Review of Social Psychology by F. H. Allport

R. S. Woodworth

SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY. By Floyd Henry Allport. Boston. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1924. Pp. xiv + 453. Price $2.50.

Without doubt, this book represents a definite forward step in the (incipient) science of social psychology. lt, has a, textbook quality indicating that. the subject has now been hammered into such shape as call be presented in a rather systematic and formal way. Some previous books, fully alive to the social problems requiring psychological interpretation, have made little use of actual psychological knowledge; others, while definitely psychological, have not dealt in an elementary way with the group situation. The present text is really comprehensive. It; is systematic and well-knit. And it is thoroughly serious, not intended simply to stir up thought in the student (though it, certainly will do that), but. to place real knowledge in his hands and lead him to, or towards, the true solution of the problems attacked. In short, it has more the air of a scientific textbook than any of its predecessors.

In token of its modernness, the book lays claim to adopting the standpoint of behaviorism, as a convenient system for conceiving and explaining human actions. The author is not, indeed, a behaviorist in the strict sense, since he makes use of such concepts as "social consciousness," "imagery", "awareness'', "impression of universality", and is concerned with such problems as the perceptual aspect of instinct and the James-Lange theory of the emotions-all of which the strict behaviorists seek to wipe from 1114, psychological map. Exactly what the author means by adopting the behavioristic standpoint is not clear. He likes to state his facts and theories in objective terms wherever possible. He regards the physiological is the only explanatory statement of, the facts, but this view, of course, is not peculiar to behaviorism. Also, he reaches what he calls an "austere" view of human life, which might be more aptly called a "hard-boiled" view-a type of view that, is rather Characteristic of behaviorism and perhaps constitutes out of its main attractions.

A second token of modernness is the considerable use made of Freud. The author is not exactly a Freudian, for he has little to say of the unconscious, he does not, base all human motives on sex, nor on sex plus the "ego", nor does he accept the dogma of infantile sexuality; but he has evidently found the Freudian approach very suggestive and illuminating in the study of personality.

A third sign of the times is the first textbook appearance of experiment in social psychology. The experimental evidence introduced is necessarily meager as yet, and not always conclusive. For all that, this first attempt to base the psychology of groups on experiment is of immense importance as a forecast of the future of the science.


( 93)

The author's treatment of social psychology runs the gamut from physiology to sociology. At the physiological end of the scale, we find accounts of reflex action and of the autonomic system, and considerable detail regarding the muscular machinery of speech and of facial expression. At the sociological end we find judicious observations on democracy, city and country life, religion, government, industry and commercial exploitation. Between these extremes we find the properly psychological core of the work, dealing with the innate basis of behavior, the modification of reflex behavior by learning (which is half "conditioning", and half trial and error), the analysis and measurement of personality, response to social stimulation in the crowd, the co-acting group and die face-to-face group, social attitudes and social consciousness, social conflicts and their adjustment. Especially valuable, as contributions to the progress of the science, tire (1) the careful working out of the part played by conditioning and trial And error in types of behavior which, as viewed in the adult, stem to be fundamental and are often Heedlessly labeled "instincts"; (2) the analysis, partly experimental, of crowd and group Activities; and (3) the discussion of conflicts arising in family life.

This book is not only useful as a compendium; it is of no little importance on the theoretical side. It might be called decidedly ambitious on this side, for the author has his own theory on almost every question, and each of his theories is carefully worked out and worthy of serious consideration.

The chief importance of the, work, on the side of theory, lies in his resolute Attempt to prune Away unnecessary assumptions, and build up a social psychology on the fewest possible fundamentals. He prunes away altogether the social instincts, such its self-assertion and submission, pugnacity, gregariouness, and the sex and parental instincts; in fact, lie endeavors to prone away All instincts of any degree of complexity, and leave as native fundamentals only the simple reflexes, plus the power of learning. To accomplish this reduction of the accepted native basis of all behavior is one of his two main objectives. The other is perhaps no less Ambitious, though on less familiar ground to the psychologist. He wishes to c10 away, not only with such concepts ifs group consciousness, group mind and mob mind, but even with group behavior. All behavior consists of the responses of the individual to stimulation. Other individuals, and groups of such, act as stimuli, but the response is always the response of the individual. There is social stimulation, but no social response or behavior. Though these statements seem innocent and obvious at first, I shall try a little later to show that they involve a serious omission from the fundamentals of social psychology, and that this omission leads the author to overlook the most important part of his subject.

However that may be, there can be no doubt that the author's deliberate and thoughtful effort to get down to the fewest possible fundamentals is of great importance in the history of the subject. We never know whether we need a thing till we try to do without it. Psychology could


( 94) not know whether it had need of the concepts of instinct and group behavior till a psychology was carefully worked out without making use of them. Now that the author has performed this service for us, the next step is to examine the result for its adequacy. In other words, duty now demands that we attack the author tooth and nail, so as to discover whether he has left himself resources enough for a successful defense.

The first main question at issue is whether the author builds up an adequate psychology without the concept of instinct. In rejecting instinct, he does not intend in the least to deny the existence of native reactions, but only to reduce them to very simple terms. He does not belong to the school who would have the individual a tabula rasa, in respect to behavior. He stands quite with McDougall in regarding all human behavior as derived, in the development of the individual, from a stock of native reactions. Only, he would recognize as native reactions only reflexes of very simple type.

The concept of instinct he regards as "dangerous", apparently because, in unskilled hands, it is used to cover adult activities that have been built up by the process of learning on the basis of some rudimentary reflex. This danger has of course been repeatedly pointed out by psychologists, as by McDougall and by Thorndike. But to the author the danger appears so serious as to warrant the total exclusion of the term, "instinct". IIe must be thinking of readers so socially minded, so little physiologically minded, that, on hearing of a sex instinct, they incontinently conclude that human marriage and family life are instinctive, or, on hearing of a gregarious instinct, that patriotism is instinctive. For such readers, instinct is certainly a dangerous term to use in a book on social psychology.

But this is not the whole danger. The convenient term, "instinct", according to the author, leads even psychologists to overlook learning and the influence of the environment in the development of regular forms of behavior. In view of the fact that some of the most prominent instinct-psychologists have at the same time been ardent students of the learning process, this danger can easily be overestimated. Our author himself does nothing essentially different from his predecessors in tracing the modification of native reactions. Like McDougall, even, he shows how a native reaction becomes modified, on the afferent; side, by the substitution of new stimuli for the original or native stimuli, and, on the efferent side, through trial and error, by the selection of the best-adapted of the native variants of response, and by combination of native responses into more complex, integrated performances. He does, to be sure, make freer use of the concept of "conditioning" than any of his predecessors, and makes very telling use of it; but there is nothing essentially new in this concept, except for the still meager facts of the conditioned reflex proper, and except for the dubious assimilation of other instances of "conditioning" to the conditioned reflex as the type.

But what the author chiefly desires to accomplish by his elimination of instinct is, after all, rather radical. He desires to limit the native factor


( 95) in behavior to very simple reflexes. All co÷rdination and integration, beyond the stage of simple reflexes, he ascribes to learning. All ripening of instinct, after birth-all specific maturation within the nervous system is excluded. Native reflexes are "crude", poor adaptations, and that in two ways. They are crude on the afferent side in not being specifically responsive to complexity in the stimulus; their native stimuli are exclusively simple environmental agents, such as heat and cold, loud noises, loss of support, painful and tickling stimuli. On the efferent side they are crude in being simple, random, lacking in precision and integration, and only very roughly adapted to the needs of the individual. It is only through "conditioning" that they become attached to complex, meaningful stimuli, such as useful or dangerous objects; and it is only through trial and error that they become precise and adaptive and integrated.

Human walking, for example, is not an instinctive performance. Rather, it is built up out of a large number of simple reflexes, such as kicking, stiffening the knees, and holding the head upright. Each of these separate reflexes, at first occurring with a motley assortment of other reflex movements, is selected and perfected by practice; and finally, when the peripheral organs are sufficiently developed and when the general plasticity of the brain has matured to a sufficient degree, the necessary cerebral connections are formed, and the integrated movement of walking appears.

In this specific instance of walking, the author's conclusion is difficult to accept in the face of a certain amount of evidence which he quietly ignores. Cases of "birth paralysis", affecting the lower limbs, are instructive in this connection. A child so affected may show no deficiency whatever in general brain plasticity or power of learning and adaptation. His muscular and sensorial development remains good. Moreover, he may finally learn to walk, thus giving evidence that all the absolutely essential neural connections in the lower centers are present. Yes, he finally learns to walk, perhaps by the age of eight or ten, after years and years of carefully supervised practice. This genuine learning to walk is very different from the relatively easy process which the normal child goes through in a few weeks or days. If nature provided only crude random action of the various motor organs, and left all selection and integration to individual learning, we may well doubt whether human locomotion would be as universal and uniform as it is.

In view of the general acceptance of maturation, of the considerable mass of prima facie evidence for it and the practical certainty of its occurrence in some animals, pretty convincing contrary evidence is needed to rule it out of court. The author offers three main lines of evidence. First, the neural mechanism required for a complex integrated performance such as walking is itself so complex that it cannot conceivably be determined in the germ plasm. Well, the structure of the heart is complex and well integrated, and yet is determined by heredity and not by


( 96) individual trial and error. The a priori argument from inconceivability is not as convincing as it used to be.

In the second place, it is stated that the internal development of the brain, after birth, shows no sign of specific lines of connection, but only of general growth. How such a statement can be ventured is a mystery, in the face of myelinization tract by tract. Certainly there is structural maturation of a very specific sort after birth. And there is good recent evidence (Tilney) that specific functions, such as opening the eyes or walking, in puppies, make their appearance with the myelinization of specific structures.

The author's third line of evidence against maturation consists in a reinterpretation of Shepard and Breed's well-known experiment on the pecking of young chicks. A chick, given a chance on the second day after hatching to peck grains of wheat, actually secures and swallows 15 per cent of the grains pecked at; he improves rapidly from day to day of exercise till he reaches a maximum of 85 per cent; another chick, prevented from pecking till the fourth, fifth or sixth day after hatching, makes no higher average at first, but improves more rapidly to about the same maximum. Our author's interpretation of these results is as follows:

"On the one hand, the results of this experiment discredit, for the activity concerned, the theory of the specific maturation of an instinct, and show the necessity of practice as in all habit formation. The low beginning and improvement of the delayed groups show that in their case, as in the case of the undelayed, the response of pecking had to be learned. On the other hand, the capacity of the more mature chicks for more rapid learning indicates that they were able to profit in forming the pecking habit by a greater general development of neurones, synapses, receptors, and effectors than existed in the birds one day of age."

The results are indeed consistent with this interpretation; but they do not force us to it. All they really show is (1) the necessity of practice, and (2) maturation, either specific or general, but whether specific or general they do not show. In other words, they are equally consistent with an alternative interpretation, to wit : the inherited mechanism for any given response goes through a specific maturing process, part of which may occur after birth (or hatching) ; but such maturation always leaves. the mechanism in a condition capable of perfcctionment through exercise. This formula is certainly correct as applied to a muscle, and I submit that it is extremely probable as applied to a neural mechanism. At any rate, since the experimental results are fully as well explained in terms of specific maturation plus practice as in terms of general maturation plus practice, they afford no support to the author's brief against specific maturation. In short, his brief contains no positive evidence whatever in favor of his contention, but leaves the question entirely open; while it attempts no rebuttal of the considerable mass of evidence on the other side.

Attention should also be called to an obvious misinterpretation contained in the above quotation. We read there that "the response of


( 97) pecking had to be learned". Not so ! The movement of pecking, just as a movement-and a complex co÷rdinated movement at that, requiring harmonious action of legs, trunk, neck and bill-was executed from the start. The chick pecked from the start; the only question was whether the direction of the peck was accurately controlled by the visual stimulus, and whether the bill movement was timed just right to seize the grain. Quite good precision was necessary in order to score in this test. It is clear from the results, not only that the pecking movement, as a movement, did not have to be learned, but even that its control by the visual stimulus did not have to be altogether learned; otherwise the score of perfect responses would not have been 15 per cent on the first day, but close to zero. If the chick, on receiving the visual stimulus from a grain of wheat, had simply reacted "at random", then he might not have pecked at all; lie might have scratched; but if he had pecked, he would have pecked at random, in any direction, and, in the fifty trials that he was allowed on the first day, he would probably have secured no grains at all, instead of seven or eight. If he had to build up his whole "pecking habit" out of really "random responses" by trial and error, it is safe to say that his progress would be very much slower than the results show.

In general, the author much overrates the "randomness" and "crudity" of native responses. Whether a baby's actions shall be called

'crude" or not depends upon the point of view. If we look at the baby as raw material to be fashioned according to the specifications of the social adult, then the baby is crude. But if we look at him just as a baby, then his bawling, kicking and squirming-not to speak of his breathing, swallowing, sneezing, etc.-are pretty good adaptations to the situation of a baby. The concept of "crude native reflexes" is a "dangerous" one; it is unfair to the baby, both scientifically and practically.

The concept of "random responses" is also dangerous. Many of us, including the present reviewer, have been guilty of a loose employment of this phrase. But I am convinced that few if any really random responses are ever observed. Any reflex is a highly co÷rdinated performance, on the motor side, and also shows some relation to the stimulus. Our author himself says as much, in his opening remarks on behavior "The response usually has some characteristic relation to the stimulus." This excludes the notion of "random response". The concept of "randomness" is dangerous, because it leads us to imagine that, in bringing up a child, we have to do with an utterly formless creature, to be wholly molded by social and other environmental influences.

The concept of "habit" is similarly dangerous. The author speaks of the "pecking habit" of the chick. Shall we conclude that pecking is "just a habit" with the chick? Such an expression would imply that no inherent propensity of the chick underlay this reaction, so that the reaction could be dropped without any alteration in the nature of the chick. "Instinct!" carries the implication of native propensity, and habit that of regularization and automaticity. The one is a necessary complement to


( 98) the other, in the description of behavior. If "instinct" is thrown overboard as dangerous, then, by all means, let "habit" go with it, to preserve the balance.

Our author, however, preserves the balance in another way. He introduces a new term to carry the implication of "propensity" without any implication of complexity of native response. His new term, "prepotent reflex", is indeed borrowed from Sherrington, but given a new meaning. Sherrington spoke, quite simply and logically, of one reflex as being prepotent over another. The, protective flexion reflex of a hind limb is prepotent over the stepping reflex of that limb, and this in turn over the postural reflex off the same limb. It is a question of one reflex giving way to another when the stimuli for both are present. The term, in Sherrington's hands, points to a relationship between different reflexes. Allport uses the term in an absolute sense, or nearly so. A certain number of reflexes are classed as the prepotent reflexes, not from any study of their relation to other reflexes, but, apparently, because they represent the most distinctive propensities of the individual. We rend also of propotent needs, demands and requirements; and there is a long list of "prepotent habits", which, being rooted in the prepotent reflexes, "retain as habits the domination of mature behavior". This list of prepotent habits includes all the commonly recognized instincts and also a selection of admittedly learned activities such as talking, reading, writing and the learning of a trade or profession. To speak of reading or writing as "prepotent" evidently carries us a long way from Sherrington. The prepotent habit is, apparently, an activity that directly or indirectly satisfies some need or demand of the individual. But since all activities do this to some extent, the insertion of the word "prepotent" at frequent intervals does not serve to distinguish prepotent, from nonprepotent activities, but rather to remind the reader that habits are not mere habits, being rooted in needs and propensities, and ultimately in native propensities.

That such is the author's intention can he judged from the list of reflexes selected by him as deserving to be named "prepotent". "A certain group of reflexes . . . were selected as the origins for which we were searching. These reflexes are classified as (1) the avoiding reactions, such as infantile withdrawing, rejecting, and struggling, and (2) the approaching responses to the stimulations of hunger and of the sensitive and erogenous zones. In the competition with other reflexes for the final common path, these reflexes are prepotent. They are of the highest importance for the welfare of both the individual and the species." "Our study of the learning process shows the necessity of regarding the prepotent reflexes not as unitary pathways, but as large groups of reflexes, often diffuse in character, and involving the unspecialized play of numerous effectors. Out of this chaotic mass-response the learning process selects and fixes those movements which, in removing the source of prepotent stimulation, satisfy the demands of life." His classes of prepotent reflexes


(99) correspond to certain fundamental needs of the organism, and his psychology is based upon needs rather than upon reflexes. He likes to connect the fundamental needs with the autonomic system: avoidance with the sympathetic division, hunger with the cranial, sex with the sacral. But he is not bound altogether to the autonomic dogma, for among the positive needs he includes, along with hunger and sex, a group of "sensitive zone responses", to serve as the basis for love of the pre-adolescent type, and also for humor and laughter. The emphasis on the sensitive zones as an important source of pleasure and of positive or approaching behavior is original with the author. The sensitive zones are those that are ticklish, such as the lips, neck, axillae, region of the lower ribs, thigh, and soles of the feet. Light stimulation of these areas gives laughter and withdrawing movements, which, however, the author regards as "pseudo-withdrawing in type", and usually classifies among the approaching reactions. He apparently (p. 68) regards itch, as well as tickle, as predominantly agreeable, though it is safe to say that most persons avoid both sensations as far as possible.

In his genetic account of laughter, the author seizes on the undoubted fact that tickle arouses laughter in babies, and bases all laughter on that primary reaction. He shows how laughter can become "conditioned" upon the behavior of adults who are tickling the child, so that various sorts of playful attack come to serve as laughter stimuli. He does not consider the sad case of babies whose parents neglect to tickle them and thus deprive them of the opportunity of conditioning laughter to social stimuli; nor does he take account of other apparently original stimuli to laughter, as when the little child drops a spoon and bursts into laughter when it bangs on the floor. The author's account of laughter is not entirely self-consistent. In his first statement on the matter (p. 67), he regards laughter as simply a reflex response to any light stimulation of the sensitive zones; but later (p. 257), in the course of a more elaborate theory of laughter, he intimates that only tickling by other persons arouses this response. It arises only from the complex situation of a sudden, playful attack. "Laughter is uniquely a response to social situations. . . . In the original tickle situation it was always a, person who tickled us. . . An element of caprice, or unaccountability, peculiar to the human humor-object alone, affords the necessary suddenness for our shift of attitude"-our shift, that is to say, from fear of the apparent attack made upon us to realization that it is only a playful attack. In view of the obvious fact that the sensitive zones are continually subjected to light stimuli which do not arouse laughter, some such modification of the author's first and simpler theory is evidently demanded. Yet, on the other hand, the more elaborate theory leaves us with laughter as a native response which is itself complex, involving a shift of mental attitude, and which can be aroused only by a complex social situation. Laughter, then, would be an "instinct" in the sense which the author fundamentally rejects. All in all, the author's derivation of humor and mirth from


( 100) sensitive zone stimulation, while containing many considerations of value, is unconvincing, and does not strongly support his conception of the sensitive zones as an important source of human pleasure and behavior.

The derivation of nonsexual love from the pleasure of sensitive zone stimulation is less elaborately worked out by the author, and is even less convincing. "The caressing which children commonly receive and solicit is intimately associated with sensitive zone stimulation. Their cuddling of dolls and toys, and expression of love toward these objects, have their root in the same source." Two objections immediately present themselves. The sensitive zones are no more concerned in cuddling and embracing than are other cutaneous surfaces; and the tactile stimulation which occurs is too strong to produce tickle. A hug, or even a kiss, of any fervor does not tickle either party. If the pleasure of these contacts lies ultimately in the cutaneous sensations received, it must lie in sensations of pressure and warmth, and not in tickle. Thus the special importance of the sensitive zones in relation to love disappears. The basis of sensory pleasure and approaching reactions needs to be broadened to include the whole cutaneous surface, and, undoubtedly, sight, smell and hearing as well. Such a revision, however, would leave us with a very different basis for human behavior than that propounded by the author, with its sharply limited list of "prepotent reflexes". The situation seems to be as follows: the author started with the view of the Freudians, or especially of Kempf, that the ultimate motive forces of behavior were hunger, sex, and avoidance of injury, corresponding to the three divisions of the autonomic. Not being convinced, however, that all love and mirth were sexual in origin, the author discerned in the love of being tickled another native propensity which would broaden his foundation. It was regrettable that this additional source of pleasure lay on the surface of the body instead of in the interior, and that it seemed to have no special connection with the venerated autonomic system; but the author was too little of a dogmatist to let such considerations block his path to the truth. However, once liberated from the viscera, we discover a great variety of pleasurable external stimulations, to which we make approaching responses. Hunger, sex and tickle lose their status as sole determiners of positive behavior; the hard lines of the old scheme grow blurred, and we are left with quite a different conception, though not as yet a very clear conception.

There are one or two passages in the book which seem to recognize a love for activity for its own sake. "Baby talk", for example, is said (p. 182) to be "spontaneous and indicative of a pleasant mood. It is a form of play, a part of the diffuse outflow of energy." Originating thus in play, speech is later, by conditioning, "brought into the service of the prepotent needs" (p. 197). This derivation, which could be applied also to manipulation and to exploration by looking, listening, etc., appears to the reviewer much more sound than the alternative derivation which the author also, and inconsistently, puts forward, according to which every form of human activity is "based ultimately upon some prepotent need"


( 101) (p. 197 and passim). If play activity is recognized as spontaneous and undriven by prepotent needs; and if at the same time it is recognized as the original source of speech and of observational and manipulative dealing with objects, then it is to play rather than to the prepotent needs that we have to trace what is characteristically human in behavior. The prepotent needs enter the story, not as the great source of human activities, but as making use of them, turning them from play into work, and putting more motive power behind them. The author would probably not accept this view; but, in admitting "sensitive zone responses" as an original source of behavior, he certainly breaks loose from the prepotent needs of the organism; and, in incidentally recognizing play, he goes still further in the same direction.

If the author is to base all behavior on prepotent needs and reflexes, the question arises by what right "a certain group of reflexes was selected". By what right was hunger included and thirst excluded from the list of prepotent needs? By what right were breathing and waste elimination excluded? On what ground were fatigue and sleep omitted? Subtract rest and sleep, and human life would be radically altered. Eliminate the bedrooms of a town, and the town would be a very different affair. Eliminate the periodically recurring need of sleep, and the home would not exist as we know it. The author's plan of first selecting a few needs and building all behavior upon them is not really genetic, though it certainly has its value as a basis for discussion.

Undoubtedly the author's restricted list of prepotent needs is in line with his general desire to keep down the number of his fundamental assumptions, and in particular to minimize the scope of the native factor in behavior. Nowhere does this tendency show itself more clearly than in his treatment of the psychology of sex. First, let it be said that the author's full treatment of this matter is probably, all in all, the best that has appeared, the most matter-of-fact, scientific, and helpful. It is gratifying to find an author who can speak of sex matters without a snicker or a sneer, and who has eyes for something besides the pathology of sex life.

His general premises commit the author to a rejection of the sex instinct (as well as of the mother instinct), and to a limitation of the native factor to a few crude, simple reflexes. As usual, he is ready with a carefully wrought theory. A chain of reflexes starts with the production of the sex secretions, which then (in the male, the process in the female not being so clearly indicated), by distending the seminal vesicles, stimulate internal sensory nerves, and evoke random seeking movements-just as hunger pangs arouse seeking movements. Tumescence of the external genitals also occurs, adding a further stimulus to the seeking movements, and also serving to direct the movements sufficiently to produce contact of these organs with some object, no matter what object. This .contact, acting as a stimulus, arouses the further and consummatory response of ejaculation. This is the sum total of native sex behavior, everything fur-


( 102) -ther is acquired. The attraction of one sex for the other is acquired ; all the adaptations of one sex to the other (except anatomical) are acquired. There is no specific native responsiveness of one sex to the other.

When a male and a female individual, each engaged in the random seeking movements resulting from the internal sex excitation, chance to come together and obtain sexual satisfaction, the reflexes of each become conditioned reflexes; the other party becomes a substitute stimulus capable in the future of arousing both the internal and the external processes already mentioned, as well as the feeling of excitement and attraction. The human adolescent does not seek satisfaction wholly at random, since social tradition steers him or her towards the opposite sex. We have to remember also that a parent is apt to have a masked sex desire for a child of the opposite sex, and that the pre-adolescent, nonsexual affection of the child is thus likely to be drawn towards the parent of the opposite sex. This prepares the youth for affection towards some substitute member of the opposite sex, provided the parent fixation can be laid aside. But all this sex polarization, in the author's view, depends on social tradition and on individual learning, and not at all upon instinct.

There are several points in this account that invite discussion.

1. The reality of the internal stimulus supposed to initiate the whole process is open to doubt. The author himself is dubious about it in the case of the female. In the male, we have no sensation analogous to hunger pangs that would indicate the existence of an internal stimulus. Nor, I believe, is it possible to point out the random seeking movements that are supposed to result directly from the internal stimulus, antecedent to any sexual experience. We know that sex secretions act as hormones, and it is quite probable that they act only thus and not as sensory stimuli.

2. The relation of erection to the supposed internal stimulus is not clear. It would be in accordance with the general trend of the author's theory if lie made erection a reflex response to the internal stimulus, but he seems intentionally to avoid making a definite statement to this effect. Distension of the seminal vesicles could, indeed, not be seriously put forward as a sufficient stimulus for erection, since that would mean a continual erection in a male animal internally ready for sex activitya condition which certainly does not represent the rule. Local or external stimuli are necessary in addition to the hypothetical internal stimulus. The "sufficiently directed" movements of a young male animal during erection can perfectly well be regarded as responses to stimulation of the erogenous zones, without lugging in the assumed internal stimulus.

3. The author assumes that the distension of the seminal vesicles (and so, undoubtedly, the production of semen) becomes readily conditioned to external stimuli. 11e is probably forced into this assumption by the fact that a male animal (human or otherwise) often passes quickly from a quiet, serene state into one of sexual excitement on the presentation of an external stimulus. Since the lustful condition, on the author's theory, is a direct result of the accumulation of semen, the latter must be sup-


( 103) -posed to be conditioned by external stimuli in order to account for the quick mobilizing of lust. But the conditioning of a metabolic process like the production of semen is not only purely hypothetical but extremely improbable.

The preceding three criticisms, if justified, do away with the assumed internal or autonomic stimulus as the initiator of all sex behavior, and transfer this r˘le to local and external stimuli. They leave untouched the probable hormonic effect of the sex secretions on various organs, producing a general readiness for sex activity, which, however, would require some local or external stimulus to give rise to actual lust or to overt sex behavior.

4. More important, perhaps, is the question whether the author comes through without any native responsiveness of one sex to the other. Is the intersexual mating which is actually so prevalent in animals and men wholly the result of trial and error and of social tradition? Such a conclusion is hardly credible, as applied to animals at least; yet the author applies it to both animals and men. For evidence, lie relies heavily on Whitman's observations of pigeons.

"The internal character of the original sex stimulus is clearly shown in those animals which have well-marked breeding seasons. Such seasons depend directly upon the periodic activities of the sexual glands and smooth muscle. [Hormonic activity would however be sufficient to explain periods of heat, etc.] A pigeon which is not 'in season' will evade or repel any approach made by the opposite sex. On the other hand, a male bird in the period of sex excitement will begin the usual courtship antics at once, and, in the absence of the female, will make advances to individuals of its own sex" (p. 70).

From this it would appear, however, that, though there is no visual recognition of the opposite sex, there is at least a tendency for the "random seeking movements" to be directed towards other pigeons, rather than towards any random object. This would limit the field of search considerably. But let us continue

"Sex recognition occurs among pigeons only through behavior. An unmated ring dove, for example, when it meets a strange dove becomes excited, charges up and down bowing and cooing, and behaves aggressively toward the other bird. If the latter is a male, he behaves in the same way, and a fight is likely to ensue. If the other is a female in season for mating, she coos seductively and assumes a submissive attitude toward the male. . . . The aggressive behavior of the male dove is a kind of control which causes the strange bird to react in a manner which reveals its sex" (p. 160).

These observations, J submit, do not in the least demonstrate an absence of specific responsiveness to the other sex. They show, indeed, an absence of differential response to the mere visual appearance of the two sexes. On the other hand, they show, first, that the sexes have characteristic differences of behavior under the stimulus of sexual advances made to


( 104) them ; and, second, that the characteristic sex behavior of one sex is a stimulus which arouses characteristic sex behavior in the other sex.

These relations of stimulus and response between the sexes come out even more clearly in the white rat, more recently and intensively studied by Stone. A young male rat, sufficiently matured for sex activity, but as yet without sexual experience, if put together with another white rat, behaves the same whether that other is a male, a female in heat, or an inactive female. He makes advances to any of them. The other rat, if a male or inactive female, repels these advances, and there the matter rests. But the female in heat responds in a different way, to which the male in turn responds with a second phase of characteristic male behavior. This in turn evokes a further female response, and this a further male response, something entirely new in the behavior of this young male. The whole series of responses, back and forth between the two, affords a really beautiful example of natural correlation, and is absolutely inconsistent with our author's denial of specific responsiveness of either sex to the other. To be sure, we now see that it is not the visual appearance of the other sex-in pigeons and rats at least-that acts as the stimulus, nor even the odor, but rather the behavior of the one sex under stimulation from sex behavior by the other.

Quite possibly, the same is true of human beings. We may even grant it as probable that an adolescent boy, with no sex experience and no guidance from social tradition, would be unmoved by a statue of Venus. It is more likely the "way of a woman with a man" that constitutes the stimulus to which the man responds; and vice versa. But such a conclusion does not do away with native responsiveness to the other sex, with sex attraction, or with the sex instinct. It simply sharpens our knowledge of these matters down to a finer point.

It' is strictly in accord with the author's general tendencies that he denies any specific maternal instinct. Mother love he regards as essentially identical with sex love, and as arising from the same internal stimulus. Its attachment to the child is the result of circumstances, social tradition, and especially of an "extension" of the mother's "lover-like responses" from her husband and home "to a new stimulus, the child, which through its origin as well as through its immediate presence is closely connected with the beloved objects". The fact (frequency not stated) that an unmarried mother sometimes shows no mother love is interpreted as disproving any specific responsiveness of the mother to the infant; the counter-influences, fear, shame, perhaps resentment at the father, that would have to be overcome in her case for mother love to have a fair chance, are overlooked in this interpretation.

It is obnoxious to be thus persistently fault-finding when the author's treatment of sex problems is, on the whole, so judicious. Here is just a sample of his judiciousness (pp. 360, 361)

"Why is it that the child's love tends to be fixated upon the parent of the opposite sex? Since there is a strong but unrecognized sexual


( 105)

component in all adult love, it is wholly natural that the father should lavish more affection upon the daughter, and that the mother should be more strongly attracted toward the son. . . . Hence the `choice' of the opposite-sexed parent by the child really represents the parent's choice, and results from the more intense love-making which that parent bestows upon the child. . . The fixation upon the parent of the opposite sex is due rather to the behavior of that parent toward the child than to any instinctive sex preference upon the part of the latter."

The hostile tone of the present review, however, is the consequence of an effort to put the author's extra-simple system of fundamentals to the test. In the reviewer's opinion, the system does not stand the test. It fails to give a true picture of sex life, because it bars out all native responsiveness to the opposite sex or to the little child. In other respects, also, we have found it to be weak from lack of a sufficiently broad basis.

There still remains one major criticism to present. As will be recalled, the author rejects the concept of group behavior. Since a group is composed entirely of individuals, the behavior of the group consists entirely of the behavior of the component individuals. This guiding principle serves the author well in his analysis of the crowd. But there is a certain class of group activities that he does not consider.

Two boys, between them, lift and carry a log which neither could move alone. You cannot speak of either boy as carrying half the log, in any concrete sense, for the log is not in halves. Nor can you speak of either boy as half carrying the log, for there is no such concrete fact as half carrying the log. The two boys, co÷rdinating their efforts upon the log, perform a joint action and achieve a result which is not divisible between the component members of this elementary group. To insist that the pair of boys consists simply of the two individuals is to commit an abstraction. It leaves out the log. By acting together upon the same object, the individuals composing the group co÷rdinate their behavior, and the total behavior consequently possesses a unity analogous to that of a group of muscles in a co÷rdinated movement.

Similarly, when a group of people are working together upon a problem, the contributions of the several individuals towards the solution may be impossible to disentangle; at any rate, the behavior of the group has a co÷rdinated unity due to the common object of thought upon which their individual efforts are directed.

Other similar groups are: a ball team, the crew of a racing yacht, a gang of workmen engaged on some single, definite job, a military company, an orchestra. This type of group might be named a "team". Characteristic of the team is the presence lin the situation, besides the component individuals, of some common object on which all are working, and which makes co÷rdination possible.

Now the author, in his otherwise admirable description of aggregations, has no place for the team, and nothing to say of team work. He recognizes


( 106) three types of aggregation: (a) the face-to-face group, in which "the individuals react mainly or entirely to one another"; (b) the coworking group, in which each individual is working on his own task, not in co÷peration with the rest, though subject to "social facilitation" from their presence and activity; and (c) the crowd or mob, which is, indeed, a "collection of individuals who are all attending and reacting to some common object", but whose reactions can scarcely be called team work, since they are described as "being of a simple prepotent sort and accompanied by strong emotional response. . . . Dynamically the crowd is a large-scale suggestion phenomenon. . . . Fear, lust(?), and rage appear in their naked simplicity and barbaric strength. . . . These responses are modified in the direction of brutal strength rather than that of socialization. . . . Crowds then are struggle groups of an elementary and violent character. . . . The individual in the crowd behaves just as he would behave alone, only more so. . . . By the similarity of human nature the individuals of the crowd are all set to react to their common object in the same manner, quite apart from any social influence. Stimulations from one another release and augment these responses; but they do not originate them". (pp. 292-299).

The description of crowd behavior from which the above quotations are drawn is one of the best pieces of psychological analysis in the whole book; but certainly it is not a description of team work. Since, then, the crowd is the only form of aggregation recognized by the author in which the activities of the component individuals are concentrated upon a common object, his system has no place for the team or for the co÷rdination of individual behavior into group behavior. This hiatus in his system results from his primary denial of all reality to group behavior except simply as a sum of individual behavior. It appears fair, accordingly, to conclude that the extreme simplicity or parsimony demanded by the author in fundamental assumptions results in his overlooking the most important part of his subject; for certainly team work is the most significant of social phenomena.

R. S. Woodworth

Notes

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