(1) THERE seems to be an ever-increasing tendency among psychologists at the present day to assimilate not only their methods of procedure, but also the schemes of description and explanation underlying their science to those employed by biology. In place of, or, more accurately, in supplementation of, the older “introspective” psychology—including “introspection under test conditions”—we now find a “functional” psychology which treats of the individual mind from the point of view, primarily, of its usefulness in adapting the individual to his environment. Both the books under consideration are written from this point of view. They are, both of them, excellent examples of the use of the biological method. Mr. Kirkpatrick tells us in his preface that all psychology must be founded on genetic principles, and studied in close relation to the facts and theories of the other sciences of life phenomena. He himself therefore commences his book with a clearly written and somewhat full account of the forms of behaviour of the lower animals, together with their structural bases, selecting types at different stages of evolution for detailed description. Not until the middle of the book does he reach the subject of consciousness “as such,” and even here he deals first with its objective aspect, viz. its external effects and criteria, as exemplified by human adult consciousness. The account is excellent, and conducive to clear thinking on a difficult subject. Following this, there are chapters on “specific conscious states,” “types of adaptive activity or intelligence,” “types of learning activity,” and “racial and individual development.”
(1) Genetic Psychology. An Introduction to an Objective and Genetic View of Intelligence.
By E. A. Kirkpatrick. Pp. xv + 373. (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1909.) Price 5s. net.
(2) The Psychology of Thinking.
By Dr. J. E. Miller. Pp. xxv + 303. (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1909.) Price 5s. net.
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B., W. (1) Genetic Psychology An Introduction to an Objective and Genetic View of Intelligence (2) The Psychology of Thinking. Nature 82, 485 (1910). https://doi.org/10.1038/082485a0