Some observations on animism
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Twenty patients with the diagnosis of psychosis with cerebral arteriosclerosis and 10 patients with dementia praecox, hebephrenic type, were studied to determine the degree of primitive animism they showed. Only 40 per cent of the organic patients and 20 per cent of the schizophrenics tested in the adult stage. Their responses were compared with the work of Piaget with children and the work of Dennis and Mallinger with the aged.
Some other similarities between childhood thinking, schizophrenic thinking and the unconscious are indicated. There is a strikingly high incidence of primitive animism and syncretistic habits of thought in schizophrenia. Psychologic factors are more important than neurologic ones as a cause of primitive animism in the aged, although the latter also play a part. The question as to why all psychologically regressed patients do not show marked primitive animistic thinking remains unexplained.
KeywordsPublic Health Dementia Dementia Praecox Psychologic Factor Adult Stage
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