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Tip: To review The Language of Psycho-Analysis…

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Prior to searching a specific psychoanalytic concept, you may first want to review The Language of Psycho-Analysis written by Laplanche & Pontalis. You can access it directly by clicking here.

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(1935). Heredity and Environment. Studies in the Genesis of Psychological Characteristics. By Gladys C. Schwesinger. Edited by Frederick Osborn. Published by The Macmillan Co., New York, 1933. Pp. 484, including Appendix and Indices.. Psychoanal. Rev., 22(3):358-359.

(1935). Psychoanalytic Review, 22(3):358-359

Heredity and Environment. Studies in the Genesis of Psychological Characteristics. By Gladys C. Schwesinger. Edited by Frederick Osborn. Published by The Macmillan Co., New York, 1933. Pp. 484, including Appendix and Indices.

This book is one of the most complete resumés of the entire field of mental testing which the reviewer knows. It gives in great detail the various methods for the measurement of the intelligence and the personality, and how these methods are used for evaluating the comparative influence of environment and heredity in the development of the individual, the final chapter discussing the various viewpoints of personality. The book is hardly a work to be criticized as representing the viewpoint of the author. It is more a source book of information along the above lines. However, certain comments seem to be in order. The work starts with a quotation from Galton which in effect says that no phenomena can be considered to have been dealt with scientifically unless they have been subjected to measurement. Of course this may be true if one is satisfied with the definition of science which includes the measurement of phenomena; but the reviewer feels that an effort to understand phenomena by an unprejudiced mind is scientific in its fundamentals and is a necessary precondition to a later stage of development in which measurements may be possible. At the present day, for example, there is a great mass of accumulated information about human beings which is not measurable. So that as matters stand the reviewer feels that the fetich of measurement is invoked unnecessarily and serves rather to retard than to stimulate scientific progress in these difficult areas.

The general attitude as to the various types of measurement of intelligence and personality is that of the laboratory psychologist, and while it is believed that the information that has been obtained by these methods is valuable and should be taken cognizance of, nevertheless one can not avoid noting that much of it is of necessity, because of the method employed, superficial if not misleading, because no account is taken of unconscious and emotional distorting factors.

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