An Introduction to Social Psychology - download pdf or read online

By William McDougall

ISBN-10: 0486427110

ISBN-13: 9780486427119

A pioneering paintings in psychology, this drastically influential booklet, first released in 1908, served as a catalyst within the learn of the principles of social habit. one of many first surveys to target human motivation, the quantity assisted in laying the principles of a brand new self-discipline, keeping apart the sphere from sociology and common psychology. well known, long-lived and ever suitable, this landmark e-book is still priceless to academics and scholars of psychology. 1961 ed. one of the subject matters lined: where of instincts within the structure of the human brain; basic feelings of guy, and the character of sentiments; development of reproductive and parental instincts; constitution of personality.

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How are we to interpret this change of instinctive behaviour brought about by experience? Shall we say that the birds observe on one occasion, or on several or many occasions, that on the approach of a man one of their number falls to the ground, uttering cries of pain; that they infer that the man has wounded it, and that he may wound and hurt them, and that he is therefore to be avoided in the future? No psychologist would now accept this anthropomorphic interpretation of the facts. If the behaviour we are considering were that of savage men, or even of a community of philosophers and logicians, such an account would err in ascribing the change of behaviour to a purely intellectual process.

For it has no specific object or objects the perception of which constitutes the initial stage of the instinctive process. 24 And its impulse is to break down any such obstruction and to destroy whatever offers this opposition. This instinct thus presupposes the others; its excitement is dependent upon, or secondary to, the excitement of the others, and is apt to be intense in proportion to the strength of the obstructed impulse. The most mean-spirited cur will angrily resent any attempt to take away its bone, if it is hungry; a healthy infant very early displays anger, if his meal is interrupted; and all through life most men find it difficult to suppress irritation on similar occasions.

In this way one may draw every member of a large flock nearer and nearer, until one finds oneself the centre of a circle of them, drawn up at a respectful distance, of which every pair of eyes and ears is intently fixed upon the strange object of their curiosity. In the animals nearest to ourselves, namely, the monkeys, curiosity is notoriously strong, and them it impels not merely to approach its object and to direct the senses attentively upon it, but also to active manipulation of it. 23 But, as was said above, some specialisation for technical purposes of words in common use is inevitable in psychology, and in this instance it is, I think, desirable and justifiable, owing to the lack of any more appropriate word.

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An Introduction to Social Psychology by William McDougall


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