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Perr, H.M. (1958). Interpersonal Diagnosis of Personality: A Functional Theory And Methodology For Personality Evaluation. Timothy Leary. 518 pp. The Ronald Press Company, New York. 1957. $12.. Am. J. Psychoanal., 18(2):201-204.

(1958). American Journal of Psychoanalysis, 18(2):201-204

Interpersonal Diagnosis of Personality: A Functional Theory And Methodology For Personality Evaluation. Timothy Leary. 518 pp. The Ronald Press Company, New York. 1957. $12.

Herbert M. Perr, M.D.

In no other science, as perhaps in psychoanalysis, is it so evident that a lack of methodological tools and a confusion in semantic concepts have hindered sound evolution in theory and therapy. Behaviorial scientists, including psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, sociologists, anthropologists, and psychologists, have been hampered not only by unawareness of work going on in each other's field of interest, but also because theoretical concepts have not been conceived in operationally defined terms clear enough to indicate their specific connotations.

The core of the difficulty lies in the nature of the data available for scientific appraisal in the fields of the social sciences as compared to those of the physical sciences. For the most part, that which is available to direct inspection and experimental manipulation allows of rigorous appraisal by the scientific method. Observations are made, certain general relationships are abstracted, a theoretical explanation is constructed, and consequent inferences are compared to the unfolding events. Constant testing and hypothesizing are essential processes underlying an expanding science. That which is found to be truer is retained, erroneous deductions are discarded, and there gradually arises a body of knowledge which permits prediction with high degrees of probability. As long as investigation of behavioral variables restricts itself to that which is “inspective” (Rado), the data can be handled with all the growing techniques known to the physical sciences.

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