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September 16, 1950

Textbook of Abnormal Psychology

JAMA. 1950;144(3):284. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02920030072056

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As an introductory text for nonmedical students of psychology this book is satisfactory, although not without many defects. The format is excellent, the style simple and easy to read. There is an excellent index and a good glossary. The bibliographic references are skimpy.

The contents reflect these clinical psychologists' understanding of the field of psychiatry, which in truth is abnormal psychology. Why then should the psychologist take on himself the task of writing outside his field of training and experience? Simply because, as the book indicates, many clinical psychologists are trying to become independent psychiatrists, i. e., psychotherapists. Good or bad, such is the tendency in the United States, and it is so reflected in this textbook.

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