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(1939). Murphy, Lois Barclay. Social Behavior and Child Personality. New York: Columbia University Press. $3.50.. Psychoanal. Rev., 26(1):149.

(1939). Psychoanalytic Review, 26(1):149

Murphy, Lois Barclay. Social Behavior and Child Personality. New York: Columbia University Press. $3.50.

Some 2500 years ago a pre-socratic philosopher pointed out that all behavior was variable but when such behavior carried with it inconvenience or annoyance it found more ready attention and man began to measure differences. Some nominalists persist in calling such variables “abnormal.” Fortunately no such academic emphasis mars this very serious and competent work of some 344 pages dealing with children's behavior.

The behavior of healthy children always offers plenty of problems. All children in a sense are problem children, and certain aspects of the reasons why they behave as they do are very well discussed here. This is no psychoanalytic book, however. Much weight is given to the question of identification and there is a proneness to over-emphasize the value of Scheler's excellent though not very deep work on Sympathy.

As a pragmatic enterprise we find the book excellent. There is much intelligent understanding and there are many valuable bits of original and first hand observation, altogether a very creditable contribution.

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