Freud and Psychology

Studies of mental functions, behaviors and the nervous system.

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Re: Freud and Psychology

#161  Postby lpetrich » Aug 16, 2018 9:08 am

The author is ROBERT BORNSTEIN : Faculty Profiles : Adelphi University

Nomothetic Psychoanalysis

Psychoanalytic Psychology
2007, Vol. 24, No. 4, 590 -- 602 0736

Psychoanalytic theory's roots (in the clinic rather than the laboratory), and aims (depth understanding of the individual) have led to the development of a theoretical perspective that relies primarily on idiographic data and case material to derive and test psychoanalytic hypotheses. In this article, I describe nomothetic psychoanalysis -- a framework for conceptualizing and evaluating psychoanalytic ideas that complements and enriches the traditional idiographic approach. Guidelines for conducting nomothetic studies of psychodynamic constructs are provided, and five principles are offered for implementing nomothetic psychoanalysis to maximize its heuristic value and clinical impact.

Nomothetic and idiographic (Wikipedia)

In psychology, idiographic describes the study of the individual, who is seen as a unique agent with a unique life history, with properties setting him/her apart from other individuals (see idiographic image). A common method to study these unique characteristics is an (auto)biography, i.e. a narrative that recounts the unique sequence of events that made the person who she is. Nomothetic describes the study of classes or cohorts of individuals. Here the subject is seen as an exemplar of a population and their corresponding personality traits and behaviours. The terms idiographic and nomothetic were introduced to American psychology by Gordon Allport in 1937.

Hoping to base it on general principles, so it can be more than just stamp collecting with case studies and impressionistic theorizing.

Reconnecting Psychoanalysis to Mainstream Psychology

Psychoanalytic Psychology
2005, Vol. 22, No. 3, 323--340

Although psychoanalysis was once central to mainstream psychology, in recent years psychodynamic models of personality and psychopathology have become increasingly marginalized. The factors that combined to "disconnect" psychoanalysis from contemporary psychological science and clinical practice are examined, and strategies that can help reconnect psychoanalysis to mainstream psychology are described. These are (a) the use of nomothetic research methods to test and refine psychoanalytic concepts and (b) the communication of psychoanalytic principles and findings to colleagues, students, and members of the public. Opportunities and challenges that arise during this reconnection process are discussed, and prospects for the rebirth of a truly heuristic, integrative psychoanalysis are considered.

He mentions the rise and fall of psychoanalysis there also.

It is ironic that psychoanalysis reached its peak of influence during a period when in-depth analysis of individuals was the centerpiece of Freud's work. Today, the theory's idiographic roots have become its greatest burden within the larger intellectual community.

Suggesting that it had seemed very insightful -- for a while.

RB has a table of psychoanalytic concepts reappearing elsewhere:
  • Psychoanalysis -- Revision or reinvention
  • Unconscious memory (1900/1953a) -- Implicit memory (Schacter, 1987)
  • Primary process thought (1900/1953a) -- Spreading activation (Collins & Loftus, 1975)
  • Object representation (1905/1953b) -- Person schema (Neisser, 1976)
  • Repression (1910/1957a) -- Cognitive avoidance (Beck, 1976)
  • Preconscious processing (1915/1957b) -- Preattentive processing (Treisman, 1969)
  • Parapraxis (1916/1963) -- Retrieval error (Tulving, 1983)
  • Abreaction (1916/1963) -- Redintegration (Bower & Glass, 1976)
  • Repetition compulsion (1920/1955) -- Nuclear script (Tomkins, 1979)
  • Ego (1923/1961) -- Central executive (Baddeley, 1992)
  • Ego defense (1926/1959) -- Defensive attribution (Lerner & Miller, 1978)
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Re: Freud and Psychology

#162  Postby lpetrich » Aug 16, 2018 3:32 pm

Jacques Lacan - Wikipedia -- "In 1951, Lacan started to hold a private weekly seminar in Paris, in which he urged what he described as "a return to Freud" that would concentrate on the linguistic nature of psychological symptomatology."

"Return to Freud"? That seems almost like a religion, with its returning to the revelations of the Prophet.

There is a certain Farsight who does physics like that, describing himself as going back to the original Einstein in relativity. His main arguments are not mathematical, but interpretations of quotes from Newton, Maxwell, Einstein, Minkowski, Feynman, and others. Just like a theologian, it seems to me.

Freud&Pseudoscience--2007.pdf Interview with Frank Sulloway

FS started off by doing very detailed research into how Freud got his ideas, and he concluded that Freud was not the great discoverer that he was often viewed as being, and that he himself had claimed. A lot of his notions were just plain wrong.

FS notes that doing science is a two-step process: (1) generating hypotheses and (2) testing them. Freud was *very* good at (1) and a *massive* failure at (2).

He then notes psychoanalysts' mythmaking about the origins of psychoanalysis, trying to make it fit psychoanalysis itself.

He continues with describing how psychoanalysts had cut themselves off from mainstream medicine and psychology, creating their own training institutes and dismissing trainees' objections as "resistances". This started rather early, in the 1910's and 1920's.

He notes one of Freud's rather curious interpretations. A certain Clarence Oberndorf had a dream about driving a carriage pulled by a white horse and a black horse. Freud interpreted that dream as CO being ambivalent about whether he wanted to marry a white woman or a black woman. The two haggled about this interpretation, until Freud got fed up with CO's "resistances". FS claimed that that was rather typical.

Noting that psychoanalysis has an answer for just about *everything* psychological, FS concludes that it is not only pseudoscience, but also much like a religion.

It even has a sectarian sort of quality, with some of Freud's colleagues splitting from him and setting up their own schools, colleagues like Alfred Adler and Carl Gustav Jung.
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Re: Freud and Psychology

#163  Postby lpetrich » Aug 18, 2018 5:21 am

Rationally Speaking: Rationally Speaking podcast: Freudianism as Pseudoscience, With Assorted Comments on Masturbation and Castration... noting Rationally Speaking | Official Podcast of New York City Skeptics - Current Episodes - RS67 - Freudianism as Pseudoscience, With Assorted Comments on Masturbation and Castration... by Massimo Pigliucci and Julia Galef.

MP noted that problems started early. Like what they meant by libido or sex drive. A 1914 critic noted that when challenged, Freudians claim that terms like libido are symbolic, referring to things like love. But in their writings, Freudians use such terms with their common meanings.

Seems to me like a certain sort of religious apologetics.

JG notes something similar about quantum woomeisters and MP does likewise about postmodernism. He then noted a similar criticism in 1926.

MP then noted some good things that Freud had done. He was willing to talk about sex and that he was willing to listen to his patients as opposed to giving them orders or advice.

Then WWI, where many soldiers suffered from "war neurosis": shell shock or post-traumatic stress disorder. Some psychiatrists considered it a clear counterexample to Freud's theory that it was due to sexual repression. He claimed that self-preservation was due to narcissism, a redirection of one's sex drive to oneself. JG and MP then asked why Freud did not consider the tools of the soldiers' trade: guns and trenches. Guns as like penises, trenches as like vulvas, and I add bunkers as like wombs. So hiding out in trenches and bunkers is like returning to the womb, a Freudian concept.

MP noted William James's comment that Freud's theory of narcissism was like "a bog of logical liquefaction into the midst of which all definite conclusions of any sort can be trusted ere long to sink and disappear."

Then Freud's theory of castration anxiety, that boys and men all have a great fear of castration, though often an unconscious one. Curiously, Freud didn't think that there was much that could be done preemptively. Likewise, one Freudian could not imagine a boy not wanting to kill his father and marry his mother.

Then penis envy. How women supposedly envy men for having penises, or else envy men's superior social status, or whatever other metaphorical interpretation. It was a big issue in Freudian psychoanalysis in the early decades of it, but it has been absent more recently. New evidence? Reassessment of existing evidence? The revival of feminism.

Homosexuality? Originally a disease, now no longer. Due to it becoming more socially acceptable.

Masturbation? A Bad Thing, because it drains mental energy. Not changed, because of a lack of a big pro-masturbation lobby.

JG started enjoying postmodernism much more when she stopped treating it as having truth value and started treating it as poetry. She suggested that one could take a similar approach to Freudianism.

Then one of Freud's patients describing how he'd give a lot of dream associations with Freud selecting out the ones that fit his theories. Sort of like how psychics often work.

The Skeptic's Dictionary compares Freudianism to Scientology -- a very good one, since they both believe in psychological-only causes involving troublesome past events. Freudianism posits family conflicts in childhood as a big source of trouble, while Scientology moved from trouble in the womb (LRH's original theory) to trouble in past lives.

Both also have in common personality cults of their founders and treating their founders' writings as sacred books.

Freudian psychoanalysis - The Skeptic's Dictionary -
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