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No. 30: Nov-Dec 1983

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A Delusion Of Doubles

R.J. Berson has reviewed 33 cases of a curious delusion called Capgras' Syndrome. People displaying this syndrome believe that important people in their lives (family members, etc.) have been replaced by exact doubles. No hallucinations or illusions are involved; rather it is a belief. Those afflicted with Capgras' Syndrome may even believe that they themselves are represented somewhere by a double they never see. Not all persons with close emotional ties are believed to be doubled; and these un-replaced persons are always identified accurately. People with these beliefs usually possess normal perceptions and memories but are (obviously) disturbed emotionally with paranoid tendencies.

(Berson, Robert J.; "Capgras' Syndrome," American Journal of Psychiatry, 140:969, 1983.)

Comment. This strange mental state is apparently not related to autoscopy, where one hallucinates one's self.

From Science Frontiers #30, NOV-DEC 1983. 1983-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:

Quotes

  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987