Social Psychology

Robert Yerkes

BALDWIN, JAMES MARK. Social and ethical interpretations in mental development: a study in social psychology. New York : The Macmillan Company, 1907, pp. xiv, 574.

A penetrating psychological study of the person in his public and private relations, and of society. The author thus states the aim of his book: " It is my aim, in the present essay, to inquire to what extent the principles of the development of the individual mind apply also to the evolution of society " (p. 1). The book is filled with keen analyses and clever suggestions; it is neither thorough-going nor systematic in its survey of the general field of social psychology.

BOUTMY, EMILE. The English people: a study of their political psychology. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1904, pp. xxxvi, 332.

This is a special study in social psychology in which the English type of psychological individual and social group is fully described, and the influences of environment on the people discussed. The work is sociological rather than psychological.

BRINTON, DANIEL G. The basis of social relations. New York : G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1902, pp. xvi, 204.

Briefly the author discusses the cultural and the natural history of the ethnic mind. The book is clear, concise in its statements, readable, stimulating and suggestive of many promising fields of research. " There is no such thing as progress or culture in the isolated individual, but only in the group, in society, in the ethnos " (pp. xiv–xv). Thus the author emphasizes the importance of the study of the psychology of the group.


FOUILLEE, ALFRED. Esquisse psychologique des peuples européens. Paris : Alcan, 1903, pp. xix, 552.

A valuable discussion of the nature of the psychology of races, together with admirable sketches of the mental traits of the Greek, Italian, Spanish, English, German, Russian and French peoples.

Mieux on connait les grands peuples, plus on trouve de raisons de les aimer. C'est l'avantage moral qu'on retire des etudes psychologiques et sociologiques appliquées aux divers membres de l'Humanité. On y apprend a la fois et la justice et la sympathie " (p. viii).

LE BON, GUSTAVE. The psychology of peoples. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1899, pp. xx, 236.

The psychological characteristics are here considered in their relations to human institutions. Interesting accounts are given of the psychic traits of various peoples; of the variability of races; of their development; of their decadence; and of the roles of religion and of great individuals.

" Together with character," the author writes, " ideas should be accounted one of the principal factors in the evolution of a civilization " (p. 235)

LE BON, GUSTAVE. The crowd: a study of the popular mind. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1906, pp. xxiv, 230.

An important, readable and highly interesting account of the psychology of a particular type of human social group — the crowd or mob. To students of social and psychological problems the book is of special interest because of the prevalence of mob consciousness in America at this time.

Le Bon's words are significant: " While all our ancient beliefs are tottering and disappearing, while the old pillars of society are giving way one by one, the power of the crowd is the force that nothing menaces and of which the prestige is continually on the increase. The age we are about to enter will in truth be the era of the crowds " (p. xv).


MCDOUGALL, WILLIAM. An introduction to social psychology. London: Methuen & Co., 1908, pp. xvi, 355.

An able, scientific analysis of the psychological basis of the social sciences, with special reference to the nature of the fundamental instincts of men. The book is intended for students of the social sciences and is not over-technical. The following sentence gives one the fundamental thought of the writer : " The department of psychology that is of primary importance for the social sciences is that which deals with the springs of human action, the impulses and motives that sustain mental and bodily activity and regulate conduct " (pp. 2, 3).

ROSS, EDWARD A. Social psychology. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1908, pp. xvi, 372.

This is a general account of certain important social relations as seen from the psychological point of view. It is not a technical social psychology. Topics of such general interest as imitation, custom, habit, suggestibility, fashion, the mob and public opinion are interestingly treated.

" Social psychology, as the writer conceives it, studies the psychic planes and currents that come into existence among men in consequence of their association " (p. 1).

WARD, LESTER F. The psychic factors of civilization. Boston: Ginn & Company, 1907, pp. xxi, 369.

This is an elaborate account of the various aspects of the mental life of human beings in its relations to their complicated social life. The book contains a large amount of valuable material, with much that is of interest to the general reader.

VIERKANDT, ALFRED. Naturvolker und Kulturvolker. Leipzig: Duncker und Humblot, 1896, vii, 497 S.

This is an admirable technical study of the development of the conception of a social consciousness, of the character of the mental life of social groups, of the fundamental psychological differences between civilized and uncivilized races, and of the nature of the highest type of social development.


WUNDT, WILHELM. Volkerpsychologie. Eine Untersuchung der Entwicklungsgesetze von Sprache, Mythus, und Sitte. Leipzig: Englemann, I900-09.

An extensive scholarly work in three volumes (six parts):
Band I, Theil 1. Die Sprache, 1900, xv, 627 S.
Band I, Theil 2. Die Sprache, 1900, x, 644 S.
Band II, Theil 1. Mythus und Religion, 1905, xi, 617 S.
Band II, Theil 2. Mythus und Religion, 1906, vii, 481 S.
Band II, Theil 3. Mythus und Religion, 1909, 792 S. Band III. Die Kunst, 1908, x, 564 S.

The American Journal of Sociology contains, in its recent volumes, some important articles on Social Psychology.

The Psychological Bulletin, since 1905, has devoted one number a year to reviews and discussions of recent books and articles on Social Psychology.


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