from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • Bettelheim, Bruno 1903-1990. Austrian-born American psychologist noted for his studies of children and education. His works include Love Is Not Enough (1950) and The Uses of Enchantment (1976).


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • This was known decades ago and was the reason people, even back in Bettelheim's day, believed the condition was at least partly genetic, not the result of bad child rearing.

    An Interview with Barbara D'Amato about Death of a Thousand Cuts

  • She told Bettelheim's relentlessly negative biographer, Richard Pollak, that, having begun in therapy "to realize the degree to which she had allowed herself to be manipulated and exploited," she grew "so angry that she not only stopped calling Bettelheim about school matters but ceased speaking to him for several years."

    The Strange Case of Dr. B.

  • I have to say that calling Bettelheim "well-meaning" strikes me as roughly equal to calling Mengele "fun-loving."

    Brain Blogger

  • Left-wing class analyses of the failure of Soviet Communism, such as Bettelheim's in the late 1970s or Resnick and Wolff's in 2002, were not widely read or embraced.


  • Articles by Karl Menninger, Bruno Bettelheim, Caitlin Flanagan, and others on how to raise well-adjusted children.

    The Case Against Breast-Feeding

  • In 1959, Bettelheim published a paper titled “Joey, a ‘Mechanical Boy,’ ” in which he described a child “devoid of all that we see as essentially human and childish, as if he did not move his arms or legs but had extensors that were shifted by gears.”

    The Panic Virus

  • Beginning in the late 1950s, the “refrigerator mother” theory was expanded on and promulgated by another Austrian émigré, the celebrated University of Chicago professor Bruno Bettelheim.

    The Panic Virus

  • Bettelheim, a Jew who escaped the Nazis in the years before World War II, went so far as to compare the households in which autistic children were raised to concentration camps and refrigerator mothers to Nazi guards.

    The Panic Virus

  • Burton is way out ahead, Bettelheim wasn't even in the running ...

    Alice In Wonderland

  • Shot in black-and-white except for the commentaries on the Zelig affair by Saul Bellow, Susan Sontag, Irving Howe and Bruno Bettelheim, it's also a brilliant satirical history of America in the 1930s and 40s.

    Zelig/Hannah and Her Sisters – review


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