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Subject:Re: neologisms--"closure" From:Vicki Rosenzweig <murphy!acmcr!vr -at- UUNET -dot- UU -dot- NET> Date:Wed, 2 Mar 1994 15:26:38 EST
I think "closure" may have wandered into psych from discussions of
art and literature. The general idea is that a piece has "achieved
closure" if the emotional tension it creates, or the issues
or plot introduced, are resolved. If I have my terminology
correct, it's a bit like a resolving chord, without which a
piece of music may feel annoyingly incomplete (even to someone
who isn't familiar with the piece). A mystery novel, for
example, achieves closure when the case is solved, or when
the person who committed the murder is caught. If someone were
to write a story in which, after 200 pages of clues, the detective
were suddenly to decide he didn't care anymore, turn in his badge,
and open a bakery, and nobody else took up the case, most readers
would be disappointed and feel that something important was
missing: too many things are left open. (It might make an
interesting psychological novel, but the people who like to read
mysteries wouldn't be pleased.) The extension to psychology (and
particularly pop psychology) is to say that something has been
resolved. The patient has dealt with that problem, and can go
on with his/her life, rather than constantly thinking about it.
But I'm not trained in psychology, and this is just what I've
picked up by random reading. If anyone has better information,
please post it.
vr%acmcr -dot- uucp -at- murphy -dot- com
New York, NY