The Psychology of Ego-Involvements: Social Attitudes & Identifications

By Muzafer Sherif; Hadley Cantril | Go to book overview

PREFACE

In this book on the psychology of ego-involvements we are attacking a problem which it seems crucial to solve if we are ever to acquire a scientifically defensible account of man's relationship to the world around him with all its natural laws, its technological developments, and its social products.

Here we are only able to sketch in bold relief what appears to be the psychology of ego-involvements. Much more must be added later to complete the account. But, as we point out in the first chapter, it seems to us that the broad outline presented here will accommodate this further work without any major alterations.

Evidence from a wide variety of sources, including studies from the experimental laboratory, investigations of everyday life behavior, public-opinion surveys, observational studies of children and adolescents, sociological data, and field material of anthropologists and ethnologists, has almost fallen into place of its own accord. Although we have cited rather extensive references, our job has been more one of selection than accumulation of data: in nearly every chapter, we have had to satisfy ourselves with the inclusion of only a few of the many reports, observations, or experiments that might have been mentioned. Those who are familiar with the various areas we have touched on will know the vast literature it is possible to tap.

The bulk of chapters 2, 3, and 4 were first published in the Psychological Review in November 1945 and January 1946. These articles have been slightly elaborated here. The material is republished with the permission of the American Psychological Association. The writers acknowledge the permissions granted by the various publishers and authors for the quotations used. Great care has been taken in each instance to provide bibliographical references by means of which the reader can identify the author and publisher to whom credit is thereby given.

A State Department fellowship to Princeton University for

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