The following text is © 1997 Robert Wozniak. All hyperlinked text links to footnotes located at the bottom of the document.

Gilbert Van Tassel Hamilton and An Introduction to Objective Psychopathology[1]

Robert H. Wozniak[2]
Bryn Mawr College

Born in Frazeysburg, Ohio in 1877, Gilbert Van Tassel Hamilton (1877-1943) was the son of an Ohio merchant. [3] He received his collegiate education at Ohio Wesleyan, graduating with the A.B. in 1898. Upon completion of the degree, he enrolled at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, where he was attracted to the study and treatment of nervous and mental disorders by coursework with the American neurologist, Francis X. Dercum. Dercum, who had come to Jefferson as a clinical professor in 1892[4],was generally eclectic in his approach to the treatment of nervous diseases, emphasizing a judicious combination of physiological, medical, and suggestive therapeutic techniques. [5] It seems likely that Hamilton's interest in psychological therapeutics dates from this early exposure.

In 1901 Hamilton graduated from Jefferson with the M.D. and entered the practice of clinical medicine, first as resident physician at Jewish Hospital in Philadelphia and then, for three years, as a clinical neuropsychiatrist at the State Hospital in Warren, Pennsylvania. Given the largely custodial conditions prevailing in state hospital work at the turn of the century[6] and Warren's relatively remote location, it is not surprising that Hamilton eventually began to contemplate a change in the direction of his career; and, in 1905, he resigned his hospital position to study psychology at Harvard. For a physician, this was an extremely unusual step. Indeed, when Hamilton visited Philadelphia to inform Dercum of his intention, the reaction that he received was predictable. As he tells it, "When I told Dercum my plans he assured me that I might as profitably holler into an empty barrel and listen to the echo of my own voice as to study psychology for the sake of improving my understanding of psychopathology."

Although this reaction must have given the young Hamilton some pause, it did not persuade him to change his plans. Certainly, in 1905, if one were intent on studying psychology to better one's understanding of psychopathology, Boston was the destination of choice[8] In 1896 with the arrival of neurologist Adolf Meyer (1866-1950) to head the hospital's scientific staff, relations between psychiatry and psychology grew even closer. As a condition for accepting the position at Worcester State, Meyer had asked for and received an unpaid appointment as Docent at Clark, and from the outset of his tenure in Worcester, he offered courses in the biological bases and symptomatology of mental disease specifically designed for Clark's psychology graduate students[9].

The Boston area also had a distinguished tradition of psychological research and theory relating to suggestive psychotherapeutics and exceptional mental states[10]. Beginning around 1890, an informal group of psychologists, philosophers, neurologists, and psychiatrists, many of whom were in one way or another affiliated with Harvard, began to develop a sophisticated, indigenous, American scientific psychotherapy[11]. First and foremost among this group was Harvard's renowned philosopher/psychologist William James (1842-1910). Other important figures included the neurologists, Morton Prince (1854-1929) and James Jackson Putnam (1846-1918), and the psychiatrist Edward Cowles (1837-1919). [12]

James had long had an interest in psychopathology. In 1890, he included a chapter on hypnotism in his classic Principles of Psychology and in 1896 he devoted his Lowell Lectures to the analysis of dreams, hypnotism, automatisms, hysteria, multiple personality, and related phenomena. [13] Prince was engaged in work on dissociations in multiple personality, a view of psychopathology grounded in the concept of habit, and an eclectic psychotherapeutic procedure based, among other things, on the importance of counteracting erroneous beliefs and reconstructing faulty habits. [14] Putnam, heavily influenced in this period by both James and Prince, emphasized dissociational factors in the advent of nervous disorder, stressed the importance of uncovering traumatic memories (with or without hypnosis), and, in an early form of rational therapy, encouraged his patients to work toward a new, more viable understanding of themselves. [15]

Edward Cowles was Superintendent of the McLean Hospital. McLean, opened in 1818, was one of the earliest American institutions for the insane and among the first to adopt the humane methods of treatment advocated by Philippe Pinel (1745-1826) and developed at the York Retreat by William Tuke (1732-1822) [16]. Cowles, one of the most progressive asylum superintendents of his era, continued this tradition of innovation. In 1887, he traveled to Baltimore to study the new physiological psychology with G. Stanley Hall at Johns Hopkins; and upon his return to McLean he opened the first scientific laboratory dedicated to bringing research in neurology, pathology, and experimental psychology to bear on clinical problems of psychiatry. [17]

It was to this very laboratory at the McLean Hospital, as well as to a position as resident physician, and to graduate work at Harvard University, that Hamilton came in 1905. At the time of his arrival, psychological work at McLean was being directed by Shepherd Ivory Franz (1874-1933). Franz, an 1899 Columbia Ph.D. in psychology, had been serving as instructor in physiology at Dartmouth Medical School when, in 1903, he met Edward Cowles. Cowles, who had come to Dartmouth to give his annual course of lectures on psychiatry, was sufficiently impressed with Franz that he arranged for his appointment as pathological physiologist and psychologist at McLean[18]. As reported in the Psychological Bulletin of 1904, Franz's task involved investigating "the abnormal physiological and psychological conditions of the insane..." [19]

It was at McLean, therefore, under Franz's supervision, that Hamilton achieved not only his first real taste of scientific research, but his first research publication-an article reporting a study of the effects of active and passive exercise on depressive symptomatology. [20] It was also at McLean, in 1906, that Hamilton first met someone who was to change the course of his life. In October of that year, Stanley McCormick, financier and philanthropist, was admitted to the hospital as a patient, and Hamilton, then serving as a resident physician, was assigned to his case. Although few details of McCormick's condition or of Hamilton's relationship with his patient are publicly available, it is known that when McCormick was discharged from the hospital in the Fall of 1907, Hamilton resigned from McLean and moved with McCormick to a nearby private residence to assume the role of his personal physician. [21] More will be said of this relationship below.

While Hamilton worked at McLean, he also enrolled as a graduate student in psychology at Harvard. In this capacity, he took coursework and involved himself in additional research within the psychological laboratory. Given the way in which the laboratory was then organized under Hugo Mźnsterberg's (1863-1916) direction, it seems likely that Hamilton's first study, "Stereoscopic vision and the difference of retinal images," [22] was supervised by Edwin Bissell Holt (1873-1946). Holt had been an instructor in the laboratory since receipt of his own Ph.D. in 1901 and was himself involved in experimental research on vision. [23]

Perhaps more to the point, Holt was also beginning, in these years, to articulate a view of psychology as an objective science that took William James's critique of consciousness as its starting point. [24] Consciousness, Holt was to argue, is not a substance, a thing apart from either the objects in the environment or the operations of the nervous system. It is simply a relationship between the organism and its environment. Consciousness cannot, therefore, be conceived of as an entity that stands behind and influences the organism's behavior, and psychology cannot be primarily a science of consciousness. Behavior, rather than consciousness, must constitute psychology's primary subject matter-behavior understood as a property of highly complex reflex integrations in the nervous system, mechanisms that set the body to carry out a course of action with regard to objects in the environment, whether or not the action is actually carried out. [25]

Although these views of Holt's were not, by any means, fully-formed by 1905, they were in the making; and the similarity between his perspective and Hamilton's later objectivism and use of the concept of "reactive tendency" is striking. It seems unlikely that Holt and Hamilton, sharing laboratory space and developing similar ideas at approximately the same time, would not have exerted some influence upon one another. [26] Be that as it may, the few very brief glimpses of the Harvard years provided in passing by Hamilton make no mention of Holt. Indeed, they make no mention of any Harvard or McLean figure except one, the Harvard comparative psychologist, Robert Mearns Yerkes (1876-1956).

After graduating from Ursinus College, Yerkes had entered Harvard in the fall of 1897 as a biology student. In 1899, at the invitation of Mźnsterberg, he transferred to the laboratory of psychology, and there he remained for 18 years, completing the Ph.D. in 1902 and serving first as an instructor and then as an assistant professor in comparative psychology. It was at the Harvard laboratory in 1905 that Yerkes got to know G.V. Hamilton. As Yerkes later described it, Hamilton "was quick to see the applicability of certain essential methods and principles of Comparative and Genetic Psychology, and especially of objective psychology, to his professional interest Psychopathology." [27] And, indeed, it is to Yerkes that Hamilton later attributes both his lifelong interest in the comparative method and his strong objectivism:

"Fortunately, as I regard it, Yerkes' lectures and the experimental work that came under his direction impressed me with the practical unimportance of any knowledge of psychical activities which must be inferred from behavior or arrived at in any other way than by listening, doctor-wise, to the na•ve reports of human subjects as to their thinkings, feelings, strivings, etc. It seemed to me that the comparative psychologists had already done a good deal toward developing methods for experimental studies of the responsive properties (reactive tendencies) which function to determine behavior...which account for the modes in which a given mammalian adjusts itself as a whole to environmental conditions." [28]

The experimental work carried out under Yerkes' direction and published in 1907-research designed to assess reaction types and tendencies in dogs-marked an intellectual turning point for Hamilton. [29] The idea of experimentally isolating various reaction tendencies conceived as physiological properties of the organism, of investigating similarities and differences in reaction tendencies among animals at different levels of the phylogenetic scale, and of using such investigations to identify human adjustive properties and explain human adjustive dysfunction all date from this early work. Hamilton, as he later described it, had come to believe "that since comparative physiology had been essential to the development of human physiology and pathology, comparative psychology was likely to develop many of the essential foundations for a scientific psychopathology." [30]

It was also in 1907 that Hamilton first read Freud. Although Freud's work was not yet well known in the United States, Putnam had just published an article on psychoanalysis in the inaugural issue of Morton Prince's new Journal of Abnormal Psychology,[31] and Freud was very much in the air in Boston. That Hamilton was up to date with this material is evident from the fact that by late 1907, he had, as he later recounted, "received from the importers Freud's Drei Abhandlungen zur Sexualtheorie, Sammlung Kleiner Schriften zur Neurosenlehre and Die Traumdeutung along with a monograph by Jung which was inspired by Freud's teaching." [32] Although, as an objectivist, Hamilton rejected what he termed Freud's "psychomorphic standpoint," and as a comparative psychologist, he felt the need to ground habit formation in the satisfaction of basic needs other than sex, Hamilton considered Freud's contribution to be epoch-making. As he summarized it:

His remarkable genius for following the clues contained in dreams, unaccountable phobias, critical panics, hysterical paralyses, etc., until they led him to explanatory facts enabled him to make two invaluable contributions to our understanding of human behavior, both normal and morbid: (A) An exposition of the prepubertal tendencies that normally become integrated as the adult heterosexual instinct. (B) An account of the 'wish' as dynamic for behavior, and of its tendency to express itself indirectly, often extra-consciously and according to knowable principles whenever it is reacted to as an adjustive movement which calls for inhibition (repression)."[33]

It is not hard to see, from the way in which Hamilton restates Freud's position in his own terms just where Freud's influence lay. From Freud, Hamilton adopted a strong tendency to seek psychopathology in childhood sexual trauma or adult sexual dysfunction, sometimes directly expressed, but often manifest in what Hamilton referred to as an "indirect reaction." Indeed, for the remainder of his professional career, Hamilton was to involve himself in the scientific study of sexual behavior-first in animals, especially sub-human primates, and eventually in humans.

The opportunity to establish a context in which he might begin to pursue such research came unexpectedly. Stanley McCormick wished to return to his estate near Santa Barbara, California and he wished to retain Hamilton as his personal physician. It is not known exactly how or when, formally or informally, the negotiations that allowed Hamilton to accept McCormick's offer took place; but it is known that in May of 1908, Hamilton and his family accompanied the McCormick entourage to California to take up residence on the estate at Montecito and that within a relatively short time, Hamilton had had constructed what amounted to his own private comparative psychology laboratory, including a small primate colony, funded through a Stanley McCormick Grant.

Between 1908 and 1917, Hamilton served as private physician to McCormick and carried out a series of comparative psychological studies, some of which were experimental, some of which involved naturalistic observation. The focus of the research was on sexual behavior, habit formation, and the identification of general behavioral and emotional reaction tendencies (types) in situations presenting insoluble problems (which Hamilton called "baffling disadvantages").[34] Much to the disgust of Yerkes, with whom Hamilton remained in contact, relatively few publications resulted from this research; and, perhaps for this reason, the work had only limited influence. [35]

During this same period, however, one in which Hamilton found in Watson's Comparative Psychology[36] a point of view much in keeping with his own, he invited Yerkes to Santa Barbara to work in his laboratory. Before World War I, Yerkes had hoped to travel to Tenerife, in the Canary Islands, to spend a leave in research at the primate colony shortly to be made famous by Wolfgang Kšhler (1887-1967) [37]. When the outbreak of war precluded such a trip, Yerkes accepted Hamilton's invitation and, in 1915, he spent a half-year sabbatical at Montecito engaged in his first, systematic, long-term study of primate behavior. [38] From this brief interlude, Yerkes wrote several small papers and published a large and important monograph on ideational behavior in monkeys, and returned to Harvard determined to set up his own primate research station, something, unfortunately, that was not to materialize for another 14 years. [39]

In 1916, Hamilton's rather idyllic life began to unravel. McCormick, whose mental health had been much improved, suddenly suffered a relapse under conditions for which Hamilton might have been held at least partly responsible. At the same time, the long-time family physician, who had a comfortable working relationship with Hamilton, died. Over Hamilton's objections, the family called in outside consultants to evaluate the patient's condition, and one such consultant, Smith Ely Jelliffe (1866-1945), a well-known, psychoanalytically-oriented neurologist, submitted a report sharply critical of Hamilton, his methods of treatment, point of view, and handling of the case. [40]

Under the attendant stress, Hamilton's own mental health and his relationship with members of the McCormick family began to deteriorate and, in 1917, he left Montecito precipitously. Within short order, he had obtained a military commission; and for much of the duration of World War I, he served as a Captain in the army air service, stationed in Pittsburgh.

It is not known how Hamilton spent the period between demobilization in 1919 and 1921. He does tell us, however, that: "Early in 1921 it became possible to set aside a year for intensive studies of nervous patients...[in] a city of about 30,000 inhabitants." [41] The chosen city was near his childhood home. As he describes it: "It is a typical Mississippi Valley small city and the majority of its inhabitants have the traditional background and general scheme of values with which I was familiar during my boyhood and young manhood. There was every reason to suspect that many of my patients would be persons whom I had known all my life, since it is the medical and business center of a section of the country with which I am more familiar than with any other part of the world." [42]

These data subsequently became the basis for Hamilton's primary claim to fame in the history of behaviorism-an extension, in his Introduction to Objective Psychopathology, of behavioristic analysis to the phenomena of psychopathology. Although it was written between 1922 and 1924, when he had returned to Santa Barbara as a psychopathologist to the Santa Barbara clinic, Hamilton's monograph only appeared in 1925, after he had moved to New York City to accept appointment as Director of Psychobiological Research at the Bureau of Social Hygiene. [43]

Hamilton's Introduction to Objective Psychopathology is a very straightforward book. It consists of two sections preceded by a short introduction. The first section presents 200 case studies of men and women referred to Hamilton for nervous complaints or physical ailments suspected of nervous etiology during his 1921 mid-western survey. This is followed by a brief summary of the survey's results and some discussion as to Hamilton's method of approaching his patients to obtain information concerning the intimate details of their lives. The second section consists of eight short chapters which present Hamilton's objectivist assumptions, an extremely brief review of some of the basics of neurophysiology, a discussion of principles of habit formation, introduction to a set of behavioral concepts ("reaction type," "indirect responsiveness," "unsatisfied major cravings," "reactions to inferiority") employed in his case diagnoses, and a behavioral reanalysis of the psychoanalytic account of pre-pubertal sexuality.

In his introduction, Hamilton identifies the general goal of his research program as one of isolating "a few of the more important types of situations to which the nervous patient is apt to respond abnormally"[44] and characterizing, through comparative psychological study, "responsive properties (reactive tendencies) which are common features of organization in the human species and in various infrahuman mammalian species." [45] He then previews later discussion of two situations and one type of reactive tendency seemingly implicated in human adjustive dysfunction.

One such situation is sexual, and much of Hamilton's later analysis is taken up with discussions of sexuality and the nature of dysfunctional adjustments to sexual impulses. The other situation involves the individual's confrontation (or response as though in confrontation) with an insoluble problem, a misadjustment that fails to evoke an adjustive response. In a bit of neologistic legerdemain common to Hamilton's analyses, he refers to such situations as "baffling disadvantages."

The dysfunctional reactive tendency that Hamilton previews in the introduction is only one, although perhaps the most important, of several to be discussed in the book. This tendency, which he labels a "persistent, non-adjustive, affective reaction," consists of a regularly recurring emotional reaction to some problem stimulus that fails to impel the individual toward and may even actively interfere with the individual's reaching an effective problem solution.

Hamilton's case study section presents the detailed case material and statistical results of his year-long survey of human adult nervous complaints. The cases vary widely in length from five pages or more to a single sentence. Almost half of his cases are given the diagnosis of "persistent, nonadjustive, affective reaction" either to situations of "baffling disadvantage," or to those in which the individual fails to satisfy "major cravings" (especially sexual urges). Other situations evoking persistent, nonadjustive, affective reactions include financial problems, unspecified personal problems, and damage of one sort or another occasioned either by others (e.g., contracting gonorrhea from a spouse) or by impersonal agencies (e.g., developing a malignancy).

Most of the remainder of Hamilton's cases receive one of three additional types of diagnosis: "conditioned reaction," "indirect reaction," or "submissive reaction to inferiority." No explanation of these diagnoses is provided within the case study material; but each such reaction type is taken up and analyzed in some detail in the second section of the book. The case study section concludes with statistical summaries of the cases, a few brief comments on Hamilton's therapeutic approach-apparently consisting largely of direct, rational analysis, rest, and occasionally some indirect form of suggestion-and a long, behavioral reanalysis of psychoanalytic formulations masquerading as a verbatim transcript of the explanation of his approach provided to a patient who had "read extensively in psychoanalysis." [46]

The second section of the book, which provides the theoretical and empirical rationale for Hamilton's reaction-tendency diagnoses, begins with three preliminary chapters. The first two describe the background at Harvard (i.e., work with Yerkes) from which Hamilton derived his insights, the rationale for his own physiologically based objectivism, a medical justification for analysis in terms of "reactive tendencies," and another behavioral reinterpretation of psychoanalysis, this one focusing on repression and wish fulfillment redefined in terms of inhibition and indirect reaction. In addition, Hamilton makes it clear that his objectivism is broad enough to allow for the recognition, as he puts it, that the "reactive value of a situation is apt to be modified by a special type of activity which, in the human subject, can be most conveniently evaluated in terms of what the individual reports as his psychical reaction to it." [47] For Hamilton, in other words, verbal reports of conscious states are admissible behavioral data. The third preliminary chapter consists of a superficial review of neural morphology, neural physiology, and endocrinology.

The final six chapters of the book present the heart of Hamilton's objective approach to the conceptualization of psychopathology. He begins by contextualizing both his concept of "reaction tendency" and his analysis of "baffling disadvantage" in his own comparative research. Describing a situation of his own design in which organisms from gophers to humans are confronted with imprisonment in an enclosure from which only one of four apparent exits effects escape, Hamilton reviews the procedure and describes the results of studies in which the only working exit was made to vary randomly from trial to trial, with the single constraint that it was never the same on two consecutive trials.


Under such circumstances, Hamilton was able to identify five prevalent reaction tendencies: a) persistent repetition of nonadjustive (unsuccessful) activity (e.g., repeatedly returning to the same incorrect exit); b) alternation between random variation (e.g., trying exits in a haphazard fashion) and persistent repetition of nonadjustive activity; c) stereotyped variation in activity without eliminating obviously nonadjustive activity (e.g., trying exits over and over in some sequence); d) infra-rational trial-and-error (e.g., trying each exit once in some systematic fashion but without recognizing that the exit correct on the previous trial could be ignored; and e) reactions determined by rational elaboration of (i.e., reasoning about) experience (present in humans and, as shown by subsequent work, in Yerkes' "orang-outang"). Each of the first four reaction tendencies was also found to be accompanied by an emotional response of the "emergency" type.

In reporting these results, Hamilton juxtaposes clinical material with the data from comparative experimental analysis to show that humans exposed to insoluble or seemingly insoluble situations of "baffling disadvantage" will, as a function of personality and circumstance, manifest these various reaction tendencies. The first four tendencies, of course, involve dysfunctional adjustments of varying severity. It is Hamilton's view that the emotional reaction to "baffling disadvantage" accompanying these reactions not only interferes with solution of the problem but, when persistent, also disrupts the vegetative functions of the body and leads to neurotic physical complaints. The tendency to react rationally, on the other hand, carries with it no such liability.

In the final chapters of the book, Hamilton turns to the primary diagnostic categories that he employed but did not analyze in the case study material and offers brief discussions of the nature of drive as an impulse to behavior and of pre-pubertal sexuality as the potential origin of later dysfunction. In a standard, behavioristic treatment of habit formation, Hamilton introduces the principle of stimulus substitution through conditioning, briefly discusses conditioned emotional reactions as determinants of morbid psychological phenomena, and outlines the therapeutic importance of "enabling the patient to develop habits of rational responsiveness to situations which have previously elicited infrarational, more primitive and-by reason of their affective components-pathogenic reactions." [49]

Turning to inhibition, Hamilton then analyses the nature of indirect reaction. "When an organism," he writes, "is unable to acquire relatively complete unresponsiveness to a stimulus, direct responsiveness to which is disadvantageous, it tends to react indirectly and, usually dysteleologically, to the stimulus." [50] Hamilton's mechanism of indirect reaction, in other words, is a behavioristic reformulation of psychoanalytic principles of repression, conversion, and wish fulfillment.

The book then concludes with a brief and somewhat unsystematic discussion of drives and drive reduction (Hamilton prefers the phrase "major cravings" and broadens the concept to include the impulse to seek a variety of stimulation), an account of reactions (compensatory and submissive) to organic and functional inferiority, and a long, comparative description of forms of pre-pubertal sexual behavior in animals intended to parallel the psychoanalytic account of human infantile sexuality and to shed light on the sexual origins of later adult adjustive dysfunction.

With this description, accompanied by the usual behavioral reanalysis of relevant Freudian concepts, Hamilton brings to a close his important, if idiosyncratic, extension of behaviorism to the analysis of human psychopathology. In doing so, however, he cannot resist a parting shot at what he conceives to be the psychomorphic mysticism of psychoanalysis:

"If the uprising generation is told that thriftily saving money or defending the property rights of others or inventing new things or attacking evil customs are mere sublimations of psychical energies which were initially directed toward obtaining the satisfactions derived from anal eroticism, imaginary father-castrations, incestuous activities, demonstrations of sexual virility and finally achieved heterosexual successes they will have, it seems to me, a very poor philosophic substitute for a truly biologic outlook on life." [51]

As a psychologist, Hamilton was more or less in step with the times. In the mid-1920s behaviorism as theory and method was alive and well; and behavioristic analyses were being extended in numerous directions. [52] As a psychiatrist, however, Hamilton was not even marching in the right direction. Within psychiatry, psychoanalysis was growing in power, prestige, and personnel. It is hardly any wonder, then, that a confirmed convert to psychoanalysis such as Smith Ely Jelliffe[53] would have felt compelled, in 1916, not only to criticize Hamilton's handling of the McCormick case but to reject his objective psychopathology as well.


1. To be published in: Hamilton, G.V. (1994). An Introduction to Objective Psychopathology. London: Routledge/Thoemmes [1925 edition, reprinted as Volume 4 in Behaviourism: The Early Years, a series edited by Robert H. Wozniak]. [Back to text]

2. The author wishes to express his appreciation to Doris Nagel, History of Psychiatry Section, New York Hospital-Cornell Medical College; Donald Dewsbury and Wade Pickren, Department of Psychology, University of Florida; and Eugene Taylor, Harvard University Medical School, for the generosity with which they have shared their knowledge of the life and work of G.V. Hamilton and related matters. [Back to text]

3. Unfortunately, almost nothing is known of Hamilton's early years. The biographical material included here has been pieced together from a wide variety of sources. Most of these will be cited as the narrative proceeds. In addition, the following were of limited use: "Hamilton, Gilbert Van Tassel." In The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography...Volume XXXII. New York: James T. White & Company, 1945, pp. 465-466; and Cattell, J. McK. & Cattell, J. (Eds). (1933). American Men of Science. A Biographical Directory. Fifth edition. New York: Science Press. [Back to text]

4. from the University of Pennsylvania, where he had served as chief of clinic and instructor of diseases of the nervous system. In 1900 Dercum's chair at Jefferson was enlarged to include both nervous and mental diseases. [Back to text]

5. See, for example: Dercum, F.X. (1917). Rest, Suggestion and Other Therapeutic Measures in Nervous and Mental Diseases(Second Edition). Philadelphia: P. Blakiston's Son & Co. [Back to text]

6. See Grob, G.N. (1983). Mental Illness and American Society, 1875-1940. Princeton: Princeton University Press. [Back to text]

7. Hamilton, G.V. (1925). An Introduction to Objective Psychopathology. St. Louis: The C.V. Mosby Company, p. 222. [Back to text]

8. By Boston, of course, is here meant the greater Boston area. [Back to text]

9. See Grob, G.N. (1966). The State and the Mentally Ill. A History of Worcester State Hospital in Massachusetts, 1830-1920. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, pp. 291-294. [Back to text]

10. Meyer left Worcester State Hospital in 1902 to reorganize the Pathological Institute in New York City. Hamilton, who only arrived in Boston in 1905, had no opportunity for direct contact with Meyer until Meyer was called to the McLean Hospital in 1907 as consultant in the case of Stanley McCormick, for whom Hamilton was then serving as resident physician (personal communication, Doris Nagel, see further discussion below). Meyer's influence in Boston, however, through his students, his interns, and his intellectual contacts with others in the Boston Group (see discussion below) extended far beyond his departure in 1902. See Grob (1966). [Back to text]

11. Detailed analysis of this tradition is, of course, far beyond the scope of the present discussion. For a insightful discussion of its roots in American mesmerism and spiritualism, see Fuller, R.C. (1982). Mesmerism and the American Cure of Souls. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. [Back to text]

12. See Hale, N.G. Jr. (1975). Introduction. In M. Prince. Psychotherapy and Multiple Personality: Selected Essays. Edited by N.G. Hale, Jr. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, pp. 1-18. That Boston psychotherapy was indigenous is beyond dispute. This should not, however, be taken to suggest that it was uninfluenced by European thinking. On the contrary, work in French psychopathology, most especially that of Pierre Janet (1859-1947), exerted considerable influence in Boston. [Back to text]

13. as well as Isador Henry Coriat (1875-1943), Boris Sidis (1867-1923), Josiah Royce (1855-1916), and Hugo Mźnsterberg (1816-1916) among others. [Back to text]

14. James, W. (1890). The Principles of Psychology. New York: Henry Holt and Company, Chapter 27; James, W. (1983). William James on Exceptional Mental States. The 1896 Lowell Lectures. Reconstructed by E. Taylor. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. James's interest in psychopathology, which dated from his youth, was deep and abiding. His chapter in the Principles and his Lowell Lectures barely scratch the surface of this interest. See, for example, Taylor, E. (1983). Historical introduction. In James (1983), pp. 1-14. [Back to text]

15. Prince had received both his A.B. and M.D. degrees at Harvard and served as an instructor in neurology at the Harvard Medical School from 1895 to 1898. Between 1902 and 1910, he held a professorial appointment at Tufts. Important papers on habit neurosis include: Prince, M. (1891). Association neuroses. A study of the pathology of hysterical joint affections, neurasthenia and allied forms of neuro-mimesis. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 18, pp. 257-282; and Prince, M. (1898). Habit neuroses as true functional diseases. Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, 139, pp. 589-592. His classic paper on psychotherapy is: Prince, M. (1898). The educational treatment of neurasthenia and certain hysterical states, Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, 139, pp. 332-337. [Back to text]

16. See Hale, N.G., Jr.(1971). Introductory essay. In N.G. Hale, Jr. (Ed). James Jackson Putnam and Psychoanalysis. Letters between Putnam and Sigmund Freud, Ernest Jones, William James, Sandor Ferenczi, and Morton Prince, 1877-1917. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, pp. 1-63. [Back to text]

17. See Hunter, R. & Macalpine, I. (1963). Three Hundred Years of Psychiatry, 1635-1860. London: Oxford University Press, especially pp. 602-610, 684-690. [Back to text]

18. See Hall, G.S. (1894). Laboratory of the McLean Hospital, Somerville, Mass. American Journal of Insanity, 51, pp. 357-364. See also Ross, D. (1972). G. Stanley Hall. The Psychologist as Prophet. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, pp. 160-161. [Back to text]

19. Franz arrived at McLean in April of 1904. By that time, however, Cowles had been forced to retire from his superintendency for reasons of declining health. [Back to text]

20. Notes and news (1904). Psychological Bulletin, 1, p. 173. [Back to text]

21. Franz, S.I. & Hamilton, G.V. (1905). The effects of exercise upon the retardation in conditions of depression. American Journal of Insanity, 62, pp. 239-256. [Back to text]

22. By this time, Hamilton had met and married Mary Sisson of Woodville, Rhode Island, and he, his wife, and his infant son all accompanied McCormick into private residence (personal communication, Doris Nagel). [Back to text]

23. Hamilton, G.V. (1906). Stereoscopic vision and the difference of retinal images. Harvard Psychological Studies, 2, pp. 43-55. [Back to text]

24. In 1905, Holt was promoted to the rank of assistant professor. For a bibliography of Holt's studies, see Murchison, C. (1932). The Psychological Register. Volume III. Worcester, MA: Clark University Press., pp. 238-239. [Back to text]

25. See Wozniak, R.H. (1994). Floyd Henry Allport and the Social Psychology. In F. Allport. Social Psychology. London: Routledge/Thoemmes. [reprinted as Volume 3 in this series]. [Back to text]

26. See Holt, E.B. (1915). The Freudian Wish and Its Place in Ethics. New York: Henry Holt and Company, p. 56. [Back to text]

27. If so, given Holt's academic seniority and exceptional philosophical and theoretical sophistication, one suspects that Hamilton would have been the greater beneficiary of such a relationship. [Back to text]

28. Yerkes (1925). Foreword. In Hamilton (1925), p. 13.

[Back to text] 29. Hamilton (1925), p. 222. [Back to text]

30. Hamilton, G.V. An experimental study of an unusual type of reaction in a dog. Journal of Comparative Neurology and Psychology, 1907, 17(4), pp. 329-341. [Back to text]

31. Hamilton (1925), p. 223. [Back to text]

32. Putnam, J.J. (1906). Recent experiences in the study and treatment of hysteria at the Massachusetts General Hospital; with remarks on Freud's method of treatment by 'psycho-analysis.' Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 1, pp. 26-41. [Back to text]

33. The Jung monograph was: Jung, C.G. (1907). †ber die Psychologie der Dementia Praecox. Halle: Marhold. [Back to text]

34. Hamilton (1925), p. 300. [Back to text]

35. Hamilton, G.V. (1911). A study of trial and error reactions in mammals. Journal of Animal Behavior, 1, pp. 33-66; Hamilton, G.V. (1914). A study of sexual tendencies in monkeys and baboons. Journal of Animal Behavior, 4, pp. 295-318; Hamilton, G.V. (1916). Perseverance reactions in primates and rodents. Behavior Monographs, 3 (No. 13).

[Back to text] 36. The paper of 1911, however, was cited and briefly described in: Watson, J.B. (1914). Behavior. An Introduction to Comparative Psychology. New York: Henry Holt and Company, pp. 61-62[Back to text]

37. Watson (1914). [Back to text]

38. Kšhler, W. (1917). Intelligenzprźfungen an Anthropoiden. I. Berlin: Verlag der Kšnigl. Akademie der Wissenschaften. [Translated into English in 1925 as: The Mentality of Apes. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co.] [Back to text]

39. Indeed, Hamilton seems to have had sufficient influence with the McCormicks that he was even able to arrange for the special purchase of an "orang-outang," Julius, from a San Francisco dealer for Yerkes research use. [Back to text]

40. Yerkes, R.M. (1915). Maternal instinct in a monkey. Journal of Animal Behavior, 5, pp. 403-405; Yerkes, R.M. (1916). A new method for studying ideational and allied forms of behavior in man and other animals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences., 2, pp. 631-633; Yerkes, R.M. (1916). Ideational behavior of monkeys and apes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences., 2, pp. 639-642; Yerkes, R.M. (1916). The Mental Life of Monkeys and Apes: A Study of Ideational Behavior. Behavior Monographs, 1916, #12; and Yerkes, R.M. (1916). Provision for the study of monkeys and apes. Science, 43, pp. 231-234. See also Yerkes, R.M. (1930). Robert Mearns Yerkes. In C. Murchison (Ed). A History of Psychology in Autobiography. Volume II. Worcester, MA: Clark University Press, especially p. 403. [Back to text]

41. Personal communication, Doris Nagel. On Jelliffe, see Burnham, J.C. (1983) Jelliffe: American Psychoanalyst and Physician & His Correspondence with Sigmund Freud and C.G. Jung. Edited by William McGuire. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. [Back to text]

42. Hamilton (1925), p. 21. [Back to text]

43. Ibid. [Back to text]

44. Hamilton was interviewed for this position in July of 1924, almost surely on the recommendation of Yerkes, who was then serving as Chairman of the National Research Council's Committee for Research in Problems of Sex. Hamilton remained at the Bureau until 1928, during which time he collected data on the sex habits and behaviors of 100 couples attending what was familiarly known as the "Marital Center." These data formed the basis for a pioneering report of human sexual behavior: Hamilton, G.V. (1929). A Research in Marriage. New York: Albert & Charles Boni, Inc. For additional information, see Bullough, V.L. (1994). Science in the Bedroom. A History of Sex Research. NY: Basic Books, especially pp. 111-119. From 1928 until his death. Hamilton maintained a private clinical practice in Santa Barbara. Despite his proximity to Montecito, he apparently was never again professionally involved with Stanley McCormick (personal communication, Doris Nagel). [Back to text]

45. Hamilton (1925), p. 20. [Back to text]

46. Ibid. [Back to text]

47. Ibid., p 209. See pp. 209-219 for the "transcript.". [Back to text]

48. Ibid., p. 227. "Reactive value of a situation" is Hamilton's behavioral term for "meaning." [Back to text]

49. See Hamilton (1911) and Hamilton (1916). This must surely be one of the first uses of an uncontrollable situation to induce an artificial neurosis. [Back to text]

50. Hamilton (1925), p. 270. >[Back to text]

51. Ibid., p. 277. [Back to text]

52. Ibid., p. 331. [Back to text]

[Back to text] 53. Indeed, in the 1920s, others had also begun to extend behavioristic analyses to the realm of psychopathology. See, for example, Bagby, E. (1928). The Psychology of Personality. An Analysis of Common Emotional Disorders. New York: Henry Holt & Co. There is no evidence, however, that Hamilton or his work had any influence in this regard.

54. Indeed, from 1909 to Jelliffe's retirement as editor in 1939, his Nervous and Mental Disease Monograph Series served as the most important single outlet for English language publications in psychoanalysis. [Back to text]