Trends in Social Psychology

John F. Markey


A NOTED social scientist who recently wrote, "He who writes controversy digs his own grave," uttered a pointed truth concerning controversy for its own sake. One might add that he who avoids controversial questions does little digging of any kind, for new facts have iconoclastic tendencies. The advance of knowledge has seldom been won without contest, and the proponents of new views usually cannot escape serious criticism. Of course it is too bad, although sometimes amusing, to see a person caught in his own bear trap, but if one would catch the game he must be willing to take some risk. So, notwithstanding the danger therein, some controversial subjects must be discussed in this chapter. But the plan is to avoid futile debate.

It is not the intention to gave an historical treatment of the subject, nor to discuss the theories of various authors.[1] The purpose is to give a clear and critical statement concerning recent significant developments in social psychology. The amount of attention given to some persons and the lack of attention to others may seem arbitrary, but this is subsidiary to the purpose of elucidating these trends.

While there are many different angles from which this study is approached, a fair degree of consensus is arising that social psychology studies the responses of individuals to social influences, such as cultural heritage, institutions, groups, persons, and social situations. In its beginnings, two distinct emphases appeared. One gave main consideration to the similarity of re-

( 116) sponses running throughout the group, and the other gave special attention to a genetic study of individual social responses. The science was started on its infant career with the first emphasis, as a cross-sectional study of the social behavior of interacting per-sons. Comparatively less attention was given to the genetic aspects of the response itself. In order for the cross-sectional approach to give a functional [2] and sequential explanation, it may go in two directions : into sociology proper or a study of the group as such, or into a genetic study of the responses themselves. The cross-sectionalist took, largely, the first course. Somewhat independently of this cross-sectional approach, we have the development of social psychology which pushed forward the genetic aspects by taking the individual as a starting point. In general perspective, one notes two contrasting attitudes as to the degree to which the individual was and is regarded as a separate entity : the view that he is the dominant cause, on account of instinct, or otherwise, of social phenomena, hence relatively independent of it; and the conception that he is an integral part of various social groupings, one link in a causal or sequential social chain—a social being. Thus, society and the individual are regarded as two aspects of common phenomena. Increased knowledge of the processes involved has thrown the trend decidedly toward this latter view.

At present, the most fruitful development comes from a union of the study of social groups and social situations, i.e., social stimuli, with the study of the social individual, i.e., the responses of the individual to these social stimuli, as made, for instance, by C. H. Cooley or G. H. Mead. Two recent texts by L. L. Bernard and Kimball Young have especially emphasized this tendency.[3] The social or group approach methodologically gives a much more satisfactory basis than the individual, for marking

( 117) out and limiting problems for study, since social responses tend to be arranged and differentiated by the groups in which persons function.

The purpose of the present chapter will be to examine first the tendencies in the cross-sectional approach. Secondly, we shall consider the social response approach, tracing its development away from the conception of the asocial individual to that of the social individual and toward a more behavioristic and mechanistic[4] explanation of social behavior. Of special importance in this connection is the emphasis upon objective social analysis. Social psychology reminds one of an ostrich with its head in the "subjective." If it ever comes up to look around, the "subjective" may be found to be objective, similar to the sky and the rest of the surroundings. But in any case, social psychology is digging more seriously into the study of the social conditioning of the individual, his social mechanisms, his habits and habit constellations, his desire, wish, motive and symbolic complexes, his selves, personality, and the like, and into a study of the manner in which social processes, social situations, the environment, groupings and group acts are functionally connected with the responses of individuals. In this work the so-called subjective is being brought to light and found to be observable and amenable to objective study.

Along with the influence of sociological development, including the study of culture,[5] a constant source of reorientation has come from advances in psychological, psychiatric, neurological and physiological knowledge. Some of the more outstanding of these trends will be indicated. The next task will be to indicate a

( 118) scientific framework for social psychology, discussing some neglected phases, and finally to make an estimate of the outlook for this discipline.

The history of social psychology is marked by conceptions tracking into blind alleys, explanations which do not enlighten, and theories which, if accepted, would lead one hopelessly away from reality. An urgent need is for more and more concrete investigation. But this investigation must have behind it intelligent insight and theory in order for it to be most fruitful. For this reason, and since they are pivots for important trends in social psychology, it will be our task to examine as we go along some of these "horrible" examples—skeletons which in most cases social psychology has not yet been able to get into the closet, to say nothing of keeping them there. Of course the purpose is to give main attention to the more positive contributions.


This approach is illustrated by those writers who regard social psychology as a study of social planes and uniformities among persons. Such writers as E. A. Ross, F. H. Giddings and, to a certain degree, E. S. Bogardus and C. A. Ellwood, illustrate this type. This goes back, of course, to Bagehot and Continental writers. As studies in social psychology in distinction from sociology, they represent attempts to see the responses of the individuals of a society or group in a cross-section, partially in time, but mainly in space, In general, they give a more or less static picture of the responses of persons.

An outstanding weakness of this approach in its simple form consists in the lack of explanation of how and why these responses are what they are. Since the responses are treated separately, their genetic and functional character may not be at all clearly shown. The sociologists mentioned have enhanced the value of their work by going in varying degrees to sociology, or less frequently into a genetic study of particular social responses. However, they have not obtained as much help from these sources as

( 119) they might have, for frequently they have accepted or directly assumed explanations which were too simple or inadequate and which showed too little familiarity with the social factors which were operative. As an example of this may be cited briefly the imitation theory which has been widely used by this type of approach, and is still used, although to a much lesser degree.

Although some have regarded imitation as one of a pair of Siamese twins, the connection with suggestion is not so close that imitation may not be discussed separately. In general, writers have felt the need of analyzing conditions of suggestibility so that this category has not been the bugbear that the imitation part of the theory has been. It is quite true that some persons have assumed some abstract or general quality of suggestibility, but more careful students are examining specific conditions of susceptibility to stimuli called suggestions. This is a most fruitful type of study. The powerful response connections conditioned to stimuli called suggestions are dynamic agencies in social processes, particularly in the symbolic processes of persons. But the connection of the imitation twin with suggestion has some-times vitiated the explanation of suggestion, since imitation was given as a reason for suggestibility, and the reason for imitation was that we copy the actions and ideas of others, a quite unsatisfactory statement. It is imitation that has become the dark region.

The above-mentioned writers, including J. M. Baldwin, will call to mind the r˘le and emphasis which imitation has been given in early social psychological works. Such uniformities as fashions, customs, and conventions early forced their attention upon students of society. What was the explanation of them? Imitation—and we know as much as we did before.

The great difficulty with so much of the discussion of imitation is that it becomes a resting place, stopping far short of a clear statement of how people learn to imitate and of the social interactions involved in the process of acquiring the skill to imitate. It is now generally recognized that one cannot imitate unless

( 120) he knows how to do so. A quite obvious statement when it is said, but one which a number of social psychologists have ignored. It is clear that one cannot imitate Caruso unless he is a singer, or Tilden unless he is a tennis player. Also the work of Thorn-dike, Watson, Porter, K÷hler, Berry, Bird, and Shephard should warn one against placing much confidence in an instinct of imitation. Further, the degree or amount of imitation is a relative thing. Most writers on the subject do not seem to feel the necessity of explaining how exact must be the copy before it is legitimate to call the result imitation. It still remains for someone to give imitation a thoroughly genetic treatment. Perhaps the category is not worth salvaging, but if it is, some more thorough analysis of it must be made. The present decided tendency away from the use of the imitation theory type of explanation will continue unless a different line of attack appears more fruitful.[6]

Another and equally defective characteristic of the imitation theory is its too broad generalization. Many things have been explained by imitation which were not imitation, nor the result of learning to copy. The similarity may be due to conditioning, to quite different stimuli, or to different response mechanisms altogether. Since imitation was often an a priori explanation, it was quite easily applied to uniformities regardless of their genetic or functional relationship. Studies of the group have shown well how important are group integrations, division of labor, co-operation, and conflict, in explaining uniformities and regularities.[7] Bernard suggests that the concept may still be useful to the social psychologist and the social sciences generally. This may be true for those sciences which attempt to explain group behavior rather than individual responses, but the social psychologist

( 121) must explain imitation. He cannot take it as a datum. For him at best it is the name for a process which he must describe and analyze. An example in point is the work of Cooley as contrasted with that of Baldwin.[8] The latter's use of imitation in explaining the social r˘le of individuals shows thin places, in marked contrast to Cooley's more complete and developed explanation by a functional description of social processes. The present attention to these social factors and upon learning, conditioning, and habit formation is quite healthy.

We will not discuss the social mind incubus which is so closely connected with the cross-sectional study, being a part of its inheritance. It is better not to disturb it for, due to neglect, it seems in a fair way of passing out. In the main, it is in reality a type of group explanation, and as such perhaps more properly belongs in a discussion of sociology than in the present discussion of social psychology. I do not intend a mere terminological point here. Although the study of group behavior might well be called social psychology, it actually represents a different frame of generalization than that ordinarily accepted by social psychologists. The social mind theory from this standpoint falls outside of the purview of social psychology.[9]

The literature on crowd psychology has been closely connected with the cross-sectional approach, and the study has attracted much attention. A great deal of the discussion has been concerned with the group as such. Its contribution from the stand-point of social psychology has been in the description of crowd situations and in the determination of typical responses of individuals under these circumstances. The material of crowd psychology needs a critical survey, both from the standpoint of methodology and of fact. Martin,[10] for instance, illustrates a peculiar mixture in frames of references as well as an apparent

( 122) tendency to call social action which he does not like "crowd psychology."

The real value of this cross-sectional approach is to point out, summarize, and compare typical responses to particular situations. A definite trend has been toward more precise and statistical treatment of materials gathered for such study. Its most exact treatment has been at the hands of psychologists who have been more ready to tabulate responses in frequency series from which may be computed averages, measures of dispersion, and correlations. An example of this is such studies as those made by F. H. Allport on group facilitation, which are of such a nature that others can check on the methods of analysis. Also a great number of psychological tests fall under this type of study. For instance, Hartshorne and May, with their tests on knowledge of right and wrong, believe they have also demonstrated in certain measurements the existence of a group differential.[11] However, a growing body of studies by sociologists demonstrates the more exact and statistical use of this approach, and they have also generally avoided some of its weaknesses by going into a more or less thorough sociological or group and social situational analysis.[12]

In analyzing the group as a phenomenon, however, as was noted, one changes his frame of reference, i.e., his point of view or his basis of observation and measurement. The group be-comes his locus or unit of uniformity and regularity. If this be accepted as the province of sociology, he has for the time being left the field of social psychology. This, of course, is quite legitimate and useful. But it is to be observed that often investigators, in their attempt to get a functional and causal explanation of cross-section response material, do change their frame of reference without seemingly being aware of the fact. They some-

( 123) times fall into unnecessary confusion in their analysis, which a recognition of the shift in point of view would have prevented. When one is generalizing in regard to the responses of individuals to social stimuli, he has one frame of reference for the establishment of laws and regularities. When he is generalizing in regard to group processes, responses of groups, the mass or total response, he has another basis of generalization. Thus, while a large part of Ross' Social Psychology attempts to outline typical responses, a great deal of the book is given over to group responses and social processes considered as group phenomena. Sumner's work[13] is in large part generalized on a group phenomena framework, and is a study in sociology proper. Since we are interested here with the social psychological point of view, we shall continue our analysis from the standpoint of the social responses of individuals rather than that of group responses. The study of group responses is not to be confused methodologically with an approach to the study of individual responses from the standpoint of the group, for the latter is a highly advantageous approach in social psychology.


Some students still regard the individual as a distinctively in-dependent unit. Although a genetic study of the individual response mitigates the artificial character of such a view, it is not until these genetic data are seen as integral or organic parts of a social process that the functional and genetic relationships get a statement which approaches a satisfactory one. The discussion immediately following will deal with the trend in this latter direction. The increased attention to mechanistic and behavioristic social study and emphasis upon social conditioning, habit mechanisms, personality complexes, reflective behavior and the like, in relation to social processes and group situations, will be indicated.

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There has been much raging about the validity of instincts. This dogma popularized by William McDougall[14] received early and widespread acceptance. But while it is quite obvious that there are inherited mechanisms, attempts to explain the individual's social action or the group's action, i.e., sociology, by instincts, is undoubtedly a lazy way of avoiding thought on these subjects. The attack by Dunlap, Kantor, Josey, Bernard, Faris, Kuo, Watson and others[15] has led to a much saner attitude in regard to instincts. In spite of this, one frequently sees social scientists explaining the family by the sex instinct, the church by the religious instinct, play by the play instinct, or the group by the gregarious instinct. The social world is thus set out in order, ready-made and diagramed. The thing is simple; why worry about the complex system of social interaction involved in these institutions when they can be so easily taken care of by putting instincts into people? But psychologists are recognizing that our heredity is quite plastic and rudimentary, and that any explanation of social behavior must bring into reckoning social conditioning and training before we can understand social life.

It is also apropos to say that much of the structure of the body is not instinct, even though it may be inherited. Neither are physiological needs, rates of metabolism and organic states, instincts. There are many irritability traits of protoplasm lying back of and conditioning human behavior which cannot be called instinct, but which many social psychologists and sociologists have failed to distinguish therefrom. A thorough study of protoplasmic irritability traits is highly enlightening and makes some of the claims of a thundering instinctivist sound rather hollow.[16] A terminological matter has caused considerable confusion in this

( 125) connection. Instinct is sometimes used to apply to an inherited complex co÷rdination of reflexes and is sometimes used to designate an inherited reflex itself. Thus, when one person denies the inheritance of complex co÷rdinations which he calls instincts, other persons take it to mean that he denies all inherited re-flexes. And another may argue for the existence of instincts, meaning only reflexes. The consensus is growing that we inherit a large number of reflexes and few complex co÷rdinations of reflexes.

In some cases the attackers of instinct have headed into an-other flight from reality. They have opposed the environment to instincts. This has gone so far in the hands of some as to make social psychology and sociology a study of environment. Now environment is a very useful conception but of itself is not a sufficiently complete framework for a social science. A most pertinent question here is, What is the center around which this environment revolves? It often leads to a highly fictitious situation, to chop our social world up into environment on one side and something else on the other. Where the individual plant or animal is taken as an organic unit of study, its environment becomes a quite useful conception. In sociology, where the group is taken as a unit, it may also be a useful concept at times. But the analysis of processes between groups and within groups seems to have been a much more fruitful method of analysis than the separation of social phenomena into groups and their environment. In social psychology, where the responses of individuals to social influence is the unit of analysis rather than the individual as such, the division of all these phenomena into environment and something environed introduces a quite structuralistic classification, as well as terms less satisfactory than the statements generalizing the actual character of the influences and the responses to them. Social psychology is a study which cuts across the individual and his environment. Further, in regard to heredity, it cannot be rightly regarded as antithetical to the environ-

( 126) -ment. These terms are both supplementary. since heredity involves environment in its very definition.[17]

Although there is a rather definite movement toward the "environmental" conception of social life, it seems doubtful whether this will become so widely spread or distorted as to lead social psychology too far into the wilderness; for those who adhere to the idea often go much beyond it in concrete analysis, to a more organic treatment. A leavening approach, especially in relation to instinct versus environment, is that concerned with habit mechanisms, the social situation, and the total act. For instance, John Dewey in Human Nature and Conduct, has elaborated a very suggestive philosophy of social psychology based upon habit mechanisms. Instead of instinct, he uses the conception of impulse indicating a much more plastic condition. Impulses form pivots around which new habits may be built up, old habits broken down and redirected or reintegrated. But impulse, except for its emphasis upon plasticity, is also quite indefinite and unsatisfactory as a tool of analysis.


We next come to the concept of wishes, desires, wants, needs, etc. There is a great deal of attention given to them by numerous writers and, according to some, social psychology mainly consists of a study of one or another of them. One quite obvious reason why these clinging vines still choke the study of social psychology is the appealing character of them. They are intense, vivid heart-throb experiences, and some students are unwilling to have them generalized by counting on abstract analysis—each one must be studied and felt individually. Of course a graphic picture of a pungent desire is more impressive to one's emotions, perhaps, than 100x desires or an xy relationship. But science has found it necessary to classify and abstract common traits, and to ignore unique and non-repetitive phenomena. An apple falling

( 127) on Newton's head is much more graphic than the law of gravitation. Salt on the tongue is much more tasty than a chemical analysis of NaCl. The young forlorn is quite comic compared to a discussion of social recognition or social status. Social psychology is at present mainly in the stage where the apples are falling too fast to allow time to formulate a law of gravity; or, more concretely, where desires, wishes, longings, interests—the vague subjective—are so enticing and real that the social psychologist does not want to leave this elementary stage. Of course concrete events furnish the content for the formulation of general laws. There obviously is more in desires, wishes, etc., than infantile toys of the social psychologists. There is material ready for scientific analysis, but we need more fruitful methods of attack.

Perhaps the most serious blank wall that these categories have run into is the treatment of such conceptions as metaphysical entities and "elements," and the view that they are something intangible—unobservable affairs. They have too often been looked upon as "the" cause or as "the" social forces. They have been accepted as explanations rather than as something to be explained. For instance, Thomas proposes his four wishes to explain human behavior. H. Hart proposes as fundamental the desire to function, as an explanation, called an hypothesis, of why we do certain things that we do. Bushee proposes his set of desires, Small and Ross their sets of interests, Allport his biological need, and so on through the list. It is quite easy. Here is something we do not understand. It is easy to posit a desire or wish or what not as its cause or explanation, just as the instinctivists and even the reflexologists have sometimes done. For instance, Pavlov's "reflex of freedom" or his "reflex of purpose" has the earmarks. And he, according to Sorokin, is a "pure" behaviorist.

The use of desires and the like as "the" causes is similar to the practice of a chemist who would posit certain metaphysical "forces" resident in the valences of different chemical substances. But chemists do not think, except in a mechanistic sense, of a

( 128) force making two atoms of hydrogen pounce upon a lone atom of oxygen to produce water. This of course would be more picturesque to our anthropomorphic way of seeing things, but it is not of great help to us in understanding these phenomena. Similarly, in social psychology we cease to look for the forces in terms of desires, or wishes. An important task is the reverse, to show how desires, wishes, etc., are the results of social interaction, as well as to see them as parts in a functional sequence, or correlation of relationships. In a later section on the subjective we shall return to a further consideration of these categories from a slightly different angle.


We next come to attitudes. This category has recently been sharply criticized,[18] especially by Read Bain, on the grounds of the methodological difficulties which current definitions present to one carrying on concrete research. Attitude has been used to apply to tendencies and impulses to act, inhibited impulses, drives and motor sets, feelings, wishes, desires and vegetative processes, opinions, positive and negative verbal responses, and habits, or a mixture of some of these. If the difficulties of the definitions found in the literature are not obvious immediately, an attempt to employ them as tools of research will soon convince one of their inadequacy. They do not clearly differentiate attitude from other associated or related processes. Often also, attitudes are made unduly vague by a "now-it-is-and-now-it-isn't" type of definition.

The conception of attitudes is thus in such a state that some would discard the term altogether. But a more constructive procedure is to define attitude more clearly, for it is a very useful social conception. Bain's attempt at a behavioristic definition is a step in the right direction. He defines attitude as "the relatively stable overt behavior of a person which affects his status." Since

( 129) attitude is to be a social category and must be differentiated from habits and vegetative processes as such, the "status-fixing" element is introduced.[19] He would throw out of consideration unobservable "hypothetical" subjective states. That this emphasis upon behavior and action adds much to the methodological utility of the concept attitude may be readily conceded. This can be done without committing oneself to numerous statements used by Bain to support and elucidate his view.

Ellsworth Faris in an opposing article [20] has rightly criticized these statements by Bain, but he has put forward no valid objection to Bain's major point. It is probable also that most of the criticisms are based upon verbal differences. For example, Bain makes such indefensible denials as the following : "It is immaterial to the scientist what so-called `subjective' motives, or wishes or desires induce people to wear shoes to banquets. . . . It may be pride in small feet, to please wives, to keep feet dry, or what not. The scientist is concerned only with the fact that they do it." [21] But such statements do an injustice to Bain's view on the subject. He would make overt synonymous with the observed. He actually would take account of all of these wishes, desires, or motives, whenever they were observable, in behavior, either by verbation or other action. It is difficult to see how so-called subjective experience can be taken account of by science or "courts" or even "lovers," unless they do become in some manner observable through speech or other action.

Faris, on the other hand, makes a case for subjective experience and for the definition of attitude as a "tendency to act."[22] His view may be summarized as follows : Actions are temporal sequences. They have beginnings in which "motives," "desires," "objectives," etc., enter; they have endings in which satisfac-

( 130) -tion or dissatisfaction is felt; and some of them have a middle or mediating phase in which all important subjective experiences occur. Reflective action is particularly important, where takes place planning, deliberation and reasoning to meet a situation. In view of the temporal character of actions, we are interested in what men "are about to do, in what they can be induced to do." Therefore the necessity of considering attitudes "as tendencies to action," designating proclivity, or bent, or predisposition to a certain type of action. Attitude, according to Faris, cannot be limited to designate muscular set when behavior is immanent, for attitudes exist when no behavior is immanent, latent but real.[23]

Bernard, who has written a good discussion of attitudes, places more emphasis upon the beginning phase of attitude, his view being that attitudes are incomplete or potential adjustment behavior involving the set of the organism toward the situation calling for adjustment. As "adjustment proceeds, the behavior is transformed from attitudinal or preparatory into true or successful adjustment." [24] This behavior which follows is not identical with attitude, and "when the adjustment is made the attitude disappears, except in so far as it is retained in memory or in the habitual set of the organism." The attitude is strong or weak in inverse proportion to the amount of the adjustment unexecuted, and directly proportional to the strength of the drives behind the adjustment behavior. This differs from Faris' view, in that the latter puts greater emphasis upon the more constant and habitual set involved in attitude. Bain, however, holds that the attitude is also the action indicated by these partial preparatory responses and would call the total response the attitude.

Bernard and Faris are apparently agreed on the inclusion of desires and subjective experience, although Bernard is more behavioristic in his exposition. He would advocate a behavioristic explanation of these phases. But Faris also would evidently re-

( 131) -gard them as some kind of action, and the difference between "behavior" and the action of organisms is perhaps arbitrary. Their different emphasis regarding the stable or transient character of attitude helps to clarify the issue. It would seem quite obvious that attitudes remain with us as Faris suggests. Bernard apparently also agrees to attitudes remaining in the habitual set of the organism. Further, the strength or force of the expression of the attitude will vary with the situation which stimulates it. Bernard and Faris have simply emphasized certain characteristics and slighted others in this connection. The issue between Bain and Faris, and between Bain and Bernard, too, is, however, quite real. Shall attitude be applied to the complete overt act of the organism, or is it to designate only the beginning sets and predispositions (including the so-called subjective) to specific behavior? A second question is raised by Bain. Is attitude to be used as a social category or a more inclusive one, as the definition of Faris and Bernard would indicate? While it is recognized that in any case most of our attitudes would be social, still the discussions of the latter do not so limit them.

These questions raise a real problem, especially a methodological one. How are we to study "tendencies to act" as peculiar to attitudes?[25] Tendencies to act, if used in a scientific sense, apply to all behavior. And, as Bain suggests, to divide preparatory behavior from the rest of behavior as distinctive of attitudes presents an inadequate basis for concrete investigation. The division seems bound to be arbitrary. Further, all habitual action is in a real sense preparation for action.

It is possible to formulate a more constructive statement—. The study of attitudes is first of all primarily a study in prediction. In a sense this is true of all scientific study, but in most cases the attention is upon what does occur. In prediction, the attention

( 132) is upon what is likely to occur. Now in order to predict, we study not only one factor but all factors which will enable us to predict. In attitudinal study we are interested in all signs, conditions, or habits which point out the attitude. One may use opinions, speech reactions, past behavior, habitual behavior, etc.[26] Of course it is desirable to get a single measure, if possible, and, failing this, to get a single variable which will be sufficiently accurate to use as a basis for judgment and prediction. Hence it is well to discover how closely speech reactions and other criteria correspond to the other reactions of the person, and how closely these may be taken as a guide to probable future action. For we often want to know beforehand what a person's reaction will be in situations in which he never has been—situations which are absent or even hypothetical. Such information is a necessary part of our social life. The term "attitude" has in general come to designate such habits, sets, verbalizations, and experience which will influence and give a cue to the probable behavior of a person toward the object or particular situation under consideration. It is, perhaps, necessary to emphasize that since attitudes do refer to such particular objects or situations, a careful and clear definition of these, regarding which we wish to learn the attitudes, is quite necessary in attitudinal study.

Second, attitude is thus a term to designate a more or less thorough integration or complex of behavior toward an object or situation. Park and Burgess' expression, a "mobilization of the will," has this idea in it, although the expression itself in terms of will is quite loose.[27] To regard attitude, as Bernard does, as always implying lack of adjustment—unless this term is stretched to a meaningless extent—does not seem valid. Two partners, or "boon companions," for instance, who are thoroughly adjusted nevertheless have attitudes toward each other.

( 133) It is necessary to include facilitation, summation, and supplementation as factors in attitudes. Of course, in many cases a blocking of some kind is present, and often there are opposing or conflicting elements in an attitude. Another methodological difficulty with Bernard's conception is that when behavior is most evident, most actively in progress and supposedly most open to study, the attitude disappears. It makes of attitude a sort of will-o'-the-wisp. When it really gets into operation it fades away.

Third, attitude also generally implies, as suggested by Thomas and Znaniecki's discussion,[28] some sort of reflective or, as suggested by Bernard's writing, anticipatory behavior. There is a mobilization or organization around some object, social value, or motif, in which reflective or anticipatory behavior is involved. To limit attitude only to the habitual would not allow sufficiently for "thinking" in attitude, since reflective behavior occurs when some habits are interrupted or additionally facilitated. Nor does habit allow sufficiently for situations in which the person may never have been. This does not deny the great importance of habit in attitudes, however. But it does mean that ideas, motives, desires, wishes, ideals may enter into an attitudinal integration. These, however, are to be explained in terms of behavior. When speaking of reflective behavior as a factor in attitude, it also must be remembered that an attitude may become so habitual that we are practically unaware of it.

A way of approaching an understanding of attitudes which may be helpful is to regard them as behavior integrations in association with a more or less complex sign or symbol situation. A sign or symbol stimulus or response refers to something else of which it is a substitute or representative, and the attitudinal response in this connection would be action indicative of past and probable future behavior in regard to the object or situation signified or symbolized; or, if the situation were actually present, more specifically conditioned behavior might be noted. In order that these sign' and symbol stimuli be effective, there must be

(134) some previously formed habit adjustments, experience and integration in relation to them and the actual situation. If the symbols become confused, the attitude or responses also become indefinite or confused. The integration of new symbols involves more or less new attitudes toward the situation, object, act or social value. Symbol situations thus allow for some sort of reflective behavior in attitude. The sign situation, while not necessarily involving reflective behavior, involves responses in connection with potential future behavior and is quite similar to the symbol-situational response. We have numerous cases of sign situations among animals, and humans as well, which are associated with attitudinal behavior quite similar to those attitudinal integrations in humans which involve reflection. The dog gives us particularly good examples of this type of action. The sex calls and danger cries of animals are other specific examples which involve the attitudinal type of behavior.

If the sign or symbol situations were taken as indicative of attitudes, this would not necessarily limit attitude to a social category, although in general these stimuli would involve social situations. And of course these would be the ones in which the social psychologist would be interested. However, should other than social behavior fall under this attitudinal category, there would seem to be no good reason for not considering it as such. Of course, a limitation of attitude to behavior integrations around a social object, value, or motif, would make it an exclusively social category. Some would wish further to limit attitudes to the integrations concerning the major social objects or functions. This is a matter for agreement by investigators, but the present practice seems to favor a wider use of the term. In regard to such a limit as "status fixing," it is difficult to see why it should be introduced. Although attitudinal behavior often affects status, still there are quite obviously attitudes which do not appreciably affect our status except in the sense that any behavior conditions the rest of behavior. Also, status is affected by considerably more than attitudinal behavior.

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By way of summary, attitudes may be regarded as behavior integrations ordinarily around social situations, social objects, or social motifs, and values. It does not follow that attitudes are elementary for sociology or social psychology, although they would be of much social importance. They have in them, in general, some reflective or anticipatory processes. They are complexes of behavior which in humans may include tendencies, habits, experiences, desires, motives, ideas, associated or organized around the object of the attitude. Our behavior toward an object is the attitude in expression, in action. The more fully we get into action, the more completely is attitude disclosed. The study and analysis is primarily a study in prediction, based upon the study of such action data, which includes the total acts, as we can secure for purposes of prediction. A particular characteristic of such prediction often is the fact that a person has never been in such a situation before, and we must judge of his attitude toward an hypothetical or proposed situation by actions in similar past situations and by other criteria which help show what his attitude is or is likely to be. If the predicted response is different from our prediction of it from his attitude, then we have misjudged his attitude or it has been changed or inhibited. Park and Burgess [29] have in a suggestive manner discussed the mutations of attitudes, particularly in relation to the positive or negative approaching or withdrawing behavior which generally seems to characterize attitude.


Since our discussion of attitude has brought further into the foreground the problem of "subjective" experience, we may now turn to an analysis of this question. When it comes to a final analysis, most of the social psychologists have a place in their system for a subjective category. There are several different tendencies in regard to the subjective.

(I) It is denied existence, at least as a subject of scientific

( 136) investigation. Since this view denies the existence of the problem, we can hardly look in this direction for much help in its solution. It will be unnecessary to discuss this view. There are few who hold this extreme position, and the tendency seems unlikely to get much headway. Experience has carried much heavier denials than this one.

(2) There are those who take a dualistic position of one kind or another. This group contains the major portion of the present-day social psychologists. The particular brand of dualism varies from interpreter to interpreter. At one extreme are those who regard the subjective as distinctly separate from and unconnected with the trans-subjective, at least from a methodological and scientific standpoint. And back of any method is a metaphysical assumption. Recognized, denied or unrecognized, it is there. This does allow for some study of the subjective, but since it is such a disconnected thing the position is nearest to that of denial. At the other extreme are those who merely regard the subjective as a special field of phenomena isolated from objective observation but nevertheless a part and parcel of our universe and subject to causal relations as is the rest of our world.

(3) There is a third tendency closely related to the last, which attempts to bring the "subjective" under the rubrics of natural science and to study it as objective phenomena, not as isolated from observation. It approaches the problem as a study of action or behavior.

Pitirim Sorokin [30] has taken up the cudgels for the extreme dualistic position. Since his exposition of this conception is so clear-cut and so neatly contains at least a part of its own refutation, his conception may well be used to illustrate the main points of this tendency. He regards the subjective—ideas, motives, emotions, desires, wishes, etc.—as the field of the psychic. This subjective is to be regarded as causally disconnected from the trans-subjective. "We may try to study a parallelism . . . but without claiming to make one series the cause or effect of the

(137) other." [31] The subjective is to be studied by introspection, and the trans-subjective by the method of natural science. But, "The intrusion of either of the parties into the field of the other one is scientifically fruitless."

It is interesting to speculate on what sort of an entity or process this disembodied subjective is. Desires are to be studied, but not as causally related to the things desired. It is scientifically fruitless to claim a causal relation between an orange and my desire for it, my idea of an automobile and overt behavior. If I attend a banquet the social scientist is not to see any causal relation between my thoughts and this overt activity. To anyone accustomed to regard our knowledge as a result of sequential and recurrent relations between phenomena, such a position will seem a curious one, to say the least. One might be tempted to think that he had misinterpreted, if the position were not so definitely and insistently stated. But Professor Sorokin takes a deliberate position.

However, in his zeal as apologist for introspection he counters his own position, for "Even when we study some trans-subjective phenomena, for instance a writing, a book, speech-reactions, paintings, music, ceremonies, and other `symbolical' stimuli and reactions, we must be introspectivists to understand their meaning and, to some extent, even their relationship." [32] But if there are no causal relations between these phenomena and thought, why introspect? And how can one get a meaning without some sort of connection between the things and the thoughts about them? And later he says: "What, from a behaviorist standpoint, is de-scribed as a certain change in the movement of our muscles and secretion of glands, from the inner standpoint is described as `lust,' or `fear,' or jealousy.' " This is a curious statement, if there is no connection. This seems much the same as saying that what from an objective standpoint is wood, stone, glass, paint and nails arranged in a certain way is from the inner standpoint

(138) called a "house." Taking such a position puts us into great difficulty because cells of a 'particular quality and arranged in a particular way are from an inner standpoint called "muscles," protoplasms of particular constituency and arrangements are from an inner standpoint called "cells," and so on, until all of our so-called objective and trans-subjective phenomena turn into the subjective and all of science is one grand introspective spree.

There are few social psychologists who take such an extreme position as the one just described, nor does it seem to have much to support it. As a matter of fact, most social psychologists who accept the subjective are mainly concerned in showing causal relations between thoughts, desires and wishes, etc., and more overt behavior. In fact, one of the most serious objections to the use of these categories has been the use of them as too efficient causal processes, whereas they are more properly regarded as results and as links in a causal chain rather than as "the" causes.

Another group of subjectivists regard social psychology as a subjective study. Thomas and Znaniecki define it as a study of attitudes or the subjective side of culture. Faris' position is similar—he regards introspection as an important method of study.[33] One could continue citations. The question arises, What is involved in the phenomena of social psychology which has induced so many of the leading social psychologists to adhere to this interpretation of it and to rely upon introspection as such an important method of social psychology?

It is thought that the desires, wishes, motives go on inside individuals and that they are unobservable except to the individual in whom they occur. Thus, reliance must be placed upon introspection to disclose these phenomena. At best only some outward signs of these subjective experiences can be objectively checked.

( 139) Since one important tenet of the scientific method is the check and agreement of different observers, they are thus out of the range of natural science—they are subjective, not objective. Behavior "ism" also has helped to force social scientists into this anomalous position. Some have advocated definitions of behavior which do not allow a consideration of such phenomena. Others by treatment or by definition give an inadequate basis for the consideration of them.[34] It should be quite clear that a denial of, or even an hypothesis which arbitrarily ignores, certain phases of experience will never be satisfactory except as a one-sided explanation of behavior.

Are such phenomena as desires, motives, and the like unobservable, not subject to check and verification by observers and hence out of the range of the method of natural science? The view that they are rests upon the epistomological assumption that we know things immediately and directly, and further that we observe directly with our senses. Observation is not a direct response of the eye or ear or hand, but is based upon the responses also of a great mass of previous habits, bodily responses, movements, etc. We observe with our whole past of psychological experience, with all of our responses, including muscles, glands, viscera and other responding mechanisms of the body. Were not this great mass of responding apparatus at hand, with its previously acquired residual and auxiliary responses, we would not see or hear or observe what we do. In this connection it is well to emphasize that always we see from some standpoint, some frame of reference or base of observation. A key, then, to how we "know" and observe lies in an analysis of the manner in which our observing or knowing responses have been built up, and how they operate. Since it will be pertinent here and will clarify an important trend in social psychology, the third trend mentioned above, toward social behavioristic study, it will be well worth a short consideration. Some writers, such as Mead, Dewey,

( 140) Markey, Holt, Watson, Lashley and Dashiell,[35] have particularly emphasized in one way or another the objective character of such so-called subjective processes as ideas, desires, motives, and reasoning. The following explanation will place some of the essential features of the processes involved before us. The explanation, as will be seen, is a social behavioristic one; but behavior is not limited to the overt, it includes all action of social organisms.

Social psychologists are beginning to recognize some of the importance of one individual playing or taking the r˘le of another person. This has been emphasized particularly by some of the previously mentioned writers; also by Cooley and Faris, and by Weiss in a somewhat different manner.36However, it seems clear that some of the perhaps most significant facts in this connection have not been realized by many social students. The point is, that it is in this process that meaning and knowing, or reflective observation, arise in human behavior. The reason for this lies in the possibility for the "meaning" of a stimulus, or an act, or an object, to appear in relation to what has followed or preceded, or what does consistently follow or precede it in sequential connection with it. Were it not for the fact that events occur in sequential and recurrent order, we would be unable to know. This proposition should be quite evident. The meaning of a pen is the processes and acts which have culminated in it, as well as the consequences, acts, etc., which follow in connection with it. The meaning of paper is similarly given, as is the meaning of acts and gestures.

( 141)

Now the crucial point is how "meaning," reflective observation, or knowing, arises in behavior. It is on account of the fact that people are and have been in social interaction in which sequential actions are involved, one person responding to another and completing the other's actions. Since the human being has been able to develop interchangeable stimuli, he can by this means perform in a substitute manner the act of the other person, particularly those acts most closely associated with his own responses and which represent a completion of his own responses. The vocal act probably was the first act which was interchanged. Such substitution and interchange gives representatives of both sides of the action and potential meaning sequence, within the behavior system of the person. He is able to indicate to himself the meaning of his own act by using a stimulus which stands for the action of the other person, which action is also a completion of his own act. His own act similarly explains the other's behavior. In other words—and this is the point to which we have been leading—he is reflectively observing what is going on in his world.

A word of caution must be interpolated at this point. There is no intention to give the impression that the person clearly sees what the process is that he is going through when he thus reflectively observes his social and physical world. As a matter of fact, we have in general been quite unaware of the process where-by we are able to know.[37] It has been only in more recent years, after the study of the social sciences was well under way, that we have begun to see more clearly these social relationships involved in the development of knowledge, ideas, and reflective observation.

All observation apparently is through this framework which in its essence consists in the employment of interchangeable social stimuli, symbols, words, and gestures, in response to acts and things. We get to know what a chemical or an apple or an idea

( 142) or thinking is by exactly this same method of observation. We observe a desire, a wish, or a motive either in ourselves or in others by the same method that we use to observe a tree or a rock or a mountain. Thinking is a process that develops between people. We observe it by the same process as that by which we observe, for example, a stream in a river bed. With proper technique we can examine another person's thinking just as we can examine the contents of a river.

The fact that we may not know what a man is thinking at a certain time is not a valid objection to the proposition that we can know and observe his thinking. It would also be impossible to observe every drop of water in a river—we analyze it in samples. For instance, we never yet have analyzed and observed satisfactorily the composition of the blood as it travels in the veins. Whenever we get it under analysis it is in an unnatural state; yet we do not think of the circulation as a subjective but as an objective and observable fact, even though we have not as yet examined all of its details. We do observe thinking and ideas, and observers will agree, but this does not mean that we can observe every thought, or at any time. We must have proper conditions here, as anywhere. This is not a problem peculiar to the observation of thinking. For instance, such a simple thing as analyzing soil has many of the same difficulties as the analysis of thinking. The soils expert gets his sample. But before analysis can be carried out, temperature cannot be held constant, moisture changes occur, bacterial changes may take place, chemical compounds may change form. When it is analyzed, it is not the "same" soil which he took from the ground, but a soil which has gone through those changes which the soils analyst was unable to stop or control. The observation of physical phenomena often requires very exact and careful preparation for observation to be even partially successful. Likewise, to observe thinking we must obtain favorable conditions. If a social psychologist were to live with a person from birth, observe all of the person's experiences, etc., there hardly could be doubt that he would know

( 143) the ideas, thoughts, the process of thinking of this person like a book. He could predict the person's thought process—would know the person so well that he would be able, as it were, to read the other person's mind. In actual practice this is done right along by people well acquainted with another person. Likewise, thinking is observed under ordinary circumstances, especially by persons more skilled in observation. And competent observers do agree. The fact that thinking, desires and wishes are social processes which go on between persons and acts and objects is reiterating a proposition which particularly emphasizes its objective and observable nature. It seems never to have occurred to some social psychologists that desires, wishes and thinking are a function of the situation as a whole.

Such an analysis of the development of knowledge and reflective observation makes of it an essentially behavioristic process, notwithstanding some contrary "ism" definitions of behavior. An examination of the evidence points to the social-vocal-auditory situation as the situation in which the first "meaningful" interchange genetically takes place.[38]

But what of the fact that individuals are part of this social process called thinking, and on this account are in a position advantageously to observe in themselves such processes as desires, motives, wishes, and the like? This is quite true, but it must be emphasized again that this method of observation is exactly the same kind of observation that the individual uses in observing airplanes, thunderstorms, sunsets, or what not.

Let us take this type of self-observation and briefly see what it may contain for social psychology. We are not using the word introspection here because of its historical implication of "direct" knowing and "direct" observation. When a person has observed wishes or desires or some part of his thinking process, then, since knowledge and observation rest upon social confirmation and corroboration (and it is no mere accident that the scientific method which has grown up out of experience also requires the corrobora-

( 144) -tion of different observers), the person seeks through symbolization a social medium, and through talk with persons to "see" exactly what is in his observation. This interchange is a part of his process of observation, not something ab extra. This social interchange, all would agree, is something that competent ob-servers can observe. The verbal report and speech reactions can thus be accepted by all parties as "objective."

But what of the report itself ? There are two means of attack. It may be regarded as responses to be analyzed in causal and functional relations with other behavior. We may attempt to discover how it checks up with other action and experience. We are still on so-called "objective" ground. Or the verbal report may be accepted at "face value," the symbols being taken as evidence that the events which they symbolize have actually occurred to the person verbalizing. The next step, then, is for other persons to repeat the condition and observe the results. For no matter how positive the self-observer is, no one accepts even the "face value" unless other self-observers obtain or have obtained a similar result. In this sense all so-called subjective observation must be-come objective before science or even common sense can deal with it.

What are we doing in this procedure but following the exact method which is used in so-called objective observation? If we are observing a tree, each observes the tree through his own eyes and his "social" apperceptive mass. When people are observing an event which occurs in the behavior system of each, it is also by each observing through his own responses and his "social" apperceptive mass. There is one difference. This is in the event, not in the method of observation. The tree event is theoretically one event observed by several observers, while the self-observed events are theoretically several similar events observed by several observers. But the degree of check and certainty is similarly arrived at and similarly observed in both cases. "Natural" scientists perform separate observations of separate similar events right along. But even after this procedure has either denied or

( 145) corroborated the possible face value of the event, we must make some sort of analysis of the functional and causal relations. This is the same kind of analysis that was mentioned as the first means of attack. For, after all, in order to understand the event, its functional and sequential relationships must be gone into as in all branches of knowledge.

If someone wishes to call some of the above introspection, he may do so, but it deserves a more accurate name. Also it is a type of study which is useful in social psychology. It probably is some such process of self-observation that Cooley [39] and Faris

( 146) have in mind. But this type of observation must be clearly differentiated from the traditional introspection which assumed "direct" knowledge and direct observation, as if we observed except through the previously acquired basis and framework. I am speaking of something more fundamental than the "training" of the introspectionist. This traditional assumption has led psychologists to believe that they could discover psychological processes by "directly" looking inward, rather than by indirect examination and by attention to the causal, sequential and mechanical relation-ships involved. Of course we do not wish to discourage persons from trying to discover new or direct methods of knowing, for they would be a boon if discovered; but for the present we must put reliance upon the method described above.

Assuming that we consider this type of self-observation legitimate, the manner in which it may serve scientific investigation becomes an important consideration. While the method of observation may be the same, the event lies so close to personal interests, emotions, and sentiments that we have found it necessary to apply careful methods of checking and to be especially on guard against these biases. The assumption of "direct" observation leads us at once unguarded into these snares. W. F. Ogburn has pointed out the tendencies to rationalize, compensate, and build defense mechanisms in the field of social study.[40] The way in which such self-observational study may have a modicum of value, as was pointed out, is to place the emphasis upon a functional and causal study of the factors sequentially associated with these phenomena, and upon check by other observers. It

( 147) seems that at best such self-observational study must necessarily play a subsidiary and quite tentative r˘le. For it must be said that there is much more to the process of knowing these phenomena than this method alone reveals. After all, the way we come to know what desires, motives, wishes, and such phenomena, are—their strength, characteristics, and relations—is by observing people in action, by being in action ourselves and by developing observing responses in experience with others.

Of course, some of this is self-observation. But many social psychologists have only half realized the proposition so cogently expounded by Cooley, that we see even ourselves in the actions of those around us, those responding to us. We literally see through other eyes. It is in these social relationships and people's social behavior that we learn to know what desires, motives, etc., are. It is quite na´ve to assume that one is going to understand them simply by "introspecting." A social psychology written by this kind of "self-observation" would be a curious production. But if one may judge by their product, some sociologists and psychologists, as well as social psychologists, have used this method with little check quite extensively. To be sure, one must think, but verbal and symbolic activity is not to be confused with self-observation in its ordinary meaning. Some one may object that if a person were unable to feel and have emotions, he would be unable to understand other people. This is quite true, but neither would he "know" anything else. The statement holds with full force for our physical world as well as for social events.

What are our conclusions regarding subjective tendencies? The so-called subjective is observable by competent observers. It is to be studied as any other natural science is to be studied. Desires, motives, wishes are capable of the same kind of objective treatment. We get to know and observe feelings, desires, etc., literally in the actions of other people. The so-called subjective is rather non-subjective, a social process between people, and is understood only in these relations. One will apparently come to

( 148) know social psychology not by looking within, although this may help, but by looking without at the behavior of others and the behavior of oneself in relation to others. Desires, motives, wishes, and ideas are not processes merely inferred into persons' behavior, but objective realities. There is no objective to the word "subjective" when properly used, but in this connection it is misleading and erroneous on account of the implication of things unobservable and not amenable to objective check.

As social psychologists come to realize the objective, observable and behavioristic nature of these phenomena, then this study may hope to become more of a science of objection material and less like a literature where one man's opinion is as good as an-other's, with the lack of agreement that always prevails when information comes unchecked from the student's "subjective" experience. The above point of view is in direct contradiction to the tendency previously mentioned which arbitrarily separates trans-subjective behavior in a disconnected fashion from desires, wishes, ideas, etc. It is a method of studying experience as a whole and not as a disjointed universe.


We have been tracing trends away from individualistic and subjective to social and behavioristic interpretations of the responses of persons and personalities. There is, however, another phase running counter to this general trend which requires consideration. It is a direct broadside against the group and other conceptions of the sociologists which are taken by them as units of analysis. This view would have the individual gobble up the group, the institution, and other collective forms of response. All we have, according to it, is an aggregate of individuals but they are a remarkably stuffed and over-fat collection. However, in this shape they are taken to show that the group is a fallacy. It is only the individuals that are the units of scientific investigation.

There are not many who hold such an extreme view; but

( 149) there are considerably more who may verbally agree that a group is something more than the sum of the individuals but who, nevertheless, ignore this fact in their writings and discussions. So, while losing weight, the conception still has considerable influence. Floyd H. Allport, at a recent meeting of the American Sociological Society, has maintained that the conceptions of "group" and "institution" are incompatible with a natural science approach to social phenomena, if we take them as denoting objects to be studied.[41]

Those who have found the preceding sections convincing will need no further discussion of the points developed there in order to realize that the group unity is a fact and that the group exists as an object of study by the natural scientific method. However, it may be useful to summarize some of the main points indicative of the validity of the group as a unit of study. No special at-tempt is made to go into detail in taking up the points against the group concept proposed by specific papers, such as Allport's, since it is assumed that these objections will be taken care of in a straightforward discussion of the positive aspects of the conception.

(1) The group is a reality. Wilson D. Wallis in a short paper has set forth this position clearly and convincingly.[42]

But even Allport does not deny that the group is real,[43] so this point need not detain us.

(2) Groups are integrations of social interaction. The unity of the group must be looked for in interconnected and interdependent systems of social action. At no place in his paper does Allport, for example, define what he means by the group or the group concept. It is quite evident that he does not under-stand by the term what most sociologists understand by it. How-

( 150) -ever, those sociologists who describe sociology as a study of the group and of culture are also prone, almost unwittingly on ac-count of this division, to think of the group as a collection of biological organisms rather than to think of groups as existing in the interactions and inter-relations which go to make up culture. Such a division represents a most crude conception of the group. It is not the biological organisms as such, but their interconnected action which makes a group in the sociological sense of the term. Culture is a function of the group's existence, and culture exists at least in an elementary form in all groups. How much or what part of this culture is passed on is another problem. On the other hand, culture does not exist outside of a group formulation. A full study of group behavior must include the study of culture. If some arbitrarily limit the term cultural to the "man made" or the human social heritage, this would not alter the above statement.

(3) The group or institution represents a distinct level of objects in our universe. The action composing the group does not exist outside the group, it does not exist in the individuals as such, but only in individuals as part of a group. Conversely, the individual gets his existence as a person only as a member of a group. It should not take a great deal of study to disclose the fact that if groups were destroyed the individuals would perish also; I mean much more than physical destruction—I refer to the "person," the self, personality, and all other human characteristics in human groups, and the corresponding relations in other animal groups. Perhaps Allport's most serious error is transferring group phenomena into isolated individuals. The individuals of whom he writes are fictitious outside of a group formulation. (His position is similar to one which maintains that water exists in separate H and O atoms.)

(4) We respond explicitly to the group. To show this we could give illustration after illustration. A child responds to his play group. He will respond to his family group. He responds differently to a person when alone than when in a group.

( 151) A person will respond to his social group by the customary and conventional acts. To say that all he is responding to is individuals is to miss the essential nature of the stimulus.

(5) We observe a group explicitly and implicitly just as all scientists observe all phenomena. None observe totally explicitly or implicitly, but by an admixture of the two.

(6) Laws and formulations of group behavior are to be found in such studies as those of Sumner, Cooley, Thomas, Park, Burgess, Ross, Ellwood, Ogburn, and others. These are formulations which are characteristic of group phenomena and which do not characterize individuals as such.

(7) The study of the group as a natural object requires its own frame of reference which is different from that ordinarily employed by the social psychologist and still further removed from that of the psychologist. It is not surprising that psychologists, when looking for the group with an inadequate frame of reference or basis of observation, should fail to find a very satisfactory formulation of the group and group phenomena. All-port, for instance, in his discussion employs the psychologists' frame of reference, which is a basis for the observation of the individual as an individual unit and not one for the observation of the group. It is something like looking for an elephant with a microscope.


In the previous sections there have been discussed some significant aspects of the current emphasis upon the social interdependence of the responses of individuals. In addition to important sociological and anthropological influences, the trend toward a more objective and natural scientific method of analysis [44] in social psychology has been influenced markedly by developments in various closely allied studies, some of which, if not in name,

( 152) are in fact, studies in social psychology. Some of these developments will be pointed out.

We already have pointed out one of the most serious weaknesses of behaviorism, its inadequate treatment of reflective behavior and the social relations connected with it. However, behaviorism [45] and the behavioristic method have had a remarkable influence upon social psychology and the social sciences. If this approach can be shorn of its "ism" or clique characteristics and adopted as a method of study, it may continue to be of immense value. Particularly will it be valuable to state desires, wishes, motives, and the so-called subjective, in terms of behavior. The trend in this direction seems due for a large expansion. Watson's position in his Ways of Behaviorism is in many respects the same as that of scientific social psychology. The study of the social behavior of individuals and of personality is giving increasing attention to the behavioristic approach.

Associated with this approach, a conception which has proved most useful is that of the conditioned reflex and conditioned response contributed by the Russian school of objective and behavioristic psychology, by Pavlov [46] in particular. This already has had a remarkable influence upon American behaviorists, psychologists, social psychologists and sociologists. It has proved its worth. We undoubtedly will make much more use of it in the future. It has furnished further mechanistic basis for learning and for psychological processes.

There has, however, been a tendency to take conditioned response in too absolute and complete a manner. While we know that conditioning goes on, it is still our problem to discover how it takes place, particularly in the more complex type of learning. We also must be cautious about the too complete acceptance of conditioned response as an explanation of learning. Configura-

( 153) -tionists, integrationists, and other workers have given us warning here. Also, conditioning has too often carried the implication of only a mechanical substitution when conditioning occurs. In behavior and in the process of conditioning we must allow for integration of a more complex nature. But even quite complex and "meaningful" behavior must be regarded as taking place within dynamic constellations of conditioned reflex and response mechanisms.

The Gestalt theorists [47] up to the present have had much less influence upon social psychology. They are insisting upon a consideration of the total action, the relation of the stimulus to its background and to the form or configuration of the response. In general, the sociologist has been insisting for some time upon a consideration of the total situation and the relation of the configurational arrangement—for instance, Thomas and Znaniecki's discussion of social attitudes, social values and the social situation. In other words, it seems that social psychologists have previously cashed in on much that Gestalt might have contributed.[48] However, the Gestalt popularity should give new strength and impetus to this type of study.

The Gestalt theorists have brought pertinent criticisms against some of the behaviorists. They claim that it is not valid to think of a person's habits and integrations as necessarily being built up by "piecing" together previously-formed sections of behavior. Their thesis is that new configurations occur which are not found in isolated parts. It seems necessary to modify our conception in this respect in order to allow for integrations which are more than a mere summation of parts of previous behavior but which

( 154) are "new" integrations. The work of neurologists also tends to support the idea that everything is not given at birth. Of course the potentialities exist at that time. Further, it is made clearer that a stimulus is not to be taken as existing in isolation but must be determined by experimentation and in association with related conditions.

In the work of physiological psychologists, neurologists, and gland physiologists,[49] we find very important support for a mechanistic conception of human behavior. Such work as that of Loeb, Jennings, Verworn, and others have shown the importance of trophisms, chemical reactions, and irritability traits. Herrick, Child, Sherrington, and Pavlov have developed the mechanistic aspects of highly integrated behavior in a very suggestive manner. Lashley, Watson, Thorndike, and other experimental psychologists have given particular attention to the learning processes. The work of Cannon, Kempf, Crile, and others has served to bring to the foreground the importance of glands and visceral functions in human behavior. Social psychology has benefited tremendously from the work of those not even primarily interested in social behavior.

The advances in this knowledge of the working of the nervous system, its irritability traits, the place of chemical reactions in behavior, the influence of the glands and viscera, all have gone to show us the irrational man, one who acts not from reason and logic but from reflexes, glandular activity, etc. The system of psychology which bounced this irrational character into the fore-front of discussion was that resulting from the work of Freud and his followers, along with the work of other psycho-analysts,

( 155) psychiatrists, alienists, and abnormal psychologists.[50] These studies are highly social psychological. Instead of the "rational man," or the "economic man," who reasons out what is best for everybody and then acts accordingly, we find persons acting from reasons often unknown or unrecognized and giving themselves and others clever "rationalizations" of why they did this or that. Of course this does not mean that man never acts rationally.

One of the healthiest influences upon social psychology has been the study of abnormal psychology. Here we discover that the traits which appear in exaggerated form in the abnormal are of the same kind that appear in normal beings. We find that all people are somewhat crazy or abnormal. While abnormality often is caused by organic disorders, it also is often the result of a social maladjustment. This study emphasizes, too, that there always are deterministic reasons for a person's behavior being what it is. However, in this connection the psycho-analysts have put themselves under heavy liability for their auto-egoistic and individualistic interpretations of social phenomena, and also for their great emphasis upon such mysterious entities as the libido. Nevertheless, although psycho-analysis must be classed as highly subjective in some respects, it has contributed to a greater functional and causal insight into behavior. Even the instinctivist school, to which many psycho-analysts would belong, reinforces in certain ways a mechanistic and functional conception of human behavior. Social psychology seems to be due for much growth in connection with abnormal psychology and psychiatry.

The whole effect of mechanistic and objective tendencies is to give us a causal and functional conception of human behavior, to see in it the working out of functional sequences and dependent relationships and not of caprice, chance and accident. It leads the social scientist to a personal attitude not of blaming or calling

( 156) things "good" or "bad," but of understanding and discovering the causes and reasons for human behavior, rational and irrational.

Two other important influences upon social psychology should be indicated. One is that of child study, and the other is that of psychological tests. Child study is so intimately tied up with psychology and social psychology that we already have indicated many influences which can be traced to this source. Space is too limited to give it the additional special treatment that it deserves [51] Only some points regarding psychological tests will be mentioned.

In order to determine behavior, actual and potential, a large number of such tests have been devised. These tests are all special tests, although some do attempt general testing by covering various types of skill. Some are accepted purely as special performance tests, but a large number are used to generalize upon skill or ability not tested directly; especially is this true in regard to heredity. The so-called intelligence tests often are considered as testing innate intelligence. In so far as the tests are used for the purpose of testing innate intelligence, their results would not be primarily social but psychological. But in so far as they measure the acquirement of skills and influences which are a function of social interaction, their results would be primarily social psychological.

Now it has never been proved that these tests do test innate intelligence, since they measure at least two variables—one, hereditary mechanisms, and two, acquired mechanisms. No test so far has been devised which will test with one of these variables held constant, although it is often assumed that environmental factors are constant. The persons making such assumptions often have made only a most casual and general study of the environment and are not specialists in the influence of environment, as one would naturally expect of them before they made such an

( 157) assumption. On the contrary, we find that, as a rule, the more familiar one becomes with the environmental influence, the more critical he becomes of making the assumption of a common environment even in its quite elementary aspects. The influences in early childhood which numerous writers and investigators have emphasized as being very potent in determining later tendencies often are lost sight of. Watson, in his investigations concerning child behavior, has placed particular importance upon the de-termination of character by early habits and influences. Not only do we have persons ignoring these environmental factors, but we find them correlating intelligence tests with such powerful advantages and disadvantages as are given by economic status ; and because they naturally find a correlation, they assume it to be due to heredity even after thus stacking or "fixing" their variables. The comparison is quite legitimate, but the conclusions cannot be decisive for heredity. Such a conclusion goes beyond the data. What the correlation gives is that the higher score goes with the higher economic advantage, and vice versa, and not necessarily that the higher score goes with higher heredity. This is yet to be determined. Even giving subsequent tests to the same person does not hold heredity strictly constant, although it does eliminate some variable factors. In this connection, Frank Freeman has reported some very interesting studies on foster children, showing the increase in intelligence scores when children were placed in a more favorable home environment.[52]

Besides hereditary influences, there are also organic influences which are measured by these tests, in addition to social influences and social training. However, when intelligently and critically used, these tests furnish us with some very valuable information concerning group and social influences, concerning types of personalities and responses to particular social stimuli and situations.

We will turn now to a consideration of the specific field of phenomena with which social psychology is concerned.

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There has been some dispute as to whether social psychology properly belongs with sociology or psychology. The psychologists often have regarded the sociologist as too unfamiliar with psychological information and technique, which they have regarded as essential to an understanding of social psychology. If we look at the contribution of psychologists to our knowledge of the results of social influences upon the individual, their claim as represented by this is a very impressive one. The contributions in personality study, the study of the "self," abnormal behavior, and of other social responses are truly imposing. Such names as James, Angell, Dewey, Watson, Calkins, Wundt, MŘnsterburg, Woodworth, etc., those of the mental testers, psychiatrists, Freudians, abnormal psychologists, and child psychologists call to mind some of their contributions. Some psychologists go even further and state that the psychologists could study the responses of one after another of the individuals of a group; therefore sociology itself is only an extended study of individual psychology. In any case, they would say the study of social psychology is merely the study of the individual under social influences.

Sociologists, on the other hand, charge the psychologist with not being sufficiently familiar with social influences, group behavior and social situations; further, that the habitual bent of the psychologist is toward uncovering individual uniformities rather than the effect of social influences, and that this attitude is often inimical to a rounded study of the social behavior of individuals. Some sociologists [53] state that all the individual psychologists can give us is the form of the response of individuals to social situations ; that it remains for the social psychologist to study the particular responses (attitudes) in relation to social situations (values). Their point is that psychology attempts to formulate laws which are valid for all individuals everywhere, whereas social psychology studies the responses of individuals as

( 159) controlled by social situations, and generalizations for these would not be valid for all individuals but only for those having certain relations to these social situations. Other sociologists go further and claim complete independence from psychology. For instance, Wallis [54] recently put forward what has been regarded by some as a convincing statement of the view. His main contention is that it is legitimate to select any part of reality as a unit of study; he holds also that "individual psychology is not a guide to the behavior of the group" and particularly not a guide to cultural traits.

While different fields of scientific knowledge seem to be moving closer together, still for methodological purposes a division of labor seems essential. Perhaps the most satisfactory differentiation between sciences is to be found in the frames of reference through which they view phenomena. Without a consistent frame of reference, uniformities are not accurately observed and laws generalized. At best, one gets only a running descriptive account. Since all three—psychology, social psychology, and sociology—aim to be nomological sciences, an examination of their respective frames of reference may be helpful.

One frame of reference takes the individual organism as its unit and studies its behavior. This is the generally accepted frame of reference of psychology. The neurologist studies the behavior of nerves as such, but this is a still different frame of generalization. Psychology takes the total nervous system and endeavors to study its behavior as an organic unit. It is interested in establishing universally valid laws of the behavior of organisms in general, and for particular species—the human, the rat, etc. This might adequately be called physiological psychology.

Another frame of reference is to take as a unit of analysis the response of the individual as a functional part of a social situation. Here the attempt is no longer to generalize for all persons, but to generalize for certain relationships between responses and situations. Psychology can tell us that all humans

( 160) vocalize, but social psychology tells us that in a certain situation one will vocalize Chinese; in another, Spanish; in another, German ; in another, "baby talk" ; in another, a combination. Individual psychology as such could only generalize regarding the form of the behavior ; social psychology gives the more specific functional relationship and content.

Thomas and Znaniecki, as previously mentioned, have discussed some phases of these two viewpoints. Weiss makes a division into the bio-physical response and the bio-social response. The bio-physical response determines the typical behavior of the individual as an organism. Weiss emphasizes that the bio-social response, however, is to be understood only in its social setting.[55] Kimball Young points out that social psychology studies the con-tent of social responses.

It is quite evident that the psychologist who is used to taking the individual as a unit is likely to have some difficulty in becoming a social psychologist. Often he never makes a shift in his frame of reference. Allport, as we have noticed, looking through these spectacles, never has been able adequately to grasp the fact that there is a group or an institution. It is doubtful whether many social psychologists have clearly thought out their basis of generalization and the fact that a change in frame of reference is required. Watson has changed his emphasis so that he sees no difference between psychology, social psychology, and sociology. This lands him rather close to the social psychologist's position, although I have nowhere seen him recognize this clearly.

There is another difficulty into which the psychologist gets. Since he generalizes for the individual, he tends continually to attribute to the individual organism, hereditary and other influences which the social psychologist finds to be due to the social situation. This is quite natural, since some phenomena, when abstracted from social life, are inexplicable. The psychologist

( 161) does the easy thing and calls these the result of heredity. For example, some even see morality or criminality as inherited traits.

The sociologist, on the other hand, takes the group as an integration, not of mere organisms, as some psychologists seem to think, but as an integration of parts of behavior into groups or complex social action. The group, as we have said, is a phenomenon which exists in the behavior of individuals in mutual interrelation, but not in individuals separate from this interrelation, i.e., we can never cut the group up into pieces and still have left the group. Sociology generalizes the laws of the processes of collective or group behavior, the formation, change and interaction of social groups and group acts. It studies these processes in both time and space. This includes the study of culture.[56]

If these three frames of reference be accepted as those of the three disciplines under discussion, Wallis' plea for the independence of social psychology turns out to be one for the independence of sociology. Here it has much more validity than it would for social psychology, accepting as the latter's basis of reference the responses of individuals to social situations. Since in this case individuals do the responding, a knowledge of psychology appears essential to an adequate understanding of these processes. Of course one might study some limited aspect with slight psychological knowledge, but one has a limited knowledge when finished. While this may be legitimate, for the social psychologist to get an adequate picture it is necessary to draw upon psychology and even neurology and physiology. In fact, psychology might be regarded as divided into physiological psychology and social psychology. Balz [57] goes further and calls all psychology, social psychology. He thus has ignored the frames of reference involved so that his position is not strictly

( 162) valid, although he does well to emphasize the dominant influence of social life. To go to the other extreme with K. Young, and call group study the main field of social psychology, does not agree with sound methodology or prevalent practice.

Does it seem likely that social psychology will become a di-vision of general psychology as it might logically? There are at least two difficulties in the way. First, a knowledge of sociology is just as essential as is a knowledge of psychology; and an approach from the group viewpoint has considerable advantage. Second, the psychologists have in general shown a lack of under-standing of sociology. In order to become first-rate social psychologists, they must be well oriented in sociology. On the other hand, sociologists who are social psychologists have demonstrated a greater mastery of psychology. For example, some of the best-informed social psychologists in the country, such as L. L. Bernard, Ellsworth Faris, and Kimball Young, are sociologists.

A further question may be raised at this point. Is social psychology limited to a study of the human animal? Theoretically, there seems to be no valid reason for so limiting it [58] Such students as Allport, Ellwood, Gault, and Giddings would extend it to the wider study. Comparative study of animals is a profitable enterprise, as the work of K÷hler, Wheeler, Alverdes, McGee, Kropotkin, Espinas, and others well demonstrates. But since the field is so broad and since the human aspects appeal to our anthropocentric interests, it is probable that human social psychology will continue to obtain the lion's share of attention. However, comparative study is bound to receive more consideration.

If the preceding discussion is convincing, social psychology may take its place as a natural science. In the discussion on subjectivity, introspection, and the fallacy of the group fallacy, we have set forth propositions showing it to meet the tests of a natural science. Its phenomena are observable and objective, in

( 163) common with all sciences. It is true that we still lack a technique as well developed as some of the other sciences have acquired. We still have persons who are na´ve enough to believe they can write social psychology by random observation, anecdotes, and a little logic—a thing that one cannot do in physics, for instance. Nevertheless, sufficient pseudo-science is written in the "natural" sciences to remind one of glass houses, and there is a sufficiently large body of careful work in social psychology to make us hopeful for the future.

It will be possible for social psychology to make some salvage from instinctive traits, desires, wishes, attitudes, and even the "sacred subjective," along the lines that have already been indicated. The task is that of observing the functional, sequential, and mechanistic relationship of these phenomena, rather than taking them as something upon which to rely as explanations. This I think will lead to a study of what Mead has called the complex social act. The social act depends for its existence upon individuals in interaction. The task of the social psychologist is to study the responses in these complex social acts. Znaniecki's proposition that the social act may represent a relatively closed system, therefore a more satisfactory process in which to formulate social psychological laws, is well worth careful consideration. One may accept this conception, however, without agreeing with his extraordinarily rationalistic definition and analysis of social acts themselves. This goes so far in his treatment that he at times seems to deny that social acts may be regarded as closed systems. While some behavior may be of the intellectualistic and rationalistic type which he assumes, social psychology would be quite incomplete and inadequate if it did not include much more than this, for social acts are certainly not so limited. With human beings, such study quite clearly will concern itself with such complexes of social responses as the "self," "selves," "per-sons," "personalities," [59] as well as with the study of "desire" and

( 164) "wish"complexes, social habit mechanisms, and symbols. All of these are at present receiving a great deal of attention.

The study of responses as parts of complex social acts is a methodological principle of immense importance, once its significance is clearly grasped. The social person may be regarded as beginning, mediating, or ending social acts. Few acts of a person are complete in themselves. Some acts may set in motion a train of consequences running over the world. We are constantly beginning actions which we expect to be completed in this way or that. A thorough student of the situation calculates quite accurately on the result. The less careful student is more often disappointed. The practical organizer or the politician is often a keen judge of social responses to him and to other social influences. Of course, in speaking of actions which are calculated or planned, it must be emphasized that much of our behavior is uncalculated, irrational, emotional, poorly verbalized or unverbalized, traditional, conventional, and habitual.

When we think of the persons' acts as part of a larger group-act, some very interesting problems for investigation are suggested. How do these uncompleted acts fit into different groupings ? What is the effect, in transplanting them, upon habit organization or disorganization? A whole series of other questions pertinent for social control and social organization readily come to mind. In this connection, there is a large field, almost untouched, concerning the making and changing of habits by social means. Our habit clinics should be of greater use in this respect. Also there is the field of child training and the social control of the child. With the rapidly growing number of institutes, something more may be expected along this line.

In regard to changing habits, putting special attention upon the "means whereby" the "end" may be obtained seems a very suggestive attack. Since the "end" stimulus may tend to produce the customary action, it often is quite difficult to achieve another

( 165) type of action in the situation; whereas attention upon "means" or intermediate steps can bring one out at a different "end" with-out so much difficulty. F. M. Alexander, in Man's Supreme Inheritance,[60] has given some suggestive material along this line. But a social psychological analysis is needed to show the relation of social influences to the achievement of the "means whereby."

Also, since symbolic mechanisms make possible an intelligent and planned control of people and situations, it is of great importance to get as much insight into their operation as possible. A stimulating question to ask, as Todd does,[61] is how far we may be carried by this means. It is evident that symbolic mechanisms built up in the process of natural evolution will become of much greater significance in social organization and social life generally. A study of responses to sign and symbol situations will repay greater consideration.[62] In this connection there are rich findings in store for the investigator of the r˘le of ideals, ambitions, fixed ideas, stereotypes, and such integrations. Of particular interest are the materials of psychiatry dealing with compulsions, fears, complexes, symbolization, and similar phenomena. The genetic aspects deserve especial consideration in this connection.

The great advantage of approaching the study of social psychology from the group angle has been mentioned several times. This opens up immediately a wide field of special social psychologies, as, for instance, political psychology or the social psychology of institutions, established groups and classes. This phase of study has been poorly developed in America.[63] It will

( 166) also be clear from previous analysis that such special studies, to be fundamentally sound, will regard individual social responses as functions of the social situation. In this connection, the social situations involved in the basic economic classes and groups are of particularly deterministic and wide importance. A study of responses in class "consciousness," race "consciousness," occupational reactions, occupational types, labor psychology, capitalistic psychology, radical and conservative reactions, and conditions which give rise to these, the effect of mechanization upon social responses, etc., will yield very valuable scientific information on social behavior. The responses of persons in other social processes and forms of interaction, such as co÷peration, conflict, and competition, need much more detailed analysis. In regard to the group orientation, we may well give greater attention to the normal or usual behavior and to conditioning that occurs under these more ordinary influences and group situations. It is as necessary to uncover the regular responses as it is the abnormal or unusual. Such study is of especial importance in the infant period.

In addition to the above, there is also the comparison of responses between individuals, giving us distributions and statistical curves of various sorts—the many psychological tests, for example—or, for instance, such work as Thurstone's attempt at measuring attitudes.[64] It seems to me that frequency scatter

( 167) diagrams allowing for at least two dimensional scales, or variables, are more hopeful for an analytical study of attitude than a one-scale chart, for attitudes often have opposing or conflicting elements in them. Even several frequency charts and multiple correlations should be helpful to allow for numerous attitudinal components. Special attention should be paid to the possibility of curvilinear regression. Besides this, there are other interesting beginnings in the study of typical responses and social distance.


It seems, in general, that sciences have grown out of the problems of social life. This is also true of social psychology, which has developed out of the ever-insistent problem of understanding and controlling the behavior of persons in a world growing constantly more complex and difficult to manage. How will social psychology continue to develop under these conditions?

That the central tendency of social psychology in its more practical and applied aspects is around the problem of social control is readily seen in the many uses to which its principles are put. The applications of social psychology of course ramify throughout all social life, but one may mention a few phases which seem more closely related to this study as a discipline. Modern advertising methods have made an especially wide use of the psychology of suggestion. Salesmen, particularly of the high-pressure type, have employed its principles extensively. Indus-try, in dealing with workers, labor unions, customers and "the public," has made considerable use of it. Its utilization by community fund drives, by religious organizations, by civic associations in agitation for legislation, by co÷perative associations, unions, and clubs, is also familiar. Under modern governmental operation the principles of social psychology have been of great political interest. Examples may be drawn from such activities as the manipulation of people by popular demagogues, and immense drive campaigns, as illustrated in the mobilization of the

( 168) martial spirit at the entrance into the last war. Its principles in press and propaganda have been employed to organize and maintain those things which are "right," "to be respected," and "proper," and to get rid of troublesome ideas and movements, to stimulate heresy hunts, to sanction trade conquest, and to aid in many other ways by which the path of political enterprise is made smoother.

The needs of education and child training have had a pronounced influence upon the growth of social psychology and closely allied studies. The vogue of tests, sporadic experimental methods and similar efforts exemplify the interest here. Experimental schools are usually based in one way or another upon social psychological theories or principles. In the treatment of children in habit clinics, in juvenile delinquency cases, and in other corrective work, its principles have been employed more or less, but much remains to be done in this connection, especially in reŰducative treatment, court and legal procedure, and the broad field of criminal justice. The fields of abnormal behavior and psychiatric treatment are further interesting and rather popular illustrations of the practical use and encouragement of social psychological development.

Social work, since so much of its treatment deals with individuals, being practically limited to them and smaller groups, has made use of social psychology, as has been partially indicated above. Many personality conflicts, kinks, and maladjustments can be adequately handled by the social worker with an under-standing of its laws. However, the social worker has made less use both of social psychology and sociology than one might expect. This lack is perhaps due to the nature of social work. For in order to eliminate or change the stimuli and conditions causing maladjustment, to furnish the corrective social stimuli and take care of the causes properly, the social worker would, in most cases, have to change the social conditions which produced the maladjustments. Here he is likely to get into difficulty. Not only is he faced with the concrete task of reorganization, but

( 169) when he tries to change social conditions he often runs into the opposition of those vested interests which profit thereby. These same interests may be those which furnish funds for his work. Such a person is likely to be made short shift of as a meddler because, after all, the social worker by his very function is an administrator of the mores and standards of the dominant groups, and these often sanction the condition which he would eliminate. Hence, the ones who last are usually those who do little in a large sense to take care of the fundamental causes of maladjustment, but who often merely anaesthetize or chloroform the patient in order that the fundamental causes of maladjustment may continue to operate unmolested. As long as the social worker is under such control, he will undoubtedly continue to perform this function; and the principles of social psychology will be of less use to him than they otherwise would be in such situations. At present, his main reliance is upon those principles which enable him to pacify persons in uncomfortable positions. That part of social psychology dealing with the psychology of religion may be of help to the social worker in this connection.

On account of the many practical phases of social psychology, the science has had a rapid growth, although it is only in the beginnings of its contribution to the technique of social control. Social psychology also is taking a noticeably more important place in school curricula. Courses in political psychology have recently been added to social psychology. Perhaps one significant difficulty in teaching social, and particularly political, psychology is that it may analyze too clearly the methods of "democratic" control. While this may be useful to the future politician, it may be dangerous for too many laymen to understand all of the methods whereby people are manipulated. It is probable that for the present the attempt at a rounded teaching of political psychology especially will be rather lopsided. Social psychological research is being encouraged, but the facilities after all are very meager.[65]

( 170) Professor Ogg's report on opportunities for research in the humanistic sciences, presented to the American Council of Learned Societies, may be discouraging and perhaps helpful. Much of the research under way is not directly in social psychology but only goes into this aspect "by the way" or "on the side." Much more than this is necessary. When complaints are made of the lack of experimental and other exact research, one must consider the lack of proper resources, along with the fact that a large part of the present research is supported for special purposes and special interests rather than for the development of a science. Too little of the work being done is research and too little of the re-search is of a high type, and still less of it is experimental work.[66] As Ogburn remarks, this undoubtedly is due to the state of the science, at least in part. It also is partially due to some of the limitations inherent in social experimentation. These handicaps to experimental work in my opinion have been overrated. Numerous ones are due to social censorship, tabu, and prohibition. Especially is this true in the realm of personal experimentation if it happens to go counter to the mores and standards of the group. Experimentation in institutional changes is greatly restricted where results may be contradictory to already established organizations or when it is concerned with institutions well embedded in the mores. In spite of the fact that they are meager, we need

( 171) a comparative summary and analysis of the results of the experimentation and research which already have been completed. From such a study, conclusions and generalizations could be formulated, not because they fit a previously-made system, but because they appear from the findings themselves. This type of summary is neglected, perhaps because it is a time-consuming and difficult task, but it is vital.

As a science grows out of conditions, it is also conditioned by them. The problem of controlling social affairs is ever present. Hence the prospects seem fairly bright for the development of social psychology along those lines which help one person to control another, some groups to exploit other groups, and vested interests to maintain themselves. Research, teaching, and practical application concerning the development, rather than the control, of persons and personalities seem destined to lag behind or remain more of an academic interest until we are organized to run social and economic life rather than to be run by it. It is evident that a full development of social psychology waits upon a social organization for the purpose of creating and freeing persons rather than for exploiting them, but this is apparently true of social sciences generally.


  1. Summaries will be found elsewhere : Kimball Young, chap. iv in the History and Prospects of the Social Sciences, H. E. Barnes, Ed. (1925) ; L. L. Bernard, An Introduction to Social Psychology (1926) ; and J. W. Sprowls, Social Psychology Interpreted (1927).
  2. Functional is used to mean dependent processes and not, as some biopsychologists still use it, to mean the operation of metaphysical entities which they posit.
  3. Bernard, op. cit.; Young, Source Book for Social Psychology (1927). See F. H. Allport, Social Psychology (1924), for a treatment of the subject which gives little attention to group factors. His treatment is fine as far as it goes.
  4. Mechanistic is used throughout this discussion merely as indicating functional and dependent relationships.
  5. The cultural anthropologists have made significant contributions in this respect, especially Boas and his associates. Malinowski has done some good writing on the relation of action to thought among pre-literates. See B. Malinowski, "The Problem of Meaning in Primitive Language," pp. 452-510, in Ogden and Richards, The Meaning of Meaning (1923). The slight influence of folk psychologists, such as Wundt, Lazarus and Steinthal, upon American social psychology has perhaps come somewhat indirectly through anthropology and psychology.
  6. Ellsworth Faris' critical paper on the subject is suggestive. "The Concept of Imitation," American Journal of Sociology, 1926, vol. xxxii, pp. 367-378.
  7. W.B. Bodenhafer, "The Comparative R˘le of the Group Concept in Ward's Dynamic Sociology and Contemporary American Sociology," American Journal of Sociology, 1920-21, vol. xxvi, and Miss M. P. Follett, The New State (1918), have given some telling criticisms of the imitation theory from a social standpoint.
  8. See C. H. Cooley, Human Nature and the Social Order (1922), and J. M. Baldwin, Social and Ethical Interpretations (1906).
  9. In passing, it may be indicated that at present the tendency is to regard social unity in terms of the integration and functional unity of group processes.
  10. E. D. Martin. The Behavior of Crowds (1920).
  11. See the later articles in the Journal of Religious Education.
  12. For example, those of Jessie Ravitch (Bernard), on responses to customs among Jews ; C. C. Zimmerman, on farmer's attitudes ; Dorothy P. Gary, on behavior integrations of southern textile workers; Stuart Rice, on political responses; also some articles by F. S. Chapin.
  13. W. G. Sumner, Folkways (1906).
  14. In his Introduction to Social Psychology (1909).
  15. See literature summaries cited elsewhere in this chapter.
  16. For a summary of recent work on excitability, see C. A. L. Evans, Recent Advances in Physiology (1928).
  17. L.Carmichael has touched upon this point in "Heredity and Environment: Are they Antithetical?" Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 1925, vol. xx, pp. 245-260.
  18. Read Bain, "An Attitude on Attitude Research," American Journal of Sociology, 1928, vol. xxxiii, pp. 940-957. Also see P. M. Symonds, "What is an Attitude?" Psychological Bulletin, March, 1927, pp. 200-201.
  19. Op. Cit., P. 940.
  20. E. Faris, "Attitudes and Behavior," American Journal of Sociology, 1928, vol. xxxiv, pp. 271-281.
  21. Op. Cit., p. 1951.
  22. Cf. W. I. Thomas and F. Znaniecki's conception in the "Introduction," and "Methodological Note" in The Polish Peasant in Europe and America 1927).
  23. Also see his "The Concept of Social Attitudes," Journal of Applied Sociology, 1925, vol. ix, pp. 404-409.
  24. An Introduction to Social Psychology, p. 246.
  25. Faris does not outline a technique for research based upon this definition but suggests the possibility of a subsequent discussion on research. It remains to be seen whether or not concrete research projects can be worked out which really depend upon this conception and which could not be more effectively handled by a more clear-cut behavioristic definition. In this way we will get a chance to taste the pudding.
  26. Zimmerman correlates opinion with past experience; Gary compares "speech" with other phenomena; Chapin, in Cultural Change (1928), has schematically proposed a correlation of "opinions" with past history and with overt behavior.
  27. An Introduction to the Science of Society (1924).
  28. The Polish Peasant.
  29. Op. Cit., pp. 439 ff.
  30. "Contemporary Sociological Theories (1928).
  31. Ibid., p. 656.
  32. Ibid., p. 656.
  33. Thomas and Znaniecki, The Polish Peasant, "methodological note"; Faris, "The Subjective Aspect of Culture," Publications of American Sociological Society, 1925, vol. xix, pp. 37-46, and "The Nature of Human Nature," ibid., 1926, vol. xx, pp. 15-29. See also C. A. Ellwood, "Objectivism in Sociology," American Journal of Sociology, 1916-17, vol. xxii, pp. 289-305, and "Scientific Method of Studying Human Society," Journal of Social Forces, 1923-24, vol. ii, pp. 328-332. Each of these emphasizes the subjective category.
  34. Cf. Watson's recent book, The Ways of Behaviorism. While theoretically Watson would claim a behavioristic explanation, his treatment is not satisfactory.
  35. G. H. Mead, "A Behavioristic Account of the Significant Symbol," Journal of Philosophy, 1922, vol. xix, pp. 157-163; "The Social Self," ibid., 1913, vol. x, pp. 274-280; "Social Consciousness and the Consciousness of Meaning," Psychological Bulletin, 1910, vol. vii, pp. 397-405; John Dewey, "Knowledge and Speech Reaction," Journal of Philosophy, 1922, vol. xix, pp. 561-570; Experience and Nature (1925) ; John F. Markey, The Symbolic Process and its Integration in Children (1928) ; E. B. Holt, The Freudian Wish (1915) ; J. F. Dashiell, "A Physiological-Behavioristic Description of Thinking," Psychological Review, 1925, vol. xxxii, pp. 54-73; K. S. Lashley, "The Behavioristic Interpretation of Consciousness," ibid., 1923, vol. xxx, pp. 237-272; 329-353.
  36. A. P. Weiss, A Theoretical Basis of Human Behavior (1925). Also see his articles in the Psychological Review and the Psychological Bulletin.
  37. J. Piaget has done some interesting research in this connection, although he quite inadequately takes social relations into account. See his Language and Thought of the Child (1926).
  38. This is more completely discussed in The Symbolic Process.
  39. Cooley's apparent view in "Roots of Social Knowledge," American Journal of Sociology, 1926, vol. xxxii, pp. 59-79, that there are two generically different kinds of knowledge, one material and the other social, can hardly be accepted. The position seems well refuted in Mead's article, "A Behavioristic Account of the Significant Symbol," op. cit., and Dewey's "Knowledge and Speech Reaction," op. cit., and "Experience and Nature," op. cit., as well as implicity by materials presented in his own Human Nature and the Social Order. Of course people know the difference between a human and an auto-mobile, and there are special bodies of knowledge about them ; but this does not prove that we know one by sympathetic "imagination" and the other by the "senses." Permitting for the time being the use of these terms, both of which are very vague and much misunderstood symbols, it may be said that we know both these objects by "imagination" as well as by the "senses." The fact that we may become more "emotional" in one case than in the other does not therefore mean a generically different method of knowing. The emotional factor is only a matter of degree. Or to use sympathetic imagination in Cooley's sense of putting one's self in the place of another, leaves no more secure foundation for such a fundamental separation. For we get to know people through the senses (rather, all our responses, including those of the sense organs) and socially interchangeable stimuli, and we get to know things through the senses, responses, and socially interchangeable stimuli. In other words, we come to know things and the differences between people and things in the same manner that we come to know people and the differences between people. Cooley's division probably traces back to his apparently too sharp separation of the human from the rest of the animal world. And surely to claim that we know objects by "senses" savors of the introspectionist's fallacy of "direct" knowing which we already have discussed. To dichotomize knowing into knowing by "senses" and by "imagination" seems an even more unjustified division. For apparently we know through our whole responding mechanism—visceral, muscular, etc.—including responses of the so-called "sense" organs and our interconnections with other persons. So-called imaginative responses are an aspect of this integration. Nor is such a generic division necessary in order to emphasize the efficacy of just as abstract and imaginative thinking as possible.
    Cooley is so cogent a thinker that on this account his unsound thinking is sugar-coated, but should perhaps for this reason be more carefully analyzed. A poor thinker points out his own weaknesses. Cooley has spent time polishing diamonds, but he has polished some glass as well. His "Roots of Social Knowledge" seems to a large degree a matter of glass-polishing, for he could very well have made the point that there is a difference between regarding people as human and regarding other animals, things, and sometimes people as non-human, just as one can regard a pea as food and as a bio-chemical compound, without assuming two different methods of knowing.
  40. ôBias, Psychoanalysis and the Subjective in Relation to the Social Sciences," Publications of American Sociological Society, 1923, vol. xvii, pp. 62-74.
  41. `Group' and `Institution' as Concepts in a Natural Science of Social Phenomena," Publications of the American Sociological Society, 1928, vol. xxii, pp. 83-99; also "The Group Fallacy in Relation to Social Science," American Journal of Sociology, 1924, vol, xxix, pp. 688-706.
  42. "The Independence of Social Psychology," Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 1925, vol. xx, pp. 147-150.
  43. Op. cit., p. 97.
  44. Natural science as opposed to some other sort of science seems an unwarranted distinction td me. However, common usage has emphasized this term as indicative of objective scientific procedure, and it is so used here. Mechanistic is used to indicate functional or dependent relations.
  45. J. B. Watson, Psychology from the Standpoint of a Behaviorist (1928) ; Weiss, op. cit., and various articles by K. Lashley, and I. P. Pavlov, Lectures on Conditional Reflexes (1928).
  46. See Pavlov, op. cit.; Hulsey Cason, "General Aspects of Conditional Response," Psychological Review, 1925, vol. xxxii, pp. 298-316; and W. H. Burn-ham The Normal Mind (1924), for material on conditioned response.
  47. See H. Helson, "The Psychology of Gestalt," American Journal of Psychology, 1925, vol. xxxvi, pp. 342-370, 494-526; 1926, vol. xxxii, pp. 25-62, 189-223 ; K. Koffka, The Growth of the Mind (1924) ; W. K÷hler, The Mentality of Apes (1925), and other writings by the last two for material on Gestalt psychology. A new book on Gestalt by K÷hler has been announced.
  48. Thomas' recent paper, "The Behavior Pattern and the Situation," Publications American Sociological Society, 1928, vol. xxii, pp. 1-13, emphasizes again the situational approach, as does F. Znaniecki's more recent book, The Laws of Social Psychology (1925).
  49. See especially Jacques Loeb, Mechanistic Conception of Life, or his Organism as a Whole; H. S. Jennings on the behavior of lower organisms; C. J. Herrick, The Brains of Rats and Men (1926) ; C. M. Child, Physiological Foundation of Behavior (1924) ; M. Verworn, Irritability (1913) ; C. S. Sherrington, "Some Aspects of Animal Mechanism," Science n. s., 1922, vol. lvi, pp. 343-541; The Integrative Action of the Nervous System (1906) ; W. B. Can-non, Bodily Changes in Pain, Hunger, Fear and Rage (1920) ; E. J. Kempf, The Autonomic Functions and the Personality (1918). Also see Lashley's writings in various periodicals.
  50. For example, such works as those of Freud, Jung, Adler, Frink. See also E. E. Southard and M. C. Jarrett, The Kingdom of Evils (1922) ; R. S. Woodworth, Dynamic Psychology (1918) ; and W. F. Ogburn, "The Contributions of Psychiatry to Social Psychology," Publications of the American Sociological Society, 1927, vol. xxi, pp. 82-91.
  51. Such names as Preyer, Hall, Stern, Blanton, Shinn, Nice, Binet, Baldwin, Piaget, Gesell, Koffka, Goodenough, Anderson, Marston, Wooley, Blanchard, Sayles, et al., indicate something of the length of time and present prominence of child study.
  52. Discussions on both sides of this question are to be found in the Twenty-Sixth Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education. See F. N. Freeman Mental Tests (1926), and Terman's works.
  53. E.g., Thomas and Znaniecki in The Polish Peasant.
  54. Paper on "Independence of Social Psychology," op. cit.
  55. See also G. H. Mead, "Social Psychology as a Counterpart to Physiological Psychology," Psychological Bulletin, 1909, vol. vi, pp. 401-408.
  56. Of course it is possible in some cases to study the individual response as typical of the group response, but one must be very careful if he attempts such an analysis. He is' likely to make the group a glorified individual or turn the individual into a super-organism. Quite obviously one can study the group response as such and this is the safer method.
  57. A. G. Balz Basis of Social Theory. (1924).
  58. Cf. Markey, "A Redefinition of Social Phenomena, Giving a Basis for Comparative Sociology," American Journal of Sociology, 1926, vol. xxxi, pp. 733-743.
  59. The study of personality bids fair to become a quite specialized study. See K. Young, "Personality Studies," under "Topical Summaries of Current Literature," American Journal of Sociology, 1927, vol. xxxii, pp. 953-971. Also see Allport's Social Psychology, and his other work dealing with personality.
  60. New York : Dutton, 1918.
  61. A. J. Todd, Theories of Social Progress (1918).
  62. The Meaning of Meaning by Ogden and Richards (1923), a significant effort to free men from the tyranny of words, gives a suggestive statement concerning signs and symbols, without, however, much emphasis upon the social factors involved. In The Symbolic Process I have stressed these.
  63. This type of study is suggested by such writings as : T. Veblen, The Theory of the Leisure Class (1922) ; J. M. Williams, Principles of Social Psychology (1925) ; Nels Anderson, The Hobo (1923) ; C. H. Parker, The Casual Laborer (192o) ; J. R. Kantor, "An Essay Toward an Institutional Conception of Social Psychology," American Journal of Sociology, 1922, vol. xxvii, pp. 611-679. Bernard and Young have already been mentioned in this connection. Although there exist materials and research, little has been done in a thorough and systematic way in these phases by our social psychologists. For instance, Dunlap, who attempts a social psychology of institutions, has performed only a partial analysis. His is primarily an individual explanation. He locates de-sires in individuals. These play a r˘le similar to that of "instinct." With them as a basis, he goes on to explain institutional behavior. Social psychologists, however, will pay increasing attention to institutions as group rather than as individual products and will regard the science's major task as that of analyzing responses of the individual as a function of such groups or institutional situations. Of course it is important to show whatever influence the individual as a biological organism may have upon institutions, but the manner in which instincts and desires are surreptitiously smuggled into individuals, then disclosed upon occasion to explain this or that institution, is quite remarkable.
  64. "Attitudes Can Be Measured," American Journal of Sociology, 1928, vol. xxxiii, pp. 529-554.
  65. Help comes through such sources as, for example, the Social Science Research Council, foundations, bureaus, charitable organizations, fellowships, habit clinics, and child study institutes. Child psychology with its present popular and healthy growth gives special opportunity for social psychological re-search.
  66. There is an ever-increasing volume of literature appearing on the subject of social psychology. It is not the task of this chapter to summarize it. Summaries of the literature and research are to be found readily. Kimball Young has written several recent summaries, that in the Psychological Bulletin containing 279 titles : "The Field of Social Psychology," Psychological Bulletin, 1927, vol. xxiv, pp. 661-691. Ellsworth Faris also has summarized cur-rent literature in a recent number of the American Journal of Sociology, "Social Psychology in America," under "Topical Summaries of Current Literature," 1927, vol. xxxii, pp. 623-630. Bernard's Introduction has extensive summaries. The Social Science Research Council is publishing case study summaries on methods. Bogardus' volume on The New Social Research (1926), is a useful one. Lundberg has treated methods of social research in a stimulating manner in his recent volume, Social Research, A Study in Methods of Gathering Data (1929). There are various other sources of information of this nature.

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