THE PERSONALITY SYSTEM AND ITS SUBSTITUTIVE REACTIONS
So far in this book human behavior has been interpreted in terms of various "tendencies" which such behavior is supposed to manifest. Suppose we call into question this type of psychological explanation. What, after all, is a "tendency"? It postulates a relationship between events, one of which is taken as the terminal situation, and others of which are treated as relative approximations to the type situation. Terms like "wishes," "desires," "instincts," "impulses," "drives," and "motives" are all employed in this sense.
For purposes of analysis, tendency interpretations may be divided into five main classes, depending on the nature of the relationship which is postulated between the approximate and the terminal situation. First, personality events may be interpreted as approximations toward, or realizations of, goals (terminals) which are communicated by the subject. We may believe a man who tells us that he is running for a train when we see him dashing along the street toward the railway station.
Second, personality events may be interpreted as degrees of approximation to subsequent events which are actually observed. Mr. C's solicitude for the health and welfare of the needy ones of the district may be construed in the light of his subsequent campaign for Congress.____________________