Science: Svengali Revisited

No one has ever conclusively explained hypnotism. This week a successful practicing hypnotist, Andrew Salter, made a plausible try (What Is Hypnosis— Richard R. Smith, $2). Frowning severely at the hocus-pocus that has surrounded his clouded calling, Salter argued that hypnosis is just another conditioned reflex. No "trance," no "suggestion," no "mind over matter."

Salter is a quick, intense, 30-year-old Manhattan psychologist who has made a very good thing out of mesmerism. His psychotherapy by means of autohypnosis (TIME, June 2, 1941) is currently a Park Avenue rival of psychoanalysis. For...

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