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August 1957

Comparative Psychology of Mental Development.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1957;78(2):220. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1957.02330380110015

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A new printing of Werner's classic study again makes available a basic reference for all students of primitive thought processes. Although the work was published in English in the mid 1940s, the original research from the Hamburg Psychological Laboratories and the earlier German editions appeared during the preceding two decades. A pioneer work of admirable scholarship, the book continues to be a major contribution. The growth during these years of interest within dynamic psychiatry in problems of ego psychology and the thought processes should, if anything, enhance its present value.

The developmental psychology proposed by Werner attempts to integrate within one conceptual framework the behavior of the child, the primitive, and the psychotic. Drawing from a vast fund of information in the areas of child and animal psychology, studies of psychopathology, and cultural anthropology, the author demonstrates the essential continuity among these diverse groups in mental organization. In all, perception

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