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Padilla, Amado, Salgado De Snyder, V. Nelly. Psychology in Pre-Columbian Mexico
1988, Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 10 (1): 55-66
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Added by: M. Jimena Clavel Vázquez and Andrés Hernández Villarreal

Aztec psychological thought is described in this paper. The Pre-Columbian world of the Aztecs was characterized by Spanish chroniclers as being as sophisticated in the sciences and medicine as anything found in Europe at the time of the conquest of Mexico. This knowledge included a belief structure about the development of personality and the way in which Aztec society socialized the person. Concepts of psychological equilibrium and well-being are also found within Aztec medicine. Psychological dysfunctions were identified by Aztec healers and "talking" therapies not unlike today's psychotherapeutic techniques could be found.

Comment (from this Blueprint): The sections “Psychological well-being or in ixtli – in yollotl”, “Teachers of knowledge and face”, “Illness and the community”, and “Aztec healers or psychotherapists” provide a clear and helpful discussion on the concepts of destiny, free will, precarious nature of human beings on earth, and, more generally, on Nahua psychology.

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