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November 10, 1956

Understanding Human Behavior

JAMA. 1956;162(11):1098. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970280078035

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This book is clearly written and presents in 10 well-organized chapters adequate information to the intelligent layman about the current neuropsychiatric theories and practices. Its lucid style, unbiased approach, and hopeful outlook into "a philosophy of living" make it a worthwhile addition to the available literature. In dealing with normal and abnormal sexual behavior, the author's long psychiatric experience leads to thoughtful evaluations. The chapter on diagnosis aptly describes the many psychic reactions and disorders, but it is weighed down by a long list of the standard nomenclature of the American Psychiatric Association and too much emphasis on electroencephalographic studies. This results in scant information about important psychometric and projective test methods. The chapters about origin of frustration, origin of guilt, psychotherapy, and physical treatments make fine introductory reading for medical students and nurses. A glossary and index complete this useful book.

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