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June 18, 1938


Author Affiliations


From the Psychiatric Institute of the University of Illinois and State Department of Public Welfare, Chicago.

JAMA. 1938;110(25):2048-2053. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790250008003

In the study of patients with so-called mental diseases it has been perhaps inevitable, because of its prominence and overt expression, that primary emphasis should have been accorded to the form, or content, of the psychosis as a means of differentiating nosologic entities. Much admirable research into physiologic disturbances occurring as symptoms in mental illnesses has, however, rendered little service to their elucidation, mainly for the reason that the correlations which have been attempted are between the symptoms of the illness, on the one hand, and the person who is ill, on the other. It is my purpose in this article to present considerations for a reorientation of point of view, not with the object at present of propounding a new system of classification, for which there is yet insufficient knowledge, but as a guide to the analysis of clinical material and the prosecution of research.

It will probably be