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Article
July 12, 1952

The Case Against Psychoanalysis

JAMA. 1952;149(11):1074. doi:10.1001/jama.1952.02930280096026

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Abstract

This highly charged little book attacking Freudian concepts of psychoanalysis contains a series of pungent opinions and criticisms based on some 388 references culled from the psychoanalytic literature. The author's case against psychoanalysis is fortified by knowledge of the failure of Freud and his disciples to present documented evidence incorporating at least several thousand well-controlled laboratory experiments testing the hypotheses advanced by the founding father. In a chapter on the unconscious, the author exposes the weakness of Freud's observational techniques that rely on adult recollections of early childhood sexuality. In this connection, Freud himself admitted that such memories are frequently untrustworthy.

Those who have followed the course of psychoanalysis objectively are aware that too often unsubstantiated claims have been projected by psychoanalysts as facts when proof convincing to the unbiased was not present. "Whenever a psychoanalyst has a fact he can't explain," comments Salter, "he modifies it with a hypothesis

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