Psychopathology and Politics; Politics: Who Gets What, When, How; Democratic Character

By Harold D. Lasswell | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II
THE PSYCHOPATHOLOGICAL APPROACH

One of the standing obstacles in the path of personality research is the difficulty of describing the personality as a whole at any given cross-section of its development. In despair at the myriad difficulties of the task, academic psychology has long evaded the issue and concentrated its attention upon the minute exploration of detached aspects of the individual. The manuals of physiological psychology are full of painstaking accounts of how atomized aspects of the individual's environment (the "stimuli") modify the reactions of selected parts of the individual. What these manuals characteristically omit is a workable set of conceptions for the classification of the phenomena which are the objects of investigation in personality research. It is impossible to found a science of geology without inventing terms to distinguish plateaus, plains, mountains, and continental blocs, even though all these phenomena possess the common attributes of "matter." What matters for the geologist is how the differences and not the likenesses come to pass. Much of the academic psychology, in its quest for precision and prestige, has quit studying the problem with which it is ostensibly engaged, and has substituted a minor field of physiology therefor. In so doing, it has lost any criterion for testing the relevance of the results of particular researches for the under. standing of personality because it has no master concepts of personality.

The psychopathologist has never been able to evade the

-15-

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Psychopathology and Politics; Politics: Who Gets What, When, How; Democratic Character
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Publisher's Foreword iii
  • Contents vii
  • Title Page ix
  • Preface xi
  • Contents xiv
  • Chapter I - Life-Histories and Political Science 1
  • Chapter II - The Psychopathological Approach 15
  • Chapter III - A New Technique of Thinking 28
  • Chapter IV - The Criteria of Political Types 38
  • Chapter V - Theories of Personality Development 65
  • Chapter VI - Political Agitators 78
  • Chapter VII - Political Agitators -- Continued 106
  • Chapter VIII - Political Administrators 127
  • Chapter IX - Political Convictions 153
  • Chapter X - The Politics of Prevention 173
  • Chapter XI - The Prolonged Interview and Its Objectification 204
  • Chapter XII - The Personality System and Its Substitutive Reactions 221
  • Chapter XIII - The State as a Manifold of Events 240
  • Appendix A - Select Bibliography 268
  • Appendix B - Question List on Political Practices 276
  • Title Page 287
  • Preface 289
  • Contents 293
  • Part I -- Elite 295
  • Part II -- Methods 311
  • Chapter III - Violence 326
  • Chapter IV - Goods 342
  • Chapter V - Practices 360
  • Part III -- Results 375
  • Chapter VII - Class 392
  • Chapter VIII - Personality 410
  • Chapter IX - Attitude 427
  • Chapter X - RÉsumÉ 443
  • Bibliographical Notes 455
  • Title Page 463
  • Democratic Character 465
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