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November 27, 1972

Burial Suggested

JAMA. 1972;222(9):1180. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03210090060034

Clarity is essential to all medical and scientific communications. Expressions, definitions, and terms have to express a clear, nondichotomous, unambiguous meaning. There are, however, some terms that can mean many things and none in particular. One such is the word "psychogenic" or "psychogenetic." Stedman's Medical Dictionary, 1972 edition, defines psychogenetic or psychogenic as "(1) of mental origin or causation, and (2) relating to mental development, or psychogenesis." Blakiston's New Gould Medical Dictionary, 1956 edition, states that psychogenesis, from which the adjectives psychogenic and psychogenetic originate, means "(1) the development of mental charactertistics, (2) the process by which activities or ideas originate in the mind, or psyche, and (3) the origin of psychic activity contributing to a psychosis." Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary, 1965 edition, defines psychogenic as "of intrapsychic origin; having an emotional or psychologic origin (in reference to a symptom), as opposed to an organic basis." Taber's Cyclopaedic Medical Dictionary