Instinct: A study in social psychology

Chapter 18: The Nature of the Emotions

Luther Lee Bernard

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Along with the view of instinct which has been criticised in the preceding chapters has developed a theory of emotions which, in the main, is subject to the same general errors. It will not be possible to develop a scientific social psychology or psychology of character formation (whether this character formation takes place under the leadership of the schools, the church or some other formative institution) without first correcting the current biological errors concerning emotion. The instinctivist theory of emotion, like the corresponding theory of the instincts, has been unduly influenced and dominated by the biological tradition. It is the general belief that man inherits from the lower animals well-defined complex emotions to correspond to his supposedly complex instincts, or at least that he inherits a central core of emotion which corresponds to these so-called instincts and which in turn dominates the organization of the complex emotions and of the sentiments, which are complexes of emotions and feelings organized around an object or an idea of an object. The original emotional core is supposed to be inherited as a unitary and indivisible element in consciousness and is inseparable from the corresponding inherited action pattern.

A slightly different view holds that the emotion is the inherited complex and that the instinct or inherited action pattern is organized within the emotion, which is both consciousness and expression.[1] Some writers even go so far as to speak

(455) of the emotion as a substitute for the instincts, assuming, apparently, that action is the result primarily of consciousness and that the emotion is the primary directive factor or unit in consciousness and action.[2] The viewpoint of this chapter is that the term emotion belongs to consciousness rather than to overt action or expression. It is treated as a form or process of the mental life and therefore as a correlate of action or of inhibited action. In this respect it belongs to the same category as feeling and thinking. Feeling is a psychic correlate of the neural dispositions in action;[3] while thinking is the neuro-psychic counterpart or substitute for the interrupted or inhibited overt action. Emotion may be said to partake of both of these aspects of the mental, as well as to contain elementary organic sensory processes and complexes which may be classified as pre-intellectual or pre-recognitive. These last elements of emotion, the organic sensory ones, are primarily visceral, but they are also in a measure peripheral and kinaesthetic.

McDougall finds that there are seven of these elemental or primary inherited emotional units and that they correspond to what might be equally well described as seven primary instincts. They are as follows: [4]

(456) Other instincts, such as reproduction, gregariousness, acquisition and construction, are lacking in well-defined emotional correlates, according to McDougall.[5] One might conclude that as the generality of the instinct activity increases so does the indefiniteness of the corresponding emotion become more marked, until in the case of such general "predispositions" as imitation, suggestion, play and sympathy, no recognizable emotional correlate whatever can be found.[6] This is indeed true.

However, in the very beginning, it is well to question the assumption that the emotions corresponding to McDougall's seven supposedly well-defined instincts are unitary and indivisible. just as we have demonstrated in the preceding chapters that these so-called instincts are really complexes of instinctive and acquired action-patterns or of values, so shall we be able to show that the so-called primary or elemental emotions are complex organizations of feelings, organic and peripheral sensations and perceptions, even of concepts in the more extreme cases, and that they are as variable and as loosely organized in content as the activity or value complexes to which they correspond. By the same process of development we shall be able to show that the emotions are not inherited central consciousness correlates of the instincts, but that they arise only when the central portions of the neural action patterns are inhibited or modified or when some other organic or neural activity process is displaced by the particular activity with which the emotion is subjectively associated. The central segment of the action-pattern does not remain unchanged.[7] No part of the action-pattern is modified more readily than the central portion. The chances for the

(457) development of hyper-complexity in the central segment are numerous, when we consider that man possesses in his brain some nine or ten billions of neurones. If any portion of the stimulus-response mechanism could be called stable it should be the response mechanism. Most writers, including McDougall, name their instincts after the responses observed, and some writers claim that the chain of reflexes which constitutes the action-pattern and leads up to the typical response may vary without limit, according to environmental pressures, without destroying the unity of the instinct, so long as the response is uniform and unchanged.[8] However, it may be suspected that the unmodified response is also a myth, and not many students will agree that only one portion of the action-pattern shall be selected to represent the whole. Nor is it perfectly clear that some of the links in the chain of neural mechanisms which constitute the so-called instinct pattern are not learned or acquired. In fact, one of the results of this study which should now be apparent is that emotional consciousness is not indissolubly associated with the central segments of instinct mechanisms. Since emotions represent the inhibition or the modification of neural processes rather than constitute their conscious correlates, they occur as readily in connection with the interruption or modification of habits as of instincts. We may expect to find a habit association as readily as an inherited association with emotion.

The emotion, therefore, is not an original psychic element, but is a composite of other psychic elements. Unlike feeling, which is unilateral, it has two general dimensions. One of these dimensions is the feeling-tone constituent itself. Every emotion, so long as it remains an emotion, has a feeling quality. It is either pleasant or unpleasant, or it is both. The other dimension is that supplied to the emotional complex by sensations and their higher and more complexly organized permu-

( 458) -tations. At its lowest levels the sensory element is largely organic and visceral. It may be quite vague and ill defined, but the visceral and organic emotions generally are powerful. Hence, when this primitive organic sensory element exists in the emotion the conscious expression is likely to be powerful although subjectively poorly defined. It is the peripheral sensory elements which best organize themselves into definite perceptions and ultimately into concepts, and these higher organizations of the sensory dimensions of emotion gives to it the recognitive element which characterizes the higher and more distinctively human forms of emotion. With the gradual increase of the recognitive element in the emotional complex the complexity and the variability of the emotional content approaches to infinity, at least in the human organism.

It will be necessary to make a more detailed statement of the nature of feeling and thought than was required in the preceding chapters before we can proceed effectively with our analysis and argument. Feeling is the earliest subjective or conscious evaluator of action, indicating the worth of the activity to the organism. It functions before the perceptions have been organized out of the sensory processes sufficiently well to enable the organism to guide its conduct in an intellectual way. Feeling is negative and relatively inefficient in its evaluations. On the other hand, rational or constructive thinking, organized on the basis of objective quantitative and standardized perceptions, is the latest and most efficient guide to the valuation of conduct. While it never wholly supersedes feeling as a guide, even in man, it tends constantly to usurp more of the function of judgment because it is more likely to be correct. Those who habitually make their decisions on the basis of feeling are called irrational and unwise and it is commonly expected that they will come to grief.

The sensory elements are doubtless as old as the feeling

(459) processes, but sensation alone does not afford a valuable guide to conduct. Sensation appears to function primarily in locating the whereabouts of the environing situation or condition, internal or external, which the feelings sanction or disapprove, according as a tone of pleasantness or unpleasantness is experienced as an accompaniment of the activity. Thus the inner organic or visceral sensory disturbances accompany the non-functioning or wrong functioning of internal processes, those most commonly and most intimately connected with survival and health. To what extent these sensory disturbances guide the lower animals to remedial action, such as seeking relief by movement, biting at parts of the body when in pain, stimulating to defensive or offensive actions, etc., it is difficult to say, but they are probably not wholly epiphenomenal, even in the lower organisms. In the higher organisms they may be said to serve quite effectively as localizers, and in man they may lead to such sophisticated remedial measures as medicine, the surgeon's aid, the study of dietetics, and many more processes equally effective. The peripheral sensory elements lead to avoiding and approach reactions in the lower forms. In the higher animals, at any rate in man, the sensory processes are internally organized into percepts and concepts. These serve as the basis of all man's thinking, which normally is preparatory to overt adjustment. In the last analysis the sensory element has contributed much more to the guidance of the organism than the feeling element, although there probably was a stage in animal history, before definite perceptions and concepts had arisen out of the sensory elements, when the feeling processes were the better guides. One reason for this growing superiority of the sensory constructs over the feelings in guidance is that the possibilities of accurate measurement are so much greater in connection with the perception elements. There are as many possible tests as there are perceptions which can be organized from the

(460) sensory process materials, and in the higher organisms this number is very great; in man it is practically infinite. The only ways of getting variety of valuation in feeling is through the two qualities or tones of feeling—pleasantness and unpleasantness—plus the degree of intensity with which each feeling tone operates, a total of four measures, two of them qualitative.

The perceptive elements become quantitative in their measuring technique, when applied to value judgments, not alone through intensity—which is not so definite and easily perceivable here as in feeling—but primarily through the development of quantitative symbolic measurements, made possible by the development of quantitative and definitive categories in perception which make possible close discrimination and comparison of values and relationships and consequences on the quantitative as well as on the qualitative side. That is, it is possible for man to control and extend his sensory perceptions by means of a mechanical control of his environment and to develop mechanical and external as well as internal or subjective methods of comparison and discrimination. This is especially possible with regard to the peripheral sensory elements, most especially in connection with the two higher exteroceptive senses, sight and hearing. It is also possible to a considerable extent with smell and taste and touch. But it is less possible in connection with the organic senses of the muscles and joints and very little possible in connection with the purely visceral sensory elements and complexes. Consequently, man develops an intellectual life and control in connection with the peripheral senses—most especially sight and hearing—but scarcely at all or not at all in connection with the organic and the inner or visceral senses. Likewise, his mental life and control growing out of his feelings are primarily qualitative and but little quantitative or intellectual. The essence of the intellectual aspect of consciousness is that it is

( 461) quantitative rather than qualitative and it is developed primarily or almost wholly in connection with the higher peripheral or exteroceptive senses, sight and hearing. The more internal the basis of consciousness the more primitive is its character, the more qualitative and the less intellectual and dependable as a discriminating guide.

The two qualities of feeling—pleasantness and unpleasantness—are correlated with two different types of modification of neural processes. As has been shown by M. F. Meyer, pleasant feeling tone is correlated with an increasing flow or synthesis of neural processes, while unpleasantness is correlated with the diminished flow or interruption of neural processes.[9] Thus, if one is eating and new dishes which are agreeable to the diner are brought in or if there is agreeable conversation, or if flowers are on a pleasantly laid table, or if soothing music is played, pleasure is increased. If all these factors are brought together at the same time the pleasure of dining may be very great indeed. But if the telephone rings, if some of the dishes are burned and if some one starts a disagreeable argument, or a book agent appears at the door, all in succession, one may give up the attempt to eat in despair. Or we may take an illustration wholly from the realm of mental correlations to supplement the one just taken from the organic realm. One may be engaged in studying a problem or in writing an article and new material of value to him comes to hand. The result is that the one concerned thinks out his problem more effectively and his pleasure is increased. But if some of his notes are destroyed or data are discovered which make his conclusions appear doubtful, his thinking becomes relatively ineffective and the whole of his consciousness will be overclouded with unpleasantness, until lie turns to a new task or finds new material to support his train of thought. Thus we

( 462) see that both feeling tones—pleasantness and unpleasantness—may accompany either organic or intellectual activity. Ordinarily, perhaps, the greater intensity is to be found in correlation with the organic processes, but this is not necessarily the case, as may readily be shown. Also we may observe that the feeling qualities appear in correlation with changing processes—increasing supplementation or disruption of or interference with synthetic processes—and therefore may be expected to be most intense and effective when the functioning is no longer by means of purely instinctive processes, but is in the nature of an interruption of them. However, the supplementation of and the interference with and disruption of neural processes may occur wholly with regard to instinctive processes which merge or conflict under the pressure of environment or sometimes from impulses from within. But rarely is this the case with man, at least cultured man, who has so many acquired elements in his action-pattern complexes, even from the earliest childhood. Even at its basis in action-patterns the experience of feeling, both in quantity and quality, is largely conditioned or controlled in man by environment, either acting directly through setting the conditions for supplementation of or interference with neural processes, or indirectly through building up acquired action-patterns which supplement or interrupt the instinctive pathways and other acquired action-patterns.

Although feeling has always been an insecure guide to value judgments, even in the relatively simple conditions of primitive human or animal life, it is especially uncertain in our complex society, when artificial factors and conditions have been developed in the environment. To a large extent, as we have seen, the psycho-social or institutional and organized cultural environment has replaced or supplemented the primitive natural or physical and biological environment. The artificial and non-instinctive elements in the environment of to-day are

( 463) not confined to the psycho-social milieu alone, for man has also in large degree transformed the physical and biological aspects of the environment, especially with respect to foods, power appliances, transportation, etc. In the matter of foods, for example, it is no longer possible safely to depend upon one's instincts or the feeling tones which arise in the gratification of the appetites. The rational or thinking adjustment is much more dependable, because of its greater objectivity and the methods of quantitative discrimination and measurement which have arisen in connection with the perceptive and conceptual processes. But even this rational process of objective measurement and discrimination has not been perfected and much still remains to be done before it can become wholly effective. The method of attaining this objective effectiveness is the method of science.

As before stated, emotion occupies an intermediate position between feeling and thinking as a method of evaluating an interrupted or modified adjustment. When the feeling dimension or aspect predominates in the emotion it is often mistaken for the feeling itself and frequently the language of description makes no verbal distinction between feeling and emotion. On the other hand, when the higher forms of the sensory element, the recognitive aspect as determined by percepts and concepts, are dominant, we are accustomed to speak of the whole as mixed thinking or as thought suffused with emotion. Perhaps there is little or no thinking which is not tinged or more or less pervaded with feeling or emotion. When there is an emotional or a feeling content mixed with the thinking it is an indication that either the neural processes used in thinking do not readily form themselves for resolution into overt or peripheral activity expression (in which case there is some degree of unpleasantness), or that organic or peripheral sensory processes, not organized into quantitative and discrim-

( 464) -inative perceptions, are resulting from the distortion or displacement of some activity adjustment, or finally that the neural processes employed in thinking eventuate synthetically and incrementially so effectively into overt activity expression, or into neural sets which are preparatory to such expression, that pleasantness ensues.

Hence, we are justified in concluding that there is no separate or indivisible mental element which we may call emotion. If there is any psychic factor other than feeling, which is in any sense especially peculiar to emotion it must be the lower organic and peripheral sensory elements which are not organized into definite percepts and which therefore do not function effectively in intellectual life, although they do serve in their incremential supplementation as correlates for feeling. The emotion is primarily a negative mental process or complex. It appears only when an original or an acquired neural adjustment process is being modified or inhibited and thus is giving rise to either feeling or thought content, which may be pleasant as well as unpleasant in tone, or when one activity well grounded in the organism through instinct or habit is being displaced or repressed by another, and organic visceral or peripheral sensory elements remain and appear in the consciousness. Emotion, like the feeling and perceptual recognition and sensation, of which it is constituted, would not appear if the organism were able to make its adjustments wholly on the basis of inherited action-patterns. That is why it is so often negative; it indicates a lack of effectiveness in the previous adjustment and that a new adjustment is having to be made.

There is least emotional content in thinking when the inhibition of overt activity, to which the thought processes owe their existence, comes from within rather than from without. Thinking, like emotion, does not occur unless there is inhibition or constructive modification of some activity process.

( 465) There is this difference, however, between thought and emotion, that emotion and feeling may proceed from the modification or inhibition of thought processes, as well as of overt activity processes, while thinking is the inner or neural aspect of overt activity processes which are potential but do not immediately secure expression and which may be interrupted or t inhibited permanently.[11] The inhibition may take place from without, in the absence of suitable inner preparation. In such cases we are accustomed to say that the interruption or repression comes with a shock; that is, it develops considerable emotion, because of the confused character of the inner adjustment processes. Generally speaking, a higher degree of emotion is generated from external interference or modification of activity than from internal control, because in such cases an internal neural adjustment must be made after the first attempt at external adjustment of the organism has taken place. The internal adjustment is made piecemeal, at first a readjustment of the conscious processes to the partial external adjustment, to be followed by a readjustment externally with a consequent internal readjustment, and so on indefinitely, until both the overt activity expression and the internal neuro-psychic organization are in harmonious adaptation to the demands of the environment upon the organism. When the demand for readjustment comes from without there results a sort of see-saw process in which the confused or emotional processes run high until the conscious aspect separates out into clearly defined concepts and precepts and the emotional side of the sensory content recedes before the recognitive element. The feeling element may or may not diminish, according to the circumstances of inner neural organization.


When the interruption or inhibition is from without the most characteristic sensory disturbances appear in the emotional complex of consciousness which arises as a consequence. The flow of nervous energy and impulses, which were going over into external action, is more or less suddenly interrupted and stopped. Because the organism is adjusted to this expenditure of energy all action and expression cannot immediately be suspended. The flow of adrenalin and the supply of sugar to the blood will not immediately cease. The activity attitude, or even the organization of the neural processes along the lines of thought, cannot be immediately repressed or undone. Consequently organized drives and impulses will seek other outlets. If there were some previsional internal adjustment it would be easy enough, ordinarily, for the set to be satisfied by other channels internally or cortically prepared. But where there is no such previsional or conscious or inner preparation for modification of the response the readjustment must be sudden. As a consequence, there is an overflow of nervous energy and impulse into such pathways as are open or partially open. Thus we have trembling, stammering, twitching, aimless and uncontrolled activity on the overt side. On the sensory side we may experience visceral or other organic sensations, or even peripheral sensations, due to the backflow or overflow of the nervous impulses to the sensory end organs, or as a result of uncontrolled and spasmodic innervation of muscles and glands which set off neighboring sensory processes in unexpected and unfamiliar ways. In the more extreme cases illusions and even hallucinations may result from this external interruption and the consequent internal overflow and backflow here indicted. Necessarily such irregular sensory disturbances. are not well organized and often they are not adequately localized. Even when organized perceptually, as illusions and hallucinations, they lack a logical or customary causal relationship and are spoken of as irra-

(467) -tional. These various "irrelevant" and unexpected sensory and perceptual manifestations constitute well-recognized elements in the more violent emotions proceeding from radical external interruptions.

Such overflow sensory contents of emotions are likely to have associated with them the feeling tone of unpleasantness, because they arise in a situation where interference is dominant over constructive synthesis of neural processes. But gradually, as the organism readjusts itself internally or neurally and overtly or muscularly, the conflict element drops out and the random overflow of energy is absorbed into new channels of regular expenditure. Consequently, the unorganized sensory elements in the emotion tend to disappear or diminish, and the pleasant feeling tone increases, because of the increasing synthesis of neural activities consequent upon the development of new processes of overt adjustment expenditure. Or, if the reorganization proceeds internally, without new overt expression or adjustment expenditure of energy—that is, if the individual stops to think out a plan of action or an adjustment—the random sensory elements in consciousness tend to be absorbed into regular thought processes, and unpleasant feeling tone is likely to give way to pleasantness. But where the readjustment, after the external interruption, takes place internally, or in thought, instead of overtly, or in action, the emotional disturbance is likely to disappear more slowly, because it is more difficult to distribute in an orderly manner the excess of diverted energy through cortical channels only. A similar result, with regard to the absorption of random sensory disturbances and the substitution of pleasantness for unpleasantness, within the emotion, may occur without any active readjustment of overt expenditure of energy and without drainage into orderly thought processes. In other words, the organism may simply rest—even sleep—following some strong emotional disturbance, due to external interference or inhi-

( 468) -bition. In such cases the generation of nervous and muscular energy seems to stop, and random overflow sensory disturbances cease also. The growth of pleasantness tone, in such a case, apparently results from an increasing synthesis negatively .induced. That is, interruption of neural functioning is diminished. If there is any increase of neural synthesis it arises primarily from the restoration of a normal adjustment of the organic function, and very little or not at all from the perfecting of an external adjustment of the organism or the growth of rational and organized perceptions into successful thought. Because of this negative character of the neural synthesis, its incremential ratio is usually low, and the consequent pleasant feeling tone is likely to be slight. However, when the recovery from the emotional disturbance is rapidthat is, when relaxation is rapid and complete and sleep or rest comes quickly—the process may be a highly pleasant one. The individual is conscious of a delicious repose and heightened organic well-being.

On the other hand, if the inhibition or modification of the overt activity processes proceeds from within, it is an indication that the inner neuro-psychic mechanisms are well organized and controlled and that they are functioning as thought complexes rather than as feeling and emotional organizations or correlates. In such a case the readjustment can be carried through with little emotional strain, because the overt activity expression and the environmental demands are foreseen and taken care of in the inner conscious or subconscious adaptation before the adjustment has to be made externally. That is, overt action is thought out before it occurs and it proceeds according to plan or pattern. The emotional clement, which on the sensory side normally represents incomplete recognitive organization, is reduced or limited in this type of cases largely to the feeling correlates, because the sensory elements have been organized into rational processes in the service of a

(469) conscious and previsional adjustment of means to ends. Thus, much of what is commonly called emotion is eliminated or transformed into thought. In such a case as this the inner neural adjustments which correlate with consciousness are formed with a minimum of hesitation or inhibition. As explained in Chapter V, the inner neural organization, with its unimpeded consciousness correlation, is substituted for the overt activity expression, for the functional reasons stated there, and we have, for the time being, thought instead of overt action. But later overt action may occur, and with greater effectiveness of adaptation because of its temporary inhibition or suspension.

In the cases where the inhibition arises from factors in the external environment, the overt activity is also transferred to the inner neural organization with its consciousness correlates—feeling, emotion, thought,—but in such a case the inner organization is induced after the fact of interference by the environment and consequently it reaches the rational plane—if it ever does—only after passing through the unorganized sensory and feeling aspects of consciousness which more typically constitute emotion. Hence, we say that in such cases the subjective reaction is emotional rather than rational. But if the inhibition or the constructive modification arises from within, it proceeds from the type of neuropsychic organization then dominant, and the resulting adjustment is characterized by this type of mental life, or is said to possess its quality. That is, it is hedonic (pleasure-seeking), emotional or rational, as the case may be. If rationally conditioned, the resulting adjustment will tend to be orderly and well thought out beforehand, unless the external environment interferes unexpectedly or cataclysmically and introduces the element of disturbed emotionality.

An emotion is always determined by the interruption or the constructive modification of some inner neural or overt activ-

( 470) -ity process. The way in which the feeling element in the emotion arises has already been described. It is the result of the increasing supplementation or the interference of neural processes, according as the feeling tone is pleasant or unpleasant. The sensory element in the emotion, on the other hand, may arise as an incident of the modification of either the overt activity or of the thought processes, the changed current running over into sensory disturbances directly or indirectly into muscular or glandular activity which promotes sensory disturbance as a secondary result. But the most violent sensory manifestations in emotion arise from the blocking of action or thought by some sudden outside interference which results in an overflow of energy or impulses with consequent sensory disturbance, usually of an unorganized sort. This process has already been described in some detail. The sensory and the feeling elements are present in some proportion in all emotion. Otherwise we have either feeling or sensory processes, which are not properly called emotion, if they occur alone.

The sensory element in emotion may vary from the lowest vague visceral processes to the perceptual and even the derivative conceptual elements. The vague organic sensations connected with feeding, digestion and assimilation, reproduction, motion, muscular tension and perhaps glandular disturbances, are among the lowest and less well-defined sensory elements. Various peripheral sensory disturbances, such as superinduced sensations of heat and cold, pain, tactual sensations, also come in as better defined intermediate sensory elements in emotion. But the higher exteroceptive senses may also be disturbed by the overflow resulting front blocking an activity process. For example, one may have illusions of odors or tastes, of vision and of hearing, when in an emotional condition. Hallucinations, especially of sight and hearing, may arise, as was the case with Lady Macbeth. And, finally, these disturbances of

( 471) the sensory processes may even extend into the rational and conceptual processes, where, in extreme cases, the aberrations of judgment and understanding become so great as to render the person suffering from them insane. Paranoiac and dementia praecox states are chronic and standardized disturbances of this character. It is now recognized by psychiatrists that paranoia and dementia praecox are functional or emotional rather than organic disorders.

This view of emotion is in conflict with the theory of McDougall which holds that the emotion is the consciousness aspect or correlate of the unchanging central segment of the instinctive action mechanism. This theory, however, finds a place for emotion only where the central segment is modified, or interrupted altogether. It holds that the emotion is in part the consciousness correlate of changing central processes. But, at least on its sensory side, the emotion may not be the correlate of the neural pattern which is being modified. It may result from the complete inhibition of some activity proccess with the consequent overflow and sensory disturbance already noted. Also feeling processes may arise secondarily out of this sensory and activity disturbance which results from the inhibition of some other activity. Or the interruption may be of a neural thought system in the brain, with its consequent overflow into secondary or superinduced sensory and feeling content. In such cases the sensory and feeling elements of the emotion are not correlates of the new and substitute activity or thought system which is being established, but are rather in opposition to or in interference with these. Thus the nausea, numbness and constriction around the heart accompanying fear proceeding from too sudden contact with a bear in the woods, the voiding of excrement in extreme fright or strain, the sensory disturbances arising from the suspension of visceral functions due to strong demands upon the organism from outside, the drying of saliva and fullness in the throat,

( 472) the flow of tears, the suspension or panting of the breath, the rapid or interrupted heart-beat and flow of the blood, the dimming or quickening of perception of the senses, and the like, may be taken as examples of physical and sensory disturbances which are in opposition to, rather than correlated with, the dominant modified or newly established activity or thought system. They are, in many cases, the scattered remnants of the old action or thought systems. In other cases they are overflows from modified processes of which the energy supply has not yet become distributed in well correlated channels elsewhere. From this brief analysis it must be clear that McDougall's claim for the fixed correlation of the central segments of the instincts and the conscious content of the emotion is not tenable. The facts about emotion do not bear out his hypothesis. They flatly contradict it.


  1. A. Shand, The Foundations of Character, 180 ff.
  2. L. Perla, What Is National Honor? for example, apparently takes such a view in treating the psychology of public opinion.
  3. M. F. Meyer, "The Nervous Correlate of Pleasantness and Unpleasantness," Psy. Rev., XV :307.
  4. W. McDougall, Introduction to Social Psychology, ch. 3.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Ibid., ch. 4.
  7. For McDougall's affirmative claim, see op. cit., Chap. II.
  8. Smith and Guthrie, General Psychology, 54-67, may be cited as an instance.
  9. Op. cit. See also L. L. Bernard, The Transition to an Objective Standard of Social Control, ch. 2.
  10. There is, of course, the further distinction, already mentioned, that rational processes make quantitative distinctions or measurements, while feeling makes only qualitative discriminations of varying intensity and emotion represents a mixture of the two, with especial emphasis upon the latter method.

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