Twentieth Century Psychology: Recent Developments in Psychology

By Philip Lawrence Harriman | Go to book overview
4. In the first experiment, hostility was 30 times as frequent in the autocratic as in the democratic group. Aggression (including both "hostility" and "joking hostility") was 8 times as frequent. Much of this aggression was directed toward two successive scapegoats within the group; none of it was directed toward the autocrat.
5. In the second experiment, one of the five autocracies showed the same aggressive reaction as was found in the first experiment. In the other four autocracies, the boys showed an extremely nonaggressive, "apathetic" pattern of behavior.
6. Four types of evidence indicate that this lack of aggression was probably not caused by lack of frustration, but by the repressive influence of the autocrat: (a) outbursts of aggression on the days of transition to a freer atmosphere; (b) a sharp rise of aggression when the autocrat left the room; (c) other indications of generalized apathy, such as an absence of smiling and joking; and (d) the fact that 19 out of 20 boys liked their democratic leader better than their autocratic leader, and 7 out of 10 also liked their "laissez-faire" leader better.
7. There were two "wars," more or less playful, and without bodily damage, between clubs meeting in the same room at the same time. The first of these began gradually, the second suddenly. Three factors, present in both cases, seemed conducive to group conflict: (a) irritation and tension produced by a hostile stranger, (b) absence of a respected adult, and (c) lack of any absorbing alternative activity.
8. There were two striking instances of aggression against impersonal objects.
9. A general interpretation of the above data on aggression can be made in terms of four underlying factors: tension, restricted space of free movement, rigidity of group structure, and style of living (culture).

REFERENCES
LEWIN K. A Dynamic Theory of Personality: Selected papers. Trans. by Donald K. Adams and Karl E. Zener. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1935. Pp. ix+286.
-----. The conceptual representation and the measurement of psychological forces. Duke Univ. Contrib. Psychol. The., 1938, 1, No. 4. Pp. 247.

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