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September 1931

The Symbolic Process and Its Integration in Children.

Arch NeurPsych. 1931;26(3):685. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1931.02230090218023

The purpose of this book is to disclose the origin and integration of the symbolic process. The author surveys the writings of American sociologists, evaluating their contribution to the solution of this problem. The method of analytic psychology is rejected as making an enigma of the symbolic process. Gestalt psychology is criticized as merely pointing out the mystery of thought without furnishing an explanation of its nature. Behaviorism, which the author holds the most fruitful of methods, is also criticized, since it ignores the influence of social factors in the development of thinking. The behaviorist method, when it does take into consideration the effect of social intercourse, can afford a satisfactory account of the origin of symbols and their integration.

An interesting reinterpretation is made of the experimental work done on the development of language in children. It is shown that language symbols have a behavior content and a social

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