Since 1870 the Mexican peyote cult has spread to the Indian tribes of the Plains and Great Basin. In those tribes where power proverbially stems from supernatural vision the peyote is valued for its production of visual and auditory hallucinations and synesthesias. After the all-night ceremonies the men lounge and tell of their visions and experiences. These reports, related to life histories, are psychologically revealing. Because of the great fear of illness and death, a major use of peyote is for doctoring of all ailments, including insanities.
Reviews the book, Maria Murder and Suicide by Verrier Elwin (see record 1945-02272-000). The present work is an eminently sound study of murder and suicide among the so-called Bison-horn Maria of Bastar State. One hundred cases of murder and 50 cases of suicide are tabulated in the appendix, with additional cases referred to in the text. The author offers a short but satisfying sketch of the Bison-horn Maria and an unpretentious statistical presentation of Maria murder and of suicide.
It is the thesis of this paper that the concepts of mental illness in general—and schizophrenia in particular—are not neutral, value-free, scientifically precise terms but, for the most part, the leading edge of an ideology embedded in the historical and cultural present of the white middle class of Western societies. The concept of illness and its associated vocabulary—symptoms, therapies, patients, and physicians—reify and legitimate the prevailing public order at the expense of other possible worlds.
Histories of psychiatry have typically contended that those accused of being witches during the late medieval/early modern period were mentally disturbed. Specifically, they have argued that (a) a great upsurge in mental disorder occurred in the 15th century, (b) the mentally ill were considered to be witches, and (c) witches were obviously mentally disturbed because they confessed to bizarre and impossible happenings, exhibited localized analgesia, and were sometimes insensitive to torture. These contentions are examined and found wanting.
A 25-item self-report questionnaire designed to assess belief in the paranormal was constructed, based on the results from factor analysis of a 61-item pool administered to 391 college students. Factor analysis revealed 7 independent dimensions composing belief in the paranormal. These factors were Traditional Religious Belief, Psi Belief, Witchcraft, Superstition, Spiritualism, Extraordinary Life Forms, and Precognition. The Paranormal Scale was constructed by selecting either 3 or 4 marker items to represent each of the 7 dimensions as paranormal subscales.
The psychopathological interpretation of demonology, witchcraft, and possession states that demonology replaced psychiatric knowledge and practice in the Middle Ages and that the mentally ill were subsequently misidentified as witches and demoniacs. This model has been discredited, but its persistence is demonstrated by an examination of 20 textbooks in abnormal psychology published between 1978 and 1981. Almost all authors endorsed at least 1 aspect of the psychopathological interpretation, and only 3 books included contradictory opinions.
Martin Orne (1962; see record 1963-05917-001) proposed that subjects in a psychological experiment will play the role of a good subject to validate what they perceive to be the experimental hypothesis. This author suggests that the demand characteristics that ruin psychological experiments are present in a broad spectrum of human interactions. Of particular interest are situations in which subject responses result in false beliefs in the experimenter, which in turn are passed back to create false beliefs in the subject.
Demographic characteristics of 79 women who were accused of satanist child abductions in the parish of Rättvik, Sweden, in 1670-1671; 53 adults who promoted such accusations by bringing children to interrogations; and samples from the general population of Rättvik were compared. Results indicate that men were more likely to promote allegations of satanism than women and that these men were more likely to be married than the average Rättvik male.