Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Know thyself? No thanks

A 2006 survey by Princeton Survey Research Associates contained several questions on "psychological health."  Three of them involve acceptance of Freud's ideas, at least in a popularized form.  "Do you believe that the dreams people have often reflect unconscious desires, or not?"  43% said they did, 40% that they didn't, and 17% that they didn't know.  "If an adult has psychological problems, do you think the MAIN reason is usually .... their relationship with their parents growing up .... is their own fault .... or is just bad luck?"  29% said parents, 22% said their own fault, 13% bad luck, 18% that it was none of these or something else, and 18% that they didn't know.  "Do you believe that a very young child under four years of age is capable of having sexual thoughts and fantasies, or not?"  Only 13% said yes, 76% no, and 11% didn't know. 

It also asked "now thinking about INTENSIVE therapy or psychoanalysis, where you meet with a psychiatrist or other therapist five days a week over a long period of time:  If someone else were paying the bills, would you be interested in undergoing intensive therapy or psychoanalysis to improve your psychological health or learn more about yourself?"  13% said yes, 84% said no, and 4% weren't sure.  

In my next post, I'll look at differences by age and education. 

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