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Hadley, E.E. (1929). Thought Control In Every Day Life. By James Alexander. Funk & Wagnalls Co., New York City. Pp. 275. Price, $2.00.. Psychoanal. Rev., 16(1):113-115.

(1929). Psychoanalytic Review, 16(1):113-115

Thought Control In Every Day Life. By James Alexander. Funk & Wagnalls Co., New York City. Pp. 275. Price, $2.00.

Review by:
Ernest E. Hadley

The author advises us in his preface that, “This is no armchair treatise.” Since we are further informed that “The illustrations are very largely from the writer's own individual experience—from his own observation and in direct contact with life,” we presume it had its origin in a less comfortable situation—one where the strain devolved upon something other than the mental function.

The book contains eight chapters divided into two parts. There is an index. On page eleven thought is defined as “the process of thinking.” Thoughts are arranged “into two divisions: (1) Thoughts that flit through the mind, and (2) thoughts that arrest or challege attention; …” Alexander goes on to say that, “This book has little, if anything, to do with the thoughts that just ‘flit through the mind.’” “Thoughts enter the mind by the gateway of the senses, the feelings, and conation.” (P. 13). “Conation is a word that cannot be denned.… It will be helpful to regard conation as a life force …” (P. 15).

“Psychologists recognize three classes of emotional states: (1) The Perceptual class, (2) the Ideational class, and (3) the Organic class.” (P. 19). The author finds that there are seven primary emotions and a correlated primary instinct. These correlates are listed in the above order as, Fear—Flight or Concealment; Anger—Pugnacity; Disgust—Repulsion; Wonder—Curiosity; Exhilaration—Assertiveness; Depression or Despondency—Self—Repression and the Tender Emotions—Parental Instincts.

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