A life will be successful or not, according as the power of accommodation is equal or unequal to the strain of fusing and adjusting internal and external changes. -- SAMUEL BUTLER
The preceding chapter suggests that the proper study of criminology is the study of the man or the woman or child who becomes an offender in the eyes of the law. Not just a study of his manner of speech and his manner of behavior when he is disappointed or happy or the like -- but a comprehensive enquiry into his nature.
Such a study will include observation of the offender's overt forms of behavior and their physical and mental characteristics of whatever description, on the theory that we may find in them reliable indices to the fundamental nature of the offender -- something less tangible than stature and vocal quality -- to which we are accustomed to applying the term personality. And each succeeding chapter, especially in PART I, is an attempt to approach the personality of criminals and delinquents. Moreover the study rightly includes a description and analysis of the objects and situations in the midst of which the offender has grown up, on the hypothesis that the stimulation they have afforded may have contributed toward developing him into the form in which we find him.
The term personality, in the sense in which it usually occurs, connotes subject matter for the novel, the popular essay, and the Rotary Club after-dinner speaker. It has, however, in rather recent years, entered into the composition of solid treatises on human behavior. It is one of those numerous terms that to the moment defy satisfactory definition. But this situation, when it applies to any subject that we wish to know about is not rightly a deterrent of investigation in respect to it. We are not always compelled to await definitions before we may begin research. Research ultimately discloses definitions, and it will attain this end with respect to personality provided