Devereux, George. (1967). From anxiety to method in the
behavioral sciences. The Hague: Mouton & Co.
The scientific study of man:
- Is impeded by the anxiety arousing overlap between subject and
- Which requires an analysis of the nature and locus of the
partition between the two;
- Must compensate for the partialness of communication between
subject and observer on the conscious level; but
- Must avoid the temptation to compensate for the completeness
of communication between subject and observer on the unconscious
- Which arouses anxiety and therefore also countertransference
- Distorting the perception and interpretation of the data, and
- Producing countertransference resistances masquerading as
methodology, which cause further sui generis distortions.
- Since the existence of the observer, his observational
activities and his anxieties (even in self observation) produce
distortions which it is not only technically but also logically
impossible to eliminate,
- Any effective behavioral science methodology must treat these
disturbances as the most significant and characteristic data of
behavioral science research, and
- Must use the subjectivity inherent in all observation as the
royal road to an authentic, rather than fictitious, objectivity,
- Which must be defined in terms of what is really possible,
rather than in terms of what 'should be.'
- When ignored, or warded off by means of countertransference
resistances masquerading as methodology, these 'disturbances'
become sources of uncontrolled and uncontrollable error, although
- When treated as basic and characteristic data of behavioral
science they are more valid and more productive of insight than
any other type of datum.
- In short, behavioral science data arouse anxieties, which are
warded off by a countertransference inspired pseudo-methodology;
this maneuver is responsible for nearly all the defects of
behavioral science. (pp. xvi-xvii)