worse or retard his recovery, and in a case in which further investigation might do this it should be suspended or abandoned. Unforeseen difficulties in treatment or opportunities for
DIETHELM O. INVESTIGATIONS WITH DISTRIBUTIVE ANALYSIS AND SYNTHESIS. Arch NeurPsych. 1936;35(3):467–486. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1936.02260030039002
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.