Pathological Lying, Accusation and Swindling. A Study in Forensic Psychology

1915 Journal of the American Medical Association  
The subjects are handled chiefly from the standpoint of the practicing physician. The uses of remedies are mentioned briefly, most of the discussions being devoted to the forms in which medicines may be administered, that is, their pharmacy. According to the preface, the object of the book is to give instruction to the student concerning what preparations of a remedy, for example, iron, "will best meet the demands of particular conditions, the precautions to be observed in employing them, how
more » ... correctly prescribe them, alone or in combination, and, if in combination, with what forms or preparations of the other agents; how to order for the safest, most convenient and agreeable administration; how to use the correct names, conveniently estimate the proper quantities, the best hours for administration, and the many other matters an ignorance of which may render the physician unable to properly put to practical use his knowledge of the other departments of medical science." Medical students, physicians and pharmacists should find the book useful. Pathological Lying, Accusation and Swindling. A Study in Forensic Psychology. The authors define pathologic lying as falsification entirely disproportionate to any discernable end in view. A liar of this type is not falsifying because he is insane, feebleminded or epileptic. His lying, too, represents a trait rather than an episode. It is an easy and a short step from this form of lying to swindling, and closely akin to these traits is that of accusation of self or of others without reasonable motive. Dr. Healy has had exceptional opportunity to become acquainted with this form of abnormal mentality. He is able to give detailed histories of nineteen cases. These cases have been carefully studied, and their peculiar features clearly set forth. Particular attention is given to the consideration of the influence of heredity, environment in early life, sex, physical condition of the patient, habits, psychic contagion, etc. A few borderline cases in which the lying is due to insanity, or is at least one manifestation of it, are considered. The prognosis in the patients under Dr. Healy's observation has been better than is generally believed to be possible. A brief outline of the treatment is given, with emphasis laid on the importance of removing harmful causes and of diverting the activities into channels in which lying will be readily detected and there will be opportunity to let off mental steam in some way easily consistent with truthtelling. Books and articles on this subject in English are rare. This is shown by the review of the literature in the second chapter. A work on this topic in the English language, therefore, was really desirable. The book is well written and scholarly. It is broad minded, showing a knowledge not only of psychology and insanity but of general medicine as well.
doi:10.1001/jama.1915.02580190073032 fatcat:cfvjcwwfzfbk5hrdxstwtihwaq