Studies in the Dynamics of Behavior

Studies in the Dynamics of Behavior

Studies in the Dynamics of Behavior

Studies in the Dynamics of Behavior

Excerpt

For an understanding of the social behavior of the individual a knowledge of the sources and nature of the motives which determine conduct is of fundamental importance. Our educational facilities have been mobilized chiefly to provide for the intellectual training of those who have the interest and will to learn, and techniques for the development and control of social attitudes lag far behind those for technical or intellectual training. The gifted youth who says, "I would rather be known as one who could, if he would, than succeed in anything," is a far more difficult problem and a more questionable social asset than the less-gifted plodder. It is far easier to teach the habitual delinquent the fundamentals of arithmetic than conformity to the accepted social code. As yet, there are scarcely any recognized methods for developing the social attitudes which contribute to make the individual a useful member of society. We muddle along with precept and example, pretty successfully as a rule, but are often hopelessly at a loss to deal with the exceptional child for whom the traditional procedures have been ineffective.

We do not know the real differences between the ambitious and the slothful, the dreamer and the go-getter, the honest and dishonest, the selfish and generous, the leader and follower, in spite of many dogmatic statements in the psychological literature. One group, differing in other respects as widely as the behaviorists and the psychoanalysts, would have us believe that temperamental differences are wholly the result of childhood training and that uniform education beginning at birth would result in a uniform product. Other equally influential groups have minimized the environmental factors and have ascribed unlike temperaments to different hereditary endowments. The more conservative have asserted the existence of constitutional differences but assumed their ready modification under social pressures; the more radical have regarded the constitutional differences as inalterable and expressed a pessimistic attitude toward all efforts at social control.

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.