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Article
October 1967

Pragmatics of Human Communication: A Study of Interactional Patterns, Pathologies, and Paradoxes.

Author Affiliations
 

By Paul Watzlawick, PhD; Janet Helmick Beavin, AB; and Don D. Jackson, MD. Price, $10. Pp 296. W. W. Norton & Co., Inc., 55 Fifth Ave, New York 10003, 1967.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1967;17(4):506-507. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1967.01730280122015

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Abstract

This book, which carries the imprint of the Mental Research Institute of Palo Alto, Calif, deals with human communication as an interaction process. The volume is divided into seven chapters and an epilogue, covering in succession the frame of reference, axioms of communication, pathological communication, general systems principles, analysis of the play "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" double-bind theory, therapeutic paradoxes, and existentialism and the theory of communication. In terms of language and structure the volume is not addressed to the lay public, but to the professionals working in the field.

In the midst of a publishing explosion, the first question one might ask about any book is "What is its function?" Is it a research report, a teaching manual, a review, or the formulation of a new approach? From the authors' statement in the introduction that this book "... does not claim to be more than an attempt at model

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