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October 1934

Habits, Their Making and Unmaking.

Arch NeurPsych. 1934;32(4):914. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1934.02250100236023

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The first chapters of the book deal with the problems and principles of learning and lead up to the author's interesting theory on the subject. He believes that for many types of response, repetition does not increase the probability of the occurrence of the response on presentation of the stimulus, but decreases it. The repetition of a bad habit under suitable conditions will break the habit. The specific habits discussed are stammering, tics and bad sexual habits. From the author's exposition here it is clear that the "negative method" of habit breaking is not the only factor in his treatment. The stammerer, for instance, must understand the nature of his defect and desire to speak fluently; he probably receives a large measure of explanation, encouragement and suggestion, all of which help him in his readjustment. Detailed analyses of cases of bad habits in the patients treated by the "negative method"

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