chapter  IV
23 Pages

Understanding Human Nature: Sociometry and The Concept of the Self

Mention has been made of the sensitivity of group members to the attitudes and the directives of their leaders. Classification by friendship thus became one of the means open to therapists and to teachers in the educative treatment of groups. Sociometric techniques are not to be used lightly. They are in essence very different from the somewhat detached and impersonal questionnaires characteristic of the Child Study Movement and its successors in the field of mental measurement. Abundant evidence is now available as to the improvement in attitude and in attainment which follows from the satisfaction which the sociometric procedure gives to the pervasive human need for affection and approval. Both essay-writing and direct questioning support the finding that pupils look in friendly or unfriendly fashion upon one another, and that they form definite judgements about one another in terms not dissimilar to those used by adults.