December 16, 1916


Author Affiliations

Chief of Clinic of the New York Neurological Institute (Third Division); Clinical Instructor in Neurology, Cornell University Medical College; Formerly Assistant Resident Alienist, Psychopathic Department, Bellevue Hospital NEW YORK

JAMA. 1916;LXVII(25):1831-1834. doi:10.1001/jama.1916.02590250033011

In presenting the conception of constitutional inferiority it is necessary to emphasize the fact that the human mind is complex and intricate in structure, as well as from the point of view of organic and social heredity and its adaptation to the environment. It is important to bear in mind that in early life mental adjustment is purely instinctive and emotional. Furthermore, the volitional and intellectual faculties with the moral sense make their appearance rather late in mental development. While it is true that the whole mental organism is of a sensitive nature, nevertheless it evinces considerable plasticity necessary for adaptation. It is also to be remembered that because of these sensitive and plastic qualities, this organism is capable of receiving environmental impressions of favorable or pernicious character.

Of great significance is the fact that there is an underlying organic basis for the harmonious union of psychic forces necessary for

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