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Subjetividad y procesos cognitivos

On-line version ISSN 1852-7310


ZUKERFELD, Rubén. The notion of sample in research in psychoanalysis. Subj. procesos cogn. [online]. 2009, vol.13, n.2, pp.247-262. ISSN 1852-7310.

In this paper considerations on the rationality of traditional scientific investigation and of research in psychoanalysis, considered as different from psychoanalytical investigation, are presented. This last one is the use of the method described by Freud exclusively in the analytic situation, whereas research in psychoanalysis deals not only with that situation, but also with other two problems: clinical realities and analytic production. The analytic situation as well as the clinical realities constitute an empirical base. On the other hand, an analytic production constitutes a theoretical base. This involves three large types of investigation: empirical (quantitative and qualitative), clinical and conceptual. What is important is to delimit what type of investigation for which type of questions or problems, and this has importance to think about what signifies a sample in research in psychoanalysis, that can go from an unique case to multicentric studies with hundreds of subjects studied. Thus, the proposal entails differentiating the traditional representative sample of a population -in its context of justification- from the significant sample, in its context of discovery, and in psychoanalysis in its context of application. A significant sample is one that generates hypothesis abductively, independently of the quantity, but with great heuristic potential. Clinical examples of both types of samples in relation with the notions of evidence and empirical support are described.

Keywords : Research in psychoanalysis; Significant sample; Representative sample.

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