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November 1968

Pain: A Psychophysical Analysis.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1968;19(5):635-637. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1968.01740110123016

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Pain-Psychological and Psychiatric Aspects. By H. Mersky, MA, DM, DPM, and F. G. Spear, MD, DPM. Price, $8.50. Pp 223. Williams and Wilkins, 428 E Preston St, Baltimore 21202, 1967.

Psychologist Richard Sternbach has written a short monograph with a threefold Purpose: (1) to review recent research literature on pain; (2) to introduce the reader to "linguistic parallelism," ie, an orientation which permits multiple different but parallel descriptions of a phenomenon to be considered of equal validity; and (3), to illustrate how certain concepts appear in different form in several of the languages we use in describing pain. In my opinion, he has achieved his goal.

According to the author, pain is a single construct which refers to private experience ("a hurt that we feel"), a stimulus which causes tissue damage or carries the threat of doing so, and an observable series of responses

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