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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Group psychology and the structural theory: a revised psychoanalytic model of group psychology.

It has been my aim in this paper to revise the existing psychoanalytic theory of group psychology in accordance with current structural concepts. The need for fundamental revision in the existing theory of group organization is demonstrated by its restriction to an oedipal paradigm, which cannot account for the regression to an oral paradigm of group organization during group formation. Freud's explanation of regression in crowds is reviewed. The limitations inherent in Freud's topographic and narcisistic models are demonstrated; irreconcilable contradictions are shown to exist between the two theories. A structural model of group psychology that is free from internal contradictions and provides a unifying explanation for both regression and merging in the crowd is developed. As a consequence of these revisions it is possible to conceptualize preoedipal organizations of group structure in addition to the oedipal paradigm proposed by Freud.[1]


  1. Group psychology and the structural theory: a revised psychoanalytic model of group psychology. Saravay, S.M. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. (1975) [Pubmed]
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