Social Psychology: An Analysis of Social Behavior

Chapter 8: The Feelings, Emotions, and the Unconscious in Man's Behavior

Kimball Young

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Brief reference has already been made to emotions and feelings as components of man's native endowment. Since conditioning greatly modifies these reactions, it is necessary for us to discuss the outstanding features of man's affective and emotional life as it develops through experience. Human behavior is divisible into intellectual and affective sections for descriptive purposes only. Actually, conditioning, both in the form of overt consummatory habits and in the intellectual or anticipatory response field, is shot through and through with accompanying feelings and emotions.

A. Feelings and Cyclic Activity.

We have observed that there is a certain cyclic or rhythmic course to all behavior. Beginning in internal or external stimulation, the organism goes through a series of activities ending normally in a completion or consummation of response. These consummatory activities mark the successful adaptation of the organism to its environment. In unlearned behavior the stretch between urge, impulse, tension or stimulation, whatever one may term it, and completed response is relatively short. In the adult this range between urge, desire or wish, and fulfilment may be greatly extended by the development of anticipatory covert behavior. Yet the principle of cyclic activity nevertheless holds true in all completed adjustments.

In the course of these cycles, as a phase of their resultant effects on the organism, arise feelings either of satisfaction, pleasure, and well-being or of dissatisfaction and displeasure. The feeling of pleasure or euphoric toning accompanies the completion of an act, the final culmination of a series of activities. Displeasure, or unpleasant toiling, comes, in part at lest, from thwarted and incomplete responses. Here the stimuli reaching the organism are harmful. No one contends that the whole scope of feelings arises from completeness or incompleteness of response. But certainly the consummation or lack of consummation of an act has much to do with sat-

(146) -isfaction or its opposite. Where the consummatory reactions are blocked or unpleasant, moreover, the escape into pleasant feelings may be made through dereistic thinking.

Affective states commonly called pleasant or unpleasant, then, are a kind of tonal quality arising from the state of the whole organismic activity. They seem to follow rather than to determine activity at any particular time and place. Feelings seem especially associated with emotional responses, and emotions are the fundamental states of the organic reaction systems.

Allport has presented a theory of feelings which correlates the pleasant feelings with the operations of the cranial or sacral divisions of the autonomic system and the unpleasant feelings with the activities which involve the sympathetic or thoracic-lumbar division of the autonomic. He writes:

The cranio-sacral division of the autonomic, supplemented under certain conditions by the cerebro-spinal system, innervates those responses whose return afferent impulses are associated with the conscious quality of pleasantness. The sympathetic division produces visceral responses which are represented in consciousness as unpleasantness.[1]

The theory of Allport is suggestive and valuable as an attempt to link up feelings with bodily reactions. Certainly pleasant feelings accompany the satisfactions of hunger, thirst, sexual urge, and sensitive zone reactions, such as tickling and laughter. As we grow to maturity, they are distinctly associated with ego- or self-expansion and sociability. In contrast, unpleasant feelings most often seem associated with rage, fear, pain, and associated inhibitive, protective, and withdrawal reactions of the organism. Whether these latter responses may be considered in themselves consummatory or complete, one may not say.

It must be recognized that conditioning does much to alter feeling-tone. Certainly some anger reactions are pleasant, as with the fanatic in his righteous indignation at social abuses. Even pain may have pleasant connotations, as in the case of a religious or political martyr who "suffers for the cause." In both of these instances, the social approval substitutes a new end for what is ordinarily an unpleasant experience. One wonders if even mild fear may not be somewhat pleasant when one overhears children en-

( 147) joying ghost stories or otherwise frightening each other. In these cases, doubtless, the "make-believe" character of the activity leaves a residue of consciousness of security and safety while the playtime activity is going on. As noted above, escape into the make-believe world of fantasy may be very pleasant in the face of ordinary failure at complete reactions.

Theory aside, we must realize that states of pleasantness and unpleasantness have a distinct bearing on social interaction. The child avoids pain and seeks pleasure. The original, unlearned reactions arising from tensions or external stimuli carry with them pleasant and unpleasant feelings, which the social-cultural pressures distinctly modify. Learning to conform to the cultural code may involve much pain at the outset, but social rewards easily offset this. So, for example, docility in the school child may lead to rewards of an acquired sort which substitute for the original satisfactions at the biological level of response. It is evident that society is constantly conditioning us to get our pleasures in the forms which it approves, rather than on the more primitive level of physiological urges. Thus the wide variations in sexual expression seen in different culture groups result largely from the fact that the biological tendencies are siphoned off into channels of action which meet the approval of our fellows. This approval offsets or may even go beyond the immediate states of pleasure which indulgence in the original urge would give. It is often remarked that the violent, impulsive emotional and feeling responses are less satisfactory than milder but more persistent ones. At least, society furnishes us with this satisfactory rationalization in support of such substitutions; and this itself may assuage any disappointments.

Pleasantness does seem correlated with the reaction of the organism-as-a-whole. For child and adult this means a distinct link-up of this state with the satisfactions of self-assertion or ego-expansion. Whatever enhances one's position in the eyes of oneself or one's fellows— and the two are closely correlated— tends to be pleasant. On the other hand, behavior destructive of self-values— whether of bodily survival or of social prestige — is likely to be unpleasant. The reason why fear, pain, anger, and the compound emotions of sorrow, shame, and remorse are unpleasant is that these states are destructive of the expanding, positive reactions of the personality. The blocking of these expansive movements-motor or mental— is unpleasant. Yet if fear and anger enhance the self, they, too, may be anything but disagreeable.

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B. Feelings and Emotions in Adult Life.

1. Theories of Emotions.— It seems clear that so long as the organism is quiescent, there is no emotion or feeling. Such a state is the end of the cyclic process which we have already discussed. While there may be such completely complacent, serene states in Oriental meditation or in musings and some day-dreaming, most activity is marked by slight if not more vigorous emotional-feeling tone associated with activity. At the more biological, impulsive level of behavior the emotions have a distinctive preparatory function. The arousal of fear or anger inhibits the digestive processes, releases from the adrenal glands adrenin which, in turn, sets free glycogen or blood-sugar from the liver. This is carried in the blood to the peripheral striated muscles, thus making ready additional energy for fighting or flight or whatever activity the situation demands or the individual has been conditioned to undertake. Hunger, which has distinctive emotional concomitants, at least so far as organic changes go, enhances digestive processes and otherwise prepares the organism for this pleasant activity of eating. Love likewise sets up organic changes in the sexual glands in preparation for sexual congress. Crile, Cannon, and others have made both experimental and clinical observations bearing out the hypothesis that emotions are concerned, on the physiological side, with preparation for organic responses along new directions set up by the situation toward which the individual is responding.

a. Critique of the James-Lange Theory of Emotions.— The recognition of the organic factors in emotion is as old as any observation of the nature of man. During the last quarter of the nineteenth century William James in this country and C. G. Lange in Europe independently announced what is now known as the James-Lange theory of the emotions. Says James:

Bodily changes follow directly the perception of the exciting fact and . . . our feeling of the same changes as they occur IS the emotion. Common sense says, Lye lose our fortune, are sorry and weep; we meet a bear, arc frightened and run; we are insulted by a rival, are angry and strike. The hypothesis here to be defended says that this order of sequence is incorrect . . . . [Rather] we feel sorry because we cry, angry because we strike, afraid because we tremble.[2]

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While this theory has been the center of much discussion for over forty years, the weight of present-day evidence seems against it, at least in the extreme form stated by James. No one denies the profound importance of the organic changes in emotions, made possible by the autonomic system operating in relation to the smooth muscles and the glands. What the theory disregards are the perceptual factors which must always be taken into account. In the first place, the bodily changes are much the same in anger and fear, and yet no one confuses these two emotions. There seems incontrovertible evidence that emotions are set up through the cerebrospinal system and that the autonomic-glandular components but furnish an additional quality in the total picture. Sherrington experimented with dogs in which the autonomic system had been largely eliminated and still found ample proof that the animals experienced emotional states. This great authority freely grants the important role which visceral and muscular activity plays in emotions, but remarks: "We are forced back toward the likelihood that the visceral expression of emotion is secondary to the cerebral action occurring with the psychical state."[3]  Cannon, whose work on the bodily changes in emotions is now almost classic, takes much the same view. He writes:

We do not "feel sorry because we cry," as James contended, but we cry because when we are sorry or overjoyed or violently angry or full of tender affection . . . there are nervous discharges by sympathetic channels to various viscera, including the lachrymal glands. In terror and rage and intense elation, for example, the responses in the viscera seem too uniform to offer a satisfactory means of distinguishing states which, in man at least, are very different in subjective quality. For this reason I am inclined to urge that the visceral changes merely contribute to an emotional complex more or less indefinite, but still pertinent, feelings of disturbance in organs of which we are not usually conscious. [4]

Without following through the intricacies of the controversy, it seems clear that variation of bodily states is a most unsatisfactory criterion of emotions. As a matter of fact, there seems to be ample experimental evidence that people express emotional likes and dislikes of all sorts in a much shorter time than is necessary for the bodily changes to occur. It

( 150) usually takes two seconds or more for these bodily "expressions" to take place, while simple emotions may be amply demonstrated to arise in less than one second. Such stimuli as pictures and smells have been used to show this. Wells suggests that for all we know the bodily changes which have been made so much of are actually instances of conditioned responses. That is to say, through emotional shock the bodily processes become associated with various emotions: But, however severe the criticisms of the James-Lange theory may be, the place of visceral reactions must always be taken into account in interpreting emotional behavior.

2. Criteria of Emotions.— Any organic theory is dependent upon the notion that expressiveness is the key to emotion. This raises the problem of what are the proper criteria to emotions. What is emotionality? Shall we measure it by tests of bodily changes, by the amount of facial movement, including head movements, or by stability as measured by various motor or verbal tests, or in still other ways, such as rating schemes? Landis, reviewing his own work and that of others, comes to the conclusion that many of the criteria of emotion are of little or no value. On the basis of statistical inter-correlations and measures of reliability, he draws a number of important conclusions, the pertinent ones for us being the following:

1) On the organic side, "range of blood pressure is not a direct measure of emotionality." Moreover, "variability of blood pressure is of doubtful value as a criterion of emotionality."

2) In contrast, "increased reaction time, as a result of emotional disturbance, gives evidence of being a good criterion of emotionality." But "speed of tapping is of doubtful significance" as a criterion.

3) Facial movements, including head movements, are the most satisfactory measure of emotional expressiveness. Among the best of these is laughter.

4) Subjective estimates of emotional stability are of little significance. In fact the concept of stability or instability is one of doubtful use at the present stage of experimental work on emotions .[6]

Although the problem of criteria of emotionality is confusing, we must consider tile major adult emotions which everyone recognizes. In view of present limitations our discussion of emotions is dependent on subjective

( 151) evaluations and on our rudimentary analysis of the situations which set off the emotions.

C. The Major Emotions and Their Relation to Feelings.

While we treated rage, fear, and love as unlearned reactions, it must not be imagined that the emotions of the adult or even of the child remain long at this simple level. While these three are basic, emotions in later life are definitely conditioned to specific and general situations of all sorts. The emotions of grief, remorse, horror, hatred, pity, love, and shame are frequently linked up with ideas, attitudes, and habits which have taken years to develop. Sometimes these compound emotions are called sentiments. Moreover, it is evident that various emotions fall into two groups: those which are pleasant and those which are unpleasant. For convenience we may list four major groups of emotions which play a distinct part in social behavior. We may call these, for want of better terms, the types dominated by anger, sorrow, fear, and love. The first three tend to be unpleasant, although there are exceptions, while the last one is definitely pleasant unless blocked in its expression. Let us take up these four types in some detail.

1. Various Anger Types.— These include anger proper; hatred, which is a combination of anger and fear with the former predominating; envy; and jealousy. These belong to aggressive-defensive reactions. Anger, as we saw, is set off by restraint of bodily movement. It seeks relief in throwing off the object causing it. Through conditioning, the restraining object may be a popular idea, a word of another, or any number of situations not originally provocative of anger. Anger often begins in a preliminary period of irritation at some object, situation, or person. It is sometimes associated with a distinct negative self-feeling or sense of inferiority. One feels irritated because one can not cope with the situation. Ego-expansion is prevented by some power outside oneself.

a. Anger Emotions.— Richardson has made a most interesting analysis of anger in adults. He lists three sorts of behavior in anger: the attributive reaction, the contrary reaction, and the indifferent reaction.[7] He found that of 1468 observation, of anger, seventy per cent were of the first kind, eighteen per cent of the second, and eleven per cent of the third.

The attributive reaction is characterized by pugnacious responses of

(152) some sort— actual attack, cutting remarks, hostile witticisms, sarcasm, and joking at the other's expense. The early stage of anger is always of this type. Later, social pressures operate to shift the direction which the more violent anger might take. These re-directions of response are listed by Richardson as substitution of (1) visual and motor imagery, (2) irascible playfulness towards the other, (3) imaginary invective and cutting remarks, (4) witticism and irony, (5) disguised meanings, (6) exaltation of self, (7) general attitudinal reactions. Under the first there is frequently a development of imagery in which one sees oneself doing some violence to the person with whom one is angry. A subject of Richardson's reported:

The first impulse was to kick X., the restraint was accompanied by motor images of kicking him, followed by the image of his being hurt in the face.

Another said:

I felt like I wanted to bite or hit something.[8]

The substitution of irascible play is illustrated by the indulgence of rough behavior toward the object of anger but with a playful demeanor so that social disapproval will not follow on the action. The indulgence in imaginary invective is common experience. One fantasies conversation with the opponent in which one tells him in no uncertain terms what one thinks of him. Usually the "imagined verbal combat" is decidedly one-sided, with victory always for oneself. Witticisms, joking, and such devices are common substitutes for more vigorous action against the situation or person that arouses anger. This is a socially acceptable device. Sneers, varied tones of voice implying the double entendre of the remark, and sarcasm are common. Sometimes one disguises one's attack on the other by making it impersonal and indirect. If one is angry at a merchant over his bill, one may phrase one's dislike in a general attack on the tendency of merchants in the town to overcharge strangers or students. Exaltation of self through imaginary means is common. The offender may not be dealt with, but the person offended day-dream about his own superiority. Sometimes this takes the form of moral superiority. One would not deal with others as this man has done with oneself. At other times one imagines oneself wealthy and powerful, and one would deal fairly with everybody except X, who incited one's anger.


What Richardson calls "attitudinal reactions" are perhaps the most important of the attributive reactions, because here we find the individual constructing more or less permanent dislikes or anger attitudes toward the object of his anger. The person consciously or unconsciously resolves to vent his anger at some future time. The attitudinal resolution, then, is the basis of the chronic form of anger which we call hatred. It is particularly likely to develop when the anger has been unsuccessfully expressed. In such cases the blocked expression throws the anger into a more permanent attitudinal form. It remains in the system to return again and again in the presence of associated situations, ideas, and attitudes. On the pathological side this sort of thing is seen in the extremes to which the paranoiac person will go to obtain his "rights" or his "revenge," depending on the depth and extent of his anger. Hatred is distinctly bound up with a felt attack upon one's self-esteem. This more permanent development of anger patterns in the individual is highly significant, as we shall see, in reference to all sorts of prejudice, mob-mindedness, and various sorts of reactions witnessed in conflict situations.

The contrary reaction introduces us into the theory of ambivalence. It is evidenced in the religious-ethical teachings of Christianity to "love one's enemies," "to do good to them that hate you," "to turn the other cheek." Instead of following up the anger tendencies in the manner just described, there is a reversal of reaction. While the inception of all anger, as we observed, is of the pugnacious sort, there follows upon this, in the ambivalent reaction, the tendency to do good for evil, to be kind instead of gruff. Sometimes this is seen in more violent instance, by an excessive politeness or friendliness which almost always gives the case away. Pleasant tones of voice, kindly remarks, and socially-approved deeds cover up the real feeling. Only eighteen per cent of Richardson's cases showed these responses.

Such activity is distinctly the outcome of social conditioning. Moral-religious training, causing fear of social disapproval of violent anger or hatred, leads to this sort of conduct. This is especially true in cases where one is expected by the cultural code to be friendly and lovable, such as in the family and neighborhood or other in-group relationships. The psychoanalysts have exposed the frequency of this sort of reaction in the neurotic person who shows over-concern for the welfare of those whom he utterly dislikes and despises. Uriah Heep is a type of person found the world over.


The indifferent reaction is even less frequent than the contrary one. It is often built up on the basis of repeated experience with anger situations. It, too, takes on an attitudinal character. It may even become a sort of life philosophy. The offended person assumes an indifferent attitude toward the situation or person. It often appears with the realization that nothing is to be done about the matter. If this attitude arises early in the situation, the anger reaction may not develop far. There is a distinctly passive feeling-tone associated with it. From the point of view of personality balance this attitude is perhaps superior to either of the other two.

The disappearance of anger may take place quickly with the appearance of another emotion or ideational process, or it may disappear more gradually. Richardson holds that the aim of angry behavior is threefold:

(1) To enhance self-feeling which has been lowered; (2) to get rid of the opposing obstacle to the continuity of associate processes; (3) to recover from one's wounded sense of justice.[9]

While unpleasantness is associated with the period of restraint in anger, the lessening of the tensions is distinctly a period of increasing pleasantness. Sometimes the disappearance takes the substitutive forms noted above, sometimes by resolving the difficulty with the opponent, and very often by shifting attention to something else. There are great individual differences both in the form which anger reactions take and in the methods of their resolution. One interesting fact is that anger often induces people to undertake their tasks with renewed vigor. The following comment from a student is in point:

When Professor A. told me that I did not grasp the implications of my thesis subject I was both humiliated and angry. I resolved then and there to "show him" that I could make good. My work from that point on improved and later there was distinct satisfaction in the compliments which my work received, both from him and from others.

Another case is that of a writer who reports that not infrequently his ablest work is done following a disagreement with his wife. He states that he inhibits the more violent impulses which arise in these situations and finds that in the period thereafter he is able to work at long uninterrupted periods of time without fatigue. However, the after-effects of anger are

(155) varied. In some persons anger completely unnerves them for a considerable period. Often they have to go to bed following such an emotional upheaval. Sometimes other emotions follow in the wake of anger. Pity may follow the imagined humiliation of the offender. Shame at oneself for being angry may be a subsequent effect. In other instances, there may develop fear or anxiety that the other person may take one's anger too seriously. Sometimes an attitude of caution is aroused from fear that a recurrence of anger may lead to more serious results for oneself and the offender. Occasionally joy and active pleasantness follow anger. This often accompanies either real or fancied victory over the opponent.

In conclusion, anger may be classified from a number of different angles. It may be pleasant or unpleasant, depending on the course it takes. Again the anger may be violent or mild. Or it may be treated as to its function for the person. It relieves unpleasant tensions as a kind of purgative. It may have a distinct survival effect, especially in the more primitive situations of great bodily danger. And it may have a surrogate effect of stimulating the individual to work. Anger throughout has distinct reference to self-feelings and the persistence of social status. It is distinctly a phase of the egoistic development, and comes into play where there is any threatened or actual thwarting of desires. Some anger arises in the form of mild irritability at situations or objects. Or it may be sublimated into anger at social injustice and be correlated with attitudes of fair dealing. This is the type seen in the righteous indignation of the cultivated person in the presence of social evils and personal wrongs. Here the immediate self-interest may be covered over by culturally-acceptable rationalizations to such an extent that the anger is mild but persistent over long periods of time. If integrated with ideologies of various sorts it may be the driving force of a lifetime activity of highly ethical sort.

b. Envious and Jealous Reactions.— Envy is an emotion built fundamentally upon the anger pattern. It is the product of conditioning. It seems basically to involve anger at seeing desired objects appropriated by others. The response is caused by observing others enjoy what is denied oneself. There is in envy a good deal of sense of inferiority, a feeling of unpleasantness at perceiving or imagining things which one may not possess.

Related to envy is jealousy. This is usually considered envious behavior in reference to some person. As McDougall remarks, one may be envious

( 156) of a second person, but in jealousy there is always a triangular relationship. Some third person threatens to take one's place in the affection of another. Often the elder of two children is jealous of the younger because the latter receives more attention from the mother. There is here a mingling of fear with anger. Fear of loss is followed by anger at the one who thus steals away the affections of another. The jealousy of lovers in regard to third persons is the source of comedy and tragedy the world over.

In short, anger, hatred, envy, and jealousy form a group of emotions in which rage plays a principal part. The wide range of conditioning in the anger type of emotion is noteworthy. There. is no doubt that these emotions are distinctly concerned with the preservation of self-assertive or egoistic values. Much of anger, hatred, envy, and jealousy is directly outcome of felt inroads on the ego-expansion of the personality.

2. The Sorrow Group.— Sorrow is hardly to be considered a fundamental emotion in the sense that anger, fear, and love are, but it looms so large in life that we may designate a congeries of related emotions under this general heading. It includes grief, regret or remorse, and shame. At the outset it is probably based upon conditioning to crying at painful situations. Sorrow is a distinctly unpleasant emotion in which the elements called negative self-feeling and love are doubtless correlated. The loss of some object of affection causes sorrow. In a sense sorrow is a kind of negative side to love. Grief, on the other hand, is a type of sorrow in which depressed feelings are more constant, as when a person losses his object of affection through some carelessness of his own, or through some power over which he had no control, as in the case of death. Remorse, says Wells, "generally designates a chronic grief in response to an injury inflicted upon another." [10] Regret is rather more closely associated with the sense of failure to perform some function expected or failure to do something which now appears worth while.

Shame is an emotion of much significance in social behavior. It is distinctly related to bashfulness and the inhibition of ego-expansion or self-assertion. Shame usually arises when the standards of the social group which one accepts are broken. This may be a mere peccadillo in manners, or it may be in reference to something far more serious for the person, as infraction of the moral code. A man among a strange people does not feel shame in his failure to live up to their mores and folkways. The

(157) behavior which one is to follow is laid down by the group one considers correct. Thus, a man who does not accept contemporary morals is said to be "shameless" by those who do. Shame is, moreover, a distinctive part of the inferiority feelings which play such a marked rôle in the life organization of many persons. Failure to meet the standards set by those around us produces in us a sense of insufficiency, the emotional tone of which is largely one of shame.

3. The Fear Emotions.— If anger emotions are aggressive and positive in character, those dominated by fear are negative and defensive. Both fear and anger are forms of unlearned responses, to protect the personality. The fear activities are powerful incentives to keep away from the situations which set up disturbances. They keep the individual from resolving the difficulty directly. Fear inhibits positive, expansive action and may set up retreat from external reality. We have noted already how widespread the conditioning of fear may be. While the fundamental stimuli to fear are few, the fears which are built up in individuals are almost as numerous as the possible situations to which one may become accustomed. Almost any object or person may become the stimulus to fear and its accompanying unpleasant feeling.

Fear in the adult, at least, seems to be of two degrees of intensity-shock and apprehension. The former produces much more intense reactions, while in the latter the apprehension of danger increases slowly with realization of the situation. The shock type of fear is more reflex and unlearned in character. It appears suddenly and disappears more quickly than apprehensiveness. In the latter there are present more perceptual and ideational factors.[11] Fear of the second sort in the experienced individual consists in an anticipation of pain. Fear, in fact, is one of the commonest forms of anticipatory response, and is, therefore, significant as a measure of attitude or oncoming activity of the organism. Fear is thus related to the future state of the organism, but in child and adult always in terms of past experience.

Fears which are regarded by one's group as out of focus with socially accepted reality arc called morbid fears or phobias. G. Stanley Hall, who made a considerable study of fear in its genetic aspects, reports 136 medical names for distinct phobias. He remarks, further, that there are a great

(158) number of other fears for which there are no scientific terms, for instance, the various fears of several hundred diseases cataloged by one of the British medical societies. Many of these types of phobias are produced by violent shocks of one sort or another. When fear becomes chronic in the personality, it gives rise to anxiety neuroses or constant worries. Fears of this sort are of the apprehensive type in which ideas and attitudes from social experience play a very important part. And these fears, in turn, give impetus to all sorts of fantasies and nocturnal dreams of wild and disordered sort, which, however, may come to affect distinctly the whole course of the personality.

Fear, like anger, is a highly significant emotion in the building-up of social attitudes and habits. It comes into the picture, as does anger, in dealing with prejudice and collective phenomena especially. In the latter instances, as we shall see, heightened stimulation of the crowd situation causes a sort of fear contagion to run through a mob or through even a passing street aggregation. In the case of prejudice, the fears, like the angers, get standardized into attitudes, ideas, and habits which persist throughout generations of groups living in antagonistic accommodation to each other. Public opinion, moreover, is profoundly affected by appeals to fear attitudes.

4. The Love Emotions.— Love is a distinctly pleasant emotion when it attains the object of its attention. It is positive, approaching, and expansive in tone. When love is thwarted, it is unpleasant and runs over into the sorrow type of response. Love is doubtless rooted in the sex drives of the organism, but its ramifications pervade the entire area of human relationships. The basis of love reactions, on the sexual side, are tensions set up in the sexual glands, but the conditioning of love is very wide. Moreover, it is early built into the ego-pattern, and love of self is a dominant factor in human behavior. On the other hand, love is also closely linked with sympathy. As we have seen, to sympathize is to be able to put oneself in another's place. And the sympathetic responses may contain admixtures of both sorrow and love. This is particularly true of the emotion of pity, wherein love acid pain are mingled in reference to some person or animal.

The love emotions are bound up with all sorts of social relations. The in-group attachments are largely controlled by love and sympathy. The whole course of friendship and congeniality rest there. Even in secondary groups such mutual relationships must have a distinctly pleasant and af-

( 159) -fectionate turn in order to persist. In the growth of altruism, love has a distinct part. Love of others, in fact, is a kind of counterpart of love of self. As we find ourselves in sympathetic relations with others in our group, our own self-love seems to grow.

Another sphere of love lies in the field of sentimentalism and chivalry. The romantic pattern is distinctly related to the fantasy life of childhood and adolescence. Romantic love as a culture pattern is merely the conventionalization of this sort of emotional activity. In many societies such notions have never been codified into the folkways, but in our society these patterns have a distinct place. They are a part of our marriage arrangements. They give rise to romantic novels, poetry, and love themes in plastic and pictorial art and in music.

We must note again that of the four groups of emotions discussed, sorrow and fear are largely unpleasant in their tone, and anger, with certain exceptions, tends to be so. Only love is pleasant, and if this is thwarted it moves to the opposite pole of feeling. It must be evident from everyone's experience that the emotions in daily life are very mixed in type, and that they vary as social situations demand. As Wells puts it: "Pure emotions are as rare in nature as pure colors." Although ordinarily the emotions we experience are mixed, in most cases, either anger, fear, sorrow, or love predominate among the components.

D. Laughter and Emotions.

It is said that man is the only animal that laughs. The origin and explanation of laughter have long baffled both philosophers and psychologists. It is not our purpose to attempt another explanation. We are more interested in the fact that laughter arises largely in social situations, and that it has distinctive emotional features. Even when one chuckles to oneself one has other persons, or at least some auditor, in mind. Laughter implies some instability of inner images or attitudes that lead to those spontaneous vocal expressions which we call laughter.

One approach to the origin of laughter is to observe its appearance in children. It seems, in part at least, tied up with tickling of the sensitive zones, but this tickling must not be too prolonged or intense, else the laughing response is apt to give way to irritation or even anger. Too severe tickling leads to the act of riddance. At the outset two features stand out. The stimulus to laughter is primarily social. Other persons

(160) tickle one, either by touch, or, figuratively speaking, through conditioning, by words and grimaces. Secondly, laughter is related to play responses. It is in fun. It is not serious so far as defensive bodily survival is concerned. It is, at the outset perhaps, just this make-believe at being serious and yet not so that produces laughter. That is, the thrust at the person leads to preparation for defense or aggression, but turns out to be playful rather than serious. Crile holds that the organism when prepared for vigorous defensive or aggressive activity of some sort, only to discover, out of the situation, that no such activity is needed, turns to laughter for a release of the physiological tensions. Laughter is thus a diversion of energy— as Gregory puts it, "a pleasant expenditure upon the body of energy released from other activities." Through conditioning the tensions may take on all sorts of forms. Tensions may arise in the field of various anticipatory responses. While one may not be able to defend all laughter as release of tensions, certainly very much of it is of this sort.

Laughter, as a social process, concerns at least three types of situations, all of which are related to the ego- or self-assertive trends in the personality. [12] The first of these we may designate as release of taboo. The second concerns the sense of personal superiority and safety. The third is closely related to the second, but arises out of incongruous situations or juxtaposition of persons or ideas. The release of taboo or social pressures is most evident in the joke of double entendre which affords us a release of inhibited sexual expression. It is enlightening to sit in a vaudeville or burlesque audience and note the hearty laughter of married men at jokes which release secret 'and half-conscious wishes for sexual adventure outside conventional matrimony. One common element in these jokes of double meaning is autistic in form. This is seen in punning. Another example of the release of taboo is clear in jokes on prohibition and its enforcement or non-enforcement. While drinking has long been a favorite topic for humor, since 1920 the United States has seen the rise of a distinct type of joke which constitutes a thrust at the laws against consumption of alcohol. These jokes persist in spite of efforts of motion picture review boards to censor them, or of vaudeville managers to prevent their expression on the stage. It would be interesting further to know how many people who believe in and practice prohibition indulge in laughter about

( 161) prohibition along with those who do not. It is probably a fair guess that many of the former do "enjoy" such humor.

The second set of situations leading to laughter bears on the sense of safety and superiority. We laugh to see a dignified preacher or banker slip on an icy pavement. It is likely that these experiences enhance momentarily our sense of personal security and superiority. The release of tensions probably occurs here also. On the principle of ideo-motor action, witnessing someone else fall may set up in us incipient bodily tensions such as we would experience if we were ourselves to start to fall; but not falling, we find a release from these incipient tensions through laughter.

The third type stimulus to laughter involves witnessing or hearing the incongruous. In some societies the physically deformed have been the object of laughter as is apparent from Homer's references to the laughter of the Gods at Hephxstus and to the attitude of Achilles toward Thersites. In our day we are less inclined to laugh at. incongruities of physique, although children often do. Adults, due to cultural norms, pity rather than laugh at or ridicule malformations of body or expression. Yet we do laugh at incongruous speech, and postures, especially under the "Aufgabe" or mental set to be amused, as in a vaudeville. Back of such laughter there is probably some enhancement of feelings of superiority. As a part of this, doubtless, there is an empathic, imagined participation in the incongruous postures or expressions with subsequent release in laughter.

It is clear that laughter is related to the presence of other persons, especially those whom we know. People chuckle to themselves in reading amusing stories and jokes, but uproarious laughter is best witnessed in a crowd. In fact, amusement crowds are tuned to laughter. We expect funny stories at vaudeville performances and in comedy dramas. We hardly anticipate such stimulation in a church or a courtroom. Laughter, then, is distinctly related to the field of anticipatory reactions followed by release of tension in overt expression. Although complete and consummatory in its final form, its inception depends upon earlier conditioning, particularly in the field of taboos and in the development of self-assertive behavior patterns. In laughter of the first type we laugh with others, while in the second and third types we rather laugh at others. The first sort is thus more sympathetic, more socialized in a sense; the latter two more egoistic and personal. In laughing with others sympathetic attitudes arise.

( 162) The gentler humor of the civilized, humane person has much of this quality. One may smile or even laugh at human foibles, including one's own, but without the rancor, bitterness, or triumph found when we egoistically laugh at others. In the case of this egoistic laughter there is a touch of personal victory. As Gregory remarks, "the triumphant laugh of aggressive or satirical wit has an echo of war, and scorn or contempt or superiority may tinge laughter according to the relief precipitated." [13] In other words, the animus in laughing at others is a secret wish for superiority which has its roots in person-to-person conflict or competition for social status. And an improvement in social status always reverberates to expand one's ego.

In short, the different external situations and anticipatory states which give rise to laughter make clear that various emotions may enter into the process. Sympathy and affection may be components of gentle humor; dislike, envy, anger, and even hatred may enter into other forms.

Laughter, therefore, gives a clue to the personality in its contacts with others. The implications of this sort of social response are numerous. As Gregory says, "the ways men laugh and the things they laugh at are excellent indexes of their natures." What they laugh at or whom they laugh with depends pretty largely upon their culture norms and their personalsocial conditioning. While it furnishes release of tensions, thus enhancing physical well-being, laughter is a most significant form of social stimulation. To quote Gregory again:

Laughter varies its function as it varies its nature and it can divide by bitterness as it can join by sympathy. It does all these things— dealing out discipline, sowing discord, and genially uniting. But its central fundamental role, from which other effects secondarily spring, is the enlivenment of those breaks or momentary termini that constantly recur in human activity and supply laughter with its generative respite.[14]

The social-cultural implications of laughter, then, vary with the form which it takes. The laugh of ridicule plays a decided part in social control. The boy or girl who suffers from such stimuli from others is often forced by a sense of inferiority to seek compensation in other social contacts, as with adults, or in day-dreams, or in other forms of substitutive

(163) activity. Again, laughing at a person may produce disharmony in a group and disrupt otherwise free-flowing social contacts. In contrast, pleasant, joyous laughter with others may enhance conversation and play or make easy consensus of opinion where disagreement has previously loomed upon the social horizon. It stimulates congeniality and facilitates social intercourse.

Finally, laughter, it must be repeated, is predetermined as to its objects by one's culture. That which amuses an Englishman may not so stimulate an American. The type of wit and humor found among the laboring classes seems curiously barbaric and indecent in the drawing-room. In other words, laughter, like other social responses, is related to one's universe of discourse, and can not be understood aside from this. As Gregory puts it, "a jest's prosperity lies in the ear that hears it."

E. Emotions and Feelings in Anticipatory Behavior.

It must be recognized, furthermore, that the emotions and feelings which we have been describing are bound up with attitudes, ideas, and habits of the personality. All of those attitudes which control us most profoundly have strong emotional-feeling components. We must remind ourselves again that the basis of behavior lies in the organic changes, and that man is more distinctly a feeling, emoting animal than he is an intellectual one. This is not to deny the tremendous place of intellectual achievement which is made possible through the operations of the higher brain centers. Nevertheless, we must at all times guard ourselves against the fallacies of easy rationalism which would see man's activities as the result of clear intellectual decisions and predeterminations, as was the wont of the philosophy of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Moral philosophy and social science in the past have been retarded by a failure to recognize the biological roots of man's behavior, by the neglect of these very emotional, feeling, and reflexive roots in his higher achievements. In spite of all the criticisms hurled against McDougall for his theory of instincts and emotions, he it was, among others, who helped to put social psychology in a more substantial position by his insistence that we rccogn17e the profound influences of the physiological foundations on man's social behavior. His criticism of the assumptions of classical economics may be applied to the whole field of philosophy and social science of pre-Darwinian date. As he puts it, "The great assumption . . . was that man is a reasonable being

(164) who always intelligently seeks his own good or is guided in all his activities by enlightened self-interest." This is untrue not only of man's economic and political life, but of all phases of his activity. As he remarks further, "Mankind is only a little bit reasonable and to a great extent very unintelligently moved in quite unreasonable ways."[15]

1. Feeling-Emotional Tone and Ideation.— The intellectual processes, images, and ideas are related to specific conditioning situations. Through the verbal concept in the field of objective association these become exact and definite. And yet, these specific conditionings are accompanied by feelings and emotions. Certainly, the meaning which accrues to concepts and images is distinctly bound up with the feeling-emotional toning and with the corresponding motor attitudes. As determinants of overt response, those images and ideas which have a basis in emotion and feeling dominate those which do not. As has been long recognized in psychology, emotions and feelings determine the fixation of an object in consciousness and constitute the basis of attention and hence determine behavior. It is clear that both perception and imagination are bound up with feelings and emotions. The meanings which arise from past experience lie largely in the continuity of the emotional-feeling tone. They furnish the foundation of the carry-over from one idea to another. It is often evident in recall that the revival of emotion precedes the image or concept which serves to locate the experience in time and space. The whole sense of familiarity, the arousal of pleasantness and unpleasantness and the emotional tone, are of great importance in interpretation or meaning. In truth, the affective element is a constituent factor in the formation of the concept. Edmund Burke put it well when he wrote:

Whatsoever power such words as virtue, honor, persuasion, docility may have on the passions, they do not derive it from a representation in the mind of the things for which they stand. Nobody, I believe, immediately on hearing the sounds virtue, liberty, or honor, conceives any precise notions of the particular modes of action and thinking for which these words are substituted.[16]

Rather, as Burke says, the basis lies in the feelings associated with the original experiences out of which these concepts arose. That is, feelings

(165) and emotions are the basis of perceptions, images, and ideas rather than vice versa. Even in abstract ideas of science, sense of familiarity and of direction, and various other features of feeling and attitude appear. In the most abtruse concepts these feelings and attitudes can be represented only by a word which is accompanied by what may be called the "concept-feeling." Mathematicians and logicians often report just such evidence in introspecting upon the manner in which they handle their concepts.

Feelings, emotions, and associated attitudes, or incipient actions, therefore, are basic to the meaning of the concepts which are couched in verbal terms. These emotional-feeling aspects of our behavior are not separate and distinct from the ideational, anticipatory features of behavior, but are fundamentally a part of the entire complex process.

2. Continuity of Emotion and Feeling.— We have seen above how fear of furry objects carries over to or is transferred from one object to another without additional conditioning. In this way a vast reach of associations is opened up through the emotional-feeling tone in various experiences. Furthermore, the meaning of the original experience persists in the affective experiences rather than in the memory image or idea. Thus dislike for places and persons may be inexplicable in terms of any recallable experience. One is reminded of the old rhyme:

I do not love thee, Dr. Fell,
The reason why I cannot tell;
But this I know and know full well,
I do not love thee, Dr. Fell.

The dislike for Dr. Fell may be traced to some unpleasant experience with him, or with some person who resembles him, or who has a similar name, or in any number of ways. The important thing is that there need be no immediate memory, since feeling and emotion associated with it continue.

In thousands of images and concepts the original basis of the experience may be retained, but the farther these events slip into the past the more oblivious of them we become. Finally their only continuity rests if, the affective states which are revived by the words or gestures associated with them. This is well illustrated in the field of intense fears. Few persons know the basis of their fears of insects, of open places, of high places or enclosures, and so on through the entire range of phobias. The literature

(166) of abnormal psychology is full of illustrations of morbid fears where the patient did not know the basis of his anxiety. So, too, anger attitudes and meanings rest on forgotten experiences, but persist in angry dislike of other races, classes, or the opposite sex. Often there is an affective siphoning from the unpleasant object around which the original meaning was built up to a new object. As Wells points out, an individual may arouse in us a violent dislike, but as time passes our memory of the person disintegrates and there is no marked emotional hangover. Then suddenly there appears another person who resembles the first one and sets off an antagonism far greater than is felt for the original or is recalled as ever having been felt for him. Another illustration is that of an unusual and apparently irrational interest of a merchant in one of his women clerks who had at first not influenced him. The facts were that the girl showed certain facial and manual gestures which reminded him, upon association, of a former sweetheart of his who had similar gestures, but who had been completely forgotten. Our likes and dislikes for people and events are thus colored by past associations, the core of which was an emotional-affective toning. The images and ideas may have long since disappeared, but the affect remains. As a German writer puts it, Objekt vergeht, Affekt besteht. Those forms of compensation and sublimation, made much of in contemporary psychology, are frequently but efforts to find some objective substitute on which to fasten a deep-lying affective persistence.

The continuity of the affective-emotional core of experience leads directly into the problem of the unconscious. In fact, the problem of the place of affective processes in ideational responses and the matter of continuity of these processes is bound up with the theory of the unconscious which we must now examine.

F. The Place of the Unconscious in Behavior.

No concept in recent times has aroused such violent controversy in psychology as that of the unconscious. One theory is that the unconscious concerns behavior mediated only through the spinal cord and lower brain centers, but such a narrow conception leaves out of account much that must come into the picture. Other theories are concerned with the suppression and forgetting of unpleasant experiences. The interested reader may turn to Northridge and Van der Hoop for technical discussions of the various theories of the unconscious. For our purposes we need only adhere

(167) to the facts and to those simpler interpretations that seem fairly consistent with the naturalistic approach to behavior.

As we noted in an earlier chapter, much of our behavior is integrated together into a whole, especially behavior which involves the entire organism for its consummation. Yet some response systems are antagonistic to others. This is true not only in the case of the antagonistic muscle groups, but also in socially-conditioned response systems, such as love and hatred, loyalty to in-group as against avoidance of out-group contacts, like of some personal qualities of a friend and dislike of others. The process of separating antagonistic trends we call dissociation; and dissociation is as important and fundamental a process as is integration. We may assume for the moment that those activities at any time which fit into the ego or self-satisfactions are integrated together in consciousness. What we consider self-satisfying, as making our ego grow most pleasantly, is determined largely by the social groups in which we participate. Yet, it sometimes happens that some groups, especially secondary in type, demand actions and attitudes which run counter to our prepotent trends, trends which in other groups, like companionships, love groups and congenial groups, may get expression. The Puritan community may have terrific taboos regarding sex expression, but a man may philander surreptitiously and thus escape the taboo. Or what is more likely, he may indulge in dereistic thinking about the tabooed subject. Or again, the whole business of sex may become dissociated and appear in disguised form— in dreams, fantasies, wit, and, in pathological cases, in hysterical or neurotic manifestations.

Dissociation is a common phenomenon of daily life. We are often so absorbed in our work or play as to be oblivious of many things around us, so that only fatigue or the increased intensity or repetition of a new stimulus brings us to a conscious reaction. For instance, one is writing and the telephone rings, but it rings twice before one hears it and gets up in disgust to answer it. Often exasperated mothers have to call their children in from play a great number of times, and unfortunately they sometimes refuse to believe their children when the latter honestly tell them that they did not hear them call at first. There are many sensory dissociations of this sort, leading up to more complete ones, such as one finds in the hysterical patient who can not hear sounds, see visual stimuli, or feel pain on large areas of the body. On the motor side, too, the dissociations reach from the

( 168) simple sort of habitual actions performed without reference to consciousness, such as dressing and undressing and performing many features of skilled activity, to habit spasms. At a higher level dissociation is seen in automatic writing, where the person is able to produce material the origin of which he is not aware. Thus, with a planchette board the ignorant hysterical girl produces material which she and her friends may interpret as of divine source. Often this sort of thing is so manipulated in social groups that hosts of persons believe the messages to be supernatural. Upon such belief human conduct may be profoundly affected. This shows again that the culture norms and personal-social experience of the group in which this phenomenon occurs will settle in the end whether the person will be sent to a medical ward or will become the founder of a new sect.

Somnambulism, or sleep-walking, is another form of dissociated behavior in which the activities of the person may be very complex and absolutely outside the range of his waking consciousness. Often the activities of the sleep-walker extend over considerable time and take on complications of action which are baffling to interpret in terms of immediate stimuli and responses.

Other examples of dissociation are seen in various cases of amnesia. This form of forgetting may be merely temporary, as when a person in excitement may even forget his own name or mistake another's name for his own, as in the following episode cited by Gross:

In 1893 at Dietkirchen, Bavaria, a teacher, Herr Brunner, and his two children were murdered and his wife and a servant girl badly wounded. After some time the wife regained consciousness, seemed normal in mind again, but could not tell the authorities anything concerning the event or about the criminal. When the police official had completed his negative protocol, she signed it "Martha Guttenberger" instead of "Martha Brunner," her own name. The official noted this and asked what relation she had to the name Guttenberger. Frau Brunner informed him that a former lover of the servant girl, an evil-mouthed fellow, was called by that name. Guttenberger was traced to Munich and there arrested. He immediately confessed to the crime. Frau Brunner later recognized him as the perpetrator of the crime. [17]

More involved amnesia is witnessed in cases where persons forget how to speak, read, or write and have to relearn these functions. Again, amnesia

(169) may involve the entire personality for a considerable period of time, as in the case of what James called alternate personality:

On January 17, 1887, the Reverend Ansel Bourne withdrew $551.00 from a bank in Providence, R. I., and got into a horse-car. This is the last thing he recalled. He did not return home and a search for the missing man was unsuccessful. In March at Norristown, Pennsylvania, a man calling himself Mr. Brown, "who had rented a small shop six weeks previously, stocked it with stationery, confectionery, fruit and small articles, and carried on his quiet trade without seeming to any one unnatural or eccentric, woke up in a fright and called in the people of the house to tell him where he was." He said his name was Bourne, that he knew nothing of shop-keeping and that the last thing he remembered was taking the money from the bank at Providence. He returned to Rhode Island and took up his former life but he knew nothing of the Norristown episode.

Three years later James hypnotized Bourne who in the trance recalled in detail his experiences from January to March in Pennsylvania. Under hypnosis he failed to recognize his wife and said he had heard of Ansel Bourne but "didn't know as he had ever met the man." Moreover post-hypnotic suggestion failed to bring about an integration of the two selves.[18]

The case described by Coleridge during his travels in the Rhineland is often cited as an example of dissociation. It is further of interest to us as showing how different interpretations of such behavior arise from divergence of culture patterns in the groups who knew about it:

A young woman of four or five and twenty, who could neither write nor read, was seized with nervous fever, during which, according to the statements of all the priests and monks of the neighborhood, she became possessed, and, as it appeared, by a very learned devil. She continued incessantly talking Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, in very pompous tones and with most distinct enunciation . . . . The case had attracted the particular attention of a young physician, and by his statement many eminent physiologists and psychologists had visited the town . . . . Sheets full of her ravings were taken down from her own mouth, and were found to consist of sentences, coherent and intelligible each for itself, but with little or no connection with each other. Of the Hebrew, a small portion only could be traced to the Bible; the remainder seemed to be in "Rabbinical" dialect. All trick or conspiracy was out of the question. Not only had the young woman ever been a harmless, simple creature, but she was evidently laboring under a nervous fever . . . . The young physician determined to trace her past life step by step . . . . He, at length, succeeded in discovering

( 170) the place where her parents lived . . . and that the patient had been charitably taken by an old Protestant pastor at nine years . . . and had remained with him for some years . . . . Anxious enquiries were then, of course, made concerning the pastor's habits; and the solution of the phenomena was soon obtained. For it appeared it had been the old man's custom for years to walk up and down a passage of his house into which the kitchen-door opened, and to read to himself with a loud voice out of his favorite books . . . . Among the books were found a collection of Rabbinical writings, together with several of the Greek and Latin fathers; and the physician succeeded in identifying so many passages with those taken down at the young woman's bedside, that no doubt could remain in any rational mind concerning the true origin of the impressions made in her nervous system. [19]

The case of Hélène Smith reported by Flournoy in his book, From India to the Planet Mars, is also interesting. The patient claimed to be in communication with inhabitants of Mars while in dissociated states. She produced samples of the Martian language which were later exposed as fragments of contemporary European languages confused together. In this case, as in many others, other persons came to accept her alleged spiritistic productions as genuinely supernatural.

From this we are led to more complex multiple personalities, where within the same organism there appear rather opposite types of personalities which alternate at varying intervals over a long period of time. The famous case of Miss Beauchamp, described by Prince in his Dissociation of a Personality, is well known. At one time Miss B. had four, more or less distinct, personalities who even carried on complex acts with reference to one another through such social media as letter writing. One personality even wrote saucy, disturbing messages to another.

It is not necessary to go into further detail in these cases. They simply reveal that there is a vast area of conduct which is unconscious and dissociated from the main trends of the personality. So, too, dreams are cut off from the conscious stream of living. A good deal of fantasy life or daydreaming is also of this character.

In normal persons we do not see the unconscious so vividly exposed as in the pathological. Still, a large mass of images and attitudes are unconsciously motivated. This brings us to the point of attempting to state how the field of social stimulation affects our attitudes and conduct in unconscious ways, and gives us a social-psychological clue to much of the ma-

( 171) -terial on the unconscious functioning which many writers have clothed in mystical terms.

The question of stimulation in reference to unconscious responses is the crux, in a way, of the entire problem. It is held by some that the unconscious responses are the result of actions and attitudes and even images built up in us, but which have since been lost to consciousness, either by lack of repetition of the original stimulus or by means of suppression. Others hold that some if not all unconscious acts arise from stimulations of which we were never conscious. Subliminal stimulation-sounds, sights, olfactory, and tactile sensations reach our organism and affect our behavior thereafter, but we may never be aware of these stimuli. Probably both sets of factors are in operation, and the possible differences in their effects and methods of working out in conduct we do not clearly know. The following brief analysis is offered as a possible clue to the understanding of these processes.

What the psychoanalysts have called suppression or repression, as the case may be, is simply an instance of inhibition. One trend to behavior is inhibited or blocked by another— a fundamental phase of the whole conditioning process in terms of facilitation and inhibition of the cortex. Now the natural trends, the prepotent reflex patterns of anger, fear, sex, disgust, and so on, may be blocked by conditioned responses made to our social-cultural world. As we know, some of the earliest of such conditionings are those involved in control of the bodily processes of elimination. Others concern the control of the time of feeding in infancy; still others involve blocking of violent fear or anger reactions. The group, moreover, provides us with ready-made substitutions for these in language. Thus, we use sarcasm in place of fists to get back on a brother who is stronger than ourselves, or we employ irony on a person whom we dislike, and society does not punish us. The whole concept of the censor, made so much of by Freud in his early writings, could be adequately described in terms of social frames of behavior, in the form of taboos, which the group put upon the individual. The censor is not some mystic entity within the organism, but is a congeries of conditioned patterns of action and imagery which have been developed in the individual by contact with his fellows, and which inhibit the expression of his more biological and rudimentary patterns of action. Often enough, these rudimentary patterns reappear along the margins of consciousness. They break out especially when there is no

( 172) demand in the situation for the continuation of the inhibiting pattern. In day-dreaming the boy who has been punished and shut up alone in his bedroom fancies that he is living with foster parents and that his actual parents, who would not treat him so cruelly, are somewhere else. And in the dream the inhibited trends come into play. The memory processes of transposition, elaboration, condensation, and dramatization usually modify the expression in dreams. Less deeply inhibited persons often easily recognize the genuine meaning of their dreams. Thus, a woman who is unhappily married but unable on account of social pressures to divorce her husband, and who is quite conscious of her problem, dreams not infrequently of his death. In other cases the unhappy wife day-dreams of some accident freeing her from her husband. One woman reports that when her husband is away on a journey she often secretly wishes she might hear of his death by accident, and when a telegram or long-distance phone call comes to her, one of her first wishes is that it may report his death. One does not know how many respectable people might under adequate stimulus admit similar thoughts, but there is no doubt that in all of us there exist impulses and desires which do not come to fruition and which we express in day-dreams, night-dreams, and otherwise. One way out of repressed wishes is through wit, allegory, and story-telling or fiction. Unconscious puns or plays on the double meaning of words are good illustrations of this. The following little incident, which came to the writer's notice recently, illustrates very well an unconscious slip of the tongue:

"Do make yourselves at home, ladies," remarked the hostess affably. "I am at home myself and wish you all were."

Much repressed activity in the field of sex today appears in jokes on the stage, in magazines, and in polite conversation. There is also a whole area of talk among men, for example, or between the sexes, where the ordinary taboos have broken down, of stories of sexual adventures, and stories couched in double entendre. It is an interesting comment on our sex mores that such a frank arid yet symbolic play as Maya should be suppressed by the stage censors, while at the same time we tolerate the broadest of jokes and risqué stories in the burlesques the country over. It is simply a revelation of certain escapes from the direct dealing with matters which are tabooed and which reappear in other garbs. Many people have no consciousness of the source of their interest in these camouflages. This itself

(173) may be well, since if they did they might be embarrassed and might not enjoy themselves so thoroughly.

Other sets of stimuli basic to the unconscious probably never entered into consciousness at all. This is a field but little explored. There seems to be common observational as well as much clinical evidence that we get impressions, hear sounds, see sights, taste and smell, have tactile experiences of which we are not aware but which later affect conduct. Prince cites the case of a girl who under hypnosis reported specifically on the color of a man's suit in great detail, while consciously she was completely unaware of these items. Post-hypnotic suggestion reveals a similar body of confirmatory data. In the literature of hypnosis we have hundreds of cases in which the subject is instructed to do something after he is awakened. He is brought out of the hypnotic state and at the time and place suggested performs the act he was told to perform. Curiously enough, these individuals produce rationalizations of their conduct not unlike those of all of us when we are pressed for the reason for conduct the real motives of which are not clear to us. [20]

Out of our social experience with others, and in the course of their laying down the social-cultural framework of our behavior, there are doubtless hundreds and thousands of situations presented to us of which we are not aware, but which nevertheless influence our future conduct. Shrugs of shoulders, tones of voice, facial movements— all influence us in ways which we little comprehend. In impressing the young with the proper conduct as laid down by the standards of our society, these marginal stimuli of gesture, tone of voice, and facial expression are perhaps almost as important as the purely verbal stimuli in which most culture norms are carried, and which, of course, we are ordinarily conscious of receiving. Children unconsciously take up the gestures and tones of voice of their parents. We often are hard pressed to tell why we like or dislike this person or that, when perhaps our attitudes depend on subliminal stimulations of which we are not at all aware.

Unconscious stimulation and the loss to consciousness of earlier stimulations, must be reckoned with in describing and interpreting the social behavior of individuals. Especially are the emotional feeling-tones anti attitudes carried through life in this non-conscious stream of activity. However we react to the theories of Freud, Jung, Prince, or others, the facts of

( 175) dissociated, unconscious attitudes and acts are at hand. There is everywhere evidence of the inhibiting effects of social conditioning. We do not have to escape into the realm of mysticism to understand these mechanisms. We might do away with the term unconscious behavior, but we would simply use another word to point to the same thing. Watson calls it unverbalized behavior, but it seems to be more than that.


A. Further Reading: Source Book for Social Psychology, Chapters VIII, pp. 176-91; XII, Section B, pp. 284-85.

B. Questions and Exercises.

1. Discuss questions and exercises in assignment in Source Book, Chapter VIII, p. 191.

2. What is the relation between feelings and emotions, on the one hand, and the cyclic activity of the organism, on the other? .

3. What are the two types of feeling correlated with completeness or incompleteness of response?

4. Discuss, pro and con, the James-Lange theory of emotion. (See Cannon, Bodily Changes in Pain, Hunger, Fear and Rage, 2nd edition, 1929 for discussion.)

5. What different types of laughter are there? Illustrate.

6. Is it necessary to take the so-called unconscious mental processes and behavior into account in interpreting conduct? Discuss, pro and con.

C. Topics for Class Reports and Longer Written Papers.

1. See assignments for reports and longer papers in Source Book, Chapter VIII, pp. 191-92.

2. Review Greig, The Psychology of Laughter and Comedy, 1923

3. Review Northridge, Modern Theories of the Unconscious.

4. Review Van der Hoop, Character and the Unconscious.


  1. F. H. Allport, Social Psychology, 1924, p. 90. Used by permission of, and by arrangement with, Houghton Mifflin Company,
  2. W. James, Principles of Psychology, 1890, vol. II, pp. 449-50. Courtesy of Henry Holt and Company.
  3. C. S. Sherrington The Integrative Action of the Nervous System, 1906, p. 265.
  4. W. B. Cannon, Bodily Changes in Pain, Hunger, Fear and Rage, 1922, p. 280. Courtesy of D. Appleton & Company.
  5. Cf. F. L. Wells, Pleasure and Behavior, 1924, p. 172.
  6. Summarized from C. Landis, et al., "Criteria of Emotionality," Pedagogical Seminary and Journal of Genetic Psychology, 1925, VOL XXXII, pp. 209-34. The student may consult the bibliography cited in this paper for further study of this interesting problem. Cf. also M. and I. C. Sherman, The Process of Human Behavior, 1929.
  7. Cf. R. F. Richardson, The Psychology and Pedogogy of Anger, 1918. Some of the material on anger which follows is drawn from this volume. Courtesy of Warwick & York.
  8. Ibid., p. 35.
  9. Ibid., p. 53.
  10. F. L. Wells, Pleasure and Behavior, 1924, p. 179.
  11. Cf. Nancy Bayley, "A Study of Fear by Means of the Psychogalvanic Technique" in Psychological Monographs, 1928, vol. XXXVIII, No. 4, Whole No. 176, pp. 1-38.
  12. These three may not cover all of the situations which give rise to laughter.
  13. From, The Nature of Laughter, by J. C. Gregory, 1924, p. 221. By permission of Harcourt, Brace and Company, Inc.
  14. Ibid., p. 224
  15. Cf. W. McDougall, Social Psychology, 1923 (15th edition) Introduction. Courtesy of John W. Luce Company.
  16. E. Burke, Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful; Works, vol. I, p. 303.
  17. H. Gross, Criminal Psychology, 1915, P. 273-74. Copyrighted by Little, Brown & Company.
  18. Adapted from W. James, Principles of Psychology, 1890, vol. I, pp. 391-92. Courtesy of Henry Holt and Company.
  19. S. T. Coleridge, Biographia Literaria, 1847, vol. I, pp. 234-35.
  20. See case cited p. 141.

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