Psychoanalysis and Cognitive Psychology

Psychoanalysis and Cognitive Psychology

A Formalization of Freud's Earliest Theory

1st Edition - January 28, 1985

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  • Author: Cornelis Wegman
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483272290

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Psychoanalysis and Cognitive Psychology: A Formalization of Freud's Earliest Theory is an attempt to translate psychoanalytic theory into a computer model—a model psychoanalysts will accept as accurately mirroring Freud's theory, while at the same time satisfying the demands made upon any formal model within contemporary psychology. Given the vast extent and the continued development of psychoanalytic theory, the present study focuses on Freud's earliest theory. In a sense, this limitation is a natural one. Anyone really wishing to come to grips with psychoanalytic theory will listen to Freud's advice and follow the path he himself took. In his earliest theory, the theory of abreaction, Freud lays the foundation for all of his later work. Here, for the first time, we encounter concepts—psychical conflict, repression, unconscious ideas, the principle of constancy—which have proved decisive for the development of psychoanalytic theory. Moreover, this was the period during which Freud himself was obsessed by the idea of representing his theory in a single, coherent model, much as in natural science. The present monograph may be regarded as a belated effort to realize the ideal that Freud had in mind in his Project for a Scientific Psychology: a psychology in which psychical processes are represented in such a manner that they become ""perspicuous and free from contradiction"".

Table of Contents

  • Preface

    1. Introduction

    Critique of Psychoanalytic Theory

    Obsolescence of the Critique

    Plan of the Book

    2. The Theory of Abreaction: a Brief Overview

    Memories and Hysteria

    The Theory of Abreaction

    3. Ideas: the Problem of Cognitive Representation


    Incompatible Ideas

    The Ego

    Representation of Knowledge Structures

    The Conceptual Representation of a Traumatic Event


    4. Affect in the Theory of Abreaction


    The Physiological Aspect

    The Cognitive Aspect: Idea and Affect

    Termination of the Affective State

    Proton Pseudos: False Connections between Ideas and Affect

    Freud's Dilemma: The Relationship between Psychology and Physiology

    5. Information-Processing Systems and the Relationship between Psychology and Physiology

    The Concept of Reduction

    Information Theory

    Shannon's Concept of Information and Information in a Wider Sense

    Basic Features of an Elementary Cybernetic System

    The Computer: Cognitive Representations in a Machine

    The Relationship between Program and Machine

    The Relationship between Psychology and Physiology


    6. Fitting Affect into the Model

    Freud's Dilemma and a Solution

    Affect as a Multileveled Phenomenon


    Involuntary Motor Responses

    Experience of Affect: an Evaluation Process

    Control of Emotional Expression

    Abreaction: the Function of Emotional Expression


    7. Working-over

    Working-over in the Theory of Abreaction

    Fitting Working-over into the Model

    Abreaction, Working-over, and the Principle of Constancy

    Programming Working-over: Reproduction

    8. Memory

    Freud's Conception of Memory

    Fitting Episodic Memory into the Model

    9· Symptom Formation


    Anxiety Neurosis

    Obsessional Ideas

    Hysterical Symptom Formation


    10. Epilogue


    Author Index

    Subject Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 316
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 1985
  • Published: January 28, 1985
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483272290

About the Author

Cornelis Wegman

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