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By Theodore Mischel (Eds.)

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Example text

T H E C O N C E P T OF "STAGES" I N PSYCHOLOGICAL D E V E L O P M E N T IV. 47 F u n c t i o n a l A c h i e v e m e n t s a n d Their Description A . Egocentrism and Socialization.

In saying that the pheasant recognizes me as a hunter, that the house d o g recognizes me as a friend of the family, that the young child recognizes me as his father, that the shop assistant recognizes me as a regular customer, and that the d o c t o r recognizes me as an overweight depressive—using the same word "recognizes" in each case—I a m not guilty of punning or gross ambiguity. T h e force of the term "recognition" is similar in each case; it is the criteria or tests that vary from pheasant t o human, and from wordless infant to expert adult.

Quite the reverse is in fact the case. A t the outset, our understanding of a disease warrants only a first, rough criterion of what a " c u r e " is, and so what result a "treatment" can aim at; experience of treating the disease allows us to clarify and refine our conception b y showing us more clearly the normal course of the disease, and the symptoms that the treatment can realistically aim at remedying; this clarification in turn suggests new possibilities for treatment; etc. A t the initial stage, simple recognition of the disease m a y entail also the recognition of certain gross, unwanted s y m p t o m s that an ideal " c u r e " would abolish.

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