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October 1959

The Psychology of Schizophrenia

Author Affiliations


AMA Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1959;1(4):406-416. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1959.03590040076007

We hope that psychiatry will one day be based completely on science, and that the constant repetition of “psychiatry must stand on science” will not fall increasingly on as deaf ears as did Cato the Elder’s Carthago delenda est. The compulsive scientizer, rushing about wildly, seeking to redefine psychiatric terms in basic English, stamping out untestable or irreducible concepts, querying incisively: “What do you mean by object relations? How do you measure milieu therapy?” might well be a ludicrous figure. Yet a certain amount of this sort of behavior would not be beyond the bounds of good taste and, indeed, might even be beneficial to the advancement of psychiatry.

As an example of how a scientific approach might be applied, we have devoted some thought to Gregory Bateson’s concept of the “double bind.” This idea has been suggested as possibly explanatory of how parents make their children

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