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Stengel, E. (1951). Medizinische Psychologie (Medical Psychology): By E. Kretschmer. (10th improved and enlarged edition, 1950. Pp. 304. Price DM. 24.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 32:256-257.

(1951). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 32:256-257

Medizinische Psychologie (Medical Psychology): By E. Kretschmer. (10th improved and enlarged edition, 1950. Pp. 304. Price DM. 24.)

Review by:
E. Stengel

This book by the distinguished German psychiatrist has enjoyed considerable popularity ever since it made its first appearance nearly thirty years ago. It aims at being informative rather than thought-provoking. It makes a great deal of what the author regards as the firmly established body of knowledge, and leaves little room for the problematic and controversial. The book is divided into five parts. Part I deals with the chief mental functions and their structural substrates. Perceptions, Gestalt formation, memory, thinking, consciousness and their neurophysiology are discussed. Part II deals with normal and abnormal affectivity, dreams and the problem of the Unconscious (the author prefers Schilder's concept of the 'sphere'). Part III presents the author's views on instincts (Triebe) and temperaments. He regards the following instincts as established: (1) the feeding instinct, among which he includes oral and anal tendencies; (2) the instincts of self-protection, which manifest themselves in aggression, defence and flight; (3) the sexual instincts; (4) the urge for movement; (5) the instinctual needs arising from the central regulation of sleep and wakefulness. The author allows for several more tendencies allied to instincts, such as the herd instinct. Part IV deals with personality types and psychopathic reactions.

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