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Psychology A Study Of Mental Life   By: (1869-1962)

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[Transcriber's notes] This text is derived from an unedited version in the Internet Archive.

Page numbers are indicated by numbers enclosed in curly braces, e.g. {99}. They have been located where page breaks occurred in the original book.

Labels and text in a figure that are not mentioned in the figure description are included as a comma separated list, as in "(Figure text: cochlea, vestibule, 3 Canals)".

Lengthy footnotes and quotations are indented.

Obvious misspellings and typos are corrected but inconsistent spelling is not resolved, as in coordinate and coördinate.

Here are the definitions of some unfamiliar words (to me).

amour propre self esteem; self respect.

esprit de corps camaraderie, bonding, solidarity, fellowship.

motility (motile) moving or capable of moving spontaneously.

unwonted unusual. [End Transcribers's notes]


BY ROBERT S. WOODWORTH, Ph. D. Professor of Psychology in Columbia University



Printed in the U.S.A.


A few words to the reader are in order. In the first place, something like an apology is due for the free way in which the author has drawn upon the original work of many fellow psychologists, without any mention of their names. This is practically unavoidable in a book intended for the beginner, but the reader may well be informed of the fact, and cautioned not to credit the content of the book to the writer of it. The author's task has been that of selecting from the large mass of psychological information now available, much of it new, whatever seemed most suitable for introducing the subject to the reader. The book aims to represent the present state of a very active science.

Should the book appear unduly long in prospect, the longest and most detailed chapter, that on Sensation, might perfectly well be omitted, on the first reading, without appreciably disturbing the continuity of the rest.

On the other hand should any reader desire to make this text the basis of a more extensive course of reading, the lists of references appended to the several chapters will prove of service. The books and articles there cited will be found interesting and not too technical in style.

Much advantage can be derived from the use of the "Exercises". The text, at the best, but provides raw material. Each student's finished product must be of his own making. The exercises afford opportunity for the student to work over the material and make it his own.

A first or preliminary edition of this book, in mimeographed sheets, was in use for two years in introductory classes conducted by the author and his colleagues, and was subjected to exceedingly helpful criticism from both teachers and students. The revision of that earlier edition into the present form has been very much of a coöperative enterprise, and so many have coöperated that room could scarcely be found for all their names. Professor A. T. Poffenberger, Dr. Clara F. Chassell, Dr. Georgina I. Gates, Mr. Gardner Murphy, Mr. Harold E. Jones and Mr. Paul S. Achilles have given me the advantage of their class room experience with the mimeographed book. Dr. Christine Ladd Franklin has very carefully gone over with me the passages dealing with color vision and with reasoning. Miss Elizabeth T. Sullivan, Miss Anna B. Copeland, Miss Helen Harper and Dr. A. H. Martin have been of great assistance in the final stages of the work. Important suggestions have come also from several other universities, where the mimeographed book was inspected.

R. S. W. Columbia University August, 1921





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