Journal of Abnormal Psychology and Social Psychology
Morton Prince and Floyd Henry Allport
With this Volume (beginning April 1, 1921) The JOURNAL will extend its field to include that of Social Psychology. In conformity with this policy the title of the Journal will be changed to
THE JOURNAL OF ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY
The reasons for combining the two fields are set forth in the following statement:
THE FIELD OF SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY AND ITS RELATION TO ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY
At its inception, less than two decades ago, social psychology was variously defined according to different opinions as to its subject matter. The following classes of data were among those stressed in the various definitions: crowd action, the social bases of human nature, the psychological aspects of social formations and movements, and "planes and currents" of thought and action which arise by virtue of the association of human beings. Through the enterprise of the pioneers these formulations, supplemented by many incidental contributions from others, have grown into a science having as its field a unique set of natural phenomena, and a wide range of practical application. A distinct method also is emerging, though progress here is necessarily slow owing to the large scale and the intangibility of much of the data. Interest in the subject is rapidly growing, and there are many courses given in it in colleges throughout the country. It is doubtful whether this stage of interest and importance would have
(2) been attained but for the contemporary development of a sister science, abnormal psychology. Psychopathologists have in recent years delved deeply into the dynamics of human nature. This statement by no means refers to the Freudian School alone. Social psychology, because it is interested more deeply than any other branch (unless it be educational psychology) in the forces underlying human conduct, has been able to profit in a peculiar way by the discoveries of psycho-pathology. It seems eminently fitting therefore that a journal should be provided as the direct means of expression for workers in social psychology, and that this organ should be affiliated with THE JOURNAL OF ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY.
It is appropriate, in view of this enlargement of scope, to attempt an outline of the various interests now properly included under the head of social psychology. The definition of a science is always an arbitrary matter. Quibbling over what should be included or excluded is futile. The intention here is rather to offer suggestions than to set definite limits.
There is first the foundation-study of human traits in so far as they have importance for social life. The individual is our point of departure. His innate and acquired bases of conduct must be examined. Here instinct, learning, and emotion are important according as they adjust or prevent the adjustment of the individual to the social environment. Gregariousness, sympathy, kindliness, rivalry, and other social traits are fundamental. In a broad sense the personality of the individual as one of the radiant points of social action offers a field for practical and theoretical investigation. The technique of personality study and measurement is undergoing a rapid development. Our knowledge of the subject has been immeasureably broadened by contributions from abnormal psychology. The fears and obsessions, the unconscious mental processes, the disassociations, the persistence of infantile traits repressed or expressed, passivity and activity, relation to reality, balance and compensation in the emotional sphere, all make their appearance and play their part in normal human personality and the adjustments between the personality and the social order.
After the canvass of the individual comes the study of the interaction between the individual and the group. On the conscious side this relation takes the form of social consciousness, and acting upon ideal or imaginal social stimuli (such as the feeling of the attitudes of others, codes of conduct, etc.). The old question of whether and in what sense there exists a group mind or a group personality is here
(3) involved. The growth of consciousness of self and its dependence on the consciousness of other selves, as well as the foundation of concepts, meanings, and ideals upon social tradition and acceptance, are kindred problems.
Approached from the standpoint of behavior there is offered the whole field of communication : gesture, speech, language, and facial and bodily expression. These functions have been unjustly neglected by psychologists. They are the substructure of the social order; from them develops the entire mechanism of social control, both in the child and in the race. The psychology of the group influence is primarily a matter of social behavior. How do individuals working or acting in a group influence the mental processes of one another? In this important field an experimental method peculiar to social psychology has already attained some recognition. There are experimental results both for the more mechanical and the more intellectual group occupations.
The behavioristic study of the crowd is an interesting division of social psychology. The latent power of instincts and autonomic drives, the mechanisms of imitation (e. g. circular reflex), suggestion, influence of prestige and large numbers, the facilitation, "contagion," or sympathetic induction of emotional response—all really individual phenomena characteristically evoked only by social stimuli —are the leading topics. In this field also abnormal psychology has made important contributions through its studies upon hypnosis, suggestion, automatisms, repressions, and lapse of conscious control.
If we enter the sphere of more permanent social relations, the many adjustments of the human being to his social environment require an understanding of socio-psychological laws. The adjustments of husband and wife as well as those between parents and children bring us into close touch with contributions from the abnormal psychology of the Freudian school. In the social adjustments of deviating personalities abnormal concepts are also of great value. The psychology of ultra-radical movements, of Bolshevism, spiritualistic fanaticism, and the like, is really that of the abnormal personality and its "falling out" with the regime of society. The failure to adjust to the requirements of the social group is the ground for many departures from the normal. In fact it constitutes in many cases of insanity the leading and most comprehensive symptom of modern diagnosis.
We may consider also larger and more permanent groups such as the caste, the professional society, the nation, and the race. To the
(4) study of such bodies sociology has heretofore given considerable attention. It is important however to have a psychological statement of nationality and "the national mind." The role of nations in peace and war, and the problems of a society or league of nations call for aid from the psychological student of these large units. Biology and comparative methods are also brought to bear with social psychology in considering the differentiation, development, and improvement of racial stocks. We are led further in this direction to primitive society and the intricate relations of social and abnormal psychology to folklore, tradition, myth, and custom.
There is indeed a large body of problems in the treatment of which social psychology has been employed as an adjunct to sociology. The interest of the sociologists in psychological explanations of social movement, imitation, change and progress constitutes one of the lines of descent of our present social psychology. Psychological interest in these subjects is still rife. There are many theories of the nature and origin of society itself which are drawn from a consideration of human nature. Theories of imitation, consciousness of kind, ejective consciousness, social instincts, gregariousness, familial social origins, l'egoism, and a number of others illustrate the contributions of psychology to sociological theory. Invention, leadership, control, and progress are forward-pointing interests of socio-psychological science.
There remain for enumeration the various applications of social psychology. The most important of these are the problems of socialization, in a broad sense the fitting of the behavior of the individual to the social order. Socialization involves likewise a reconstruction or reorganization of the social order so that it shall be better fitted to the individual. In the problems of capital and labor, the formation or trade unions and industrial organizations, the claim of the I. W. W., and the various economic and political reconstructions proposed, we find a complex blending of economic and psychological factors. This general problem involving as it does a conflict of group interests, is a most intricate one. More obvious and hopeful examples of socialization are to be found in the Americanization movement, plans for community organization, and the like.
The laws of group influence and crowd action are not without their importance for government. There is no doubt that legislation in representative democratic bodies is strongly affected (and by no means always for the best) by social influence brought to bear in the conditions (deliberations, discussions, etc.) under which it was enact-
(5) -ed. Group discussion and its psychology is an important practical theme. Not only government but other social institutions such as the church, the press, the school, and the university have many aims and problems peculiar to the conditions of human association. Formation of opinion, revivals, school spirit, inculcation of ideals, work in the classrooms,—these are a few examples. There are other less frequently recognized, but important, applications of social psychology to the work of society. Social Ethics, with its program of amelioration, needs the support of social psychology. A knowledge of the laws both of abnormal and of social behavior is a necessary part of the equipment of the social worker. In many of the professions of individuals, such as medicine, law, public speaking, dramatic performance, executive work, and salesmanship, a working acquaintance with the psychology of human contact is an asset of unusual value. In enterprises and movements comprising large numbers of persons such as political and moral campaigns, patriotic rallies, feminism, prohibition, and military service, the social influence is seen at its strongest. Social psychology should afford not only an understanding, but also a means of directing these great streams of combined human energy. Morale, the psychology of "cause," can be made a driving force in social progress.
Finally, the various social maladjustments of delinquency, mental and characterial defect, criminality, and other forms of social inadequacy should interest the student of social behavior. In this field the endeavors of the students of social psychology combine again most intimately with those of the students of abnormal psychology. The efficacy of punishment and reformation requires suggestion and psycho-analytic re-education in combination with the social psychologist's experience with the laws of social influence and control.
In view therefore both of the present need of an organ for social psychology and of the mutually helpful contacts between that science and abnormal psychology, The Journal is pleased to announce the extension of its scope to include the former, and cordially invites those who are interested in the advancement of social psychology to join the ranks of its readers and contributors.