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Encyclopedia of Psychology Alan E. Kazdin, PhD, Editor-in-Chief

BLEULER, EUGEN (1856-1939)

In approaching the puzzle of psychotic disorder Bleuler departed from the prevailing view represented by Emil Kraepelin (1856-1926). Kraepelin (Psyckiatrie, Leipzig, Germany, 1898) had distinguished dementia praecox, an adolescent-onset mental deterioration and psychosis, from affective psychosis. Bleuler disagreed with the characterization of the disorder as a precocious dementing process and introduced the term schizophrenia. The new term was meant to reflect the splitting of psychological functions that underpinned the illness.

This core disturbance encompassed dissociations, splitting, fragmentation, and the coexistence of contradictory impulses in the patient’s mental life. Thus speech became disconnected from a unifying thought, emotional expression became incongruent with speech content, desire competed with disgust, and thought contradicted action. More formally, Bleuler defined simple and compound fundamental symptoms of schizophrenia. These included associative and affective disturbances and ambivalence (simple functions), along with autism, attention and personality-related, volitional, intellectual, and behavioral disturbances (compound functions).

BOAS, FRANZ (1858-1942), German American anthropologist.

In his famous study done for the United States Immigration Commission, completed in 1911, about the adaptation of two generations of eastern European immigrants to America, he argued that changes in head forms (cephalic index) of 18,000 individuals showed that if such “hard” or permanent physical traits could change in a new environment, then so could the “soft” cultural traits.

Defining culture as all the capabilities and habits that people acquire as the consequence of living in society, they insisted that cultural phenomena were of a different order than physical or biological phenomena: none could be explained as the consequence of any of the others. Culture was essentially a mental, not a physical, construction. They argued that every people had a cultural history, which was specific to time and place, and, borrowing from German idealist philosophy, they insisted that the facts of culture were essentially mental, not material, that they were unique, and that there could be no easy, grand, determinist syntheses, whether Marxian or racist in character. Culture history came from cultural facts.

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