Instinct: A Study in Social Psychology

Instinct: A Study in Social Psychology

Instinct: A Study in Social Psychology

Instinct: A Study in Social Psychology

Excerpt

The present work is the result of interrupted labors which began in a graduate seminar in the year 1909-1910, when the author attempted to apply Professor McDougall's classification of instincts to the classification of criminals. The immediate result was the conviction that McDougall's instincts were habits, and further constructive work found issue in an unpublished report on "Instinct and the Social Sciences," taking issue with McDougall's viewpoint regarding the significance of the theory of instincts then prevalent for the social sciences. Several years' teaching in small colleges of many and various courses little related to the thesis I wished to develop left insufficient time to complete my investigations. In the year 1917-1918 I found opportunity to reduce in part my accumulated data to manuscript, but the unsettledness and shifting of work consequent upon the war prevented completion. The grant of an Amherst Memorial Fellowship in Social Psychology for the year 1920-1921 (it was not possible to avail myself of the fellowship until a year later) enabled me to make additions and in a measure to complete the task. After some further delay the work is offered to the public, essentially as written in 1922.

In the years since 1909 numerous investigators have become interested in the subject of instinct and various articles and books have appeared setting forth views more or less similar to my own. My own critical and constructive findings on the topic of instinct have appeared in several book reviews, especially in the American Journal of Sociology, since 1911, in papers before the annual meetings of the American Sociological Society, in several articles, and particularly in the . . .

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