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F., J.C. (1927). Character and the Conduct of Life: Practical Psychology for Every Man. By William McDougall, M.B., F.R.S., Professor of Psychology in Duke University. (Methuen & Co., London, 1927. Pp. xii + 287. Price 10s. 6d.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 8:549-553.

(1927). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 8:549-553

Character and the Conduct of Life: Practical Psychology for Every Man. By William McDougall, M.B., F.R.S., Professor of Psychology in Duke University. (Methuen & Co., London, 1927. Pp. xii + 287. Price 10s. 6d.)

Review by:
J. C. F.

In this book McDougall endeavours to make practical application of his psychology for the benefit of those who desire (to quote the dust cover) 'to be usefully happy and blamelessly successful'. He hopes (this time to quote the preface) 'that it may be found to go a little farther than others of similar aim in affording practical guidance in the conduct of life', and whatever view we may take of the attempt, it can scarcely be denied that this modest hope is amply justified. There can be little doubt that the book really does apply psychological knowledge to the concrete problems of life with greater success than any previous attempt on the same scale.

The book falls into two fairly distinct parts—the first dealing with the more formal and general aspects of conduct, the second with the more material and specific aspects. From the scientific point of view these two parts are of rather unequal worth. The first part (including the first 170 pages) consists very largely of an elaboration in certain particular directions of the author's psychological system, as it has already been developed in his previous works, notably in the Social Psychology and the Outline of Psychology. It abounds in the carefully made and usefully applied distinctions that are such a prominent feature of these other books—distinctions which, whatever may be their ultimate value, help very materially towards the preliminary classification of many obscure and hitherto confused problems.

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