PSYCHOTHERAPY SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS

A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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CHAPTER X
Suggestion and the Factor of Faith
For a long time the generally accepted definition of ' suggestion ', perhaps because of the popularity of association psychology, was similar to that given in the Century Dictionary, namely, that suggestion is the i action of any idea in bringing another idea to mind, either through the power of association or by virtue of the natural connection of the ideas '. Now the old association psychology has been abandoned, and this definition itself fails to account sufficiently for the dynamic quality of suggestion which is, indeed, one of its most important characteristics. McDougall has defined it as ' a process of communication resulting in the acceptance with conviction of the communicated proposition in the absence of logically adequate grounds for its acceptance ' I51 (p. 97). Thouless criticizes this as being too narrow in its scope, ' communicated propositions ' not making room for feeling states and activities, and gives, as an alternative, ' a process of communication resulting in the acceptance and realization of a communicated idea in the absence of adequate grounds for its acceptance ' (228. p. 164 ff.). A complete act of suggestion is usually considered to involve the implanting of an idea in the mind of an individual so that he accepts it without any conscious appreciation of a sufficient logical reason for so doing ; and so that he acts, or tends to act, in accordance with that suggestion, and experiences the corresponding emotion, when
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