Theories of Personality 9th Edition

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Chapter 4 Jung: Analytical Psychology 139

and insisted that his scientific study of religion, mythology, folklore, and philo-
sophical fantasies did not make him a mystic any more than Freud’s study of sex
made Freud a sexual pervert (Jung, 1975).
Nevertheless, analytical psychology, like any theory, must be evaluated against
the six criteria of a useful theory established in Chapter 1. First, a useful theory must
generate testable hypotheses and descriptive research, and second, it must have the
capacity for either verification or falsification. Unfortunately, Jung’s theory, like
Freud’s, is nearly impossible to either verify or falsify. The collective unconscious,
the core of Jung’s theory, remains a difficult concept to test empirically.
Much of the evidence for the concepts of archetype and the collective uncon-
scious has come from Jung’s own inner experiences, which he admittedly found
difficult to communicate to others, so that acceptance of these concepts rests more
on faith than on empirical evidence. Jung (1961) claimed that “archetypal state-
ments are based upon instinctive preconditions and have nothing to do with reason;
they are neither rationally grounded nor can they be banished by rational argument”
(p. 353). Such a statement may be acceptable to the artist or the theologian, but it
is not likely to win adherents among scientific researchers faced with the problems
of designing studies and formulating hypotheses.
On the other hand, that part of Jung’s theory concerned with classification
and typology, that is, the functions and attitudes, can be studied and tested and has
generated a moderate amount of research. Because the Myers-Briggs Type Indica-
tor has yielded a great number of investigations, we give Jung’s theory a moderate
rating on its ability to generate research.
Third, a useful theory should organize observations into a meaningful frame-
work. Analytical psychology is unique because it adds a new dimension to person-
ality theory, namely, the collective unconscious. Those aspects of human
personality dealing with the occult, the mysterious, and the parapsychological are
not touched on by most other personality theories. Even though the collective
unconscious is not the only possible explanation for these phenomena, and other
concepts could be postulated to account for them, Jung is the only modern person-
ality theorist to make a serious attempt to include such a broad scope of human
activity within a single theoretical framework. For these reasons, we have given
Jung’s theory a moderate rating on its ability to organize knowledge.
A fourth criterion of a useful theory is its practicality. Does the theory aid
therapists, teachers, parents, or others in solving everyday problems? The theory
of psychological types or attitudes and the MBTI are used by many clinicians, but
the usefulness of most analytical psychology is limited to those therapists who
subscribe to basic Jungian tenets. The concept of a collective unconscious does not
easily lend itself to empirical research, but it may have some usefulness in helping
people understand cultural myths and adjust to life’s traumas. Overall, however,
we can give Jung’s theory only a low rating in practicality.
Is Jung’s theory of personality internally consistent? Does it possess a set of
operationally defined terms? The first question receives a qualified affirmative
answer; the second, a definite negative one. Jung generally used the same terms
consistently, but he often employed several terms to describe the same concept.
The words regression and introverted are so closely related that they can be said
to describe the same process. This is also true of progression and extraverted, and
the list could be expanded to include several other terms such as individuation and

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