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Silverman, M.A., Silverman, I. (1986). The Hans Legacy. A Story of Science: By Dodge Fernald. Hillsdale, NJ/London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1984. 241 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 55:522-527.

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(1986). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 55:522-527

The Hans Legacy. A Story of Science: By Dodge Fernald. Hillsdale, NJ/London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1984. 241 pp.

Review by:
Martin A. Silverman

Ilene Silverman

In 1907, in Berlin, Oskar Pfungst, an experimental psychologist, carried out an admirably skillful investigation of the seemingly remarkable intellectual feats of a horse dubbed "Clever Hans" by his flabbergasted onlookers. In doing so, he made a very important, lasting contribution to the methodology of animal behavior studies. He provided us with an awareness of the effects of unconscious cuing and of experimenter expectancy. Pfungst's work, together with Pavlov's observation that the performance of laboratory animals improves as the result of improvement in the human investigator's skill in conducting the experiments, has been invaluable for those who are engaged in research into human as well as animal behavior. His discoveries also have been very useful to those who are interested in such phenomena as placebo effects, hypnosis, psychic reading, and the "magic tricks" of illusionists.

Just one year later, in Vienna, Sigmund Freud participated in


1 Pfungst, O. (1911): Clever Hans: The Horse of Mr. Von Osten. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, Inc., 1965.

2 Sebeok, T. A., & Rosenthal, R., Editors (1981): The Clever Hans Phenomenon: Communication with Horses, Whales, Apes and People. New York: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Also see Rosenthal, R. (1966): Experimenter Effects in Behavior Research. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.

3 Freud, S. (1909): Analysis of a phobia in five-year-old boy. S.E., 10.

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