chapter  III
16 Pages

Understanding Human Nature: Social Psychology and The Concept of Need

An awareness of the part played by social relationships came relatively late in the history of experimental psychology. A contribution came in the educational field from contemporary inquiries in certain Child Guidance Clinics. Teachers were encouraged to reorganize their schools in groups homogeneous in attainment and intelligence: and they were invited to look for the symptoms of certain sorts of behaviour problems suitable for referral to Child Guidance Clinics. In an investigation sponsored by child guidance groups in Minneapolis and Cleveland, E. K. Wickman had set out to discover the relative number of problem pupils of different kinds. On retrospect, it can be seen that to some extent this limitation of meaning was a consequence of the unformulated undertones carried by the mechanistic implications of the word 'drive'. The word 'need' carries implications of a certain mutuality of reference. Evidence pointing in the same direction is to be found in analyses of the wishes, hopes, and fears of human beings.