“There was this tendency in the psychoanalytic world to imply that everything was psychodynamic,” he added, noting that some doctors reflexively blamed mothers for their children’s behavior.
But Dr. Hobson softened his views in his later years.
“He came to believe that psychoanalysis could be useful for treating mental disorders,” Dr. Lydic said, “but he did not believe in a rigid symbolism in the interpretation of dreams.”
For the most part, Dr. Hobson still believed, as the saying goes, that a cigar was just a cigar.
John Allan Hobson was born on June 3, 1933, in Hartford, Conn. His mother, Ann (Cotter) Hobson, was a homemaker. His father, John Robert Hobson, was a lawyer.
John attended the Loomis School, now the Loomis Chaffee School, in Windsor, Conn., graduating in 1951. He spent a year abroad, then returned to study at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, where he majored in English, graduating in 1955. He received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1959.
He married Joan Harlowe in 1956; they divorced in 1992. He married Dr. Rosalia Silvestri in the mid-1990s, and she survives him.
In addition to his wife and daughter, Dr. Hobson is survived by four sons, Ian, Christopher, Andrew and Matthew; his brother, Bruce; and four grandchildren.
After medical school, Dr. Hobson interned for two years at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan. In lieu of military service, he served in the Public Health Service of the National Institutes of Health.