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Article
January 27, 1912

CONSTITUTIONAL INFERIORITY AND ITS PSYCHOSES

Author Affiliations

NEW YORK CITY

JAMA. 1912;LVIII(4):249-252. doi:10.1001/jama.1912.04260010249006
Abstract

The term "constitutional inferiority," which has found prompt adoption in America because it filled a need in our psychiatric nomenclature, and which is already beginning to creep into the expert testimony of our medicolegal cases as a plea for irresponsibility, owes its introduction into this country to Dr. Adolf Meyer.1 He states that in seeking a designation which would "do justice to the hysterias and psychasthenias, which could be defined as such," while realizing "that there was a whole group of cases in which such a definition could not be maintained," he decided to include the latter under the heading of "constitutional inferiority." However, he admits his indebtedness to Koch, who had been designating the oddities and peculiar nicks in the personalities of various people under the classification of psychische Minderwertigkeiten (psychic inferiority). In the discussion of constitutional inferiority, as here considered, we must at the outset waive the

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