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Low, B. (1928). Practical Psychology: For Students of Education. By Charles Fox, M.A., Director of the Training of Teachers and Lecturer in Educational Psychology in the University of Cambridge. (London, Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co., Ltd., 1928. Pp. 180. Price 7 s. b d. net.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 9:490-491.
(1928). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 9:490-491
Practical Psychology: For Students of Education. By Charles Fox, M.A., Director of the Training of Teachers and Lecturer in Educational Psychology in the University of Cambridge. (London, Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co., Ltd., 1928. Pp. 180. Price 7 s. b d. net.)
Review by: Barbara Low
From the standpoint of psycho-analysis, a book on practical psychology which from first to last page contains scarcely any reference to the unconscious is bound to be somewhat incomplete in its survey. It is true that in the Preface the author says that his book is intended as a partial solution of the problem as to what should be the content of a course of practical educational psychology, and he makes clear that he is mainly aiming at experiments for testing the mental processes which can be observed in such operations as learning by heart, visual observation, reasoning, appreciating music and poetry, association, and so forth.
The first part is entitled 'Experimental'; Part II is entitled 'Statistical', of which the author says in his Preface: 'An integral part of a course in practical educational psychology is the manipulation of statistical tables, for which reason Part II is wholly concerned with this branch of the subject' (Preface, p. viii).
For those who share this view, doubtless the second part of the book will be of much value, as giving excellent examples and exercises for working, set out and explained in a very lucid way. But to psychologists who do not find mathematical computations of much assistance in unravelling the intricacies of mental processes, nor in drawing inferences of real value, the first section will have more interest. In this part we are given demonstrations of various experiments which certainly reveal many manifestations of the person being tested—his speed in the process, his power of application, and so forth. But the attempt to generalize from such manifestations is surely useless for giving any reliable information for the individual's capacities as a whole.
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