Review of Students' Attitudes by Daniel Katz and Floyd Allport

Stuart A. Rice

KATZ, DANIEL, and ALLPORT, FLOYD HENRY. Students' Attitudes: A Report of the Syracuse University Reaction Study. Pp. xxviii, 408. Syracuse, New York: The Craftsman Press, Inc., 1931

This monograph will demand a place upon the select reference shelf, first, of all who are interested in the scientific study of social attitudes; second, of all who are concerned with university and college administration. It has professional interest for all teachers of university and college classes.

To Professor Allport, more than to any other, belongs the credit of initiating the experimental and quantitative study of

( 257) public opinion and social attitudes. His early papers employed a simple questionnaire and rank-order method. L. L. Thurstone later developed a true attitude scale by a far more elaborate procedure, but the possibilities of the questionnaire and rank-order methods, in the reviewer's opinion, have not been adequately explored. To a considerable extent this is accomplished in the present work, which becomes the standard illustration and embodiment of this particular scientific procedure. It has long been awaited by students of the subject.

The inquiry was initiated at Syracuse University in 1925, with the cordial participation of the administration and the student body. The data were anonymous, and bear the earmarks of sincerity on the part of the 3,510 students who supplied information, opinions, and attitudes on such matters of vital concern to student life as cribbing, fraternities, religion, sex, academic work, social life, and prospective careers. The questionnaire was painstakingly prepared, was filled out under partially controlled conditions, and the answers have been exhaustively analyzed with a fine sense for what is significant. The findings not only relate to various intensely practical aspects of university relationships, but they throw light as well upon theoretical problems of concern to social scientists, and in particular upon that sociological abstraction known as the "institution."

University of Pennsylvania


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