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Factors of Human Psychology

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Abstract

Reviews the book, Factors of Human Psychology by L. W. Cole (see record 1927-01648-000). Many students of psychology regard the ordinary elementary textbook as needlessly barren of human interest. Professor Cole has kept the human being constantly before the student, and has given both interest and utility to the text by frequent pertinent insights from biography and by many practical illustrations. The humanizing of any subject always involves problems and dilemmas. Many of these Cole has met admirably—for example, the avoidance of blind affiliation with any particular school, the retention of classical topics, and the selection of material from nonpsychological sources. To the reviewer other problems are needy of an improved solution. For the elementary student the terminology could be somewhat reduced: such terms as foramen, corpus striatum, crura, and the like, are unnecessary and frustrate the needed development of clear concepts. The frequent quotation from eminent psychologists is an excellent feature if the material can be paraphrased simply enough; but the views of Ebbinghaus on the third dimension seem too intricate for the average beginner. The inclusion of the last two chapters, on psychoanalysis and on sex differences seem pedagogically desirable; for uncritical popular thought is much astray on these topics. Justification for inclusion at all, however, is justification for more than six-page chapters. Other topics, too, appear too briefly dismissed—intelligence and transfer of training among them. In fact, expansion seems the most urgent need for the text. The fundamental idea of a human psychology that is human as well as psychological is thoroughly to be commended. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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