An Introduction to Social Psychology by William McDougall

By William McDougall

A pioneering paintings in psychology, this greatly influential e-book, first released in 1908, served as a catalyst within the examine of the rules of social habit. one of many first surveys to target human motivation, the amount assisted in laying the principles of a brand new self-discipline, setting apart the sector from sociology and normal psychology. well known, long-lived and ever correct, this landmark booklet continues to be necessary to lecturers and scholars of psychology. 1961 ed. one of the themes lined: where of instincts within the structure of the human brain; fundamental feelings of guy, and the character of sentiments; progress of reproductive and parental instincts; constitution of personality.

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As soon as the little child can run, his fear expresses itself in concealment following on flight; and the many adult persons who seek refuge from the strange noises of dark nights, or from a thunderstorm, by covering their heads with the bed-clothes, and who find a quite irrational comfort in so doing, illustrate the persistence of this tendency. It is, perhaps, in the opposed characters of these two tendencies, both of which are bound up 46/William McDougall with the emotion of fear, that we may find an explanation of the great variety of, and variability of, the symptoms of fear.

It is difficult to assign any high biological value to it (unless we connect it with the necessity of avoiding noxious reptiles), but it is clearly displayed by some children before the end of their first year; thus in some infants furry things excite shrinking and tears at their first 48/William McDougall contact. In others the instinct seems to ripen later, and the child that has handled worms, frogs, and slugs with delight suddenly evinces an unconquerable aversion to contact with them. These two forms of disgust illustrate in the clearest and most interesting manner the intellectualisation of the instincts and primary emotions through extension of the range of their objects by association, resemblance, and analogy.

16 Chapter III The Principal Instincts and the Primary Emotions of Man Before we can make any solid progress in the understanding of the complex emotions and impulses that are the forces underlying the thoughts and actions of men and of societies, we must be able to distinguish and describe each of the principal human instincts and the emotional and conative tendencies characteristic of each one of them. This task will be attempted in the present chapter; in Chapter V. we shall seek to analyse some of the principal complex emotions and impulses, to display them as compounded from the limited number of primary or simple instinctive tendencies;17 and in the succeeding chapters of this section we shall consider the way in which these tendencies become organised within the complex dispositions that constitute the sentiments.

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