Originally published in 1951, this title looks at the study of the hand in relation to psychological diagnosis. This was at the time a new branch of psychology and the author is keen to point out it must not be viewed as perfect or indeed complete. Practical experience and a deeper understanding of psycho-motor phenomena had altered some of the author’s theoretical views since the earlier titles. This book builds on and extends her previous research, including new research studies particularly on children who were at the time termed ‘mentally defective’. It was designed to contribute some new diagnostic possibilities to psychology and psychiatry. Today we can enjoy it as part of psychology’s history.
Introduction. 1. The Hand and Intelligence 2. The Endocrine Factor 3. The Hand and Temperament 4. The Hand and Personality 5. The Method of Hand-Interpretation 6. The Hand of the Mental Defective 7. The Hand in Mental Illness 8. Hands of Children: A Comparative Study of Hands of Normal and of Mentally Defective Children. Bibliography. Index.
Charlotte Wolff (1897-1986) was born into a middle-class, Jewish family. Completing her doctorate from Berlin in 1926, she had a small private medical and psychotherapeutic practice. In 1933 she was forced to leave Germany because of the Nazi regime, and settled for a few years in Paris. As a German refugee she was unable to practice medicine, so she began her research into the correlation between hand traits and personality. An active lesbian from an early age, her later research turned to sexology and her writing on lesbianism and bisexuality were influential early works in the field. This is a great opportunity to rediscover her early work, including her first autobiography.