Principles of Social Psychology as Developed in a Study of Economic and Social Conflict

Principles of Social Psychology as Developed in a Study of Economic and Social Conflict

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Principles of Social Psychology as Developed in a Study of Economic and Social Conflict

Principles of Social Psychology as Developed in a Study of Economic and Social Conflict

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Excerpt

Social psychology has developed as a branch of psychology, and a branch of sociology. Whether it be regarded as a part of the one science, or of the other, or as a separate science, it has a distinct field, which requires inductive study. In this book I have attempted an analysis of certain psychological processes that extend throughout social organization. These processes, as pointed out by Professor Dewey, have their roots in instincts. In Book I, I have given the shortest possible description of these processes, or dispositions, as I shall call them, and, in the following books, have analyzed their functioning in social organization. I do not cover all social organization, for instance, the press, which is better treated in a study of social suggestion. And I do not treat all social-psychological processes. The limits of one book forbade it. The extended treatment of other processes, for instance, social suggestion, social processes of feeling and thought, conventionality and the functioning of social attitudes, is reserved for other books. The treatment of those processes in this book is subordinate to its main purpose--the analysis of economic and social conflict. This approach to social psychology arouses interest by bringing readers immediately into contact with concrete processes. They thus acquire a background for the more abstract studies which require special treatises. Wherefore, this book may serve as an introduction to the study of the psychological processes of social organization.

This volume covers a field different from that treated in the author's Foundations of Social Science. It is the first of the projected volumes on social psychology referred to in the preface to that work. The social psychologist should begin with a statement of his problem. The first main problem is the problem of conflict, and it requires an analysis of conflict throughout social organization. In addition to this the processes of feeling and thought that are involved in adjustment, the development of personality subserved, and the processes of social suggestion and control in which that development occurs are successive aspects of the great problem of social behaviour. A study . . .

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