Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 78.djvu/297

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the choice and preparation for a vocation, social adjustment, the scientific reduction of crime, and the increase in the sources of human happiness—these are all possible, but distant goals of applied science.

To illustrate more specifically the work of the consulting psychologist in one type of situation, we may take the first field of the four just outlined, namely, mental pathology, bearing in mind that the functions may vary greatly with differences in men, institutions, times, etc.

The consulting psychologist in institutions for mental ills has two fundamental types of function; one that of advice, and the other that of research. Both are necessary for encouragement and growth of the man himself and for the good of the institution. In the capacity of adviser, he may be expected to place at the disposal of his superior officers the latest gleaned and verified facts and theories on the issue in hand and to lend such aid in their adaptation and introduction into the routine of the institution as circumstances may permit; and in the capacity of investigator he may direct, or personally conduct, research for the solution of pending problems. Thrown into tabular form his duties and privileges of advice and research might be listed as follows:

I. Advisory.

1. Testing, classifying and sorting cases on admission.
2. Planning and utilizing the case history.
3. Systematic observation and experimenting on the progress of each case.
4. Adapting treatment, training and adjustment.
5. Technical instruction to the staff.
6. Education of the public (information in regard to preventive measures).

II. Research.

1. Original experiments on the value of new types of treatment, training and adjustment.
2. Intensive study of individual cases.
3. Search for needed psychological facts by scientific experiments. Thus, on the advisory side, he aids the superintendent, the staff and the public by making known and adapting applied psychological principles; and, on the side of research, he tests results of procedure in scientific terms, is ever alert for the discovery of instructive cases which may come under his observation, and directs psychological research for immediate practical purposes.

Perhaps the nature and scope of the work of the consulting psychologist in this illustration from mental pathology may be further specified by pointing out some limitations in a negative way.

The consulting psychologist is not a general administrative officer. There is, perhaps, no better training for a superintendency or other executive work in this type of institution than psychology; but, as in