Falsification and Credulity for Psychoanalytic Doctrine

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William Stephenson


According to Sir Karl Popper, psychoanalysis can never be a science, in part because it is impossible to describe any human behavior that doesn't support psychoanalytic doctrine: it is never falsifiable. Q-methodology makes falsification just as possible for psychoanalytic principles as for any others in science. Credulity will depend upon how far psychoanalysts will be prepared to accept quantum-theoretical advances now available to them at research levels by way of Q. They are reminded of the new "probabilistic" Q-technique represents, that dispenses with all measurement of categorical attributes except one, for feelings of pleasure-unpleasure, opening the way to a new epistemology proposed by Niels Bohr, in which ~he cardinal principle is complementarity. Self-reference is the key to quantum phenomena in subjective psychology: it is operant, and not the categorical concept of the current interest in self in some psychoanalytic circles.

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Stephenson, W. (1988). Falsification and Credulity for Psychoanalytic Doctrine. Operant Subjectivity, 11(3). Retrieved from https://ojs.library.okstate.edu/osu/index.php/osub/article/view/9111