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November 1959

Anxiety as a Significant Variable for a Unified Theory of Human Behavior

Author Affiliations

From the Institute for Psychosomatic and Psychiatric Research and Training of Michael Reese Hospital.

AMA Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1959;1(5):537-546. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1959.03590050105013

I  The maintenance of equilibrium within a healthy range in the presence of environmental changes which are reflected internally is characteristic of all living organisms. Man is no exception in effectively maintaining homeostasis; but, in addition, associated with the evolutionary development of his neopallium, he has the capacity to master his physical environment by changing it to fit his needs and demands.With his acquisition of consciousness, reflection, and projection into the future, man has also attempted mastery by developing satisfying concepts of his “surround,” no matter how small or large it seems to him. These give him a feeling of continuity and certainty and of participating in future effects and causes.At first they were represented operationally in primitive religious ceremonies, magical rituals, and taboos, which are still part of his transmissible culture. Magic gave way partially to various scientific efforts

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