Review of The Psychology of Wants, Interests and Attitudes by Edward L. Thorndike

Herbert Blumer

The Psychology of Wants, Interests and Attitudes. By EDWARD L. THORNDIKE. New York: Appleton-Century Co., 1935. Pp. x+301. $3.50.

This excellent treatise by a distinguished psychologist seeks to present with the liberal use of experimental findings a theory of the manner in which wants, interests, and attitudes are formed. The thesis presented, stated tersely, is that the emotional and appetitive activities of human beings are the result of a process of repetition and reward. To establish in an individual a desire, want, interest, or attitude, one must induce in him the desired response and then reward this response. With this conception, Thorndike indicates what he regards to be the deficiencies of the usual run of theories of habit formation. This volume will well merit serious consideration by students of social psychology.

University of Chicago    


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