Medicine: Come to the Fair

Human personalities are infinitely diverse and defy all efforts to stuff them into neat pigeonholes, but the classifiers never tire of trying. Latest classifier is Hungarian-born Psychoanalyst Michael Balint, 62, who has lived in Britain since 1939. His basic breakdown: people are either ocnophils or philobats.

As Dr. Balint explains in Thrills and Regressions, published by London's Hogarth Press, his Greek polysyllables were devised after he had found, an earthy test for personality typing—how an individual reacts at an amusement park, or "fun-fair." The type that avoids the thrills of the roller coaster, whip and illusion rooms is an ocnophil, from a...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!