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September 2021

Rituals, compulsions, and other syncretic tools: Insights from Werner's comparative psychology

Journal/Book: J Adult Development. 2000; 7: 233 Spring St, New York, NY 10013, USA. Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publ. 49-61.

Abstract: In line with theme of this special issue, this article speaks to a topic in developmental psychology from a Wernerian perspective. We take a Wernerian, comparative, and orthogenetic approach in addressing rituals and other compulsive behaviors in a variety of contexts: Ritual as cultural practice, as a part of pathologic behavior, and as a normative aspect of child development. We discuss the similarities and differences in these various forms of ritual, and conclude by incorporating recent advances in the study of obsessive-compulsive disorder to shed light on the normative variant of compulsive behavior. Our goal is to emphasize the continued relevance Werner's work in light of contemporary trends in developmental psychology, developmental psychopathology, and neuroscience.

Note: Article Evans DW, Bucknell Univ, Dept Psychol, Lewisburg,PA 17837 USA

Keyword(s): Heinz Werner; orthogenesis; obsessive-compulsive behavior; child development; rituals; compulsive-like behavior; DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOPATHOLOGY; DISORDER


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