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By William McDougall

A pioneering paintings in psychology, this tremendously influential publication, first released in 1908, served as a catalyst within the examine of the principles 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, isolating the sector from sociology and common psychology. renowned, long-lived and ever correct, this landmark booklet is still beneficial to lecturers and scholars of psychology. 1961 ed. one of the subject matters coated: where of instincts within the structure of the human brain; fundamental feelings of guy, and the character of sentiments; development of reproductive and parental instincts; constitution of personality.

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Extra info for An Introduction to Social Psychology

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The well-known case of the dog described by Romanes, that was terrified by the movements of an object jerked forward by an invisible thread, illustrates the fear-exciting powers of the unfamiliar in the animal world. The following incident is instructive in this respect: A courageous child of five years, sitting alone in a sunlit room, suddenly screams in terror, and, on her father hastening to her, can only explain that she saw something move. The discovery of a mouse in the corner of the room at once explains and banishes her fear, for she is on friendly terms with mice.

The highest degree of complexity of mental process attained by such creatures is a struggle between two opposed Instinctive tendencies simultaneously excited. Such behaviour is relatively easy to understand in the light of the conception of instincts as innate psycho-physical dispositions. While it is doubtful whether the behaviour of any animal is wholly determined by instincts quite unmodified by experience, it is clear that all the higher animals learn in various and often considerable degrees to adapt their instinctive actions to peculiar circumstances; and in the long course of the development of each human mind, immensely greater complications of the instinctive processes are brought about, complications so great that they have obscured until recent years the essential likeness of the instinctive processes in men and animals.

In the human being, on the other hand, a few only of the simpler instincts that ripen soon after birth are displayed in movements determined purely by the innate dispositions; such are the instincts of sucking, of wailing, of crawling, of winking and shrinking before a coming blow. Most of the human instincts ripen at relatively late periods in the course of individual development, when considerable power of intelligent control and imitation of movement has been acquired; hence the 40/William McDougall motor tendencies of these instincts are seldom manifested in their purely native forms, but are from the first modified, controlled, and suppressed in various degrees.

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