Guide Doctor Pascal [with Biographical Introduction]

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Elmer Southard was one of the proponents of this shift and in his report acknowledged Pascal in the historical information concerning the evolution of the term.

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Intelligence, memory and language were preserved, at least in the less severe cases of this disease. Pascal distinguished dementia praecox, a form of affective dementia, from degenerative amnestic dementia. Labour is therefore the best therapeutic treatment against mental inertia. Her father Ion Pascal was a landowner. She attended secondary school in Bucharest.

Her brother Trajan was encouraged to pursue a military career but Constanza was not allowed to continue her studies. After the death of her father in she obtained the permission, from her family, to pursue a professional qualification. In she moved to Paris to start her medical training with minimal financial support. In , the feminist activist Madeleine Pelletier , after being barred from the examination to become a psychiatric intern, organized a successful campaign to allow women to sit for public examination for the post.

In , Constanza Pascal and Madeleine Pelletier were the first two women to be accepted as asylum interns. After a ten year period of residence with good behavior, in , she gained the French citizenship and changed her name to Constance. She was then eligible to take the examination for a permanent psychiatric post, which she passed in — the first time for a woman. However, her reform plans were blocked by the outbreak of World War I. Clermont was occupied by the Germans in Patients were not evacuated and lived under terrible conditions of food deprivation and hygiene, the asylum admitted also shell-shocked soldiers.

His wife, Marie Gabrielle Nicolas Mengin, was suffering mental health problems and four years later was interned in the asylum of Evreux. By the end of the year Constance discovered she was pregnant by Mengin and this posed a great risk for her career. Here she fostered her daughter with the help of her friend Jeanne Streicher and General Mengin. The institute ceased its activities soon after her departure in , when Pascal moved to the Paris region, after succeeding the second examination in She was in Moisselles from to , and then she was appointed chief physician in Maison Blanche.

General Mengin continued to visit her and their child, providing some financial support. In Constance Pascal was diagnosed with breast cancer and she underwent a mastectomy but she was not free from recurrence from then on. Most of her stories were touched by irony, and they all had two sides or more. In one experience I remember vividly, there was a rich range of shades.

It must have been late or early Jews were required to wear the Star of David and to obey a 6 p. I had gone to play with a Christian friend and had stayed too late. I turned my brown sweater inside out to walk the few blocks home. As I was walking down an empty street, I saw a German soldier approaching. He was wearing the black uniform that I had been told to fear more than others — the one worn by specially recruited SS soldiers.

As I came closer to him, trying to walk fast, I noticed that he was looking at me intently.


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Then he beckoned me over, picked me up, and hugged me. I was terrified that he would notice the star inside my sweater.


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He was speaking to me with great emotion, in German. When he put me down, he opened his wallet, showed me a picture of a boy, and gave me some money. I went home more certain than ever that my mother was right: people were endlessly complicated and interesting.

My father was picked up in the first large-scale sweep for Jews, and was interned for six weeks in Drancy, which had been set up as a way station to the extermination camps. He was released through the intervention of his firm, which was directed a fact I learned only from an article I read a few years ago by the financial mainstay of the Fascist anti-Semitic movement in France in the s.

Soon afterward, we escaped to Vichy France, and stayed on the Riviera in relative safety, until the Germans arrived and we escaped again, to the center of France. My father died of inadequately treated diabetes, in , just six weeks before the D-day he had been waiting for so desperately. Soon my mother, my sister, and I were free, and beginning to hope for the permits that would allow us to join the rest of our family in Palestine. I had grown up intellectually precocious and physically inept. I must also have been quite a pompous child.

The child who wrote this had some aptitude for psychology, and a great need for a normal life. Adolescence The move to Palestine completely altered my experience of life, partly because I was held back a year and enrolled in the eighth grade for a second time — which meant that I was no longer the youngest or the weakest boy in the class.

And I had friends. Within a few months of my arrival, I had found happier ways of passing time than by writing essays to myself. I had much intellectual excitement in high school, but it was induced by great teachers and shared with like-minded peers. It was good for me not to be exceptional anymore. At age seventeen, I had some decisions to make about my military service. I applied to a unit that would allow me to defer my service until I had completed my first degree; this entailed spending the summers in officer-training school, and part of my military service using my professional skills.

By that time I had decided, with some difficulty, that I would be a psychologist. The questions that interested me in my teens were philosophical — the meaning of life, the existence of God, and the reasons not to misbehave. When I went for vocational guidance, psychology emerged as the top recommendation, with economics not too far behind. I got my first degree from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, in two years, with a major in psychology and a minor in mathematics. I was mediocre in math, especially in comparison with some of the people I was studying with — several of whom went on to become world-class mathematicians.

But psychology was wonderful. As a first-year student, I encountered the writings of the social psychologist Kurt Lewin and was deeply influenced by his maps of the life space, in which motivation was represented as a force field acting on the individual from the outside, pushing and pulling in various directions. I was also fascinated by my early exposures to neuropsychology.

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There were the weekly lectures of our revered teacher Yeshayahu Leibowitz — I once went to one of his lectures with a fever of 41 degrees Celsius; they were simply not to be missed. And there was a visit by the German neurosurgeon Kurt Goldstein, who claimed that large wounds to the brain eliminated the capacity for abstraction and turned people into concrete thinkers. Furthermore, and most exciting, as Goldstein described them, the boundaries that separated abstract from concrete were not the ones that philosophers would have set. The Chief of Neurosurgery at the Hadassah Hospital, who was a neighbor, wisely talked me out of that plan by pointing out that the study of medicine was too demanding to be undertaken as a means to any goal other than practice.

The military experience In , I was drafted as a second lieutenant, and after an eventful year as a platoon leader I was transferred to the Psychology branch of the Israel Defense Forces. There, one of my occasional duties was to participate in the assessment of candidates for officer training.

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One test involved a leaderless group challenge, in which eight candidates, with all insignia of rank removed and only numbers to identify them, were asked to lift a telephone pole from the ground and were then led to an obstacle, such as a 2. If one of these things happened, they had to declare it and start again. Two of us would watch the exercise, which often took half an hour or more.

But the trouble was that, in fact, we could not tell. The story was always the same: our ability to predict performance at the school was negligible.

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But the next day, there would be another batch of candidates to be taken to the obstacle field, where we would face them with the wall and see their true natures revealed. It was the first cognitive illusion I discovered. Closely related to the illusion of validity was another feature of our discussions about the candidates we observed: our willingness to make extreme predictions about their future performance on the basis of a small sample of behavior.


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In fact, the issue of willingness did not arise, because we did not really distinguish predictions from observations. The soldier who took over when the group was in trouble and led the team over the wall was a leader at that moment, and if we asked ourselves how he would perform in officer-training, or on the battlefield, the best bet was simply that he would be as good a leader then as he was now.

Any other prediction seemed inconsistent with the evidence.

Pascal, Jacqueline | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

As I understood clearly only when I taught statistics some years later, the idea that predictions should be less extreme than the information on which they are based is deeply counterintuitive. The theme of intuitive prediction came up again, when I was given the major assignment for my service in the Unit: to develop a method for interviewing all combat-unit recruits, in order to screen the unfit and help allocate soldiers to specific duties. An interviewing system was already in place, administered by a small cadre of interviewers, mostly young women, themselves recent graduates from good high schools, who had been selected for their outstanding performance in psychometric tests and for their interest in psychology.