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Flugel, J.C. (1955). The Scientific Study of Personality: By H. J. Eysenck. (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1952. Pp. xiv + 320. 30 s.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 36:139-140.

(1955). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 36:139-140

The Scientific Study of Personality: By H. J. Eysenck. (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1952. Pp. xiv + 320. 30 s.)

Review by:
J. C. Flugel

This book has come somewhat late into the reviewer's hands, late, that is, especially in relation to the author's energy and creativity, which have already enabled him to produce two volumes since the present one appeared. As is now well known, Dr. Eysenck is a firm believer in the strictly 'scientific' approach as the only one that will ensure real progress in psychology and psychiatry; and in the field of personality this approach, in his view, is best served by the administration of simple objective tests giving definitely quantitative measures which can be treated by factor-analytical methods so that personality can eventually be described in terms of a limited number of 'dimensions'. In this approach, as he envisages it, there is no use for procedures which involve a large element of subjectivity or the accumulation of material which is difficult or impossible to put into quantitative form. Indeed, such half measures as projection tests, questionnaires, and ratings are regarded with almost as much suspicion as are psycho-analytic sessions or other forms of psychiatric interview.

Psycho-analysts will no doubt continue to feel that this insistence on rigid rules of experimentation and quantification is only too likely to blind the investigator to important aspects of the human mind which in the present state of our knowledge do not readily lend themselves to such procedures; and in this they can find support in the fact that the admittedly less rigid and more intuitive methods of psycho-analysis enriched psychology with a long series of working concepts (since proved of value in illuminating many other fields) which 'brass instrument psychology', for all its attempt at exactitude, had completely failed even to adumbrate.

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