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Stoddart, W.H. (1921). Abnormal Psychology: By Isador H. Coriat, M.D. (Moffat, Yard and Co. 1921. Price $ 400.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 2:232-233.

(1921). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 2:232-233

Abnormal Psychology: By Isador H. Coriat, M.D. (Moffat, Yard and Co. 1921. Price $ 400.)

Review by:
W. H.B. Stoddart

It is nowhere stated what edition we are reading, but we gather from the fact that the only preface is that to the second edition, written in 1913, that this is merely a reprint of the 1913 edition; although it says on the outside paper cover that the volume has been entirely revised. With regard to the scientific value of the work, criticism is somewhat disarmed by a hint in the introduction and elsewhere that it is intended for the general reader only.

The subject matter is divided into two parts. Part I is entitled 'The Exploration of the Subconscious' and Part II—'The Diseases of the Subconscious'; so we are at once set a-wondering what Dr. Coriat means by the 'Subconscious'. In his opening sentence he tells us that it is sometimes called the 'unconscious'. He immediately fogs this clear pronouncement by telling us that it means an inability to reproduce the images of past experience and that the psychologist regards the subconscious as an independent consciousness; so the poor general reader does not obtain a particularly clear initial conception of the 'subconscious'. These notions are elaborated in a loosely written chapter: inter alia, Dr. Myers is reported to have said that "we are only conscious of a small part of our consciousness". Dr. Myers is not a psycho-analyst, but we find it hard to believe that he was ever guilty of such an Irishism.

The author then describes various methods of exploring the subconscious: automatic writing, crystal gazing, testing the emotions with the sphygmograph and galvanometer, word-association tests, the interpretation of dreams by Freudian and more superficial methods and hypnosis.


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