3rd Edition

Suggestion and its Role in Social Life

ISBN 9781412857062
Published December 30, 2015 by Routledge
230 Pages

USD $52.95

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Book Description

Vladimir Mikhailovitch Bekhterev was a pioneering Russian neurologist, psychiatrist, and psychologist. A highly esteemed rival of Ivan Pavlov, his achievements in the areas of personality, clinical psychology, and political and social psychology were recognized and acclaimed throughout the world. However, when his version of reflexological doctrine ran afoul of official Soviet ideology in the 1920s his work was banned and his influence suppressed through the dispersal of his many colleagues and disciples. Bekhterev himself died in 1927 under mysterious circumstances. This translation of Suggestion and Its Role in Social Life is a significant instance of intellectual and cultural restoration. It marks a starting point of Bekhterev's lifelong endeavour to relate his clinical observations and philosophy of science to problems of the social world.

Bekhterev's investigation reviews and explains the many conflicting positions in the social and scientific thought concerning the nature and power of suggestion. He takes pains to differentiate the process from persuasion and hypnosis, and discusses suggestion and autosuggestion in the waking state, examining their effectiveness on feeling, thought, and behaviour. He then discusses the destructive consequences of the process—violent crime, suicide, witchcraft, and devil-possession hysteria— in a wide variety of contexts important in the Russia, Europe and North America of the period.

Bekhterev presents a structural model of the mind, including both conscious and unconscious realms, and the phenomena of suggestion without awareness; in doing so he anticipated much present-day work on preconscious influence. Suggestion and Its Role in Social Life is a landmark study in collective psychological research that may lead to revisions in histories of social psychology. It will be read by psychologists, sociologists, and social historians.

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments

Lloyd H. Strickland

Foreword to the Second Edition
V. Bekhterev

Foreword to the Third Edition
V. Bekhterev

1 Different Views on the Nature of Suggestion
2 The Definition of Suggestion
3 Suggestion and Persuasion
4 Suggestion in the Hypnotic State
5 Suggestion in the Waking State
6 The Importance of Faith
7 Unintentional Suggestion and Mutual Suggestion
8 Concerning the Suggestion of Thoughts
9 Paths of Influencing One Another through Suggestion
10 Collective or Mass Illusions and Hallucinations
11 Inalterable Hallucinatory Sensations and the Importance of Auto-Suggestion
12 Suggestion as a Factor in Mass Self-Destructive Acts of the Russian Sectarians, and Suicide Epidemics
13 Murder and Robbery Epidemics
14 Epidemics of Convulsions in History
15 Witchcraft and Devil-Possession Epidemics
16 Hysterical and Nervous Debility Epidemics
17 Other Psychopathological Epidemics of a Religious Variety
18 The Paranoiac Malevannii as a Culprit in a Distinctive Psychopathological Epidemic
19 The Malevannism Epidemic
20 The Jehovah Psychopathological Epidemic
21 The Tatar Psychopathological Epidemic in Kazan Province
22 The Supanevo Psychopathological Epidemic in Orel Province
23 The Novogrud Epidemic and the "Pavlovka Slaughter"
24 Sectarian Collectivities and Epidemics
25 A Chinese Epidemic of the I-Ho-Ch'uan Sect
26 A Canadian Psychopathological Epidemic among Russian Dukhobors
27 The Epidemic Dissemination of Mystical Doctrines
28 A Free Love Epidemic
29 Panic among People and Animals
30 Psychic Epidemics during Historic People's Movements
31 Financial Speculation Epidemics
32 The Importance of People's Collectivities for the Spread of Psychic Epidemics
33 The Importance of Suggestion for Social Groups


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