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Tip: To review an author’s works published in PEP-Web…

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The Author Section is a useful way to review an author’s works published in PEP-Web. It is ordered alphabetically by the Author’s surname. After clicking the matching letter, search for the author’s full name.

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J., E. (1922). Psychology—A Study of Mental Life: By Robert S. Woodworth, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology in Columbia University. (Methuen & Co. London. 1922. Pp. 580. Price 8s. 6d.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 3:245-246.

(1922). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 3:245-246

Psychology—A Study of Mental Life: By Robert S. Woodworth, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology in Columbia University. (Methuen & Co. London. 1922. Pp. 580. Price 8s. 6d.)

Review by:
E. J.

This is another of the numerous text-books of psychology now available and it appears to present no outstanding features. It takes the student over the various chapters, reactions, emotions, sensations etc., in a quite adequate manner, and Professor Woodworth's name is a guarantee of its general trustworthiness. Its tendency lies mid-way between the older text-books, with their insistence on cognition, and the newer psychology, which is so much concerned with motive, conflict and like topics. With regard to the newer psychology, Professor Woodworth adopts a conservative but not a shut attitude. We read that 'attraction towards the opposite sex is felt by a small number of children' (p. 147), so that this phenomenon is admitted to exist at all events occasionally. A sketchy account is given of Freud's theory of dreams, but, as the author remarks, 'Not that Freud would O K our account of dreams up to this point' (p. 505). His three vague objections to the theory are: (1) That Freud fails to see how easy-running the association mechanism is. This seems to be a reversion to the old associationist psychology when associations were thought to form themselves without any motive forces being at work. (2) That 'Freud overdoes the Unconscious', a statement so general that nothing can be said about it. (3) That 'Freud overdoes the libido', a comment more appropriate to the newspaper press than to a text-book on psychology. Altogether his acquaintance with Freud's work is a very cursory one.

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