Page images

unformed. Through experiments car- industry, wiser selection, placement, ried on with animals and infants, and utilization of human beings. John B. Watson has been one of the We have mentioned William James leaders in this enterprise-it has as one of the great figures of modern suggested important modifications psychology. By his side must be in our techniques of child training. placed G. Stanley Hall, who began

Still another exploration has been his career in 1883 as professor of in the region of mental measure- psychology in Johns Hopkins Univerments. This takes us back to Francesity. Hall's contribution to Amerin the year 1904. In that year a ican psychology has been exceedcommission was appointed to exam- ingly rich. He was one of the first ine the status of the mentally de- to link psychology with Darwinism fective in the schools. It was soon and was also one of the first to bring discovered, however, that the work American psychology into touch was seriously hampered because of with the masters of German psylack of clearness as to what was chology-Pfleiderer, Paulsen, Virmeant by mental defectiveness. Achow, Helmholtz, Fechner, Wundt, French psychologist, M. Binet, un- and others. Also, he had the honor dertook to clear up this confusion. of being the first distinguished With remarkable patience, he worked psychologist in America to counteout a scheme of questions and tests, nance the views of Freud. which, being applied to hundreds of As early as 1883, Hall began to thousands of children, finally made publish articles dealing with child possible the detection of what we call psychology. His interest in that the various "mental ages.”

subject was continued throughout The Binet-Simon test was the a long life, coming to its most notestarting-point of a movement of worthy expression in his volume, mental testing which has since be- “Adolescence.” That book, like come widespread. The movement James's “Principles," was a germinal was advanced from child testing to point in American psychology. Out adult testing during the late war,

of it and around it grew an energy when American recruits were sub- of investigation into the psychology jected to the so-called army tests in of child and adolescent life that has order that they might be segregated fairly revolutionized our attitudes into the proper intelligence groups. toward young people and laid the

At the present time, controversy foundation for thoroughgoing revirages as to whether these tests dis- sions of our parental and educational cover "original intelligence" or a practices. As a result, child study combination of original and acquired has taken its place as one of the intelligence. Whatever the answer major

of present-day may eventually be, the intelligence psychology. test is probably destined to become Out of the above mentioned studan increasingly useful tool, which, ies of instincts, habit-formation, through discovering grades of in- mental measurements, child nature, telligence and kinds of aptitudes, and adolescent nature, there natwill make possible, in education and urally developed a vigorous new movement of educational psychol- Europe and America. In studying ogy. America has been a leader in the obviously abnormal, they have this movement. The figure of John made discoveries of considerable Dewey stands preëminent. In importance for the rest of us, who are Europe there are Decroly, Adler, not obviously off the normal, but Cizek, Ferrière, and others. The who nevertheless have psychical result has been not only an impres- maladjustments that hinder our most sive body of psychological theory effective functioning. regarding education, but an even The outstanding figure in France more impressive series of educational has been that of Pierre Janet. Janet experiments. In all of these, we has turned his attention chiefly to detect a new note: a confidence in the study of divided personality. the child and an effort to awaken in He developed the theory that healthy him his own creative energies. life requires a certain energy with


Of particular moment, in this which to integrate itself. If this connection, has been the study of energy diminishes, the personality backward children. America has a breaks apart. Hence the curative large number of educational clinics techniques, according to him, must devoted to the sole end of studying consist both in restoring lost energy and readjusting children who, for one and in preventing the unnecessary reason or another, cannot keep up waste of the psychical energy that is with the pace. In Europe, one of available. the most important developments Freud developed a different view. has been the work done by Dr. He discovered that the source of Alfred Adler in Vienna, who, starting disease in his nervously deranged with the assumption that no child patients was invariably traceable to must be branded as backward, be- some psychic shock or misadventure cause no child must be permitted to that has since been lost to consciouslose his courage, has instituted a ness. By recovering the consciousreëducation of the teachers of Vienna ness of this forgotten cause, Freud that is already remarkable in its was able to remove the neurosis. results.

From this rather striking discovery

he concluded that the cause of The reader will observe the clinical neurosis was not a lack of energy, note entering into psychology, the but an abundance of energy in interest in the subnormal, the ab- subconscious conflict. Subconscious normal, and the generally unad- conflict, then, became the clue to justed. It has come to be increas- psychological disease, and the reingly recognized that there is no such moval of such conflict the chief creature as a “normal”

curative measure. persons, to some extent, are off the But Freud went further. Not normal. Hence the value of the simply conflict in general was at the work done by such men as Janet, in root of our troubles, but a very France; Freud and Adler, in Austria; special kind of conflict. Freud Lombroso, in Italy; Jung in Swit- called it a conflict between all those zerland; and by their followers in unorganized and imperious drives

person. All

in us that seek, irrespective of environment. Adler, on the other consequence, for personalsatisfaction, hand, holds that everything depends and those requirements of the social upon our power to change both the life which are necessary for our living individual and the environment. together. The imperious drives he Thus while Freud is socially consummed up in the word Libido; the servative, Adler is socially revolusocial requirements he summed up in tionary; while Freud is relatively the word Reality-Principle.

uninterested in the problems of Libido was the word that startled nurture and education, Adler finds the world. In its more usual ex- in nurture and education the chief pression, sex, it shocked it to its clue to the entire human situation. foundations.

What was

almost While Freud seeks his solution of equally shocking was the technique conflict by individual sublimation, of dream interpretation whereby Adler seeks it in a more wholesomely Freud tried to explore the symbolic organized home, school, and society. deliverances of our subconscious selves.

The chief work of psychology thus Dr. Alfred Adler, on the other far has been in the regions of what hand, starting with the same as- may roughly be called the normal sumption of a conflict of inner ener- and the subnormal. But another gies, diverged from Freud in the begins to invite, the region of our matter of sex. According to Adler, possible supernormal powers. the basic drive is a drive to power As good evolutionists, we must, -the wish to be recognized, re- of course, believe that our present spected, loved, admired. The great- equipment of powers is not at all est conflict ensues when there is the last word in psychic outfitting. engendered a feeling of inferiority. We are no doubt destined to develop If the inferiority feeling is not over- powers of which we now have not the come, the individual compensates slightest notion. Are some of these for this in various ways. It may be supernormal powers already disby way of nervous illness, or tyran- cernible? That is the problem nous behavior, or bitter pride, or which the young subscience of paracriminality. According to Adler, psychology, or metapsychology, as then, the clue to the human situation it is variously called, is trying to is the understanding and the over- solve. coming of the inferiority feeling. It The chief problems which have is in view of this that Adler is so suggested themselves for research insistent upon the fact that no have grown out of certain baffling backward child must be branded as phenomena. There is, first of all, such, and that one of the greatest the phenomenon of action at a dispedagogical crimes is to make a child tance; for example, the moving of a repeat a course in school.

chair or a table when there is Freud seems to hold to a kind of apparently no physical intermediary, unchangeable given constitution in knocks when there is apparently the individual which is in irrecon- no knocker in sight. Again there is cilable conflict with a fixed social the equally baffling phenomenon of sensation at a distance; as for ex- denounced as charlatanry. Today ample, the feeling of a pin-prick or a it is a highly respectable factor in pinch when the body is not in con- much of our therapeutic psycholotact with pin or pinching fingers. gizing. Again there is the phenomenon of transferring thoughts without the There have been other regions of usual intermediary of words or other exploration of which we can only physical signs. Then, most baffling make mention. There is, for exof all, there is the apparent pro- ample, the region of social psycholduction of a substance, ectoplasm, ogy, in which we find outstanding as yet unexplained by the physio- figures—Tarde, Le Bon, Durkheim, logical sciences. Finally there are Trotter, Dewey, Hall, Baldwin, the "communications, delivered Thomas, Mead, Cooley, and many either by lips or pencil or other others. The problems in this field device, and quite without the con- have been exceedingly complex; only sciousness of the person or persons first beginnings have been made to communicating

reduce the huge field to order. These phenomena have been stud- What has chiefly resulted from the ied with the nearest approach to

research has been a fairly new constrict laboratory control in France, by ception of man as a creature of the such men as Richet, Geley, Boirac, herd, growing up under herd suggesJoire, Osty, and others. In Eng- tion and herd compulsion, and formland and America they have, with ing his standards of life and his the coöperation of the Society for loyalties not out of pure reason or Psychical Research, been studied out of pure ethical ideality, but under far more varying conditions chiefly out of the pressure of the of control.

herd environment. Social psycholThose who have been in the thick

ogy is therefore beginning to lead of the research stoutly maintain the us to a rather drastic revaluation of reality of one or all of the foregoing our social ideals and objectives. phenomena. They differ, however, Another region of exploration has in their explanations, some attribut- been in the field of religion. James ing the supernormal manifestations was one of the pioneers in this as in to the influence of departed persons, many other regions. His “Varieties others attributing them to certain of Religious Experience” stimulated as yet unexplained workings of a wide interest and led, both in our own minds, like self-suggestion America and Europe, to a re-viewor group-hypnosis. With the rapid ing of the religious problem from a increase of rigorous control and psychological rather than from the laboratory experimentation, there is accustomed metaphysical angle. every reason to believe that another Nor must we fail to mention the decade or two will find a new region very practical work done in the field of human powers opened up to our of industrial psychology and the understanding and use. It must be psychology of advertising. In both remembered that it was only a few of these fields the problem of the decades ago that hypnotism was psychologist has been to study the

human being as a whole, to note the equally convinced protagonists what influences him and how the of the Gestalt theory. influence can be exerted. Industrial Finally it may be of interest to psychology, in particular, in indu- indicate the chief branches into cing the employers to study the effect which the science of psychology has of the working conditions upon the divided. They are: physiological workers, has already been fruitful psychology, animal psychology, in introducing a far more wholesome comparative psychology, genetic atmosphere into the industrial psychology, experimental psycholworld.

ogy, the psychology of the child and At the present day, one of the the adolescent, social psychology, foremost issues has been raised by the psychology of religion, pathothe school of Behaviorists. The logical psychology or psychiatry, and members of this school frankly para- or metapsychology, the psychallenge all psychology which in chology of the supernormal. any way bases its conclusions upon the belief in a purely “mental” The foregoing gives only in or "inner” life. They therefore sketchiest outline something of the discard introspection and trust only development of psychology during to the observation of outward or the past twenty-five years. Some physical behavior. This extreme aspects of that development we have externalism is not only opposed had to omit altogether, particularly by the traditional introspectionists, the ingenious work done in devising who still believe that man has, more accurate methods of experimenso to say, an “inside” about which tation. And yet even this bare he can speak with some authority, outline should make manifest to the but by a vigorous new school reader something of the vigor and just arising in Germany, called the the promise of what has taken place. Gestalt school, which counters The science of psychology, as we Behaviorism on the ground that, have indicated, has only just been through its externalistic approach, born. There is every reason it divides up the individual into believe that it will yet grow up. separate behavior "arcs” and loses As it learns caution and precision, count of the essential structural it may even, some day, become a unity which is present in all psychic highly respected member of the behavior. At the time of writing great council of other sciences. And the fight goes gaily on, with John then it may speak with a power that Watson the vigorous protagonist of may yet profoundly influence our Behaviorism and Koffka and Koehler human world.


« PreviousContinue »