Social Psychology

Chapter 14: Social Adjustments

Floyd Henry Allport

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Conflict and Adjustment in Social Behavior. The social relations discussed up to this point have been relations of agreement or conformity. Sympathy, suggestion, social facilitation, release through crowd mechanisms, and the social self all work toward the same end as the drives and habits of the individual. But there is another phase of human relations. The demands of the individual's life frequently lead to acts which hamper the satisfaction of these demands in others or which run counter to custom and tradition. The result is social behavior of an antagonistic sort; in other words social conflict.

Two forms of conflict may be distinguished: the overt and the covert. The former is the more primitive; it results from the exercise of prepotent responses in their full strength and in a manner suited rather to immediate individual satisfaction than to the safeguarding of the social order. Conduct of others which thwarts these activities is countered by struggle responses of a primitive, unsocialized sort. Such overt conflicts occur frequently between struggle groups. Nations struggle against one another with methods of warfare designed by each for the destruction of the other's material and personal power. Revolutionists, strike rioters, and lynchers carry on an equally unsocialized conflict. In its absence of social modification this behavior resembles the ruthless attack of the angry child, differing from the latter only in a complexity of efferent development productive of more thorough destruction. Within the group predatory assertion of desires and the resulting overt conflicts are comparatively rare. Here both the assertion and the struggle against limitation of drives are carried on through the socialized agencies of rivalry, competition, and legal and political action.

Covert conflict is far more universal than the overt form. It is also more complex and interesting from a. psychological standpoint.

(337) In covert conflict the forces which represent the two sides of the conflict lie within the individual himself. To illustrate: A hungry man stands with a stick in his hand in front of a bake-shop window. He wishes to break the window and seize the food inside, but the presence of a policeman at the nearby corner restrains him. Two responses are here directly in conflict. One is the food-getting reaction to the hunger stimulus; the other is the withdrawal (accompanied by fear) from situations which entail punishment. In the overt or social form of conflict the man would try to seize the bread; and a struggle would ensue between him and another individual (the proprietor, or officer of the law). But the conflict is covert: it is within himself. The social aspect is represented in his own reaction system by an attitude of avoidance connected with anti-social acts.

Another example: A doctor is called to attend a man for whose wife he has a secret infatuation. The man is on the verge of death. By the use of a treatment known only to this physician the man's life can be saved. The doctor could easily fail to administer this treatment and thus let the man die without bringing any blame upon himself. There is here a conflict between the sex drive and socially conditioned humanitarian and professional attitudes, commonly known as conscience. Here again the conflict is not an overt one. It is not a struggle with another person for the possession of a desired object. The 'other person' is represented by the socialized habits within the individual; hence the struggle is between two antagonistic drives in the same person. Through socialization therefore the social conflict between separate individuals becomes a 'mental conflict' within the individual himself.

Of the two opposing forces in our second illustration one, the sex drive, needs no further explanation. The other, conscience, is a habit extending back into the earliest days of character building. The love (sensitive zone responses) of the child is early conditioned by the signs of approval and disapproval of the parents; and the deepest affective cravings are thus satisfied through continual rapport with father and mother. This rapport can be maintained only if the child performs certain acts, and inhibits others, according to the parents' wishes. Physical punishment also, as well as

(338) loss of affection, conditions the withdrawal from antisocial conduct. Through such agencies the child learns to use the methods of satisfying his hunger and other cravings which are approved by society (cf. pp. 53, 60, 68-69). These he fixates as habits, and avoids less socialized, though more direct, methods. This training extends to a general regard for the social import of all that he does. Regard for the rights of others and for social duties is thus built up as a permanent trait of character.

Such sets of derived (prepotent) habits we may call the socialized drives of the individual (cf. p. 311). The more primitive, direct reactions may be termed the 'socially unmodified' or unsocialized drives. [1] Covert social conflicts arise between these antagonistic forms of reaction. [2]

Because of their concealed nature the full significance of covert conflicts has only recently been discovered. The credit for its discovery belongs chiefly to Freud. Although their main field of study belongs to psychopathology, conflicts are also of fundamental importance for the student of social science; for one force in the conflict is usually a socialized drive. Hence the struggle is really a social conflict compressed into one individual. Self and alter are antagonistic, not between one person and another, but within the person himself. The present chapter will be concerned with the origin of such conflicts, the social behavior through which the opposed drives obtain release, and the effect upon society at large. Broadly speaking this is the problem of the adjustment between the individual and society.

Clues to Inhibited Unsocialized Reactions. Although some persons go through life with very few overt social conflicts, hardly a day passes in the life of any one without some covert struggle between the socialized and unsocialized drives. Living in harmonious relations with others entails a sacrifice of some of our more frankly selfish desires. Our overt conduct must suggest a willingness to

(339) make such sacrifices; but the inhibited unsocialized impulse may be detected by a careful observer. For the sake of harmony members of polite society implicitly agree to overlook all evidence of such hidden feeling, provided the external form is in accord with good usage. The polite remonstrance and 'white lie' are not pried into too deeply. The social psychologist however has a more searching interest. Slight details of social behavior serve him as clues to a fuller understanding of these internal conflicts. 

Personal dislikes which one attempts to conceal are revealed in characteristic ways. At the approach of a certain acquaintance we sometimes find ourselves crossing the street, or becoming interested in a shop window. Snubbing is a similar phenomenon. Those who practice snobbishness become so adept at 'not seeing people' that it is almost unconscious with them. Dislike and contempt are shown by the sudden loud laugh at the expense of the disliked person or class of persons (p. 256). Forgetting a name is, in many cases, the result of 'putting the person out of one's mind.' In shaking hands the manner may be perfunctory; and sometimes a slight repelling push of the hand can be detected. In feigning politeness to an unwelcome visitor the blank look and hesitant greeting give the lie to the effusive cordiality with which we immediately try to make amends. The character of the smile is similarly eloquent of blocked feeling: there is often something disagreeable about it. Slips of the tongue or pen to the disadvantage of the one secretly disliked may often be traced to an inhibited hostile attitude which seizes a moment of inattention to gain release.

The behavior just described is for the most part unconscious. The disguise which we offer to others we ourselves accept as the true state of affairs. If any one penetrates this and hints at our real motive, we are strangely angered. Such behavior is a kind of defense. Our very indignation is an argument that the too prying interpretation is false and unreasonable. It should be remembered that the conflict is within the individual rather than between two persons. Loosely speaking we may say that the individual deceives himself as to his underlying motives.

The repeated use of an apologetic or conciliatory phrase may

(340) cast doubt on its sincerity, as the following true incident illustrates. A called B, who had been opposing him, into his office to impart to him the news that he (A) had been successful in accomplishing his purpose. Several times during the interview he expressed the hope that it was not "too much of a shock" to B, a statement which his thinly veiled triumph clearly belied. Extreme and unexpected friendliness of manner often betokens an unconscious correction for intentions of hostility. Nicknames afford a channel for releasing animosity or contempt without giving serious offense. They are familiar and therefore avowedly friendly; yet most of them are somewhat disparaging.[3]

Greed is another unsocialized trait which conflicts with the drive for social approval. Mistakes in addition are usually in favor of the shopkeeper, and this without any consciously intentional dishonesty on his part. If the merchant expresses indignation upon being told that his price is too high, one may, particularly if the complaint is just, suspect that he is trying to inhibit his own realization of the fact. A man called upon a creditor to pay a bill. The latter, wishing to appear generous, assured the caller that his credit was good' for as long as he wished to extend it. At the same time there was a swift glance of his eye toward the check as it emerged from the debtor's pocket.

The drive for self-display comes into frequent conflict with the socialized regard for modesty. A form of release in this case is to refer indirectly or impersonally to the merit to which one wishes to call attention. This focuses the conversation upon the desired topic and allows it to drift into more personal channels. The 'overseas' World War veteran who is itching to relate his exploits generally opens the discussion by the question, "Did you get across?" Politeness will then require his interlocutor to ask the same question of him. The following is a good example of the boasting conflict. The writer in a game of bridge had been for some moments inhibiting the temptation to call attention to his success-

(341) -ful playing. Finally he remarked innocently to his partner: "Well, M—, one or the other of us must be playing a very clever game." One of the opponents laughed and said, "What conceit!" The writer thereupon expressed quick resentment of this 'unreasonable inference' of the opponent. This was, of course, a rationalized anger aroused as a defense against acknowledging the `conceit' motive. It was finally pointed out that he should have said, "We both are playing a clever game." Not until this obvious expose did the maker of the original remark become aware of the drive for self-display by which it had been prompted.

The Major Conflicts and their Social Adjustment. Turning from these surface manifestations we approach a deeper study of the forces which lie at the root of conflict. The main prepotent drives here concerned are two, namely, struggle and sex. The reasons for selecting these two are fairly obvious. Struggle against oppression or competitive thwarting is the response operative in overt social conflict. This overt struggle between persons must be mollified by developing socialized counter-tendencies within the individual. Without a curb upon anger struggles the social order could not exist. Such a curb within the individual's action system gives rise to covert hostility, or struggle, conflict. The sex response is important in conflict because it comprises the most intimate relation between individuals; and although one of the strongest of drives, it is subject to rigorous limitation and social control.[4] To these two sources of conflict may be added a third whose resolution or adjustment is of considerable social importance. This is the struggle against the realization of one's own defects, commonly called 'inferiority conflict.'


The Introversion of the Struggle Response. Apart from socialization the original response when thwarted is to struggle with increasing violence until the thwarting agency is removed or conquered. The visceral side of this process underlies the emotion of anger or rage. Fear, early socialization of drives, and practical

(342) considerations inhibit this frank exercise of the struggle reaction. Outlet for it must be sought in indirect ways, such as competition or planning some revenge 'within the law.' Often the somatic response is inhibited completely, and there is no way of removing the thwarting stimulus or situation. In this case the hostility is said to be 'repressed.' This means merely that the struggle reaction is inhibited by drives or habits which are antagonistic to it and for the time being more powerful.

In such cases of blocked somatic outlet the visceral core of emotion is intensified since it is the only efferent pathway available for the release. The process may be described as an introversion of the struggle reaction. Its first characteristic is the increase of affectivity. The person's life becomes a succession of moods, of excitements and depressions. The effect of the visceral tensions is cumulative: it sometimes reaches the point of breaking through the resistance and becomes 'extroverted' into a response of unexpected violence. Such outbursts are the source of disharmony in social and domestic relations. Another result of introverted emotion is the play of mental imagery. One imagines that he is carrying out the violent attack upon his enemy which he has actually been required to inhibit.[5]

Types of Struggle Inhibition. In 1918, Dr. R. F. Richardson published a study of consciousness in anger, based upon a large number of introspective reports of actual anger experiences. The causes of anger reported were behavior of others which (1) hindered some course of action on the part of the subject, or (2) lowered his self-feeling. The second cause as well as the first is really a form of thwarting, since it interferes with the habitual attitudes and bearing of self-esteem.

Three types of anger response are distinguished in the material which Richardson collected. The first type (attributive), which comprised 71 per cent of the cases, is distinctly hostile and retaliative either in imagination or in fact. Examples are as follows: visual and motor imagery of maltreating the offender; use of imaginary invective and sarcasm; defaming the offender to a third

(434) person, either in reality or in imagination; cursing overtly at the 'whole business' (making generalities, rather than the person, the victim of the anger); believing or imagining ill of the offender; imagining an exaltation of self so as to be able to heap retribution or scorn upon the offender; making or enjoying a joke at his expense; and substitution of 'irascible play.' The last named reaction accomplishes in a playful manner the bodily or verbal attack which one would like to make in earnest. Another method is to build up an attitude and a plan for future retribution through which the accumulated grudge may be released.

It will be seen that all of these forms of attributive reaction are introverted except the last three. Irascible play and wit are successful forms of anger response, that is, they effectually remove the hindrance or relieve self-abasement. They are more overt than the other forms. The attitudinal reaction (grudge-building) also may be useful if it takes the form of a drive for competitive achievement. The enemy is to be shown that the one he has affronted is a better man than he. The thwarting agency is thus conquered in a constructive and socially approved fashion. Struggle (with the emotion of anger) may ally itself therefore with the hunger and sex drives as a dynamic factor in learning and progress. The proper control and direction of anger is thus an important pedagogical problem.

The second type of anger response is one of self-control, nonresistance, or deliberate friendliness (contrary reaction). Such habitual inhibition and passivity are often assumed toward intimate associates. There are also attitudes of 'turning the other cheek,' of martyrdom, and of inner superiority to the offender. Such anger is markedly introverted. It was found by Richard son's subjects to be both unpleasant and unsuccessful. It characterizes the ascetic and morbid personality rather than the socially developed one. The contrary reaction is relatively infrequent, occurring in 18 per cent of Richardson's cases.

The third type of response is an attitude of avoidance (indifference reaction). The subject puts the whole situation out of mind so as not to be bothered by it. This occurred in but a small per cent of cases, and proved to be an unsuccessful adjustment of the struggle response.


The importance of wit and humor as an outlet for anger is worthy of special comment. By taking an objective view the incongruous elements of the situation are seen, and the pleasurable response akin to that of being tickled is aroused. This response is neurologically antagonistic to the unpleasant visceral core of anger (see Chapter IV). The latter is therefore inhibited from the field and laughter takes its place. At the same time the need of removing the thwarting or humiliating agency is fulfilled; for the joke makes the offender appear at a disadvantage, while the situation as a whole is made to seem trivial. The ability to turn one's anger into a jest goes with the trait of insight (p. 118). It is an invaluable asset in wife or husband, and is sometimes appropriately called 'the saving sense of humor.'

Rationalized Anger. Not infrequently anger is a reaction used to disguise other attitudes. We have already observed how greed, self-display, and the like are kept from recognition by the indignation shown when they are in danger of being detected. This is the principle behind the belligerent intolerance of the crowd (p. 315). Another instance is the attitude of being indignant at some one in the name of society, of civilization, or of humanity. Though sometimes genuine, 'moral indignation' is often a disguise for personal ill-feeling and irritation. 'Outrages' arise from the violation of personal feelings. We frequently hear the rationalization: "It's not so much the thing itself as it is the principle which I object to." Some religious persons derive satisfaction through speaking of their anger as 'righteous indignation.'

Hatred may be 'cultivated' to give support upon other grounds to hostile intentions when the original motive for hostility does not pass the test of social approval. Between the North and South in the conflict over abolition there arose mutual recriminations and charges of immorality of all sorts; the basic hostility, essentially an economic one, was left unstressed. Hating in order to strengthen a cause has been discussed as a part of the behavior in crowds (pp. 315-16).

Aversions are rationalized in the same manner. It is not hard to find socially acceptable motives for disliking people to fortify our socially unacceptable ones. The man whom we have owed money

(345) for a long time we come to dislike, sometimes for no conscious reason at all, and sometimes because of his supposed hard feeling toward us. The motive of hostility which one is unwilling to recognize in himself is attributed to another (projection). Conspicuous hatred of tendencies in others is a decoy by which the individual draws his own attention and that of his associates away from the same elements in his own motivation. Another rationalization is present in estrangement between relatives or friends. When love turns to hate it must have some good reason to justify it beyond personal grievance. All manner of evil is, therefore, credited to the former friend. Accusations are believed which collapse like bubbles when a reconciliation is brought about.


Sex Differences. Attitudes toward Women. Before discussing the conflicts and adjustments of the love drive it will be well to review some differences of personality between the sexes and some of the broader attitudes of one sex toward the other. It is rightly said that women are more personal and emotional in their interests than men. Here in fact lie the only significant psychological differences of sex. These differences are more probably due to early influences and the pressure of a man-made double standard of morals than to innate factors. From the start the girl is denied opportunities for development which are held open to the boy. She is considered a 'tom-boy' if she secures birds' nests, builds boats, plays ball, or studies electricity. Her lot is to be dressed, petted, admonished, and loved by those about her. She must react to people rather than to things. Play with dolls, the traditionally 'correct' pastime for girls, still further emphasizes the personal element. Human feeling rather than natural law becomes her guiding principle of life.

As adolescence approaches jealous parents set up barriers against free expression of the sex interest by building up in the girl a repression based on fear or abhorrence. Sex life is submerged and introverted; and emotionality toward persons who appeal to her is therefore raised to a high intensity. No understanding of her own nature, no true knowledge of the forces about her, is per-

(346) -mitted. All problems are solved for her in advance. All her thoughts and actions are controlled by custom, which in this regard is largely the product of male jealousy.

The fruits of inhibition, conflict and over-shielding are seen in the mature woman. Among university students young women, though gifted in literature and allied subjects, are markedly inferior to the men in laboratory sciences. Their world has been one of persons rather than things; and they cannot be made to take a serious interest in the latter. Concepts into which feeling does not enter have little interest for them. Physiologically the heightened emotionality of women is indicated by wider variations in blood pressure under emotional excitement than exist in men (cf. p. 88).[6] In their mature reactions women look for the same personal basis of response as that which existed in their early family life. In college a grade is not so much a measure of attainment as a mark of personal approval or disapproval. A business obligation is generally subordinated to the supremacy of feminine feelings. Numerous snatches of conversations collected by Professor H. T. Moore suggest that whereas men talk most frequently about money, business, and recreations, the dominant topics of female conversation are men, clothes, and decoration. Professors Haggerty and Kempf have found that in the word association test women greatly exceed men both in number of emotional inhibitions and in the substitution of responses which prevent embarrassing betrayal of conflicts. A greater tendency toward giving predicate (introverted) word reactions in such tests is also found among women. (Wells.)[7] The abnormal ranges of these phenomena also are more pronounced among women. Psychoneurotic conditions are more prevalent in the female than in the male sex. All this is the result, not so much of woman's innate tendencies, as of spending her early years in a home and society warped through unrecognized conflicts and sex jealousies. The recent movement of Feminism is a struggle of woman toward freedom, not only political but psychological as well. Such freedom will never be obtained

(347) merely by giving her the ballot at the age of twenty-one. There must be deeper insight into the conditions which surround her in childhood and youth, and a revision of the standards for the development of the female personality.

The life of woman in maturity is no less filled with barriers to self-expression than her formative years. Her sex drive, though repressed by masculine regulations, operates none the less powerfully. Through the attachment to husband and children it becomes the central motive of her life. In the home, her prescribed sphere, the only fundamental interests which exist are love interests. Her only efferent modifications of this drive are personal ministration and caressing. The man's field of development is broader. In order to satisfy his prepotent needs he learns a vocation and goes out into the world of men and things. The sex drive therefore becomes a basis for progress along many lines; and upon it are based derived drives (cf. p. 65) which come to be followed as ends or interests in themselves. Thus starting from the same prepotent factors, the pathways of man and woman diverge. Man loves ardently but for a short time only, and then is off about other business. In the life of woman love is the perpetual theme.[8] This difference, or rather the failure to adjust to it, is one of the chief causes of unhappiness in married life.

Spurious standards of chivalry have done much to prevent a wholesome attitude toward women. Men are singularly jealous of their fiancees, wives, and daughters. This jealousy arises partly from their own sex tendencies. Sexual activities are in men less habitually restrained than in women either through early training or through social standards. There is often either a frank and promiscuous sexual indulgence or else a craving for such indulgence inhibited only by a conscious struggle. This conflict between socialized and unsocialized drives colors man's feeling toward the woman whom he loves by an attitude of projection. He becomes worried about her sexual desire as he is about his own, and scans all of her dealings with other men with a kind of puritanical suspicion. He also fears the trespass of other males, constituted as he is, upon the domain of his desire. Such doubts fill his mind

(348) with horror. There is a conflict between his sex drive (toward a certain woman) and his jealous fear. The result is the erection of a barrier about the woman to prevent any possible lapses. He must protect her from all contact with the temptations of the world just as the Turk used to veil the ladies of his harem. For any one to accost her without proper introduction is an insult to her 'honor.' This care for the morals of the fair sex is rationalized by ideal terms such as the 'purity and honor of women,' 'chivalry,' and the 'sanctity of the home.' Gentlemen make it a point of honor not to discuss with other men their conquests with women. The pretense of chivalry is here largely a rationalization for the true motive, namely, that they do not like to think of their intimate sex experiences in connection with other men. Similar motives lie behind the prudish and austere codes for women established by the males of many communities. The presence of the fallen woman is both an insult and a menace to the 'respectability' of our wives and daughters. Strangely enough, women (who are supposed to be purer than men as a sex) show no dread of contamination from such a source.

These conflicts and jealousies, disguised as chivalry and respect for women, instead of ennobling woman, confine her to a narrow sphere of convention and moral bondage. There is continued in her maturity the type of control which robbed her of a wholesome development through childhood.

Adjustments between Husband and Wife. The life of the family centers in the sexual reflexes of husband and wife. This is equivalent to saying that the family is based upon love. On the afferent side the love responses are conditioned and stimulated by every detail of the person and behavior of the loved one; and on the efferent they are developed to include not only the sex act itself but caressing, verbal endearment, and that protection of the home which is conducive to the fullest satisfaction of the love interest. All love between man and woman has its origin in the internal stimulation of sex (cf. pp. 69-70).

The close relation of husband and wife and the restrictions with which marriage is surrounded produce inevitable overt conflicts. There are no born affinities; harmonious adjustments are obtained

(349) only through training in conjugal life. Anger aroused in domestic conflicts must meet with some balance or inhibiting agency if family ties are to remain unbroken. Such an agency nature provides in the antagonism of autonomic reactions explained in Chapter IV. The process is as follows. The unpleasant feeling of anger accompanies the visceral changes evoked by sympathetic impulses. The sex response, on the other hand, pleasant in consummation, is the result of the discharge of sacral impulses. The motor effects of these two classes of impulses are, however, antagonistic to each other. It is physiologically impossible for both to operate at the same time. Hence when sex (or love) activities are in progress, or when desire becomes strong, the emotion of anger is ipso facto inhibited. When therefore domestic annoyances bring husband and wife to cross purposes, and catastrophe is threatened, the recurring organic need of one for the other enters to save the day. Sexual enjoyment of course does not abolish all effects of the anger struggle. Traces of annoyance may remain, or perhaps be repressed, which may contribute; to the onset of another quarrel. But love is here an opportunist diplomat who prevents the tensions of anger from reaching the breaking point. Given an attitude of affection, the differences can then be gradually brought to a peaceful and satisfactory adjustment.

In marriages where love flourishes both persons avoid serious quarrels which would threaten a severance of affection for a day or even for an hour. Sharp words are quickly atoned for, lest a suggestion of estrangement arise. "It is all over between us" is a moment of the profoundest tragedy. Each dreads the emptiness of a situation in which the hundreds of attitudes and habits organized about the sexual relation with a specific person will be forever thwarted. Rather than incur such a calamity some married persons put up with grave lapses in the conduct of their mates.[9]

Causes of Marital Disharmony. If the sex drive is the force holding partners in marriage together, it follows that any agency which impedes its normal function tends to destroy family life.

(350) There is no marriage in the true sense without normal satisfaction of sexual needs. Miss Colcord found that sex difficulties were the most frequent sources of home-breaking and desertion. A variety of causes contribute to the failure of the sex impulse in married life. A neurotic personality in husband or wife is a conspicuous factor. The establishing of unfortunate attitudes toward sex in childhood and youth is generally the history of these cases. Fear, shame, and inseparable fixation of love impulses upon the parents are some of the forces which have been pitted against the normal and mature release of the sexual response. Apathy or aversion in marriage is the result. The false religious teaching that desires of the flesh are evil has been responsible in some cases for the introversion of the sex drive. An allied source of repugnance in women is the crudeness with which sexual love-making is carried on by males who ignore the woman's need of a gentler preparatory wooing.

In homes where sex adjustment is inadequate to meet biological needs secondary love interests are likely to be substituted. Energy is given to religious or philanthropic work, to altruistic propaganda, to gardening, or to pets. If children are present, there is lavished upon them most of the caressing that would be given to the married partner were there no inhibitions in that direction. These love objects, instead of the spouse, become conditioners of tonicity in the internal organs of sex (sexual desire). Such balancing factors, as they are called by Dr. Wells, are, however, an imperfect substitute; for they stimulate (by conditioning), but cannot satisfy, the love desire. At best they do the service of occupying the attention and reducing the painful consciousness of conflict in the sexual sphere proper. While they may occasionally lead to constructive and altruistic endeavor, they are generally to be considered as symptoms of marital maladjustment.

There are other causes beside the sex conflict for domestic unhappiness. Unwise methods of control may be employed by one or both partners. The spoiled child who by screaming or sulking controls her parents grows into the headstrong and petulant woman. Austere domination in the husband may be due to a similar trait of personality. Or again, the man who feels himself insignificant in the presence of his fellow men may compensate by

(351) becoming an iron-handed autocrat in his own home. A frequent source of friction is the continual demand made by wives for gentle affection and sympathy, responses in which most husbands are sadly deficient.

Sagacious women still obtain their ends through controlling their husbands by the age-old appeal to sex desire. It is done in a disguised fashion by saying "if you love me," "if you are a man," "if you have the courage," and similar phrases. These appeals are effective because they express her opinion of him, and are therefore instrumental in the sex relation between them. According to Dr. G. S. Hall it is the function of woman, by coyness and reserve in giving love-rewards, to spur her mate to the highest achievement of which he is capable.

Appeals of this sort failing, tears and even hysterical attacks, half feigned, half real, are sometimes employed for accomplishing woman's purpose. Through the dwarfing influences under which she was reared the eternal feminine again shows itself as the eternal child. Infantile habits are reawakened (regression) when more rational and 'grown-up' methods fail. The spirit of resignation and of martyrdom are persistences of the infantile pouting habit. In a proud and sensitive husband these attitudes arouse quick resentment, for they imply both unfairness on his part and dissatisfaction of the wife with her marriage to him. Few reactions are as dangerous as this to the stability and happiness of wedded life.

Women of neurotic constitution, when under too great a burden of repression, fear, or domination by the husband, develop abnormal symptoms as a method of escape. Physical fatigue, distaste for home-work, fear of having children, sexual aversion, and inability to transfer love from the parents to the husband are frequent conditions. The defense reactions shown include tendency to be ill without cause other than 'nervousness,' placing household responsibilities upon others, desire for medical treatment, sanitarium rest-cures, or operations, and development of symptoms (real or imagined) which prevent sex relations with the husband.[10]

(352) These symptoms are not a sign of deception or malingering in a wife, but the reaction of an unconscious mental disease in protest to her environment. The cure for such conditions lies in helping the patient to gain a complete understanding of herself. Occasionally these symptoms are a revolt against marital conditions which would be genuinely intolerable even for persons of stable constitution. Separation from the husband and establishing life upon a new basis is here the correct and only solution. Neurotic tendencies in the husband take the form of physical depletion, desire to be petted, bullying, studied cruelty or neglect, humiliation of the wife, `touchiness' and moodiness, unreasonable jealousy, and tendency to blame the wife for his own shortcomings.

Chronic jealousy is a grave indication of sexual maladjustment between husband and wife. The origin of one type of sex jealousy has already been described. Another form results from an attitude of inferiority combined with fear. Periods occur in the lives of women, such as pregnancy and the crisis of middle life, in which they are harassed by the thought of losing their physical attractiveness. They worry, therefore, lest their husbands cease to care for them and transfer their affections elsewhere. In such a state a woman is on the alert and develops a 'perceptual set' to detect the first symptom of infidelity. Some cause, whether real or fancied, is soon discovered, and open jealousy and accusation follow. In psychopathic conditions there occur delusions of infidelity on the part of the spouse. Inferiority jealousy is by no means limited to women. Men who lose their wealth, or become ill, crippled, or otherwise unattractive, are likely to show the same reaction. The effect upon the marital union is unfavorable. Such jealousy not only arouses resentment in the mate, but brings into a conspicuous light the defect from which it arises, thereby enhancing the estrangement.

The resort to tears, reproaches, jealousies, and similar controls have a further effect upon the partner in wedlock. It causes him or her to repress all resentment and discontent, and even to conceal thoughts and actions, for the sake of preserving peace. Domestic scenes are avoided in this way, but at the expense of conflict within the individual. Hostile attitudes are secretly built up, attitudes

(353) which, though barred from expression, widen the breach between husband and wife. The woman has many feelings whose overt signs must be inhibited. She must repress criticism and remonstrance which she believes are just. Often she must face the complete failure of her ideals for home and family life, and must reconstruct her plans without a word of complaint. Against the alienating effect of these conflicts only the most perfect co-adjustment in the sexual life can be a sufficient safeguard.

There is a romance about courtship which disappears in married existence. The sex drive of the wooer is not yet released; every detail about, the beloved from head to toe is, therefore, a stimulus which helps to augment the tonus already present in the pelvic viscera (see p. 70). This is the condition of being blindly in love. For the married one the mate loses this halo of perfection. The sex drive is more readily and frankly released; hence other considerations than those of love determine the perspective in which the spouse is perceived. A month's absence restores the unsatisfied longing and with it a great deal of the romance. Marital vacations, and the exercise of restraint while living together, thus give to wedded life the happiness of a prolonged honeymoon. To love ardently and well, to achieve insight into the cause of domestic troubles rather than to blame the other for them, and to see the humor of things —  these are the best solutions of the problems of adjustment between husband and wife.

Adjustments between Parents and Children. Introductory Statement. Family life fulfills a double function. It is one of the greatest sources of individual happiness; and at the same time it transmits the lore and customs of the group and equips the individual for his life as a member of society. It is a face-to-face group, bound by the strongest of ties, and productive of ineradicable traits of character in its members. Leaving the broader aspects of the family to the sociologist, our present discussion will be confined to the problems of conflict and adjustment peculiar to familial relationships. In spite of the inestimable value of the family as a socializing agency, its peculiar organization sometimes fosters serious covert conflicts in the individual members. The chief tie which binds parents and children together is love. It is,

(354) however, a love of an incomplete or restricted kind. And this love struggling against the mature sex drive for the control of the final common path produces the central conflict of family life. The whole subject can best be understood through a review of the contributions of Freud and the psychoanalytic movement. It will be necessary, however, to distinguish carefully between fact and theory. The Freudian Conception. Freudian Fact: In working with adult psychoneurotic patients Freud found that there was prevalent a conflict in which the normal sexual tendencies were repressed (blocked by some antagonistic reaction). Indications of this repression were seen in dreams and hysterical symptoms. Closer analysis usually revealed a strong but concealed attachment for a parent, generally the parent of the opposite sex—  from the patient. The inference follows that this attachment is of a sexual character, and that the horror of incest causes not only the repression of the fondness for the parent but the blocking of the entire sexual impulse with which it is connected. This inference is justified by the fact that giving the subject insight into the facts just stated (psychoanalysis) releases the sex drive in a normal direction and cures the psychoneurosis. The type of conflict described probably occurs in milder form in a large number of families, and leaves recognizable traces upon the personalities of those affected.

These are the facts. They are denied by many persons upon first hearing them, and accepted upon later reflection by most of those who deny. The original denial is due to the conventional attitude that such things are too revolting to be considered possible. Unbiased observation shows that they are neither revolting nor impossible, but natural and likely. Any objectively minded investigator can verify these facts if he will take the trouble.[11]

Freudian Theory: Of psychoanalytic theory we cannot speak with the same confidence. The Freudians assert that sexuality extends back into earliest infancy ; and the boy, by some instinctive predilection for a person of the other sex, almost as soon as born fixates his desire upon his mother. The girl in similar fashion

(355) selects her father for a lover. Before many years, however, the child learns that such love attachments are not tolerated by society, and that both his youth and the other parent stand in the way of their full realization. Thus we have in early childhood not only the root of sex conflict, but the conflict itself. As the child matures the horror of the suggestion of incest causes the sex desire for the parent to be inhibited (repressed). It becomes unconscious and is forgotten. The love however is not destroyed; it is merely dissociated from the individual's daily thought and action. In Freudian terms it goes on 'below the level of consciousness,' and prevents the normal release of the sex drive with which it is inseparably associated. In the language of psychoanalysis the 'libido' remains fixated at an earlier childhood level.

Psychoanalysis effects a cure by bringing back the parent complex to consciousness and allowing the more rational attitudes of the adult to play upon it and show the patient its absurdity (assimilation, abreaction). The sex drive, hitherto fixated upon the parent, is thus liberated and allowed to follow a normal course.

The theory as stated above needs some revision from the viewpoint of scientific psychology. In the following attempt at restatement it should be remembered that there are points still requiring proof. The wise reader will regard it merely as a basis for further study into the problems of adjustment between parent and child.

Restatement of the Freudian Theory. 1. The Love of the Child for the Parent. The traditional view of filial love, namely, that it is an instinct and is what every parent has a right to expect of a child, is seriously in error. Some children do not love their parents at all; others love them far too much. In either case the parent is responsible. The child's affections must be won by the parent. They are not acquired as a natural right.

In an earlier chapter it was pointed out that the stimulation of the child's sensitive zones (mouth, neck, breast, etc.) gives a pleasure similar to the lust pleasure of the adult, and produces responses for the continuation of the pleasurable contact.[12] In the

(356) childhood form the enjoyable sensations are somewhat diffuse; in full sexual love the pleasure is diffuse but strongly emphasized in the genital regions.

The psychoanalysts ignore the distinction between these two forms, and pronounce the childhood love sexual in character, calling the sensitive zones 'erogenous zones.' This interpretation is scarcely justified. In the sensitive zone reactions exteroceptive stimulation upon the skin, for example, tickling, brings forth the characteristic response. In sex reactions the chief stimulation is internal, arising probably from tonic changes in the pelvic viscera, external contact from sensitive zones serving merely as an allied stimulus. Sensitive zone responses therefore are allied to the sex drive, but appear genetically before the latter. The end result of the child's impulse is more abridged than that of the adult. The stimulation of sensitive zones evokes movements aimed merely at securing further stimulation. Contact in sex excitement also yields the response of enhancing itself; but this response is only a means of reaching a climax resulting in the release of the pelvic tensions. Hence, all things considered, it is better to maintain a physiological distinction between childhood and mature love.

From the social point of view there is an important reason for preserving this distinction. Society approves and encourages the love between parent and child based upon sensitive zone responses; but it as strongly forbids love based upon the sex response. In their continuity of development through puberty these two forms provide the root of covert conflict within the family.

It is necessary now to retrace our steps and show the manner in which the young child's love develops from the sensitive zone reactions. This process, which is essentially one of conditioning, has been touched upon in preceding chapters (pp. 68, 71). In Freudian terminology the phenomenon is known as 'fixation.' Fixation is merely a technical word for falling in love. The immediate and precipitating cause of falling in love is physical contact. Prior to this there may have been admiration and friendship, but not until the actual caress or embrace are the deeper and more compelling feelings aroused. Now the merest touch or glance serves to evoke the love emotion in its full strength. This illus-

(357) -trates clearly the conditioning of the sexual response. Given the hypertonic vesicular pressure, caressing contact with the beloved becomes an allied stimulus for increasing this pressure, that is, for raising the desire to a higher pitch. At the same time other stimuli present (for example, sight or voice of the loved person) acquire through conditioning the power of increasing the visceral tension independently of the tactual stimulus. The mere sight. therefore (or even recall) of that person comes to evoke desire.[13]

There is no reason to doubt that the sensitive zone responses can be conditioned in a similar manner. If this is true, the love of the child may be said to be 'fixated' upon the parent who fondles and caresses it in the same manner that the youth falls in love with the maiden, but with the difference that the child's response lacks the specifically sexual element. By conditioning the sensitive zone reactions the parent becomes the object of the child's love —  love, that is, of the sort of which the child is capable.

So far there is no occasion for social disapproval. This love fixation of the young child is regarded as natural and right. And unless it is too strong or the child unusually susceptible there is no immediate likelihood of serious conflict. Let us suppose, however, that a highly nervous girl, over-petted by her father, approaches pubescence. There begin to develop the internal functions which give rise to sexual desire. At the same time the sensitive zone mechanisms become bound up as allied stimuli with the sex functions themselves. This point is exceedingly important. The child's kiss, which heretofore yielded only a simple sensitive zone pleasure, now stirs deeper feelings recognized as impossible of indulgence within the sphere of the family. Sensitive zone and sexual systems of response are welded into one. The adolescent struggles in vain to keep her love sexless when sex is becoming the great driving force in her life.

The needed solution is obvious. The youth must give up the

(358) childish (sensitive zone) love fixation upon the parent. But this, in the case we have assumed, is too strong to be lightly broken. The shame and fear, therefore, that the love for the father is becoming the love of a grown woman cause this fixation, and often the entire sexual drive, to be repressed from consciousness. (In neurological terms this amounts to inhibition and dissociation.) Puberty, therefore, brings on a crisis, an introverting of the love drive, and the beginning of a serious conflict. The boy's love for his mother follows a similar course.[14]

An occasional defense made by children and adolescents against the formation of too intense a parent-fixation is the development of an opposite type of response (ambivalence). To outward appearances the child becomes estranged from parental influences, and in some cases expresses hatred for the parent. This aversion may be quite unaccountable to the child himself; and it is of course painful to the parent. The youth feels self-reproach for the restraint and coldness which he seems compelled to manifest toward those whom he ought to love. The wild, asocial period which occurs between ten and twelve probably marks the beginnings of the parent-fixation conflict. Boys at this age cannot endure petting or caressing by grown women. They have reached an age when physical demonstrations of mother love can no longer be permitted. At this period parents are said to lose their children for a time. After the pubertal crisis is over and the childhood fixation broken, the parent gets his child back again. A mature friendship is now established; the sexual drive is no longer conditioned by the person of the parent.

An important problem still remains to be solved. If there is no early instinctive love which recognizes the opposite sex as its object, why is it that the fixation of the girl is generally upon the father, and that of the boy upon the mother? This question will be discussed in the following section.

2. The Love of the Parent for the Child. There is another side to the formation of the bond between parents and their offspring.

(359) The chief cause of the child's love fixation is the love manifested by the parent toward the child. To find a child who has never received petting or caressing from a parent is indeed a rare phenomenon.[15] We have now to consider more fully the nature of this parental fondness.

The clue to the interpretation of adult love we have already given in the statement that the sensitive zone responses no longer function independently in maturity, but are fused with the complete sexual love reactions. On the afferent side we may say therefore that adult love responses are always predominantly sexual; the major drive for the caressing of children as well as of the mate originates in the visceral stimulations of the sex organs. This fact is so seldom recognized, and so 'unconventional,' that a few observations may well be given in its support. First, bodily contact and kissing assume a different and fuller significance among adults than among children, They become tokens of sexual attachment if pleasurably indulged. Hence the kiss between father and grown daughter is perfunctory and brief, a ceremony of affection carried over from childhood. Barring unrecognized love fixations, there is a similar restraint in the caresses between mother and grown son.[16] Society overlooks the sexual import of the adult kiss and embrace when bestowed upon a child; because, although in so far as they go these acts are a part of the full sexual embrace, it is fairly certain that they will not be carried further. An additional reason for this toleration is that, since the child is immature, his own sexual desire will not be aroused. Although the efferent expression of the love is thus restricted, there can be little doubt that its afferent origin is supported by sexual (visceral) stimulation.

A second indication appears in the fact that children serve as a balancing factor for a blocked sexual outlet in the parent. Widows and divorced or neurotic women often love their sons with a fondness which suggests that the latter are taking the place of a husband. The behavior lies, of course, within conventional limits, and the sexual nature of the love is unconscious; but the role of the

(360) sex drive as the basis of the attachment is not to be doubted. In the same way, in periods of necessary sexual abstinence, the father is likely to feel a greater desire to caress his children than at other times. We are justified in concluding that there are not two separate love instincts, one for the spouse and the other for the offspring; but that adult love is all of one kind and springs from the internal pressure of sexual desire. Only through social taboo and repression has the human race been kept from recognizing the sexual origin of its consanguineal love.

These considerations enable us to answer the question raised at the end of the last section, namely, why it is that the child's love tends to be fixated upon the parent of the opposite sex. Since there is a strong but unrecognized sexual component in all adult love, it is wholly natural that the father should lavish more affection upon the daughter, and that the mother should be more strongly attracted toward the son. The father has usually a different, a more tender feeling toward the daughter. He sees in her resemblances to her mother, which as partial conditioning stimuli tend unconsciously to evoke the love responses which have been habitual toward the latter. The same accentuation of feeling occurs between mother and son. Mature sexual love dictates, albeit unconsciously, the preference for the child of the opposite sex. Hence the 'choice' of the opposite-sexed parent by the child really represents the parent's choice, and results from the more intense love-making which that parent bestows upon the child.

At the approach of puberty the child not only feels his filial love to be assuming a sexual character, but recognizes the unconscious basis of this same love in the parent. The full understanding of the role of male and female, and its exemplification between the child's own father and mother, add to the force of this awakening, and render it more critical for the neuropathic individual.[17]


To summarize: The love of the pre-adolescent child for the parent results from a conditioning of sensitive zone reactions (fixation). This conditioning is established usually for the parent of the opposite sex. The reason for this is that the parent's love, being unconsciously sexual in origin, is greater for the oppositesexed child, and that child therefore is given greater physical affection than the child of the same sex. At puberty the sensitive zone reactions become consolidated into the system of mature sexual responses. There is required therefore a detachment of the whole group of love reactions from the parent-stimulus, and a reconditioning of them eventually by a person of opposite sex outside the family (transference). Children who have been petted to an unusual degree find it difficult to make this transfer complete, and show traces of the parent fixation in their later social and marital adjustments. Adolescents who have suffered in addition from an unstable heredity fail altogether in re-conditioning their love impulses outside the family. They keep the parent fixation, but repress it from consciousness, and with it the entire sex life. Conflict results.

This account differs from the Freudian theory in the following points. (1) The love of the child for the parent is not regarded as sexual originally, but becomes such at puberty. (2) The critical period of conflict is thus later childhood or adolescence. (3) The fixation upon the parent of the opposite sex is due rather to the behavior of that parent toward the child than to any instinctive sex preference upon the part of the latter. (4) The figurative methods of explanation employed by psychoanalysis have been replaced by concepts of physiology and behavior psychology.

Personal and Social Significance of the Child-Parent Fixation. The value of the facts and hypotheses we have discussed depends upon the universality with which they are applicable to family life. Psychoanalysts maintain that these phenomena arise from the normal sexuality of e every infant, and are therefore universal. Traces of the Edipus and Electra complexes[18] are found by them at the root of religion, art, folklore, and custom. Others limit the occurrence of parent fixations to strictly pathological cases. Some

(362) degree of the phenomenon is no doubt natural in every home where the children are well loved. On the other hand the repression of the later sexualized form of the fixation, with resulting conflict, is much more rare. A middle ground between the two extreme views therefore seems desirable.

The prevalence of the effects of parent fixation may be summarized tentatively under three heads. First there is the pathological group, the borderline of insanity, including hysteria, psychasthenia, perversions and psychoses, diseases which may be traced to conflicts arising from this source. These form a relatively small but unfortunate group. Isolated and milder symptoms such as moodiness, excessive day-dreaming, distractibility, high emotionality, and lack of energy, occur among a larger number who would not be diagnosed as having a definite mental disease. Retardation of personality development (a kind of infantilism) is a frequent condition.

The second class exhibiting effects of parent fixation are those normal individuals who maintain a tender, sympathetic, and somewhat idealistic attitude toward life. In such persons conflict and inhibition of the sex drive at puberty, while not strong enough to be pathogenic, was nevertheless present. This repression led to a life of fantasy and imaginal adjustment much of whose inner richness was retained in the adult. There is preserved also the tendency to shun the stern realities of life and to substitute an ideal realm of fancy. This class has given rise to poets and dreamers, to philosophers, mystics, and religious zealots. In science such individuals prefer the vitalistic or purposive attitude to the mechanistic. They are, in short, the 'tender-minded' class described by William James. The writer is inclined to believe that this group coincides fairly well with the introverted type of personality discussed in Chapter V. Parent fixation would thus constitute the leading cause of introversion, a trait which characterizes about one third of the individuals tested by the writer. Further investigation, however, is necessary in order to confirm this view.

Instead of a general introverting of the life adjustment, close attachment to the parent more frequently leads to the acquisition of specific attitudes, traits, and interests from intimate contact

(363) with the beloved parent. Love of the father or mother renders the child peculiarly suggestible toward word and deed coming from that source (cf. p. 236). Rapport of this sort explains the tremendous influence of early home life upon the permanent character of the individual. This is the third and widest sphere of influence of the fixation we are discussing. It is well-nigh universal. 

Parental love affects various children differently within the same family. Some children, for example, appear to be similar in nervous constitution to the parent upon whom the love fixation is strongest. Where one parent is neurotic one or more of the children of the opposite sex may resemble that parent markedly in temperament and outlook upon life, as well as in morphological and physiological characteristics. This is probably due both to inheritance of nervous and emotional instability and to the superstructure of habits and traits acquired from association with the beloved parent. Much more of the resemblance between child and parent is due to acquisition than is popularly supposed. Given on the one hand an hereditary susceptibility, and on the other a parent who loves the spouse too little and the child too much, and an abnormal fixation of the child's love is an almost certain result.

The first child and the last in the sequence of children are likely to be the most strongly affected. The eldest, being the first, and for a while the only child, receives the full effect of the parent's inhibited love impulses. The youngest feels submission and inferiority through having so many stronger than he about him. He requires the greatest protection and shielding, and in consequence carries through life the consciousness of being the 'baby' of the family. The last child is also the last resort of the love of the neurotic parent; hence the tendency to keep him from growing up. The children in the middle of the family sequence are more likely to escape notice and to be allowed to develop according to their own bent. Indeed, they sometimes suffer from the opposite evil, neglect. They lack the societyand interest of the parent which are so valuable in character building. Their existence is colorless and mediocre.

The harmful effects of exaggerated parent fixation can be avoided by watchful care. Excessive day and night dreaming,

(364) reclusiveness, craving to be petted, jealousy, stubbornness, lack of teachableness, emotionality, and nervousness are some of the indications. Knowledge regarding covert conflicts may enable one intelligently to guide the child through the crises of pubescence and the adolescent years to follow. Above all the parent must achieve insight into his own repressions, and must establish a satisfactory sexual adjustment with the married partner. These are the only true safeguards of the mental health of the child.

Further Problems in the Parent-Child Relation. The Evil of Neglect. Although stress is placed upon the evil of excess of family love, the opposite danger, its defect, must not be overlooked. The child requires the company of the parent in order to develop the maturer sympathies and the broader outlook needed at the approach of manhood or womanhood. Narrow and aggressive selfishness results from the lack of social education within the family. Individuals who have grown up destitute of parental love show a poverty of sympathy, of susceptibility to social influences, of understanding of humanity, and of general fineness of feeling. Like garden weeds their personalities are devoid of cultivation. The neglected child often develops compensatory fancies, imaginary playmates, and other imaginal means of satisfying its desire for love and friendship. One of the commonest of these is the 'foster child' fantasy. This is the notion that one's parents are not one's real parents. In questioning 904 high-school seniors and college freshmen Professor Conklin found that 28 per cent of them recalled having had some form of this fantasy.[19] A few of them remembered believing it to be a fact until dispelled by adequate proof. In the case of half of those who had the fantasy its duration was over a year. The origin of the foster-child idea is frequently a wish of the child for parents who are greater, richer, and more loving than his own. A typical theory evolved by the child is that he is a foundling, and that his real parents are persons of great renown. In this way a compensatory explanation is achieved for his present obscurity, neglect, or mistreatment.

The fact that most of these fantasies occur (according to Conk-

(365) -lin) between the ages of eight and twelve suggests a two-fold interpretation of their significance. In the first place the child is old enough to realize that his early belief in the greatness and omniscience of his parents was largely an illusion; hence an imaginal reconstruction of his parentage is needed. Secondly, this is the period of general estrangement from parents owing to the maturing of the sexual component of filial love and the necessity for inhibition of the infantile love fixation.

Brothers and Sisters, and Other Adjustments of Consanguinity. The childhood relations between brothers and sisters leave a permanent influence upon many personalities. The ascendance of the elder and submission of the younger children are persisting traits. Sometimes compensations, in kind or in substituted fields of endeavor, are developed by the younger and weaker child. Inferiority trends and resentment of domination also endure throughout life. Jealousy because of the greater parental love for a brother or sister is retained in adult attitudes. It may determine lifelong habits, interests, social traits, and even choice of vocation. An only child is likely to be spoiled by over-fixation upon its parents. Childhood love attachments sometimes occur between brother and sister owing to the resemblance of each to the more beloved parent of the other.

The presence of parents and parents-in-law in the homes of grown children, and the relations between grandparents and the succeeding generations offer problems of practical interest. Space does not permit a discussion of these adjustments. We may merely remark that, as in all human relationships, conflict, overt or covert, usually plays a part.

The Selection of Friends and Associates. Though somewhat outside the sphere of family adjustments, the choice of friends presents similar problems and may be discussed in the present connection. Personal attractiveness is very subtle. It depends to a large degree upon physical or sex attraction. Other things being equal, qualities which make one pleasing to look at or to caress render their possessor popular to many and loved by not a few. The clasp of the hand in friendship, or the friendly embrace, has probably a mild stimulus of visceral and sexual origin. It is this

(366) internal drive which makes such contacts pleasurable. The fact that the friendly contact is with a person of the same sex is of course no evidence against this physically pleasurable basis.

The statements just made are not without empirical support. In a statistical rating study Professor Perrin found a high degree of association between affectionate disposition and physical attractiveness on the one hand and liking for the possessors of these traits on the other. Physical appeal was recognized as sex appeal by a number of the subjects.[20] An affectionate disposition was found to be a specially important basis for the liking of young women by young men. Neatness and general care of the body, also conducive to pleasurable contact, were likewise significant. Other factors emphasized as bases of liking were individuality and sincerity (as shown toward the person judging), and pleasing expressive behavior. Persons are well liked whose personalities afford many points of contact for stimulus and response with their fellows. Social participation and 'reaction-getting' have been previously stressed as drives within primary sociability groups (p. 287). The love impulse in friendship frequently has a specific basis. Resemblance to a former friend or lover, to a child or a deceased relative may lead to a powerful (and to the individual often inexplicable) transference to the new acquaintance.[21] One occasionally sees a face upon the street which arouses in one a strange and irresistible feeling of attraction. Approaching attitudes are thus set up which sometimes lead to the warmest friendships. Personality traits not directly related to love are also important in the selection and adjustment of friends. There is the drive for social participation, a trait which renders friend-making a daily occupation. Insight into self, combined with humor, is also vital for friendship (pp. 118, 344). Introverted persons who lack insight are likely to have few friends; but those whom they have are intensely loved. Bitter jealousy toward rivals in such friendships is indicative of their origin in unconscious love fixations.

Professor Perrin found that intellectual and ethical traits were

(367) not so significant in selecting friends as affection and social responsiveness. The ascendant individual usually makes the most satisfactory adjustment with the submissive type. In most close friendships the ascendant-submissive relation becomes quickly established. Expansive persons make friends more readily than reclusive ones. High self-evaluation, if it is not obvious conceit, is no bar to friendship. For pleasurable companionship in work motility traits are very significant. Dr. M. J. Ream found that among a group of salesmen the more 'rapid fire' (hyperkinetic) type liked best to work with associates who also were quick in their reactions. The slower workers were not so decided in their preferences. In face-to-face behavior, such as conversation, the rapid individual feels unpleasantly retarded by having a slow, deliberate interlocutor.

Extreme opposites of type are often seen in the closest friendships. This seems explicable by the fact that one person finds relief from the monotony of his own attitudes in those of his friend. In some cases the foibles or vices of a friend afford an indirect release for tendencies repressed in an individual. Men of the highest attainments and position sometimes find pleasure in the most derelict companions. The friendship between Prince Hal and Falstaff, in King Henry the Fourth, is a famous example. There is a similar attraction toward those who are above us in social position, in wealth, or in attainments which we emulate. We derive a kind of vicarious satisfaction through contemplating their success. This process, which has been termed identification, has important social applications.[22]



The Nature of Inferiority Conflict. Attitudes of inferiority are the source of considerable social maladjustment. Defect in some sphere of personality leaves the individual two alternatives. He may admit his limitation and try to compensate for it, directly or vicariously, by increased effort. Or he may refuse to acknowledge the defect, and struggle against every indication of it by defense reactions and flights from reality. In the second case a conflict arises between the habitual attitude of self-esteem and the acceptance of facts derogatory to the self. Since the evidence of one's inferiority always comes from without (failure to compete with others, unpopularity, etc.), one way of resolving the conflict is to deny or rationalize these environmental indications, thus allowing the self attitudes to go on unhampered by troublesome facts. It is therefore the environment which is considered at fault, and the individual is excused or justified. The reproach which he really should give himself he identifies with the attitude of society toward him, and rationalizes it as injustice. The conflict is projected upon society.[23] It is obvious that dispositions of this sort may lead to serious social conflict.

Neural conflicts of this type differ from the conflicts of struggle and sex in the following way. In struggle and sex the individual avoids an overt struggle with others by developing an internal struggle: the social conflict is made an individual one. In inferior

(369) -ity the subject incites an overt struggle as a means of defense against recognizing a struggle within himself: the individual's conflict is made a social one.

Types of Inferiority Conflict. Although inferiority conflict can be recognized in almost every field in which the individual can be evaluated, there are three forms especially important from a social standpoint. These are conflicts due to: (1) inferiority in the intellectual sphere, rationalized by academic pretense and opinions; (2) inferiority in the economic and social spheres, rationalized by political and social radicalism; and (3) inferiority in the moral sphere, 'over-corrected' by intolerant reformism.

a. The Intellectual Sphere. It is natural that human beings should be sensitive about defect in a capacity so fundamental as intelligence. In all the writer's experience with students' excuses for their failures he has only once heard the frank acknowledgment, "I guess I'm too thick." Teachers are familiar with a class of students who, though tireless and enthusiastic workers, have insufficient ability to cope with the work which they are pursuing. Yet they persist, repeating courses in which they have failed, and attempting examinations for higher degrees for which they can never be fitted. Such behavior is an unsuccessful attempt to compensate for an innate lack. Instead of applying their efforts to a field in which success is possible, these persons keep on with the 'higher studies,' vainly trying to prove themselves of college capacity and so still the troublesome doubt as to their intellectual equipment.

Overt conflicts often arise when the inevitable failure comes. In some cases the instructor is blamed for unfairness. He is even accused of not crediting the student with much intelligence (projection), and of judging his work upon the basis of such a prejudice. Others rationalize their failure in various ways. An ex-pugilist, who had been illiterate at the age of twenty-seven, achieved an education by hard effort o as to win the favor of a girl he wished to marry, and finally came to an Eastern university to work for a graduate degree in psychology. He heralded his coming by newspaper publicity. But his compensatory drive had carried him too far; he was unable to master the graduate studies. Instead of

(370) admitting this fact, he developed neurotic symptoms, went on a spree, got arrested, and later appeared before his instructors with the tale that his wife and child had renounced him and that he was unable to keep his mind on his books. He soon had a recurrence of an old lung affection and had to leave school and return to his home in a Western State. He now becomes an ardent advocate of the Western climate as an antidote for the 'unwholesome Eastern atmosphere.' Again his drive for publicity brought him into print, but this time as the head of a new sanitarium to be located in the salubrious climate of his home town!

Hostile and envious attitudes are displayed by persons with inferiority conflicts toward those of superior intelligence. The well-known caricature of the professor, while not altogether without justification, seems to be enjoyed with surprising relish by less cultivated individuals. In local politics there is a prejudice against any professor who tries to run for office. Rather than elect such ` theorists' and 'high-brows' a person of the most meager capacity is usually chosen.[24] The development of mental tests brought a storm of criticism against drawing conclusions from such devices. In some cases at least the critics had either stood low in the tests or had been unwilling to try them. But even in academic and professional circles compensations for inferiority are not uncommon. There is the pedant who never uses a short word when a longer one can be found. There is the dignitarian forever on the alert lest some one slight his professional standing.

It should be noted parenthetically that the defect which arouses the inferiority attitude may be imagined rather than real. Consciousness of inferiority may be a long-standing trait of personality resulting from some repressing situation in childhood. In such instances, however, the defensory behavior is of the same general type as in genuine inferiority.

Behavior typical of inferiority conflict in the combined spheres of education, wealth, and social standing is illustrated by the following clipping from a sensational Boston newspaper.



What perfectly innocent little fellows the Harvard seniors are!

They enjoyed a picnic on Wednesday and dressed themselves in overalls, masons' caps, and working shoes. Then they climbed aboard trucks and away they went.

The majority of these playful little fellows will never wear overalls again; that is why they use the uniform of the honest workingman for a burlesque costume. The majority will spend their days in knickers and their evenings in dress-suits.

There must be something radically wrong at Harvard when none protest, this insult to every honest workingman. Why should seniors, about to be graduated as educated American men, consider it funny to wear overalls? Is work so complete a joke to them?

Some day the seniors at Harvard and every other college will understand that those who wear overalls six days a week are better men than they are. When this enlightenment comes, a college will be more than a four-year recreation park for youths who would not know what to do with these years if colleges were closed.

It is, of course, granted that the main protest of this editorial writer is well founded. No one should be allowed to make fun of the customary attire of a class less fortunate than he. It may also be granted that a thought entered the minds of some of these seniors to this effect: "I don't have to wear these things, so I guess I'll wear them for a joke." There were, however, other good reasons operative in the selection of this garb. Tradition and convenience demanded that the seniors should be attired in uniform, yet easily obtained and substantial, costumes. The working man's outfit readily served the need. Why was it then that this unthinking jocularity, which probably no senior intended as a slight to the working man, should be made the occasion of so violent an outburst? Why was the 'honest workingman' so certain that the picnickers wished to insult him and to call attention to his inferior social status by wearing his uniform?

The answer is that the working man himself had a half-conscious realization that he was inferior. He projected this accusation, which he was struggling to inhibit and which kept haunting him, into the behavior of others. It was the educated aristocrats who were making fun of his honest labors. The defensory reaction

(372) follows that in reality "those who wear overalls six days a week are better men than they (the college students) are." Here lies the justification for the resentment expressed in the paragraphs above. We thus have the following sequence: the arousal of a repressed self-accusation of inferiority; projection of the accusation; rationalization of it as injustice by the compensatory assertion that uneducated men are of a higher character than educated; and finally a ridiculous indictment of colleges in general based upon rationalized envy.[25]

b. The Economic Sphere: Radicalism and Conservatism. Uncompensated attitudes of inferiority in regard to poverty and obscurity are reflected in the tendency toward political and philosophical radicalism. Here again the cry is against the injustice of the environment; but this time it is an unfair political and economic regime which has robbed the individual of success. Differences of ability are overlooked and all men are considered equal in merit and deserved reward. From this axiom it is deduced that, since some achieve more wealth and power than others, there must be a basic injustice in the social order. Inferiority within the individual himself is obscured by this rationalization. Radicals are thus usually the 'have-nots,' who demand a change in the entire system of things, and who believe that the cure for all social ills is to prevent one man from possessing more of this world's goods than another. The type is too familiar to require illustration.

The extreme radical is devoid of knowledge of his own motives and defense reactions. He represses his self-accusations of economic inferiority and projects them under the rationalization of economic persecution. The lack of insight in such individuals is well expressed by the old army saying: 'It's a case of everybody out of step but Jim.' In personality rating studies a suggestive negative correlation has been found between the trait of radicalism and the possession of insight. That is, there was a tendency for those who were judged as extremely radical to be judged low in insight, and vice versa.[26] This experimental evidence is the more convincing

(373) because these two traits are not likely to be confused by raters. It must be remembered that the radicalism here referred to is not that of movements, but of individuals. Many support radical schemes who are not really radically minded. Moreover radical measures are sometimes justified and needed as solutions for political evils. The behavior described in this section is that which belongs to the radical personality, the individual who is by nature, and regardless of objective justification, a radical. Such as these are generally actuated by a rationalized inferiority conflict. The extreme conservative, the man whose personality traits incline him to resist all change, also has his conflicts and hypocrisies. He belongs usually to the propertied class. His interests are best conserved by keeping in effect that regime, however unfair, which enabled him to accumulate and maintain his fortune. He therefore defends the existing scheme upon the grounds of tradition, past experience, and morality. itlany of his arguments, like those of the radical, are pure rationalizations. The inferiority conflicts of the radical are, however, of greater import in social conflict than the defense reactions of the conservative. The latter merely clings to a tried system which, in spite of its defects, works after a fashion; the radical seeks, and sometimes accomplishes, a sudden overthrow of the entire political and social organization. Revolution, rather than evolution, is his goal.

c. The Moral Sphere: Reformism. Persons who are struggling against habits and character traits of which they are ashamed but cannot overcome frequently rationalize these evils as due to environmental causes. Often their cognition of moral inferiority is repressed, and the conflict banished from consciousness. There ensues an attitude of projection. They become violently opposed to the evil, not in themselves, but as it is manifested in society. This attitude gives them added impetus in their personal struggle. It also soothes their humiliation by detecting and denouncing the same weakness in others, The vigorous testimonies of religious converts about their victory over the Evil One may convey the suggestion that the struggle against him is still in progress, and that they are merely trying to whip up their courage. Denunciatory preaching serves a similar end. The cry is now against the

(374) vice, rather than the injustice, of the world. One of the most convincing temperance sermons which the writer has heard was delivered by a drunken man who drifted into a church congregation.

From preaching the next step is to overt conflict. The individual becomes a militant reformer. Codes of honor and chivalry are worn upon his sleeve, and he is ready to fight any who oppose these principles. Those who practice secret vices must be hounded out and exposed to the righteous gaze of the public. The outrages recently perpetrated by bands of masked men seem to be of this character. Acts of religious intolerance and racial persecution have been committed by secret organizations in the name of ' true Americanism.[27]

Not all attempts at reform, of course, are as misguided and illconceived as these. Reform movements, like radical policies, are based upon many and diverse drives in individuals. Not all persons who advocate reforms are neurotics or busy-bodies. We are speaking here of 'reformism,' not as a policy derived from an objective survey of the moral status, but as a trait of personality. The acts of such 'reformists' are characterized by an irrational intolerance and belligerency. They are more intense and emotional than the cause would demand. Care should be exercised in distinguishing between propaganda from such a source and genuine, constructive reformation. It should also be remembered that, while reforms are often instigated or abetted through conflicts of moral inferiority in individuals, these same reforms may also be objectively justified.


Conflicts between Egoistic Drives and Social Standards: Group Aspects. For the explanation of covert conflict given in the preceding pages we have had to confine our attention wholly to the individual. In this source alone can we discover the antagonistic settings of the various drives. leaving the causal point of view, it is, however, interesting to observe the social phenomena which arise by combining the similar conflict mechanisms of the members

(375) of a group. There are thus collective repressions, rationalizations, and projections. By this we mean, of course, only the summation or massing of the individual mechanisms. We must renounce any suggestion of conflict within the 'social mind' since we have previously been led to reject the existence of such a mind (Chapter I).[28]

The conflicts offering the widest collective aspects are moral in their nature. Large numbers of persons, i.e., whole groups, find it difficult to restrain certain pleasurable indulgences so as to conform with the traditional and conventional standards of society. Each individual is endeavoring to repress these tendencies by asserting the socialized attitude. In Freudian terms this attitude is known as the censor, a metaphor which in its collective aspects is equivalent to social censorship. This concept does not imply an attitude of the 'social mind,' but merely the consensus of individual minds who, in order to support their socialized attitudes, unite in an 'organized effort and produce laws and regulations of a censorial character.

There results from such combined defense-reactions the enactment of `blue laws,' which all are compelled to subscribe to in name, but which few obey in practice. All tacitly agree to let one another alone in private life so long as the proper standards are professed. The forbidden conduct must of course be rationalized so that it may not seem a breach of the professed principle.

A few years ago an ordinance was passed in one of our large cities prohibiting upon the stage, among other things, any allusions or other matters of a sexual character. If literally interpreted, this ordinance would, of course, have ruled out love themes and would have banished more than half of the content of dramatic art. Obviously it was not intended to bar allusion to such fundamental and unconscious driving forces; but only allusions of a recognizably sexual character. Sex life may be portrayed and enjoyed so long as it is not recognized as sexual.

Managers of low theatrical performances are said to follow a rule

(376) that any joke, no matter how obscene, is permissible so long as it also has a proper meaning, that is, a meaning which would make sense to those who are 'too pure' to understand obscenities. In psychoanalysis it is often found that dreams, remarks, etc., have a similar double meaning. In the latter case the 'proper' meaning is a palliative, not to the pure-minded censor of public morals, but to the consciousness of the individual himself. The sinister meaning is unconscious. The censorship metaphor is here interesting and instructive if ultimately interpreted in terms of the individual mind. But the maintenance by rationalization and hypocrisy of a standard above the level of actual practice is not altogether an evil. Such codes prevent open and therefore excessive indulgence in unsocialized habits, at the same time tolerating a necessary amount of release for the fundamental impulse. This form of hypocrisy permits also that elasticity of control needed in the period of transition between an outworn moral code and a new one better suited to the times.

Conflicts between Egoistic Drives and Group Traditions. The type of hypocrisy which permits a deviation from socially transmitted habits or customs is worthy of special notice. Changing environment often brings tradition into conflict with the needs of the present generation. When this occurs special devices are used to rationalize the departure from the past, thus concealing the fact of change. A savage tribe immigrating into a region where the totemic animal is the only source of food develops a ceremony in connection with which it is lawful to kill and eat this animal. The laws of certain Indian tribes required a strict blood relationship in order to be a member of a clan. Provision however might be made, in the case of a man devoid of heirs, for the adoption of a son from another clan. But in order to satisfy the requirement of custom, there had to be a ceremonial or symbolic birth of the newcomer into the clan. By a similar ignoring of fact foreign-horn individuals were ` a dopted,' cont rary to law, into the Roman state. Symbolism and rationalization are thus used to conceal the fact of change in the law as well as the fact of departure from an ethical code. In this way a resolution is found for the conflict between the conservatism of tradition and the need for social change.


Covert Conflicts in Hostility between Groups. When the members of one group are held in fear or bondage by another group or by a despotic government there will result in each individual a conflict between hostile tendencies (struggle) and the inhibiting fear of punishment (withdrawal). Group phenomena then take place in which the repressed drives of individuals are released in a veiled manner, and punishment thereby avoided. Anthropologists have reported instances of subjugated tribes who maintained their old ceremonies, but with the outer aspects so modified as to present to the conquerors a meaning altogether different from the true one.[29] This phenomenon is parallel with the two-sided jokes of the burlesque stage. It resembles also the symbolization of the neurotic consciousness, except that here the symbol deceives another person, whereas in hysteria it deludes the individual himself. The concept of social censorship is a fact in the former case but a figure of speech in the latter.[30] Burning or hanging a hated person in effigy is another method by which the thwarted impulses of a large number maybe released. Here the symbol makes clear to all concerned the nature of the motive; at the same time it violates no established law.

Is Conflict a Symptom of Socialization or Degeneracy? The question has been raised whether the numerous conflicts and maladjustments described in this chapter are not a sign of the weakening of the social order. One force in all covert conflict is society, or rather the socialized aspect of the individual. In some instances socialization opposes the free operation of food, sex, and struggle interests. In others it represents desire for esteem and self-respect in conflict with inferiority. It may be urged therefore that the social pressure upon the individual has reached too high a pitch, that it

(378) has overstepped the limits to which human nature can safely suppress its 'cave-man' tendencies in the interest of group life.

In support of this challenge attention is called to the seeming increase in insanities and psychoneuroses; to the 'shell-shock' disorders in the late war; to the weakening influences of the modern family; to the excesses of dancing and of motion-picture themes; to fanatical and intolerant laws incapable of enforcement; to political hysteria; to suppression of free speech; to deportation of radicals; and to numerous crowd phenomena through which neurotic repressions are released in every conceivable way. Such phenomena signify to some observers an over-susceptibility of the individual to the 'voice of the herd.' There is urgent need for the assertion of fuller individual freedom if democracy is to be saved from its peculiar peril of the rule of each by all.[31]

Although there is much to be said for this view, it is still possible that the evils mentioned are not necessary accompaniments of contemporary civilization or of the socialization of mankind. Mental diseases exist among primitive as well as civilized peoples. It is doubtful also whether they are more prevalent among civilized races nowadays or merely better known. Many conflicts result from fear or shame inculcated in children by unwise parents. Such methods are not necessary to the present social régime. Violent attachment to parents, the most frequent element in conflict, is surely not essential to the socialization of the individual. It is merely the result of the neurotic repressions and jealousies of parents, coupled with ignorance of mental hygiene. There are highly moral and intelligent families in which these tendencies do not occur. There are also countries (for example, England) in which the crowd-engendered intolerance and moral inferiority conflict now rampant in America are but insignificant evils. Educational psychoanalysis, insight into defense reactions and rationalizations, and independent adherence to an objectively determined standard - these, as Martin rightly urges, are the anti-dotes for covert conflict in modern society.

Finally, let us remember that socialization is in itself a goal toward which we are striving. The original reactions of individuals

(379) must be modified, not repressed; and this modification makes possible the enjoyment of life by each individual at the same tune that it permits equal opportunities for happiness to others. The drive toward this goal, though it involves conflict, is in itself a hopeful symptom.

To oppose a strong force we must have a force of equal power. The socialized responses, by their very ability to conflict with the most powerful drives of human nature, demonstrate their right to a fundamental position. If our struggle reactions are blocked, it is because the aversion to hurting others has become a part of our very natures. If we flee from reality through inferiority conflicts, it is because we desire so ardently the esteem and approval of our fellows. If children are loved too much, it is with the thought, however deceived, of helping and protecting them. The same blocked love impulse and protective behavior when turned outside the family are often of the highest service to mankind.

The various drives involved in the conflicts we have described are in themselves good. The evil lies in the unwise controls by which they are brought into antagonism with one another. Covert conflict, while presenting a vast field for the amelioration of human life, is in itself an indication that socialization of a wholesome character may be achieved. The adjustment of conflict within the individual is thus an indispensable element in social progress. 



General Psychoanalytic Background (Covert Conflict):

Jones, E.. Papers on Psychoanalysis.

Jung, C. G., Collected Papers on Analytical Psychology (2d ed.) (Translated by C. Long), chs. 3, 4, 7, 8, 11.

Freud, S., Psychopathology of Everyday Life, chs. 3, 7,.8.

Hart, B., The Psychology of Insanity.

Kempf, E. J., The Autonomic Functions and the Personality.

Humphrey, G., "Education and Freudianism," Journal of Abnormal Psycliol~yy, 1920 21, XV, 350 -86.

Sex and Personality Differences in Social Adjustment:

Haggerty, M. E., and Kempf, E. J., " Suppression and Substitution as a Factor in Sex Differences," American Journal of Psychology, 1913, XXIV, 414-25.

Moore, H. T., " Further Data Concerning Sex Differences," Journal of Abnormal Psychology and Social Psychology, 1922, XVII, 210-14.


Ream, M. J., "Temperament in Harmonious Human Relationships," Journal of Abnormal Psychology and Social Psychology, 1922, XVII, 58-61.

Perrin, F. A. C., "Physical Attractiveness and Repulsiveness," Journal of Experimental Psychology, 1921, iv, 203-17.

Barnett, A., Foundations of Feminism, ch. 2.

Groves, E. R., Personality and Social Adjustment.

Family Adjustments and Conflicts of Childhood:

White, W. A., Mechanisms of Character Formation, chs. 4, 7, 10-13.

— The Mental Hygiene of Childhood.

Theodoridis, C., "Sexuelles Fuhlen and Werten. Fin Beitrag zur Volker-psychologie." Archiv fur die Gesamte Psychologie, 1920, XL, 1-88.

Galbraith, A. M., The Family and the New Democracy.

Gallichan, W. Al., The Psychology of Marriage.

Colcord, J. C.. Broken Homes.

Green, G. H., Psychanalysis in the Class Room,

Lay, W., The Child's Unconscious Mind.

Evans, E., The Problem of the Nervous Child, chs. 4, 6, 7. 11, 12.

Woolley, H. T., "Personality Studies of Three-Year-Olds," Journal of Experimental Psychology, 1922, v, 381-91.

Hinkle, B. M., "A Study of Psychological Types," Psychoanalytic Review, 1922, IX, 107-97.

Wells, F. L., Mental, Adjustments, ch. 8. Hall, G. S., Morale, eh. 16.

MacCurdy. J. T., Problems in Dynamic Psychology.

Vaerting, Mathilde and Mathias, The Dominant Sex.


Inferiority Conflict, Compensation, Radicalism and Conservatism:

Adler, A., "The Study of Organic Inferiority and its Psychical Compensation" (Translated by Jelliffe), Nervous and Mental Disease Monographs, no. 24, 1917.

Tanner, A., "Adler's Theory of Minderwertigkeit," Pedagogical Seminary, 1915, XXII, 204-17.

Pruette, L., "Some Applications of the Inferiority Complex to Pluralistic Behavior," Psychoanalytic Review, 1922, IX, 28-39.

Martin, E. D., The Behavior of Crowds, chs. 5, 7.

Wolfe, A. B., "The Motivation of Radicalism," Psychological Review, 1921, XXVIII, 280-300.

—  "Emotion, Blame, and the Scientific Attitude in Relation to Radical Leadership and Method," International Journal of Ethics, 1922, XXXII, 142-59.

Spargo, J., The Psychology of Bolshevism.

Trotter, W. I Instincts of the Herd to Peace and War, pp. 60-201. Myers, C. S., Mind and Work, ch. 6.

Pratt, G.K., "The Problem of the Mental Misfit in Industry," Mental Hygiene, 1922, VI, 526-38.

Allport, F. H., "Timidity and the Selling Personality," The Eastern Underwriter, 1920, XXI, 15-17.

Rinaldo, J., Psychoanalysis of the "Reformer."


Sociological Aspects of Overt and Covert Conflicts:

Williams, J. M., Principles of Social Psychology, Books II, III, V, VIII.

Gault, R. H. Social Psychology, ch. 3.

Cooley, C. H., Human Nature and the Social Order, chs. 7, 10, 11, 12.

Ross, E. A., Social Psychology, chs. 17, 19, 21.

Richardson, R. F., The Psychology and Pedagogy of Anger.

Tead, O., Instincts in Industry.

Jung, C. G., "Instinct and the Unconscious" (part III of a Symposium), British Journal of Psychology, 1919, X, 15-23.

Freud, S., "Massenpsychologie and Ich-Analyse." Leipzig, Internationaler Psychoanalytischer Verlag. 1921.

—  Totem and Taboo.

Eliot, T. D., "A Psychoanalytic Interpretation of Group Formation and Behavior," American Journal of Sociology, 1920, XXVI, 1-20.

Hartman, D., "The Psychological Point of View in History: Some Phases of the Slavery Struggle," Journal of Abnormal Psychology and Social Psychology, 1922, XVII, 261-73.

Martin, E. D., The Behavior of Crowds, chs. 8-10.

Ginzburg, B. "Hypocrisy as a Pathological Symptom," International Journal of Ethics, 1922, XXXII, 160-66.

Ogburn; W. F., Social Change, part v. Kolnai, A., Psychoanalysis and Sociology.

Taylor, W. S., "Rationalization and Its Social Significance," Journal of Abnormal Psychology and Social Psychology, 1922-23, XVII, 410-18.

Rivers, W. H. R., Psychology and Politics, ch. 3.


  1. Cf. the egoistic (or unsocialized) drive referred to on p. 310 as a special example of this class of reactions.
  2. It must be remembered that all drives have the same ultimate source; that is, the reflexes described in Chapter III. For this reason the terms chosen are better than 'egoistic and altruistic,' words which convey a false distinction. All drives are egoistic in origin; their difference lies in the manner in which they are modified through environment and learning.
  3. Many names of American Indians were derived from traits or events in which the person appeared to a disadvantage; for example, 'Sitting Bull,' 'Rain-in-the-Face,' etc. A certain humorous book proposes the term ' bripkin' for rustic characters who do not understand the ways of polite society. The amusing aptness of this name probably arises from its veiled similarity to ' bumpkin' or 'lumpkin '
  4. It is significant that hostility and sex are the two impulses stressed in Freudian theory as obtaining release through laughter (pp. 256 -58).
  5. Marked introversion of anger and other emotions was indicated in 26 per cent of questionnaire reports collected by the writer from a class of students.
  6. Marston, W. M., " Sex Characteristics of Systolic Blood Pressure Behavior." Journal of Experimental Psychology.
  7. For a description of the word-association technique review pp. 116, 134.
  8. This fact is beautifully symbolized in Ibsen's drama Peer Gynt.
  9. Children have the same feeling of being utterly lost when their parents punish them by pretending that they do not care for them any longer.
  10. Local draft boards during the war were besieged by neurotic women who pleaded with the officials to draft their husbands for military service.
  11. The writer's conviction of their truth is based upon personal work with mental conflicts in college students.
  12. It is suggested that the student review the portions of Chapter III dealing with the sex and sensitive zone reflexes before proceeding with the following discussion.
  13. It must be remembered, of course, that the sexual basis for this experience is seldom clearly present in the consciousness of the participants. The conscious state is richer than the physiological elements just described, and contains much romantic imagery of ideal qualities, future happiness, devotion to the beloved, and the general exaltation characteristic of lovers. The present account is concerned merely with the physiological, or causal, basis of the experience.
  14. Instead of agreeing with Freud that the love of the child is originally and instinctively sexual, our theory holds that it is based upon sensitive zone stimulation (by conditioning', and does not become sexualized until puberty.
  15. The importance of the parent in the production of conflict has been somewhat neglected by the Freudian school.
  16. Our aversion to the sight of two grown men kissing is to be ascribed to the suggestion of its sexual significance, and therefore of homosexuality.
  17. Love fixations between parent and maturing child are guarded against by customs whose significance is usually , unrecognized. Among certain primitive tribes a girl must carefully avoid all association with her father between her puberty and the time of her marriage. The mother-in-law tabu, almost universal among primitive peoples, seems to be based upon a sex conflict. The mother-in-law is related to the son-in-law's wife, hence she is associated with his feeling of sex desire; on the other hand, being his wife's mother, she assumes toward him a role similar to that of his own mother. This attitude and the former are incompatible; hence the conflict and avoidance. This interpretation differs somewhat from that given by Freud.
  18. Names given to the parent fixations of boys and girls, respectively.
  19. The present writer found 24 per cent who recalled it among a group composed of the upper college grades.
  20. Certain subjects also did not recognize it as sexual in character.
  21. 'Transference' is of course a figurative term. The real mechanism involved is the evoking of the old love habits by the recurrence of certain conditioning elements present in both the old and the new situations.
  22. An example of identification is seen in the popularity and predominance of photoplays whose scenes are laid amid the luxury of wealth and society life. The humble 'movie-goer' exalts himself through imaginary identification with these grand personages! Another interesting instance is given by Willey and Herskovits, who ascribe the unwillingness of the servant class to organize into a union to their pleasurable identification of themselves with their masters or mistresses. The possibility o( such identification would be abolished by setting up any sort of group distinction between themselves and their employers. (Servitude and Progress Journal of Social Forces, 1923, I, 228-34.)
    Psychoanalysis employs this concept to describe the striving of the boy to be like (substitute himself for) his father, so as to claim full possession of his mother's affection. The daughter likewise identifies herself with the mother. Identification is common in the hero-worship of adolescents. To these we may add the many instances (pointed out by psychoanalysts) of fairy stories, myths, and novels in which heroes or heroines suffering from cruelty or obscurity are finally raised to eminence through being favored by wealthy patrons or by gods or fairies, or by having the secret of their noble lineage suddenly revealed. The story of Cinderella is a classic example. Such stories, reminding us of the foster-child fantasy, derive their popularity through the compensatory pleasure of identification of self (in both child and adult) with these romantic characters. (Cf. Green, G. H.: Psychanalysis in the Class Room, chs. 3, 10.) The same motive appears in mythology in the ascription to the gods of all the qualities powers, and fortunes longed for by- mortals. The Olympian deities were both omnipotent and eternally blissful.
  23. This form of projection differs from the `social projection' described in earlier chapters by the fact that the `projected' material is one of the factors in an unconscious conflict. Another name given to this sort of reaction in psychoanalysis is 'extroversion' (of the libido). It is not to be confused with 'extroversion' in the sense used in this book. We have already studied projection in repressed hostility (pp. 816, 344).
  24. Martin points out an opposite type of defense reaction. Many persons extol the wonders of a college education in order to support the belief that if they had had such advantages they would be able to rise as high as any one. (The Behavior of Crowds, pp. 172-75.)
  25. These defense reactions are, strictly speaking, to be ascribed to the writer of the editorial, who evidently feels a community of interest with the working man. They are in accord, however, with many of the publicly expressed sentiments of the laboring classes themselves.
  26. The writer is indebted for this information to the researches, not yet published,: of Dr. G. W. Allport.
  27. One of these acts, the whipping of farmers for not attending church, suggests a moral or religious conflict in the perpetrators.
  28. Some writers have applied dissociation, repression, and other psychoanalytic concepts to groups as wholes, various social classes pitted against one another taking the place of conflicting motives within the individual. For such Freudian varieties of the group fallacy see M. P. Follett: "Community is a Process," Philosophical Review, 1919, XXVIII, 576-88; and V. Jordan: "The New Psychology and the Social Order," The Dial, 1919, LXVII, 365-68. Freud's notion of 'the censor' lends itself particularly well to the social mind metaphor (vide infra). See also A. Kolnai's Psychoanalysis and Sociology.
  29. See Rivers, W. H. R.: Instinct and the Unconscious, p. 239; also a lecture on "Dreams and Primitive Culture," by the same author, published by Longmans, Green & Co., 1918.
  30. The metaphor of the censor is however useful in showing the close relation between the conscience of the individual and the moral code common to the group. That which produces a conflict within individuals is considered tabu for society as a whole, and vice versa. Exogamy, a custom widespread among primitive races, arose as a defense against incestuous love fixations within the family. Incest is thus tabu not only within the mind of the individual, but through a tribal law imposed on the individuals as if from without. In this connection the student should recall the social aspects of moral and self consciousness discussed in Chapters XII and XIII.
  31.  See Martin's Behavior of Crowds for a brilliant exposition of this thesis.

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