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An Outline of Abnormal Psychology

Naturevolume 120pages4041 (1927) | Download Citation



MEDICAL psychology has had a long and varied history. In its earliest stages it dealt with magical and pseudo-religious phenomena, which it took at their face value. Even within the last century it remained mainly anecdotal, with a complacent acceptance of the miraculous and the supernormal. With the earlier investigations and writings of scientists still among us, such as Dr. Pierre Janet and Dr. Morton Prince, it passed into the stage of detailed descriptions of outstanding cases of mental abnormality, especially of hysterical cases with their startling characteristics of dissociation and susceptibility to hypnotism. Only within the last thirty years has it taken on the characteristics of a definite science—that of psychopathology—with a systematic classification of its subject matter and a set of general principles genuinely explanatory in nature. In the course of its development it has profited greatly by the advance of normal psychology, but is now reacting strongly upon the latter science, deepening its conceptions and revealing the presence of dynamic factors in the normal mind which would otherwise have remained unobserved and unsuspected.

An Outline of Abnormal Psychology.

By Prof. William McDougall. Pp. xvi + 572. (London: Methuen and Co., Ltd., 1926.) 15s. net.

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