An Outline of Social Psychology

Chapter 15: The Applications of Social Psychology

Jacob Robert Kantor

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Now that we have finished our preliminary studies of social psychology it would be going contrary to the strongest of usages not to inquire after the issue of our investigation.

Cultural reactions have been isolated as specific types of psychological happenings. Our studies have revealed to us their character and origin. We have learned, too, that they always occur in conjunction with other forms of human events. Now what are the possibilities for applying this information?[1]

As in all fields of learning, the applications of social psychology are of two distinct forms. The first concerns investigative procedure. The results of our social psychological studies provide a tool with which to approach humanistic problems. Here is a political revolution. One historian looks upon this event as a conflict of political ideals. Another reduces the situation to an interplay of economic forces. Still another finds but the downfall of a weak and exhausted government. Again, political revolutions are treated as merely psychological phenomena. Of the many possible variables in a situation one or more may appear as dominating the whole event. In our revolution example, the ruthlessness of the revolutionist's behavior and his destructive activities may ap-

( 399) -pear to sum up the whole circumstance. Human events as problems may thus be interpreted mainly as disharmonies of the various factors involved.

Now we must regard it as a valuable application of our study if it dictates a more thorough analysis of any complex situation than these attitudes indicate. For we have learned that not only are psychological phenomena always interrelated with numerous humanistic and other types of facts but that it is an indispensable requisite of scientific investigation to discover all essential elements in a situation.

After investigation comes explanation. When our analysis of a problematic situation has revealed its relevant factors, explanation demands the synthetic organization of the various elements to emphasize their interrelationship. Explanation, in other words, is describing a series of variables in terms of each other while simple description is merely the specification of the various pertinent variables.[2] Explanation is certainly not taking a single factor in a situation as an isolated cause or effect of some happening. Elements are only segregated by description but are not found so in the original circumstances. Simplicity in nature is always artifact. It is a trap set by understanding to ensnare events.

In the humanistic sciences in particular, explanation is a process of organizing such fact systems as we have indicated in the preceding chapter; so that each has its appropriate place in the totality.[3] Here we have our second valuable application of social psychology, namely, to discover in each case the precise part played in the total complex by social psychological factors.

One general methodological gain of great value stands out

( 400) in the application of social psychology. Namely, we are forced to emphasize the specific circumstances of any problematic situation. If, any part of it involves psychological factors, and what humanistic situation does not, we must take into account the activities of particular persons. Inevitably, this means handling each situation as a very concrete and unique instance. For if there is one striking principle that has emerged from our entire study it is that psychological phenomena are specific responses of individuals. Furthermore, we have learned that psychological phenomena only originate and exist through a mutual interaction of persons and their surroundings. The mind is not the sort of thing which exists independently of the contact of persons with objects and situations.

Now as we should expect, upon examining various humanistic problems the various factors are not all represented in the same proportion. In some cases the psychological elements are more prominent; in others, economic, social, or natural components appear more important.[4] When psychological factors are conspicuous it may be that either cultural or non-cultural behavior stands in the foreground. Thus while studying a "crime wave," if we are interested more in the results to society than the effect upon persons, non-psychological factors take the lead; whereas when the latter feature attracts us more, psychological factors are stressed. In any particular study, too, the centre of gravity shifts. Depending upon the purposes and practices of the investigator, the stress of research may drift from one type of component to another. We have only to remember, however, that all the components are there and go to make up the total circumstance. We turn now to some illustrative situations that will indicate various investigative and explanatory problems.

Consider first the increase of suicides. Obviously, every

( 401) suicide phenomenon must be localized in a certain place. To take account of this fact leads us at once to the discovery of a series of national or historical factors. Suicide phenomena are likewise very frequently correlated with economic conditions. When such a close connection really exists natural circumstances must also be seriously taken into account. Perhaps the untoward economic contingencies disclose some natural catastrophe—a crop failure, or an earthquake. Most assuredly, also, certain culturalization conditions exist in suicide events. Here is where psychological factors come into play. Only persons who are behavioristically equipped for such an act commit suicide. What is poverty to one individual is not such to another. What consumes one person with suffering leaves another cold. To commit suicide requires a particular type of mentality. One must have certain ideas and beliefs and be free from obstructing prejudices and fears. The person who can beg and live upon the alms received does not destroy himself. Again, while to him who is culturalized in one way death constitutes the loss of all this world and the next, for one otherwise socialized it is not so at all. For the latter to die by one's own hand is a simple and obvious method of avoiding dishonor and discomfort.

Not only must we look for general culturalization factors among the components of suicide situations, but we discover, too, that they may involve some very specific socialization elements. There are numerous instances of persons deliberately developing psychological collectivities with self-destruction as the primary institution. Such are the suicide groups reported in Russia after the early revolution. Culturalization factors of this type must be distinguished from the ordinary culturalization element which inheres in suicide situations because of underlying anthropological conditions.

Now when we have selected our specific suicide event we will best pursue our investigation by sifting out and weighing carefully the concatenated circumstances. Fortune favoring

( 402) we might so arrange these in good enough order and relation to achieve an explanation.

Increasing frequency of divorces is a further problem exemplifying intricate intermingling of psychological and other humanistic facts. Directly we approach the issue we discover that multiplication of divorces is correlated with social and anthropic upheavals. Great changes in the character of society are reflected in divorce rates. Surely these conditions invariably imply concomitant culturalization changes.

Let us illustrate: Current American society displays great variations in family organization. Family ties hamper but do not bind. The erstwhile economic dominance of the husband no longer prevails. Whether or not the family shall include children and how many are questions symbolizing the replacement of the old family by the new. The absence of children alone makes divorce a simpler matter.

Unless great modifications take place in the culturalization of persons can the family be such a loose and dispensable organization? Without the development of certain requisite institutions such conditions are inconceivable. Socialization then surely has its effect upon divorces. It remains only to remember that social and anthropic changes affect culturalization. It is most dangerous of course to risk general assertions as to what arrangement of factors satisfy explanatory propensities. But is there any doubt that a critical investigation of specific instances of divorce permits serviceable arrangement of causal relations?

The economic conditions that play so large a part in the modification of family life operate in various ways. Poverty is an inducement for couples to cling together. Husband and wife each plays the buffer against hard conditions for the other. Divorce statistics grow higher with prosperous periods. On the other hand, however, poverty makes for limitation of family size. And we have already learned that those whom few children have joined together can easily be put

( 403) asunder. Whether or not economic circumstances limit families is regulated by convention. It depends upon the nature of the people concerned. It depends upon knowledge of birth control, and the existence of attitudes sanctioning its practice. The effect of economic complications upon looseness of family organization is a matter of the type of mentality with which we are dealing. Here we meet again the ubiquitous culturalization factor.

In the correlation of divorce with types of occupation we see quite obviously the interrelation of the various contributing components. That divorces are more frequent among actors, commercial travellers, and musicians than among agricultural laborers, or clergymen, tells a story that involves more than mere variation in opportunity and occasion for divorce. It implies different moral, religious, and intellectual behavior equipment.

Let us turn now to the commixture of culturalization factors with religious elements in divorce situations. Members of certain religious organizations could not even think of divorce as a remedy for unsatisfactory domestic conditions. Howsoever strongly mutual incompatibility and even detestation may argue for a severance of martial ties, some people could not entertain the thought. Let economic circumstances, the absence of children or the attraction of those one really loves, protest ever so eloquently against the irrational marriage fetters, to become divorced would not occur to certain religious individuals. Not merely, mark you, because it is interdicted, but because these unhappy couples have built up that kind of conventional behavior equipment.

An exceptionally favorable field for social psychological application we find in problems of public opinion. Let us invoke at once our principle of specificity. It is quite true that there is no such entity as a public. That is to say, unless we consider the public to be some particular factor in a limited human situation there is no such thing at all. Where shall we

( 404) look for the omniscient and omnipotent divinity that shapes our human acts or destinies? And yet I do not neglect to pay my bills. Little may I regard the censure of the village merchants or their credit managers, but I cannot brave the disgrace and condemnation of my townsmen. To be sensitive to gossip and rumor is human. Unless indeed one is otherwise socialized or possesses idiosyncratic defenses.

Now on the whole we find that the public may be regarded as a collectivity standing in the relation to me of a definite stimulus object. It is something that calls out my responses of fear, desire, ambition, and other behavior of a cultural or non-cultural type. Whether such an actual organization of persons exists or not, it is quite plain that I respond as if such a definite collectivity were hard at my heels. Those of us who are culturalized to defy and to disregard the public perhaps are more fortunate than those who react to it as a prescriptive barometer of conduct. Indeed on the whole it is an important factor in our economic, political, intellectual and aesthetic life.

But the public serves not only as stimulus for my reaction but responds to my stimulation as well. Public opinions constitute to a great extent an organization of conventional attitudes. Accordingly, the creation and manipulation of public opinion is a matter of engendering in some limited situation a particular trend of thinking or believing. Essentially this is a problem of culturalization.

Again, the control of public opinion may involve the ascertainment of the person's culturalization elements and the eliciting of certain ones. It is only in the measure in which these individuals are known and fit in with the purposes of those controlling public opinion that there is such a phenomenon at all. Whether or not opinions can be controlled depends of course upon all the other humanistic and natural phenomena correlated with the cultural and individual psychological factors of particular situations. Accordingly, whoever

( 405) would shape public opinions must have a keen regard for the economic, social, and general conventional circumstances environing particular human complexes.

We are easily convinced that public opinion is a reality when it is required to reverse or transform it. We may play upon the members of some sociological collectivity and by resorting to certain procedures reculturalize them so as to constitute a different psychological collectivity. Efficient and successful leaders need only be followers of herds until they discover what types of persons they compose. Then they may work their will upon them. Herds may be made to love both war and peace, freedom or slavery, the good or the evil. All this of course with due regard to the humanistic and natural circumstances involved. We have here only the well-known phenomena of statesmen, merchants, captains, and preachers dealing with their various publics. The methods are to work upon these persons, play upon their hopes and fears, or to capitalize their ignorance. The instruments may be variously called education, advertising, or propaganda. But even here the issue is not exhausted by the sociological and naturalistic factors alone.

We face the question as to whether or not it is possible to culturalize individuals as absolute opponents of war. This inquiry of course is quite aside from any values that wars may have. At the moment we are only interested in the possibility of so correlating humanistic and natural phenomena with culturalization or psychological factors that such a result might be brought about.

For example, we may ask whether in the final analysis such a problem of war abolition is not reducible to the question of the intelligence of the persons who bring about war and carry it on, as well as the type of mentality of those who are employed in such enterprises. If such is the case then the conditions are clear, for the fact of intelligence is entirely one of culturalization. Let us suggest at this point that while

( 406) in this case one might overemphasize the psychological factors in the situation, this does not mean that the phenomenon of war is reduced to mental states. War, no more than poverty, can be reduced to colorless, formless spirits floating upon a spaceless void. Surely at this stage of our studies it is impossible to think of psychological phenomena as disjointed from all sorts of concrete human and natural conditions.

And so the question arises, what if war reaches down to the lowest level of existence? A community must make war to preserve itself. When its present home cannot yield the minimum of subsistence must it not attack another group and annex its territory? Even here several culturalization queries suggest themselves. Perhaps the persons involved might be domesticated either to increase the yield of present food, or learn to modify their menus. Again may not wars be eliminated when individuals are culturalized rather to die than to carry on bellicose activities? It is not an unknown convention for collectivities to face extinction rather than to indulge in certain actions.

When the war problem centers about political and other group relations its investigation and solution involves a similar set of psychological, humanistic, and natural facts. Amidst the din of anti-war discussion one seldom fails to hear the note sounding the immutability of human nature. Indeed this undertone is more often a roar than a murmur. All too many believe that the waging of war is a fundamental and unalterable characteristic of humanity. Others indeed are as firmly convinced that the opposite is true. Now if our social psychological studies have yielded us any information at all, we have learned that in order to alter human nature our modifying process can only be achieved by a concrete reference to the social, political, and anthropological conditions surrounding the individuals concerned.

From the large number of problems which the field of economics offers for social psychological application let us choose

( 407) for examination the problem of waste. Here we see the absolute impossibility of disjoining psychological from other humanistic phenomena. For example, it is frequently pointed out that standardization of products makes for economy in production and consumption. Accordingly, the elimination of waste is a problem of standardizing products. But we are prompted to ask whether waste, which it is proposed thus simply and easily to eliminate, is really what the name seems to imply. Does it not connote not only a standardization of products but of the tastes and wants of persons? Again we face the problem of culturalization, and to a slighter extent that of individual psychology as well. After all, in what way can one eliminate preferences and desires from an economic situation? Are not these psychological factors as fundamental as the biological, natural, or humanistic components? [5]

The securing of the kind of products which one wants (which differs with different individuals and different collectivities) is a factor which, if eliminated, transforms the whole situation instead of solving the original problem. The original issue may, however, be solved by manipulation of the psychological factors. Here the method chosen is to standardize desires and tastes. Clearly this is a matter of controlled culturalization of individuals which is indissolubly connected with economic and natural factors.

Political scientists are perturbed by the small percentage of voters who turn out to cast their ballots. This circumstance is looked upon as a serious political problem, in that it suggests a symptom of the breaking down of prized political institutions. If persons do not vote then governmental offices are arbitrarily filled by persons or organizations who have power to do so. Incidentally it is thought that such a situation always involves much dishonesty and in general an

( 408) unsatisfactory government. In some political units indeed the problem has led to legislation requiring persons to participate in elections.

Now what on the surface appears as a purely political issue turns out upon investigation to involve a number of questions of a psychological type. Is non-voting a matter of lack of interest? Are balloting situations thought to be important or do they seem to be but trivial incidents? In addition to these personal psychological aspects a number of culturalization issues can always be analyzed out of the non-voting situation. For instance, we find the shared attitudes that one's vote counts for very little and that the political system operates more or less without one's help.

Those who permit themselves to reduce situations to particular aspects may translate the whole political problem into an educational one. Non-voting may then be regarded entirely as a matter of knowledge and training. That people do not vote merely means that they are not only ignorant of the candidates but do not understand the mechanism of government and the participation of persons in the political process.

Probably this problem more than most others forces the necessity to consider some very specific situation. Obviously the fact of non-voting is not the same at different times or in disparate places. Surely the facts vary with municipal, state, and national elections. This consideration necessarily leads in each case to a different investigational attitude. Depending upon what kind of situation we confront we are stimulated to look for a different set of factors. In some local situations it is possible to connect up the voting process with an economic and industrial situation. It sometimes happens that an industrial organization may dominate municipal or state politics to such an extent that one's job, one's residence in a community, and domestic security depend upon whether or not one votes in a prescribed fashion. In such a situation it

( 409) might very easily be an expedient way of avoiding a disagreeable situation to refrain from voting at all.

To investigate such a phenomenon as non-voting demands the scrupulous analysis of all the factors operating in a localized circumstance. To explain why persons do not vote means the harmonization of all the cultural circumstances involved. Nor can an explanation of any non-voting circumstance be made unless one emphasizes its particular political institutions. Not infrequently this means the discovery that the political institutions we start with, turn out upon examination, either to be religious or economic, or prominently manifest such aspects.

Possibly no one would deny that every problem to which we can apply our social psychological data or principles contains at the same time all the classes of components which we have mentioned in the preceding chapter. By this time it must be apparent also that in every particular situation these various components operate in specific and unique ways. We may now add that. the character of the problems themselves vary enormously. In one case we ask why persons do or do not do some particular thing. Here our problem involves individuals standing over against a group or civilization. In other instances, they concern some particular drift in the civilization itself, that is, certain changes in some civilizational factor. Naturally, the entire process of application must conform with the details of the problematic circumstances.

When we investigate the decay or development of an intellectual or aesthetic tradition we are facing a problem of cultural drift. Thus when we observe the rise and growth of an idealistic philosophy, which in its turn has been superseded by a realistic and pragmatic tradition, we may well ask what psychological and humanistic conditions comprise these prescriptive waves. The legitimate interests of the humanistic sciences dictate the investigation of recurrent rationalism or romanticism in thought and literature, and classicism and

( 410) impressionism in painting and other aesthetic fields. This means discovering what psychological, conventional, and anthropic circumstances attend such variations and exchanges in complex human values.

What human conditions make possible or necessary such alterations in the ideas and techniques of painters as coincide with the birth of a new school? How can we organize these factors to constitute an explanation of specific events in the movements of thought or the history of art? No one can possibly question that these components of aesthetic and intellectual tradition exist and operate. The only difficulty is to discover and relate them.

Even when we concentrate upon a fairly specific event—for such events are not easily delimited—we have trouble to diagnose and explain. But let us try. In the rise of the PreRaphaelites in England we find a fairly definite situation. What is the significance of their protest against existing traditions?

Perhaps it is true that the Pre-Raphaelites discerned alarming symptoms of a too materialistic wave threatening to inundate the English aesthetic scene. Need we argue for a series of personal psychological factors, attitudes of discrimination and protest against the current trends of painting? Is there any question that these personal elements are closely linked with the social and economic conditions of England which apparently were exercising their unsatisfactory effect upon aesthetic ideas and techniques. Perhaps the Pre-Raphaelites were themselves inspired by a conception that needed expression. Here perhaps we might discern in the operation of these painters, an aesthetic tradition which was being threatened by the social circumstances surrounding them. Was it this circumstance which contributed to an imitative resurrection of an older technique?

Here we must again look to the culturalization phenomena. How and why has the aesthetic culturalization of this group

( 411) become unstable? What stimulated them to attempt a revival of mediaeval art? Innumerable questions arise concerning motive and taste. We are moved to inquire what are the conditions that lead artists to prefer and create the particular sort of work they do. Let us merely suggest that the humanistic elements involved must be sought first in the circumstances of intellectual and aesthetic culturalization. Economic and social conditions may be more remote from the center of the problem though they have their indubitable places on the margins and borders. As to general anthropological elements, it is possibly because the Pre-Raphaelite techniques and conceptions had their proper origin in an entirely different type of civilization, that this movement left so ugly a blotch upon the aesthetic history of England in the nineteenth century.

Similar problems of cultural drift are found in abundance in the scientific domain. Thus if we inquire why scientific progress is so slow or why certain knowledge and discoveries are passed over, we must seek for the answer in the same type of human maze. Or, being interested in the secularity of science, and asking why science, which should be a unified attack upon phenomena, is so frequently divided up along national and school lines, or why there are so many mystical attitudes in the scientific field, our inquiry starts us off in hot pursuit of a different arrangement and prominence of factors than those we have hitherto observed.

As a pragmatic method of procedure we might dichotomize any given scientific problem into the personal and non-personal elements. On the personal side we may examine both the individual and cultural behavior factors. Are there any individual behavior conditions favoring the slow progress of science? Does any person, either by his authority in science or his interest in a church or business, counteract the influences of discovery and thus keep the scientific traditions more or less fixed or even retrogressive? This question stimulates the inquiry concerning the role of the hero in general

( 412) historical phenomena. Again, we may ask whether at some particular time persons exist who are equipped to make discoveries or to aid in their acceptance. There is a possibility that even when other conditions are propitious for working out new scientific ideas strong men are required to make them prevail. There are those who believe that Darwin absolutely needed Huxley and Haeckel to make his conception carry.

Next, a study of the culturalization factors may be suggested. Unless culturalization allows, it is very difficult for scientific ideas to make progress. Perhaps this point is well illustrated by the fact that frequently culturalization makes possible certain scientific ideas but not others. Boyle and Newton could be critical and rigid in their attitudes toward physical phenomena but not with respect to other types of facts. Even today the great discrepancy between the so-called natural and social sciences shows the telling effect of culturalization on scientific progress. Who can estimate the potency of prejudices as an acceleration or hindrance of progress in the social disciplines? For instance, who can say how much harm has been done to the study of humanistic phenomena by the belief that such data should be treated by the absolutistic method of mechanics?

To students of the physical sciences it is no secret how much their progress has been impeded by early Renaissance culturalization. Even though the Arabs brought medicine to Europe the prevailing Christian culturalization divided the world into the spiritual and material, the effects of which are still hindering scientific advancement. Generally speaking, the existence of mystic forces in science are to be accounted for by the effects of culturalization, although there are individualistic behavior conditions which may serve as counters in the situation.

Let us look for a moment at the great influence of social circumstances on thought. Scientists can no more accept ideas developed out of their culturalization than a capitalist

( 413) can endorse the attitude of laborers or vice-versa. Perhaps this same principle as much as anything accounts for the disagreements among scientists and their ignorance of the work and discoveries of others. Similarly, perhaps, culturalization phenomena account for schools and schisms, along with the effect of personal advantages of various sorts.

Turning now to non-personal conditions affecting the advancement of science and the passing over of certain ideas, we may consider the factor of scientific capacity. Every science is inevitably bound to ignore certain data because they cannot be accommodated within the scientific system of the time. For example, the early mechano-mathematical science of the Renaissance may not only be looked upon as a period of extremely great scientific stir and development but also one of neglect and misinterpretation. Renaissance physics took on a mechanical and mathematical aspect rather than some other. Was this because the scientific systems of the time were unable to handle the facts generally referred to as secondary qualities? Whatever the circumstances were, colors, sounds, and all of the phenomena referred to as secondary qualities were excluded from the science of physics. Later when physics became expanded to take in such data, mathematical tradition developed in such a way that sound, color, and similar phenomena became mathematicized. Thus color and sound are reduced to vibration. Elaborating our scientific problems to include humanistic and natural conditions, we only multiply illustrative demonstrations of how these factors contribute their effects to the total set of circumstances. They warn us likewise of the necessities and difficulties lurking in scientific situations when we attempt to develop explanations.

As a final example of the application of social psychology we choose the problem of minimum wages, as reflected in a recent supreme court decision. This problem commends itself because we have here concrete data supplied by an actual situation. Again this is an issue which very admirably ex-

( 414) -hibits the interplay of economic, moral, legal, and psychological factors.

As a basis for our examination let us recall the grounds upon which the supreme court declared unconstitutional an act of Congress fixing minimum wages for women and minor girls in the District of Columbia.

In the first place, it was contended by the judge who handed down the decision that, while laws could be enforced to regulate working conditions, to wit, the fixing of hours of labor, and prescribing the character, methods and time for payment of wages, the employer and the employed must be free of restraint in determining between themselves what wages are acceptable. The judge declared that the minimum wage law authorizes an unconstitutional interference with the freedom of contract included within the guarantee of the due process clause of the fifth amendment. The right to contract about one's affairs, it was contended, is part of the liberty of the individual protected by this clause. The fact was settled by the decisions of the court and is no longer open to question. In making labor contracts the parties have an equal right to obtain from each other the best terms they can as a result of private bargaining.

The concurring judges also attacked the law because the price fixed by the board (set up to administer its provisions) need have no relations to the capacity or earnings of the employes, the number of hours which may happen to constitute a day's work, the character of the place where the work is to be done, or the circumstances or surroundings of the employment. The minimum wages these judges insisted would be based wholly on the opinion of the members of the board and their advisors or perhaps on an average of their opinion if they did not precisely agree as to what would be necessary to provide a living for a woman, keep her in health, and preserve her morals.

Whether we take the argument for right of contract as an

( 415) attempt to make legal institutions prevail over economic conditions or whether we regard the legal institutions as taking cognizance and providing for economic circumstances, in either case, we find here an apparent disharmony between these different phases of a humanistic situation. Furthermore, whether we regard the judges as legal personalities or as representatives of the public, in both instances we see the operation of the culturalization processes or their results. A person acting strictly as a legal personality tends to overemphasize the authority and majesty of a legal institution.[6] On the other hand, the non-legal personalities might tend to emphasize one or another attitude toward the legal institution from an economic standpoint. The employers, because it is to their advantage, might in this case stress the sanctity of contractual rights, while the employees are influenced to set aside the right of contract in order to satisfy economic requirements.

How much this minimum wage problem is a matter of economic circumstance and private advantage is suggested by the fact that the judges criticizing the minimum wage law have already indicated that the right of contract is abrogated in certain instances already mentioned, as well as in cases in which contracts involve the performance of public work or some public interest. At any rate we see that our problem here involves a clash of factors, which require to be somewhat harmonized.

A further illustration of the interrelationship and discord between different humanistic circumstances is found in the contention of the opposing judges that the minimum wage law requires that employers furnish pay to workers without regard to the nature of their business or the kind of work the employees must do. In this argument the judges are

( 416) declaring in effect that no legal institution can operate which runs counter to economic circumstances. Here again we can indicate the different attitudes assumed by individuals impressed with opposing conditions in any situation. On the one hand, since the employer is only required to pay a minimum wage when the person is actually employed and is not necessarily forced to employ the individual, it might be said that the law assumes that the employing institution is a going concern and it is only a question of the employee receiving a sufficient wage to provide a living. That we have here a strife of interest, culturalization, and social and economic conditions is attested by the fact that our present example involves only a vote of five to four to nullify the congressional act.

When the judges assert that in their opinion the morals of women are dependent upon the wages they receive, the assumption is that the moral conduct of an individual in this particular instance is entirely a matter of culturalization. The judges in effect are saying that whether a woman is moral or not depends upon her training and ideals. In other words, we face a psychological circumstance, rather than an economic one. This type of argument, therefore, obviously overlooks the interrelationship between psychological and other humanistic phenomena. In other words, these judges fail to appreciate that the individual's culturalization depends upon social and economic circumstances.

We submit as our final comment upon this illustrative situation that other humanistic factors, as well as natural components of various sorts are suggested by the fact that this enactment is an act to regulate wages for women and not men. But we need not multiply our instances. We might add merely that whether a person's morals are or are not dependent upon humanistic conditions is itself a problem that illustrates the investigative need to ferret out all relative factors and the harmonization of them for explanatory purposes.



  1. Let it be announced forthwith that an application in science is not a simple exploitation of a discovered fact or principle. This is the way not of Science but of technique. Rather, as we have pointed out elsewhere, applications in science constitute the verification of information and the process by which it is acquired, by fitting such knowledge back into the situations from which it is derived.
  2. Obviously then, as we have seen, explanation is in no sense a reduction of complex series of variables to one or another tape.
  3. By contrast with explanation which is an immediate solution of a problem or the attainment of a satisfactory attitude with respect to a given situation, a law in the same field is the discovery of a somewhat more permanent organization of fact systems.
  4. How prominent these various factors are no doubt depends upon our investigative interests.
  5. We take it that the psychological factors are indispensable elements in the situation, even if we are dealing with the conventions of “conspicuous waste,” as studied by Veblen in the “Theory of the Leisure Class.”
  6. Perhaps it is not overstepping bounds to inquire what effects are produced upon legal decisions by the fact that judicial personalities belong more to the employer's caste than to that of the employe.

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