Temperament and Race

Temperament and Race

Temperament and Race

Temperament and Race

Excerpt

The comparative scarcity of studies in race psychology should not be interpreted as being due to lack of interest in the subject. When a man has stated his race he has stated one of the most significant and important facts about himself, important in its bearing on his physical make-up, his personality, and his spiritual and mental outlook. We cannot any more help being creatures of our race than we can help being creatures of our time and the imprint of race and time goes far deeper into our individual natures than we think.

Such studies as have been made in the field of racial psychology have been speculative rather than investigational in nature. Following the lead of other branches of the older psychology which dealt so largely in generalities and principles, these studies have tended to develop into more or less contentious discussions as to the nature and the reality of what was called the "group mind," or the behavior of the crowd, or the "herd instinct," topics which have very little to do with race as the ordinary man conceives the term. Here the most opposite views found favour and like similar discussions in other fields where experimental evidence is lacking, the degree of favour depended more on the persuasiveness of the presentation than the cogency of the argument. In all of this work the point of view has been sociological rather than racial.

Possibly the fact that the question of racial differences is so nearly related to our self esteem may be one reason why so little actual work has been done in this field. The subject is so overloaded with assumptions that we must cut through a heap of prejudices before we come to solid . . .

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