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GUI No. JS'7/^f^ Accession No. 

Author i < - ' 

This book shoulfl be returned on or before the date last marked below, 




Edited by 

Professor of Psychology and Director of the 
Psychological Laboratories in Clark University 



By Madison Bentley, Knight Dunlap, Walter S. Hunter, Kurt Koffka, Wolfgang 
Kohler, William McDougall, Morton Prince, John B. Watson, and Robert S. 
Wood worth. 


By Carl Murchison, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology and Director of the Psy- 
chological Laboratories in (Hark University. 


By Sir Qliver Lodge, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Frederick Bligh Bond, L. R. G. 
Crandon, Mary Austin, Margaret Deland, William McDougall, Hans Driesch, 
Walter Franklin Prince, F. C. S. Schiller, John E. Coover, Gardner Murphy, 
Joseph Jastrow, and Harry Houdini. 


By A. Adler, F. Aveling, V. M. Bekhterev, M. Bentley, G. S. Brett, K. Buhler, 
W. B. Cannon, H. A. Carr, Ed. Claparede, K. Dunlap, R. H. Gault, D. W. Gruehn, 
L. B. Hoisington, D. T. Howard, E. Jaensch, P. Janet, J. Jastrow, C. Jorgensen, 
D. Katz, F. Kiesow, F. Krueger, H. S. Langfeld, W. McDougall, H. Pieron, 
W r . B. Pillsbury, M. Prince, C. E. Seashore, C. E. Spearman, W. Stern, G. M. Strat- 
ton, J. S. Terry, M. F. Washburn, A. P. Weiss, and R. S. Woodjvorth. 



By Henry J. Watt, Ph.D., Late Lecturer in Psychology in the University of Glasgow, 
and Consulting Psychologist to the Glasgow Royal Asylum. Author of *' The Psychology 
of Sound" 


By Carl Murchison, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology and Director of the Psy- 
chological Laboratories in Clark University. 
















Edited by 








This book contains the papers and proceedings of the Wittenberg 
Symposium on Feelings and Emotions, held at Wittenberg College, 
Springfield, Ohio, October 19-23, 1927, on the occasion of the 
inauguration of the new Psychological Laboratory. 

Plans for a mobilization of international scholastic talent in the 
interest of clarifying the psychology of feelings and emotions were 
first formed in May, 1927. S^h<p*y< conferences and cor- 
respondence with several American psychologists revealed an 
encouraging attitude, but also made clear the seemingly insur- 
mountable difficulties inherent in the project. The untimely 
death of Dr. Edward Bradford Titchener, who had kindly consent- 
ed to act as Honorary Chairman of the meeting, created an added 
difficulty. A most happy solution to this new problem came about 
through the courteous attitude of Dr. James McKeen Cattell, who 
upon urgent request graciously consented to assume the Honorary 

Inquiries addressed to scholars both in this country and abroad 
brought prompt and heartening responses. It was clear that the 
choice of topic for the conference was meeting with general ap- 
proval. Additional indication of this was evidenced by word from 
one of our contributors to the effect that the Division of Psychology 
and Anthropology of the National Research Council, Washington, 
D. C., had appointed a Committee on Feelings and Emotions. 
Correspondence with the chairman t>f this committee, Dr. Margaret 
F. Washburn, brought further encouragement. 

Representative American and European scholars particularly 
qualified to contribute to the special theme of the conference were 
invited to participate. In due time, the program was complete. 

Invitations were sent to members of the American Psychological 
Association, the American Philosophical Society, the American 
Psychiatric Association, and other scientific bodies presumably 
interested. The meeting opened Wednesday, October 19, 1927, 
with an audience numbering several hundred. Those in attendance 
included official representatives from the foremost universities and 
colleges, the United States Bureau of Education, and from scientific 
and educational societies such as the National Research Council, 
the American Sociological Society, and many others. 

In the necessary absence of Dr. Cattell from the opening session, 
the meeting was formally opened with the following remarks by 
the editor: 


"Ladies and Gentlemen: As convener of the Wittenberg Sym- 
posium on Feelings and Emotions I take the liberty to call this 
first meeting to order and have the honor to introduce to you, the 
President of Wittenberg College, Dr. Rees Edgar Tulloss. Presi- 
dent Tulloss received his Harvard doctorate in the field of psy- 
chology and is deeply interested in the problems before us. From 
the start, he has whole-heartedly sponsored this project, and has 
spared no effort to make it successful. " 

A brief address of welcome was then given by President Tulloss, 
followed by the opening address/of the chairman, both of which 
are printed elsewhere in this volume. 

Upon the program appeared the names of fifteen European 
scientists, who had prepared papers especially for the occasion. 
These contributors represented the following countries: England, 
Germany, Italy, France, Denmark, Austria, Switzerland, Russia, 
and Estonia. Papers were presented by twenty Americans. The 
papers of the European contributors and of the two or three 
Americans who were unable to be present at the time appointed 
were read by members of the Wittenberg psychological staff. 

The formal inauguration of the new Psychological Laboratory 
took place on Friday afternoon, October 21st, in the presence of a 
representative audience. The inaugural address delivered by Dr. 
Cattell is printed in the Appendix. On this occasion the Honorary 
Chairman referred, in sympathetic and appreciative words, to 
Dr. E. B. Titchener, and gave expression to the great loss sus- 
tained by science in the untimely death of this distinguished schol- 
ar. By unanimous agreement, telegrams of sympathy were sent 
to Mrs. Sophie Kellogg Titchener, and to President Farrand 
of Cornell University. Their responses by wire, together with 
well-wishes for the meeting, were later read to the conference. 

This same day was marked by a general academic program in 
connection with the formal dedication of the new Chemistry- 
Psychology Building at Wittenberg. In this exercise the psy- 
chologists and their friends were joined by the delegates to the 
National Conference on Chemistry, which was being held during 
the same week under the direction of the Wittenberg Chemistry 
Department. The dedication ceremonies, conducted by President 
Tulloss, included an impressive academic procession and a ded- 
icatory address by Dr. Edgar Fahs Smith, former Provost of the 
University of Pennsylvania and an early teacher of science at 
Wittenberg. The program reached its climax in the conferring of 
honorary degrees upon a number of distinguished scientists in 
both fields. Degrees were cc rred upon the following contrib- 
utors to the Symposium on F ttj^and Emotions: 


James McKeen Cattell, L.H.D. 

Walter Bradford Cannon, LL.D. 

Margaret Floy Washburn, Sc.D. 

Joseph Jastrow, LL.D. 

William McDougall, Litt.I). 

Karl Biihler, Austria, LL.D, 

Charles Spearman, England, LL.D. 

Felix Krueger, Germany, Sc.D. 

Wilhelm Stern, Germany, LL.D. 

Henri Pi<5ron, France, LL.D. 

Pierre Janet, France, LL.D. 

Federico Kiesow, Italy, LL.D. 

Edouard Claparde, Switzerland, LL.D. 

Alfred Adler, Austria, LL.D. 

Vladimir M. Bekhterev, U. S. S. R., LL.D. 

At a joint banquet of the Psychology and Chemistry Depart- 
ments in the evening, Dr. Edwin E. Slosson and Dr. Joseph Jas- 
trow delivered the addresses which are printed in the Appendix. 

As the program was carried out, ample time was given for the 
discussion of each paper. As will be seen from this publication, 
the participants in this notable gathering voiced their opinions 
freely. Great interest in the Symposium was manifested. The 
press throughout the country carried daily accounts of the sessions. 
Many important publications sent special representatives to 
report the proceedings. 

The editor is, of course, indebted to so many for the success of 
this first International Symposium on Feelings and Emotions that 
it is hardly possible for him to record here his gratitude to all. The 
Symposium would have been impossible without the understanding 
support and cooperation so heartily given by the president of the 
college, Dr. Rees Edgar Tulloss. To Dean C. G. Shatter, chairman 
of the general committee on arrangements, great credit should be 
given for the way in which he foresaw and cared for the problems 
connected with the arrangements for the gathering. The Board of 
Trustees of Wittenberg gave their unreserved moral and financial 
support. The entire faculty were interested and cooperative. The 
members of the Department of Psychology should be especially 
commended, including: Dr. H. G. Bishop, Dr. P. L. Mellenbruch, 
Dr. Margaret Kinkaid Bishop, Dr. C. H. Schneider, Miss Ruth 
Immell, and Mr. H. J. Arnold. Mention should also be made of 
the efficient help of the department assistants: Dorothy D. 
Markley, Donald B. Lindsley, and William Schwarzbek. 

In the early planning and preparation for the Symposium, the 
editor is deeply indebted to Dr. E. B. Titchener, Dr. James 
McKeen Cattell, and Dr. Edwin G. Boring, who gave freely of their 
time both in personal conferen v fyand through correspondence. 


Prompt responses and helpful suggestions also came from 
contributors, whose interest made the Symposium and this book 
possible. It should likewise be mentioned that some, being unable 
to accept our invitation on account of pressing academic duties 
or for other reasons, sent their sincere regrets and best wishes 
for the success of the meeting. Among these were: John Dewey, 
Edward L. Thorndike, and H. L. Hollingworth, Columbia; Ray- 
mond Dodge and Robert M. Yerkes, Yale; Howard C. Warren, 
Princeton; Victor Kuhr, University of Copenhagen; A. Grotenfelt, 
University of Helsingfors; B. Hammer, University of Upsala; A. 
Herlin, University of Lund; T. Parr, University of Bergen; G. 
Heymans, University of Groningen; and K. Koffka, University of 
Criessen. Comments from several of these scholars as well as 
from our contributors were to the effect that the conference would 
mark a most needed step in contemporary psychology. 

Sincere thanks are also extended to the translators of the foreign 
papers, most of which reached the editor in the original languages ; 
namely, German, French, and Russian. The translations were 
undertaken by members of the psychological staffs of Wittenberg 
College and Cornell University, at which latter institution Dr. 
L. B. Hoisington very kindly and efficiently carried out the 
promises of Dr. Titchener in this regard. The editor, however, 
will have to accept the final responsibility for all translations. He 
asks the contributors and readers to be lenient in their judgment 
of an exceedingly difficult task. In some cases, the final translation 
has been approved by the author. 

The scientific sessions of the Symposium were brought to 
a close Saturday, October 21, 1927, when the honorary chairman, 
Dr. James McKeen Cattell, according to extracts from the steno- 
graphic report of the proceedings, was kind enough to give voice 
to the following words of thanks: "I think no formal arrangement 
has been made for a vote of thanks, but we ought not to go without 
most cordially stating our obligation and appreciation. I doubt 
whether there has ever been held a meeting of psychologists in 
which were presented so many papers of such high average merit. 
What I wish to do now is to present to Dr. Reymert and to the 
president and authorities of this university our most sincere 
thanks. " 

In closing these introductory notes, which are in the nature 
of a brief historic record of the first International Symposium 
on Feelings and Emotions, I venture to express the hope, referred to 
also in my opening address as chairman, that other gatherings 
of a similar character may in due time follow. 


This book, to the appearance of which Dr. Carl Murchison of 
the Clark University Press has given so much personal attention, 
is now sent forth in the hope that it will be of value to scholars 
as representing a view of the general status of the field of Feelings 
and Emotions in 1927, and that it will so stimulate research and 
discussion that if, in five or ten years from now, scholars again 
assemble to consider the problems of this field, we may then be 
able to point to material advances. 

December, 1927 


Preface vii 

List of Illustrations 1 


1. Is "Emotion" More Than a Chapter Heading? . . 17 

MADISON BENTLEY, Cornell University 

2. The Place of Emotion in Modern Psychology ... 24 

JOSEPH JASTROW, University of Wisconsin 

3. A New Method for Investigating the Springs of Action 39 

CHARLES E. SPEARMAN, University of London 

7 A Emotion, Conation, and Will 49 
F. AVELING, University of London 

5. The Essence of Feeling: Outline of a Systematic Theory 58 

F. KRUEGER, University of Leipzig 

6. The Feeling-Tone of Sensation 89 

F. KIEBOW, Royal University of Turin 

7. Emotion and Thought: A Motor Theory of Their 

~ elations 104 


Utility of Emotions 

W. B. PILLSBURY, University of Michigan 

Feelings and Emotions 

ED. CLAPAREDE, University of Geneva 

Hf. AxJ'imctional Theory of the Emotions .... 
/ D. T. HOWARD, Northwestern University 

W. Emotion as a Dynamic Background 150 

KNIGHT DUNLAP, The Johns Hopkins University 

12. Can Emotion Be Regarded as Energy? 161 

MORTON PRINCE, Harvard University . 

13. Feeling and Emotion as Forms of Behavior . . . 170 

ALBERT P. WEISS, Ohio State University 



14. Ijfispleasure and Pleasure in Relation to Activity . . 195 
.S KARL BUHLER, University of Vienna 

15. Emotion and Feeling Distinguished 200 

WILLIAM McDouoALL, Duke University 

16. Phonophotography as a New Approach to the Psychol- 

ogy of Emotion 206 

CARL E. SEASHORE, State University of Iowa 

17. Excitement as an Undifferentiated Emotion . . . 215 

GEORGE M. STRATTON, University of California 

18. How Emotions are Identified and Classified . . . 222 

ROBERT S. WOODWORTH, Columbia University 

19. The Differentia of an Emotion 228 

HARVEY A. CARR, University of Chicago 

20. Pleasantness and Unpleasantness as Modes of Bodily 

Experience 236 

L. B. HOISINGTON, Cornell University 

21. Pleasurable Reactions to Tactual Stimuli .... 247 

ROBERT H. GAULT, Northwestern University 


22. ^Neural Organization for Emotional Expression . . 257 

WALTER B. CANNON, Harvard University Medical School 

23. Emotions as Somato-mimetic Reflexes 270 

/ VLADIMIR M. BEKHTEREV, University of Leningrad 

24. Emotion in Animals and Man 284 

HENRI PIERON, University of Paris 


25. Fear of Action as an Essential Element in the Senti- 

ment of Melancholia 297 

PIERRE JANET, University of Paris 


26. A Theory of the Elements in the Emotions . . . 310 


27. Feelings and Emotions from the Standpoint of Indi- 

vidual Psychology 316 



28. "Ernstspiel" and the Affective Life: A Contribution 

to the Psychology of Personality 324 

WILHELM STERN, University of Hamburg 

29. The Development of Conscience in the Child as Re- 

vealed by His Talks with Adults 332 

DAVID KATZ, University of Rostock 


30. The Role of Feeling and Emotion in Aesthetics . . 346 

HERBERT S. LANGFELD, Princeton University 

31. Psychological and Psychophysical Investigations of 

/Types in Their Relation to the Psychology of Religion 359 
ERICH JAENSCH, University of Marburg 

Feelings and Emotions in the Psychology of Religion 372 
D. WERNER GRUEHN, University of Berlin 


33. Historical Development of the Theory of Emotions . 388 

G. S. BRETT, University of Toronto 


34. Training the Emotions /^40 

JOHN S. TERRY, New York City 



A. Presidential Address of Welcome 421 

REES EDGAR TUL.LOSS, Wittenberg College 

B. Opening Address: Why Feelings and Emotions? . . 423 

MARTIN L. REYMERT, Wittenberg College 

C. Early Psychological Laboratories 427 

J, McKEEN CATTELL,, formerly of the University of Penn- 
sylvania and of Columbia University 

D. Lo, the Psychologist! 434 

JOSEPH JASTROW, University of Wisconsin 

E. Chemistry and Psychology 439 

EDWIN E. SLOSSON, Science Service, Washington, D. C. 

INDEX 449 




Alfred Adler 3 

F. Aveling 3 

Vladimir M. Bekhterev 3 

Madison Bentley 3 

G. S. Brett 4 

KarlBuhler 4 

Walter B. Cannon 4 

Harvey A. Carr 4 

Ed. Claparede 5 

Knight Dunlap 5 

Robert H. Gault . 5 

L. B. Hoisington 5 

D. T. Howard (> 

Erich Jaensch . 6 

Pierre Janet 6 

Joseph Jastrow 6 

Carl Jorgensen 7 

David Katz . 7 

F. Kiesow . 7 

F. Krueger ... 7 

Herbert S. Langfeld 8 

William McDougall 8 

Henri Pi6ron . ... .... 8 

W. B. Pillsbury 8 

Morton Prince .... 9 

Carl E. Seashore . . . . 9 

Charles E. Spearman 9 

Wilhelm Stern 9 

George M. Stratton . . . .10 

John S. Terry .... 10 

Margaret F. Washburn 10 

Albert P. Weiss 10 

Robert S. Woodworth .... . 11 


J. McKeen Cattell 12 

Martin L. Reymert 12 

Edward B. Titchener . 12 

Rees Edgar Tulloss 12 

LEGE 13 






L. B, 







S. liANOFRLi) 


























General Problems in the Psychology 
of Feeling and Emotion 




Cornell University 

Those who meet to contend against their fellow psychologists 
are scarcely in a position to deny the existence of the emotions. 
Whatever the temper of their psychological creeds, the temper of 
their assertions, denials, and retorts bears testimony to our 
eyes and ears that emotions or things similar to them, however 
denominated exist and are observable in our midst. 

The question before us is primarily a question of scientific 
feasibility. Is it profitable we may first ask ourselves to 
psychologize a class of phenomena which we shall agree to call the 
emotions? And then, if profitable, we shall have to seek a feasible 
manner of regarding the class for purposes of concrete study and 

Long before the emotional life achieved an independent recogni- 
tion (while contended against by German rationalists, French 
sensationalists, English empiricists, and other advocates of the 
more roow j ed ii^bellect), the passive affections of the soul les 
passions de I'dme, in the Cartesian phrase had caught the atten- 
tion of certain expositors of the nature of man. These "passions" 
included the perceptions, the emotions, and much besides. The 
affective ari4 ^motional aspects <af experience were, however, long 
subordinated to the faculties of reason and will. But the nineteenth 
century, with its romanticisms, its naturalisms, and its humanisms, 
seems easily to have turned the reflective attention of men toward 
the feelings. Along with Spencer's didactic evolution of human 
reason appears Bain to insist that the emotions be given a place 
coordinate with the intellect and with the will. In France the 
physician-psychologists found the feelings to play a major part in 
the aberrations of mind, and in Germany and America the affective 
phenomena came generally into prominence among psychologists. 
Charles Darwin and G. H. Schneider brought in the instincts and 
the emotions as adaptive devices of service in survival, and Wundt 
drew an elaborate doctrine of emotion and voluntary action out of 
the integration of his simple feelings. And finally, by their experi- 


mental attack upon the circulation, the muscles, and the viscera, 
the physiologists contributed their share in adding the details of 
bodily resonance to the emotive stirs which thrill and afflict the 
human organism. 

The common result has been to add a large and important 
chapter to our textbooks and other general treatises. Has any- 
one ventured, within the last half-century, to compose a com- 
prehensive work without according to the emotions one of the 
most prominent places in the book? I don't recall an important 
exception. What have been the contents of these chapters? 
Usually a section upon classification; a section devoted to James- 
Lange (usually the longest); a section on "expression"; sometimes 
a little description and often practical reflections upon the uses 
and the inconveniences of emotive disturbance. I recall that when 
I read and returned the manuscript for Titchener's emotive 
chapter in his Text-Book I exclaimed (not having essayed the 
terrible task myself!): "But why bury James-Lange again with 
such elaborate rites!" The author's retort was: "What would 
you put in? You've got somehow to fill up the chapter!" I fear 
that many other authors have had as good an occasion for frank- 
ness and that few have had the courage to leave out what had 
already been said too many times. But who would dare to speak 
authoritatively upon the emotions without showing his audience 
that he was au courant with his subject by discussing and criticizing 
these alien twins! You may have noticed that they were by no 
means neglected by the hard-headed committee of researchers into 
emotion which met last year in strategic counsel upon our common 
enemy. Why do men continue to whet their knives upon the 
broken fragments of this hard stone of exaggeration? Is it because 
psychology has so few respectable theories that it fears to let one 
escape or die? The virtue of the theory seems to lie in drawing 
attention to the widespread seizure of the organism whose Gemilth 
is moved. But language, both vulgar and literary, had many 
times picturesquely referred to the straightened chest, the yearning 
bowels, the palpitating heart, and the rigid muscles. Besides, the 
physiologists were bound, without inspiration from the theory, 
independently to describe the organic details as soon as appropriate 
methods could be devised. I doubt whether the psychology of the 
emotions would not have ripened faster without the huge academic 
discussion through decades as to whether the emotion had any 
substance not contributed by viscus, blood-vessel, and unstriped 
muscle. Energy otherwise expended might, for example, have 
enlightened a certain graduate student who wished to begin a 
doctoral research on emotion because, as he explained, he had 


discovered that elusive object in his stomach and intestines, and 
wished an appropriate apparatus that he might demonstrate his 
discovery to the psychological world. 

As to whether the instincts supply, or are likely to supply, the 
key to the emotions, opinions (even inspired opinions) are bound to 
differ. The concept of instincts we chiefly owe to biology; and biol- 
ogy's knowledge of the matter comes mainly from field-stories, 
casual observation, and speculation. One of the inveterate 
tendencies of the biologist has been, when pressed by difficulties 
in the organism, to refer to past generations as an alleged cause. 
The creature does so-and-so because it was so born. As certain 
plausible facts are set forth, it is difficult to check the speculation, 
which creates convenient instincts to account for observed emo- 
tions. An added danger is that for actual emotive descriptions 
is likely to be substituted the mere stock label of fear, anger, 
jealousy, or rage, and for actual instincts are substituted alleged 
powers which match these labels. The concept of instinct has, as 
it seems to me, never been really naturalized within psychology; 
and it is, as I venture to think, the loose adoption of it from a 
speculative biology which is in large measure responsible for the 
destructive critical attacks which have lately been made upon it. 

You may be inclined, in your reaction, to go with extremists 
of an opposite camp who allege that the human infant is so nearly 
neutral in its functions that its "conditioning" creator can make 
of it what he will. But until the boast has been confirmed by, 
say, a dozen children of various extractions, reared by and answer- 
ing to a prescription and a plan of design published at the birth 
of these neutral individuals, I shall be skeptical about the alleged 
powers of the creative behaviorist. 

As regards classification and description, I doubt whether any- 
one can boast. Leaving purely logical schemata aside, the titles 
to our emotions generally refer (1) to the situation or context in 
which the organism is placed (the terrifying object, the taunting 
aggressor, the rival in love, the uncertain and worrying turn of 
events), and (2) to the bodily indicators of the way in which the 
individual "takes" the situation (trembling, striking, cowering, 
blanching, reddening, and what not). Instead of the emotive 
experience itself, the first kind of reference gives its setting and the 
second its indication or symptom. What we call "expression" of 
emotion is, in large measure, the "social indicator" which adver- 
tises how the organism is affected. These indicators have high 
social value since they grant the observer important information 
about the precise way in which the sufferer is moved. Under 
human sophistication we all learn to modify them, by way of 


repression, exaggeration, and emphasis, for our own social purposes. 
Cannon was inclined to doubt whether visceral changes were 
sufficiently diverse to characterize the emotions. But some of the 
states and conditions which Cannon induced were scarcely authen- 
ticated as "emotions" (save by an arbitrary definition); and, 
moreover, he was confined to a small number of indicators. The 
very fact that we recognize in our fellows the shades and varieties 
of emotion (even injecting them anthropomorphically into other 
animals) argues for a wide variety in these bodily indicators, even 
when taken in their grosser forms. Of course, bodily variety might 
be present and still not be constitutive of a like emotional variety. 
And I should always look for the latter in the emotive experience 
itself. But then others are more interested in the secretion of 
adrenin or thyroxin, or in vascular turgidity, or in electrical 
conductivity of the skin; and their interest in emotions may well 
be as authentic as mine. 

This remark leads me to comment upon the last of the big 
sections which I find in the chapter devoted to the emotions. The 
history of "expressive methods," as they are called, is extremely 
interesting; but you know this history as well as I. Interesting, I 
should say, but melancholy. Enchanted by the principle of 
"parallelism," men have diligently sought, as they earlier sought 
the philosopher's stone, to discover some fundamental indicator 
among our bodily functions which should run in simple parallel 
to the "mind" or "consciousness." Fechner sought to express a 
general function and relation in a quantitative way in the Webcr- 
Fechner Law. The Wundtian School sought the function in feeling, 
on the one hand, and in changes in muscular contraction, circula- 
tion, and breathing, on the other. To the behaviorists, all move- 
ment is expression in the form of "response," and response runs 
parallel to the initial way in which the organism is stimulated or 
moved by outside agents. 

But we are concerned at the moment with the emotional ex- 
pressions. You remember the technical devices by which they were 
harnessed: sphygmograph, sphygmomanometer, pneumograph, 
laryngograph, planchettc, ergograph, and plethysmograph. There 
was initial success, the hint of a simple parallelism, then a doubt, 
then a repetition, then the discovery of instrumental errors, 
negative cases, and new complexities, and then a recasting of the 
method. The most integrative and persistent attempt appeared 
in the Wundtian tables and graphs of bodily symptoms in cir- 
culation, secretion, respiration, and muscular tension which 
regularly accompany the course of the typical emotions. As the 
emotion was conceived to be the unified resultant of many simple 


feelings, integrated into typical courses under centralizing processes 
of the brain, it was natural that the typical course should have had 
definable and decipherable symptoms among the bodily processes 
mentioned. This was the logic of the emotive expressions. The 
logic was beautiful and the experimental program of verification 
brilliant. Many think that the attempt failed; that the delicate 
instruments fail to detect either a parallelism or a differential 
bodily outcome and expression of the emotions. And we may 
well doubt whether, under the vast complexities of organic function, 
so simple a parallelism is to be looked for. Too many organic 
events influence in too many ways blood-pressure and pulse and 
smooth muscle for the emotion of anger or fear or jealousy to 
have its undisputed way with these great bodily systems and so 
with the organism at large. 

In the nineties the project revived when galvanometric deflec- 
tions were observed with certain emotional states and the absurd 
hybrid name of the "psychogalvanic reflex" suggested new hope 
in a universal indicator of the emotions. Faith in the galvanometer 
is still to be found; but at least we are beginning to understand that 
deflections sometimes occur without emotions, and emotions 
sometimes without deflections. Moreover, it is common to find 
the most meticulous care exercised with the electrical measurements 
and controls and the most appalling looseness with the descriptive 
side of the emotion which the changes in bodily resistance are 
supposed to register. As a physiological aid the method holds out 
promises; but as a plain and unequivocal indicator of emotion it 
does not impress us. And the case for the glands seems at the 
moment to be in about the same state; though the frank recognition 
by all who really know something about the vast complexity of the 
subject is here a good augury. 

Well, emotion is at least a topic ! It is something to talk about 
and to disagree upon. To me its essential characteristic is a 
progressive activity of the organism when faced by a predicament. 
As a psychological function it is related to the various forms of 
action. It has beginning, course, and ending. It is to be described 
in terms of its inception, its successive stages, and its outcome. It 
comprehends, in a peculiar way, the internal regulation of the 
body by chemical and neural means. Whatever concerns emotion 
by way of experience and by way of bodily process is proper 
material for its description. Its varieties, its history, its pathology, 
and its subsequent effects upon the organism are all thrilling mat- 
ters for investigation. But to another psychologist, emotion 
means glandular products and visceral incidents; to a third, the 
action of the autonomic nervous system; to still another, a type 


of external bodily activity or deportment; or again a pleasant or 
unpleasant reaction upon events or a "mental state." Once 
more, emotion may be defined as a quality of excitement which 
accompanies the operation of an instinct, or a kind of drive under 
which the organism whips itself into action, or a certain kind of 
response to a certain kind of stimulus. All these conceptions and 
understandings of emotions, and more, do we find current among 
psychologists. And yet we speak of emotion as if it were the 
common intellectual and professional property of all of us. At 
this moment the flag of emotion floats above us announcing to 
a mildly interested world that we are convened to discuss and 
possibly to solve its problems. And there are, doubtless, problems 
of emotion; as there are problems of reducing poverty and of 
preventing war. But is emotion here more than a label, or a 
general topic of discourse, or a banner? It certainly represents a 
subject of human concern. For example, few human concerns 
in current academic and medical matters now rival men's interest 
in the power and the therapy of the emotions. The lay- world has 
been given to understand that its passions, perplexities, tortures, 
and lusts stand among the chief agencies of personal and social 
order and disorder; that a man may be made or marred by worrying 
about his limitations, his father's debts, or his mother's lovers; 
that childish tantrums and adolescent longings may scar him for 
life. He is also encouraged to believe that these same thrilling 
emotions may be interestingly discussed in the clinic and set right 
by the new doctors. Naturally he is all for the emotions. But 
are the emotions a center for coordinated psychological research? 
That is to say, is there a scientific problem of emotion? This 
query suggests, as I suppose, one of our main objects in coming 
together in this hospitable place by the courtesy of this generous 
college. At the least, the interests of all of us are bound to be made 
more catholic, more tolerant, and more enlightened, and the 
discriminations of all of us made sharper for our own problems and 
for the problems of our neighbors. 

As a logical matter, our present status is fairly clear. It seems 
to me that our problems have prospered best when the emotions 
have been considered as one phase of the general affective life and 
when the feelings were properly coordinated with all the other 
aspects of experience and of the psychological organism. While 
the mere analysis into affective qualities has never carried us far 
in the understanding of emotion, it seems to me that reasonable 
accounts of the feelings have. Just now I have been reading a 
manuscript of this temper, a judicious and enlightened book upon 
the affective life of man which will soon (as I hope) come to 


publication. It gives a psychological setting for the emotions 
which would include in a coherent way most, if not all, of the 
current problems of which we have been hearing. But most men 
care less for a general understanding than for the exploitation of a 
private interest or a particular problem. And perhaps this individ- 
uality of interest is well for research. It may lead us ultimately to 
a common topic and to common coherent knowledge. 

But whether emotion is today more than the heading of a 
chapter, I am still doubtful. Whether the term stands in the 
regard of most of us for a psychological entity upon which we are 
all researching, I do not know. Whether it is the common subject 
of our varied investigations, I am not sure enough to be dogmatic. 
But that is precisely one of the desirable issues which we may 
confidently expect from this international symposium of psy- 




University of Wisconsin 

I am accepting the uninspiring r61e of an unofficial guide to the 
realm of emotion, and shall be content if my offices prove of 
service. At most I may aspire to arrange in one reel the several 
shifts of scenes and plots of the story of the emotions in the motion 
picture of modern psychology. True to the function of guides, I 
shall be pointing out what is familiar, but commonly omitted from 
statement because assumed. A certain measure of completeness 
is desirable, while yet limiting the survey to what has become 
significant in the status of the affective life in the present-day 
empire of the mind. 


The first setting may be assigned to emotion as motive. The 
common root of several energetic words, m-o-t, indicates that that 
whereby we live, wherein we have our being, leads to our moving 
in that we are moved to response. Motive, emotion, and motion 
are of one psychological as well as philological family. 

Yet there is rivalry within the family circle, not, as the Freudians 
would have it, a family romance, in which the romantic appears 
to be more frantic than fond (and to the more normally minded, 
more fiction than fact), but a family faction as well as affection, a 
friendly contention for the supremacy of the "why. " Those who 
answer the "why" with a motive it may be revenge, it may be 
sympathy, it may be deviltry are emotionalists; those who answer 
it with a reason it may be to obtain advantage, to save trouble, 
to avoid disaster are the emotionalists once removed, whom we 
call rationalists. They stress the means-to-end relation in its 
plan and mechanism, its logical device, and do not choose to 
uncover any deeper motivation-level for the choice of behavior 
or its defense. Motives and reasons present two sides for the 
same shield; it is not easy to say which is gold and which silver, 
as so often either is gilt or glitter, or even brass or dross. The 
aptness at supplying good reasons for poor motives is an ancient 


one, and was not left for Freud to discover; even Aesop was late 
in the field. The discovery that grapes are sour when out of reach 
is made by many humans whose I. Q. does not entitle them to be 
called foxy. The tendency to rationalize is encouraged by the 
need of defending or disguising motivation again an evidence of 
rivalry or conflict between feeling and thinking. In tracing the 
service of reason in defense of emotion, we come upon the more 
vital urge or drive that stimulates both. 


Next in the overture arises a question : Why this belated regard 
for what is now so cordially recognized as a clue to the entire 
psychic nature? Why was emotion so long the Cinderella of the 
psychic household? The answer requires a historical reference. It 
was not so at the outset. To the ancient Greek mind the "psyche" 
was an integrated activity, of which the " phrene" was the problem- 
working partner. Had not the term been bastardized some time 
before the needed advent of its birth, phrenology would have been 
the name of the "mental philosophy" concerned with the logical 

Yet that fateful tendency to assign value, which makes not 
cowards but moralists of us all all but the most abandoned or the 
most tolerant seeking to moralize the rest is responsible for the 
greater dignity assigned to the soarings and explorings of the 
intellect in contrast to the homely beckonings and reckonings of 
the feelings. Yet no Greek or Roman philosopher, however equally 
under the sway of moralizing bents, could anticipate that the 
marriage ties of Psyche and Phrene, which he respected, would 
under Christian influence lead to the distrust of all but a prescribed 
range of feelings, and to a castigation of the flesh as the seat of the 
passions. But this recognition of the closer moralization-value of 
the emotions is itself a distrustful avowal of a truth that led 
modern psychology to the rescue of Cinderella. We are virtuous or 
vicious more by how we feel than by what we know. 

One hesitates whether to go back to Plato or to Adam for the 
further intrusion or confusion of the tree of knowledge, and the 
fabled loss of a Paradise in which ignorance secured bliss. The 
doctrine that no one would knowingly or willingly do wrong sug- 
gests to the irreverent Freudian disciple that Adam and Plato 
alike should have been psychoanalyzed. Idealism, intellectualism, 
rationalism, were all set going in that active ferment of the mind 
that through the ages made Plato and Aristotle household words, 
and made the Story of Philosophy a twentieth-century best seller 


among the many cherishing the volume as a sign of intellectualism 
rather than as a guide to their perplexities by which the majority 
of these philosophers-by-purchase were untroubled, having no 
vitiating contact with the tree of knowledge, but much with the 
range of feelings, including the pride of intellect. Man will not 
easily give up the hope that he is a rational animal by definition 
if not by fact. Behaving like human, all too human, beings does 
not imply any striking measure of rationality, if we accept a happy 
mean between Nietzsche and Dorsey. 

Dessoir in his History of Psychology offers a convenient distinction 
to indicate the two streams which, when they converged, made 
the current of modern psychology: the one psychology proper, as 
the accredited ruler of the affairs of the thinking mind, and the 
other psychosophy, which gathers the reflected wisdom growing 
out of experience and behavior. The psychosophic attitude was 
congenial to the Roman mind, like the American given to practical 
affairs, to engineering of aqueducts and highways and boom-towns. 
To take things philosophically is a Roman expression; the Stoic and 
Epicurean were emotionalized practical rather than scholarly 
attitudes toward life. A continuous stream of doctrine reflecting 
both interests is that relating to character, from the delineations 
of Theophrastus, their revival in Renaissance Europe, and the 
sturdy survival of the "humors" or temperaments from Galen 
down all engaged with the psychic life in the concrete and 
emotionalized reality. The practical stress of modern living has 
played its part in focusing upon the actual realistic motivation 
that keeps us going. The feelings are so real that their claim 
to attention was congenial to our modern interests. 

Of like antiquity is the recognition of the abnormal. For medical 
psychology, though a modern term, is an ancient body of knowl- 
edge, emerging from the observation of disturbed emotional 
states of excitement and anger, like mania, of fear and depression, 
like melancholia. Yet in this field also the false accents of ration- 
alism and moralism appear. Until recently the insane were regard- 
ed as those unable to reason straight a distinction which if 
democratically applied would require more asylums than apartment 
houses or again, were supposed not to know the difference between 
right and wrong, on which many asylum-residents have more 
emphatic views and defend them better than many who read the 
daily papers and do as they are advised. Elation and depression 
as fluctuations of mood and as characteristic of temperament form 
early data of emotional psychology. 

When psychology became an established discipline, yet long 
attached to the apron-strings of mother philosophy, the very 


addiction to psychologizing was an invitation to intellectualizing. 
Professor Stratton has stated it simply and well. 

"In the older clays the philosopher took his own mind as the type and standard 
by which all minds were to be interpreted; the psychologist applied universally 
whatever stood in the forefront of his own consciousness. The intellectual interest, 
so powerful in the observer, made him see little but intellectual interests and 
devices wherever his eye might rest Today in the effort to correct his prepos- 
session we have come to a careful study of rudimentary minds, where there is risk 
that our judgment be distorted in an opposite way, man being now conceived as 
made in the image not of pure reason but of the beast. But in this way we are 
attaining to a knowledge, never before had, of the driving forces of inheritance, 
of the impulses, of the passions of the human mind. When new corrections are 
made in the light of these, then our intelligence is seen not as a thing apart, moved 
solely by laws of consistency and evidence, but swept this way and that by deep 
currents of longing and anger and fear." 


We may now approach at closer range. The emotions could 
hardly come to their own before a very considerable convergence 
of modern interests had prepared the way for the consummation. 
A set of sign-posts may indicate the route. These are: 

a) the evolutionary doctrine in general and the signal service 
of Darwin's study of emotional expression as a link between man 
and beast; 

b) its application to primitive man and the widening of the 
psychological horizon by a comparison of culture stages, as notable 
as the expansion of the geographical horizon by travel and ac- 
quaintance with the variety of customs and their emotional 
support ; 

c) the genetic unfoldment of the child, so different from the 
adult in many ways, but emotionally most instructive and au- 

d) the differential psychology of sex, race, type, temperament, 
age, and organic disposition; 

e) the abnormal emotions, particularly the upsets of psy- 
choneuroses and the dominant part which disturbed and dis- 
torted emotion plays in mental disorder; 

/) convergent as well as divergent streams among these by 
way of the specialized study of the criminal, defective, and de- 
linquent classes, all examples of the emotional-social maladjust- 

g) the social embodiments and agencies of the crowd-mind, 
and the sway of socialized motives that must be understood and 
controlled if men are to be governed, including also the institu- 
tional products that themselves arise out of the emotional needs 


of men the church as well as the school, the courts as well as the 

h) the specific contributions of the Freudian psychology cen- 
tralizing upon the primitive urges, the drives, the libido, the 
elan vital, the horme, the what-not that men live by and for; 

i) the advance in experimental knowledge making it possible 
to include the study of emotion by laboratory methods, and to 
define its organic basis; 

j) the specialized study of the lower and the higher reaches 
of the affective life (including the fine arts) and the theory of the 
interrelation and integration of all the world of affect in its own 
domain from instinct to sentiment, and by this route returning 
to the philosophical orbit, but with the enrichment of a biological, 
genetic, comparative, psychopathic, social approach; 

k) finally, the applicational side of this cumulative insight 
for which the term emotional hygiene is itself a summary. To 
live wholesomely and happily requires affective health. We must 
feel rightly to act rightly. Morale is largely emotional. 


My further course is to comment upon the significance of these 
contributions and their place in the picture. 

a) The evolutionary renaissance was a general one. Yet the 
demonstration was easier that animals behave like human beings 
because they feel as human beings feel than that they behave so 
because they think as human beingt think. In so many ways 
animals put what mind they have upon different ranges of activity, 
though with much in common with the human scene, as in the 
emotionalized pursuit of food and sex. But these typical appetites 
are highly though differently emotionalized, as well as organized; 
and the struggle for existence, so largely a struggle for meals and 
mates, was indelibly written in the bodily gesture of desire and 
attack, and most intricately in the palimpsest of the face. Here 
are to be read the original pre-human records of fear and anger, 
as well as the courtship gestures and the maternal attentions far 
earlier and more convincing records than the selected laboratory 
registrations that have only the advantage of measurability. 
We eat and pout, we chew and gnash with the same outfit, greet 
friend and meat with the same smile, reject distasteful food and 
disgusting conduct and even express disdain with the same pooh- 
pooh ; we thus show that we and our animal friends or enemies have 
been through the same school of Mother Nature, though in a 
more advanced class. Where the dog snarls, we sneer, but both 


have the same muscle to uncover the "canine," our single vestige 
of a pointed tooth. It is in uncovering this amazing record of 
the emotional past preserved in the smile and laugh, the cries 
and tears acquired without learning, that Darwin may be said 
to occupy the first place in the Hall of Fame of modern emotional 

6) Among the group of early Darwinians there were, in addition 
to the zoologists and the geologists, for whom the long aeons for 
the play of variation and natural selection seemed a "special 
creation," a group of anthropologists to whose pioneering ven- 
tures we owe the inclusion of primitive man as a psychological 
inquiry. One may mention Spencer and Tylor as distinctive. 
A survey of the fauna and flora of human races and institutions 
brought forward the close dependence of custom, belief, and in- 
vention upon modes of feeling and satisfaction of affective needs. 
The mores, rites, and ceremonies gave up their dead secrets as 
modes of relief or expression of fears and angers and hopes and 
sympathies. Primitive man was much more homo sentiens than 
homo sapiens or volens; and, if he acted or believed strangely to 
our so differently centered systems, we can still meet and under- 
stand our primitive forbears on the common basis of the desires 
and rewards, the dreads and avoidances of so much that remains 
our common fate. Despite other days and other ways, we main- 
tain the same hopes and fears, establish similar prides and shames 
to regulate our conduct. The extended anthropological record 
proclaims the emotional as well as the anatomical brotherhood 
of man, despite the difference of behavior magnified to our sophis- 
ticated vision. The recent proof from Boas to Levy-Bruhl, 
to Radin that primitive mentality approaches, far more nearly 
than we supposed, our own mind-processes, through a common 
service of curiosity and orderly satisfaction of intellectual cravings, 
is another brilliant example of a correction through the con- 
sideration of the emotional ingredient of knowledge. 

c) Emotions have profited as much from the rich contributions 
of the genetic approach in its modern restatement as have the 
knowledge-functions. Parallel with the intelligence tests as 
marking the stages of growth are the emotional tests, that have 
more recently and imperfectly come to their own. The will-tem- 
perament and personality schedules and the indications of traits 
through types of response suggest the promising line of advance. 
Equally significant is the emotional (instinctive) dominance in 
the early infantile stages as set forth by Gesell, in whose program 
the affective genesis finds a proper emphasis. Here, too, belong 
the evidences of original emotional responses by Watson a part 


of the solid core of the behavioristic contribution, which remains 
valid despite the extravagant and so sadly misleading super- 
structure that has been based upon it. Here more than elsewhere 
is the inadequacy apparent of what a hurried guide may mention. 
Sufficient to say that the genetic concept has been enriched per- 
haps more than any other by the recognition of the emotional 
support and direction of growth. The story of feeling parallels 
the story of thinking as part of the story of psychic growth more 
intimately, more indispensably, than in any other chapter of the 
Story of Mind. 

I must not leave it without indicating sentence-wise what would 
require a chapter-scale of presentation. The psychic growth of 
childhood is dominantly an affective development. Childhood 
is even more characteristically an emotional condition than a 
stage along the route to intellectual grasp and motor control. 
The stream of childhood behavior is set by the emotional course. 
Affect is more authentic, plays a larger and more directive role 
in the ensemble of childhood than later. It is because the emo- 
tions in the child are so strong, so sweeping, so devastating if 
unwisely hampered, that childhood is a problem as well as a clue 
to the intricacies of later adjustment. The concept that must be 
given a far w r ider recognition than it has yet received is that of 
emotional age. The stages and levels of growth, so rapidly shifting 
in the earlier periods, are distinctively affective, native reflexes 
of organic insistence, primitive craving and avoidances, expanding 
to tastes, desires, longings, and their antipathies. Viewed from 
its later issue, there arises the concept of infantilism, the relative 
failure to outgrow with the maturity of years the bondage of the 
early emotionalism. Genetic psychology alone would require the 
intensive study of emotion which this survey outlines. 

d) Continuing the theme, we may with similar emphasis and 
similar inevitable foreshortening, set forth that the study of in- 
dividual differences equally requires the centralization of the emo- 
tions in the total picture. Each of the rubrics of differential 
psychology carries an emotional story, sex above all. To be mas- 
culine or feminine implies a distinctive and pervasive emotional 
composite. I cannot stop to do more than characterize as elab- 
orately foolish and futile the attempts to make out that boys and 
girls are substantially alike in their "psyche" because they do 
equally poorly in algebra or in supplying missing words in sen- 
tences. Of course coeducation shows that the mediocrity or, if 
you like, the super-mediocrity of college students follows no lines 
of sex, and that I have only a fifty-fifty chance in correcting 
examination papers to guess whether the inadequacy is that of a 


John or a Jane. But to allow this trivial fact to offset the over- 
whelming contrast of the rest of John's and Jane's natures, merely 
because in other unenlightened days their similarities were over- 
looked and a false view of their meaning shaped the whole system 
of lives for men and lives for women, is to throw out not only the 
child with the bath but the whole human family and its record. 
For the relatively unemotionalized sections of behavior, sex may 
have slight meaning as affecting performance. But one of the 
major contributions of affective psychology is to show how ex- 
ceptional is the behavior with the but slight or remote affective 
determination; and no less, that what is decreed by nature carries 
farthest in reach and authenticity at whatever level of expression. 
The problem of social adjustment is to shape living conditions to 
the needs of men and of women, not to ignore nor yet to thwart 
them. We shall lead more rational lives as we use our rationality 
to recognize and not to disguise or distort the psychology of sex. 
To this much-desired conviction the psychology of the emotions 
contributes notably. 

Less can be and need be said of race. The affective traits of 
race are real, however difficult to formulate and however over- 
lapping. In the social aspect they again come to the front, as 
Porteus has interestingly set forth. The study of racial prejudice 
is one of the most illuminating demonstrations of the realities of 
the affective life. How far animosities can be regulated by cul- 
tivation of tolerance through rationality, is an uncertain but vital 
issue. Through the recognition of the emotional factor in race 
contacts, as well as in race proficiencies, the future of racial psy- 
chology is more secure, as well as more imperative. 

The psychologies of differences, whether of sex, of race, of age, 
or of type, have a common or an overlapping orbit. I am con- 
vinced that in every psychology of the future, the chapter de voted 
to psychological types will be an increasingly important one. 
Between the individual and the species stands the type. The 
plan of personality is neither a standardized repetition of a uni- 
form unit nor a haphazard medley or mosaic; there runs through 
its designs a limited set of groupings or configurations (again 
with subvarieties) which compose the type. Consideration^ for 
type is the logical and humane principle for treat mejnt and special- 
ization. Type likewise starts from the affective clue or drive, of 
emotional push and pull; it is temperamental. The study $>t 
type, whether introvert and extravert or some more refined divi- 
sion, is bound to follow the lead of affect, again justifying tne 
focus upon the psychology of the emotional distinctions. 

Growth includes decline. The genetic and the individual con- 


verge. Sucli a survey as that of Hollingworth is most useful tc 
establfsh the correct vicissitudes and regulations in terms of age 
periods. It brings adolescence and senescence into one picture, 
Life proceeds in a cycle; the ages of man have their dominant 
affective aspects, their compensations, and handicaps. An affec- 
tive psychology of the cycle of life has as. marked a regulative as 
an informative value. 

e) In terms of influence, the abnormalities of emotion have 
presumably contributed more directly to the " emotional" renais- 
sance which this occasion celebrates than has any other phase of 
interest. Its early and continuous play in shaping the doctrines 
of temperament, its later invitation to consider the poles of elation 
and depression, have been noted. The most casual visit to the 
wards of what we by tradition call mental disorders offers con- 
vincing and distressing proof that we are traversing the halls of 
aberrant emotion. An established principle of abnormal psy- 
chology is that the fundamental psychic relations and mechanisms, 
the dispositions and conditions of behavior, are the same in sane 
and insane; the derangement indicates only that the psychic clock 
is no longer keeping correct time, may be permanently disabled 
for such normal function, while yet it keeps going as a timepiece 
of some sort. Because in normality it is so vitally and intricately 
an emotional going concern, its false movements are largely 
emotional ungearings, as MacCurdy's thesis elaborately indicates. 

In the newer insight the psychoneuroses have yielded a rich 
psychology; they are representative of the common meeting- 
ground of the psychologist and the psychiatrist. If we specify 
only the hysterical and the neurasthenic complexes, the lessons 
are sufficiently clear and comprehensive. Sanity broadens to 
emotional balance and a mental hygiene of their control; mental 
stability becomes emotionally poised and maintained. Hysteria 
must be outgrown and checked if the stability of human relations 
is to endure. The incapacities of neurasthenia must be reduced 
and the waste and menace of fatigue be broadcasted. We become 
aware through the psychoneuroses those of the war-shock adding 
to the tale of the delicacy of the psychic balance, the perils of 
the strains that modern strenuosity places upon the more sensitive. 
Thus reconstructed sanity acquires an affective rather than an 
intellectual implication. Reasonableness becomes an issue, not 
a condition of emotional integrity. The coming of age of ab- 
normal psychology, the establishment of the clinical attitude 
toward behavior, the close alliance in intent and technique of 
psychology and psychiatry all converge upon and have been, 
in part, prompted by the significance of the affective life. The 


same conclusion appears in further extension and detail in the 
Freudian approach. 

/) With emotional maladjustment thus brought into the psychic 
scene, the practical stress of its social consequences naturally 
intensified the interests in its manifestations. Poverty and crime, 
weakness and sin abound; the salvaging of humanity is a persistent 
need. Humanized psychology becomes a necessity, not an aca- 
demic ideal. How the newer insight has affected our concern 
and treatment of the defective, delinquent, and criminal classes 
and our understanding of the offender, is familiar. Through the 
reconstruction of emotional psychology, what has been too ex- 
clusively regarded as a moral failure appears as part of the liability 
of aberrant emotions and faulty instinctive responses. Much 
of the problem falls in the sphere of adolescent and youthful 
stress, where emotion runs high and readily becomes unruly, 
where the spark of impulse, when in contact with the tinder of 
neurotic constitution, readily produces the psychic conflagrations 
which become social menaces. Juvenile and adolescent stresses 
are real. To many dispositions, emotional maturity and stability 
become a difficult achievement, requiring all the aid of sympathy 
and understanding that we can command for their wise direction, 
and in more serious incapacities become an almost hopeless 
consummation. The guiding hand of psychology replaces or 
supports the stern arm of the law. 

g) How intimately the affective life is a socialized venture has 
become clear through much the same shift of view and emphasis. 
The great majority of the psychic responses, the affective ones 
dominantly, move in a social milieu; we react to others far more 
intimately and more format ively than to situations of things and 
processes of the mechanical order. The socialized emotions ex- 
press at the same time a field of reference and a reconstruction. 
Social conflict and mutual aid are alike emotionally supported. 
Social psychology is so recent a discipline that it has grown up 
under the same set of influences as have crowned our emotional 

In addition, collective emotion, herd-traits, mental contagion, 
class conformity, social conflict, racial and communal prides and 
shames, rewards or disgraces are seen to derive from the extensions 
of the emotionality of the individual in the only setting in which 
it can reach complete expression. The development as well as 
control of the crowd-mind, the guidance of public feelings and 
sentiments buttress the structure of collective emotion. More 
specifically must institutions be considered and developed in 
terms of emotional values. 


h) In emotional psychology Freud requires either a page or a 
volume. The single-page, the front-page reference would be to the 
commanding fact that here first appeared the motive psychology 
in its own right as a star performer, assigned the leading part in 
the play. Freudian psychology is deep psychology; exploring 
below the surface, it comes upon the hidden and suppressed mo- 
tives and mechanisms, exposes a subconscious activity, discloses 
the sources of conflict within the competing motives and the 
imposed struggle between the individual and the encircling col- 
lective forces of restraint the family, society, moral censorship, 
custom, law. All this striving is essentially emotional, as being 
alone sufficiently organic, natural, instinctive, driving. Libido 
is emotionalized psychic energy. That Freud came upon it in 
the role of sex and forthwith sexualized all striving is but one ver- 
sion, one configuration of libido in the natural, in the raw. Hence 
the need of sublimation of emotional refinement, of affective 
development through civilized outlets for primitive, romantic, or 
cultural urges; hence later the inclusion of the power or mastery 
motives and the total personality, the ambitions, disappointments, 
and rewards in the drama of life. Each measures himself against 
the rest, emerges or struggles with an inferiority complex, a superi- 
ority delusion, a compensation device, a rationalization system, 
or a normal "know thyself* adjustment. We Freudianize our- 
selves clumsily or expertly, deliberately or deceptively. 

The coincidence of the Freudian era and of the emotional re- 
naissance is not accidental. The twenty -year period of resistance 
itself a Freudian symptom was doubtless in the main the result 
of a medical prejudice and suspicion of irregular practice, but in 
a secondary way also a scepticism towards emotional disturbance 
as so causative an agent in the production of neuroses, and in 
the details of making and dreaming experience. After Freud 
performed the matrimonial ceremonies uniting motive and emo- 
tion, it has been hazardous for a psychologist to put them asunder, 
while his ardent disciples regard such attempt as sacrilege. Freud 
is a notable name in the emotional renaissance. 

i) The experimental psychology of the emotion can hardly be 
summarized. Most distinctive is the demonstration of its organic 
bases in the complex glandular mechanisms a chapter unknown 
when Wundt ventured to call his pioneer textbook Physiological 
Psychology. Yet there is today hardly a beginner's text that does 
not present the relation of thyroid deficiency to apathy and inertia, 
of thyroid overaction to undue excitability, of the adrenals to 
strenuosity, of endocrine balance as a condition of normal func- 
tioning of the emotional life. Sex finds its place in a glandular 


psychology. Through Cannon's monumental demonstrations, 
emotion becomes an emergency-meeting device, mobilizing the 
organism for fight typically and for other vital emotional situations 
as well by virtue of the same integrated mechanisms. Rage, fear, 
hunger, and sympathy no less overlap in their glandular registra- 
tion. More than one writer has been struck with the analogy of 
the doctrine of " humors*' to the secretions. A fanciful guess with 
a stroke of luck and a large dose of baseless notions has been re- 
placed by laboratory findings undreamed of in the philosophy 
that, when revived in no less sporadic relation to scientific evi- 
dence, gave us the phrases, still current, of good humor and bad 

This fascinating story of the glands is quite as dramatic in its 
further relation to the organic background of the affective life. 
The mediumship of the autonomic nervous system has revealed 
itself as bringing glands and the central direction of the new brain, 
to whose extraordinary development man owes his behavior as a 
human being, into one genetic integration. The life of feeling 
and emotion is aeons older than that of thought, of cerebral re- 
direction and control. We are far older emotionally than intel- 
lectually and can never deny, never outgrow our evolutionary 
birthright, whatever its handicaps. In the duality of the nervous 
system is written the organic preamble to the chapters on feeling 
and thinking. * 

j) Here again, a summary becomes an enumeration. I select 
for mention the theories of emotion, for which the James-Lange 
contribution represents the modern starting-point, and the several 
attempts to define pleasure and displeasure in subsequent develop- 
ment. Next, the close relations between instinct and emotion, 
suggested by Shand, made current by McDougall, widely in- 
fluential in social psychology, critically present in Allport. There 
is the large chapter on the sentiments and the intricate relations 
which they assume under intellectual reflection and institutional 
support. The most elaborate work is that of Shand. The special- 
ized treatment of the great trunk-line emotions is the next step. 
A brilliant example is Stratum's treatise on Anger with its further 
specialization in the field of religion. It was part of Stanley 
Hall's ambition to bring together his several contributions to 
these phases of emotional psychology, and his name belongs among 

1 As experimental findings do not lend themselves to summary the handbook 
of Smith may be referred to, and the many studies of the emotional components 
of character and personality not yet collected. The chapter in Roback's Psychology 
of Character is an available summary. Studies in aesthetics and in social products 
of emotional trends have also, in part, proceeded ex perimen tally. 


the foremost of its pioneers. But to the making of lists there is 
no end, except the limitation of time and space. 

k) The regulative side of the emotional life I have referred 
to in my prologue. From the nursery school, which owes its being 
to the recognition of affective control as the basis of the first steps 
in right growth, to the university, which harps upon the training 
of character but flounders in attempting to find a place for it in 
its crowded and too commonly aimless curriculum, the theme of 
the emotional life is asserting its claims. Emotional hygiene, genetic 
and social, has come to stay. 

My epilogue determines itself: how to harmonize the life of 
feeling and of thinking in one living symphony. Ours must be a 
"life of reason," a phrase expanded to a series of volumes by one 
who has lived it significantly Santayana; he has felt as sen- 
sitively as he has thought nobly. For the most of us, the program 
must be reduced to humble dimensions, to simpler terms. Ed- 
man has used the caption " Career of Reason" in surveying for 
college students the several contributory disciplines to the re- 
flective and institutional occupations of mankind. 

In this humanized version of psychology we must recognize that 
we cannot trust our feelings uncritically, however much we must 
feel as well as think our way to the solution of our problems, to 
the attainment of the attitudes that represent what we have made 
of our lives. We must definitely recognize the emotional impedi- 
ments of thought. Superstition, prejudice, dogmas form a human 
record vast and dismal, a permanent warning of the dangers at- 
tending the life of reason. From moods to philosophies the affects 
rule. The arts of ruling men organize or exploit their sympathies 
and sentiments. Leaders are experts in gauging the composite 
tempers of their following; their insight is a tact far more emotional 
than rational in its technique. Thus the renaissance of emotional 
psychology derives its largest warrant from its practical value in 
understanding and directing human motives as the mainsprings of 
action. The adjustment of feeling and thinking in that cause 
remains the great desideratum. 

For its establishment our survey provides a few hints and guides. 
The neurological approach leaves a deposit of advice. The neurotic 
must be understood and avoided; a sound organic basis is indis- 
pensable to the sane life of reason. The neuroses indicate the 
untoward liabilities. If we are hysterical, we shall live and love 
and think not wisely, but too well, too intensively, too narrowly, 
with too heavy an affective load, with a too much prejudiced and 


fitful vitality. If we are neurasthenics we shall feel and think too 
timidly, with too much repression, too much troubled anxiety, 
too ready discouragement, too shrinking a venture, too sensitive 
a responsiveness to the give and take of an imperfect world. If 
we are paranoiac, we shall be burdened with suspicion and dis- 
tortions, see the world too much in the image of our own deviations, 
be prone to fanaticism and the erratic. The avoidance of the 
neurotic is the first condition of the affective stability. 

In further illustration, note that the neurotic liabilities, the 
recognition of which grows out of emotionalized psychology, throw 
the weight upon hereditary factors, despite the recognized influ- 
ence of wise direction in mitigating and avoiding neurotic catas- 
trophe. But disposition is fundamental and offers aid or resistance 
to discipline. As long as psychology was so largely concerned 
with the intellectual processes, learning was paramount and much 
of it acquired, redirected, artificial. With the emphasis directed 
to the emotional basis of the psyche, the hereditary rather than 
the environmental appears in the determining r61e. Traits are 
deeper than habits; the laws of psychic heredity must be read 
first in the emotional, temperamental make-up, and the conclu- 
sions transferred to the logical traits as of a derivative order. 

Constructively we shall seek the normal by a rightful satisfac- 
tion of the dominant urges, not by way of crippling, denunciation, 
denial, or escape, but by whole-hearted employment and enjoy- 
ment of the stages of growth. The slow, yet natural expansion of 
motives must be accepted; for such is the law of emotional age. 
The disciplines of early life assume a corrected perspective under 
the recognition of the validity of natural urges, free expression, 
arid levels of emancipation and growth. The emotions have 
themselves been rationalized by giving them an accredited place 
in the life of reason. 

The older intellectualism has receded to its proper place in 
the psyche. Motive psychology has replaced it, yet has incor- 
porated the most valued of its findings, including its laboratory 
and clinical technique. In the recognition of mechanisms the 
advance of knowledge is congenial in both fields. Perceptive and 
apperceptive mechanisms as aids to logical and objective control 
are of one order; emotional mechanisms for guiding instinctive 
satisfactions and their derivative issues up to the complications of 
character and personality are of another order for self and socialized 
assertion and control. But as we go far in a life of reason we re- 
quire the logical techniques for the combined direction of the 
psychic, the integrated rational life. Motives lead to goals and 
ideals, by way of principles and formulated experience; insight 
belongs to both a humanized scientific habit of mind. It is in 


view of these converging and supplementing contributions that 
we are warranted in speaking of an emotional renaissance and in 
commemorating it so worthily, as by the program of the present 


BOAS, F. The mind of primitive man. New York: Macmillan, 1911. 

CANNON, W. B. Bodily changes in pain, hunger, fear, and rage. New York: 
Appleton, 191.5. 

DARWIN, C. R. The expression of emotion in man and animals. New York: 
Appleton, 1873-1913. 

DESSOIR, M. Outlines of the history of psychology. New York: Macmillan, 

DORSEY, G. A. Why we behave like human beings. New York: Harper, 1925. 

EDMAN, I. Human traits and their social significance. Boston: Houghton 
Mifflin, 1920. 

FREUD, S. A general introduction to psychoanalysis. New York: Boni & 
Liveright, 1920. 

GESELL, A. Mental growth of the pre-school child. New York: Macmillan, 

HOLLINGWORTH, H. L. Mental growth and decline. New York: Appleton, 

JAMES, W., AND LANGE, C. G. The emotions. Baltimore: Williams & Wil- 
kins, 1922. 

LEVY-BRUHL, L. How natives think. London: Allen & Unwin, 1926. 

. Primitive mentality. London: Allen & Unwin, 1923. 

MACCURDY, J. T. The psychology of emotion, morbid and normal. New 
York: Harcourt, Brace, 1925. 

McDouGAU., W. Introduction to social psychology. Boston: Luce, 1918. 

PORTEUS, S. D. Race and temperament. Boston: Badger, 1926. 

RADIN, P. Primitive man as philosopher. New York: Appleton, 1927. 

ROBACK, A. A. The psychology of character. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 

SANTAYANA, G The life of reason; or, the phases of human progress. (5 Vols.) 
New York: Scribner, 1905-1918. 

SHAND, A. F. The foundations of character, being a study of the tendencies 
of the emotions and sentiments. London: Macmillan, 1914. 

SMITH, W. W. The measurement of emotion. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 

STRATTON, G. M. Anger: its religious and moral significance. New York: 
Macmillan, 1923. 

TYLOR, E. B. Researches into the early history of mankind and the develop- 
ment of civilization. London, 1865; Boston: Estes Lauriat, 1878. 

. Primitive culture. London: Murray, 1870-1903. 

WATSON, J. B. Psychology from the standpoint of a behaviorist. Philadelphia: 
Lippincott, 1924. 

WUNDT, W. Principles of physiological psychology. New York: Macmillan, 

There has been no general survey of the' "Psychology of the Emotions" since 
that of Ribot (1889), but many and varied special contributions. 




University of London 


Few topics of inquiry could be more fascinating than that of 
the fundamental human impulses, desires, and emotions. The 
behavior of every one of us at every moment is not only always 
caused by such urges in ourselves, but also for the most part aims 
at being effective by activating those of other persons. As much 
may be said of all public legislation, and even of all social customs 
and institutions. 

With small surprise, then, we find a pre-eminent place ceded 
to this topic already in the writings of Plato. Familiar enough is 
his beautiful simile wherein the organization of the mind is likened 
to that of a charioteer driving two horses, the one noble and the 
other base. The former steed represents the higher tendencies, 
such as courage to face danger; the baser animal stands for the 
sensory appetites; whilst the charioteer symbolizes the controlling 
"Logos" or " Reason. " And upon such a ground the con- 
stitution of the individual person it is that he builds up the 
constitution even of the model state itself. 

Hardly less well known is the kindred line of argument adopted 
many centuries later by Hobbes. For again the make-up of the 
state is derived from the inclinations of the individual citizen. But 
since this motivation of the individual is now conceived in a totally 
different manner that is, as essentially directed towards his own 
happiness and preservation so too the whole state and statecraft 
are now entirely remodelled. 

Great, however, as has always been the interest displayed in 
this paramount branch of psychology from the earliest times, there 
are grounds for doubting whether it has made any corresponding 
amount of scientific progress. 

Take, for example, the most fundamental and elementary step 
towards submitting the natural inclinations to exact investigation; 
namely, the making out of a list of them. Such lists have been 
drawn up, indeed, abundantly enough; but they have varied most 


disconcertingly from one author to another; and, what is worse, 
they seem to remain as discrepant nowadays as in the most ancient 
times. Thus, nothing could be more unlike than, on the one hand, 
the "original tendencies" of Thorndike, and, on the other hand, 
the "instincts" of W. McDougall. Have we at any rate the 
consolation of knowing that, although controversy has not abated, 
yet it has been continually passing on to new and more modern 
phases? Even this comfort is vouchsafed to us only in meager 
degree. For instance, any attempt to trace back the parentage 
from which McDougall's doctrine of emotion has sprung would 
not rightly, I think, go to such immediate predecessors of his as 
Ward, Bain, James, or Wundt, but rather would jump right back to 
Malebranche. In fact, that which in current literature has been 
universally accepted and yet is characteristically modern com- 
prises little more than a thoroughgoing adoption of the biological 
standpoint. To the preservation of self as advocated by Hobbes 
has now been added the preservation of the offspring and the herd; 
whilst the conscious motivation towards these ends has been 
replaced by a system of blind drives subserving them. For the 
rest, the most notable general modern characteristic would appear 
to be a decisive indeed, contemptuous rejection of what in the 
older doctrines plays such a dominant part as the "will"; by this, 
it used to be said, all the natural impulses and acquired desires 
are alike brought under supreme control. 


Since, then, the situation seems to warrant some misgivings and 
scrutiny, let us begin by inquiring what extent of information has 
really been elicited by psychology ancient and modern, and how far 
it goes towards covering the whole scope prescribed by science. 

To begin with, there are the already mentioned lists of natural 
inclinations, as also of emotions, sentiments, and so forth. The 
supply of these, however it may err on the side of discrepancies, 
leaves at any rate nothing to be desired in respect of elaborate 
detail. But still such lists are primarily and in themselves nothing 
more than classifications. 

And herewith is at once furnished a key to some part at least of 
the discrepancies. For one and the same material may with equal 
truth be classified in any number of different ways. The question 
really at issue between them may be and usually is not as to 
which is the more correct, but only as to which is scientifically the 
more fruitful. And to answer this may require many years, or 
even centuries. 


In addition to all such analysis, but necessarily in intimate 
connection with it, has been supplied a great amount of further 
analysis. For this latter alone can furnish the characteristics 
upon which the former is grounded. In analysis, accordingly, 
it is that the acumen of psychologists has always been most 
conspicuously manifested. What unbiased reader, for example, 
can fail to admire the beautiful analysis of the emotions by 
Malebranche? Or who does not wonder to find even him over- 
topped by McDougall? 

But for the 'purposes of science we need something more even 
than all this. We require, not only analysis and classification to 
gratify the understanding, but furthermore laws of causation and 
sequence to confer the power of prediction. Exact investigation is 
wanted, both of the manner in which the inclinations and emotions 
are influenced by circumstances and also of the way and degree 
that they themselves influence conduct. 

Now the work hitherto done in these causal directions, however 
admirable in quality, would seem to have been lamentably defective 
in quantity. Indeed, most often the required causation and 
sequence, instead of being definitely evidenced, have only been 
surreptitiously and illegitimately inferred from what was really 
no more than a classification. This has been done by the old, 
old fallacy of confounding names with things; what in truth were 
only classes of mental events were taken to be unitary mental 
entities. Consider, for example, the immense share in school life 
that has been allotted to games which involve teamwork, the 
reason offered being that thereby the children's inclination to 
teamwork in general will be developed and they will become 
correspondingly better citizens. Typical of this view has been the 
popular myth that Wellington declared the Battle of Waterloo to 
have been gained on the playgrounds of Eton. But in vain one 
may look for efforts to support this view with serious evidence. 
And as for the evidence that may be picked up casually, even this 
is far from favorable. In the World War, for instance, did those 
nations who had been most devoted to team-games really display 
any the more cordial teamwork between, say, regimental officers 
and staff officers? Rumor says otherwise. For all we know at 
present, development of the one kind of teamwork will no more 
bring with it that of the other kind than, say, the watering of one 
rose tree will serve as a watering of its neighbor. 

Turning to quite a different type of causal problem, suppose 
that we have analyzed any complex emotion, as exactly as may be, 
into its constituents. How far will the effects of the whole emotion 
be the same as, or even resemble, the sum of the effects of these 


constituents occurring separately? Into such matters there seems 
never to have been any investigation. Or, to take yet another 
type of problem in causality, psychologists have from the earliest 
ages attributed the utmost importance in forming a child's charac- 
ter to the kind of literature with which he is supplied. Neverthe- 
less, so far as I know, none of them have ever tried really to ascer- 
tain the nature and amount of such influence by way of reliable 

Alongside of and supplementary to this universe of problems in 
causation and sequence is the further universe of the problems of 
coexistence. In the make-up of the individual, what qualities 
tend to go with what? If there have been investigations of this, 
at least one may run through the gamut of current psychological 
textbooks without finding any trace of them. 


Confronted with all these grave difficulties and deficiencies in 
the sphere of inclination and emotion, I venture to suggest that 
some assistance may be derived from the "noegenetic" doctrine, 
which has been found of service in so many other domains of 

To begin with, the three noegenetic laws of quality can at least 
help the science of purposive action by showing in what manner 
any ends, or means to these ends, can possibly be brought into 
the mind of the purposer at all. Suppose a person to encounter 
some novel situation. How can he so much as think of any ap- 
propriate behavior, on the adoption of which he has to decide? 
The solution to this paramount problem has been shown, especially 
by Laycock, to center upon the noegenetic laws of eduction and 

Further assistance in the causal problems may be supplied by 
the noegenetic doctrine through the quantitative laws which it 
has evolved. For these, originally shown to govern the whole 
field of cognition, have since proved themselves to be also ap- 
plicable in at any rate large measure to the sphere of inclination 
and emotion. Consider, for example, how the " law of retentivity " 
has been corroborated by the "motivation tracks" of Boyd Bar- 
rett. As for the "law of energy," this finds confirmation ubiqui- 
tously: in experimental work, as that of Ach and Aveling; in 
pathological observations, as those of D&jerine and Gauckler; or 
again, in the most familiar mental therapeutics, as when some 
morbid desire is suppressed by exciting a healthy one. Even 
the "law of fatigue'* would seem to have far more extensive bear- 


ings here than is commonly suspected; it may perhaps supply 
the real key to so strange and momentous a phenomenon as that 
of "abreaction." 

But still more in need of aid than all these problems of causation 
and sequence, it seems to me, are those of the coexistence of quali- 
ties in the individual make-up. Nor can it ever suffice merely to 
calculate numerous correlational coefficients. Science demands 
also that the results obtained in this way should be systematically 
interpreted in relation to one another. The most significant 
feature about correlations, as a rule, is not so much their absolute 
as their relative values, together with the theorems deducible from 
these. The well-known cognitive theory of "Two Factors" is 
only one instance out of very many possibilities in this direction. 

Furthermore, even the most elaborate systematization will be 
quite inadequate if put aside into a watertight compartment labelled 
"individual differences." It ought, rather, to be thoroughly in- 
corporated with psychology as a whole. The present unnatural 
divorce between the two on the one hand the novel method of 
correlations, and on the other hand the ancient and still dominant 
method of analysis and classification cannot but doom both 
alike to sterility. In order to illustrate how they can be combined, 
let us briefly consider an actual case. 


Throughout the literature of the natural inclinations, no tend- 
ency has been so copiously, so emphatically, and, it would seem, 
so justly urged as that of exalting one's self. Such terms as self- 
assertion, self-regard, self-esteem, egoism, amour-propre, and so 
forth have filled the most eloquent pages mostly in censure, but 
sometimes in praise from the earliest times down to this day. 

Now, for the most part, this inclination has been assumed to 
constitute one single entity in the constitution of an individual. 
But is this justifiable? In an investigation conducted by Dr. 
Webb in my laboratory an attempt was made to put this and many 
similar assumptions on trial. Six different versions of self -exalta- 
tion were formulated, so as to ascertain how far these are cor- 
related together. Only in so far as the correlations approach unity 
will the prevalent assumption be corroborated. 

These six versions their titles together with some explana- 
tions of what these titles were taken to express are given below: 

1. "Desire to excel at performances (whether of work, play, or 
otherwise) in which the person has his chief interests. " (a) Desire 
to do well for the sake of excelling another, not so much for the 


work's sake, (b) The keenness with which he followed his favorite 
work, (c) Desire to beat all rivals, (d) The "plus" characters 
were patently anxious to do better than their fellows; they believed 
in their own powers and made no secret of it. (e) The wish to 
distinguish one's self, not ostentatiously, but in order to give one 
self-satisfaction . 

2. "Desire to impose his own will on other people (as opposed to 
tolerance). 99 (a) Desire to be a leader. (b) Want their own wa}' 
and sulk when they do not get it. (c) Degree to which he desires 
to override the opinions of others, and press forward his own. 

(d) Desire to have his own way. (e) Dogmatic and inclined to be 
intolerant of the views of others. (/) No wish to hear both 
sides, (g) Blindly believing that his ideas are the only correct 
ones, (h) An autocratic attitude towards his fellows. 

3. "Eagerness for admiration. 99 (a) Acting or speaking, not 
naturally, but to gain the applause of his fellow-men. (b) Playing 
to the gallery, (c) Desire to be appreciated and tendency to talk 
of their own "prowess." (d) Long speeches to win approval. 

(e) "Conceit." (/) Extent to which a subject would go in order 
to display his talents, and thereby gain the applause of others. 
(g) Enjoys being in the "limelight. " (h) Will set aside principles 
for the sake of admiration. 

4. "Belief in his own powers. 99 (a) Self-confident. (b) Ab- 
sence of diffidence with regard to the work, (c) Boastful, (d) 
Plenty of self-confidence, (e) Believes himself equal to any task. 
(/) Spoke of superiority to others. 

5. "Esteem of himself as a whole. 99 (a) Feeling of satisfaction 
with himself as a member of society from the point of view of 
general ability to "cut a figure." (b) Decidedly the reverse of 
modest and self-depreciatory, (c) Boastful of capability to over- 
come practically all difficulties, (d) The general estimate or 
summing up of himself by himself, (e) This includes belief in 
one's own powers and a considerable satisfaction with everything 
belonging to or connected with one; at the same time this feeling 
caused the owners to regard others in a pitying manner. (/) 
Thinking one's self above criticism, (g) Subject's good opinion of 
himself, especially of his personal actions. 

6. " Offensive manifestation of this self -esteem (superciliousness) . " 
(a) 5 carried to excess. (6) This follows from the^felStT'^m^a way, 
though a man might think very highly of himself without offensive 
manifestation, (c) 5 pushed to excess, (d) Overdoing 5. (e) 
Looking down upon others. (/) The "plus" characters did not 
disguise the low esteem in which they held such opinions as did 
not fit in with their own ideas, (g) Looked at times upon everyone 



else with contempt, (h) Subject's overbearing manner, due to 
too much self-confidence, and too great opinion of himself, (i) A 
person possessing this quality in a high degree always carries an 
air of superiority and seizes every opportunity for giving vent to 
his high opinion of himself, (j) Always talking of themselves 
always imposing their esteem of themselves on other people 
unwilling to hear it. 

To begin with, an interesting comparison is afforded between 
the titles (as given in quotation marks at the beginning of each 
version of self-quality) and the explanations (as indicated by the 
letters of the alphabet). In general, the titles represent the results 
of a priori analysis on the part of the experimenter. Whereas 
the explanations show what the estimators, on trying to interpret 
the titles, actually observed in the subjects. We may note inci- 
dentally that the different estimators often interpreted in diverse 

Passing on to the correlations between these six self -qualities, 
they are as given in Table 1. 








1. Desire to excel 

+ .36 

+ .28 

+ .47 


+ .26 

2. Desire to impose will 

+ .36 

+ .71 

+ .59 

+ .66 

+ .62 

3. Eagerness for admiration 

+ .28 

+ .71 

+ .57 

+ .61 

+ .71 

4. Belief in own powers 


+ .59 

+ .57 

+ .69 

+ .54 

5. Esteem of self 

+ .86 

+ .66 

+ .61 

+ .69 

+ .73 

6. Offensive manifestations 

+ .26 

+ .62 

+ .71 

+ .54 

+ .73 

As there were 194 subjects, the largest probable error is under 









1. Desire to excel 

+ .48 

+ .39 

+ .65 


+ .37 

2. Desire to impose will 

+ .48 

+ .94 

+ .78 


+ .88 

3. Eagerness for admiration 


+ .94 

+ .78 


+ 1.00 

4. Belief in own powers 

+ .65 

+ .78 

+ .78 

+ .97 


5. Esteem of self 





+ 1.00 

6. Offensive manifestations 

+ .37 

+ .88 

+ 1.00 

+ .77 

+ 1.00 


Accordingly, we see that in many cases the assumed functional 
unity does receive some degree of corroboration. For despite the 
Diversity in interpretation, several of the correlations are very high 
indeed. Notably is this the case between eagerness for admiration, 
esteem of self, and offensive manifestations. But, on the other 
hand, there also occur several correlations which are remarkably 
low; in particular, the desire to excel has no high correlation with 
any of the others. On the whole, it seems impossible to concede 
that all the self-qualities are reducible to one and the same func- 
tional unity. 

There remains still, however, the question as to whether or 
not they contain, at any rate, some common element. Here, our 
first impression is favorable, seeing that all the correlations are 
positive. But really this fact takes us only a little way. To 
establish the unitariness of function we require further that all the 
"tetrad differences" 1 should vanish (within the limits indicated 
by their probable errors). 

And this is very far from being so. Out of the 30 different 
tetrad differences (of the raw correlations), no less than 22 are 
more than five times larger than the probable error; several are 
about eight times as large. 

But, on the other hand, 20 out of the 22 turn out to involve one 
and the same correlation; that between desire to excel and belief 
in one's own powers. And both the remaining involve the cor- 
relation between desire to impose will and eagerness for admiration. 
When these two correlations are left out of account, all excessive 
tetrad differences disappear. On the whole, then the most plaus- 
ible interpretation of the table seems to be that all six self -qualities 
do possess a factor in common, besides each having a factor specific 
to itself; whilst additionally there is a large group factor common 
to 1 and 4, with a smaller one common to 2 and 3. 

The next great point at issue is as to which of the six qualities 
depend on the general self-factor in highest degree. We find that 
five out of the six are very nearly the same in this respect, the 
moment of the general as compared with the specific factor being in 
each case about 2:1. But the remaining or sixth quality stands out 
in remarkable contrast to all the rest, the ratio this time being 
only about 2:5. 2 

Besides these correlations of the six self-qualities with one 
another, however, there have also to be examined their correlations 
with the further qualities over fifty of them which were included 
in the investigation. Out of this great mass of information we will 

1 C. Spearman, The Abilities of Man (New York: Macmillan, 1927), p. 73. 

2 Ibid., pp. 74-5. 


for the present pick only a very small part; namely, the group of 
qualities, again six in number, which may be regarded as ethically 
"good." These and their correlations with the self-qualities 
are given in Table 3. 




































1. Desire to excel 

+ .07 

+ .30 





2. Desire to impose will 







3. Eagerness for admiration 

+ .04 






4. Belief in own powers 







5. Esteem of self 


- .33 





6. Offensive manifestations 







This time the results are very striking indeed. The desire to 
excel does not merely differ in degree from all the other self- 
qualities; it is absolutely opposed to them all. For it shows 
throughout significantly positive correlation with the good qual- 
ities; whereas the other five have overwhelmingly negative ones. 

Such results, no doubt, cannot be accepted without much further 
investigation and corroboration, seeing that research of this kind 
is beset with very great difficulties. But should the corroboration 
be eventually forthcoming, then there would seem to ensue corol- 
laries of immense magnitude. The fact that the desire to excel 
correlates in low degree with all the other self-qualities, but in 
high degree with all the good qualities, appears to supply a founda- 
tion pillar for education and even for legislation. 


The space at our disposal admits of only one more extract from 
Webb's research to illustrate the method of investigation here 
recommended. It is a theorem which was already obtained by 
himself, and indeed was very rightly taken by him to be his most 


important discovery. Expressed in his own words, it is that in 
addition to the intellective "0" 

"A second factor of wide generality exists; this factor is prominent on the 'char- 
acter' side of mental activity." It may be taken as "consistency of action result- 
ing from deliberate volition or will." 3 

This second general factor he calls "w". 

Verily a strange upshot! On investigating character with what 
seems to be far greater thoroughness than ever before (or after- 
wards), and on employing the new incomparably more powerful 
technique than available previously, what ensues? That ancient 
entity, which almost all modern authorities are now pluming them- 
selves as having abandoned as an effete supersitition ! Over and 
above all the impulses, inclinations, instincts, etc., struggling with 
one another there re-emerges an all-controlling " will. " A will, too, 
as Webb shows, the strength of which has high correlations with 
all the representative "good" qualities. 

Furthermore, this result of Webb some dozen years ago has 
just recently been followed and illuminated by a no less momentous 
discovery to stand beside it. It is that of Aveling, 4 according to 
which a volitional "decision," far from being nothing more than 
the victory of one struggling conation over another, does not in 
itself contain any conation at all! It proves to be an act sui 
generis, neither cognitive nor conative. With this result of the 
most perfect experimental conditions as yet realized, we seem to 
have returned to something curiously like the original "Logos" 
of Plato. 

Be this as it may, Aveling's "decision" together with Webb's 
"w" would appear to restore to us at last some solid foundation 
for the ethical distinction between right and wrong. A distinction 
which, perhaps fortunately, the usual modern writers on character 
have not seen that they have eliminated. 

3 British Journal of Psychology, Monograph Supplement, 1915. 

4 See recent numbers of the British Journal of Psychology. 



University of London 

It is an opportune time for a symposium on the psychology of 
feeling and emotion. These aspects of mental process have not 
been investigated so thoroughly as those of cognition, but already 
sufficient experimental work has been done in their regard to 
warrant the bringing together of psychologists to discuss them. 
What is wanted is more exact and agreed definition of the terms 
we are currently employing, and sympathetic criticism of such 
researches as have so far been carried out. 

In contributing to this symposium my attempt shall be to 
analyze briefly the qualitative and quantitative changes in con- 
crete conscious experience which give rise to the notions of feelings 
and emotions; to examine, in particular, the temporal properties 
of conscious process by reference to which I believe we may be 
helped in our distinctions; and to define some at least of our terms 
in the light of certain experimental evidence which I shall ad- 
vance. The paper thus falls under two heads: Introspection, 
showing the phenomena to be related; Experiment, in which 
we shall hope to find indications of their relation. A final para- 
graph will deal with Nomenclature. 


In attempting to determine what a "feeling" or an "emotion" 
is, we must clearly begin with the concrete experience of an affec- 
tive or an emotional state of consciousness. There is no difficulty 
in deciding that we are experiencing such states, though there 
may be a difficulty in saying why they are affective or emotional. 
Simple introspection, however, is enough to enable us to differ- 
entiate qualitatively one feeling state or one emotional state 
from another, as well as to analyze a number of irreducible phe- 
nomena which enter into the constitution of the latter. "Feel- 
ing," though this term is ambiguous, I shall restrict in the present 
paper to the "pleasure-unpleasure" couple, which I take to be a 
modality of self -awareness. My reason for this is that pleasure 
and unpleasure seem to be irreducible to any other conscious expe- 


rience; whereas all other "feelings" can be reduced either to 
cognitive or to conative processes. We experience these affective 
states when we are pleased or unpleased; and (though, in ac- 
cordance with popular usage in speaking of objects as pleasant 
or unpleasant, some psychologists would group such *' feelings" 
with sensations) it seems to be introspectively clear that they 
are subjective states of mind rather than objective presentations. 

Similarly, we experience anger, fear, and the like, when we 
are "emotionally" affected. To make these statements is to 
bring the Self which experiences (without prejudice as to any 
explanation as to its nature) into the very forefront of the science 
of psychology. I believe this to be a necessary position to take 
up, but, as I have argued the point elsewhere and supported the 
argument with experimental data, it need not be labored here. 1 

Accordingly, like the feeling states, the emotional states are 
prominently subjective; and we are able to distinguish a very con- 
siderable number of them introspectively the large number of 
terms in ordinary language expressive of emotions and shades of 
emotion being proof of the fact. All psychologists will agree that 
many different emotions are actually experienced; but they are 
certainly not all in accord as to what an emotion is, by what it is 
conditioned, or what, in turn, it effects. The causal relations of 
emotion are, of course, a matter for experimental investigation. 
We can judge only by results, in the presence or absence or varia- 
tion in amount of which causal sequences can be ascertained. 
But the fact of the occurrence of emotion and its descriptive analy- 
sis are open to introspection, and to introspection alone. 

In such an analysis of any normally aroused and moderately 
intense emotional state, over and above cognized (and significant) 
objects or situations, feelings, and impulses or conations, we find 
coenaesthetic and kinaesthetic elements. Doubtless these are 
all abstractions from the concrete state in question, none of which 
can be taken to occur in its own right or to be capable of existence 
alone; but the problem is to discover which of these elements con- 
stitutes the state an emotional one, or gives it its emotional char- 
acter. The fact that we are also able to report quantitatively as 
to the intensity of emotion or feeling helps us here. We currently 
describe these experiences by the use of quantitatively compara- 
tive adjectives, and adverbs. It is quantitative variation which 
makes it possible for us to form notions of feelings and emotions 
at all, and to say what element in the total state makes it emo- 
tional, since observable variations in some of its aspects ap- 

1 F. Aveling, "The Standpoint of Psychology," British Journal of Psychology, 
(Gen. Sect), XVI (1925), 15&-170. 


parently occur in the absence of variations in others. There are 
times in which the emotional aspect is found to have thrust all 
others out of focal consciousness, just as there are times when the 
cognitively objective or conative aspect is predominant in it. 
These are commonplaces, but they form the raw material out of 
which psychology is built up. / 

Much confusion in the present use of the term "emotion" is 
due to the failure to distinguish two absolutely different characters 
of experience. Emotion is sometimes looked upon as a pathic, 
sometimes as a dynamic state, but quite as often as a combination 
of both. The confusion is ancient. The "desire" of Aristotle can 
be analyzed into two factors. The "passion" of the Schoolmen 
was something suffered, but equally expressed an active aspect of 
mind. The two aspects have almost invariably been confused, 
even in recent psychology, not excluding psychoanalysis. It is 
probably this fact which has led a representative psychologist to 
say that the term "emotion" should not be used at all; or, if used, 
only in a very general sense, since we cannot make it precise or 
give it a definite meaning. 2 

It is clearly necessary to distinguish within an orectic process 
whatever can be distinguished in introspection; the dynamic im- 
pulse (namely, appetition or aversion) and the massive and pathic 
aspect which enters into every emotion popularly and properly so 
called. Abstract this from the impulse, from the feelings and 
from the objectively cognitive items which accompany (or precede) 
it, and there is no emotion left. To this it may be objected that, 
since the massive and pathic element is clearly in the main co- 
enaesthetic, and since this forms a part of all conscious states, all 
consciousness must be emotional. I am not concerned to deny it, 
but merely to assert that in what are commonly called emotions 
the markedly "stirred-up" character of consciousness is essential. j 
As in the case of feeling, with a neutral point between pleasure and] 
unpleasure, so in the case of emotion the habitual coenaesthesio-| 
kinaesthetic tone may be neutral. 

This is a version of the James-Lange doctrine taught, in sub- 
stance, long before the time of James and Lange. It lays stress 
on the usually vague (but sometimes partially quite determinate) 
sensational aspect of the emotional state as the characteristic of 
emotion. Bodily changes (principally visceral, glandular, and 
analogous ones) are mentally experienced as a massive sensa- 
tional complex, and it is in proportion to the massiveness rather 
than to the clearness of this complex that the emotion is said to be 

2 1). Wechsler, k< What Constitutes an Emotion?," Psychological Review, XXXII 
(1925), 235-240. 


greater or less. Here, again, any connection between the bodily 
and the mental phenomena is not a matter for introspection but 
for experiment. The massive and sensational character of emo- 
tional experience, however, is an immediate fact of consciousness, 
and in its absence emotion is not commonly said to be expe- 
rienced. Bearing in mind the fact that it is an abstraction, there 
would seem therefore to be no very grave objection to calling this 
the emotion. 

In the emotional state, however, apart from the qualitative and 
quantitative changes due to the inrush of vague somatic sensa- 
tion, there is also variation in the conative impulses as well as in 
feeling. In my opinion the former is of the greatest importance. 
I have been led, both by introspection and experiment, to the 
view that what is experienced as massive and unclear sensation 
complex is invariably consequent upon conative impulse. Almost 
literally, in the picturesque language of William James, "we feel 
sorry because we cry, angry because we strike, afraid because we 
tremble," and so on; or at least we experience these emotions 
because of a previously aroused conation which constitutes the 
"set" of the conscious organism towards action. Stated in purely 
psychological terms, the order of events would seem to be: first, 
cognition of a significant stimulus; second, conative "set" towards 
it; and, last, the "stirred-up" characteristic of emotion proper. 
Feeling may also enter into the total state of consciousness at 
any phase of its development from the initial cognition to the 
full-blooded emotion. 

All these abstract phenomena can be discriminated introspec- 
tively, provided care be taken to arrange suitable conditions in 
which one or the other is emphasized, and the experiments re- 
peated a sufficient number of times to allow of adequate charac- 
terization of the phenomenon in question. This is a sine qua non 
of all serious introspective work, since what in reality is intro- 
spected is (cognized) experience, and not all that enters into a 
single given experience can ever be taken to be cognized ade- 
quately a fact due to the law of the limitation of mental energy. 3 
We are directly aware only of an infinitesimal part of our external 
sensory experience at any given moment. Our span of conscious- 
ness is likewise limited for any aspect of experience whatever. 
Very many observations, accordingly, may be necessary to dis- 
entangle the phenomena of the simplest mental process. 

8 C. Spearman, The Abilities of Man (London: Macmillan, 1927), p. 98 ff. 



We have now to ask what evidence there is of any causal order 
between the phenomena we have been able to distinguish intro- 
spectively, and of what functions each may subserve. This is a 
matter for experimental investigation, so planned as to vary the 
introspectible phenomena in a relatively independent way, and to 
observe the objective results. I propose to offer the evidence of two 
or three researches as a contribution towards a partial solution 
of this many-sided problem. 

It need hardly be argued that conation and emotion are condi- 
tioned by experience of a cognitive^ character. I use "experience" 
here in order to cover all possible (even pathological) cases, since 
it may be admitted that conscious feeling, and even emotion, may 
be a consequent of cognitions of which we are neither intensely 
nor determinately aware. 4 And this may happen in two ways: 
either by reason of a natural set (e. g., instinct), or because of 
a set intentionally adopted. 

It will be convenient, especially in connection with the latter, 
to consider first the relation between will-acts (decisions, resolu- 
tions, etc.) and the conations involved in their performance. It 
has been shown that the determination to perform a task (ac- 
ceptance of an "instruction") sets up a determining tendency 
in virtue of which the task in question is carried out. Ach's 
rhyming experiments 5 (even though they may not have provided 
a method of measuring the strength of the will) and Michotte's 
researches on choice 6 are, among others, demonstrations of this 
relation. Work in our own laboratory, embracing a very con- 
siderable number of mental processes, not only corroborated 
these demonstrations, but allowed us also to obtain graphic 
records which suggest that the will-act itself is not conative (in 
the sense of a striving), whereas the carrying-out of the decision 
most frequently is. From the outset in these researches, together 
with other instruments for recording bodily changes taking place 
during the reaction period, we made use of the galvanometer, 
subjects regularly being placed in circuit with it in all the experi- 
ments. Almost at the beginning it was noticed by some of the 
subjects that it came to be designated as "alertness," as roughly 
equal to, or greater or less than, a previous experience of a similar 
nature. And it was found that the galvanometric deflections 

4 C. Spearman, The Nature of Intelligence and the Principles of Cognition (London: 
Macmillan, 1923), p. 164, ff. 

6 N. Ach, Ueber den Willensakt und das Temperament: eine experimenteUe 
Untersuchung (Leipzig: Quelle & Meyer, 1910). 

8 A. Michotte, Etude experimentale sur le choix volontaire (Louvain, 1910). 


correlated in a significant manner with the estimates. At the time 
"alertness" was identified with "consciousness of action" (Mi- 
chotte) or "act" (Ach); but the distinction was not then clearly 
drawn between will-acts on the one hand and conations on the 
other. 7 

In a later research definitely planned to investigate the nature 
of the deflections occurring in connection with will-act and cona- 
tion respectively it was found that they were usually greater 
with the latter, and often did not occur at all with the former. A 
brief report of this work was communicated to the VHIth Interna- 
tional Congress of Psychology at Groningen. 8 The main con- 
clusion which is relevant to the present paper, however, was that 
will-acts (resolutions, etc., to perform difficult mental or bodily 
tasks) are both intrpspectively and objectively different from the 
conations involved in the actual performance of the tasks. The 
conations are clearly strivings and effortful; the will-acts as such 
appear to be neither. While we must doubtless allow that cona- 
tions may issue from non-voluntary dispositions (as instincts) 
also, it is clear that causal sequences obtain between true voli- 
tions and conations, from which, accordingly, they should be 

An objection to the foregoing argument lies in the commonly 
asserted emotional character of the psychogalvanicreactipn itself. 
This objection seems to be due to thriJTOfu'^lmi b^t^ggfffRe pathic 
and dynamic aspects of consciousness noted above; and in meeting 
it we shall find, I believe, evidence of a real causal sequence be- 
tween conation and emotion. In all the researches conducted by 
us, we not only photographed the galvanometric deflections, but 
also measured reaction-times and recorded full introspections. 
The last named covered the period between the giving of the 
stimulus and the end of the performance of whatever task was in 
hand choosing one of several alternatives; reacting by rhyming, 
reversing, etc., to a syllable which has been learned in association 
with another; attempting "to have and to hold" one of several 
alternating visual after-images; trying to get the meaning of an 
imperfectly learned nonsense word; mentally working out mathe- 
matical and logical problems; and the like. 

On comparison of the times of occurrence of the deflections with 
the times of the reactions, it is clear that whatever bodily changes 
are indicated by the former almost invariably take place after 
the whole introspective period is over. The somatic resonance 

1 The distinction is drawn in: F. Aveling, "The Psychology of Conation and 
Volition," British Journal of Psychology, XVI (1926), 339-353. 

8 Proceedings of the Vlllth International Congress of Psychology, p. 227. 


can, therefore, neither be the antecedent nor the concomitant of 
the experiences related in the introspections. It can be only the 
consequent. And similarly with any mental concomitant or 
consequent it may itself have. These are effects and not causes of 
the conation to perform or the performance of the task. 

Hardly ever were emotional experiences reported in the very 
large number of introspections recorded. Sometimes feeling was 
noted, but mostly only cognitive and conative phenomena 
especially in % the difficult mathematical, after-image, and mean- 
ing tasks. Accordingly, since, as has been said, the size of the 
deflections varies with the estimated amount of a conative 
phenomenon, it can only be taken as indicative of this; and, since 
the somatic resonance is regularly subsequent to the conation, 
conation is the cause of emotion. 

An alternative account of emotion would make it due not to 
conation but to a choc or general excitation of a large number of 
cranial and sympathetic nerve centers not habitually affected by 
the stimulus causing it. Variations of physiological activity 
(heart, respiration, secretion, etc.) and variations of impulse (to 
run, to strike, etc.) would be two parallel expressions of the emo- 
tional stage. 9 Not to emphasize the fact that this is a conational 
explanation, making emotion the mental counterpart of a neural 
rather than of a glandular-vascular-muscular activity does not 
seem to be satisfactory for the following reason. In the greater 
emotions, at any rate, definite organic sensations often stand out 
from the vague coenaesthesio-kinaesthetic mass, and these, to- 
gether with that mass, certainly seem to form part indeed the 
prominent part of the emotion itself. Moreover, certain secre- 
tions, toxins, and organic diseases produce, or concur in the pro- 
duction of, emotional states. It would be impossible to say that 
this action is not by way of the nerves, and that the choc is not 
the cause of the emotion. But this has to be shown rather than 

My contention above is that variation of impulse and of physio- 
logical activity are not synchronous, but related as cause and 
effect. A consideration, however, arising from our own researches 
might seem to lend color to the opposing view. One observer in 
our work on will-acts and conations designated the initial phase 
of what we have termed alertness as a "shock," and describes it 
as a "passive endurance of enjoyment rather than . . . ac- 
tive striving or willing." 10 This seems to be the "something has 

D. Wechsler, loc. cit. 

10 R. J. Bartlett, '* Does the Psychogalvanic Phenomenon Indicate Emotion?, " 
British Journal of Psychology, XVIII (1927), 30-50. 


happened to me but I do not know what" state of mind which 
had been noted in another (yet unpublished) research made in our 
laboratory. The experience in question is one in which various 
peripheral stimuli were presented to the subject under conditions 
in which he was unable to say to what sensorial sphere they be- 
longed; and the term "primary pathic state" was used to character- 
ize it. This is a state of cognitive order, but clearly antecedent 
to determine cognition. 11 It is feeling in the sense of inadequate 
apprehension. 12 And it might be confused with emotion, not in 
the sense in which I have used this term, but in that in which some 
psychologists have postulated an "interest" as a limiting case of 
emotion in their treatment of instinct. 18 For, though it seems to 
display both aspects, it is a subjective state rather than an ob- 
jective content. It is unclear, more in the sense of being indeter- 
minate than necessarily lacking in intensity. And it is identified 
with the initial phase of conation. 

The truth would seem to be that conation is an introspectible 
mental process which has a temporal development, but a far more 
speedy one than the physiological adaptation of the organism to 
the situation; that it has usually come to full expression before 
anything like emotion, in its common meaning, is experienced; 
but that, nevertheless, the emotional (or interest) aspect of con- 
sciousness so quickly superimposes itself upon the cognitional 
and conational that it is not, except in carefully arranged experi- 
mental conditions, easy to discriminate between them. Conation 
thus would initiate emotion as even unclear cognition initiates 
conation, each developing phase tending to overlap and inter- 
mingle with the preceding one. 

There remain many -questions to be asked, among which two 
(concerning the reciprocal bearing of emotion on conation, and of 
feeling on cognition) have had some beginnings of investigation. 

It is generally considered that emotion reinforces conation; 
and this would well fit in with the view put forward in this paper. 
Certainly more can be accomplished under emotional stress than 
in its absence. This, again, is a commonplace; but, so far as I 
am aware, it has not been the subject of detailed investigation 
and measurement. 

On the other hand, experiments which we have been carrying 
out indicate that feeling (pleasure-unpleasure) has upon cognition 
an effect similar to that of conation. Conscious pleasure and un- 
pleasure provoked by auditory, gustatory, olfactory, etc., stimuli 

11 C. Spearman, The Nature of Intelligence and the Principles of Cognition (London: 
Macmillan, 1923), p. 48 ff. 

12 R. J. Bartlett, loc. cit. 

" J. Drever, Instinct in Man (Cambridge, 1921), p. 130 ff. 


have an enhansive effect upon the perception of visual stimuli. A 
greater number of letters tachistoscopically shown can be per- 
ceived, and in their true order, under the influence of feeling than 
otherwise. The research in which these experiments figure is not 
yet published, but it shows that with feeling (when the subject 
adopts a passive or receptive attitude) the percentage of letters 
reproduced is of the order of those reproduced, without feeling, 
in an attentive attitude. Feeling considerably enhances the results 
of reproduction. 

A final mention may be made of a research on the influence of 
conation upon the duration of visual after-images (perception). 
Having secured disparate and alternating after-images for each 
eye, it was found possible "to have and to hold" one or the other 
to some extent at will by trying (conation). Within the range 
of the experiment, this indicated that cognition is the effect of 
conation. 14 


The foregoing brief notes, which touch only upon some of the 
problems of feeling and emotion, permit us to make several psy- 
chological distinctions between introspectible aspects of a mental 
process, and to define terms which may be used to denote them. 

A volition, as an act of the Self by which we resolve, decide, etc., 
to do anything, is in essence effortless, and is to be distinguished 
from a conation, of which it may be the cause. 

A feeling is the experience of pleasure or unpleasure enjoyed by 
the Self. 

A conation is an experienced act, mental or bodily, of doing 
(striving or effort). 

An emotion is the massive and generally wholly unclear ex- 
perience of coenaesthesio-kinaesthetic sensation. 

These terms, thus defined, are clearly not employed in the am- 
biguous meanings of current psychologies, but it is suggested that, 
so defined, they would make for precision in thought. Admittedly, 
they signify no more than abstract phenomena of concrete ex- 
periences. But, short of discarding them altogether and sub- 
stituting an entirely new terminology, only some such drastic 
limitation of their meaning can bring agreement among psychol- 
ogists, who often dispute, not about facts and events, but words. 

14 Messer, Thesis for Degree of M. Sc. (University of London Library). 




University of Leipzig 

Whatever pleases one, whatever interests him, whatever de- 
presses him, whatever excites him, whatever he perceives as the 
comic; even more, how easily and how continuously he is moved 
internally in these ways this is the particular characteristic of 
his "being," his character, and his individuality. Such has pre- 
scientific thought unanimously been since ancient times. Feelings 
embrace or penetrate all other mental events in some way. The 
"emotional" testifies in a unique way to the structure of the 
"inner," the mental life. Apparently it is generally typical of 
life itself. 


Since science with its analysis and schematic abstraction shatters 
the naive belief in the seriousness of "matters of the heart," the 
most fervent and the deepest experiences have, consequently, 
fought from the beginning against their investigation (Beobach- 
tung) by science. The results in mechanically constructing and 
in quantitatively determining "objective" reality are generalized 
into a materialistic metaphysics in which everything which may 
not be subjected to the procedure of reduction is said to be unreal. 
Physics, chemistry, and mathematics, with proven right, seize 
the phenomena of life, seize even the structures of life. These 
unmistakable advances create a prejudice that scientific problems 
may be exhausted with settling these questions and using these 
methods; that whatever phenomena of life might be understood 
physically and chemically would, if they might not be at the same 
time mentally (erlebnismdssig) qualified or closed within them- 
selves, lose all psychological relations; that if they should be 
"accompanied" here and there by mental data it would then fye 
superfluous to observe those mental phenomena as such within 
the science. 


Out of epistemological and empirical necessity a special science 
of mental reality and its particular laws developed, nevertheless, 
especially among those nations which were creative in natural 
sciences. But even from those psychologists who are opposed to 
materialism (Stout, Lipps), we have heard recently that "feelings 
are secondary phenomena"; they have no particular "psycho- 
motor " force ; they are " something parasitical. " Such paradoxical 
statements, as a rule, are co-determined by certain depravities of 
later civilization. Enthusiasms, aesthetic and snobbish over- 
refinements, also moralizing tendencies can, in fact, generate 
emotions which are, so to speak, mere "luxuries" in the household 
of mind; or they are even "ungenuine, " merely imaginative feel- 
ings consciously created to deceive. With mental attitudes like 
these they are sufficiently important science must occupy itself 
without judgments of evaluation. In so far as the conceptions 
just mentioned are valid, in general, for all mental events, they 
are regularly deduced from certain theories or from one-sided 
"principles" of generalization. 

The whole qualitative variety of mental phenomena is, sensual- 
istically, reduced to "sensations," besides these, perhaps, to their 
"images" or to psychological residues, or to Herbartian statics 
or mechanics of block-like "imaginations." Other psychologists 
construct mental events according to the reflex movements of 
a beheaded frog by a scheme of stimulus-response, to which the 
"movements" of mood do not in the least correspond. Finally, 
since the days of the Greeks, psychological thinking has always 
been inclined to correct reality anew, according to the model of 
rationalization, and to confuse its empirical regularity with logical 
ideals. Schopenhauer and, in a more exact way, Wundt have 
struggled indefatigably against this confusion. 

It is instructive that those thinkers who render most decided 
homage to psychological intellectualism, e. g., the French meta- 
physicians of the seventeenth century, take most pains to arrange 
"affections" in their systems. They are, as a whole, in a contra- 
dictory fashion reduced to influences of the body, which ought 
not to happen, or they are interpreted as pathological disturbances. 

We learn from history as a whole that since the victory of Chris- 
tianity, the real emotionality including the ethically or artisti- 
cally informed emotionality is placed more and more in the center 
of the struggle of opinions and of psychological doctrine. When 
the Germans at the end of the eighteenth century fully overcame 
the enlightenment, storm and stress had prepared the way for the 
classicists in art as well as in thinking by means of its conviction 
of the originality, productivity, and all-determining power of 


the emotions. Kant, Tetens, Goethe's friend, K. Ph. Moritz, 
recognized in the faculty of feeling a particular, genetically early, 
and fundamental class of mental functions. Since that time psy- 
chology, especially in the German countries, has mainly followed 
that direction of ideas. At least the problem remains a psychologi- 
cally fundamental one. Whoever intends to penetrate into and 
explain mental realities, whoever would describe fully any one of 
their phenomena and would understand that they are necessary, 
is compelled to understand feelings and emotions as one whole. 
(Cf. 14 in the bibliography, p. 17 ff.) 

The results obtained up to the present time as a scientific solu- 
tion of this problem are out of proportion to the admittedly central 
significance of the problem. Even the most exact observers today 
not infrequently describe the psychophysical development of 
animals, young children, and primitive peoples as if primitive 
experience were poor in emotions, or at least not mainly deter- 
mined by them (12). In general, mental, emotional phenomena 
are mentioned as something qualitatively particular, but keen- 
minded specialists always seek anew to lose them again by specula- 
tion. One "reduces" them to "relations" of "imaginations" 
(Herbartians) , to indwelling constant "tones" of sensational 
elements (Wundt at the beginning), or to organic sensations (W. 
James), while others, especially German theoreticians, considered 
these weighty facts once more as unimportant "concomitant 
phenomena." Recently C. Stumpf has made a special class of 
sensations related to tickle, itch, pain, the basis of all emotions 
(20). Besides explaining teleologically, one uses all kinds of ob- 
jective expediencies; on the other hand, somewhat the same psy- 
chologists set up the old hypothesis in many new forms. At all 
events the finest, most spiritual emotions are caused by intellectual 
processes which are admixed with some known and more "ele- 
mentary" data. Thus the border line fluctuates, and the qualita- 
tive relationship of the higher to the lower emotions remains 

One would expect that we should be clear at least about what 
well-circumscribed phenomena have to be interpreted in a theory 
of emotion. As a matter of fact, however, scarcely two books agree 
on how to draw a line between the emotional in, or with, our ex- 
perience and the non-emotional, even in a rough way. What 
have the facts called emotions, phenomenologically and immedi- 
ately compared, in common with one another? A related question 
about the classes of feeling is still answered in the most contra- 
dictory way. For example, Th. Lipps, for good reasons in our 
opinion, decided, until future researches are made, in favor of an 
unlimited manifoldness of emotion. More than fifty years have 


passed since Wundt created his theory of the three elementary 
classes or principal directions of qualitative differences in this 
field. Until this very hour, however, professional psychologists 
maintain that feeling, in the scientific sense of the word, is identical 
with pleasantness and unpleasantness. Some critical spirits su&mit 
to this algedonical restriction, not only because Wundt surely 
confused his well-founded descriptive division with unclear and 
incorrect theories (13, 14), but, more clearly stated, mainly for 
the reason that they were afraid of losing every basis for an un- 
equivocal answer to the fundamental question, "What is 'the 


Whatever a sensation of green or the taste experience of bitter 
may be, the mental datum of the tone a, or the memory-image of 
such a partial experience (Teilbefundes) those questions, like 
all psychological ones, are not ultimately definable. They may 
be only exhibited, not defined. For the normal man, however, 
conditions of great exactness may be created in which he finds and 
recognizes definite experiences of seeing, of tasting, or of hearing. 
And we can as well look at every such field as a total, as we can 
divide it, with general validity at least, into main directions of 
general similarity and into "modal" differentiation without gaps. 
There are highest and lowest tones. Every sensory experience 
can be classified according to intensity by the determination of 
absolute and relative limens. 

On the other hand, does not the world of emotions elude every 
effort to classify or even limit them? In our language we call the 
most different and the most heterogeneous things "feelings": 
data of the sense of touch and all sensitivity of the internal organs; 
complex, especially diffuse, or weak sense experiences of every kind; 
vague images; unclear ideas; even the "subjective" in aesthetic 
enjoyment and in artistic creation, and many other things almost 
every reality, in as far as it cannot be exhausted in intellectual 
"objective" relations. Whatever is difficult to name, whatever 
cannot be fully conceived in any other way, one is inclined to call 
by that name. Is there something of quality or function in com- 
mon which positively needs the name "emotional" and exalts it 
to the significance of an identical concept? 

Whatever has been differentiated scientifically until now as 
"feelings in the narrower sense" pleasantness, tension, excite- 
ment, etc. everything of this kind can pass over steadily from 
one into another and even change into its qualitative opposite. 


Such a phenomenon seems to dissolve easily into indifference, but 
variations of the conscious attitudes in general are unnoticeable. 
Moreover, sense experience or thought experience, whichever you 
choose, can "develop" out of it without a break, and conversely. 
Of all forms and colors of our experience the emotional are the 
most fleeting, labile, or, as the name implies, motile. Many of 
them are of a directly intangible fragility. All movements (Re- 
(jungen) of feeling, as they are experienced, have originally and 
in common the peculiarity that the experiencing person must 
attend to them to some degree. But when he changes the direction 
or the intensity of this attending, moreover when he thinks about 
it, they unavoidably change themselves. That may be formulated 
in a more precise and at the same time more general manner 
ceteris paribus, an emotional complex loses in the intensity and 
plasticity (Ausgeprdgtheit) of its emotional character to the degree 
that it becomes analyzed, so that its parts become relatively 
separated or that the partial moments in it come out clearly as 
such. This law can be reduced still further in an explanatory 
manner as we shall see. Those facts of which we spoke here, 
at first propaedeutically, must be observed in continuity by 

Two touch impressions, brightnesses, optical shapes, or two 
experienced verbal meanings can be observed one beside the other 
and be directly compared. Concerning emotional life, however, 
we have theoretically good reasons to claim that two feelings are 
never experienced at exactly the same time. The experimental 
principle meets with difficulty with them in that they are influ- 
enced by every variation in the condition of simultaneous experi- 
ences with which their particular ability to be blunted is connected. 
Quantitative units like the just noticeable differences are extremely 
problematic in our field. The concept of " adequate stimuli" 
is here scarcely compatible with the actual complications, some of 
which we have called, not unsuitably, the "universality of the 
excitant of emotion." 

The founder of scientific methods in psychology, Wilhelm 
Wundt, toward the end of his life assigned the more central mental 
functions almost exclusively to "folk psychology," i. e., to eth- 
nological and historical comparisons. Thus he gained fruitful 
insight into the genesis of language, and into the social conditions 
of primitive civilization (14). But the continuity with his re- 
maining doctrines of general or individual psychology is unsatis- 
factory. He took this social-genetic course from a certain despair 
about the utility of the methods of experiment and measurement 
introduced by himself and, last but not least, from the realization 


that they are, in fact, unsuited to the investigation of emotional 
life. In the matter of feelings Wundt had amplified the experi- 
mental quantitative method up to the nineties. Following the 
example of physiological registration but without a real contact 
with the other methods of psychology, he conceived the important 
idea of the "expressive methods" (23, II, p. 278 ff.). He knew 
very well that with them he took only the first steps in a way full 
of promise but to a high degree "indirect." Only haltingly and 
occasionally did he recognize, for example, the measurement of 
Sprechmelodie as an expressive method. He restricted himself 
mainly to the symptomatic correlation of certain variations of 
breathing and circulation of the blood with the three fundamental 
qualities of his theory of feeling. With these experiments and 
with his theory of affections, Wundt methodically approached 
the theories of Lange and James but in a more exact way. He 
did not contradict the principle when one said to him that at 
every moment the total mental state is mirrored in the whole atti- 
tude and in every movement of the organism; in this "expression, " 
above all else in the expression of feelings, every organ of the body 
(including the glands) participates in ever changing arrangements 
which ought to be observed systematically. 

To restrict itself to "objective" methods in the physical sense, 
much less to limit its view materialistically, is in general remote 
from European science since Kant, Herder, and Hegel. Wundt 
was fortified against it in detail by his axiom that all true psy- 
chology rests more or less directly upon "introspection." This 
is epistemologically an indispensable truth. To be sure, Wundt 
as an experimenter interpreted it so one-sidedly and limited it so 
narrowly that other necessary ways of comparison, for example, 
in animal and child psychology, were therefore denied him. 

Positivism, as it is known, used the criticism against all psy- 
chology that the process of observation, if it be directed upon the 
particular experience of the observer, always changes these ex- 
periences themselves. This is true in the highest degree, as we 
saw, for the psychology of feelings. Skeptical conclusions may be 
drawn only with precaution. It is the task of science, however, 
to recognize difficulties and then overcome them step by step by 
suitable methods. 

PsycJnscKe Ganzheu) 

Psychology has been educated to scientific exactness by the 
natural sciences, its earlier matured sister disciplines. But in 


the middle of the nineteenth century it took as an example not 
biology but physics and chemistry. It incorporated into the 
psychological events of life not only the methods of experiment 
and measurement but also problems, fundamental concepts, and 
the mechanistic scientific ideal of these sciences of inanimate and 
non-genetic reality. 

A. The Totality of Inner Experience (Erlebens) 

Wundt claimed even to the end that it is the principal task of 
psychology to analyze the concrete complex "contents of con- 
sciousness,** which are always manifold, into a limited number of 
atomistic "elements** out of which those contents (Taibestande) 
are "composed.** He maintained that such "mental elements** 
were, besides "simple** sensations (i. e., not analyzable and not 
changeable by experience), "elements of feeling*': pleasantness, 
unpleasntness, tension, relaxation, excitement, calm. He felt 
obliged, however, to extend these analytically in several directions 
by the introduction of special processes which established cohe- 
sions; namely, assimilation, apperception, and, superior to them 
all, creative synthesis (16, 14). Tension and relaxation were 
believed to be mainly dependent upon apperceptive conditions. 
In the general theory of feelings he worked with a special principle 
of "unity of disposition of feeling*' (Gemutslage), and he placed 
them in the foreground, in a significant way, more and more as 
time passed (23, II, p. 325, cf. p. 316 ff., 363 ff.; Ill, p. 99 ff.). 
But in contradiction to these supplements, the original atomism 
of sense experiences and their constant "affective tones" led to 
confusion everywhere. He related his symptomatic results of 
expression immediately to the proportionate participation of those 
elements of feeling. The affective impression of the major chord, 
for instance, was believed to be composed of the isolated effects 
of feeling of the partial tones and intervals contained in the chord. 
He even taught with great emphasis, concerning affections, that 
each one of them could be analyzed, without remainder, into sen- 
sations and into many "partial feelings" of pleasantness and 
unpleasantness, of excitement, etc. 

This summarizing, atomizing mode of observation has been 
in the meantime essentially completed, and to a high degree 
overthrown by mere exact description and comparison of real 
data, as well as more critical concepts. The Austrian school of 
psychologists made clear for instance that a chord, a melody, a 
rhythmic sequence possesses, as far as they are immediately ex- 
perienced, particular qualities as wholes, which are independent 


of all actual analysis, and that those qualities of shape (Gestalt- 
qualitfiten) cannot be reduced to qualities of existing parts of 
experience. Furthermore, it follows from this insight that simi- 
larity of complexes of experiences is not based exclusively and in 
many cases not at all on similar or identical parts, as experience 
very often shows (15, p. 82). However, the corresponding syn- 
thetical-total conception of feelings has not satisfactorily suc- 
ceeded as yet. When H. Cornelius transferred the concept of 
Gestaltqualtitat (quality of shape) to them unequivocally (1, 
p. 74 ff., 362 ff.), almost nobody considered this a far-reaching hy- 
pothesis. Von Ehrenfels himself opposed us violently, in private in 
1897 and publicly since that time, and until today scarcely one pro- 
fessional psychologist, except my pupils and colleagues, has con- 
sidered it seriously to say nothing of discussing it fundamentally. 
In the psychological congress at Wurzburg in 1906, C. Stumpf 
gave a survey of the possible fundamental conceptions of feeling and 
added his sensualistic construction of Gefuhlsempfindungen to them. 
When I explained this shaped-qualitative (gestaltqualitativ) or better 
still complex-qualitative conception, it seemed to be new to all 
those present, and Stumpf declared it incomprehensible. (20, 
p. 211 ff.; Stumpf has moderated this here.) 

For thirty years I tried continuously to refine the new theory 
of the essence of emotions and feelings and of mental totality in 
general. I applied it to the experience of evaluation (Werterleberi) 
and found it confirmed in extensive experiments upon chords, 
consonance and dissonance, Sprechmelodie (6, p. 30 ff.; 7, p. 617, 
cf. 344 f., 364 f., 373 ff., 592 ff.; 9, p. 239 ff.; 11, I, p. 375 ff.; 
11, V, p. 401; 10). Here I placed the more inclusive concept of 
"complex quality" above the original quality of shape by an 
experimental as well as theoretical basis, (11, II, p. 221 ff., cf. 
H. Volkelt, 21, who, by the way, in 1914 did not dare to accept 
the consequences of the theory of feeling; see esp. p. 79 ff., cf. 15, 
p. 104, note 2). I early, and with increasing variety, connected 
those two concepts with the still more inclusive one of mental 
totality (Ganzheit) (15), especially the totality of inner experience 
(Erlebens). This expansion and differentiation is necessary, mainly 
for two reasons: first, because of the fact that immediately given 
and comparable qualities of experienced totalities are realized, 
even above all other ways, in sharply limited, heterogeneous, and 
diffused, yes, absolutely unorganized data (e. g., in the lower senses, 
in the consciousness of place or time, in primitive thinking) and 
are indeed realized much more frequently and genetically earlier 
in the narrower sense of correlated "parts" actually excluding 
one another than in the sense of "shapes" (15a, p. 7 f., 11 ff.; 


15, p. 71 f., 82); second, because we need a special concept for 
the existence (Gegebensein) and conception of specific forms of 
organization (Gliederungen) , e. g., of geometrical, musical, logical 
ones, and this is the concept of shape (15, esp. p. 96 ff. Please read 
this summary together with all the following). All these concepts 
have proved themselves fruitful, even indispensable in the various 
fields of experience since that time not only in Leipzig. They 
have been determined in increasing exactness by quantitative 
experiments. (Cf. Neue Psychologische Studien, Mtinchen, since 
1926; especially I, Komplexqualitdtcn, Gestalten und Gefuhle, 
and IV, Gestalt und Sinn, now in press.) But the majority of the 
exact psychologists continue either not to consider them, or to 
confuse them with one another and with things not belonging 
to them. ' 

The problem of shape has, however, forced general attention 
recently. It has many industrious workers in different countries. 
The danger exists already that the name Gestalt will be used as 
a magical lamp for any psychological darkness, and especially 
that the misuse of such an important concept will prevent the 
completeness of analysis both of phenomena and of conditions. 
Nevertheless, the assured results of Gestalt psychology will some- 
times be favorable, even if only indirectly, to the theory of feel- 
ings and of mental totality in general. 

It is necessary, to this end, that all attempts at explanation be 
put aside at first as premature, both the physical analogies, as 
Kohler has ingeniously presented them, and Wertheimer'sQwer/wnfc- 
tionen of the brain. Whatever we would explain scientifically, 
we must above everything else know exactly as it is. We must 
take the task of a pure and complete description of the phenomena 
very seriously. Then we recognize, among other things, that the 
homogeneous, sharply limited, and objectively organized "per- 
ceptions" of the higher senses, which are prevalent in experimental 
observation today on account of tradition of method, are, at 
best, very specialized, genetically late results of an abstracting 
attention; not infrequently they are the artificial products of the 
laboratory far removed from life. This is true to a particular 
degree in the scientific attitude (Einstellung) of the conventional 
observation of " animal intelligence" toward the static, and at the 
same time spatial "contact" (Zueinander) of purely optical parts 
of a sensational complex and toward its purposeful, intellectual 
application (15, p. 96 ff.). Although experimental Gestaltpsy- 
chologie and also Denkpsychologie tried to describe mental events 
which have hitherto been isolated, their concepts directly hide 
the character of totality of true experience and close the main 


entrance to the world of feelings. In reality, the experience of a 
normal individual (and also all social experience) consists in its 
main bulk of indistinctly bounded, diffused, slightly or not at 
all organized complexes in whose genesis all organs and func- 
tional systems take part. It is significant and not at all obvious 
that, at least in adult human beings and higher animals, the total 
state of their experience often unfolds into a multitude of rela- 
tively closed part-complexes. But even in the highest stages of 
development, this is not always the case, e. g., in states of the high- 
est, permanent excitement, great fatigue, most complete self- 
subservience. Even where we observe experience in relief, its 
organization, as a rule, does not correspond at all and may never 
correspond exactly to the limitations of objects created by in- 
tellect, or to objective "situations," or even to the physically 
and physiologically mediated or constructed "stimulus" rela- 
tions (" Reiz"-beziehungeri). Never are the differentiate parts or 
sides of real experience as isolated from one another as the parts 
of physical substance, i. e., its molecules or its atoms. All things 
which we can differentiate there, by comparison, always grip into 
one another and around one another in the greatest elaboration. 
And every time it is, without exception, imbedded within a total- 
whole, by which it is penetrated and more or less completely 
enclosed (15, p. 36 ff., p. 117 ff.). Feelings are the qualities 
of experiences of this total-whole. (Erlebnisqualitdten des 
Gesamtganzen) . 

In so far as part-complexes are more or less sharply excluded 
(sick ausgliedern) , they have their specific qualities, i. e., complex 
qualities of the most different kinds, notwithstanding whether 
they are organized or in how far they are themselves organized 
(gegliederf) or shaped (gestaltet). They also possess specific simi- 
larities. One chief task of a descriptive psychology consists speci- 
fically in a systematic comparison of these two kinds of total- 
qualities. It happens that phenomenologically the qualities of 
the part-complex (e. g., a clang, tint, or "dull" and "hot-humid") 
are allied to the feelings, more allied by all means than the qualities 
of the unanalyzable parts of experience (e. g., the tone a, sharply 
limited pressure or temperature sensations), which are stamped 
in the same way. The complex qualities are of the nature of 
feeling (gefuhlsartig) ; the more the corresponding complex in- 
cludes of the existing total-whole, the more indistinctly it lifts 
itself out from the "background" of the remaining simultaneous 
experience and the less penetratingly it is organized in itself, 
under equivalent circumstances. The natural, the most frequent, 
and genetically earliest kind of experiences like the following are 


determined by complex qualities, therefore emotionally (gefuhls- 
mdssig): the experiences of an optical-motor situation, the per- 
ceiving of a sequence of sounds or noises, the consciousness of a 
change in our bodily state, our seeking, finding, or willing, our 
being disposed or being directed toward something stated briefly, 
all are mental reactions. Recognizing, remembering, knowing, 
and concluding also every kind of "thinking" naturally uses 
related total-complex forms. ? 

In the same direction, to mention the first description of real 
facts, there pressed in from various sides the results of the psy- 
chology of thought (Denkpsychologie) , which was founded in the 
beginning of the twentieth century at Wurzburg. Kiilpe and his 
pupils dared to investigate experimentally what educated adults 
find in themselves whenever they understand and correlate verbal 
meaning or meaningful sentences, form judgments, or arrange 
concepts logically. The result was that sometimes exclusively 
"imageless" data were found that such " conscious attitudes" 
or states of awareness (Bewusstheiteri) difficult to name have an 
important share in them, that sometimes there is very "definite 
knowing" of the direction of thought, of gaps in the continuity, 
which the experiencing person often tries passionately to close or 
feels painfully obliged to close. All classifications and qualitative 
schemes usually attempted failed with respect to those including 
heterogeneous complexes, which here came into play regularly. 
The flight unto the totally "unconscious," which some older psy- 
chologists tried, is impossible, because those "states of aware- 
ness" or "tendencies" frequently possessed a sharply cut contour 
and, with suitable experimental technique, were clearly recognized 
in their specific qualities (Eigenqualitaf) . The crude data of 
such experiments, published in a completeness meriting our thanks, 
contain very much which nobody has as yet evaluated psychologi- 
cally, especially concerning simultaneous feelings of the most 
diversified quality and manner in which they come to an end, as 
well as concerning feeling-like (gefuhlsartige) forms of experience, 
dispositions, and attitudes of the observer. But the school was 
prevented by a fundamental prejudice from observing facts like 
these sufficiently, to say nothing of building a theoretical bridge 
across to the life of feelings. Kiilpe himself more decidedly than 
any other psychologist had determined that scientifically only 
pleasantness and unpleasantness could be called feeling; all others 
were not emotional. And all his successors agreed with him in 
this (cf. 13). 

One could object to what has been said because the terms are 
arbitrary. I answer that the terminology here used agrees better 


than the one reigning in experimental psychology hitherto with 
the terminology of civilized nations and the practical observers of 
men, which terminology is itself psychologically instructive. It 
can be carried through without contradiction for all facts which 
demand the fundamental concept of totality, for those recognized 
as emotional, and, at the same time, for many others which were 
recently found to belong to them; they are above all closely related 
phenomenologically. The total-whole of experience always has a 
specific, immediately observable quality which changes in a partic- 
ular, continuous way. Such qualities of the total-whole are the 
different kinds of pleasantness and unpleasantness, excitement, 
tension, relaxation, and many other manifold tintings, shadings and 
forms of flight of total experience, cannot be limited by number 
and, until some future time, cannot be completely classified. 

These total-qualities, phenomenologically, all have something 
in common: that is what I call bewusstseinerfullende Breite (13), 
a spread which fills consciousness completely. Seen from another 
angle, it is, as Lotze saw it, their inability to be indifferent (Nicht- 
gleichgultigkeit) or, positively expressed, their "warmth" or their 
"weight." Whatever can otherwise be distinguished in or within 
our experiences qualitatively approximates the qualities mentioned 
(feeling-like) to such extent that it fills out even the total zone of 
experience (Erlebens) and, on the other hand, does not leave the 
experiencing person in indifference. 

This is mostly true for the specific qualities mentioned, which 
are attached to the largest part-complexes and which, at the same 
time, by weight of experience, overbalance both the qualities and 
the relations of those part-complexes decisively encompassing 
them with "withinness" (Innigkeit). (Compare for this concept 
G. Ipsen: 2, p. 247 f., 263 ff.; 3, 336 ff, 447 ff.) This again fits the 
fact that everything actually given is always imbedded in simul- 
taneous feelings, most deeply in the most pronounced ones and 
those of weighty intensity. 

Does not the clearness of the fundamental conceptions suffer, 
however, under this kind of observation? Is not the opposition 
between the emotional and the non-emotional eliminated? From 
pur point of view, in a science of living processes and especially 
in its descriptive introduction, less depends upon excluding op- 
posite views than upon approximation to reality, upon complete- 
ness, and upon combining everything which essentially belongs 
together. It is certainly a fact that feelings (e. g., of excitement 
without an object, of excitement resembling fury, or of purely 
moody excitement) always pass over into qualities of more cir- 
cumscribed and, primarily, of less organized partf-complexes, e. g., 


into the consciousness of that about which I become excited, of 
that for which I hope, of that which I seek or of which I am 
afraid; and, conversely, it is a fact that the one set of events is, 
moreover, qualitatively related to the other. The conception of 
the feeling-like is necessary in order to designate those phenomeno- 
logical similarities arid transformations. As far as it is possible, 
without violating the facts, our theory, which, it seems to me, is 
more unequivocal than those propounded up to the present time, 
primarily determines more descriptively what feelings in the partic- 
ular sense of the word are, as they are differentiated from all 
other kinds of experience, even from the most circumscribed and 
most complicated ones, but in connection with them, feelings 
are the complex qualities of the experienced total-whole, 
of the experienced totality. 

B. Functional Interconnections^ 

Only when we put the total as well as the partial totality into 
the center of observation is it possible to exceed the description 
of compared phenomena and "functionally" to understand living 
experience as necessary in the sense of full analysis of conditions. 
A fundamental conception of the essence of feelings must prove its 
correctness by being theoretically applied to the unitary explana- 
tion of definite facts. 

Three things follow necessarily from what has been said before 
which permit of unprejudiced and careful observation : 

1. The universality, 

2. The qualitative richness (Qualitdtenreichtum) , 

3. The variability and lability of feelings. 

1. The Universality of Feelings. Whether the events that can 
be met with now arid then in my own inner life are so accen- 
tuated or otherwise, are sharply organized or diffused, significantly 
combined or are immediately quite without division, the experience- 
whole always has its own particular quality as such. Of course, 
this coloring may be more or (in the case of approximation to 
indifference) less expressed and dominating. 

Nearly everybody admits this fact now for part-complexes. 
That they unquestionably possess fotaZ-qualities would scarcely 
be seriously disputed now. This has been exactly investigated 
with part-wholes which are organized in themselves, especially 
with sensory shapes. The consciousness of an " organizedness " 
or "shapedness" is itself always totally formed and conditioned. 
But if a complex is experienced as unorganized, chaotic, unar- 
ranged, even as something completely diffused, the cause is ex- 


actly the same. A part -complex must in every case be totally 
qualified in order to be set off from the remaining states of ex- 
perience as something particular, something more or less closed. 
What then is the phenomenological fact if we meet no kind of 
organization or accentuation or no plurality at all in an experience- 
whole? That this happens is obvious even in a dogmatic, most 
objectively prejudiced inspection. Nobody doubts there are in 
the total experience steps of organizedness, steps of simultaneous 
as well as of successive plurality. Should the infinitesimal limiting 
case never appear here? We have found examples of it already. 
Very likely the duration and the relative frequency of such unor- 
ganized states decrease, in general, with the rising civilization of 
the individual and of peoples. The conditions, however, under 
which they happen certainly become more and more manifold. 

Here is the place to emphasize a social-genetic relation: the 
density of the population and of traffic, the growth of large cities 
and whatever belongs to them always create new opportunities 
to experience that which is common by fits and starts in unor- 
ganized masses. The larger their numbers, the more unorganized 
are the mental events, ceteris paribus. Demagogues change the 
original magic of the world into a rhetoric of many forms. Tech- 
nicians of mass suggestion develop from holy ceremonies, from 
faithful devotion and enthusiasm. Furthermore, we think of 
the use and misuse of many intoxicants or of the growth of crude 
tensions and excitements in places of sport, in the movies, etc. 
On the other hand, those forms of enthusiasm which seize one 
totally for some time and those which persist are increasingly 
refined, music, for example. These are only a few main directions 
of the phenomenological as well as of the functional relationship. 
Do all those mental events lack a specific experience-quality? 
The demagogues, the producers of the films, also the artists, the 
prophets, see reality more clearly than the algedonically restricted 
theorists. They know that the strongest emotions of the most 
different, often sharply defined qualities originate under such 
circumstances from necessity, and that they do not harmonize 
sometimes with any form of experience which is not emotional; 
they repress all critics; they watch comparison, judgment, and 
meditation; they oppose every clear, analytical behavior. Inner 
states and functions of this kind are unanimously called emotional 
(gefuhlsmassig) . 

Seen genetically, many of them bear the character of the primi- 
tive. We observe such behavior much more regularly among 
primitive people, young children, animals, crude and depraved 
adults than in the educated. On the other hand, the forms of 


organization which grow out of true culture and penetrate even 
the most personal experiences are even more regularly accompanied 
and penetrated by them. Consider the devotion of the religious 
mind, or how artistic forms, especially those thoroughly shaped 
ones, seize one totally and tax fully all one's mental powers. Those, 
of course, are emotions of particular and much more manifold 
quality. In the laboratory, however, the one as well as the other 
kind of complete strongly emotional experience cannot easily be 
observed. But by suitable methods we are able to create some 
of the genetic relations in an abbreviated form and observe their 
regularity. The "actual genesis" (Aktualgenese), as we say in 
Leipzig, (cf. 19, sect. 5) shows everywhere that isolated sensations, 
perceptions, relations, also memories, clear ideas, decided voli- 
tions in brief all experience-organization (Erlebnisgliederung) 
split off only after some time from the diffuse tendencies of emo- 
tion, and, secondly, that they always remain functionally domi- 
nated by them. In any case they always remain more or less 
imbedded within the emotion, which, as it were, fills in the "gaps" 
in the total experience as it exists and forms the common " back- 
ground " for all outstanding experience. Feeling is the maternal 
source of all kinds of experience and their richest fostering soil. 
{Whenever something happens mentally to a living being, we 
always observe or with good reason we discover an emotional 
mood. If anything at all changes in an experience, then the emo- 
tion always changes, either alone or together with other simul- 
taneous experiences determining it. To the degree that we, 
as psychologists, try to explain anything, we never are allowed to 
neglect those facts nor their specific qualities and effects. This 
is, briefly, what "universality" of emotions should mean. 

The ideal of the older psychologists to relate changes of ex- 
perience as completely as possible to unequivocally definite vari- 
eties of physical stimuli arose out of discreet (Zusammenhangslos) 
observation and "analysis" of sensations which demanded an 
object (objektgebundene "Analyse"). Behaviorism has recently 
exalted this ideal almost to the status of the sole principle of 
psychological investigation. In reality, it can never seriously be 
applied in the total field of pyschophysical events and especially 
to emotions and feeling-like experiences. The totality of experience 
is fundamentally opposed to it, and totality is especially marked 
in experiences of the kind under discussion. No constellation of 
stimuli can ever predict that it will positively initiate feelings 
at all, to say nothing of releasing this or that definite feeling. 
On the contrary, every intentional change of psychophysical 
experience can be an initiating (komplementar) condition of every 


kind and intensity of emotions, by means of a suitable constitu- 
tion of the experience-totality. On the other hand, a really existing 
emotion must color everything that one experiences at the same 
time. These threefold consequences necessarily follow from the 
principle of emotional universality. If one does not observe it, 
then every exact investigation of psychological conditions falls 
into confusion. Functional psychology pre-eminently needs this 
principle as a guide at every stop. 

Speaking from the standpoint of general psychology, even 
now certain pervading regularities are recognizable where the 
accompanying genetic investigation is still in its swaddling clothes. 
Whatever we have emphasized hitherto as constant processes 
and brought into a system is empirically the more impressive; 
the more intensive the observed feelings are, the longer they last 
and the more completely they fill consciousness, the more exclu- 
sively they dominate the total experience with significant specific 
quality. Advances and notable transitions, etc., result if any 
change in the course of experience suddenly enters, if we devote 
ourselves " totally " to any object, or if we are "totally" ab- 
sorbed in it. Under certain circumstances, the high intensity 
of a certain inner vent, and even of a sensation, works in this 
direction. Our method of comparing partf-complexes with feelings 
under the point of view of totality is thoroughly useful for an 
exact understanding of those relations. The total-qualities here 
as well as there are exactly similar to one another, and they func- 
tionally determine everything else. Feeling corresponds to the 
remaining total content of experience just as the specific attributes 
of every part- whole correspond to that which may be differentiable 
within it or in it. 

2. The Qualitative Richness of Feelings (Qualitatenreichtum). 
We expect, according to the rules of combination, that there are 
many more complex qualities than qualities of the final, unanalyz- 
able parts of experience. In the field of hearing, we have an 
especially good ability in perceiving homogeneous pluralities as 
such and as manifold. 

At this point, on the other hand, the immediate, phenomenologi- 
cal dissection, even of simultaneous experiences, is highly de- 
veloped; and the functional analysis of conditions has progressed 
far in relation to both. One may investigate, for instance, what 
a definite number of (let us say vibration frequency and ampli- 
tude) six distinctly different, physical, tonal stimuli will arouse 
as single-tone sensations (under otherwise equal circumstances 
there can be only thirty-six different ones), and then compare 
with that the richness of mental qualities which result specifically 


from the cooperation of those thirty-six single sensations taken 
in pairs, in threes, etc., simultaneously or successively; i. e., 
what can be experienced in clang-tint and harmony, in melodies 
and rhythm. With a plurality of tones very many things are 
given simultaneously or in temporal relations: roughness, beats, 
noises, even heterogeneous, non-sensuous (unsinnliche) expe- 
riences. Every further combination of this kind increases poten- 
tially the manifoldness of the concrete experience-shades. It 
is necessarily greatest for the momentary, total experience-whole. 
The comparative observational results agree with this. A tone 
perception, a cutaneous pain, an optical-shape experience, a 
thought, or a judgment can essentially remain "the same" 
whether I have or do not have, besides it, this or that kind of 
other sensation, memory, etc. On the contrary, the feeling 
found simultaneously never stands as much "besides" another 
experience as those partial events which can run along beside one 
another. The emotions are demonstrably influenced by every 
variation in the total content of experience as well as its total 
qualitative, intensive, temporal, etc., constellation. Here "small- 
est" causes have the most manifold and in every psychological 
sense the "greatest" effects. 

This explains: 

3. The Variability and Lability of the Feelings. A chord of 
two notes can become something very different if a third tone 
sounds at the same time; if this one stands in a "disturbing" 
relation, or stands in a relation "not suitable" to one or. both of 
the fundamental tones, then the feeling which belongs to them 
changes color extremely, even reciprocally. Or a recognition 
changes much more penetratingly if certain sensations, percep- 
tions, memories, which are related to it, spring up or change; all 
the more does a shape of higher intellect or of volition with its 
manifold similarities, states of being directed (Gerichtetheiten) , 
and experienceable relations change. Feeling is, however, always 
immediately related to everything which is found simultaneously 
with it or in experience neighboring upon it. Think of synaethesias, 
of surprising intuitions and rushes of thought, or think of the plays 
of imagination; they all collectively are mediated by their rela- 
tions to emotion (Gefuhlsbeziehungeri). 

Liminal methods have been exactly applied to experience- 
complexes only for a few years. One of the most certain results 
is that we possess an extremely fine just noticeable difference for 
them as wholes. Children and animals possess it for complexes 
suitable to them, complexes always heterogeneous and widely 
inclusive (viel umfassend), therefore proportionately all the more 


feeling-like. If one compares the distribution or the mean limen 
for the "most" simple, i. e., the most isolated sensations with the 
corresponding measurements for closed shapes, which among 
many others contain the same sensations as one member, the 
limens are there very much higher. (In all fields investigated 
until now, cf. Neue Psychologische Studien, I and II. Newer 
results which belong here, e. g., for motor-kinaesthetic differences, 
will soon be published in IV.) One can state as a law that the 
variation of total-complexes is more certainly observed and more 
exactly perceived than the variations of their parts, and this is the 
case the more complete, the more organized, and at the same time 
the more closed those complexes are; besides this, of course, it 
depends whether the compared " parts" mean much or little 
for the whole. For conceivable reasons, especially from methodi- 
cal difficulties, the just noticeable difference for emotions has 
not yet been exactly investigated. But the agreement with 
the facts found up to the present permit carrying it on theoretically 
in just the same direction that our conception of the essence of 
the feelings demands. Facts which are manifoldly proved fit in 
very well. Primitive consciousness reacts by sensitivity (Fein- 
fiihligkeit) even more sharply and in a more differentiated way 
than in all its part-functions. It has been observed a thousand 
times in laboratories, although mostly as a by-product, that the 
smallest variations in any part of the field of experience come 
into consciousness "emotionally" long before one can say "where" 
something changed and what really happened earliest. 

The three main directions by which we functionally determine 
an object, when we try to understand penetrating features of the 
life of emotion, converge most exactly one upon another. The 
variability of feelings, their lability, and the capacity they have 
to get blunted rapidly (rasche Abstumpfbarkeit) by an especially 
great variety of constellations of conditions in contrast with the 
adaptation of sensations all this can be regarded as the dynamic 
counterpart of their more static richness in qualities. Both again 
are necessarily combined, together with the universality of feeling, 
with the fact that they alone are never absent from the state of 
experience as it is found (Erlebnisbefunde) , that every noticeable 
change of events appears in an emotional way more than in 
any other and that those emotional fluctuations are subjected to 
the most manifold conditions. They seem demonstrably to ac- 
company the most heterogeneous variations of experience, and 
the most different experiences seem to be carried by them. 

4. Analysis versus Totality of Experience. From all this we 
understand better a regularity which had to be mentioned above 


on account of its methodological importance that contradictory 
character of mental functions which occupied psychological think- 
ing for a long time, most strikingly in the popular form of a polar 
conflict between "head" and "heart." In fact, the feeling of 
absolute devotion is diminished to a high degree by intellectual 
activity, and conversely. It loses in plasticity and strength, nay, 
what is more, it evaporates into experience of indifference if 
the experiencing person, by abstraction, emphasizes definite cur- 
rents in the given experience, turning away from all else, if he 
judges, or if he makes clear distinctions and binds things together 
from one point of view, or if he, by his concepts, makes the flowing 
events stand still and cuts them into bits. Analogous effects occur 
as "attention" focuses sharply upon something there, outside or 
purely within, as soon as memory, expectation, or volition are 
directed upon something definite, etc. If we summarize these 
experiences among themselves and with what has been said be- 
fore, we may formulate these facts in the following general law: 
Every dissection, every analysis of the experience-totality is destruc- 
tive to the whole as such, acts against its particular form of phenomena 
and forms of existence, is functionally in discord with it. Otherwise, 
and perhaps more audaciously expressed: the more a mental part- 
function becomes dominating, just that much more does the func- 
tional totality of the mind become rickety; its unity, at least, is 

A great wealth of facts, both concrete and pathological, confirm 
this rule and unite undividedly under its concepts. Again our 
method of comparing parJ-complexes with the total-whole of 
experience, and both with its organizations, justifies itself, a 
method which in turn goes back to our fundamental conception of 
the essence of emotions. The opposition between total experiences 
and attention to their parts has been observed more closely in 
the field of acoustics in my experiments on Zweikldnge und Kon- 
sonanz. If one were to try here to describe emotional impressions 
comparatively, it would have to be done in the beginning of every 
experiment, because the rise of partial phenomena and their after- 
effects in consciousness would otherwise make the feeling unclear, 
weaken it, and even destroy it. The results were the same in the 
total impression of part-complexes such as "consonant," "har- 
monious," "discordant," "chord of the 4th and 6th," etc., (cf. 
7, p. 539 ff., 618; 9, p. 242 f.; see also 12, 13, 15). Since that time 
numerous experimenters, mostly independent of one another, 
have hit upon the same regularities with very different material 
(cf. Neue Psychologische Studien t I and IV). 


5. The Dominance of the Whole. We have already pointed put 
several times, for instance, in connection with the universality, 
qualitative richness, and inconstancy of the emotions, that changes 
in any part of the experience-totality appear most frequently in 
a dyeing another color of the total-quality, especially of the feeling. 
In this way, the smallest changes in mental events and the finest 
stratification of their profiles in terms of complex quality, are 
potent for experience, even those part-contents whose mental 
place, "particular quality, and relations" are otherwise not recog- 
nizable at all. (Cf. 9, p. 44 f. and 11, I, 324 f.; concerning " An- 
gleichung [Assimilation] und resultative Nachwirkungen frUheren 
Erlebens. ") The emotional life offers the most tangible and the 
most manifold proofs of this, as is to be expected. Who has not 
experienced that a "mood" which dominated him totally arose or 
changed in a moment, even to its qualitative opposite, when some- 
thing happened in the background, when something was out of its 
place or was gone, something that, considered in itself alone, seemed 
to be extremely unimportant, even seemed to be without relation 
to the remaining content of experience? Very often one discovers 
only uncertainly and after a long search what it really was, or one 
never understands why such a mood intruded or was "destroyed. " 

Cases of such a kind belong to the field of reciprocal action be- 
tween the experience-total and its parts or members. Total- 
qualities and isolated qualities have the tendency to influence 
one another, assimilating one another into a resultant (" resultativ" 
angleichend) . As the coloring of a part-whole and especially that 
of the momentary total-whole of the feeling beams upon every- 
thing that belongs to it, as it penetrates everything to a greater 
or less degree which can be differentiated within the whole, so 
the quality of the whole, on the other hand, is dependent always 
upon the attributes, the relations, and the total constellation of 
the parts, in case there exists any organization of the experience 
at all. With a certain measure of exactness we penetrate those 
complicatedfio^litions ^relationa-at the present time only in 
cleaHyTimited parlTarcompIexes, especially in organize^ghmilities 
in the sphere of audition and vision. We cTCITIsEow thaFTFTs 
essential for the total impression of dissonance, that at least one 
chord out of tune 1? IfontamedT in the given 'tonal plurality, if it 
also, as usual, is perceived for itself, not separately, and shares its 
roughness, its bifurcation in short, if it shares its qualitative 
character with the clang-whole of the moment, and, as a rule, if 
it spreads itself out over this part-complex in a feeling-like manner 
far into the total-whole of the experience (11, V, p. 368 ff.). This 
is not the place to add single facts to this important problem, 


which is still too little worked out from our point of view. The 
newer experimental investigation has shown many kinds of insight, 
even some quantitatively determined, into the reciprocity between 
wholes and their parts. In certain cases we recognize rather 
exactly what part-determinations are noticed genetically first, 
what ones are noticed at all, and what ones operate most strongly 
afterwards upon memory. One can say, in summary, that functional 
overweight regularly comes to those part-determinations which 
have greater significance for quality and erection of the experience- 
totality, in short, to those related to totality (ganzheitsbezogenen) 
in the highest degree. To these belong contours, in the visual as 
well as in the symbolic sense, of that which closes a complex and 
limits it; rhythm in the broader sense of the word; shape charac- 
ter (Gestaltcharakter) ; the form of organization (Gliederungsform) in 
itself; (cf. Neue Psychologische Studien, I and IV; and Sander, 19). 
These and features or aspects of our experience related to them 
take a significant position in the total experience in relief. If 
they possess decided character of inclusion (Gliedcharakter) , as well 
as a regular, known, or beautiful shape in the field of vision, then 
such separate qualities appear and work as dominating part- 
contents within the whole at that moment. If they have, as in 
the case of rhythm, a characteristic change between some kind 
of "accentuated" and unaccentuated members, then the accentu- 
ated ones are, by nature, more important for the total impression 
and are more sensitive to every change. If, by way of exception, 
a relatively unaccentuated, peripheral part or moment, apparently 
dislodged from the structure of the whole, becomes impressive for 
us, strikes us, then this usually fleeting constellation passes over 
very soon into the normal one previously indicated. 

More exact analysis shows, too, that from the beginning inti- 
mate relations existed between the problematical component and 
the part- whole to which it belongs, especially between these two 
and the total- whole. These are not infrequently conspicuous at 
first in an especially feeling-like complex quality of inescapable- 
ness, confusedness, unattunedness (Nichziissammenstimmenderi), 
annoy ingness (Storenderi), states of the given (Gegebenheiteri) , 
which go regularly hand in hand with an experienceable urge, 
with a more or less definitely directed striving to close the "con- 
tour," to reconstruct regularity or order, to "supply" missing 
details from which most of the illusions of sense and memory 
arise; in short, to experience the whole as a closed unity of the 
highest possible degree of stability. 

These are the observations which I called Dominanz des Ganzen 
(dominance of the whole) and later summarized in the concept 


Drang nach Ganzheit (striving for totality). (Cf . 15, p. 22 ff., 27 ff., 
55, 72, 80 ff.) After our comparative orientation concerning 
part-complexes, their more or less feeling-likeness, and on the 
other hand concerning the type of phenomena of the total-whole 
and its function, we understand now much more exactly that 
feelings, as we said before, are naturally attended to. It is their 
nature always to dominate. Even the most distant, the most 
excluded parts of an experience-constellation always remain inter- 
woven into the simultaneous feeling, alloyed with it and embraced 
by it, according to the behavior of the totality (Ganzheit). 

In this manner even the most dismembered inner events are 
directed in their qualities as well as in their functions. The emo- 
tion always strives powerfully to penetrate everything which goes 
on in us with its color, to quench resistance or to recast it, and to 
carry through its own total rhythm by overlapping. 

Actually it always fills consciousness totally only that it may 
quickly and perpetually pass over into other feelings. The emo- 
tional gives the main direction to all mental behavior. What- 
ever has been regarded otherwise until now, as strengthened 
"attention," as forms of domination of the psychophysical life, 
such as intensity of sensations, as relative weight of the palpable, 
of the spatially spread out or the long continuing, of the sudden 
and sensational, as the power of the customary, of exercise, and of 
repetition, as the compelling effect of the closed "shape" and 
of form of organization, all these may be arranged a corollaries 
of our principle of the dominance of the whole and can be con- 
ceived in a more unitary manner through it. 

C. Durable Forms (Dauerformen) The Psychophysical Structure 

Of all mental functions the emotional obviously has the great- 
est weight for life in general. Since the emotions are themselves 
products of the total psychophysical state and totality of function, 
it so happens reciprocally that totality maintains a well-rounded, 
filled-up life, without breaking apart or wearing away, and always 
generates itself anew, principally through feelings. Furthermore, 
in the endless whirlpool of manifold influences, ultimately of the 
total universe, these little beings, which we know as living things, 
can remain alive at least a few hours or decades; this means, then, 
that they maintain themselves for a certain time as structures 
(Gefuge) of a psychophysical kind formed for some time (psycho- 
physischen Dauergeformtheit) . (Cf . 15, p. 53 ff ., p. 9 f . ; 15a, p. 16 ff .) 

Regarded from this angle, we see in a new light that man and 
probably animals, especially the young, always strive for "ex- 


periences" (Erlebnisse), playing, hazarding, even intoxicating 
themselves for experiences which are emotionally combined and 
motivated, which are wherever possible wholly filled out by strong 
feelings. The sick cling to these warming waves even in the 
enjoyment of their pains. The immature seek by pathos or sen- 
timentality to quiet their longing for a full being alive (Leben- 
digsein); those of broken nature wear themselves out for it by 
assuming the sentiment of another, and at the same time by all 
kinds of self-criticism. "All joys," says Friedrich Nietzsche, 
"long for eternity." So far as this quotation is true, it is valid 
for every quality of inner total-fullness (Ganzerfulltheit) , although 
in no way at the same degree everywhere. But, as we saw, the 
emotional, on the other hand, is labile to the highest degree, even 
fragile. This is true especially of those emotions which, deter- 
mined moment by moment contrary to structural determination 
(cf. 6, p. 30 ff.; 15, p. 57; 15a, p. 15), have roots no deeper than in 
an accidental constellation of the psychophysical reality only for 
a moment; they never remain long as they were; they blunt swiftly; 
they reverse or dissolve without control. A continuous sequence 
of mere moods, to say nothing of strong effervescence of the emo- 
tions, is a thing for which man does not seem to be constructed. 

Now it is an established fact of our lives, which has been con- 
sidered only a little hitherto in research and theory, that different 
kinds of emotions can become blunted to different degrees. If 
one considers the amusing effect of verbal witticisms, or of a crudely 
comical situation, and, in contrast with that, if one considers a 
truly humorous occurrence, one finds that the latter presupposes 
a set spirit and especially a formed emotionality (Gemut), that it 
is combined harmoniously with other phenomenologically similar 
and functionally related mental efforts in a perpetual attitude 
of the mind, which is maintained even in storms. 

In the same way all mere thrills can be distinguished, and es- 
pecially the most boisterous can be distinguished as momentary 
ones from spiritual emotions of a healthy kind, e. g., from per- 
petual, strongly established thrills of friendship, of art, or creative 
work. Still within a field of experience conditioned by culture as, 
for instance, art, there are broad tensions. The decorations of a 
festival may be very effective, but one cannot use them a second 
time. A street-song is rather pleasant sometimes when we hear 
it the first time, or a catchy tune from an operetta seems to be 
pretty the first time, but after even a few repetitions it becomes 
uninteresting to one who is musical or it becomes torture. On 
the other hand, a fugue of Bach always seizes one anew just as 
a painting by Rembrandt or an engraving of the "Kleine Passion" 


does; one discovers new beauties in it every time. Even the 
untrained can hear an original folk song, a minuet of Haydn, or 
a melody of Mozart many times, even again and again, with 
undiminished enjoyment. 

To conceive such facts psychologically one must become free 
from the dogmatic_jjbenomenalism which in the nineteenth 
century, according" to tKe "false example of physics, narrowed 
scientific psychology (cf. 15a, p. 17; 15, p. 100). One must have 
the courage to view stable, penetrating duration-forms of the 
mental, and to go babk, at least hypothetically, to the dispositional 
set (Angelegenheit) of experience, finally to its structural coherence 
(Strukturzusammenhang), i. e., to the working totality of the mind 
and the organism. For this purpose we need in every case genetic 
and also cultural-genetic comparisons and analyses (15, p. 120 f.)- 
For instance, the appertaining ability of emotions to be blunted 
does not differ to the same degree at all steps of the development. 
Primitive people and children, up to about the eighth year, can 
devotedly repeat innumerable times one and the same harmless 
joke which bores us to death. 

The problems presented here can be reached to a certain degree 
even by measurement and experiment. Sander, starting with 
the basic ideas of the Leipzig laboratory, successfully investigated 
the Aktualgenese (actual genesis) of limited shape-formations. 
Besides establishing results for the genetic primary and for the 
penetrating, phenomenological, and functional dominance of the 
feelings, he gained instructive new views, even of the structural 
condition of those processes. In that he regularly cut back the 
effect of the outside stimulus by temporal abbreviation, diminished 
brightness, diminution of size, etc., he showed, by steps, that the 
dispositional sets became preponderating; in this manner, certain 
mental part-structures and their persistent cohesion became clearly 
recognized (cf. 19, and IV, Neue Psychologische Studien). 

These data must be completely coordinated with numerous 
other experimental results. It is no accident that exact psy- 
chology recently investigated the problem of set (Einstellung) 
from different angles. Thus, in a way rich in consequences, it 
broke down the ban of the atomistic conception of ideas and 
theories of images (Vorstellungeri), which for centuries retarded 
scientific knowledge in the field of "memory," of so-called "asso- 
ciation,'* of "attention," and which, checked elsewhere, led the 
theory of feelings into confusion, and immediately tied up the 
investigation of the "imagination." (It is wholly dominated by 
feelings; cf. 15, p. 31 f.; 15a, p. 12.) 


What combines systematically, or at least what ought funda- 
mentally to combine those new significant problems and methods, 
is the idea of mental totality; on the one hand, totality of inner 
experience (des Erlebens), above all, of the emotions; secondly, 
totality of the universal coherence of function; and thirdly, totality 
of their structural foundations, foundations of the mental and 
finally of the psychophysical structure (l5a, p. 16 f.). With 
strenuously refined methods, we dare not fall back again into that 
way of thinking which was a stranger to totality and therefore to 
genetic development. The part-coherence's of mental events, 
necessarily isolated when investigated in the laboratory, are in 
reality always imbedded in more embracing unities of experience; 
they are always embraced and conditionally dominated most 
effectively by the whole totality which we recognized as the emo- 
tional. The mental par/-structures which are now tangible here 
and there, must, correspondingly, be theoretically incorporated 
within the structural whole of the psychophysical organisms in 
their genetic regularity and ultimately within the structure of 

This very far-reaching requirement means, to be sure, among 
other things, that we psychologists must by no means be satisfied 
with the juxtaposition of infinite dispositions, shape-phenomena, 
or artificially (e. g., by training) produced and arbitrarily variated 
forms of "structural'* reaction, as one says equivocally (cf. 15, 
p. 96, 99 ff.). The "urge to form shapes" (Gestaltungsdrang) , 
which can easily be observed in visual figures (Darbietungeri) and 
also in tests of intelligence, to mention only this one fact critically, 
is certainly considerable in the right connection. Often this is to 
a great extent nothing but a kind of self-defence of the observers, 
however, who try continually to get rid of the boredom imposed 
upon them. Shapes which are in conformity with the structural 
conditions of the inner experience and with its genetic necessities 
look absolutely unlike. They are always penetrated and mainly 
determined by feelings. They are subjected to more inclusive 
principles of the blood-warm, whole totality, and the same is valid 
concerning those artificial products, if we observe them completely. 
Much more regularly than would be expected according to present- 
day theories, highly differentiated men are inclined, to a high de- 
gree, to behave in an unorganized way, purely emotionally, even 
to give in totally to a state of drunkenness of the mind, although 
scarcely in the laboratory. Of course they do not long remain in 
it. Living perpetual shapeness (Geformtheit) forbids it. The 
morning-after headache follows every intoxication the more 
developed the organism is, and the more civilized his environment. 


It is also important that the habit, particularly of purposefully 
creating ecstasies, makes one unfit for life. It soon damages the 
organization itself, the mind as well as the body. On the contrary, 
high art, or wisdom, especially deep, sound religion are fruitful 
or grow strong in that they at the same time lend enduring warmth. 
Their true experiences with all the intimacies (Innigkeif) of the 
corresponding emotions filling us to the full, are, to the highest 
degree, structurally conditioned, built according to structure, 
and they therefore promote structural growth. 

Manifold and strongly organized inner experience which, at 
the same time, is powerfully infused with feeling is indeed de- 
manded, biologically, in forms prescribed according to the staie 
of development. Even the finest, most spiritual form of human 
existence is corporally typified as far as it does not sever itself 
from the cycle of life. 

From a totality more than from an individual we see all living 
beings, from the beginning of their existence, endowed with a 
great number of inherited adjustments of their behavior to regu- 
larities in the environment. These innate constancies of the psycho- 
physical course (AUaufs) interweave with manifold, acquired, 
dispositions for a longer or shorter time; they interweave with 
individual dispositions, just as in ourselves, as human beings, they 
interweave with historically developed dispositions (e. g., rites, 
customs, institutions, etc.). All those dispositional facts are of the 
kind that I call part-structure; their structural unity, the psycho- 
physical total-structure of the experiencing person is meant if 
one speaks of the constitution or personality or character, as the 
standpoint of observation may be. None of the determinations 
of the direction of the events is absolutely unchangeable or fixed; 
otherwise it would be torn out of the developing structure of 
life. They are in thorough reciprocity with one another and with 
the structural whole. They are plastic, even the bones and the 
teeth, the instincts and acquired traits (Dressurerfolge) , and even 
the reflexes. They are changed by the shaping, restoring, and 
combining powers of the total organism equally as well by the 
powers of the individual as by the powers of the larger social one. 
In diseases, bodily or mental crises, in revolutions, they can fall 
to pieces or fully demolish themselves. 

What threatens the duration-form of life most is the irrecon- 
cilable conflict of structural dispositions with one another. We 
experience it, like all structurally conditioned psych ophysical 
events, in experiences of palpable "depth" (13, p. 6; 15a, p. 15; 
15, p. 53 ff.). To them belong all feelings of valuation in contrast 
with momentary excitements; all emotional awareness of signifi- 


cance but also thoughts "deeply" conditioned and full of co- 
herence in contrast to unstable intuitions, or imitated, merely 
copied judgments; and also voluntary decisions from the conscious- 
ness of duty, and final responsibility. Such forms of behavior are 
realized when the experiencing person always feels unequivocally, 
and often very strongly unequivocally, and under the proper 
conditions clearly knows, at the same time, that the whole (urns 
Ganze), even the substance of existence in the ever ascending 
stages of life is concerned. The depth of the emotions descends 
into another level than the total remaining richness of colors and 
the richness of shapes of the inner experiences. It is essentially 
different, especially from the mere intensity and momentary force 
of the emotions. So far as these facts are not determined by values 
and systems of evaluation, are not rooted in the structure of the 
personality, so far as they remain without continuous connections 
with the central conditions which determine their course (zentralen 
Gerichteheiten) and with duration-form we recognize it immediately 
in the flatness of the experience, and conversely. The depth di- 
mension of mental events corresponds sympathetically~T5 v tfie 1 
functional unity of fife, better symbolically, in phenomena of great 
consequence. In it is reflected the formation of the structures 
(gefugehaftes Weseri) which combines all expressions of life from 
within and thus reflects the stage of development of the structures 
and the necessity for their growth as well as for their decline (15a, 
p. 19 ff., 24 ff.; 15, pp. 53, 57, 75, 83, 110 ff.; cf. 7.ur Entwickslungs- 
psychologie des Rechts, Mlinchen, 1926). 

Deep inner experience is essentially conditioned by the bipo- 
larity of feelings. All growing-deeper, all shape-getting of the 
individual as well as of society comes inescapably by way of hard 
opposition. It requires struggle and sacrifice, deprivation and un- 
ceasing suffering. From the most serious conflict of duties and 
primarily from hard wrestling for eternal "salvation" it happens 
the heart does not "return whole." There is a remainder, then, 
unquenchable perhaps in a whole life and yet the one possessing 
it will not overcome it; and if it could be, they would continue on, 
be blessed in the continuous growth of such suffering. 

The limited shape-formation, as we create it, methodically 
change it, and measure it in our psychological laboratories, has its 
theoretical value. Although they lie relatively at the surface, 
these phenomena and these connections in their rich complexity 
give much to think about to one who reflects. Out of the parts 
of the living, if one observes them correctly, the whole always 
shines. The wonderful closure, impressiveness, and indentation 
even of those small bits of experience with their tensions against 


one another and against unshaped events, all those part-phenomena 
whose regularities we now begin to suspect, must become incor- 
porated genetically into the structural necessity of the total course 
of life. To the mental manifestations of this necessity and to 
their duration-forms science has a particular entrance, the psy- 
chological one. Here we may be allowed to look from the inside 
bedause we have full inner experiences ourselves, where we who 
have the inner experiences observe and describe them, carefully 
compare, analyze, and combine them anew. Whatever has been 
conscientiously observed in this way can finally be brought under 
concepts in so far as they have been cleanly determined. Life 
itself seems to demand more vividly at the present than in ancient 
times that some of its bearers in diverse lands observe mental 
experiences scientifically. We must ponder them as total men, 
clear of vision, but humble before its mysteries. 


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Aufl. Leipzig: Engelmann, 1908-1911. 

24^ Grundriss der Psychologic. 15. Aufl. Leipzig: Engelmann, 



DR. REYMERT: You may think we have given undue time to this particular 
paper. There are two reasons for this: one, that we have a pupil of the author 
here, Dr. Carl Schneider, so that the paper can actually be discussed, and the other, 
that the system of Wundt's successor in the Leipzig laboratory should call for 
particular attention in an American psychological audience. 

DR. GEIBSLER (Randolph-Macon College): I do not quite understand the rela- 
tion between the intensity of feelings or emotions and the total consciousness. I 
should like a restatement. 

DR. SCHNEIDER (Wittenberg College): Feelings in this theory mean that they are 
a quality of a total experience. Now, of course, that does not mean that the more 
total the experience is, the more intensive the feeling is. This would be the easier 
answer but it is not so simple. The intensity of the feelings does not depend ab- 
solutely on the richness of the total experience. At least we cannot observe this 
experimentally. But we may say that the richness of the inner experience is mir- 
rored in the depth of the feelings. Depth and intensity are different. In the Krueger 
system there is great difference between a deep joy and a flat joy in their qualita- 
tive aspect. Depth is a qualitative term and can be seen better the more closely 
we arrive at a totality of the experience. But, on the other hand, there is really 
no difference in intensity alone without a difference of quality. Difference of 
intensity alone is an abstraction which measures difference of quality. Therefore 
we cannot speak of pure intensity of feeling; we can speak only of a kind of meas- 
ured differences of emotional quality, and from this standpoint we also can say 
we measure indirectly the different intensities by measuring the different states of 
more or less total experience but indirectly, of course, not directly. 

DR. GEISSLER: I was wondering what that had to do with the possibility of 
comparing feelings in their relative strengths with each other. We can compare 
geometric forms with each other: "I like that best"; "that one has the lowest 
feeling for me"; "that one has the highest feeling." Now, can we make compari- 


sons, put these feelings into pairs, and compare them? I don't quite understand 
the relations. 

DR. SCHNEIDER: Of course we can do it methodically, but the results show that 
there is always a difference of quality, too. No two emotions are always so alike 
that they may be differentiated by intensity alone. They are always differentiated 
by the qualitative state as well. It is, therefore, not surprising that the Leipzig 
Ganzkeit psychology has created and is creating a new technical vocabulary. 

DR. REYMERT: I wonder if this would be of any help in clearing up the question 
which Dr. Geissler has raised. I think this is a fundamental one. May I ask this 
question? Would it be somewhat comparable to saturation and brightness as we 
use these terms in speaking, for instance, of one particular color? These two attri- 
butes of a color-tone might be regarded as the intensity and the color-depth of that 
hue. Of course intensity and saturation are abstractions or singled-out aspects 
of the total i. e., the -hue under observation. Changes in either one aspect or 
in the total experience are, of course, interdependent. Changes in brightness 
are naturally experiential of a qualitative nature. The total the hue under 
immediate observation may, like feeling, be changed in infinite dimensions, or 
experiential qualities. The naming of these infinite totals in vision is not farther 
advanced than Krueger's emotional qualities. 

DR. SCHNEIDER: Every change in the emotion or feeling from the one aspect 
means at the same time a change in the other, too. Using your terminology any 
change in " brightness" means also a change in intensity, saturation, etc. Not 
only one "attribute" is changed, but the total. Therefore it is not so easy to 
compare two emotions. It is impossible to measure emotions quantitatively only. 

DR. REYMERT: Would you say then that, so far as it goes, my reference to 
color experiences helps to clarify the situation? 

DR. SCHNEIDER: Yes, with the mentioned restrictions. 

DR. REYMERT: Of course no strict parallels may be drawn. 

DR. PYLE (Kansas State Teachers College, Pittsburgh, Kansas) : If the measuring 
of the various intensities are abstractions, could you say that you would never get 
a knowledge of what the law is? 

DR. SCHNEIDER: No, I should say this. Although we cannot measure the 
emotions qualitatively, we can see in indirect quantitative measurements laws 
concerning the quality. You remember what Krueger said on the least perceivable 
difference. We can measure indirectly the expressions of these total states and 
these expressions as we find them. In measuring the least perceivable difference 
we find in it regularities of the qualitative experience. 

DR. PYLE: But the measuring again would seem to be analytical and therefore 
aside from the whole. 

DR. SCHNEIDER: Only as a methodical necessity which lends to a fuller de- 
scription of the whole by various, mainly genetic methods. 

DR. ERICKSON (East Orange, New Jersey): It was a little difficult for me to 
follow certain points in Professor Krueger's paper, though I think it was made 
perfectly clear. One point, however, I should like to have covered again whether 
we may think of Professor Krueger as tending toward the functionalistic concept 
more than, say, toward the structuralistic? Is my question clear? 

DR. REYMERT: Very clear. 

DR. SCHNEIDER: By all means more towards the functionalistic concept, but he 
is no functionalist in the classical sense. Of course emotions have a functional 
character, but they have only a functional character so far as all total experiences 
have a functional character not in the sense of elementary functions. As they 
are always simultaneous and successive they are similar to functional experiences 
of a total state. And thus, of course, his theory is neither structuralistic nor func- 
tionalistic. These qualities which we finally experience in every state of life, these 
are qualities which are imbedded in experience as a closed total experience. 


DR. MABEL FLORENCE MARTIN (State Psychological Clinic, New Jersey): But 
if we are to dispose with elements and analysis, in what terms can totalities be 

DR. SCHNEIDER: We have to have in many respects a new terminology in psy- 
chology. Of course many things can be described in the terminology which we 
now have. But our present psychological terminology is too much under the in- 
fluence of physiological and chemical vocabularies. You will find in Krueger's 
terminology many new words which simply had to be created for naming totalities. 

DR. MARTIN : I am not sure that that quite answers my question. Suppose that 
you can create new terms of description, are not these in themselves elements, or 
are not they at least products of analysis? 

DR. SCHNEIDER: No, that is just what we deny. They are not products of 
analysis, but they are descriptive symbols of experienced phenomena. Even the 
application of the language of the mathematical formula in psychology means 
always only organization, as it were, part-shapes (Gliederungsformen), and is 
absolutely dependent on the whole which is given with the part. 

DR. DICKINSON (University of Maine): Would I be right in understanding from 
the presentation of the paper that we have a continuum of qualitative changes 
which in any given time would be the aspect of emphasis at that particular time 
in relation to the total? I am trying to formulate the question in my own mind: I 
mean would I be right in understanding that there is a continuum of qualitative 
change, and that the parts in relation to the part- whole at any particular time 
would be the emphasis of the aspect at any particular time? 

DR. SCHNEIDER: Yes, there is just the main essence of the theory. Of course, 
there is a continuous change and we divide this into parts as compared to the 
total. The task of psychology is to observe laws of this change. As for those ques- 
tions of organization of shape we organize diffuse, chaotic total experience into 
arranged, organized experience, and we divide this first total into parts; but always 
so that the parts have relation to the total. These are the problems of this kind 
of psychology. They are not elementary problems. The relation between parts 
and whole is the most interesting phenomenon. 

DR. REYMERT: Having to close this interesting discussion, I feel that Dr. 
Krueger's paper when published will give all of us much food for thought and 
fruitful discussion. 




Royal University of Turin 

The phenomenon of consciousness, with which we shall deal 
in the following pages, belongs to those psychic processes which are 
generally comprised under the concept of the life of feeling. What 
is common to all the experiences included in this concept is that 
they are not referred to objects of the outer world, of which one's 
own body is regarded as a part, but remain, as it were, in conscious- 
ness, forming a necessary basis for the development of the processes 
of the will and the empirical ego. We cannot here treat of the 
development of the latter, nor of the connection in which the 
feelings stand to the will-processes. 

Since investigation of the domain of feeling is among the most 
difficult tasks of psychology, it is not surprising if, in spite of the 
manifold work on the subject carried out both in the past and the 
present, not only is the problem as a whole still unsolved, but 
even respecting certain fundamental questions, no agreement has 
yet been compassed by the various investigators. One of these 
fundamental questions relates to the nature of the phenomenon 
which we call the feeling-tone of sensation. 

What has rendered the psychological investigation of feeling 
difficult for a long time is the fact that it was carried out under 
the influence of metaphysical premises, as well as ethical valuations 
and epistemological considerations. We cannot here deal with 
all the perturbations which the problem of feeling has consequently 
been subjected to, but I cannot refrain from mentioning that these 
influences are responsible for our speaking even at the present 
day of "higher" and "lower" senses and of "higher" and "lower" 
feelings, and for our assigning the feeling-tone of a sensation to 
the lower feelings. Such valuations are useless to psychology as 
an empirical science. Psychology demands that we should, as 
far as possible, separate into their ultimate component parts the 
complexes of consciousness which emerge from the ceaseless 
flow of psychic events as relatively independent forms, in order 
to comprehend the cause of their internal structure and their 
modes of origin, and, at the same time, the building-up and ulterior 


development of psychic life. What further value is to be ascribed 
to the results of psychic analysis, psychology, as an empirical 
science, is not called upon to decide. It is the task of metaphysics, 
of ethics, and of epistemology to turn to account the results of 
psychological investigations. Psychology may not set to work 
in the opposite way, but in saying this I certainly do not mean 
that it can fully dispense with philosophy. 

On this premise let us endeavor to avoid expressions like those 
mentioned above and make use instead of terms which are psy- 
chologically free from objection. Just as we designate as sensa- 
tions the ultimate constituents of which objectifiable complexes 
of consciousness are composed according to the principle of psychic 
synthesis, so we call those which form the basis of the unobjecti- 
fiable feeling-complexes elementary feelings. No other than a purely 
psychological valuation lies at the bottom of this concept. In 
this sense the feeling-tone of a Sensation is an elementary feeling. 

Instead of elementary feelings we frequently hear the expression 
"simple feelings" used. Since, however, it is a question of really 
fixing a designation for the last, not ulteriorly divisible contents 
of feeling, the expression " elementary feeling" is, in my opinion, 
preferable to that of "simple feeling," and for this reason, that 
the term "simple feeling" may lead to misunderstanding: those 
feelings which accompany complex objectifiable contents of con- 
sciousness, that is, representations, and which are certainly not 
final elements of feeling, give, owing to their unitary character, 
the impression of simple feelings and are generally called so. We 
are unable to reduce a composite feeling of such a kind into its 
components by pure subjective effort, and must, in order to 
recognize these, have recourse to special experimental aids. In 
this respect there is an essential difference between representation- 
complexes and feeling-complexes. To put it briefly, every ele- 
mentary feeling may be conceived as a simple feeling, but not 
every feeling, appearing as a simple feeling, is an elementary 

It is clear from all this that by the feeling-tone of sensation is 
to be understood that purely subjective something which ac- 
companies the sensation, and which is yet essentially different 
from it, and which is called agreeable, disagreeable, etc. Of course 
we may also speak of the feeling-tone of a representation. We 
shall not, however, here discuss this part of the domain of feeling. 
In the feeling-tone accompanying a sensation in its greatest pos- 
sible isolation, we have the elementary feeling in its purest form 
and therein lies, I think, the fundamental importance of this psychic 
phenomenon for the comprehension of the whole life of feeling. 


In what I have said, I have already expressed a personal con- 
viction, which is not shared by all the psychologists of today. 
On the contrary, it is vigorously opposed by very distinguished 
representatives of our science. The latter conceive of the feeling- 
tone of sensation in a sensualistic way, thus reverting to older 
conceptions. At the same time it must be pointed out that the 
opinions, even within the sensualistic school, deviate considerably 
from one another. As we can see now from this general survey, 
the opinions about the actual nature of the elementary experience 
here under discussion are so widely different that the struggle 
raging on this point between the various authors will not end, I 
think, until either the one or the other view has fought its way 
through to general recognition. A conciliation of views may be 
regarded as impossible. 

As for the origin of the expression "tone of feeling," it is suffi- 
cient here to point out that the Herbartian school used it in the 
form "tone of sensation." The fundamental idea of the Herbar- 
tian school, long dominant in psychology, is, we may say, a thing 
of the past. We know now that the feelings cannot be explained 
by Herbart's mechanism of representations. This must be said 
in spite of full recognition of the various introspections concerning 
feeling which are to be found both in Herbart's own works and in 
those of adherents of his theory, such as W. F. Volkmann, Ndh- 
lovski, and others. The term "tone of feeling" has also met with 
some hostility. If, however, we emphasize the fact that by this 
term nothing more is meant than the universally recognized ele- 
mentary experience which accompanies sensation, then the desig- 
nation "tone of feeling" (considering the difficulty of finding, 
in all languages, adequate terms for given psychic experiences) 
may surely be accepted as the one best answering the purpose 
and not likely to lead to misunderstanding. 

The term "sensory feeling" (sinnliches Gefuhl) seems to me 
more open to criticism. My opinion is that we should avoid 
this expression. Not only does it imply a valuation, inasmuch 
as the so-called "sensory" feelings are not infrequently placed 
in opposition to the "intellectual" feelings, as experiences of 
a lower nature, which psychologically is inadmissable, but such 
a designation may give rise to the erroneous notion that a "sen- 
sory" feeling is essentially different from an "intellectual" feeling. 
This is not the case, as a comparison of the two processes shows. 
The feeling of pleasure which I experience during a simple in- 
tellectual process is not essentially different from that which I 
experience, for instance, when looking at a saturated color in a 
dark room. Further, the attribute "sensory" favors, to an extraor- 


dinary degree, a sensualistic interpretation of the phenomenon in 
question, which I, for my part, must reject. 

As our time is limited, we must pass over the older opinions 
on the feeling-tone which are to he found in the literature of the 
subject. We must be content to take into account those chief 
directions which, at the present time, struggle for supremacy. 
These, in my opinion, are connected principally with the names of 
Carl Stumpf, Theodor Ziehen, and Wilhelm Wundt. We shall, 
therefore, consider the theories of these three authors with partic- 
ular care, thereby touching on the opinions of other investigators 
in so far as they relate to the problem before us. 

Carl Stumpf expressed his opinion on the feeling-tone of sen- 
sation first in 1906, at the Second Congress of the Association of 
Experimental Psychologists at Wiirzburg, and published his 
lecture in the following year in Volume XLIV of the Zeitschrift 
fur Psychologic (pp. 1-49) in amplified form under the title, "Ueber 
Gefuhlsempfindimgeri." A further treatment of the same subject 
was published by Stumpf in 1916 under the title, "Apologie der 
Gefuhlsempfindimgen " in Volume LXXV of the same journal 
(pp. 1-38). 

Stumpf s conception is, in the most rigid sense, sensualistic. 
This is indeed indicated by the title of his above-mentioned paper. 
Sensations of feeling (Gefuhlsempfindungen) are, according to 
Stumpf, all so-called sensory feelings, that is to say, all tones of 
feeling accompanying sensations. Stumpf thus rejects both the 
opinion that in these processes we have to do with a particular 
category of psychic experiences and the view of earlier authors, 
who regarded feeling as a function of sensation, and maintains 
that all sensory feelings represent a "particular class of sensations 
of sense'* (Sinnesempfindungen) . Nevertheless Stumpf is for 
a rigorous differentiation between sensations of feeling on the 
one hand and aesthetic feelings and the emotions on the other. 
The two latter groups of experience are designated by him as 
"states of a particular kind" (Zustdnde eigner Art) which, ac- 
cording to him, are not "disintegrate into sensations^ of sense." 

As for the term "sensation of feeling" itself, it is to be found also 
in Brentano, to whose school Stumpf originally belonged. We 
find it, however, still earlier, in the works of older authors. Ernst 
Heinrich Weber, for example, has the term "sensation of common 
feeling" (Gemeingefuhlsempfindung), which likewise is to be under- 
stood in a sensualistic sense, and with which he designates all 
those psychic processes which, according to him, are not included 
in the five senses derived from the Aristotelian doctrine of mind. 
This, in Weber, is explainable, because the physiology of his time 


took no special interest in the subjective experiences accompanying 
sensations and representations, in spite of the notice taken thereof 
by Ackens and, more particularly, by Kant; and further, because 
physiology, owing to the fact that the German language of every- 
day life makes no essential difference between feeling and sensa- 
tion had given the name "sense of feeling" to the "fifth" sense. 
This influence is still traceable in Weber, although he himself 
speaks, instead of the "sense of feeling, " of the "sense of touch, " 
which term has been metamorphosed in our time, as we know, 
into the concept of the "skin-sense" with its manifold subordinate 

I have directed your attention to these facts because in Sturnpf 's 
views their influence is, I think, to a certain extent, recognizable. 
Otherwise, the juxtaposition of the concepts "feeling" and "sen- 
sation," with which the psychology of today designates totally 
different contents of consciousness, is difficult to understand. 

Stumpf, too, has the concept of the sense of feeling. For the 
most part, however, he speaks of the "sensory" feelings which 
are, for him, precisely, sensations of feeling. Stumpf enumerates 
among the sensory feelings "sensory pains," the "feeling of 
bodily well-being" (with the "pleasure components of titillation, 
the feeling aroused by itch, and the sexual feelings") and, finally, 
the tones of feeling which arc linked to the sensations of tem- 
perature, smell, and taste, as well as to the several tones and colors. 

The views held by vori Frcy and his followers on the subject 
of the cutaneous sensation of pain have, as I imagine, contributed 
essentially to the propounding of Stumpf's theory of sensations 
of feeling. Stumpf adheres to these views. On the other hand, 
however, since he classifies pain as a "sensation of feeling" of a 
disagreeable character, he is obliged to look upon the two factors 
the actual pain quality and the concomitant unpleasantness 
as a unitary single experience. Through von Frey's researches, 
Stumpf says: "The sense of feeling has, so to speak, been success- 
fully isolated, like a culture of absolute purity." Stumpf rejects, 
therefore, Thunberg's opinion, which ascribes to pain sensations 
a specific tone of feeling, and arrives at the really paradoxical 
conclusion that pain possesses no tone of feeling. "It possesses 
only one quality, and it is this which is expressed by the designa- 
tion *pain.'" According to Stumpf, this holds good for the de- 
layed pain sensation noticeable in pathological cases, as well as 
for the secondary pain sensation first observed by Goldscheider 
and Gad. Pain sensation has, according to Stumpf, whenever 
and wherever it appears, only the one quality, namely, that it is 
painful. This means, in other words, that it is an unpleasant 
sensation in itself. 


The second chief quality in the sense of feeling is, according to 
Stumpf, generally speaking, agreeableness. Stumpf leaves the 
question open whether, just as, according to von Frey, there are 
particular pain nerves, there may be particular pleasure nerves 
also. He writes: "Perhaps there are such for the pleasure sen- 
sations excited at the periphery, while for those arising in the 
inside of the body for the sensation of satiety, of rest, of general 
well-being only definite central processes are perhaps called 
into action, as concomitant effects of the modified circulation of 
blood in the brain." "Pleasure sensations" as opposed to pain 
sensations must, according to Stumpf, be characterized likewise 
by one quality only. This means, from his point of view, that 
they have no tone of feeling. Among such sensations, pleasant 
in themselves, Stumpf includes voluptuous sensation. 

In the cases mentioned up to this point, we have been dealing 
with sensations of a high degree of intensity. But what about 
sensations of a low or intermediate intensity? Besides pleasant 
and unpleasant sensations of a high degree of intensity, such as 
pain and voluptuousness, smells, tastes, colors, tones, etc., as 
generally observed in our laboratories, there are sensations of 
intermediate or low degree of intensity. And yet they may be 
all more or less characterized by a tone of feeling. According 
to* Stumpf s premises this would mean that they are not character- 
ized, like pain sensations and the really pleasant sensations, by 
one quality only, but are accompanied by a second sensation, that 
is, by a sensation of feeling. This raises the question: How does 
this sensation of feeling arise, which Stumpf likewise defines as a 
"sensation of sense"? Since it can scarcely be due to the agency 
of a special nerve-apparatus with definite peripheral end-organs, 
Stumpf regards it as highly probable that it be owing to centrally 
aroused concomitant sensations. According to Stumpf this 
opinion is borne out by the fact that the specific sensation and 
the concomitant sensation can neither be separated from one 
another nor modified independently of one another and that, 
further, wherever they are artificially separated, this can only be 
effected through a change in central conditions. Concerning 
the last point, he calls attention to his own auditory observations 
and to my experiments of isolation, systematically followed up 
in the domain of sensations of taste and their concomitant tones 
of feeling. 

Summarizing, we may say that Stumpf differentiates, finally, 
two classes of feeling-sensations: one which he holds to be char- 
acterized by the fact that the qualities belonging to it, such as 
pain, voluptuousness, etc., are absolute pleasant or unpleasant 


sensations, that is, require no accompanying tone of feeling and 
come into existence through peripheral stimulation or through 
central processes of excitation; and a second to which belong 
feeling-sensations conditioned exclusively by central concomitant 
excitation, whose pleasant or unpleasant character is, according 
to him, to be regarded merely as a supplement to any one specific 
sensation (colors, tones, tastes, odors). 

Stumpfs theory of feeling-sensations has repeatedly been 
subjected to criticism. Passing over the resultant polemics, I 
intend merely to state briefly what prevents me personally from 
agreeing with this distinguished scientist. 

In the first place, the assertion is incorrect that pain possesses no 
concomitant tone of feeling but is, in the absolute, an unpleasant 
sensaETon. ~~"Ih high degrees of intensity both factors are certainly 
so bound up with one another that isolation is difficult, if not 
impossible. But pain does not always appear at once in the high- 
est degree of intensity, but may increase gradually from a slight 
degree onwards through a series of stages, until it reaches a point 
where it is unbearable. In all the intermediate and weaker de- 
grees, the feeling-tone of displeasure is, I think, clearly distinguish- 
able from the actual pain quality. There are, besides, different 
pain sensations with varying feeling-tone. Conversely, I am able 
to produce on the skin pain sensations free, or almost free, from 
feeling. Moreover, the question as to the existence of pleasure- 
toned pain sensations must be more amply investigated. 

Stumpfs assumption that tickle and itch sensations, as also 
voluptuousness, are, in the absolute, pleasure sensations is er- 
roneous. So far as voluptuousness is concerned, it is a very com- 
plicated process which will not be here analyzed. As for tickle 
and itch sensations, I cannot personally sense these two experiences, 
in agreement with Stumpf, as pleasure; rather do I experience them 
as fraught with unpleasantness, indeed, given continuance, they 
may become a torture. The tickle sensation, conditioned by 
the touch apparatus, is, besides, no simple process, while the itch 
sensation must really be looked upon as a low-degreed pain 
sensation accompanied by a distinct tone of feeling. True, pleas- 
antly toned sensations may be produced by simply stroking certain 
regions of the skin, for example, the skin of the back, but these are 
neither tickle nor itch sensations but touch sensations accompanied 
by an elementary pleasure feeling. 

There is, again, great difficulty in the way of accepting Stumpfs 
second class of sensations of feeling. If there are not elementary 
feelings, but, as Stumpf maintains, real sensations, they ought 
then to obey the fundamental psychophysical law to which all 


real sensations are subjected. I know of no single sensation which 
ever changes its quality during increasing stimulation. During 
the gradual increase of stimulus every real sensation attains at 
last a degree of intensity, the so-called acme of stimulation, beyond 
which no additional intensity is perceived. In tones of feeling 
I observe the opposite phenomenon. Beyond a certain point 
of stimulus-increase the quality of feeling generally changes to 
its opposite, and, in certain cases, a stage of indifference may 
even be observed. This justifies, at any rate, the conclusion, 
that the " sensations of feeling" may not, as Stumpf proposes, 
be considered as equal to other sensations. 

This applies likewise to the process of concomitant central 
excitation to which Stumpf ascribes the suscitation of the different 
tones of feeling. I do not understand how, in this way, new qualities 
of sensation can be called forth. When, commonly, we speak of 
centrally aroused concomitant sensations, we mean, beyond a 
doubt, sensations aroused in a reflex way, which were suscitated 
in the first instance through the agency of a particular nerve- 
apparatus with special peripheral terminations. Here, however, 
we are called upon to accept as a fact that a completely new quality 
of sensation is produced exclusively through concomitant central 
excitation. This opinion seems to me to conflict so with all other 
known psychophysical processes that it fails to carry conviction. 

There still remains the further question whether tones of feeling, 
as such, are localizable. Only if this were the case might we, I 
think, speak of them as sensations. The numerous observations 
relating to this question which I myself have carried out force me 
to assume a negative attitude. Stumpf himself admits that the 
feeling-tone may, to a certain extent, be isolated experimentally 
from the sensation which it accompanies. When I perform experi- 
ments of this kind with colors, for instance, I observe that the 
various tones of feeling induced by the colors are not projected 

These are my chief objections to Stumpf 's theories. They lead 
me to conclude that his views on the sensations of feeling are not 
well founded. 

The views of Theodor Ziehen are likewise sensualistic. He 
holds that tones of feeling are not essentially different from the 
sensations which they accompany. Taking them all together 
Ziehen looks upon them as constituting a " sixth sense." He has 
also designated the tone of feeling as a property of sensation. As 
regards this opinion in particular, Oswald Kiilpe combatted it as 
far back as 1893. Stumpf likewise expressed his complete agree- 
ment with Kiilpe. We find the same negative attitude in Edward 


Titchener (Lehrbuch der Psychologic, 2nd ed., p. 194). And indeed 
the tone of feeling can under no condition be a property of sensa- 
tion, whether we take the expression in its stricter or wider sense. 
No dialectic argumentation, such as Ziehen attempts in Volume 
II of his Grundlagen der Psychologic in 1916, can help us over this 
difficulty. The theory, in my opinion, is even in contradiction 
with Ziehen's own conception of the nature of the feeling-tone. 
A sensation, as Ziehen, at bottom, must take the feeling-tone to 
be, can never be a property of another sensation, nor a character- 
istic (Merkmal) of a sensation, which expression Ziehen makes 
use of in the last edition of his Leitfaden der physiologischen Psy- 
chologic. More to the purpose is the proposal advanced by Ziehen 
in his above-mentioned work of 1915, p. 219, to call his theory 
"epigenetic" or the theory of the "central supplementary proc- 
ess." These designations emphasize, to my thinking, the special 
character of Ziehen's hypothesis. Less acceptable seems to me 
his proposal to call his theory the theory of the feeling-tone, for 
the tone of feeling is that very psychic experience which all theories 
on the subject are endeavoring to explain. 

Ziehen rightly rejects the expression "sensory" feeling; still 
it seems to me that not very much is gained in the one which he 
suggests should take its place. He speaks of "sensorial" feelings 
and "sensorial" tones of feeling, and divides these further into 
"primary" and "secondary" according to whether they are 
"conditioned exclusively by an external stimulus or by sensations 
themselves" or "are due to previous connection with representa- 
tions." My opinion is that the expression "tone of feeling" 
suffices with the further distinction between the feeling-tone of 
sensation, of representation, etc. 

Concerning pain sensations, in the first place, Ziehen advocates 
a view which is opposed to that held by von Frey and his adherents. 
Ziehen, too, considers pain sensations to be supplementary quali- 
ties due to the agency of central processes. On these lines, he 
tries, for instance, to explain the gradual transition of sensations 
of touch, warmth, and cold, under continuous increase of stimulus, 
into pain. Needless to say, I reject this opinion. Not only is 
the arousal of pain through purely central processes incomprehen- 
sible to me, but this view is combatted by the fact that analgesic 
spots are to be found upon the skin of the body and that the mu- 
cous membrane of the mouth contains zones insensible to pain. 
It is, similarly, to my mind, an incontrovertible fact that the 
warm and cold spots on the skin of the body are, as was first shown 
by Goldscheider, analgesic. 


With respect to the tones of feelings of pleasantness and un- 
pleasantness accompanying other sensations, Ziehen, in a paper 
published in 1903 (Zeitechrift fur Psychologic, XXXIII, p. 216) 
attributes their origin to the discharge tendency (Entladungs- 
bereitschaft) of cortical brain-cells, a process which the author 
strictly distinguishes from the "excitability" of these cells. Posi- 
tive processes of feeling are said to correspond to a great "dis- 
charge tendency/' negative processes to a feebler tendency. In 
the article of 1915 (p. 216) already mentioned, the hypothesis is 
made more explicit by the affirmation that the cells of the cortex, 
in which the processes released through the peripheral stimulation 
develop and to which the sensations correspond, contain, further, 
other substances in which a second physiological process is set up, 
to which the tone of feeling is said to correspond. This process 
is, according to Ziehen, facultative. The conception might seem 
to owe its rise to Ewald Bering's theory of the antagonistic 
processes in the visual substance, 

Ziehen finds that his theory agrees with the following observa- 
tions: tones of feeling may be absent; they have not been proved 
to exist by isolation; they are capable of an increase in intensity; 
as regards characteristic, quality, and intensity, they are de- 
pendent on the quality, intensity, locality, and duration of the 
sensation; there is nothing in the stimulus which bears specially 
on the tone of feeling; the tone of feeling can unite with all qualities 
of sensation and is influenced to a very much greater degree by 
representations than are qualities of sensation. Ziehen empha- 
sizes as a positive fact that "the sensorial tone of feeling varies 
exactly like any other sensation in intensity, quality, and locality. " 
(Grundlagcn der Psychologic, II, p. 215, 221.) The author con- 
cludes from this that sensation and its tone of feeling cannot be 
essentially different from one another. This can mean nothing 
else but that the tone of feeling must also be considered as a 
sensation. It is at this point that Ziehen's theory, in spite of its 
deviation in details, ends by agreeing with that of Stumpf. 

With regard to the above observations, it is certainly correct 
that tones of feeling may be absent. There can be no doubt about 
this. There are sensations without tones of feeling. Neverthe- 
less, respecting this, I think, certain particulars are open to dis- 
cussion. I may mention, for example, that, given an increasing 
stimulus, there is observable, sometimes, in the feeling-curve, a 
point of indifference or a brief space of indifference, which fact 
seems to me to conflict with Ziehen's hypothesis. If I experi- 
ment with a sweet solution, for instance, and try to compare the 
tones of feeling accompanying the sensation during the con- 


tinuously increasing stimulation, I observe at the outset a growing 
pleasant feeling, then intervenes a point or a brief space in which 
I perceive neither pleasantness nor decided unpleasantness, and 
then unpleasantness appears which augments with the further 
increase of the stimulus. 

As for the assertion that a tone of feeling never appears in 
isolation, the following observations are to the point. In his Grund- 
riss der Psychologic, 1893 (p. 233), Oswald Kiilpe remarks that 
in his experience there are feelings free from sensations. In 1905 
(Archiv fur die gesamte Psychologic, VI, p. 383 ff.) I myself com- 
municated cases in which apparently unmotivated feelings, arising 
in a thoroughly dependable observer in a condition of quite normal 
wakefulness, called forth a sudden change in the general mood. 
These results testify against Ziehen's theory. Oskar Vogt, in 
1897, seems to have observed a similar phenomenon in a subject 
whom he had placed under hypnosis. More particularly, I can- 
not admit that tones of feeling arc localizable. One is liable 
to error in this respect. In all cases, however, in which the tone 
of feeling appears with any vividness, it has, so far as my obser- 
vations bear me out, no circumscription of locality. This militates 
against the assertion that sensation and its tone of feeling are of 
like nature. Then, if they are not of like, they must be of different 
nature, and this, indeed, is my conviction. 

There is not time to go into other sensualistic theories such as 
the well-known James-Lange theory. I will only remark that the 
peculiar nature of the feeling-tone of sensation cannot, I am con- 
vinced, be explained by this theory either. 

We now come to the conception of Wilhelrn Wundt. Wundt's 
theory of feeling developed gradually. His views in these matters 
gained in limpidity through his polemics with Horwicz, and in 
depth through the work of his pupils who had turned to good ad- 
vantage the improvements which the registration methods of 
expressive movements had undergone in the domain of physiology, 
principally through Angelo Mosso. Until about 1896 Wundt re- 
tained his affirmative position as to the pleasantness-unpleasant- 
ness theory, which Stumpf and Ziehen also advocated and with 
them many others such as Kiilpe and Titchener, although if we 
look through his works today, we find indications even in the first 
edition of his Grunchuge der physiologischen Psychologic that this 
theory was not destined permanently to satisfy him. And, indeed, 
whoever delves down into his own personal domain of feeling must, 
I think, come to the conclusion that it is much too manifold to be 
forced into a system as simple as that of the pleasure-displeasure 
scheme. Our task would be considerably simplified if we 


could reduce everything in the domain of feeling to these terms. 
But the matter is not so simple. If, therefore, in the investigation 
of complexes of feeling we are confronted by more than can be 
expressed by the simple pleasure-displeasure system, it is surely 
patent that this "more" must be contained in the elements of 
which those complexes are composed. A profound study of this 
problem gave rise to Wilhelm Wundt's tridimensional system of 
feeling, which is planned on the analogy of the tridimensional sys- 
tem of light and color sensations. 

This theory is so well known that I need not expound it here. 
Only my personal attitude towards it calls for a few words. I 
hold the elementary feeling, as it appears in the feeling-tone of 
sensation, to be essentially different from the sensation itself. 
In my opinion Wundt's tridimensional system is a grand attempt 
to emerge from the chaos of all the manifold and contradictory 
views about the domain of feeling, and to point out a new road for 
the forward march of investigation. The lasting value of this 
system lies, to my thinking, in the indisputable demonstration 
that the old pleasure-displeasure theory is inadequate. Its in- 
trinsic value will remain untouched, therefore, even if, as is prob- 
able, the further course of investigation should demand modi- 
fications as to detail. The conviction, however, that the problem 
of feeling can be solved only upon the basis of a multidimension- 
ality of the single feeling will, I believe, permanently hold its 
ground in psychology. Wundt worked out his system on the 
foundation of the newly acquired results of the expression method. 
I recall with pleasure, tinged with sadness, how, many years ago, 
in the pulse-curves of Sellmann's investigations, he demonstrated 
to me the correctness of his theory. 

Like Stumpf and Ziehen, Oswald Kiilpe and Edward Titchener 
are also amongst the opponents of Wundt's system of feeling. 
Both, alas, have been taken from us by premature decease. In 
Kiilpe's case, we cannot see whether he, in the further course of 
his work, even though not surrendering completely to Wundt, 
might not eventually have fought his way through to the accept- 
ance of the multidimensionality of the feelings. Certain passages 
in his works relating to the domain of feeling, as well as personal 
conversations which I had with this highly esteemed friend, lead 
me to believe that this would not have been impossible. 

Concerning the objections which Titchener has raised to Wundt's 
theory of feeling, I freely admit, amongst other things, that he is 
right in maintaining that the tone of feeling varies with the ex- 
tension of the spatial contents of sensation. In the case of colors 
I myself have frequently been able to furnish proof of this fact. 

F. KIESOW 101 

But it does not appear to me to follow that Wundt 's system of 
feeling is, as Titchener thinks, "illogical." Since Wundt took 
into account, in addition to the quality and intensity of the feel- 
ings, only their direction, he doubtless did so deliberately. Dura- 
tion represents the most general condition for every psychic ex- 
perience, consequently also for the experience of space. There are 
numerous experiences which contain nothing spatial, but there is 
no experience of space for which temporal duration is not a con- 
ditio sine qua non. Duration is, thus, the more general condition. 
This is the point of view which guided Wundt in working out the 
new theory of feeling. I am unable to see anything illogical in it. 

I must agree with Titchener's further objection that Wundt 
does not distinguish sufficiently between experiences which we 
call "calm" (Beruhigung) and "depression," but uses those ex- 
pressions synonymously. I notice this deficiency whenever I 
study Wundt's -theory of feeling. "Depression" is without a 
doubt, a composite process of feeling to begin with, a mood, if 
you will, and is certainly different from the experience which 
we call "calm." When we are depressed, we are not calm. Per- 
sonally, I use the term "calm" because it seems to me to be the 
more consistent. 

Our time does not allow us to discuss, point by point, the other 
objections which Titchener raises against the tridimensional sys- 
tem of feeling. I acknowledge, however, that they all seem to 
me of importance. I must add, nevertheless, that not only Kiilpe's 
objections but still more those of Titchener strengthen me in 
my conviction that the old pleasure-displeasure theory has not 
a wide enough outlook to embrace the variety of experiences of 
feeling. Only upon the foundation of the multidimensional sys- 
tem can the problem of feeling, so important for the comprehen- 
sion of our whole psychic life, be finally solved. To have proved 
this is Wilhelm Wundt's great achievement. There are, indeed, 
more elementary feelings than experiences of pleasantness and 
unpleasantness, whether we call them, with Wundt, "excitement" 
and "calm," "tension" and "relaxation," or otherwise. The 
great variety of expressions by which every language indicates 
the multiplicity of experiences of feeling is indeed proof of it. 
It is at this point that we must begin afresh. All the results ob- 
tained up to the present must be taken into consideration and 
the elementary feelings arising in every separate field of sensation 
must be compared with one another by that method, first of all, 
which Wundt has aptly called the method of impression. 

Investigation on these new lines will eventually settle the ques- 
tion whether the terms applied to the several experiences of feeling 


are to be looked upon as class-concepts, or whether all feelings 
belonging to one category are all exactly like one another. To a 
certain degree the question is independent of whether we shall 
recognize a unidimensional or a multidimensional system of feeling. 
The supporters of the unidimensional system would formulate it 
thus: Are there different pleasantnesses and unpleasantnesses or 
are all feelings of pleasantness and unpleasantness alike? This 
apparently simple question is hard to answer. Without venturing 
to give a positive answer, I confess that I incline to the opinion 
that the latter is not the case. The feeling of pleasure which I 
experience in tasting a sweet solution appears to me, for example, 
to be qualitatively different from that which arises in me at the 
sight of colors. But, as I say, many accurate experiments are 
necessary before this question can be finally settled. 

With respect to the method of expression, which obtained its 
name from Oswald Kiilpe, the many carefully controlled experi- 
ments which were conducted according to it have so far led to no 
uniform results. On the contrary, the discrepancies in the results 
of the several investigators have been extraordinarily great. We 
conclude from this that not all the experiments were carried out 
under the same conditions, and it may be asked whether this be 
really possible. We must always remember, when registering the 
pulse, the breathing, the blood-pressure, etc., that these processes 
are not given to us in order that we may learn from them without 
further effort the laws to which the domain of feeling is subject, 
but that we possess in them merely motor reactions in the ser- 
vice of the physical organism. These very complicated physio- 
logical processes are therefore only concomitant phenomena. And 
the question with which we are confronted can be this only: To 
what degree is a constant relation between psychic experience and 
its expression demonstrable under perfectly definite psychic and 
physiological conditions? If this preliminary question is not 
finally settled, we shall not be able to rely absolutely upon the re- 
sults obtained by means of the method of expression. In the 
experiments conducted in my institute upon this question, we 
have found that the pneumogram in general reveals more in this 
respect than the sphygmogram. Dr. Ponzo, for instance, has 
for many years worked at the task of rendering possible, under 
the most diversified conditions and under the most absolute ex- 
clusion obtainable of all easily arising sources of error, the recog- 
nition of the expression of simple will-processes in the breathing- 
curve., He decided to begin his work not with the simple feelings 
but with simple will-processes, because the latter are more easily 
controlled by the expression method, and because their expression 

F. KIESOW 103 

appears more distinctly in the pneumogram. I cannot go into 
the details here, but in general I may say that, upon the basis of 
Ponzo's experiments, we are compelled to recognize the subjection 
to definite laws of the expression of the will-factor in the breathing- 
curve. This induces us to hope that eventually the expression 
of simple and of composite feelings may be recognized in a 
more unequivocal manner than has been possible heretofore. 
Ponzo's numerous works are, for the most part, published in the 
Archivio Italiano di Psicologia. Personally, I remain convinced 
that the methods of measuring blood-pressure may also be used 
for such purposes to great advantage, but my experience goes to 
prove that the corresponding instruments need improvement for 
very exact determinations. 

I will not enter into the question of the processes in the brain 
which underlie the feelings. On this subject nearly every psy- 
chologist has still his own particular hypothesis. Perhaps we 
may hope that exact observations in pathological cases may 
throw new light upon this unexplored field. 

Respecting the question discussed by the older authors and 
again in modern psychology, whether in the development of the 
living being the sensations or their feelings be primary, I can say 
only that the experiments which I have performed upon little 
children lead me to conclude that in human beings both phenom- 
ena appear together from the very beginning, and I may add that 
my microscopic observations of lower forms of life tend to show 
that, even in these, sensations do not seem to arise without a tone 
of feeling. All these various observations have led me to look 
skeptically upon the theory according to which sensations have 
developed out of feelings. 




Vassar College 

In what sense, and for what reasons, do emotions paralyze 
thought; and when and why, if ever, do they aid it? These are the 
questions which in the short time at my disposal I am not, indeed, 
hoping to answer adequately, but on which I wish to offer a few 
reflections. The reflections will be made from the point of view of 
a motor psychology whose main assumptions I will ask you for the 
time to accept. 

The first assumption is that while consciousness exists and is not 
a form of movement, it has as its indispensable basis certain 
motor processes, and that the only sense in which we can explain 
conscious processes is by studying the laws governing these under- 
lying motor phenomena. The second assumption is that the motor 
accompaniment of thinking, as distinguished from sensation, 
consists of slight, incipient or tentative muscular contractions, 
which if fully performed would be visible or audible reactions to a 
situation, but which as only tentatively performed are a kind of 
rehearsal of the reactions. They may also occur unconsciously. 
Both full and tentative movements may be organized into systems, 
which may be of movements either simultaneously performed, as 
when we play the piano with both hands, or successively performed, 
as when we repeat a phrase; they may also either be steady tonic 
muscular contractions, such as are involved in maintaining an 
attitude (these I have called static movement systems), or involve 
actual change of position (these I have called phasic movement 
systems). All association of ideas and thus all thinking involves 
on this hypothesis the organization of tentative movements into 

But the word thought may be used in two senses. It may mean 
reverie or undirected thinking, or it may mean thinking directed 
towards a problem or purpose. In the first case, each idea suggests 
the one that follows it, but here its influence ends and our thoughts 
wander: A suggests B and then is forgotten, while B suggests C 
without aid from A. In the other case, that of directed thinking, 


a long series of ideas is governed by the idea of an end, problem, or 
purpose, and irrelevant wandering thoughts are inhibited. Now 
the third main assumption that I shall ask you to bear in mind is 
that the peculiarly persistent influence of the idea of an end or 
purpose as compared with that of ordinary ideas is due to its 
association with a persistent bodily attitude or static movement 
system which I have elsewhere called the activity attitude. I have 
said of this attitude that "in its intenser degrees it is revealed to 
introspection as the 'feeling of effort/ 1 . . . Introspection 
further indicates that it is not due to shifting innervations but 
to a steady and persistent set of innervations. It appears from 
introspection, also, to be in its intenser forms a bodily attitude 
involving a kind of tense quietness, a quietness due not to relaxation 
but to a system of static innervations." Through the inherent 
and characteristic persistence of the innervations involved in 
the activity attitude as members of a static movement system, the 
innervations connected with the problem situation may exert the 
long enduring influence which is characteristic of directed thinking. 
This theory holds that "the motor innervations underlying the 
consciousness of effort are not mere accompaniments of directed 
thought, but an essential part of the cause of directed thought' ' a 
proposition that has recently received support from the results of 
experiments by A. G. Bills, 2 indicating the impossibility of thought 
during complete muscular relaxation. 

The motor theory under consideration thus bases all thinking on 
the occurrence of tentative movements, and bases directed thinking 
on the occurrence of a persistent motor innervation here called 
the activity attitude. Whatever interferes with tentative move- 
ments will inhibit all thinking; whatever interferes with the activity 
attitude will inhibit directed thinking. The tentative movements 
underlying thinking are, it is reasonable to suppose, chiefly those 
of the smaller and more delicate muscles of the body, such as those 
of the eyes, the fingers, and above all the muscles involved in 
speech. For it is impossible that the large muscles, say of the arms 
and legs, should be capable of enough variety of movement to 
supply the multitude of differing movements needed to form the 
basis of ideas. In the activity attitude, on the other hand, it is 
largely the trunk muscles that are concerned, as may be introspec- 
tively observed in its intenser form, the feeling of effort. 

While the assumptions about thought which have just been 
outlined may not command assent, we shall all agree in the follow- 

1 Movement and Mental Imagery (New York, 1916), pp. 161-2. 

2 "The Influence of Muscular Tension on the Efficiency of Mental Work," 
American Journal of Psychology, XXXVIII (1927), 227-251. 


ing statements about emotion. An emotion occurs in a situation 
of vital significance to the organism; primitively, perhaps, the 
flight, fighting, or mating situations. In such a situation, the 
possibilities of response may be divided into several classes. First, 
there may occur adaptive movements of the striped muscles, 
adequately meeting the situation: movements of flight, fighting, or 
mating. Secondly, there may be non-adaptive movements of the 
striped muscles. Some of these, like human facial expressions, are 
survivals of movements formerly adaptive, or adaptive under 
conditions somewhat but not wholly similar. But the most striking 
instance of non -adaptive movements is constituted by what may 
be called the motor explosion : the kicks and screams of the baffled 
child, the curses and furniture abuse of the baffled adult, the wild 
expansive movements of extreme joy. A motor explosion tends 
to happen when adaptive response is impossible. Thirdly, there 
may occur internal changes produced through the sympathetic 
and glandular systems. 

On a motor theory, the question as to when and how emotion 
will interfere with thought becomes the question as to which of the 
various things we do in an emotional situation are likely to inter- 
fere with the things we do in thinking. Which will tend most to 
interrupt the tentative movements underlying ideas and the ac- 
tivity attitude underlying directed thinking: adaptive striped 
muscle reactions, non-adaptive striped muscle reactions, or 
visceral reactions produced through the sympathetic and endocrine 

Clearly, one motor process can interfere with another only 
when it is physically impossible for the two movements or attitudes 
to occur together, as for example it is impossible to raise and lower 
the arm at the same time. Nothing can interfere with a movement 
but another movement. The motor theory would go farther and 
say that when one nervous process inhibits another, it must be 
because the two are connected with incompatible movements. 
Further, what is true of single movements is true of their com- 
binations: whenever two movement systems are simultaneously 
stimulated, if one contains a movement incompatible with some 
movement in the other, the systems cannot be simultaneously 
performed and will tend to inhibit each other, unless, indeed, they 
become smaller by dropping out the incompatible elements. The 
functioning of such smaller movement systems may be regarded 
as responsible for dissociation, and a tendency toward it as char- 
acteristic of those individuals whom we call hysterics. 

We may turn, then, to the first type of response possible in 
an emotional situation, namely, adaptive movements of the 


striped muscles. Will these be incompatible with thought? It 
is obvious that one motor process will be more likely to disturb 
others, the more muscles it involves, that is, the more wide- 
spread its distribution over the body. Now definitely adaptive 
movements of the striped muscles, as compared with the non- 
adaptive motor explosion, will as a rule involve only definitely 
demarcated groups of muscles, and these will be for the most part 
the larger muscles those of the limbs. Thinking, on the other 
hand, is, according to the hypothesis here adopted, based chiefly 
on contractions of small muscles capable of a large repertory of 
different movements. Stratton 3 reports the case of an aviator 
who, during a tail-spin fall of four thousand feet, made all the 
movements needed to remedy the trouble with his plane and 
straighten it out, while experiencing a series of intensely vivid 
mental images from his past life, beginning with childhood. These 
images, on the theory here presented, would be based on tentative 
movements in certain muscles, which were evidently not incom- 
patible with actual movements in the other muscles needed to 
meet the emergency. Stratton deduces from this and other similar 
cases that it is only the intenser degrees of emotion which inter- 
fere either with coordinated action or with thinking. It is true, 
however, that the more serious the situation which excites emo- 
tion, the more extensive the adaptive movements are likely to be. 
Thus one fighting situation may require only a short, well-directed 
attack, while another demands a desperate struggle calling into 
play all the body muscles, and, by virtue of the alert watching 
of the enemy 's movements needed, many of the smaller ones. 
Except in extreme cases, however, adaptive movements, it would 
appear, need not interfere with thought. 

What, now, is the relation of thinking to the second type of 
response in an emotional situation? The motor explosion or non- 
adaptive striped muscle response has been often overlooked by 
psychologists. For example, Wechsler 4 divides emotional reac- 
tions into "choc' 9 or visceral responses and "behavior reactions," 
which involve orientation to the stimulus, thus ignoring the 
motor explosion, which is neither visceral nor oriented. Yet it 
is really an important and interesting phenomenon. As we have 
noted, it occurs when adaptive response is impossible. This is 
usually because such responses are repressed either by external 
force or by internal inhibitions, as in impotent anger. The case 

3 G. M. Stratton, "An Experience during Danger and the Wider Functions of 
Emotion," Problems of Personality (New York, 1925). 

4 D. Wechsler, "What Constitutes an Emotion?" Psychological Review, XXXII 
(1925), 235-240. 


of the motor explosion resulting from joy, by the way, is a curious 
one. People do, of course, all sorts of wildly irrelevant things in 
extreme joy. Now here adaptive response is impossible not be- 
cause it is being prevented, but because it is non-existent. There 
is nothing one can do in joy that has any essential appropriateness 
to the situation, in the way that knocking a man down has essen- 
tial appropriateness to anger. Joy represents not a situation 
where something needs to be done, but the release of energy that 
has been occupied in long-continued tensions, which, since it has 
no pre-ordained channel, diffuses itself into many channels. 

There is high probability that the motor explosion, in which 
any and all muscular systems, including those of speech, may take 
part, will interfere with thinking, if thinking has any motor basis 
at all. A man in a wildly gesticulating, vociferous fit of rage has 
no muscles left at liberty to think with. In its milder form, the 
motor explosion is identical with general restlessness, which 
also involves a wide range of muscles, although in less violent 
contractions. And it should be noted that a motor explosion may 
occur in the form of tentative rather than actual movements. 
In such a case, I would suggest, it forms the basis of the experience 
of mental panic. When no adaptive movement is possible, there 
may occur impulses towards all kinds of non-adaptive movements; 
these tentative movements in all directions may well produce 
the effect of making our brains whirl, as we say, and would evi- 
dently through their widespread character be antagonistic to 
clear thought. 

Thirdly, will the visceral reactions, those dependent on the 
autonomic and glandular systems, interfere with thinking? Why 
should they, on a motor theory of thought? If thinking is based 
on movements and attitudes of the striped muscles, nothing can 
interfere with it but antagonistic movements and attitudes of 
these muscles. And the internal changes produced through the 
autonomic and endocrine systems do not involve striped muscles. 
May we not say, then, that visceral changes per se cannot dis- 
organize thinking? 

Visceral changes have, however, indirect effects upon the ex- 
ternal muscles. Cannon has pointed out their important influence 
upon adaptive responses; the pouring of sugar into the blood, 
the neutralizing of fatigue poisons, the checking of digestive 
processes all serve the purpose of producing more powerful reac- 
tions of an adaptive nature, for instance, movements of fighting 
or flight. Such movements, as we have just seen, are not neces- 
sarily incompatible with thought. What, now, is the relation of 
non-adaptive movements to visceral changes? Since non-adaptive 


movements are in themselves useless, and since, as we have seen, 
they are likely to interfere with thought, have such movements 
any function, or shall we class them with nature's superfluous 
products? We seem to "feel better" after them! Pascal and 
Davesne 5 in a recent article suggest that the non-adaptive move- 
ments called "tics" are useful in preventing the emotion from 
invading the " vegetative" or visceral plane, that is, the autonomic 
and endocrine systems; the more the emotion discharges into 
motor paths the less it goes into visceral paths. Various writers 
imply that the organism seeks to avoid the visceral discharge; 
why should it be avoided? The normal function of discharge 
into the autonomic and glandular level is to aid the performance 
of adaptive movements. Should these be interfered with either 
the visceral discharge is worked off in motor explosion, or it 
remains in the organic level. And according to Cannon, 6 "if 
these results of emotion and pain are not 'worked off* by action, 
it is conceivable that the excessive adrenin and sugar in the 
blood may have pathological effects." When, then, adaptive 
movements remain blocked, it is probably for the safety of the 
organism that the visceral processes should work themselves off 
in a non-adaptive motor explosion. And so they have indirectly, 
though not directly, a disturbing influence on thought. 

When and how does emotion aid thought? There is time for 
only a few reflections on this topic. 

It is a well-known fact that emotional states may function as 
the associative links between ideas, thus forming what in the 
Freudian terminology are called complexes. Thinking of this 
type, however, is highly inefficient, and emotion cannot be said 
to do thought any service in thus binding together what might 
better be left separate. Another type of thinking which may 
occur along with emotion is, as we have seen, dissociated thinking, 
made possible by the shrinkage of movement systems so that in- 
compatible movements are dropped out. MacCurdy, 7 in his 
Psychology of Emotion, regards such subconscious and co-conscious 
ideas as forming the very essence of affect, the conscious aspect of 
emotion. It is, naturally enough, from pathological cases that he 
draws the evidence for his statement that "the quality of the 
affect is determined by the sum total of unconscious complexes 
that are activated, and may therefore have an infinite variety." 

6 C. Pascal and J. Davesne, " Chocs 6motionnels, pathog^nes, et th6rapeu- 
tiques," Journal de psychologic, XXIII (1926), 456-487. 

6 W. B. Cannon, Bodily Changes in Pain, Hunger, Fear, and Rage (New York, 
1915), p. 196, note. 

7 J. T. MacCurdy, The Psycliology of Emotion, Morbid and Normal (New York, 
1925), p. 86. 


But again, emotion cannot be said to aid thought in thus permitting 
itself to be accompanied by dissociated ideas. 

Yet if thought has a motor basis, it must need some energy, 
and the visceral changes in emotion are supposed to supply an 
extra amount of energy; they should be able, therefore, actually 
to aid thought. According to the hypothesis here presented, 
efficient thinking requires two factors: a varied supply of tenta- 
tive movements to serve as the basis of ideas, and a persistent, 
tense attitude of the trunk muscles associated with some of these 
ideas to secure their influence during a considerable period. Now 
when the amount of extra energy generated in the visceral discharge 
is not too great, it may pass over into the tentative movements 
underlying ideas, so that their number and speed are increased 
and new combinations of them occur without the long effort of 
directed thinking. Experience shows that the flow of ideas is 
heightened by mild emotion. Moreover, a part of the emotional 
energy may, even in discharging through non-adaptive movements, 
relax an inhibition that has been repressing the flow of ideas. But 
the most important function of emotion in aiding thought will 
relate to the activity attitude. 

Directed thinking never occurs without a motive. Reverie, 
the drifting of ideas, may go on while we are indifferent, but if 
we suddenly begin purposeful thinking, it is because some affective 
process has been stirred up. And also, of course, because direct, 
external reaction to the stimulus that thus taps the storehouse of 
the organism's energy is blocked; if it were not blocked, there 
would be no need of thinking. Thus we have directed thinking as 
the outcome of the very type of situation that occasions emotion; 
but in directed thinking the energy thus set free and blocked finds 
its outlet in the tense quietness of the activity attitude instead of 
in the random and uncoordinated movements of the motor ex- 
plosion. The setting free of energy in the visceral levels, so far 
from being incompatible with thought, is necessary for directed 

Why does this energy sometimes discharge into restlessness and 
useless movements and sometimes into the attitude of tense quiet- 
ness? At least three factors seem to be concerned in the decision 
of this point: the amount of energy released by the situation, 
and the thresholds of discharge of the non-adaptive pathways and 
of the activity attitude, respectively. If the situation is desperate 
and the amount of energy set free is great, the tensely quiet atti- 
tude and the tentative movements of thought, requiring so little 
energy, will be inadequate outlets. But evidently the seriousness 
of the situation is not the only factor; in less desperate situations 


it will not always be the weaker desires that produce in a given 
individual directed, purposeful planning and the stronger ones 
mere restlessness. With a given amount of energy stirred up by 
the situation, certain conditions evidently open the pathways to 
diffuse discharge and block those to the concentrated tonic dis- 
charge of the activity attitude. One of these conditions is certainly 
fatigue. In fatigue* all muscles tend to relax, and the activity atti- 
tude, which involves steady and continued contraction of certain 
muscles, is more readily fatigued than is restlessness, which in- 
volves diffuse contractions followed by relaxations. Fatigue is in- 
volved also in another condition that determines whether we 
shall think or merely be restless, namely, the lack of ideas. No 
one can keep on trying to think on a subject of which he has no 
knowledge. In fruitful thinking, when out of a storehouse of 
information one relevant idea after another occurs to us, the 
activity attitude is refreshed by little relaxations along the way 
and fatigue is postponed. 

On the motor theory here suggested, emotion, then, interferes 
with thought only when the movements made in emotion are in- 
compatible with the movements and attitudes essential to think- 
ing. This will be most likely to happen when the energy set free 
by the glandular processes in emotion discharges into the diffuse 
and random movements of the motor explosion. Emotion will 
aid thought when conditions favor the discharge of this energy 
into the maintenance of a steady innervation of the trunk muscles, 
which is the basis of introspectively reported feelings of will, 
determination, activity, or effort, and which secures the steady 
influence of the idea of a goal. 


DR. DUNLAP (The Johns Hopkins University)-. Dr. Washburn's paper has given 
rise in me to some emotions which I hope will not interfere with my thinking. 
Before I take up the main point that I want to inflict on you in connection with 
this paper, I would like to say that I wish that Dr. Washburn's optimistic state- 
ment were true. I am afraid it is not. She said, "People cannot keep on trying 
to think about topics of which they have no knowledge." Would to God that 
were true! I don't know what would happen to much of our psychology if it were 

Some of these emotions were aroused by this fact, that I suppose I can say 
that Dr. Washburn and I are the pioneers in this movement on theoretical founda- 
tion of thought in motor processes. My own formulae were put forth before 
behaviorism had begun to behave, and I have deplored I suspect Dr. Washburn 
also has deplored the extremes to which the motor theory has been pushed in 
behaviorism. I feel that before the connection between thinking and emotion 
shall be worked out on the basis of the motor theory the motor hypothesis of 
thinking that hypothesis itself needs a great deal more elaboration and correction. 

In the first form I assumed I think Dr. Washburn still assumes, if I under- 


stand her paper correctly, as she did at the start that all thinking requires mus- 
cular contraction. The more I attempt to connect that theory with the actual 
facts of life and with the learning process, as we know it now from our laboratory 
work, the more improbable does that become. It is a serious question at present 
whether that theory can be still held. Experimental work now in progress in 
several universities bearing upon the particular point as to whether implicit reac- 
tionsI do not know whether Dr. Washburn would accept that behavioristic term, 
but it expresses the older view can be demonstrated as occurring in typical 
thought processes. These experiments must tell the tale, before we can go further. 

Personally I have had to modify my theory and assume that the thought 
processes during the learning period, during the period of modification, are motor 
in full. Muscular contractions are involved. I believe we can demonstrate many 
of the things Dr. Washburn has pointed out in connection with disturbances of 
the thought process in the incipient or learning stages. I have a suspicion that 
after thought has become crystallized, as it were, a great deal of our thought is 
routine thinking, even when it is highly efficient, that that stage has passed away, 
and that the muscular contractions are no longer needed. 

That is an experimental matter, a matter that will be experimentally deter- 
mined I am tolerably sure within the next five years, which is of vital importance 
in this matter which Dr. Washburn has brought up. 

There are one or two other things, if I may take a little of your time, which I 
would like to speak about. One is a minor matter with regard to the illustration 
which Dr. Washburn used, taken from Dr. Stratton's story of the aviator. I 
am beginning more and more to distrust all that type of evidence. It is a very good 
illustration of a very interesting type of evidence. From the point of view of 
dreams, I no longer believe people dream what they afterwards record. There 
is very strong evidence in dreams as recalled and in cases of this kind as recalled 
of illusions of memory occurring. Conditions are exceedingly favorable for a 
man afterwards speaking as if he did think so and so during that period, when 
he did not think it. All that is a very interesting type of evidence which requires 
scrutiny. It does not at all invalidate Dr. Washburn's illustration. 

I do want to ask Dr. Washburn whether in the present state of her views she 
is implying the peripheral doctrine or the central. It is a very vital matter con- 
cerning thinking in connection with emotions. 

Yesterday I was upholding the peripheral view. Dr. Cannon was upholding 
the central view if I understood him. Fortunately, I was all pepped up to discuss 
Cannon's paper last night, but unfortunately for me at least I could not get near 
enough to the stage to hear what he said. So that had to go by. So I may be 
forgiven for introducing something which has reference to both Dr. Washburn's 
paper and what I gathered yesterday and what better eared observers told me 
last night about Dr. Cannon's paper. 

The work which Dr. Cannon has been doing in determining the pathways 
through which the reflexes, or what I should prefer to call the transits, should 
go is one of the most important works of its kind that has been carried on for 
years. That as far as I see has no bearing on the James-Lange theory, on the 
peripheral theory, or the central. On either theory these transits must occur, and 
what we call the expressions of the emotions be produced. 

This question (whether or not in a pre-neurological state, that is, in our expe- 
rience when we do not try to associate things with the neurological machinery, 
whether they be produced as Descartes would have it by the process of discharging 
from the brain that is, innervation feelings in the old sense or whether they be 
like the perceptual parts of our experience due to the peripheral sensation of 
setting up complete new transits) is the issue on which we are divided the innerva- 
tion feeling, the Cartesian theory, on the one hand, and the James-Lange theory, 
which as a matter of fact neither James nor Lange believed, on the other hand. 


I am not sure whether Dr. Washburn is upholding here what I should call the 
James-Lange theory, that is, the peripheral view, or the central view. I am inter- 
ested in that. It is not, of course, essential to the point Dr. Washburn is making, 
but I am very much interested in whether she is assuming that this discharge of 
energy here again is a concept of a very dangerous sort, talking of energy as if 
there were a reservoir of it somewhere in the body, and all you have to do is to 
open a spigot to get it here, and if you do not open it, you get your pressure some 
place else, a dangerous metaphor, but not important in this particular discussion 
produces the external disturbance, which I would be willing to admit is not essen- 
tially visceral, and if in turn it produces the afferent impulse which leads to it. 

With regard to a point which I understand Dr. Cannon to have made concerning 
the peripheral theory, the very fewness of visceral sensory neurones is a point on 
which I have previously laid stress in connection with this theory as related to the 
other fact which I understand Dr. Cannon to bring up, i.e., that the analysis of 
the emotion into visceral and somatic components, if it can be so analyzed, has 
been strangely delayed in the light of the fact that the human race has been expe- 
riencing these emotions for a good many centuries. These things seem to be 
connected. The fact that we have not the apparatus receptorally for discrimina- 
tion viscerally as we have for discrimination tactually and visually and in an 
auditory way this fact contributes to the difficulty of analysis or identification. 

Secondly, the very enclosure of our viscera within our bodies prevents our 
making experimental determinations, which we make in our daily lives as children, 
varying the stimuli, so that we perform in the course of years an exact special 
localizing analysis through our external senses, which is impossible for the internal 
organs. That difficulty of analysis and the dependence of that analysis upon the 
development of refined experimental methods which have only recently, if ever, 
been developed, the fact that the human race would not be able to analyze these 
visceral contents, is exactly what we would expect from our psychological knowledge 
of the nature and conditions of analysis and localization of external factors, so that 
those factors fit together and fit in with the peripheral hypothesis. 

Again and I won't do any more of this retroactive talking just one more 
point. Suppose a person who had never heard any of the instruments of an or- 
chestra separately to be in a room through the window of which he might hear 
from time to time a splendid symphony orchestra playing. Would that man ever 
know analytically what that mass of sounds is composed of? No. We have every 
reason to believe, from what we do know of the psychology of massive experience, 
that he would never be able to analyze such experience into the sound of the flute, 
the harp, and so on. But somebody might, without acoustical experiments in 
the room, without the instruments, explain it to him. We have not been able to 
analyze this. We cannot stimulate them separately. We stimulate them only in 
large masses. We have had no experience in the elements, and only in the round- 
about way can we perform that analysis. 

But finally, with regard to that point of view, with regard to the introspective 
experiments with adrenalin, with regard to certain points in Professor Washburn's 
paper, what I have been trying to point out unsuccessfully yesterday and today 
is that an emotion is not just one limited thing. In fact if I were to say what I 
really think, without trying to exaggerate, not only is there no such thing as an 
emotion, there is no such thing as thinking, there is no such thing as perception; 
those are terms of our laboratories. There is no process separated from thinking. 
We have a much more highly integrated situation, in which, for the purpose of 
discussion, we omit certain fundamental facts and include others. Just as we say 
this light is the stimulus, when as a matter of fact it is not, but we use that term 
for the purpose of our discussion. 

Interference of thought with perception, interference of thought with action, 
is a much more complicated thing I imagine I am not criticizing Dr. Washburn, 


for she will agree uith me is a much more complicated matter than we might 
assume from Professor Washburn's brief discussion, that is, in no case is it true 
that we have an emotion as one set of processes, that we have thought as another, 
that we have perception as another. We have a single set of processes of a highly 
complicated order, in which we can artificially for convenience, and falsely if we 
are misled, distinguish this factor and that factor, which are distinguishable in 
thought, but never are actually separate. 

DR. WASHBURN: A great deal of what Professor Dunlap has said I agree with, 
more apparently than lie would have expected me to. There was nothing in my 
paper to indicate any hypothesis as to the basis of emotion as a conscious ex- 
perience. I did not say that emotion resulted from visceral processes. I said that 
in an emotion, among the other changes which occur in the body, were these 
visceral changes. So that all he has to say about the impossibility of analyzing 
the visceral processes, and so forth, is something with which I quite heartily agree, 
but which was not germane to the ideas which I was trying to put forward. 

The most important point, of course, at least the most important point to me, 
is the point Dr. Dunlap raised first, the fact that he is becoming convinced by the 
course of experiments that much of our thinking goes on without any motor 
accompaniment. Now, I believe I am quite prepared to find that experiments will 
fail to discover any motor accompaniment in a great deal of our thinking. But it 
seems to me possible, and in fact altogether probable, almost self-evident, that as 
the tentative movements in thinking become organized into systems some single 
slight movement may by association, by the ordinary associative processes, come 
to stand for, to act in place of, such an entire system. 

This is the whole process of symbolizing in thinking. If it is possible in ideas, 
I do not see why it is not possible in tentative movements. So that a motor process, 
accompanied by quite a complicated set of movements, may be reduced by habitua- 
tion to one physiological process represented by only some insignificant movements, 
which it might be impossible to demonstrate by the very rough apparatus which 
we still have at our disposal. 

PROFESSOR JAMES MELROSE (Milliken University} : I should like to ask on the 
same point Professor Dunlap raised and Dr. Washburn has just answered more 
specifically what is included in thinking as we have heard it used. Watson, for 
example, divides thinking into three parts: first of all, a mere rehearsal of long 
habits; secondly, thinking upon matters that are not new; and finally, thinking 
as applied to the solving of new problems. I wondered if it would not answer 
the question brought up by Dr. Dunlap if we confined the meaning of thinking 
arbitrarily to the last point. I wonder if he is thinking in the conception in which 
Dr. Washburn's paper was presented. 

DR. WASHBURN: I intended to refer to all thinking, but, since the last type of 
thinking is the type of thinking that is most truly thinking and that is not re- 
ducible to automatic habits, that is the type it seems to me which presents the 
most interesting problem, and virtually I would be willing to confine myself to 
that type because of that fact. That is practically the only type of thinking in 
which perhaps we really use ideas. 

PROFESSOR MELROSE: I have in mind, Mr. Chairman, that it has been, I think, 
proved by physiological test that in certain types of thinking there is no evidence 
of a large amount of metabolism, and consequently it would be difficult to find a 
large amount of concomitant bodily behavior. I wondered if, for example, certain 
types of thinking upon problems that were strictly theoretical (such as, for example, 
working upon the plans of a house that you might be intending to construct) 
would not have a considerable amount of motor activity, although you had no 
immediate motor problem; whereas, if you were thinking upon some line where 
for the most part you were thoroughly accustomed to the type of thought, the 
pattern of thought, and there was no motor action attendant at the time, would 
you have very much motor activity? 


DR. WASHBUKN: That would reduce to a place where the thinking had become 
so organized into systems of motor activity that one very slight movement might 
act as agent, so to speak, for the whole system. 

DR. PHINCE (Harvard University): Some facts occurred to me during the read- 
ing of the paper, and I wonder if Dr. Washburn will inform me about them and 
reconcile them with the motor theory of thought? These are facts which have 
grown up in pathological fields. Now we have certain types of paralysis in which 
all the muscles of the face are involved, particularly those of the tongue and palate, 
a type of motor paralysis. In that kind of paralysis the person is unable to use those 
muscles at all. and yet is able to think perfectly clearly. Their mental processes 
are not interfered with at all. If muscular movements or movements of those 
small muscles are required, why should it not interfere with continued thought, 
unless Dr. Washburn means that it is not necessarily action of the muscles, but 
the effort of innervation? 

Let us take the hypnotized subject, a subject that had been under observation 
for a long time, after coming out from that influence, after the amnesia or the 
hypnotic state. Now during the hypnotic state I taught her several characters 
of a shorthand of my own, which she could not possibly have known anything 
about. I taught her some of the characters. The experiment was one of sub- 
conscious perception. I taught her those characters. After she was awake I 
wrote in that polyglot shorthand of mine a phrase. I haven't a blackboard here 
on which I could write it or I would see how many here could translate it. I would 
be willing to give a dollar to a man who could translate it. And then I had the 
subject write the translation automatically with her hands and the hand wrote it 
out; mind you, she interpreted those characters or perceived them, thought them 
out, and wrote the translation with the hands, all of the time discussing with me 
other matters. Now, there was a matter of a mental process going on during the 
time of the experiment the subject was conversing with me. And it seemed that two 
kinds of thinking could go on at the same time. It does not matter whether one 
type is subconscious thinking or whether it is co-conscious thinking or what it 
may be. A mental process was going on, which is thinking. 

Now, what I want to know is, how it can be reconciled with the motor theory 
of thinking. 

Then take another test, one to which I referrred the solution of mathematical 
problems while the person is thinking about something else. You know we have 
lots of such observations in everyday life, that for example of the mathematician 
who had the solution of a mathematical problem pop into his head spontaneously 
while he was thinking of something else. There are a great many such cases. 
[ hypnotized the same subject and told her that when she was awake she was to 
solve a mathematical problem, to calculate the number of seconds intervening 
between certain hours. She would not know what the hours were until she was 
awake. When she was awake she did not know that any experiment at all was 
being done. So I arranged the experiment I will not go into the details of it. 
She subconsciously received the data and performed the calculation. The calcu- 
lation was made while the person was thinking about something else. Now, you 
have the facts. I won't take up more time. 



University of Michigan 

My intention is to make an analysis of the facts, so far as known, 
that throw light upon whether we may regard emotion as having 
any utility in the scheme of man, and, if we answer in the affirma- 
tive, to ask what that utility may be. It pretends to offer no new 
facts but merely to summarize and coordinate those that we 

The first step in the undertaking is to discover when and under 
what circumstances emotions occur. For its freedom from pre- 
supposition we may assume the behaviorist's attitude and study 
the conditions from their external side. We may assume that 
emotion accompanies only those types of behavior which have 
not been sufficiently automatized to be reflex. If that be true, all 
of the so-called instincts and instances of learned behavior would 
fall into one class of trial and error responses. If the situation be a 
new one, each response would be determined in the first place by 
the stimuli acting upon the organism and in the second place by 
the factors that selected one from among the various responses 
that resulted. In eating, for example, hunger, an internal stimulus, 
causes random movements that continue until food is found. 
When the food stimulus presents itself to taste, smell, or sight, the 
random movements are succeeded by the straight ahead eating 
movements. These continue until hunger is satisfied or the food 
is exhausted. 

Each type of response divides into these two parts : the initial 
stimulus that incites to random movements, and the terminal 
stimulus that puts an end to the random movements. Emotion 
attaches to both of these initial and terminal situations. If we are 
to consider its utility, we must keep in mind the two situations 
and recognize that the emotions developed in each are distinct in 
function, although in objective and subjective characteristics 
they may be identical. The stimulus that arouses any form of 
response for the first time nearly always has an emotional accompani- 
ment. If the stimulus is external and intense, the animal or child 
is either inhibited in all movements (paralysis or death-feigning 
response), makes a series of uncoordinated movements that may 


result in flight, or gives vent to more or less coordinated aggressive 
movements (defense movements) . The overt acts are accompanied 
by incipient movements and contractions of internal muscles and 
glands that constitute a large part of what we ordinarily call 
emotion. Classed largely according to the nature of the overt 
responses, we call these the emotions of fear if the reaction be of 
the first two types and probably anger if of the third. 

When the stimulus is internal, as in hunger, thirst, or sex, the 
movements are less vigorous although equally random in character. 
The animal merely wanders here and there until a new stimulus 
causes the responses necessary to satisfy or remove the inward 
disturbance. Similar random movements also arise when the 
animal is in good physical condition without particular external 
stimuli. These are the play movements. Here the emotion would 
be named largely from the nature of the internal diffuse movements, 
rather than from the initiating situation or the external response. 
In this group, too, we might have a condition of quiescence from 
slight stimulation, as in Watson's instance of the stimulation of 
the erogenous zone or in the cuddling of the kitten or child when 
stroked or lying against a warm or soft object. The emotion in the 
latter case would be very much like the ones that may present 
themselves as terminal stimuli. The external response or its lack 
is also the same. 

In this whole group the emotion would seem to have no direct 
utility. By emotion in this sense we need mean no more than the 
sum of accessory internal responses* the contraction of muscles not 
directly involved in the act, the contraction of the striped muscles in 
remote or neighboring parts of the body, the contraction of unstriped 
muscles active in respiration, circulation, digestion, and the secretions 
of glands, internal and external. With each type of stimulus some 
are increased and others are inhibited. They contribute to the 
mental state we call emotion if we are not behaviorists, and so we 
may consider them as the emotions if we are speaking as behavior- 
ists. How they help is still largely a matter of speculation. In the 
active movements, changes in circulation and respiration probably 
increase the energy of response. The adrenalin secretion has the 
same effect. Most of the other endocrines are top slow to be 
effective at the moment of action although their activity induced 
by earlier excitation may determine the type of response. O'Goni- 
gal has suggested that the thyroids, by their secretions, produce 
the condition in which strong stimuli will evoke the tetanic death- 
feigning response, while adrenalin prepares for the defense reactions 
of anger. Here the condition of the endocrines determines the 
type of response and so of emotion. The emotional responses 


connected with the initial stimulus and response further or check 
the response itself, and are useful to that extent. 

The emotions and affections connected with the terminal response 
are the fundamental determinants of animal and human conduct. 
With the exception of reflexes, all acts are developed from random 
responses, and responses continue until an emotional or affective 
condition puts an end to them. We say roughly that we keep 
trying until we find something that pleases us and then use that 
something, or stop. What shall please is the real determinant of the 
actions that we call instinctive or learned. This makes the hypothesis 
that all so-called instincts are trial and error responses different 
from ordinary habits in that the situations which arouse the 
responses are natural and of frequent occurrence and possibly 
become established with rather fewer responses than in the proces- 
ses that we call learning. What is inherited, and so the determinant 
of the instinct, is the factor that selects between the different 
responses to the initial stimulus. This many speak of as affection, 
Thorndike as satisfaction, but we must look more deeply into the 
process if we are to make any pretense of understanding it. 

Direct observation of the animal shows that the process of 
selection consists in little more than changing the random move- 
ments into a specific straight ahead one. The hungry rat runs here 
and there until he finds food. Then he begins to eat. The immedi- 
ate selection depends upon the acceptance of the odors and taste. 
Suitable appearance and odor start the eating. If taste confirms 
them when the substance is taken into the mouth, chewing and 
swallowing succeed. If not, they are ejected, as Lloyd Morgan 
reports for his chicks with caterpillars. Similar analysis might 
be made of the sex-determined random movements. Curiosity 
would be only slightly different in that the original movements 
may start with a stimulus that might make possible one of two 
different reactions. The movements of approach, tentative in char- 
acter, continue until they evoke movements of flight or use. These 
then replace the tentative movements. Objectively regarded, 
satisfaction is usually the substitution of a direct movement for 
a random tentative one. 

The exception is found when the animal merely becomes quies- 
cent in place of acting. This we see in the nestling of the tired 
animal into a smooth soft bed, or the cessation of movement in- 
duced by patting, by contact of the young with the mother or with 
other members of the species. We also have in this group the 
cessation of wandering when the social animal comes into a herd or 
group of its own kind. He wanders here and there when alone, but 
grazes calmly, lies down, or stands quietly when with others of the 


same species. The social approbation that is so effective in the 
learning of the child would have a marked effect in selecting 
the suitable random movement. This is the important factor in 
learning its native speech. The paralysis of movement that comes 
from social disapproval has an equally strong negative influence. 
At times, passive response may approach a positive character. 
Tolman, who has presented a somewhat similar analysis of instinct, 
suggests that the nesting of the bird follows somewhat this course. 
Building the nest seems to be in many species rather a random 
type of activity. The materials are gathered, we may assume, as a 
result of a general restlessness from internal stimuli, and are put 
together in a somewhat hit-or-miss way. When the pile takes a 
shape that will contain the eggs, it serves as a stimulus for laying 
the eggs; then eggs and nest together stimulate the continued 
brooding. Each of these types of response or quiescence constitutes 
the physical accompaniment of satisfaction. 

Accepting satisfaction ds fundamentally a straight away type of 
response, we still have the question as to why one situation gives this 
reaction while others do not. In answer to this we can do no more 
than point again to hereditary connection. The response is always 
evoked by a stimulus. All that we can say is that the nervous 
connections inherited by the animal are of such a character that 
he must respond as he does. The odor of meat starts the approach 
mechanism ; the odor of hydrogen sulphide, the withdrawal mech- 
anism; the taste of biscuit initiates in rat or chick the swallowing 
movements; the taste of quinine, the ejecting reactions. All de- 
pends upon hereditary connections, and these connections initiate 
reflexes on the same principle that what we called the initial 
stimulus evoked the random search movement or the withdrawing 
movements of flight. "Why" can only be answered in terms of 
evolution and natural selection. That the animal or man does 
have these fundamental forms of response is the beginning of our 
explanation of all action and of all learning. We cannot, however, 
explain why he has them. They must be accepted. The feeling 
processes can be derived from them; they cannot be explained by 
the mental states. 

If we reverse our question and ask to what the condition of 
satisfaction corresponds, we can answer only that it accompanies 
a straight ahead type of response, marked usually by approach 
and acceptance rather than rejection and flight. These straight 
ahead types of reactions are also accompanied by characteristic 
accessory responses, secretions of glands, normal peristaltic re- 
actions, and with slight and well-coordinated contractions of the 
striped muscles. These serve to color the responses subjectively, 


and are useful incidentally to the performance of the reactions. It 
is hard to see that they make any important contribution to the 
selective activity itself, except as they further the responses. 
This analysis would tend to put the pleasant affections and emo- 
tions in the class of accompaniments of non-inhibited or furthering 
activities of the neuro-muscular mechanism, while the unpleasant 
would fall under the head of contractions that were mutually 
opposing each other, the hindrance group. The difference would 
lie in that our description does not assume any direction or pur- 
pose in the response of the organism as does Stout's old statement. 
On the contrary, the animal when he makes his first response is 
driven by stimuli he knows not where, and he is stopped or his 
activities turned in another direction by new stimuli. Both 
responses are determined by the innate nervous connections acted 
upon by the stimuli. Pleasure, satisfaction, or emotion are to be 
looked upon as accompaniments not causes. 

Once this new connection is established between the original 
situation considered as stimulus and the new response determined 
by the terminal stimulus we have the beginning of learning. With 
repetition the activities that follow upon the original stimulus 
become less and less random, more and more direct, until with full 
learning the train of responses becomes unvarying. We need not 
go into the complexities of this problem, although learning is one 
of the functions that has been most frequently explained in terms 
of the emotional accompaniments. 

Learning would not take place without the direction given by the 
terminal stimulus, but it is the repeated arriving at the point where the 
terminal stimulus may act that makes learning possible, rather than^ 
the emotional accompaniments themselves. The controversies as 
to the learning mechanism revolve about how the separate links 
in the chain of acts that attain the end may be forged or eliminated. 
Each must assume that the separate acts all finally bring the in- 
dividual to the terminal stimulus. Without that stimulus to set 
an end to the random movements, no learning and no ordered 
action would be possible. The pleasant stimulus is more effective 
than the unpleasant because the pleasant begins a new series of 
acts which in the end remove the internal stimulus that produces 
the random movements, while the unpleasant merely drives the 
animal away and gives no conclusion to the drive. In a series of 
partial acts, however, the animal learns even more quickly to avoid 
an opening where it receives an electric shock than it does to 
take a path that leads to food. This, too, gives a new turn to the 
tentative movements, more strongly reinforced. 

If we admit that it is not the emotional accompaniment but the 


repetition of the terminal stimulus in succession to the original 
exciting stimulation that is responsible for learning, we still may 
ask whether the incidental contractions, the overflow phenomena 
that James would make the basis of emotion, have any effect upon 
the formation of the connection. On this point the evidence is 
conflicting, so far as there is evidence at all. It is probably true 
that many, if not most, stimuli that initiate a new line of reaction 
and so stop the random movements are accompanied by diffuse 
bodily responses. Even most stimuli that give reflexes that may 
be transferred to other stimuli by conditioning have this accom- 
paniment of non-essential responses. The meat probably arouses 
other overflow phenomena as well as the secretion of saliva. The 
sound of the bell need have no such effect. In the light reflex of 
the pupil, which Cason could transfer to a sound stimulus, there 
seems to be no necessary emotional accompaniment. There is no 
reason for assuming that the connection depends upon these 
added contractions and not upon the simultaneous occurrence of 
the two stimuli, even if we assume that they always accompany the 
reflex to be conditioned. It could be interpreted to mean only 
that any stimulus strong enough to produce a reflex that could 
be conditioned would also be strong enough to arouse the wide- 
spread incidental contractions. 

Again, after the connection has been established between the 
exciting situation and the terminal stimulus and response, one 
tends to arouse the other. How this is brought about is not easy 
to investigate in the animal. In man, however, and here we must 
abandon the behavioristic assumptions, the situation at once 
recalls memories of the old terminal responses, or ways of elimi- 
nating the unpleasant present conditions. These memories have 
their emotional attachments, due in part at least to the actual 
rearousal of striped and unstriped muscular and glandular re- 
sponses. The drive, if we may use Woodworth's terms, is not 
merely the neuro-muscular tendency to make random movements, 
coupled with the unpleasantness of the present stimulus, but has 
added to it the memories of old satisfactions with their pleasant 
emotional accompaniments. Even if there is nothing in the 
present situation to suggest where the old alleviating stimulus 
could be found, the memory that it has been found spurs to greater 
effort for the random movements and keeps one on the qui vive 
for the random thoughts that might solve the difficulty. It also 
serves to select from the ideas those that are more promising and 
reserves them for actual trial. 

Here again the question arises whether the choice is in terms 
of pleasure or of emotional and affective phases in general. A 


better case can be made for this than for the statement that 
pleasure determines the selection of the original terminal stimulus. 
The pleasure comes, in fact, with the thought and before the 
actions begin. If, however, we are to keep to a parallelistic as- 
sumption and have only physical processes modify other physical 
processes, obviously not pleasure but the physical conditions that 
give rise to pleasure would be the determining and inciting force. 
The stimulus that arouses the memory, either directly or through 
the associative paths that evoke the memory, would also give us 
the overflow innervation of glands, and the preparatory activities 
of muscles. The hormones from the ductless glands would energize 
the nervous and muscular mechanism, in general; the activity of 
the nervous system would prepare specifically for the activities 
that had previously been useful. To these we must look for the 
real determinants, although the accompanying emotional and 
ideational experiences stand out introspectively as the incentives 
and constitute the drives of our conscious life. 

Again, we have the fact that stimuli and situations, by virtue 
of what the behaviorists call conditioning or the more classic 
group were content to designate association, tend to become 
connected with innumerable other experiences and objects, and 
the emotion that attaches originally to each of these becomes 
transferred to the first in addition to the innate characteristics 
and accompaniments. No one would dare to say how much of 
the emotion aroused by a picture, by a human face or form, or 
even by simpler objects is an immediate natural or innate ac- 
companiment and how much has been attached to it incidentally. 
Here the psychoanalyst would translate all to one type, but we 
need not accept his extreme assumptions to see the importance 
of transfer. The network of interrelations is so complicated that 
it almost justifies us in agreeing with our friends of the Gestalt 
school that we must think of the pattern as making the elements 
that compose it rather than having the pattern develop from the 
arrangement of the elements. It is this maze of cross-references 
that obscures the explanation and makes it impossible to dis- 
tinguish betw r een the inherited determinants of action and learn- 
ing, the fundamental feelings and emotions, and the adventitious 
additions. These again, however, are derived from other inherited 
affective responses. They merely attached originally to other 

One might point out, although there is no space to develop 
it, that, even in the animal, where we have no introspective 
evidence, there must be similar neurological organizations that 
change the latent response in terms of wider interconnections. 


We assume no consciousness attaching to them, but in man it is 
not consciousness but the neural organization that is affective. 
They would undoubtedly be accompanied by all of the diffuse 
muscular and glandular reactions that we appreciate in man. 
If we come back to our special problem, to what end the emo- 
tion as such? We must answer: it is everything or nothing ac- 
cording as we define it. If we look at the matter in the rough, we 
can assert confidently that all learning, all of what w r e call instinct, 
except the vanishing portion that can be ascribed to chain re- 
flexes, is determined by affection or emotion. That alone puts an 
end to random responses and so selects the particular response 
that shall be learned. If, however, we ask how the selection takes 
place, we find that, so far as analysis can be pushed, the actual 
mechanism of selection is nothing more than starting a specific 
definite response in place of the earlier random ones. If you reply 
that this is not affection or emotion but merely a reflex, we must 
admit it. The only physical accompaniments that could be called 
emotion or affection are the diffuse neuro-muscular and neuro- 
glandular discharges, and we know little as to what use these may 
have. They can be shown in certain cases to intensify the original 
reaction, and we may speculate that they make more easy the 
establishment of connections between stimuli, but of this we 
know little definitely. It is entirely probable that they have an 
important function and that only our ignorance prevents our 
describing it. This paper will have attained its purpose if it 
stimulates investigation of the detailed mechanism by which this 
effect is exerted. 




University of Geneva 

The psychology of affective processes is the most confused 
chapter in all psychology. Here it is that the greatest differences 
appear from one psychologist to another. They are in agreement 
neither on the facts nor on the words. Some call feelings what 
others call emotions. Some regard feelings as simple, ultimate, 
unanalyzable phenomena, similar always to themselves, varying 
only in quantity. Some, on the contrary^believe that the range 
of feelings includes an infinity of nuances, 'and that feeling always 
forms a part of a more complex whole, in exhibitioner in condition. 
Certain psychologists regard physical pain and moral pain as 
identical, while others separate them by calling one a sensation, 
the other an emotion. Some regard pleasure and pain as two 
phenomena, antagonistic but of the same kind, while others de- 
scribe them as entirely heterogeneous. A number of pages might 
be filled by simply enumerating the fundamental differences. 

These differences are increased when one passes from one 
language to another, since the lack of agreement about the facts 
is then complicated by lack of agreement about words. What 
French word is the exact equivalent of the word feeling? Does 
Gemutsbewegung correspond exactly with emotion? And what 
equivalent does one find from one language to another between the 
words AJfekt, Gefuhl, passion, douleur, pain, affection, etc.? 

If we survey the problems which are presented by affective 
psychology, we shall bring to our attention the extent of the field 
to be covered. Some of the problems follow: 

1. The specific character of feelings and emotions. What is it 
which distinguishes them from other psychological phenomena? 

2. Variety of affective phenomena. Are there several kinds of 
simple feelings? How many kinds of emotions are there? 

3. Are all feelings located on a single bipolar line running from 
pleasure to pain, or are certain feelings located outside this line? 
Or do feelings, indeed, arrange themselves in a figure of several 

4. What relations exist between feelings and emotions? 


~s. y ~- 


5. Genetic origin of feelings. Have they the same origin as 
sensations, and are they distinguished only by a secondary dif- 
ferentiation, or are they, from the beginning, phenomena distinct 
from sensations and irreducible to them? 

6. What are the physiological concomitants of feelings and 
emotions? Relations existing between these phenomena and the 
sympathetic nervous system and internal secretions. 

7. Do feelings of the same sort vary in themselves only in 
intensity, or do they perhaps vary in other directions different 
from intensity, as, for example, according to "depth." 

8. Does a true affective memory exist? (Or do affective 
memories constitute an actual revival of feelings or emotions?) 

9. What are the relations between feelings and other related 
phenomena need, interest, desire, will, character, temperament? 

10. Pathology of affective phenomena. R61e of the affective 
phenomena in the production of nervous or mental diseases. 

11. Relations between affective and intellectual phenomena. 
Role of feeling in normal thought. Role of feeling in the formation 
of concepts (for example, the concept of "danger/* of "beauty," 
etc.). Affective logic. 

12. Biological significance and general functions of affective 
phenomena. Affective dynamics. 

I make no claim to have given here a complete list of the prob- 
lems which present themselves. Each of the problems enumerated 
implies a number of others, arid, in proportion to the new researches 
which are conducted, new problems will arise. However, I believe 
that it will be in the interest of the progress of affective psychology 
if psychologists can make clear among themselves the fundamental 
problems which are to be solved. 


It is always advantageous, in my opinion, when one wishes to 
study a psychological phenomenon, to begin the approach from 
the functional angle; in other words, before trying to analyze it in 
detail under a strong magnifying glass, as it were, to examine it 
rather less enlarged, in order to take account of its functional 
value, its general part in conduct. 

If we apply this principle of method to the study of affective 
phenomena, we ought to commence by asking ourselves: Of what 
use are feelings? Of what use are emotions? And, if this way of 
speaking should be found too finalistic, one can say: What are 
the situations in which feelings and emotions intervene, and what 
is the role played by these phenomena in the conduct of the 


It cannot be denied that the functional point of view has shown 
itself fruitful in psychology. Let us recall Groos's theory of play, 
which has shown the value of play in development, and the 
Freudian concepts, which have considered mental maladies from 
the point of view of their functional significance. I myself have 
considered thus sleep, hysteria, and also intelligence and will. 
Without doubt, the functional study constitutes only an introduc- 
tion to a more complete study. Nevertheless, it has no slight 
value in making clear the path to follow. 

The functional point of view then places the emphasis on con- 
duct. Functional psychology demands less what the phenomena 
are, then what they do. It is thus closely related to behaviorism. 
It is clearly distinguished from it, however, since that which in- 
terests it is conduct, its laws, its determinism, and not the method 
by which one pursues the study of these laws. It is of very 
little importance to it whether these methods be objective or 

Let us observe another advantage of the functional point of 
view: it brings to our notice problems which otherwise would not 
have been raised. 


From the analytical point of view, feelings and emotions are 
distinguished with difficulty. One needs but to open any book on 
psychology to see the confusion which reigns in this subject. Let 
us see if the functional point of view permits a clearer delineation 
of the two groups of phenomena. 

Suppose we ask ourselves: Of what use, in everyday life, are 
feelings, and of what use are emotions? We are immediately 
tempted to give to these two questions very different answers: 
Feelings are useful in our conduct while emotions serve no purpose. 

We can, in fact, very easily imagine a man who would never 
feel an emotion, who would never experience a crisis of fear or of 
anger, and who would be none the less viable. But we cannot 
imagine a man deprived of feelings, of that range of affective nu- 
ances which permit him to estimate the value of things to which 
he must adapt himself, who would not distinguish between what 
is good for him and what is detrimental to him. 

Observation shows us, on the other hand, how unadaptable 
emotional phenomena are. Emotions occur precisely when 
adaptation is hindered for any reason whatever. The man who 
can run away does not have the emotion of fear. Fear occurs 
only when flight is impossible. Anger is displayed only when 


one cannot strike his enemy. Analysis of bodily reactions in 
emotion points to the evidence that one does not make adaptive 
movements but, on the contrary, reactions which recall the 
primitive instincts. (Darwin has also shown this.) Far from 
being the psychic side of an instinct, as McDougall teaches, emo- 
tion represents on the contrary a confusion of instinct, "a mis- 
carriage of instinct," as .Larguier des Bancels has said. And, 
as in emotion, we can prove not only the vestige of the ancestral 
reaction but also the confusion or insufficiency of the acquired 
reaction, so we can, perhaps, with more justice define emotion 
as a "miscarriage of conduct." 

The uselessness, or even the harmfulness of emotion, is known 
to everyone. Here is an individual who would cross a street; if 
he is afraid of automobiles, he loses his composure and is run over. 
Sorrow, joy, anger, by enfeebling attention or judgment, often 
make us commit regrettable acts. In brief, the individual, in 
the grip of an emotion "loses his head." 

Emotion, from the functional point of view, appears to be a 
regression of conduct. When, for one reason or another, the normal 
correct reaction cannot be made, then the opposite tendencies 
borrow the primitive ways of reaction. And these primitive reac- 
tions, rudiments of reactions formerly useful, may be contractions 
of the peripheral muscles as well as phenomena vascular, inhibi- 
tive, secretory, visceral, etc. Perhaps some of them have no 
biological significance (e.g., tears) and result only in the propaga- 
tion of a nervous impulse which has not found its normal issue. 
Everyone has noticed that one weeps more easily in the theater 
than in real life, although in the theater one knows that the 
scenes in which one is taking part are fictitious, but in the theater 
the normal reactions are prevented from occurring. 

And again, in these cases one can attribute to these phenomena 
a secondary function of discharge, an appeasement of the nervous 
system unduly excited. 1 


The James-Lange theory is the only one, to my mind, which 
explains the existence of specific bodily phenomena in emotion. 
In regarding the bodily phenomena as the result (and not the 
cause) of the emotion, the old theories made the emotion an 

1 If organic phenomena are the bases for all emotions, it does not follow that all 
organic phenomena cause emotions. It is probable that many physiological phe- 
nomena (internal secretions, vasomotor modifications, etc.) are compensatory reac- 
tions of regulation, the function of which is to repair the disturbance caused by 
the emotion. 


entirely enigmatic process. Moreover, facts of great importance 
speak in favor of the James-Lange theory: the suppression of 
the emotion by the suppression of the peripheral phenomena 
according to James's observation; and also the production or the 
facilitation of certain emotional states by the consumption of 
poisons, alcohol, coffee, hasheesh, etc. 

The peripheral theory of James and Lange raises, however, 
a very great difficulty. Why, if the emotion is only consciousness 
of peripheral changes in the organism, is it perceived as an "emo- 
tion" and not as " organic sensations"? Why, when I am afraid, 
am I conscious of "having fear," instead of being simply con- 
scious of certain organic impressions, tremblings, beatings of the 
heart, etc.? 

1 do not remember that anyone has sought until now to reply 
to this objection. However, it does not seem to me that it should 
be very difficult to do so. The emotion is nothing other than the 
consciousness of a form, of a "Gestalt," of these multiple organic 
impressions. In other words, the emotion is the consciousness 
ofa global attitude of the^ organism. 

TThis"~confused and general perception of the whole, which I 
have formerly called "syncretic perception/' 2 is the primitive form 
of perception. In the case of emotional perception, we know well 
that it is more useful to know the total attitude of the body than 
the elementary sensations composing the whole. There must be 
for an individual no great interest in perceiving the detail of 
internal sensations. What is above all important to an organism 
is action; the question then is whether it is aware of the general 
attitude it is showing to the environment. As to the "internal 
sensations," their perception results especially from a theoretical 
interest, and perhaps, before there were psychologists in the 
world, each internal sensation, each kinaesthetic or muscular 
sensation was not, as such, an object of consciousness. 

Many of the impressions which we receive are interpreted 
differently according to the direction of our interest. This is 
particularly true for tactile impressions, which sometimes are 
perceived as objective, sometimes as subjective. The experiment 
is very easy to make. Put your hand on the table. The same 
tactile impression is apperceived, according to the direction of 
your attention, sometimes as a "tactile sensation," sometimes as 
"a hard object," a table. If, at that moment, your interest is 
turned to yourself (for example, in the course of psychological 
experiment on tactile sensations), you feel your hand, but no 
longer the table. 

2 Archives de psychologic, VII (1908), 195. 


It is the same thing in the case of emotion. When you are angry, 
turn your attention to the kinaesthetic sensations in your clenched 
fists, to the trembling of your lips, etc., but then you have no 
longer the consciousness of anger. Or permit yourself to become 
absorbed in your anger; but then you no longer experience dis- 
tinctly the trembling of your lips, your pallor, or the isolated 
sensations arising from the different parts of your contracted 
muscular machinery. 

What the consciousness seizes in emotion is, so to speak, the 
form of the organism itself that is to say its attitude. 

This peripheral conception which regards the emotion as the 
consciousness of an attitude of the organism is, besides, the 
only one which can take account of the fact that the emotion 
is immediately, implicitly "understood" by him who experiences 
it. The emotion contains in itself its significance. As far as we 
can judge by external observation or by our own memory, a child 
who for the first time experiences a great fear or a great joy or 
falls into an excess of anger understands immediately what has 
happened to him. He does not need experience to understand 
successfully the meaning of this explosion of his organism, as he 
does to understand the meaning of impressions which come to 
him by sight or by hearing, impressions which do not possess any 
immediate and implicit significance. But what is meant by "un- 
derstand"? Does not the "understanding" consist essentially 
in the assuming of an attitude with respect to an object? If this 
is so, it is not astonishing that emotions should be implicitly 
understood, since they consist in the assuming of an attitude 
toward a given situation, this assumption of an attitude being 
itself due to hereditary and instinctive causes. 

These last remarks allow us to understand not only how anti- 
biological but also how antipsychological the "central," classic 
concept of emotion is: "we tremble because we are afraid, we 
weep because we are sad, we gnash our teeth because we are 
angry." This concept is antibiological because it does not allow 
any significance to the organic reactions and because it makes these 
primitive reactions, evidently of reflexive or instinctive nature, 
the result of a purely intellectual perception, of a judgment which 
can be formulated as follows: The situation in which I find myself 
is dangerous or terrifying (fear) or it is sad (sorrow) or it is provok- 
ing to me (anger), etc. 

This concept is also altogether antipsychological. It implies in 
fact that we can, by a simple intellectual perception of a situation 
in which we find ourselves, call it "dangerous," "terrifying," 
"sad," etc. But "dangerous," "sad," etc., are not conscious- 


nesses which are given us by means of the external senses, as are 
color or temperature. It is we ourselves who color the things or the 
external situations, by projecting into them the feelings which they 
arouse in us and which they excite by producing a reaction of our 
organism. A large dog or the dark is found terrifying by a child 
because they have aroused in him the reactions the consciousness 
of which is what we call "fear." 

To say, as the classic theory does, that a situation arouses fear 
because we judge it to be terrifying, is either not to explain why we 
find this situation frightening, or to revolve in a vicious circle. 

Indeed, how does an individual "comprehend" that a situation 
is "terrifying"? To comprehend, we have said, is to take an 
attitude toward things. To understand that a situation is "dan- 
gerous," "frightening," is to take, with regard to this situation, 
an attitude of flight or of protection. But this attitude of flight 
or of protection is precisely what is at the basis of the emotion of 
fear. In other words, to say with the classic theory that a situation 
makes you afraid because it is terrifying is to say that it makes you 
afraid because it makes you afraid. It is only revolving in a 
circle ! 


We say that the emotion is capable of giving a significance to the 
situation which it arouses. This assertion demands examination. 
For, if the emotion is a deficiency in conduct, a poorly adapted 
act, how can it give a true meaning of things? 

It must not be forgotten, however, if the emotion is an objec- 
tively poorly adapted act, it represents none the less a total of 
reaction having a biological significance. To an objective mis- 
adaptation may correspond a subjective significance. The attitude 
taken by the organism is without efficacy on the surrounding 
environment. It is none the less comprehended by itself; that is to 
say, it orients itself in a certain definite direction. 

I believe that, in order to explain the paradox of an unadapted 
act which plays, nevertheless, a useful role for one cannot deny 
that fear, shame, sorrow, joy have great importance in the life of 
man it is more simple to make the following hypothesis. The 
emotion is a mixture of adaptive reactions and unadaptive actions, 
of which the proportions vary. The more the emotion takes 
the form of shock, of explosion, the more important is the share of 
the misadaptation as compared with that of the adaptation. 

Considered from the point of time, the two parts of the emotional 
phenomenon habitually succeed one another. Sometimes the 
emotion begins with a shock, with unadapted reactions, which 


little by little readjust themselves toward a useful behavior. 
Sometimes on the contrary, the useful adaptation delineates itself 
at first, and if it is hindered in its termination, it is followed by an 
emotional explosion. Does not the observation of emotional 
phenomena in everyday life show us the presence of these two forms 
of affective processes? 

That the emotion, when it is an explosive phenomenon, is not 
capable of influencing behavior usefully, seems to be shown by the 
following example, taken from among many others. 

Here are two individuals passing through a forest at night. One, 
of emotional character, feels violent fear. The other remains 
calm. They have to return another time, also at night, through 
the same forest. The frightened man will take precautions. He 
will carry a weapon, take with him a dog. The second will not 
modify his behavior. It is without doubt the affective experience 
of the first journey through the forest which has later modified 
the behavior of the first traveler. We can, nevertheless, ask 
whether it is the emotion, as such (considered as a disorder of the 
reactions), which has made this modification in the ulterior conduct. 
We can very well indeed imagine a courageous man who, in passing 
through this forest, ascertains that this crossing is not without 
danger, and makes this decision without feeling the least emotion of 
fear. His subsequent behavior will be, however, modified in the 
same manner as that of the man who was afraid; he takes with 
him a weapon, a dog. The comparison of the two cases shows that 
the fear as such has not played the role which it seems to have 

What then has happened to the brave man? The crossing of the 
gloomy forest has excited in him diverse reactions of attention, of 
eventual defense; it has determined, in a word, an attitude of 
"being on his guard. " Is it not the perception of this attitude 
which constitutes the " consciousness of danger"? And can one 
not say, in the case of the man who is afraid, that it is this attitude 
of precaution which has modified his subsequent behavior in a 
useful way? This attitude was blended with the emotion or 
alternated with it, and one can say that it is not because of the 
emotion but in spite of it that the behavior has been happily 

Do not these reflections lead us to admit, besides the emotions, 
reactions which are distinguished from them by the fact that they 
are, themselves, adapted, and as a result capable of orienting 
behavior usefully. These reactions, these attitudes, and the 
consciousness that the subject possesses of them, we group 
together under the name of feelings. 


Besides the emotion of fear, we should have then the "feeling of 
fear/' which it would be better to call "feeling of danger" and 
which would consist of the consciousness of the defensive attitude. 
Besides the emotion of anger, there would be the "feeling of anger," 
which it would be better to call "combative feeling" and which 
consists of the consciousness of the offensive attitude and the 
attitude of combat. Besides the "emotion of shame" which 
seems to me to be a "miscarriage" of the instinct to hide oneself 
there would be the "feeling of shame, " which betrays the tendency 
to hide from the sight of others. 

For the emotions of joy and sorrow, the corresponding feelings 
would then be the pleasant and unpleasant, pleasure and pain, as 
described by current psychology, and also would be only the 
consciousness of an attitude of the organism, an attitude positive 
or negative with respect to the present situation. Only, in the 
case of the pleasant and the unpleasant we have the case of 
particularly obscure phenomena, which represent surely a very 
primitive phase of the organic attitude, that phase in which the 
humoral processes still predominates over the nervous processes. 

The concept which I have outlined seems to me to give an account 
of the various facts, and presents certain advantages, which I 
shall enumerate. 


Our concept permits of a reconciliation to a certain extent of 
the peripheral theory with the current concept of emotions. 

It is true, as the current concept affirms, that often fear does 
not arise in us until after we have first had a consciousness of 
the danger of the situation in which we find ourselves. Only, 
this consciousness of danger does not consist, as the classic theory 
supposes, in a purely intellectual judgment. According to our 
theory, it results in a "feeling of danger." Let us say then that 
the emotion of fear follows the feeling of danger; it follows if we 
cannot flee or protect ourselves in an effective way, for the normal 
unrolling of behavior is then substituted a miscarriage of behavior. 
In its principle this way of looking at it, however, is profoundly 
different from the classic theory, since it considers that neither 
the emotion nor the feeling of danger is awakened immediately 
by the perception. The reactionary processes always intervene, 
as indispensable to the development of the affective phenomenon. 
It is the awakening of this process which warns us of danger. 
The emotion, then, appears only as a special phase of the reac- 
tionary process. The primitive reactions are substituted for the 


adaptive reactions when these are prevented from terminating 
in an act. In cases where the emotion appears quickly, as when 
we jump at a sudden noise, the James-Lange theory in its ordinary 
form retains its full value. 

The following schema shows the theories about emotions, 
and will make more clear what we understand by them: 

Classic Theory Perception Emotion Organic Reactions 

James-Lange Theory Perception Organic Reactions Emotions 

Modified Peripheral Perception Attitude (of flight), Feeling 

Theory (of danger) Organic Reactions Emotion (fear) 

Flight without Perception Attitude (of flight), Feeling 

Emotion (of danger) Flight 


Our concept also enables us to render account of the infinite 
variety of affective phenomena, feelings, and emotions. If the 
whole affective phenomenon is subjectively the consciousness 
of an attitude and objectively this attitude itself, we can conceive 
how infinite is the possible range of all of the attitudes. Even 
attitudes orienting themselves in the same general sense (for 
example, in the sense of the agreeable) can, nevertheless, differ 
between themselves in the relation of the quality, since these 
attitudes can be very different in form. 

We now understand why the range of affective phenomena is 
indeed richer than a thory would foresee which, as that of 
McDougall, would relate each emotion to a definite instinct. In 
the first place, these are not emotions, but feelings (as those of 
danger, of aggression, etc.) which correspond to actual instincts. 
In the second place, as there are more affective nuances than 
definite instincts, one is obliged to admit that feelings may some- 
times have for organic base reactions or attitudes intermediate 
to two or more instincts. 

The concept here presented also permits us to understand that 
feelings and emotions are distinguished not only by their quality 
and their intensity, but also by their depth. The pain which a 
pin-prick causes me may be much more intense than the pain 
which is produced by the news of a shipwreck of a boat full of 
passengers, but the latter is assuredly a deeper pain. One may 
suppose that this "depth" corresponds to a supplementary 
arousal of certain reactionary systems. Perhaps, however, once 
admitted that feelings of the same kind can differ among them- 
selves in the relation of the quality, the depth resolves itself 
simply into a question of quality. 



A peripheral theory of feeling also explains the kind of im- 
mediate comprehension which we have of feelings a compre- 
hension of which I have just spoken above with reference to 
emotion. All affective phenomena have for us not only a content 
but a value. While blue or red has for us no immediate value, 
no implicit meaning, pleasure and pain have a value, an inborn 
value. It seems that, in the affective consciousness, we are 
the beneficiaries of a really transcendental revelation. How can 
a little infant, just born, or a caterpillar on a leaf know that this 
is good and that that is bad; and how, receiving only subjective 
impressions, do they behave as if they know the objective value 
of impressions of good and bad? Here we have material for fine 
metaphysical discussions. For us psychologists, the mystery 
resolves itself remarkably as soon as we consider that if feeling 
has, to consciousness, a subjective value, it is because it 
corresponds, in behavior, to an attitude, to reactions, which have 
an objective value. The value perceived by consciousness corre- 
sponds to the value for life, for conduct. And one cannot go farther 
in the way of explanation, if one holds to the principle of psycho- 
physical parallelism. 


Our theory of feeling has also this advantage that it gives a 
place to intellectual feelings. The term V intellectual feeling" 
has not a very definite meaning. In his Psychology of Feeling, 
Ribot includes under this name only surprise, astonishment, 
curiosity, doubt. Other authors add to these the general feeling 
which we have of the movement of our thought, of its success, 
or its impotence. To my mind, one can go much farther, and 
include among the intellectual feelings all those elements of 
thought which James calls transitive and which are not represen- 
tations: conformity, implication, congruity, certitude, probability, 
and those thousands of relations which we have expressed in the 
words but, if, and, why, after, before, the thoughts which we express 
by the words future, past, conditional, negation, affirmation, etc. 

William James has very well seen all this. "If there be such 
things as feelings at all, then, so surely as relations between 
objects exist in rerum natura, so surely and more surely do feelings 
exist by which these relations are known. There is not a con- 
junction or a preposition, and hardly an adverbial phrase, syntatic 
form, or inflection of voice, that does not express some shading 
or other of relations which we at some moment actually feel to 


exist between the larger objects of our thought. . . . We 
ought to say a feeling of and, and a feeling of ?/, a feeling of but, 
a feeling of by " 

It is very curious that so illuminating a passage of William 
James, which contains in all its essence a fruitful psychology of 
thought, should have remained almost a dead letter for psychology. 
This results, no doubt, from the fact that psychology, under the 
reign of the associationist doctrine, has remained very definitely 
closed to biological thought, which alone, to my mind, is capable 
of rendering it fruitful. 

It must be noted, however, that Ribot, in all his work, has 
insisted on the role of movements and of tendencies in behavior. 
To him, thought brings itself at last to account in movement. 
But even he has not seen the consequence which can be drawn 
from this concept, being in part fascinated by associationism. 
However, in his Evolution of General Ideas (1897, p. 94), he rallies 
to an opinion derived from the linguists the opinion according 
to which the prepositions and the conjunctions express move- 
ments. "The consciousness of these movements, " says Ribot, "is 
the feeling of the different directions of the thought." 

In my Association of Ideas (1903), where I have strongly com- 
bated associationism, I have revived James's idea and sought 
to develop it in biological terms. I consider here all intellectual 
feelings as corresponding to adaptive reactions or to attitudes 
of the organism. " Cannot the body/' I say (p. 317), "be also 
the source of those numerous ideas which do not correspond, it 
is true, to anything in the external world which is capable of 
making an impression on the senses, but which can indeed be 
nothing other than the consciousness of the reactions of the body 
with regard to its environment?" I have applied this point of 
view to the "comprehension" which brings itself back to an 
adaptation, and have considered the feeling of comprehension 
as "the consciousness of the more or less complete adaptation 
which is produced." With respect to the consciousness of rela- 
tions, "it suffices," I say (p. 369), "to admit a different reaction 
according as the relation perceived is a relation of identity, of 
resemblance or of equivalence, of possibility or of necessity, 
of affirmation or of negation, etc. . . . And, in fact, we 
do not behave the same with two things when they are different, 
or similar, or simply equivalent." 

We well perceive, when we see someone gesticulating as he 
speaks, that all thought is doubled by a moving manifestation. 
One can say that to think is to gesticulate internally, to outline 
the acts which the thought prepares and coordinates. This con- 


cept, I repeat, is the only one which takes account of the r61e 
of thought, of its dynamism. But the psychology of thought, 
in developing with the Wtirzburg school towards pure intro- 
spection, has lost at the same time its explicative value. For, 
whatever may be the descriptive value of phenomena, like Be- 
wusstheiten or Bewusstseinslagen, one must agree that the descrip- 
tion of these states does not explain at all how they influence 
in an adequate way the course of thought and of behavior. This 
is, by the way, what Binet has recognized in an excellent article, 
where he also brings together the "mental attitudes" of emotion 
and feelings. 3 

If one considers all intellectual feelings to be the outlines of 
actions or of inhibitions, all is clear, since one can understand how 
movements can influence the one over the other, reinforce, oppose, 
or modify themselves in their respective directions. 

There remains, however, one difficulty that is to know why, 
while emotions and ordinary feelings seem to us to be "states 
of our self," the intellectual feelings appear to be objective. 

But is this exact? Very many intellectual feelings, such as 
certainty, doubt, affirmation and negation, logical constraint, 
etc., can indeed, according to circumstances, according to the 
direction of our interest at the particular moment, appear to us 
as objective or as subjective. On the other hand, are ordinary 
feelings really always subjective? We know how they easily 
objectify themselves. The aesthetic emotion objectifies itself in 
the beautiful, the emotion of disgust in the repugnant, etc. We 
say that an event (objective) is sad, joyous, shameful, comic, 
or disagreeable. When we declare that a task is painful, we 
place the pain in the task or in ourselves according to the context 
of our thought. 

To my mind, the subjectivity or the objectivity of a content 
of consciousness is always the result of a secondary process, 
depending on the acquired experiences. In the beginning, our 
states of consciousness are neither objective nor subjective. They 
become little by little the one or the other according to the 
necessity of our adaptation to our physical or social environment. 


The functional concept developed above permits us to state 
what distinguishes feeling from internal or organic sensations, 

8 A. Binet, "Qu'est-ce qu'une Emotion? Qu'est-ce qu'un acte intellectual?'* Uannie 
psychologique, XVII (1911), 1-47. Cf. also M. F. Washburn, "The Term 'Feeling/ " 
Journal of Philosophy, Psychology, and Scientific Methods, III (1903), 62-63; E. B. 
Titchener, Experimental Psychology of the Thought Processes (New York: Macmillan, 
1909), p. 176. 


notably the sensations of hunger, thirst, fatigue, or synaesthesia. 
Often this distinction is not made, and people generally speak 
of the "feeling" of fatigue or of hunger. 

To my mind, the sensations of hunger, of thirst, of fatigue 
(and perhaps one might add to these those of pain) have no value 
in themselves; they are phenomena which derive their value 
only from attitudes, tendencies, movements, which they in- 
stinctively arouse, and it is the instinctive reactions which confer 
on them their value for the behavior of the individual. But 
these instinctive reactions are nothing other than the basis of 
feelings: feelings agreeable or disagreeable, of desire, of need. 

The internal sensations are then states, contrasting with 
feelings which are attitudes. The internal sensations inform us 
about such and such states of our organism as our external senses 
inform us about such and such state of the surrounding environ- 
ment. But it is by virtue of these feelings that we can estimate 
the vital value of the organic sensations. 

If we seek to represent to ourselves in a purely physiological 
way, in making abstractions from consciousness, the function 
of the stimulations corresponding to internal sensations, and 
the function of the attitudes corresponding to the feelings, it 
is easy for us to see the functional difference between the two 
orders of phenomena. The stimulations have value for behavior 
only in so far as they determine the attitudes or the movements 
of the organism. One can, with different stimulations, obtain 
identical attitudes (as, for example, in the experience of Pavlov's 
conditioned reflexes). This shows us that the stimulation of 
an internal origin has something of the accidental with relation 
to the attitude while the attitude represents itself a vital value, 
because it is already an outline of behavior. 

Feelings express in some way a relation. The relation between 
such a situation or such an object and our welfare (or, what comes 
to the same thing, the attitude which we should take with regard 
to it). The physiological basis of this relation is the attitude 
itself. Feeling is the consciousness of this attitude. On the con- 
trary, sensations give us only the objects with regard to which we 
should take an attitude. In the cases of internal sensations, as 
those of hunger, of thirst, of fatigue, the object which they give us 
is our own body. It is through the relation to its own state that our 
body can take a certain attitude. We understand that we have 
here a very intimate relation between internal sensations and 
feelings, since they have this in common that they both have 
their source in our body. But this does not prevent us from 
distinguishing them very well from the functional point of view. 


They are opposed the one to the other, as a reaction is opposed to 
the object which has aroused it. 

I have spoken about the fact that internal sensations correspond 
to our needs. What is the internal sensation of kinaesthetic 
nature, such as tension or relaxation, excitement or depression, 
which Wundt regards as of an affective nature? To my mind, the 
same observations can be made here that I have made just above. 
These phenomena are, on the one hand, sensations, or, on the 
contrary, feelings, according to the context in which we examine 
them. When we examine them in themselves, as states of the 
organism, they are sensations, objects, which can be agreeable or 
disagreeable. When we examine them as dependent on the situa- 
tion which arouses them (an exciting situation, or one calling for a 
lensiori, etc.), they become feelings. In other words, considered 
? as evaluated objects, they are sensations; considered as instruments 
of evaluation, they are feelings. 


In everything discussed above, I have taken the point of view of 
psychophysical parallelism. However little satisfying parallelism 
is, perhaps, from the point of view of philosophy, it is none the 
less the only position tenable by psychology which would be based 
on biology. 

Although parallelism forbids us to set ourselves the question of 
the usefulness of consciousness as such, it does not prohibit us 
from setting the problem of the becoming conscious of mental 
phenomena. This becoming conscious, like the loss of conscious- 
ness of a phenomenon, is a purely empirical question. From the 
point of view of parallelism, indeed, an organic phenomenon 
accompanied by consciousness differs from a purely automatic 
phenomenon. To the fact of being "conscious" corresponds a 
special physiological process. Let us suppose (a rough hypothesis 
to fix our ideas) that this special process should be a cortical proc- 
ess. We could ask ourselves why, in certain cases, a process which 
has not been cortical becomes, at a certain instant, cortical (i.e., 
why a process which has not been conscious is, at a certain 
instant, the object which has been seized by consciousness). 

I formulated some years ago in the following way the law of 
becoming conscious. 4 "The individual becomes conscious of a 
relation the more tardily as his behavior has earlier and longer 
implied the automatic (instinctive, unconscious) use of this 

4 Archives de psychologic, XVII (1918), 71. 


One can, to simplify the language, call this change from the 
unconscious to the conscious of a given phenomenon mentalization. 

It is necessary to say one word here about the menialization, 
the capture of consciousness, of affective phenomena. 

The function of affective phenomena is a function of regulation. 
This regulation consists in the attitudes which the organism takes 
with respect to the stimuli (internal or external) which reach it. 
But we can ask: Since these attitudes are of instinctive nature, 
why are they conscious? Why do they not all take place in a 
purely automatic fashion? Why this mentalization of affective 

Of course, we can readily imagine an automatic regulation and a 
purely objective valuation of stimuli; we establish this in a large 
number of organic processes of assimilation, nutrition, secretion, 
digestion, etc., where substances are selected, rejected, received 
all this in a purely instinctive and unconscious manner. But the 
point in question here concerns those functions which are accom- 
plished in a uniform manner. Mentalization has evidently for 
its function the enabling of the individual to cope with new 

The mentalization of affective phenomena has the same source 
as the mentalization of other psychological phenomena, namely, 
sensations (which one can also imagine acting under the form of 
purely physical stimuli). I cannot enter here intQ this interesting 
question. Becoming conscious seems to be the result of a mis- 
adaptation before which the individual finds himself. In the face 
of new circumstances his habitual automatisms no longer adapt 
him, and then it is necessary that he should "be conscious " of the 
situation in order to be able to adjust to it by new means. In the 
work of readjustment the mentalization of affective phenomena has 
evidently the advantage of permitting a comparison of the values 
considered, of associating feelings with certain representations, of 
establishing certain concepts (as danger, kindness, etc.), of grant- 
ing, in a word, to thought its exercise of a role of anticipation of 
movement. Feeling has, for conduct, a functional value analogous 
to that of meaning (concept) : it is an instrument of adjustment. 
But there are still many obscure points to elucidate in detail. 

I have been able in these pages only to touch on the large 
subject which was proposed. I hope that I have shown by some 
examples the fruitfulness of the functional point of view applied to 
feelings and to emotions. 




Northwestern University 

The first unambiguous statement of a functional theory of 
the emotions with which I am acquainted was made by John 
Dewey in two articles appearing in the Psychological Review in 
1894 and 1895. 1 In 1895 S. F. McLennan advanced a similar 
theory as an independent discovery. 2 Although the functional 
theory has had some currency in recent times, it has not, I am 
convinced, attracted the attention to which by reason of merit 
it is entitled. I propose in this paper: (1) to restate the theory in 
its most elementary form; (2) to develop certain of its implica- 
tions; and (3) to suggest how, following the lead of this theory, 
we may discover an experimental approach to the study of the 
emotions that holds promise of profitable development. 

First, then, to state the theory. I am going to borrow for this 
purpose the language of J. R. Kantor, who, in the second volume 
of his Principles of Psychology? gives us an excellent presentation 
of the functional theory exclusively, of course, in terms of be- 
havior. I would not be understood to subscribe unreservedly to 
all that Kantor has to say about the emotions, but his identifica- 
tion of the emotional states seems to me essentially sound. 

"Emotional behavior," he tells us, "consists essentially of interruptive forms of 
action stimulated by rapidly changing circumstances and in all cases involves 
various slight or intense general organic and visceral processes. 

"Probably the most obvious observation made in studying emotional conduct 
is that the primary occurrences in such action are the confusion and excitement 
which disrupt the behavior that ordinarily takes place when the emotion-exciting 
stimulus appears. When we attempt to describe the specific characteristics of 
an emotional act we are profoundly impressed with this condition of disrupting 
chaos and inhibition of action. We may look upon the emotional person as one 
who is practically paralyzed for a moment; he appears to undergo a dissociation 
of his reaction systems, so that he remains powerless and helpless until his re- 
sponses are reconstituted. This reconstitution may be superficially described 
as a refocussing of the person toward some definite object. Essentially, emotional 
conduct is a momentary condition of 'no response,* since there appears to be a 

1 "The Theory of Emotion," Psychological Review, I (1894), 55S-569; II (1895), 

2 "Emotion, Desire, and Interest: Descriptive," Psychological Review, II (1895), 

8 Chapter XVI, pp. 1-25. 

D. T. HOWARD 141 

complete cessation of all directed responses to surrounding conditions. In point 
of fact, it is this disruptive chaos which definitely distinguishes the milder emo- 
tional activities from the numerous classes of affective or feeling behavior to which 
they otherwise display a striking resemblance. 

"In detail, it might be pointed out that emotional conduct consists of a definite 
type of failure to perform an expected form of adjustment or adaptation upon the 
basis of surrounding conditions and the individual's reactional biography or 
previous behavior history. Whenever it is possible for the person to make the 
expected or necessary response to the stimulating condition, there is no emo- 
tional disturbance." 

Now a theory of this type, presupposing as it does an organism 
in process of adapting, and a stasis or disruption of the adjustment 
activities as the occasion of emotion, is intelligible only in the light 
of evolutionary conceptions. The organism, an individual entity, 
must be able to adapt itself to the changing circumstances of its 
environment if it is to preserve its integrity of life and action. We 
find, accordingly, that organisms which survive and prosper and 
secure for themselves the fullest range of action and mastery are 
quick and discriminating in their adaptive reactions, resourceful 
in the face of difficulties. So much is elementary. But the 
theory has still another implication which is too often neglected. 
A distinction is to be made between two types of adaptive reac- 
tion. There is a form of organic adaptation brought to its 
highest perfection in the social bees and ants which is reflex, 
routine, automatic, or predetermined by habit patterns in the 
nervous system. There is another kind of adaptive reaction that 
is plastic, built up to meet the peculiar requirements of novel 
situations, essentially creative and spontaneous. No psychologist 
may call himself a functionalist who has not grasped the reality 
and the significance of the latter form of adaptive reaction. 

Dewey first insisted upon this distinction, and its implications 
have been developed by many of his colleagues. Permit me to 
quote briefly from the writings of B. H. Bode. 

"Is that noise, for example, a horse in the street, or is it the rain on the roof? 
What we find in such a situation is not a paralysis of activity, but a redirection. 
The incompatibility of responses is purely relative. There is indeed a mutual 
inhibition of the responses for hoof -beats and rain, respectively, in the sense that 
neither has undisputed possession of the field; but this very inhibition sets free 
the process of attention, in which the various responses participate and cooperate. 
There is no static balancing of forces, but rather a process in which the conflict 
is simply a condition for an activity of a different kind. If I am near a window 
facing the street, my eye turns thither for a clue; if the appeal to vision be elimi- 
nated, the eye becomes unseeing and cooperates with the ear by excluding all 
that is irrelevant to the matter in hand. In this process the nervous system 
functions as a unit, with reference to the task of determining the source and 
character of the sound. This task or problem dominates the situation. A voice 
in an adjoining room may break in, but only as something to be ignored and shut 
out; whereas a voice in the street may become all-absorbing as possibly indicating 


the driver of the hypothetical horse. That is, the reason why the conflict of re- 
sponses does not end in a deadlock, but in a redirection, is that a certain selective- 
ness of response comes into play." 

When the individual confronts a situation to which he is not 
habituated, to which no pre-organized response is forthcoming, 
the internal conflict or disequilibrium that results immediately 
arouses a secondary, indirect process by which the stimulus is 
reconstituted, the disorganization overcome, and a response 
prepared that is suited to the occasion. Such secondary, recon- 
stitutive activities are what we know in humans as mental, con- 
scious, or attentive processes; they are non-habitual, creative, 
emergent. In calling these processes secondary, I mean that they 
involve the preparation and guidance of reactions, and do not 
themselves involve direct responses to stimuli. Perhaps, also, 
the statement that they occur upon occasion of the failure of 
automatic and habitual responses may mislead some into sup- 
posing a real disjunction between the secondary and primary 
activities of the organism. It is probable, on the contrary, that 
the secondary processes are constantly operative, in waking life, 
to maintain the organism's equilibrium of action. For the sec- 
ondary or consdoiis. ..processes are just the equilibrium-main- 
taining activity of the organism itself. - 

The functional theory would hold, then, that emotion occurs 
upon the occasion of the disruption of these secondary, reconsti- 
tutive activities. A conflict is set up with which the equilibrium- 
maintaining process is unable to cope, and unity of thought and 
action is lost. Let me illustrate. I, a greenhorn, walk one bright 
and balmy day through the woods and suddenly meet with 
a large grizzly bear. The perception of the bear begets, first of 
all, an impulsion towards response. But, as common sense has 
it, I "do not know what to do" I have no habitual modes of 
response to uncaged grizzlies. The organism is thrown out of 
equilibrium. A secondary process of adjustment starts up, but 
explodes under the impact of conflicting reaction tendencies. A 
disruption occurs I "go to pieces," "lose my head," and am "un- 
able to pull myself together" or "collect" myself, and stand 
trembling and helpless with fright. But old Leatherstocking, an 
experienced woodsman, meeting a grizzly under similar circum- 
stances, calmly sizes up the situation, and reacts effectively. He 
is so habituated, and has such resources in the way of response 
patterns, as to be able to devise a new mode of response, if old 
ones will not serve, to meet the needs of the situation. 

All of the grosser emotions can obviously be similarly described. 
Rage, for instance, is a state of disruption. The individual "flies 

D. T. HOWARD 143 

to pieces," quite literally. He finds himself in a situation to which 
he cannot adapt himself effectually, which baffles his efforts at 
control. His mental processes disintegrate under the effort to 
secure adjustment. In the resultant state of confusion reflex 
or habitual responses, under the impact of accumulated energy, 
may fly loose and get out of control too often with disastrous 
results, as every prize fighter knows. Anger is thus a sign of fail- 
ure, an evidence of maladjustment. 

In the disruptive state called emotional the victim can be 
said, in one sense, "not to know what to do." The bear is too 
much for him. He has no ready-made responses to draw upon, 
and too little resource in the way of reaction patterns to enable a 
reconstitutive process to build up an appropriate response. From 
another point of view the victim can be said to think of too many 
things to do. For, upon sight of the bear, he tends simultane- 
ously to yell, to climb a tree, to run away, to throw a stone, to 
grasp a club, and what not. All of these impulses seek motor 
expression, get jammed in the process, and the result is a state of 
discoordination. Accompanying this disruptive condition we 
have those strange visceral and vegetative phenomena commonly 
recognized as characteristic of the emotional condition. I will not 
attempt any account of them, since they have been described by 
many competent investigators. 

Some years ago, in an effort to make an objective experimental 
study of the mental processes, I constructed a rather elaborate 
apparatus and designed a series of studies from which we secured 
some results that seemed to us highly interesting. Some of them 
were not at all anticipated. It was my desire to create for the 
subject problematical combinations of stimuli, to which he could 
not have been accustomed by practice, and to which he could not 
respond in habitual modes. The subject was to react to visual 
stimuli by pulling levers and pushing pedals. He sat on a stool 
before the apparatus. At the level of his hands were five long 
levers, numbered from left to right, 1-2-3-4-5. His feet rested 
each on a pedal, the left pedal designated A, the right B. In a 
slot before him, in large type, appeared combinations of the signals 
B-4-1-2, A-5-B-4-3-1, and the like. He was to respond by 
manipulating all at once the designated levers and pedals. 
Immediately upon the completion of a correct response a new 
signal appeared in the slot, and it was the subject's task to react 
to a series of 24 such signals in the shortest possible time. The 
reaction apparatus had one notable advantage: it called for 
extended visible bodily movements, which could be very readily 
observed and studied. 


In this experiment we have an individual confronted by novel 
stimuli, arid can observe him in the act of reconstituting the 
stimuli preparatory to making his responses. The mental process, 
at the perceptual level, of course, is rendered amenable to analysis. 
The secondary process of reconstitution is visible in the tentative, 
groping movements of the hands, in the movements of the eyes, in 
the play of the musculature of the body, in the movements of the 
lips, and in the furrowing of the brow. It is as if the coordinating 
activity which we so often think of as confined to the brain 
alone, although it never is so confined had been suddenly pro- 
jected into the whole organism, and there enlarged upon, as the 
activities of amoeba are magnified under a microscope. This 
experiment, properly conducted, will convince the most skeptical 
that our mental processes are activities of a secondary and in- 
direct type, involving a discriminative reaction upon the stimulus, 
an inner process of coordination, and the preparation of an ade- 
quate response. The preparation of responses, the building-up of 
the reactions that are to emerge, can be seen as actual operations. 
The results of our principal studies by my colleagues, Miss Phyllis 
Bartelme and Professor S. N. Stevens, have not yet been published, 
but I am hopeful that Professor Stevens' report may soon be in 

We made one discovery that came as a surprise to us, for it 
was found that the subject of the experiment frequently lost co- 
ordination completely under the stress of the conditions imposed 
on him. The preparatory process would get under way and 
suddenly disintegrate. It is the kind of thing that often happens 
to people when learning to drive automobiles. The individual 
"gets rattled," "loses command of himself/' and works his con- 
trols at random, in a flurry of blind excitement. We observed 
many instances of such loss of control, in our experiments, before 
it occurred to us that these states were emotional in character. 
We had unwittingly verified the functional theory of the emotions. 

I do not propose to magnify the importance of the emotional 
states thus produced. The states which we observed were tran- 
sient the individual soon recovered his poise. None the less 
they had all the characteristics, objectively and introspectively 
considered, of true emotions. The signs of anger, embarrassment, 
and frustration were unmistakable. We are now trying to develop 
the reaction experiment with the specific object of inducing emo- 
tional states that can be observed, and have good reason to expect 
success. Every experimentalist knows that it is difficult to produce 
genuinely emotional states in the laboratory subject. The reac- 
tion method here suggested may prove a valuable instrument of 

D. T. HOWARD 145 

research. I would anticipate two conditions as essential in the 
use of the method: (1) the reaction must be highly complex; (2) 
it must be performed under high pressure 

I am not prepared to report on the results of our studies of the 
emotions, for these were tentative and preliminary in character. 
But I would like to touch upon the theoretical implications of 
certain of our more assured observations, since they bear strongly 
upon our whole doctrine of the emotional states. In this discussion 
we turn to the introspective part of our studies, for we have not 
hesitated to ask our subjects for observations on what they them- 
selves did and what they experienced. I must first acquaint you, 
then, with what we called the "blur" for lack of a better name. 

It has been said that the mental processes are reconstructive, 
having the function of reconstituting stimuli and preparing re- 
sponses. It was our expectation, therefore, that the conflict or 
uncertainty visible in the subject's movements would be experi- 
enced by him as a vagueness or haziness on the side of the senses. 
The stimulus as it first appears is unclear and inadequate; the 
motor reactions incipiently started are confused. In what form 
was this uncertainty actually experienced by our subjects? We 
found that it appeared in a variety of forms which we called 
" blurs." Many observers reported kinaesthetic blurs actually 
experienced in arms and body. Some reported concrete visual 
fogs or hazes. Let me quote some rather unusual reports of this 
kind. "There was a definite grayness before me," one subject 
reports, "as I sought to discover the stimulus. The stimulus 
seemed to clear up through this gray haze, each part becoming 
definitely meaningful." Again: "Even those first stimuli, simple 
as they were, just worried me; that is the only word I can use for 
it. Why, I could not always see the signals, and I was looking 
right at them. They come and go just as though they possessed 
some freak capacity. " These are instances of actual visual blurs, 
reported by competent observers. We had many observations on 
kinaesthetic blurs, which were frequent and typical. Other blurs 
might be called intellectual, since they had to do almost exclusively 
with meaning vision and kinaesthesis remaining under control. 

Our observers reported, also, that the blurs, concomitant with 
the initiation of the reconstitutive process, cleared up, sometimes 
suddenly, sometimes gradually, as the adequate response emerged. 
This was to have been expected, since it is precisely the function 
of the attentive or reconstructive processes to make things clear 
to remove blurs. We secured introspective evidence, very defi- 
nite in character, to show that the final formation of the response 
was attended by a heightened feeling of clearness, as if light had 


suddenly been let in upon a state of obscurity. " When the blur 
dissipates," one observer told us, "the feeling of relaxation is 
quite marked." Another said, "The feeling of uncertainty and 
the lack of clearness passed away when the stimulus was seen in 
its true relationship, and I was prepared to respond. " 

I wish now to advance the thesis that in the emotional state, 
in its true form, what is experienced is an enlargement and irradia- 
tion of the original blur. Introspectively, as well as objectively, 
emotion is a state of disruption. All the sensational, imaginal, 
and affective elements of the experience are exploded out of their 
natural patterns, are confused and mixed and meaningless. Some 
theorists maintain that organic sensations are the characteristic 
elements in the emotions; others emphasize the feelings. Intro- 
spection upon genuine emotional states will, I am assured, in the 
light of our studies already made, show that none of the sensational 
or affective elements are definitely in the focus of experience, but 
that, on the contrary, experience is without focus or margin, a 
confused and scattered state of consciousness. The affective 
tones which introspectionists describe or try to describe are 
probably present in all of our experiences. But in the emotional 
state they are confused and dissipated, and the affective tone of 
the emotional state if it can be called a tone is one of blarik- 
ness and lostness; a condition in which the thousand colors of 
feeling lose all definiteness and are mixed indiscriminately in 
the star-dust of general psychical confusion. 


PROFESSOR HUGHES (Lchigh University): Mr. Chairman, the statements that 
we have just heard read, it seems to me, refer to one class only of what are gen- 
erally classed as emotional disturbances. It seems to me that we have plenty of 
evidence of another class of human responses, human activities, which we can 
hardly deny are emotional, but which, so far from being blurred, are the clearest 
and the most effective responses that human beings make. Dr. Stratton, in a 
recent article, has drawn attention to the experiences of an aviator, who, however 
great the stress, thinks with unusual clarity. The literature of the world is filled 
with illustrations of that type. Just why it is that psychologists neglect that type 
of experiences it would be interesting to consider. 

You will recall how Plato defines the act of creative imagination. He does not 
think the best work can be done in a condition of high excitement. 

Perhaps some of us are familiar with Oliver Wendell Holmes's account in The 
Autocrat at the Breakfast Table of how it feels to write a poem like "The Chambered 
Nautilus." At the same moment the man is in a great state of excitement, stunned, 
thrilled, and so on, to read his adjectives still he receives things with clearness, 
a clarity which is unexampled in his experience. 

Francis Galton, in speaking of the greatest geniuses, men of the highest imagina- 
tion, insists on that great emotional quality in their work. Side by side with 
energy and intelligence he puts what he calls zeal. The emotional factor in human 
behavior he looks upon as necessary. That is, as the poet says, the fine frenzy of 

D. T. HOWARD 147 

Until we find what it is that is common in those two types of emotional activity, 
I do not think we can proceed so far. Why is it that so many psychologists think 
that an emotionally disturbed state of mind is one in which we are confused? Of 
course, if it is a matter of definition and we want to say that emotional states are 
states in which the image is blurred, let us say so. But we are overlooking a de- 
partment of human behavior that is as important as anything, the work of the 
minds of the highest quality of creative imagination who seem to be practically 
unanimous in their treatment of emotional states. So I think I am compelled to 
reject Dr. Howard's theory of emotional behavior. 

DR. HOWARD: There are a great many experiences, such as the one described, 
that have at various times been called emotional. I certainly do not want to in- 
terfere with the examination of any of these interesting experiences. The states 
that I have called emotional states are confused states, states of blur. I think the 
other states ought to be studied, too, but it seems to me their nature is different, 
just as their description is different. 

PROFESSOR McMuLLEN (University of Kentucky): I would like to ask what the 
connection would be between what we call latent intelligence and the tendency 
of emotion to be disturbed? What is the connection between those two: tenta- 
tive or emotional reaction and the strength of the intelligence? 

DR. HOWARD: I can see some kind of connection between the two things all 
right. Assuredly a person who has a character or a make-up that tends to break 
down constantly under strain can do intellectual work only under the most favor- 
able conditions. Certainly the operation of the intellect would be greatly hindered 
in the case of a personality that was dissociated or that constantly tended toward 
disassociation or disruption, and emotional disturbance after all is just a break- 
down of personality temporary break-down of the kind that we often find perma- 
nent in abnormal cases. 

DR. REYMERT: It occurs to your Chairman that the question from Professor 
Hughes has been given at least one intelligible answer, worthy of note: namely, 
by Bergson, in his treatment of "intuition." 

DR. HOWARD: I do think that those states of experience in which things stand 
out clearly and are perceived clearly, in which memory is clear, and in which there 
seems to be a general uplift of one's whole conscious life, are undoubtedly very 
interesting. Just what their condition is I am not sure. I am certain that they 
are not disruptive states. I should say they are the opposite of disruptive. That 
man has these splendid high moments in life is true, and he must be completely 
integrated for that moment in order to experience them. The gentleman spoke 
of a case of clear perception, clear memory, where the person was working under 
a strain. Well, clarity of memory or clarity of perception are not emotional 
necessarily. They carry an affective tone with them secondarily, but to be able to 
see clearly is not to have an emotion. But in general I think those fine high mo- 
ments of life, which we all experience more or less, come to us when we are inte- 
grated, when we are most of all ourselves, most completely in command of ourselves. 

PROFESSOR THOMPSON: In support of Dr. Hughes, I would like to ask this 
question: Is it not the biological and physiological purpose of emotion to protect 
the person rather than to confuse him? 

DR. HOWARD: I have always been interested in that question, as to the value 
of emotional states, and the conclusion to which I come is that they have absolutely 
no value at all, but represent a defect in human nature. I cannot see any other 
conclusion you can come to. 

DR. CANNON (Harvard University) : I studied a short time ago a large number 
of bodily changes that occur in times when emotions are expressed by lower ani- 
mals. I spoke of a redistribution of the blood in the body, a rapid heart, a dilation 
of the bronchia, a liberation of sugar from the liver, a discharge of adrenalin from 
the glands. Now every one of those changes are directed at least, they are 


serviceable; I will not say that they are directed in making the organism more 
effective in the struggle. If an animal is enraged, he is likely to attack. If he is 
frightened, he is likely to run. Whether one is to be the attacker or the attacked, 
or whether one is the pursuer or the pursued, work must be done by the big skeletal 
muscles. And perhaps it is a great and lasting struggle. To say that these changes 
in the body, all of which are serviceable for struggle, are defects, is going against 
physiological investigation and examination, it seems to me. 

I can account for both of the situations which have been developed this after- 
noon, the clarity and the confusion. It seems to me that there are parts of the 
central nervous system below the cortex in which all of these emotions have their 
pattern have their natural expression. If the cortical inhibition is removed, the 
expression is intense intense to the highest degree. If the cortical control is still 
there, there is a conflict between the natural discharge of these inpulses and the 
control from above. Under those circumstances there would be hesitation, there 
would be confusion, there would be no clear integration of the organism in its re- 
sponses to influences from the outside. The moment that release comes from the 
cortex and the lower centers have full sway over the body, obviously the clarity 
would appear. 

James had to confront this matter. It was complained by those who opposed 
his theory that there was an emotion when no work was being done, that there was 
an emotion when there was no bodily change occurring. I do not think James 
met that very well, because he had to assume changes were taking place, and he 
said there were tensions that were not ordinarily observed. You do not have to 
do that. There are operations going on in these lower states which are discharging 
upward to the cortex, but which can discharge down lower in the motor mechanism 
because the cortex holds control. You see we have a conflict. The moment that 
conflict is resolved by the release to the lower centers of the higher centers, the 
bodily centers are integrated and the whole process runs off smoothly, and then 
occurs what James claims did occur under these circumstances, which directly 
contradicts what the last speaker said. James declared that it was in the expres- 
sion of the emotion and not in the confusion that the emotion was felt. 

DR. PRINCE (Harvard University) : There are certain things to explain the inter- 
pretation that emotions are serviceable. That is to say, when an intense emotion 
occurs there is a tendency to dissociation of all other processes that are not 
serviceable for the moment to carry out the adaptation of the person to the situa- 
tion. In an attack of intense rage, for example, not only is there the discharge of 
the visceral currents that Dr. Cannon has described and worked out, but there is 
a discharge that inhibits all other mental processes, so that there is only one focus 
of intention, there is only one object, one point of view, to which all behavior is 
directed, and all conflicting behavior or conflicting emotions are inhibited and 
rendered unconscious. That is the situation as we find it from observation any- 
way, whether it is serviceable or not. That is to say, if there is a conflict between 
anger and love, and occasionally that occurs between man and wife, if the husband 
or the wife arouses that anger, it discharges in the body emotions of that sentiment. 
Every other point of view, every other conception of the other party, every other 
emotion that is presented, is inhibited. There is a large number of data derived 
from abnormal psychology, where the emotion has dissociated the personality, 
as to that one factor at least, even to the extent of creating a second personality 
and affecting the defense reaction. Anger is, in one sense, a defense reaction, and 
when we have the defense reactions, they are serviceable because they direct 
all of the activities to that point. It is a question of the interpretation of the 

DR. WILM (Boston University): The conception of the emotion as a predica- 
ment has seemed to me to be very attractive. I do not see why we should call it 
a theory. It is a way of regarding an emotion rather than a theory. It affects 

D. T. HOWARD 149 

those emotions which are disagreeable and upsetting rather than the agreeable 
emotions the emotion of predicament. Therefore I went through this list of 
emotions to see how many are disagreeable and how many are pleasant and agree- 
able, and I found the describers give a very large number of disagreeable and 
unpleasant emotions, and a few agreeable. Nevertheless, the predicament is not 
quite so obvious in the agreeable. However, there are situations, as in excesses of joy 
where one is beside himself and so happy that he does not know what to do, which 
will show the emotions of predicament. And whether beyond those agreeable 
emotions, whether beyond the predicamentive sort there are things we should 
call emotion, I suppose is more or less a matter of definition. At least a good many 
of them can be there cared for. I see no contradiction between outcomes of emotive 
states, such as have been noticed, the clearing out of the muscles, the removal of 
fatigue products, and the predicament. I do not think it has been shown by the 
physiologists, but those combining outcomes are common. They are present. 
Even there, however, as Dr. Cannon said a little while ago, it is doubtful whether 
the autonomic and visceral changes are residuent in the emotion and belong thereto, 
because they occur without emotion. But even if they are integral to the emotion, 
I see no contradiction in conceiving the emotion as a predicamentive state, which 
may, notwithstanding, in its ultimate outcome have certain benefits in certain 
cases for the organism. 

DR. HOWARD: I would like to say just one word. I agree thoroughly with 
what Dr. Cannon said, and I think there is no real disharmony when I said that 
emotion had no value. I meant the disruption itself had no value. I say the 
extreme gross emotional states have no value. 




The Johns Hopkins University 

In my title there are three words the meanings of which are 
uncertain. These words are: emotion, background, and dynamic. 
No one can predict what anyone will mean by these words, until 
they have been scrupulously defined. Even with the most careful 
definition and explanation I could give, many persons would prob- 
ably understand me to use them in senses radically different from 
those of my definition. It would be better in some ways if I made 
substitutions for these terms, using the common symbols for 
unknown quantities, so that the title should read "^Y as a Y Z" 
But even then, there would come a moment at which the listener 
would say: "Oh, yes, by X you mean an emotion." And then 
he would proceed to refer everything I might say about X to an 
emotion as he understands the term, regardless of what I mean 
by it. 

I must confess that a great deal of what is said about emotions 
passes over my head. It is probable that the psychologists who 
discuss this topic are talking about something* and I am willing 
to admit that they are; but if so, then that "something" is some- 
thing in which I am not interested, except as a matter of folk 
lore and mythology. Hypogriffs, satyrs, nymphs, djinn, and all 
the other creatures of mythology, of course, are something; and I 
am afraid that the emotions most psychologists talk about belong 
with them. 

It is supposed that psychology deals first of all with facts, and 
second with the laws or principles in which these facts are bound 
up. Admittedly, the laws or principles are tentative, that is, 
more or less hypothetical; but, if hypothetical, they are hy- 
potheses about facts. The assumption is that before one can 
legitimately build a hypothesis he must first establish the facts it 
is designed to fit. But of recent years I have begun to wonder 
whether psychologists are really interested in facts at all. Arti- 
facts, or concepts, or conjectural facts seem, at any rate, to interest 
them much more. 

I have been asked recently, "What is a fact?" And I can 
answer that question. A fact is either an object, a relation, or. 


an occurrence. Here is a grain of corn. That is an object. I 
heat it and it pops open. The heating and the popping are series 
of occurrences. The corn may be said to be bigger than another 
kernel; it differs from a kernel of a different variety. These are 
relations. Are there any other kinds of facts? If there are, they 
have not been demonstrated. 

Now, relations involve something else, usually objects, although 
there may be relations between relations. But in these cases 
the relational complexes always go back to relations between 
objects. An occurrence always involves objects. Hence all 
factual matters go back to objects. 

The dependence of the psychology of perception and of thought 
on objects has long been recognized. We start our investigations 
by defining, or pointing out the objects of perception, and we 
accept the scholastic dictum that all thought depends upon per- 
ception, that we can think only of what we have perceived. That 
this recognition leads to the creation of a class of clumsy myth- 
ological objects (sensations and images), does not alter the case. 
These fictions were created in a well-meaning but unfortunate 
effort to adhere to the principle that there can be no perception, 
no thought, without objects. We have discarded sensation and 
images only because they are fictitious objects, and we can 
better refer our perceptual and ideational processes to the real 
objects of the world in which we live and move and have our being; 
these objects, on the other hand, we no longer confuse with the 
mathematical symbols and formulae of chemistry or physics by 
which we must represent them. For such reality as the physicists' 
and chemists' objects have is pretty well understood to be derived 
from the real objects of perception. 

The so-called emotions of the psychologist (and the so-called 
feelings also) remain, however, in the world of myth. They are, 
so far as I can understand, neither objects, nor occurrences, nor 
relations, but mystical entities, concerning which a mass of 
mystical speculation has grown up. These are not the emotions 
of which the unsophisticated man speaks. They have the same 
connection with reality as the hypogriff, the demon, and the 

When the plain man speaks of fear, rage, or grief, he apparently 
has reference to some facts moreover, to facts which are, or 
can be, experienced (and experience is an occurrence, and an 
undisputed fact). If these emotions are facts, they must be 
either objects or occurrences "in" objects. (I omit the con- 
sideration of the possibility of their being relations between 
objects, for the sake of saving time.) If they are objects, where 


are they? How can we demonstrate them? If they are occur- 
rences, where are the objects in which they occur? 

I shall not attempt to consider the answer that objects or 
occurrences are parts of the brain or occurrences in the brain. 
This might have been argued forty years ago, but would merely 
bore you now. One might as well discuss the question whether 
the observed grain of pop-corn is a part of the brain, and whether 
the popping is a brain occurrence. 

Scientific psychology assumes brain changes, and change in 
other parts of the organism as well, as the "basis" of experiencing 
an object or occurrence. But in the field of perception it assumes, 
in the terms of our modern response hypotheses, that there is an 
object or occurrence outside of the central nervous system which 
initiates the response of perception. The principle of parsimony 
impels us to extend this same principle to emotion and the ex- 
periencing of emotion. If we actually experience an emotion, the 
emotion is something demonstrable; and it is something capable 
of being a stimulus pattern. If it is not, then we are talking in 
fables, and we should stop discussing emotion in psychology. 

Now, Jarnes and Lange more or less clearly faced this problem 
and suggested the answer. Actual conditions and occurrences in 
the viscera, and in certain parts of the soma, are manifestly capaBte" 
of serving as stimulus patterns, and can be experienced. "TIere 
are demonstrable facts, which might be what we mean by emo- 
tiOns. Since no one else has even remotely suggested any other 
groups of facts which could be indicated by the term, the problem 
is really this: Shall we agree to call these experienceable visceral 
(or visceral and somatic) occurrences, emotions? Or shall we re- 
ject these, and apply the term to vaguely mystical entities, in 
which we may happen to believe? The scientific attitude in this 
dilemma is clear. We must deal with the facts, and let the fictions 
alone. The only further question is whether we have a right to 
use the term emotion for these facts, or shall we find a new term 
and give over the term emotion to the mystics? 

Towards the answering of this question, the speculative and 
analytical work of James and Lange was really directed. It is not 
a question of the psychological importance of visceral changes. It 
is solely a question of whether we shall name them emotions. The 
work of subsequent investigations, analytical and experimental, 
has been partly directed toward the same end, and in part to the 
more definite understanding of just what these visceral changes 
are. The issue was somewhat clouded by the reappearance of the 
James-Lange theory in what was supposed to be a new form; 
namely, with emphasis on the anatomical branches of the nervous 


system involved in the visceral response. This so-called "auto- 
nomic" theory, however, is merely an anatomical elaboration 
of the James-Lange theory or, as we should rather term it, the 
visceral hypothesis of the emotions. 

The experimental work has had the following program. We 
establish conditions in the animal such that, in popular usage of 
the terms, certain emotions are said to be present. We then try 
to determine what visceral or somatic occurrences are essential 
to these conditions. Having established these, we then ask, per- 
haps: Shall we call these occurrences emotions, or perhaps 
elements, parts, or features of emotions? 

Such experimental work is necessarily slow, and we have but 
begun to cultivate it. The results, however, are all encouraging. 
No phenomena appear, so far, which tend to make it impracticable 
to call these occurrences emotions (or feelings). In addition, we 
are deriving some information as to the nature of the processes 
thus named. For example, the work of Cannon, perhaps the most 
significant thus far, indicates that the emotions which would be 
commonly classed together as "exciting" do really have a common 
element. While it is not finally certain that this common element 
is the important one, the finding of this community in emotion 
which would be, by simple observation, classed as closely allied, 
or largely identical, is distinctly encouraging to the visceral view. 
Moreover, our suspicion that emotions are not distinct entities, 
but complexes of many variables shading into one another, there- 
fore in many dimensions, is strengthened. 

I have spoken of objects and occurrences as demonstrable. By 
that I mean that they are capable of observation in various ways, 
and in particular by those methods, indirect though they may be, 
called physical and chemical. We would not be satisfied as to the 
reality of an apple which could only be seen, not touched, unless 
the light wave from it could be registered photographically. We 
would not be satisfied with the reality of a smell, unless chemical 
tests showed the presence of a stimulus. We would not be satisfied 
with the reality of movement of an object, an occurrence, unless 
that movement could be registered. In the same way, we should 
not be satisfied with any object of experience unless it is capable of 
physical or chemical registration. The "emotions" of which too 
many psychologists and most physiologists talk are not facts of 
this kind. Hence, I have no interest whatever in them. The vis- 
ceral occurrences are demonstrable. Hence, when I use the term 
emotion, I mean these things. This is the final demonstration. 

One more point, and then I am through with this part of my 
discourse. The physical method does not register the yellow of the 


unpopped kernel of corn, nor the whiteness of the popped corn. 
Only the optico-neural mechanism of the animal organism can do 
that. Neither does the physical and chemical examination of the 
visceral changes register the peculiar "quality" which is experi- 
enced as an emotion. But the concomitance is the same in the two 
cases, and the methods of demonstration are identical. I am not 
denying, necessarily, that there may be "imaginary" colors: color 
phenomena not capable of physical registration. The possibility 
of "imaginary" emotion, therefore, is also open. This problem is no 
more important in the affective experience than is the visual, and 
is not the point at issue in my discussion. 

I may now pass to my second term, dynamic. I am well aware 
that this term too has mystical implications, and seems to apply, 
in the discussions of several psychologists, to frankly mystical 
conceptions. I am using it, however, in a strictly mechanistic 

By dynamic, I mean simply having the characteristic of re- 
leasing or affecting responses terminating in muscular activity. 
On our current response hypothesis, which is the basis of what I 
have named scientific psychology, the effective activities of the 
organs, muscular and glandular, are in large part due to neural 
transits beginning in the stimulation of receptors. Any stimulus 
or stimulus pattern is therefore dynamic, since it brings about, or 
checks, these activities. By calling emotions dynamic, I am merely 
emphasizing the fact that they are stimulus patterns. The only 
demonstrable stimulus patterns which we could rather uniformly 
designate as emotions are the visceral ones. 

Here we are breaking no new ground. The importance of the 
emotion as a stimulus to action, as initiating certain types of re- 
sponse, as greatly intensifying certain responses, as powerfully 
inhibiting others has long been recognized. The psychologists 
paid little attention to this, so long as they dealt with the dream- 
world of fictitious "psychic" content. Now that we have de- 
scended from the clouds to deal with facts, we are forced to face 
this aspect of emotion. But so long as our emotion is a mystic 
entity, our conception of the effects of the emotion is a mystical 
one, tied up with superstitions of psychic energy and animistic 
purposes. As soon as we accept emotion as a visceral occurrence, 
the conception becomes scientific. Vast numbers of receptors are 
stimulated by visceral changes. The stimulus to any movement is 
not merely the stimulus pattern imposed on the receptors of the 
external senses, but the total pattern of these and the somatic and 
visceral pattern. Any response is the outcome, not of a limited 
external pattern, as we unfortunately figure it in many of our 


textbooks, but of the total pattern. Emotions, therefore, partici- 
pate in the determination of all our responses at all times. The 
dynamic aspect of emotion is of enormous practical importance, 
and merits our experimental consideration. 

I come now to my third term, background. Here I am using a 
term which is definitely metaphorical. I am implicitly likening 
the total stimulus pattern to the limited visual pattern. Just as 
the totality of objects in the visual field is integrated into a pat- 
tern, so the total of visceral occurrences and external objects 
and persons affecting the external sense is integrated into a pat- 
tern. But in these patterns we recognize the fact of dominance. 
Dominance is a concept which is hard to define, but we are more 
and more using the term in psychology and physiology, and its 
general significance is fairly definite. 

In more conventional terminology, we may point out that, in 
the visual field, certain details "stand out" or are " focal," while 
the remainder are the "background." What I wish to emphasize 
by the use of this figure is that in normal life the emotions are the 
general background, against which external objects appear. This 
is, of course, a psychological commonplace. I wish to point out 
certain problems it implies. 

1. Why is an emotion different from an external object? Why 
should we set these occurrences aside from all others of our expe- 
rience? Why not speak merely of the "visceral sense" as one 
speaks of the visual sense, the auditory sense, etc.? 

2. Is emotion always and necessarily "background"? If not, 
under what conditions can it become "focal"? 

3. Can external objects and occurrences reverse their normal 
relations, and become "background" for the visceral processes? 

The answers I would suggest to these questions come from 
the consideration of the popular use of the term "feeling" in 
two different ways. It is applied to emotional concepts and proc- 
esses on the one hand, and to tactual and kinaesthetic on the 
other. Most texts treat this confusion as a merely vicious one, 
and explain it as an unfortunate popular lapse to be corrected. 
On the contrary, I think it is highly important and significant. 

If there is a peculiarity of visceral occurrence of visceral sense 
which sets it off from external perception, then it would seem 
probable that somatic sensitivity, including kinaesthetic and 
dermal, would occupy a place intermediate between the two. 
This I believe to be the case. Visceral content is normally "back- 
ground." External content is normally "foreground." Somatic 
content is normally integrated with the background, but may 
from time to time emerge into the foreground, or even into the 


focus. Our emotions, in other words, are normally not visceral 
alone, but include, more frequently than not, the somatic, even 
the dermal factors. 

On the other hand, it is observed that at various times large 
parts of the external world are as much a part of the background 
as are the visceral factors. There is thus no organic division, no 
anatomical one, of perception from feeling. The distinction is one 
of integration. 

As a possible illustration of the change from foreground to 
background of the external content, I suggest observations on 
music. The movie houses furnish the conditions for this. Un- 
doubtedly, most orchestral noise in the movie houses is an irrita- 
tion and a distraction. But occasionally, the movie is really ab- 
sorbing and becomes focal, while the music becomes a part of the 
background, as urianalyzed and undifferentiated as the visceral 
processes commonly arc. In such cases it may be valuable addi- 
tion to the total pattern. Is this because it stimulates certain 
emotional processes? Perhaps. But is it not itself in these cases 
a part of the emotion? I suspect thai the answer to this is largely 
an arbitrary one, depending solely on how you chance to employ 
and define the term. 

Consider, now, the problem of whether the whole group of 
external contents may become background, against which the 
visceral contents become foreground. In such a case, would we 
say that the external world is our emotion, or would we say the 
emotion has become focal? Again, a terminological matter. But 
it is important to consider the possibility of the integrative re- 
versal, for I have a strong suspicion that this is exactly what is 
occurring in certain types of psychopathic patients. This is 
another problem which well merits investigation. 

What I am trying to point out is that, on the visceral hypothesis 
of emotion, there is no divine peculiarity of the visceral processes 
themselves which sets them off as emotions in contrast with the 
external world rather, that it is a peculiarity of the habitual 
pattern of integration which is responsible. Why inCegratioh 
nSrifirstJty takes this pattern type, we may not be able to explain 
in full, but we can make a good guess. The constancy of presence 
of the visceral factors (auditory and visual stimuli may come and 
go, but our guts are always with us) and the difficulty of spatial 
analysis on account of the enclosure of the organs are, no doubt, 
contributing factors. But I suspect that the most important 
reason is a combined hygienic and motor one. The visceral proc- 
esses work the better, the less we attempt to attend to them, and 
our attention is needed for control of our environment. (By 


attention I refer to the type of dominance in integration.) The 
introspective person is morbid, that is, in an unhygienic condition, 
and is also inefficient. The outdoor life demands a minimizing of 
introspection. The sedentary life permits introspection because 
of the lessened demands of environmental adaptation, and hence 
it facilitates morbidity. Routine has the same effect. The 
visceral contents are emotions because mankind has to integrate 
in that way in order to live effectively. 


DR. PRINCE (Harvard University): There should be a great deal of discussion 
on this paper. There are one or two points about which I would like to speak and 
have further elucidation from Dr. Dunlap. But before doing so, I would like to 
cite this: I like very much his point of view, his critical and analytical approach, 
and his examination of the grounds. It is said that London University was founded 
for those who were not willing to accept conclusions until they had examined the 
ground upon which they were based. I think that Dr. Dunlap's stand is that. He 
wants to examine the grounds. But there are one or two points which arc not 
quite clear to me, and on which I wish he would elucidate a little further. 

I cannot understand why, under his definition of a fact, he does not accept 
emotion as a fact, that is to say, as an occurrence, and define a fact as an occur- 
rence; and if he admits emotion at all, why doesn't he accept that as a fact? If he 
accepts emotion as something or other, why isn't it just as much an occurrence as 
a pain would be? I have a pain now. Or we will assume it. I may not present 
evidence to you that I have a pain. I know very well that I am subconscious of 
it. It may not appear to you but I know it perfectly well. Now to me, if I had a 
pain, it would be a serious fact, and I would class it as an occurrence. Dr. Dunlap 
was using thoughts. Weren't they facts? I don't see exactly why he takes that 

Now, what sort of facts they are is a different kind of proposition. And so, 
another point that I want to bring out. As I understand Dr. Dunlap, he quotes 
James and others as holding the fact, and also himself adopts the fact, that the 
emotion is the visceral change. I never understood that James said they were 
the visceral changes. As I understand that theory, it is the awareness or conscious- 
ness of the visceral changes. The bell rings when the visceral changes take place. 
To identify emotion with the visceral changes seerns very much like identifying 
my perception of the locomotive with the locomotive. But they are two different 
things. I do not quite understand identifying emotion with a physical change 
unless you are an idealist. But those points I cannot help but refer to. I think 
they should have more elucidation. 

I also wish that Dr. Cannon, who is here, would tell us something of his experi- 
ments bearing upon these things. 

DR. CANNON (Harvard University): I was very much interested in the em- 
phasis which Dr. Dunlap laid on the visceral changes. Also 1 was interested in 
what was said about the relatively small number of visceral changes that had 
been described as a consequence of the experiments carried on in the Harvard 
laboratory. After we had shown that there was a stoppage of the movements of 
the stomach and the intestines, a liberation of sugar from the liver, an acceleration 
of the heart, a liberation of adrenalin from the suprarenal glands, a dilation of the 
bronchia, and other physiological changes, Dr. Humphrey said that Cannon had 
brought so many facts to bear in support of the James-Lange theory that it was 
very extraordinary that he thought he was arguing against it. 


The point that Dr. Prince refers to, I think, is this. We found that the same 
sort of change occurs in the viscera whether the animal shows signs of aggression 
and attack or signs of retreat and attempts at escape. We have interpreted these 
two different sources of behavior as of the nature of rage or anger or fear. Those 
are two experiences which we testify to, at least to each other, as being very dif- 
ferent experiences, and yet, so far as the changes in the viscera are concerned, 
they are very much alike. It is hard to see how you can differentiate such emotions, 
such different emotions as these, on the basis of phenomena that are so alike as 
the visceral changes in the two. 

More recently we have found that the same changes occur when the animal 
is exposed to cold, when the animal is given an injection of dead bacteria and has 
fever; also when it is given insulin and the blood sugar drops down to about half 
of its amount. The viscera have the same changes in all these various conditions. 

And in the last three conditions I have mentioned there is no emotional state 
that results from the change. Furthermore, a Spanish investigator who admin- 
istered insulin in large doses to numerous persons, well and ill, recorded their 
testimony. Adrenalin brings about in the body the same physiological changes 
that are wrought by the activity, the impulse, of the sympathetic division of the 
autonomic system. What did these patients testify? They did not have feelings 
of emotion. They said they felt edgy, they felt as if they might have an emotion; 
they had what Meringian has himself called a cold emotion. It was as if they were 
sitting by and watching something going on, but the emotion as such was not 
testified to by these persons. 

Again, if the viscera are so important as elements of the emotional experience, 
as a basis for the emotional experience I may say that James specifically laid a 
greater emphasis on visceral changes than on the changes of the skeletal muscle 
if they are so important, it seems to me peculiar that we are not conscious of 
peristaltic changes that are passing through the stomachs of you who have enjoyed 
a good lunch, of the rhythmic contractions in the small intestines, and of the 
pouring out of bile or the pancreatic juices. All of these visceral changes had to 
wait for myriads and myriads of generations for observers to be prepared to look 
into the body and find out what is going on there. 

We know of only about one-tenth as many afferent nerves as motor nerves, 
but the situation is altogether different in the spinal nerve trunk, in which the 
afferent nerves are more numerous than the motor. 

These evidences seem to me may be put together as making out a very strong 
case against the reverberations, the returns from the sounding board, to use 
James's expression, as a source of emotional quality. 

As I have pointed out, the observations of Henry Head indicate that the afferent 
nerves from the skeletal muscles are likewise not a source of affective states of 
feeling at all. 

What is there left? We have going on, in the lower part of the brain, processes 
of a pattern character. That they are of a pattern character is shown by the 
fact that they establish patterns. When a person weeps he is displaying a very 
different skeletal muscle pattern from that which he displays when he is angry 
or when he is glad and laughs. The external pattern is indicative of an internal 

We know, furthermore, that this part of the nervous system works with 
extraordinary intensity if it is only released from inhibition. 

It seems to me that, in this region where such patterns arise and play their r61e 
in establishing external forms of muscle settings, all you have to assume is that 
the impulses which are started there outward toward the periphery also affect 
directly the conscious states or send impulses up to the cortex, where they are ex- 
perienced as a conscious state of the feeling character, and that these feelings are 
added on to the experiences which we have as a consequence of the stimulus of 


external objects. The feeling-tone is obtained from the lower part of the brain 
and not from the periphery. 

DR. DUNLAP: I will say with regard to Dr. Morton Prince's questions, if I 
gathered them correctly, that what I was trying to show was that I accept the 
emotion as an occurrence, and, when I try to find out where it is, the only thing 
I can find is something in the viscera. I was accepting it. That is what I was 
trying to do. 

With regard to James and Lange, it is true that James never accepted his own 
theory in a full way, and not only held on to psychopathic parallelism, but he also 
reserved a whole lot of spiritual feelings that he was not willing to subject to the 
gross bodily condition. You know we have a feeling that our stomachs and in- 
testines are low and vulgar. Curiously our brains, which biologically are not so 
very superior, we do not think degrade our feelings. 

With regard to Dr. Cannon's remark, I want to say my paper has had exactly 
the effect I had hoped it would have. I shall not attempt to answer Dr. Cannon 
(I will say that I cannot) but I do feel I am not going to burden you with a lengthy 
argument here but I do feel that Dr. Cannon's results are rather in favor of the 
visceral theory than against it. The old theory which Descartes proposed, that is, 
that the afferent currents produced the intellect and the efferent produced the 
passions of the soul, James thought Miinsterberg had knocked out. Apparently 
James was wrong. 

There are many points of argument on that basis. We do have these patterns, 
muscular and glandular. How are they going to register? Is it a double-handed 
affair? Or is it experience of the same type where a stimulus pattern introduces 
a response which ends in another pattern, but in which we experience the stimulus 
pattern but not the terminal pattern? I am for the sake of parsimony trying to 
make our theory which works for perception also work for emotion. 

Now, with regard to the many points that Dr. Cannon has brought up that 
I shall not take time to argue -I do not say I can answer them I think that the 
matter of interpretation of results is sometimes a thing we want to keep distinct 
from the results themselves. The uniformity of results from uniformity of visceral 
conditions in certain of what we call emotional states is a thing I would have pre- 
dicted on the basis of the James-Lange theory. These emotions with which Dr. 
Cannon works are exciting emotions. They are much more alike than they are 
different. We expect to find the similarities first. I say I do not believe that they 
produce anything. I do not know that adrenalin had anything to do with the 
case. But where we expected to find overwhelming agreement, we find similarity 
in that respect. Out of that adrenalin test I think Dr. Cannon himself has some 
discussions on that point which will clear that matter up. 

So with regard to the numerousness of the visceral receptors. That is an 
important point we must consider. With regard to the few or many types of vis- 
ceral process that can be identified with something emotional, that again is some- 
thing about which we cannot say we have exhausted all the possibilities there are. 
Dr. Cannon himself will say that. There is still a great deal more to be found with 
reference to the ductless glands, with respect to the tissues, with respect to other 
conditions. I am not attempting to answer Dr. Cannon. I cannot do it, but I 
think there is a strong point there that can be brought out in more detail. 

I want to say this. I value my hypothesis, as I said in the beginning, as sug- 
gesting experimental means of attack. There has been suggested to me a method 
of approaching facial expression that I had never thought of before. I had not 
thought of it until I got this old visceral theory. I hooked it up in intelligent 
shape to myself and it occurred to me there are certain details of expression of 
what we popularly call emotion or feeling of various types that ought to be 
more characteristic to the muscles surrounding the mouth, which belong to the 
feeding system, than to the muscles around the eyes, which do not belong to that 


system. There is something in the theory. I tried it out. My results are interest- 
ing. I have some more stuff on that line that is also going to be interesting. The 
only defense I am going to make to that theory is that it can suggest interesting 
things to try out in our laboratories. 

DR. WILM (Boston University): The most sensational part of Dr. Dunlap's 
paper to me at least was the denial that emotions or feelings are facts. Now, it 
seems to me that that is a highly debatable statement. To my mind, to deny 
that the pain I feel from the pin-prick is not a fact, and a fact distinguished, for 
example, from the fact of sensation, seems to be a highly untenable and absurd 
proposition. There are some theories, like behaviorism, that are so intrinsically 
absurd that only the most learned men may hold them. I may add two very 
elementary remarks about the reason why emotions and feelings might possibly 
not be regarded as facts, in the sense at least that they may not be dealt with as 
legitimate objects of scientific investigation. The first consideration would be 
that the emotion, as opposed to the antecedents and the consequents of the emo- 
tion, is not an object of common observation. And, in the second place, the 
emotion as distinguished from the condition of the physical correlates of emotion 
and the physical accompaniments. They are not susceptible of exact correlation. 
Those are patent facts. But it does not seem to me that those facts would enable 
one to deny the existence of the emotions as facts. 

I think it would be well to refer to Hume's discussion of causation in this con- 
nection. It does not seem to me that we have to do more than to note a rough 
correlation between the antecedents and consequents, in order to recognize the 
emotion not only as a fact but as a cause. It is undoubtedly true, if you are satisfied 
with the causation in the relation of antecedents and consequents, that there is 
a cause relation between emotion and the physical antecedents of emotions and 
any physical consequents which they may have. 

DK. DUNLAP: What I was trying to show was that emotions were facts, and 
any attempt to make anything of them other than facts is necromancy. A man 
says he has a pain in his toe. As a fact I want to find that fact in his toe. I am 
afraid I cannot find it in the sphere in which Professor Cannon wants to find 
it. As far as that goes, I was trying to demonstrate the thing which my critic 




Harvard University 

Let me begin by saying that in bringing this question before 
you I do not intend to dogmatize or lay down any final conclusions. 
Rather what I want to do is to invite discussion of the problem of 
emotion and energy as one that needs full and open-minded con- 
sideration. For, to my way of thinking, it is one which lies at the 
root of a number of difficult problems of emotion and particularly 
that of the part it plays in the mechanism of instincts (if there be 
instincts) and in many mental processes such as inhibition, re- 
pression, and conflicts, and consequently in behavior in general. 

"Can emotion be regarded as energy?" I quite well realize 
that this question is one at which psychologists tend to look ask- 
ance and balk like timid, nervous colts. They like to put it aside 
as a disagreeable one for they scent an unpleasant trail that is 
likely to lead them to epistemology and concepts which cannot be 
reduced to tabulated correlations of objective data so dear to the 
present-day psychologist. If he can only correlate something and 
present us with figures embellished with plus and minus signs in 
expensively arranged tables (I speak with the feelings of an editor), 
he feels he is entitled to enter at least the porticoes of objective 
science and perhaps will be permitted to sit down on equal terms 
with physicists and chemists and other fortunate devotees of exact 
methods. It does not matter much what he correlates, or how 
much energy he wastes, as long as he correlates something. 

The concept of emotion as physical or psychophysical energy 
involves consequences of serious import. It must be obvious that 
it makes a radical difference in the validity of some of the theories 
of emotion, and also in our interpretation of the part it plays in 
the mechanism of the emotional reactions of the organism, whether 
they be regarded as instinctive or not. 

If, for instance, it is energy, a Cartesian concept by the way, 
then plainly it needs no argument to show that it does not play 
the r61e of "passive sensory receptions" of visceral functions (to 
use a phrase of L. H. Horton's), as the James-Lange theory holds, 
but its discharge must of itself determine behavior of some kind. 

Likewise, again, in the interpretation of behavior as response to a 


stimulus, emotion, if energy, cannot be regarded as an epiphenom- 
enon correlated with neural reflexes, as behaviorists would have 
us believe, but must be a factor in the neural discharges affecting 
motor and other responses, whether it be only by exploding or 
releasing those discharges or providing the energy for them. 

Nor, in the responses of those innate inherited mechanisms 
characterized by emotion call them instincts or not, as you 
please can emotion, if energy, play the passive part of an epi- 
phenomenon; it must do something; and it is logical to infer that, 
as a discharge of energy, it provides the drive for the response of the 
mechanism to the stimulus. And, if such be the case, emotion 
would have to be regarded as a discharge of psychophysical energy 
along neural pathways. This does not mean that those particular 
units of energy, alias emotion, must or would as such traverse as 
waves, or some other kind of motion, the neural pathways. They 
might transmit their energy to efferent neurones, i. e., be trans- 
formed into neural energy, just as in the world of physics and 
chemistry mechanical energy is transformed into electrical, ther- 
mal, and chemical energy, or electrical energy is transformed 
into neural and magnetic energy (light, radio, and other waves). 

Aside from these considerations I would point out that the 
serviceability of emotion to the organism becomes much more in- 
telligible by this concept of emotion and energy, for if, per contra, 
emotion is nothing but a conscious correlate of a neural discharge 
of energy, or if only a passive sensory awareness of visceral activity, 
as many maintain, one may well ask: "What is the good of emo- 
tion? 'What price emotion' if the physiological neural discharge 
accomplishes everything is the whole drive? Why could we not 
get along perfectly well without emotion, without anger, or fear, 
or any other feeling, even if we were only automata?*' 

But, granting all this, if you are willing to do so, the real ques- 
tion is : What facts have we for the concept that would identify 
emotion with so-called physical energy? Facts we have but their 
interpretation is not easy, and positive conclusions, perhaps, are 
not justifiable. 

In the first place, we know that with the excitation of emotion 
there is a discharge of energy of some kind in different directions. 
That is a demonstrable fact. There is the discharge to the viscera, 
to the heart, and to the suprarenal glands, for instance. The dis- 
charge to the heart could be measured in foot pounds by recording 
the increased work done by that organ. The discharge to the 
suprarenal glands might well be measured by weighing the in- 
creased quantity of adrenalin poured out into the blood stream. 

The discharge to the voluntary muscular system could also be 


reckoned in foot pounds by measuring the increase of work done. 
And so with other effects of the discharge. Whether such dis- 
charges of energy have their source in the emotions is another 
question is the question at issue. It is the simplest explanation 
and we are forced to ask, why not? 

In the second place, the discharge of energy occurs apparently, 
i. e., so far as it is possible with our present technique to determine, 
synchronously with the occurrence of the emotion and continues 
as long as the emotion persists. In other words, the stimulus that 
sets off the discharge of neural energy synchronously excites or 
at least conditions the emotion. 

Now if it can be safely assumed that the occurrence of emotion 
is synchronous with the discharge of energy, then this fact gives 
a knock-out blow to the James-Lange theory. For obviously as 
emotion, according to this theory, is the "passive sensory recep- 
tion" awakened in consciousness by the visceral activities follow- 
ing the discharge, the emotion must occur still later and follow 
the visceral response. But if emotion is synchronous with the 
neural discharge, it must precede, not follow, the visceral response. 
We could not say with James that "we are pleased because we 
laugh " or " are sad because we weep, " because we would be pleased 
or sad before we laughed or wept. (As a matter of fact, by the 
way, a hysteric may laugh without being joyous and weep with- 
out feeling sad.) 

On the other hand, if emotion be a pure, luxurious epiphenome- 
non, enabling us only to enjoy the pleasure or pain of an expe- 
rience without in any way determining our response to a situation, 
it presents nothing incompatible with the fact of occurring syn- 
chronously with its correlated energy-discharge. So synchronism 
is an important problem awaiting solution. 

As an epiphenomenon, however, it would seem to be a perfectly 
useless, in a biological sense, phenomenon, as abhorrent to evolu- 
tion as a vacuum is to nature. But, it may be argued, this is not 
true. It may be that emotion as an epiphenomenon may be 
serviceable indirectly to the organism in warning it of danger or 
pleasure in the present situation, or in one to r come. In that case 
it might correspondingly in some obscure way originate the stimu- 
lation of habit neurograms or patterns of response that will avoid 
the danger or secure the biological advantages of pleasure. In 
this sense it would be comparable to a fire-gong sounding an 
alarm that brings the firemen, or a theater-gong that between the 
acts advises the audience smoking cigarettes in the lobby that the 
pleasure of a new act awaits it. But would not even such a 
stimulation function be equivalent to the discharge of energy? 


There is another fact that must be considered though how 
much weight should be given to it is not wholly clear. It cer- 
tainly has some significance. We all have a feeling that passion 
moves us, that it energizes our thoughts and our bodily actions. 
We have a consciousness that emotion and feeling activate us. 
This conscious experience is a fact; its significance is another 
question. The expression, "I was moved by emotion," or "I was 
overwhelmed by emotion," "I was driven by emotion," is on 
everybody's lips, meaning moved or overwhelmed, or driven by 
emotion as a force or an energy. It is the interpretation of "com- 
mon sense." Common sense, of course, is a dangerous criterion. 
As a test it is unreliable for it is quite likely, as we all know, to 
be fallacious. Yet it may be right and sometimes is more likely 
right than some new-fangled, far-fetched theories of schools. 

In this case, the testimony of consciousness and common sense, 
if it can be shown not to be contradicted by demonstrable facts, 
acquires some weight as evidence. And I think we must admit 
that there are no demonstrated facts that contradict the evidence 
of consciousness, even if it be insisted that there is none which 
supports it. 

It is not without bearing on this point that the notion of 
"energy" and "force" is derived, as I shall presently insist, from 
our conscious experience of exerting force, from our conscious- 
ness or feeling of exerting energy. If it were not for the reality of 
this consciousness of force, whether it be delusion or not, in all 
probability the term would never have come into being; some other 
term would have been invented by the physicist though it is 
impossible to guess what it would have been. He derives his 
concept of energy as something that moves and does things and 
causes things to happen from his conscious experience of that 
which, as it seems to him, moves his muscles and energizes his 
whole being. 

At any rate, the conscious experience of passion energizing us 
as a force is a fact though its interpretation and significance may 
be in doubt. 

But how reconcile the concept of emotion as energy with the 
physicist's concept of energy? Emotion, the psychologists and the 
plain man in the street recognize as a state of his consciousness, 
but if it is of the order of consciousness how reconcile it with the 
physicist's conception of energy, or rather identify it with his 
energy, a physical term which is to say, with what the physicist 
means by energy? Here is an apparent paradox. 

Well, what does a physicist mean by energy? It is not going 
too far to say that he has nothing in mind, if by energy is meant 


a concrete entity of a specific nature and quality, like the ether, 
or electromagnetic waves or mass. It is only a concept which he 
postulates as an entity to explain why and how things happen. 
To be sure, he measures and weighs it and tells us what quantity 
of kinetic energy is involved in the appearance and disappearance 
of motion. But how does he do this? He does it by measuring 
the motion and mass moved, as when, for instance, he measures 
the energy of a great turbine engine by measuring the motion 
and mass of things moved, etc. the product of the motion times 
one-half the mass. Then he tells us such a quantity of energy 
was used derived from the coal and expended in motion. He 
even tells us that mass itself is energy, and makes us a bit dizzy 
by his formula which now becomes : quantity of energy is motion 
times one-half the energy! 

If asked what energy is, he does not pretend to know or even 
care to know. It is not necessary for him to know. In fact it 
cannot be known by his objective methods. It belongs to the 
unknowables of physical science. But, as I have already pointed 
out, the concept is derived from conscious experience and may be 
said to be an anthropomorphic term. Things happen as if there 
were an entity called energy. But the physicist will tell you that 
it is none of his business to determine wheat it is. It is none of 
his job. 

Is it the job of the psychologist? Can he say that it is none 
of his business, if it is true that the physicist derives his ter- 
minology and concept from psychology, and if it is an entertainable 
hypothesis that emotion is a certain kind of energy, that the two 
can be identified? Isn't it his job to explain how this can be? 
I leave it to you. 

This brings us back to the remark I made at the beginning about 
psychologists' fighting shy of the question, feeling that it will lead 
them astray out of the beaten path of objective methods. But 
if the notion of emotion's being energy is entertainable, I submit 
it becomes the business of psychologists to examine what is meant 
by physical energy and inquire how the apparent paradox of emo- 
tion's being like mechanical, electrical, and thermal energy 
a form of this postulate of physics can be explained; that is, ex- 
plain how they can be one and the same thing. And this would 
seem to be the business of the psychologist, as emotion is a psy- 
chological event and energy a psychological concept. For without 
the concept of energy of some kind behavior cannot be explained. 

The need of this inquiry is further forced upon us, as the answer 
may make all the difference in the world in our understanding of 
those fundamental psychological problems about which there is 


much present-day debate, and which we are called together in this 
symposium to discuss. 

In lieu of an extended discussion of the paradox in question I 
will content myself with stating my own conception of the answer 
to the problem. 

The postulate of physical science of an entity called anthro- 
pomorphically energy is, by all the criteria of matter, immaterial. 
Its nature is unknowable by the objective methods of science. It 
is inferred from and postulated to explain the happenings of the 
so-called "physical world"; it is only known, therefore, by its 
manifestations or behavior by what it does. It is known from 
without, not from within. 

As kinetic energy it manifests itself in many forms as mechani- 
cal, electrical, thermal, chemical, etc., and perhaps neural energy, 
and each may be transformed into another form. Many of its 
forms, it is agreed, are the resultants of the complexities, colloca- 
tion, combination, number, arid organization of its units. The 
present thesis is that psychical energy is another form. 

Kinetic energy is only known through its manifestations, among 
which are the motions of electrons and of coll cations of electrons 
(atoms, molecules) and electromagnetic ether waves. But the 
most advanced and philosophical physicists tend to regard elec- 
trons not as little lumps of something called electricity, but as 
units of energy itself and as such, of course, unknown in their 
inner nature. Under this concept the whole universe is this mys- 
terious, unknown, immaterial energy. 

Now according to our thesis emotions may be conceived as 
emerging as consciousness out of energy in either one or two ways. 
(1) They may be discharging complexes of units of energy asso- 
ciated with the electrons of the highly complex atomic structure of 
the nervous system. That is to say, the discharges emerge (by 
the principle of "emergent evolution") as emotion because they 
are the energy itself energy from within not as observed from 
without, of the extremely complex organization of enormous numbers 
of units of neural energy. Observed from without they would be 
known only by what they dp. Or (2) we can conceive that kinetic 
afferent neural energy, being immaterial^ becomes transformed 
into its like, immaterial psychical energy, which in turn, as a link 
in the chain of events, becomes transformed into immaterial 
efferent energy, thus conforming to the physical law of the trans- 
formation of energy. 

That which is the unknown and unknowable by the objective 
methods of science emerges as the known of psychology, as states 
of consciousness. This, of course, is monism. 


The only alternative hypothesis is dualism and parallelism, 
that is to say, epiphenomenonism and human automatism. 

But emotion as an epiphenomenon would be as useless to the 
organism as the steam whistle, to borrow Huxley's famous phrase, 
is to the working of the engine. It would be only a symbol in 
consciousness of what was happening without power to control, 
direct, or determine behavior, or at best its serviceability would 
be limited like a fire-gong, if the emotion be fear, to warning of 
danger, a signal to "look out*' for fire but without power to direct 
how to put it out or escape. Here we stand between two concepts 
or hypotheses, both of which we find difficult to reconcile with 
conscious experience. 

The difficulty with the first is that our modes of thinking are 
so horribly and incorrigibly concrete that we find ourselves handi- 
capped in conceiving physical forces as immaterial, as anything 
like the psychical, and therefore as comprehensible as an entity 
out of which anything like emotion or other state of consciousness 
can emerge; or, as an alternative, though the psychical be force, 
how physical force, even if it be immaterial, can be transformed 
into the psychical as a link in the chain of events to be transformed 
again into the immaterial physical. 

The difficulty with the second is that it is irreconcilable with 
conscious experience and common sense that tell us we are some- 
thing more than physiological automata, and that emotion moves 
us, determines our behavior, and is not an epiphenomenon nor 
only a symbol in consciousness of neural processes. 

Yet between these two hypotheses we must choose. 

Which hypothesis is the more probable I submit for your con- 
sideration. For my part, I lean towards the first. 

For one thing, it escapes the difficulty, if not impossibility, of 
constructing emotion and feeling out of sensory elements as the 
James-Lange theory requires, but it assumes they are definite, 
psychical states in accordance with the commonly accepted 
conscious experience of ages a possibly debatable postulate. 

I have avoided speculation as to the locus of origin of the psy- 
chical energy, whether at the central brain receptors of sensory 
stimuli, or at the central motor outlets (synapses) to efferent paths, 
or in a special locus of pattern neurones in the thalamus or cortex 
in accordance with the very beautiful experimental studies of 
Cannon. The first two localizations are purely speculative. 

Wherever it may be, the hypothesis enables us to form a con- 
structive notion of the serviceability of emotion and feeling to 
the organism and the part they play in behavior. "Step on it, 
step on the gas, " you tell your chauffeur. And he steps on the 


accelerator, and your machine springs forward with increased 
energy. "Go to it," you tell the young man who has undertaken 
a job. "Go to it," the coach tells the athlete the track runners, 
the football team, the crew and each and all step on the accelera- 
tor of their emotions and spring with revitalizing energy, power, to 
their task of beating their rivals. Without turning on the energy 
of their emotions, what a listless game they would play ! But they 
step on the accelerator only when increased power is needed, yet 
at all times the throttle is partially open, just enough to supply 
sufficient energy to keep the wheels of activity going and to help 
in doing the everyday job. 

The mechanism by which the throttle of emotional energy is 
thrown wide open or closed is another problem, but in the or- 
ganization of sentiments as worked out by Shand and McDougall, 
we have at least an adequate arrangement. The linkage of ideas 
to the emotional dispositions (that is, to the innate psychophy- 
siological mechanism of which emotion is the central energizing 
factor) to form sentiments would provide a serviceable adequate 
device. According to this theory of sentiments their driving power 
is derived from some such linkage of the emotions. When, then, 
the coach exorts his team to "go to it," he calls into being, stimu- 
lates, a sentiment of one kind or another, one of winning, and the 
emotional energy of that sentiment supplies the needed power. 

It is not necessary for me to point out how this conception is in 
line with McDougall's theory of instincts so far as they are "prime 
movers of human activity." Unless emotion and feeling are 
energy his theory would, it seems to me, have little weight. 

William James, with that almost uncanny insight, a sort of clair- 
voyance which enabled him to see into commonplace things some 
meaning which escaped those of lesser vision, called attention to 
the "reserve energies of men." It was just a commonplace fact 
until he touched it with his imagination, when it became an in- 
triguing mystery. 

The mystery disappears if emotion be energy. Under certain 
conditions men are known to perform feats of strength and en- 
durance of which they are incapable in everyday life. They seem 
to tap a reserve of energy ! I think that in such conditions it will 
be found that they are in an emotional state of exaltation, or 
ecstasy, or some sort of state when all inhibitions of emotion are 
dissociated, cast off, and the throttle of energy is thrown wide 
open allowing the driving force of emotion full play. 

Other fruitful applications of the hypothesis as well as elabora- 
tions of its details could be given if time permitted. As it is, I 
leave it here as a useful concept to explain human behavior, com- 


parable to that which physical science makes use of to explain 
the universe. 


UNIDENTIFIED MEMBER OF AUDIENCE: I should like to ask Dr. Prince upon 
what theory he says energy is an anthropomorphic term. 

DR. PRINCE: In the first place, energy is a concept that was used in psychology 
and philosophy long before it was used in physics, I take it as far back as Aristotle. 
In the second place, I think it is a generally accepted fact by all the physicists 
certainly by all the physicists with whom I have spoken, and I was only recently 
speaking to one of our most distinguished mathematicians and physicists that 
it was derived from conscious experience. If you stop to think about it, what does 
the physicist see in the electron? He sees, if there were such a thing as that, 
something like that which I feel. That would account for it. I think it is generally 
accepted by every physicist and every psychologist that I have talked to. 

MR. X: May I ask how you would relate the theory to Keith Lucas' theory of 
all or none? 

DR. PRINCE: First, I will say it is something I had not thought of. Secondly, 
I do not think it alters the situation under observation. We now conceive of the 
discharge of neural energy, only we do not identify it as an emotion, and you 
have to ask the same question with reference to neural energy, whether it conforms 
to the all or none theory. I do not think it alters the thing at all. If it is compatible 
with the theory of energy, it would also be with this. 



Ohio State University 

Changes in Psychology 

I believe we all agree that the fundamental assumptions of 
psychology are changing. Man is being studied not only (a) as 
an organism that reports mental states, but also (6) with respect 
to the biological and social conditions which make him a partici- 
pating unit in a social organization. These two points of view 
may be distinguished as (a) mentalistic, introspective, experi- 
ential, or literary, (6) as the biological-sociological. 1 
""The systematic difference be*twefcn the two lies in the fact 
that the mentalistic approach leads to philosophical 2 or meta- 
physical discussions; the biosocial approach leads to social, 
statistical, biological, chemical, or physical discussions. 

In order to throw the two points of view in strong relief against 
each other let me present them in contrast. A definition of 
psychology stressing the mentalistic set of fundamentals is given 
by Bentley (1925): "It (psychology) seeks to describe and to 
understand experience and the activities of the total organism 
in which experience plays an essential part" (p. 15). As repre- 
sentative of the biosocial set of fundamentals, I give the following: 
"Psychology studies those movements of the individual from 

1 For linguistic convenience I shall use the term "biosocial" for the compound 
word biological-sociological, natural-evolutionary, or merely scientific. 

2 The philosophical categories are inadequate for psychology because they are 
the remnants of classifications of human behavior which were developed before 
neurological observation had made it possible to describe human behavior. Phi- 
losophy represents the unanalyzable complex linguistic responses which are sub- 
stitutes for personal and tribal taboos, social, political, and religious practices whose 
origins are lost in antiquity. For those who lack the scientific and particularly 
the biological training that makes human behavior comprehensible, outworn racial, 
national, and class shibboleths have been synthesized into an ambiguous, but 
more elegant, terminology which is more acceptable than the cruder popular 
superstitions. In practice philosophic discussions lead to heterogeneity in classifi- 
cation, scientific discussions to homogeneity. 


infancy to maturity which establish his social status in the social 
organization of which he is a member." 

According to Bentley the psychological problem is largely that 
of describing human experiences (whatever we may mean by this 
term) . I do not mean to be facetious in the use of the parenthetical 
phrase. I believe the phrase is necessary because there is not 
sufficient agreement among psychologists as to just what is to be 
included under the term. For any given writer, however, it is 
usually possible to formulate a reasonably clear statement. Bent- 
ley, for instance, indicates what he would include as follows: 
"In experience, for example, appear tones and noises; and as they 
appear the organism is affected in a specific way and at a particular 
place by the vibratory movements of the air. These vibratory 
movements (a part of the physicist's world) affect experience 
only by way of the ear; more exactly stated, by way of the auditory 
receptor or sense organ in the inner ear" (p. 33). 

According to the biosocial position "experience" is merely a 
name for our acquired responses. It is an open question whether 
the study of human behavior (as opposed to the study of human 
experience) will replace the mentalistic conception. For the 
present it is only necessary to differentiate the two sets of funda- 
mental "doctrines," mentalistic and biosocial psychology. 3 

3 In earlier writings 1 have used the term "behavioristic" instead of hiosocial. 
When, among others, I first began using the term behavioristic about twelve years 
ago, I used it as the biologists and zoologists use it; as a description of the activities 
of an organism. Within the last few years, however, it has acquired an entirely 
different meaning in psychology. That there is a profound change taking place 
we may all admit, whatever we may think about the permanence of the change. 
But this change is not as sudden or of the same nature as the flare-up of "behavior- 
ism" in popular psychology. As with biology, psychology is getting farther and 
farther away from the position assigned to it by philosophy and is taking a place 
intermediate between biology and sociology. For a time it perhaps will be neces- 
sary to distinguish this transition by a name. I have suggested the term biosocial. 
This would have been unnecessary had the term behavioristic retained the sci- 
entific meaning that it has in animal behavior. Unfortunately psychology is not 
yet scientific enough to have a generally accepted system of fundamental assump- 
tions. We may as well admit this. When we get these, and this is a problem for 
all of us v we can dispense with both the terms mental and biosocial. There will 
be only one approach to the study of human behavior. When there is only one 
approach we shall not need to characterize it any more than it is now necessary 
to distinguish the scientific approach to physics and chemistry from the older 
approach of alchemy. Biology is still struggling with a "vitalistic approach," 
but in America at least the biochemical approach is now regarded as almost self- 


Does Psychology Need a Different Set of Fundamental 

The introspective method isolates psychology from the bio- 
logical and social sciences, and we may ask whether it is possible 
to substitute fundamentals 4 which will place psychology in the 
system of the natural sciences without losing whatever the intro- 
spective technique has to contribute. I believe we must plan our 
experiments in such a way that it will be possible to weave our 
results into the fabric of science as represented by physics, chem- 
istry, biology, and a social science which studies statistically the 
biological and environmental conditions under which human 
institutions arise. 

To be more specific, Titchener (1908) defines feeling "as mental 
processes of the same general kind as sensations, and as mental 
processes that might, under favorable conditions have developed 
into sensation" (p. 292). Meyer (1908) defines feeling as, "the 
(nervous) correlate of pleasantness and unpleasantness is the 
increase or decrease of the intensity of a previously constant cur- 
rent if the increase or decrease is caused by a force acting at a 
point other than the point of sensory stimulation" (p. 307). 

These two statements of the concept of feeling rest upon entirely 
different fundamental doctrines. Professor Titchener rests his 
analysis upon a mentalistic foundation, Professor Meyer upon a 
biological foundation. We may ask which set of assumptions will 
best meet those requirements which are recognized as inherent 
in scientific method. Simply stated, cannot what is included under 
the term mind or experience by psychologists and writers in general 
be more clearly described under a set of non-mentalistic assump- 
tions? Suppose we begin with a shorter review of the problem of 
feeling as represented by traditional psychology. 

Contradictory Views of Feeling 

Lagerborg (1906) regards a feeling as a weak and unlocalized 
sensation. As soon as its intensity is increased it can be localized 
and is then called a sensation. There are three classes of feeling: 
unpleasantness, pleasantness, and common feelings. The corres- 
ponding sensations are pain, the sexual sensation, and visceral or 
kinaesthetic sensations. There are probably special pleasure and 
pain nerves in various parts of the body which may be stimulated 

4 I have outlined such a set of postulates in my A Theoretical Basis of Human 


in two ways : (a) mechanically and (6) chemically by the nutritive 
processes in the tissues. Heightened metabolic processes produce 
pleasantness; lowered metabolic processes produce unpleasantness. 

Titchener (1924) regards pleasantness and unpleasantness as 
elementary processes of a different sort from sensations and 
images, the main difference being that feeling cannot be made the 
object of direct attention. In combination with organic and 
kinaesthetic sensation, pleasantness and unpleasantness produce 
sense feelings of six types : agreeable and disagreeable, the exciting 
and subduing, the straining and relaxing. He does not offer 
specific biological correlates, nor does he regard feelings as causes 
in the modification of behavior. "The explanation of action," he 
says, "is to be found in the determining tendencies of the nervous 
system and not in the motive force of feeling" (p. 258). 

For Marshall (1894) pleasure indicates the expenditure of sur- 
plus stored energy whereas pain indicates an expenditure of energy 
larger than the possible supply. As mental correlates Marshall 
(1908) proposes psychical elements of the nature of pain and 

Stumpf (1906) regards pleasantness and unpleasantness as 
sensations. Unpleasantness is merely a slight degree of the 
sensation of pain. Pleasantness is a slight degree of that sensation 
which in its greatest intensity results from stimulation of the 
sexual organs, and of which intermediate degrees are given the 
name of tickling and, somewhat stronger, itching. As the nervous 
correlate of pleasantness and unpleasantness Stumpf assumes the 
existence of the algedonic pain nerves suggested by Marshall. 

The distinction between pain and unpleasantness is clearly 
brought out by Professor Calkins in her very apt illustration, "It 
is unpleasant, for example, but not painful, to mistake an ice- 
cream fork for an oyster fork at a dinner party" (p. 71). As 
a neural basis for pleasantness and unpleasantness she proposes the 
nutritive conditions of the cells in the frontal lobes. Pleasantness 
occurs when the nervous discharge passes over well-nourished 
cells; unpleasantness when it passes over fatigued cells. 

Pikler (1900) raised the question which has now become domi- 
nant in psychology, namely, what is the selective factor in changes 
of behavior? He holds that all organic life may be regarded as a 
mechanical process in one definite direction. This process, which 
is about identical with the vegetative life of an animal, depends for 
its continuance on the impressions made constantly upon the 
animal by the physical world surrounding it. A part of the process 
occurs in the nervous system, another part in the rest of the body. 
To force this process into its opposite direction results in death. 


But temporarily parts of this process may be forced into the 
opposite direction. From out of the large number of possible 
movements, that one is selected which does not oppose the forward 
direction of the general nervous activity going on all the time. The 
nervous correlate of pleasantness is this relation between temporary 
nervous activities and the continuous nervous activity. The 
relation of opposite direction is the nervous correlate of unpleasant- 
ness, the relation of equal direction that of pleasantness. 

For Meyer (1908) the mental states are pleasantness and 
unpleasantness. The nervous correlate is the increase or decrease 
of the intensity of a previously constant nervous process if the 
increase or the decrease is caused by a force acting at a point other 
than the point of sensory stimulation. 

Fite (1903) asks how pleasure and pain can modify behavior. 
He extends the limits of pleasantness and unpleasantness beyond 
a few purely physiological metabolic processes to more complex 
habit systems, and expresses doubt as to the causal nature of the 
feelings. For him pleasure and pain are not causes in mental 
life but mere indicators of the conflict or harmony between acting 
causes. To express this in the light of recent theory, Fite regards 
the mental states as pleasure and pain, and the nervous correlate as 
some effect of the operation of the conflict or harmony between 
acting causes. 

In presenting these theories I have ignored complications such as 
localization, clearness, recognition, lack of habituation, value, 
etc. In doing this I have simplified the facts so as to get the max- 
imum of clearness in the present state in the psychology of feeling 
when expressed in traditional terms. 6 It seems to be agreed that at 
least the mental states of pleasantness and unpleasantness are 
characteristic of feeling. The physical or physiological correlates 
of feeling are given as: sensory processes (Lagerborg, Marshall, 
Stumpf) ; relationships between sensory processes (Pikler, Meyer) ; 
indicators of physiological condition (Calkins, Titchener, Marshall, 
Lagerborg); harmony between the causes for action (Fite, Meyer). 

No Unified Experimental Program 

The difficulty of resolving the lack of agreement into a series of 
crucial experiments is well indicated by the lack of unity in the 
recent experimental work on feeling. There seem to be too many 
questions that are not questions. Even though the problem of 

5 No attempt has been made to exhaust the possibilities. I only wish to show 
that even where we are fairly well agreed on any introspective findings, we are 
not agreed on any objective correlate for these findings. 


feeling has been before us for many years, the obvious question 
what percentage of an individual's daily activity is pleasant, what 
percentage is unpleasant? has no ready answer. The practical 
question shall I select alternative modes of action on the basis of 
an anticipated feeling content, either immediate or remote? 
is still answered as it was by the Greeks, by various ethical codes 
which have never been subjected to scientific analysis. 

Of course this limitation is not restricted to the mental states 
called feelings. It is a limitation wherever mental states are 
restricted to the introspective method leading, as it does, to 
metaphysical discussions rather than to the analysis of environ- 
mental and sensorimotor components. 

Feeling ''as such" or as Action 

It has been urged that biological and social considerations should 
not determine the character of psychological investigations and 
that the introspective method does make it possible to study feeling 
"as such" even though the data secured by this method make no 
contact with the work of other scientists. 

For those who expect an investigation to contribute toward the 
development of general scientific laws, the study of feeling "as 
such" is not very alluring. Of course, I recognize that isolation 
from the other sciences need not result in inactivity. That it does 
not is well attested by the novelist, especially the so-called psy- 
chological novelist who probably represents the highest degree of 
introspective efficiency. However, is this science? Or does it 
become science by merely restricting the scope of the free literary 
associations to the special introspective categories of sensation- 
image, feeling, attention? This is, I believe, a personal problem 
which each must decide for himself. However, none can escape 
the verdict which science eventually will render as to the merits of 
this method. 

In this connection I wish to call attention to a difference between 
introspective observation and scientific observation which is not 
generally recognized. Titchener (1924) maintains that psy- 
chological observation is not essentially different from other 
observation, that the world which the psychologist explores is 
"the world with man left in." Now it seems to me that by the 
way in which Titchener uses the phrase "man left in" he is in- 
troducing a ''something more" which is not in the category of 
natural science. We find this more clearly stated in the following 
quotation: "the experience which we are to have is a mental 
experience, and our account of it is to be couched in psychological 


language. We are, then, ready for the experience; it comes, and 
we give it our best attention; we then express it in words; and we 
try to express it fully and adequately in the words that it itself 
points to and requires. When the account has been written down, 
and so made available for other students, we have completed a 
psychological observation. When a number of such observations 
have been taken, we have the materials for a scientific descrip- 
tion" (p. 19). 

We may ask just what is included under the term "experience," 
and what is the "it" which comes and to which we give attention? 
That the "it" is not merely a linguistic idiom is clear when we 
try to answer any genetic question in psychology. To be specific, 
suppose we ask when does the "it " (say the experience of pleasant- 
ness) first occur in the infant? We cannot answer this question 
in the same way that we can answer the question when does the 
plantar reflex first appear? Asking the infant to report when 
pleasantness appears or disappears is useless. To answer the 
question at all we must select some action 6 of the infant from 
which we must infer the experience of pleasantness. Here con- 
troversy begins. We are confronted with the following questions: 

1. Can an infant experience pleasantness? 

2. If we agree that he can (and few would answer this with a 
categorical yes) , what act shall we accept as an invariable indicator 
of pleasantness? 

a) If we select the act of smiling, very few psychologists will 
accept this as an invariable sign of pleasantness. 

b) Some will refuse to accept any physical manifestation 
and will refer the problem to philosophy or metaphysics. 

c) Some will maintain that it may be necessary to agree upon 
some physical criterion but that we must not forget that the 
physical criterion is only a correlate or an indicator, that there is 
a "something more" of which we must not lose sight. 

d) Still others, and this is by far the greatest number, will 
have no criteria and will simply begin on some kind of an investi- 
gation which they claim reveals the "facts" of pleasantness rather 
than any theoretical principles. 

These questions illustrate what I mean by saying that the 
introspective method leads us to philosophical discussions. None 
of these questions arise in a scientific investigation. The fact is 
that traditional psychology has limited itself to observations which, 
from their nature, are philosophic and not scientific. 

6 That we must select an action, some contractile effect in the infant, which 
produces changes in the light waves or sound waves that act on the eyes or ears 
of the experimenter, is obvious. A motionless infant cannot become the object 
of the type of investigation I am describing. 


Young (1927) in a very significant experiment on pleasantness 
and unpleasantness concludes: "Some of the conditions which 
determine the report in affective psychology are (a) the O's edu- 
cation in psychology which includes the kind and the amount of 
his information, (6) the O's bias determined in part by his theo- 
retical reflections, (c) the O's understanding of words and his 
habits of speech, and (d) the suggestions which happen to reach 
him from various sources" (p. 187). 

In other words, introspection is not inspection. Introspection 
assumes an "it," an "experience," an entity of some sort which 
is not assumed in the natural sciences. However, at this time I 
merely wish to call attention to the fact that an ontogenetic 
approach to the study of experience is practically excluded. This 
does not mean that feeling cannot be studied from the biological 
and social points of view. However, when we do this we are 
clearly relinquishing the mentalistic or experiential group of 
fundamentals and adopting other fundamentals. 

Literary versus Scientific Observation 

I think that my analysis thus far indicates what an exceedingly 
difficult task confronts us if we try to make a scientific study of 
the many things that have been included under the term feeling. 
We can well agree with Young (1927) that: "The confusion and 
contradiction found to-day within affective psychology are noto- 
rious. Upon the most fundamental matters there is little agree- 
ment among psychologists" (p. 186). 

Perhaps, however, this confusion arises only because of the 
traditional introspective approach which yields un verifiable data 
and which assumes that feeling is "something more" than physical 
or physiological conditions. This has led us to regard pleasantness 
or unpleasantness as "something" which determines our actions. 
Such a theory removes the need for making a careful analysis of 
biological and social factors. We need only learn how to control 
our own minds or our mental states by some simple philosophic 
device such as "reflection and self -analysis " and then be able to 
produce pleasantness or unpleasantness at will. If we can do this, 
why make painstaking observations on stimulating and sensori- 
motor conditions which are at most only indirectly associated 
with feeling? 

The same ambiguity is evident in recent writings in which the 
term "experience " is used as a causal or selecting agent in modifying 
behavior. From the biosocial standpoint the term experience 
is merely a name for any change in activity which replaces in- 


stinctive or acquired behavior. This is equivalent to saying that 
the term experience is merely the literary name for the totality 
of our acquired responses, particularly our social responses. 

This, of course, does not explain "how" experience can modify 
behavior. From the biosocial point of view behavior is modified 
only by: 

1. The growth of the sensorimotor system along lines that are 
determined by inheritance. 

2. The internal stimulating conditions produced by internal 
biochemical processes. 

3. The external stimulating conditions which act upon the 
sensorimotor mechanism. These can be divided into two classes: 

a) The ordinary physical environment which is common to 
both human and infrahuman organisms; 

6) The social environment which is specific for human beings. 
The social environment itself is the product of contemporaneous 
and past human behavior. 

An individual does not respond to all the possibilities which 
the environment presents, if we measure the possibilities by the 
different responses of all the individuals who have been acted upon 
by it. When we say the responses of an individual are selective, 
this means only that he does not make all possible responses. The 
selective agent is the sensorimotor system as determined by in- 
heritance, by its structure, by its biochemical properties, by the 
physical and biosocial environment. To say that "experience" 
acts as a selective agent is merely the literary way of stating the 
scientific fact that sensorimotor conditions determine our behavior. 

To study human behavior scientifically we must drop the literary 
approach and begin a series of careful analyses of the stimulating 
and response conditions. The introspective method has made us 
practically blind to the fact that normal human behavior is mostly 
acquired and that changes in behavior originate as changes in the 
physical conditions. 

The social environment of speech, language, and other individ- 
uals is a physical environment, patterns of light and sound waves 
principally. The individual produces these patterns by muscular 
contractions and in no other way. In turn his own reactions are 
produced by the light and sound patterns produced by the mus- 
cular contractions in others. Many of these patterns developed 
long before man was able to isolate their physical components and 
this explains their non-scientific form. Language, for instance, 
must always remain incomprehensible to one unacquainted with 
such things as the vocalizing reflex, sensory structure and function, 
and sensorimotor interchangeability between individuals. 


The scientific approach to the study of human behavior and 
human achievement is the rearrangement of the literary classi- 
fication of human behavior into those classifications which give 
the structural and functional components of human actions. These 
are physical and biological, and the "something more" upon 
which the mentalistic conception insists is only a substitute speech 
response for our inability to isolate all the physical components 
in a given form of behavior. 


Stimulating and Contractile Effects 

This approach assumes that all of human behavior can be under- 
stood if we know the properties of the stimulating conditions which 
act on an organism and the properties of the organism itself. 
Specifically with respect to the problem of feeling, a biosocial 
analysis requires a description and enumeration of: (1) the con- 
tractile effects (reactions) that are to be included under the term 
feeling, (2) the ontogeny and phylogeny of the contractile effects, 
(3) the stimulus antecedents of the contractile effects, (4) the 
social effects of the contractions on other individuals. 

If an analysis of a limited number of responses leads to a generali- 
zation from which the four phases can be deduced without the 
specific analysis of each response or response series, we have a 
scientific uniformity or law. 

(1) The Contractile Effects. A complete analysis of the con- 
tractile effects that are to be included under the term feeling would 
cover a description of all the reactions, implicit and overt, which 
have been described -under feeling by the various writers. These 
descriptions need not be in actual anatomical or neurological 
terms, provided they are clearly understood. Thus a " smile" 
describes a contractile effect as well for our purpose as would an 
enumeration of the extents and sequences of the contractions of 
the many muscles actually involved in producing the smile. 7 

Have we such a list? We have not. However, suppose we ig- 
nore this for the present and assume that those contractile effects 
which produce the stimulus pattern called a smile are an indication 
of what is called pleasantness. The verbal contractile effects which 
may indicate feeling are of the type that produce the sounds: "it 
is pleasant," "it is unpleasant," "it is indifferent." There are 

7 Landis (1944) has performed a series of experiments in which he recorded pho- 
tographically the actual changes in the contractions of the facial muscles as re- 
vealed by displacements of the skin surface. 


many linguistic variants of these phrases. More doubtful reactions 
are laughing, crying, avoiding, reaching, vomiting, injury, manner 
of eating, sex responses, etc., according as we try to fit our defini- 
tion of feeling to one or another writer. I think we all agree that 
we have no relatively complete list of actions which could be 
classified under the category of feeling, nor do we have a generaliza- 
tion from which such a list could be deduced. 

(2) Ontogeny and Phylogeny of the Contractile Effects. The 
genesis, both ontogenetic and phylogenetic, of the contractile 
effects in feeling has received scanty recognition. Restricting 
our remarks to the act of smiling, we know that the infant does 
not smile for about ten days after birth. After the smile does 
appear it is variable and writers are not agreed that it always 
expresses feeling. Some characterize it as an automatic reflex at 
first. Gradually the muscular contractions of smiling follow better- 
known stimulating conditions but the stimuli again soon become 
too complex for classification. In adult life the smile may ex- 
press many different conditions. It may lose entirely its feeling 
of significance and become a response to a non-affective stimulus 
such as the smile of a salesman greeting a customer. As to the 
phylogeny of the smile many animals, apes particularly, show 
changes which have been called smiles. However, we are not able 
at present to trace back to infrahuman conditions those sensori- 
motor structures and functions which are now the smile of the 
infant. About other activities such as laughing (vocalization) 
we know even less. We cannot ascribe these gaps in our information 
as entirely due to the nature of the problem. The paleo-anthro- 
pologists, for instance, have worked out a very comprehensive 
record of the ontogeny and phylogeny of the bones and muscles of 
the foot. Of course, the genesis of sensorimotor structures is 
more difficult, but it is a problem of the same sort. 

(3) The Stimulating Effects. The stimuli which release the 
contractile effects that express feeling, say the act of smiling in an 
infant of six months, include such stimuli as the light-wave pat- 
terns reflected from parents, nurse, feeding bottle, rattle, toys; 
the sound-wave patterns produced by the movements of parents, 
nurse, animals, toys; the internal stimuli from metabolic and nu- 
tritional conditions. Besides these direct stimulations, supplemen- 
tation or interferences between the nervous processes themselves 
seem to release feeling responses. The list is different for each in- 
fant and does not remain constant. To attempt to enumerate 
all the stimuli which release the smile in a given adult would be 
futile. If this is impossible for even such a simple response 
as a smile, the task has no conceivable limits when we consider 


the many other responses from which writers have inferred the 
presence of feeling. 

If feeling is to be included as a scientific uniformity, it is necessary 
to arbitrarily establish a generalization which will enable us to 
classify stimulating conditions according as they do, or do not, 
produce the contractile effects which are to be included under the 
term feeling. 

(4) The Social Effect of the Contractions. One of the most 
frequent effects of the smile of one person on another is also to 
release a smile in the other person. Two factors which usually are 
not isolated should be listed separately : 

a) The actual muscle contractions. In a smile these would be 
certain facial muscles; in a laugh, the contractions of certain 
muscles in the throat and chest. 

6) The effects of these contractions on the medium which acts as 
the stimulus on the other person's sense organs. Thus, a smile is 
transmitted from one person to another by the changes which the 
contractions of the facial muscles produce in the pattern of the 
light waves which act on the other person's eyes. In transmitting 
a laugh (assuming that vision is excluded) the change is in the 
sound-wave patterns acting on the ear of the other person. 

We may begin by asking, what kind of response does the smile 
release in other individuals? The smile of the infant releases 
fondling, vocalizing, playing, coddling, and in general some form 
of behavior directed toward the child. The smile of the salesman 
serves as an introduction which releases the buying and selling 
responses. The smile of the diplomat is supposed to be non- 
committal, should not be reacted to at all. Thus we might continue 
with all kinds of smiles, the coquettish smile, the smile of derision, 
sympathy, approval, etc., all of which are different physical patterns 
which act on others in more or less specific ways. This purely 
physical transmission of stimuli is overlooked in the rnentalistic 
approach. In some way the mental state of the smile in one person 
is said to arouse a corresponding mental state in another. Any of 
our so-called psychological novels will reveal many hypothetical 
effects produced on others by the various kinds of smiles, but 
little has been done along scientific lines. Again I have limited my 
analysis to that of the smile. To include the many other ways in 
which the physical expression of feeling may act as a stimulus which 
changes the behavior of others would be an enormous task. It is 
this speaker-hearer relation (as it is called by the linguists) which 
has been practically ignored in the psychological investigations. 
The smile has been studied as an individual response or as an 
individual mental state. Its effect on others has received very 
little attention. 


I shall refrain from even attempting to indicate the ontogenetic 
and historical phases by which the contractile effects expressive of 
feeling have acquired their special social stimulating values. The 
problem is scarcely recognized. But again when we consider the 
much more intensive biological studies in animal life, such as love 
antics, dances, plumage decorations, bird songs, strutting, etc., 
we can see that the subject is not beyond the limits of the scientific 
method. Our experiments on affection and feeling have been based 
on the implicit assumption that responses which belong to the 
literary feeling category are more than physical effects, that they 
are expressions of underlying mental states. A complete biosocial 
analysis of feeling requires a description of all the responses, all 
the forms of stimulation which release these responses, all the 
social effects produced in other individuals, and the genetic and 
historical description of the antecedents of both the responses and 
stimuli. Until we undertake to investigate feeling in this way we 
are not attacking the problem in a scientific manner. 

Feeling as a Biosocial Category 

I think it is clear that if feeling is to be an important topic in 
psychology we must limit ourselves to verifiable data, drop the 
causal implication in mental processes, and try to develop a 
generalization from which we can deduce the stimulus-response 
relations. Without a generalization, an attempt to analyze each 
response which conceivably can be included under the literary 
category of feeling presents insurmountable and experimental 

The most promising approach along these lines seems to be that 
of Meyer (1908), who has tried to discover some biological condition 
(a nervous correlate) which seems to conform to most of the literary 
requirements. However, we should be careful to recognize that 
there is an ambiguity in the term correlate. If we mean by corre- 
late the biological or sociological manifestation of a psychical 
entity, we shall not have gained anything. If the nervous correlate 
is merely a scientific description of what in the past has been 
described only in a literary manner, we shall be safe; but we may 
then ask, why use the term " nervous correlate? " Why not merely 
differentiate the scientific from the literary description? 

Normal Interferences and Facilitations in Behavior Series 

At any given time, for each individual, the environment releases 
responses which are determined by the individual's previous 
behavior history. They represent the daily personal, domestic, 


Erofessional, and public adjustments which give the individual 
is social status. The stimulating potential of the environment is 
always greater than is indicated by the responses which actually 
occur. But from early infancy the physical and social environment 
is such that the individual is constantly being trained in a particular 
direction and this represents his behavior career. 

However, at no time is the series of day-to-day activities so 
uniform, and the environment so unvarying, that abrupt changes 
do not occur. These changes which are of relatively short duration 
(as compared with the longer life-history series) may affect the 
normal behavior in two ways : 

a) A facilitation or supplementation of the normal series so 
that it requires less energy or less time. 

6) An interference or retardation of the normal series so that it 
requires more energy or a longer time. 

Feeling as a Relationship between Responses 

From the biosocial viewpoint we may include under the term 
feeling this facilitation or interference of new stimulus and response 
groupings with the system of coordinated activities making up the 
normal behavior of the individual. Feeling then would be the 
term used to describe a relationship between relatively temporary 
and permanent behavior. Pleasantness would refer to a condition 
in which some new stimulus grouping releases responses that facil- 
itate the general coordination of movements, provided this facil- 
itation arises not as a mere increase in the intensity of a stimulus 
already acting. The term unpleasantness may be used to indicate 
the sensorimotor conditions in which a new stimulus releases 
responses which interfere with the normal behavior career, again 
providing the interference arises not as a mere decrease in the 
intensity of a stimulus already acting. This is practically the 
equivalent of Meyer's point of view as developed about twenty 
years ago. Since this is readily accessible I need only indicate his 
main conclusions: 

The term feeling should be restricted to pleasantness-unpleasantness. 

Pleasantness-unpleasantness does not occur apart from perception. 

Pleasantness-unpleasantness is not localized. 

Some sensations are usually unpleasant; some are usually pleasant. 

Sensory and intellectual pleasantness and unpleasantness are of the same 
nature, but the highest intellectual activities give the most intensive pleasantness- 
unpleasantness whereas sensory pleasantness-unpleasantness is rather insignificant 
in the life of a person of culture. 

Emotions are usually accompanied by pleasantness-unpleasantness. 

Pleasantness-unpleasantness is not the cause of action and is the latest product 
of mental evolution. 


We may now ask why has not Meyer's clear presentation re- 
ceived more attention? I believe this is due to the general in- 
adequacy of the mental categories as the basis for an experimental 
program for the study of human behavior. Students well trained 
in science frequently assert that the difficulty with psychological 
problems lies in the fact that "one does not know how to get 

The sensorimotor problems of supplementation and inter- 
ference are very important psychological problems because they 
form a part of the general problem of how new actions are selected 
and acquired. However, the special case of supplementation and 
interference which seems to fit the literary descriptions of feeling 
best, is relatively unimportant. The question, "Is it pleasant or 
unpleasant?" is a relatively unimportant one when the individual 
is learning those responses required by his social status. Most 
new adjustments are at first unpleasant, but this does not prevent 
us from acquiring them. From the biosocial standpoint, then, 
pleasantness only indicates that the action probably will be 
repeated. Unpleasantness indicates that it probably will not be 
repeated. However, these propositions have so many exceptions 
and are so difficult to state statistically that they do not seem 
to be very promising as indicators of what actions will or will 
not become part of the individual's normal behavior. It is the 
biosocial requirement that determines this. 


What traditionally has been included under the term feeling 
may be regarded as a literary description of the biological factors 
of facilitation and interference. Nevertheless, the scientific 
analysis of facilitation and interference is such a general problem 
that it occurs wherever changes in behavior occur. The special 
type of facilitation and interference which Meyer gives as the 
nervous correlate of feeling is a special case of the general problem 
of the interaction between the structural and functional properties 
of the sensorimotor system, and the stimulating conditions of 
the environment. 

The mentalistic point of view has failed to distinguish ade- 
quately between sensory facilitation and interference on the one 
hand, and the type of facilitation and interference which may 
occur between acquired behavior series of long and short duration. 
In addition the mentalistic conception has only recently recognized 
the fact that pleasantness and unpleasantness are not causes in 
the important life-adjustments, and therefore a literary analysis 


of the feelings of an individual from birth to death does not 
contribute as much to the development of the laws of human be- 
havior as does a study of the biosocial components of human 
behavior during the social maturation of the individual. A men- 
talistic analysis is restricted to relatively new adjustments and 
exceptional conditions; it does not describe the very prostiic and 
very uninteresting phases through which an infant enters adult- 
hood and which for the most part are so commonplace that we 
have ceased, even as scientists, to react to them. From the 
scientific standpoint feeling is a relatively unimportant category 
because it does riot enter as a causal factor in biosocial adjustment. 


The topic of emotion is at present being investigated from 
many angles. Again we find planless experiments of the "let us 
see what we can see" type. The simple question what is an 
emotion, or what shall we include under the term emotion? 
was raised by Landis et al. (1925). They begin with the assump- 
tion that a rating scale is the best criterion for emotionality. 
Part of the instructions to the raters reads: "By emotional 
stability we mean the ability to resist the cumulative effect of 
the emotional situations such as might be employed in ex- 
perimental conditions" (p. 215). The extreme conditions are 
represented as "going to pieces" and "not going to pieces." 

Of course this already assumes that the raters have some 
definition of emotionality, and the degree of the consistency 
of the ratings that was actually found shows that they do. How- 
ever, this may be merely an expression of the fact that the raters 
have had similar linguistic and social training. From the bio- 
social standpoint the rating scale is a quantitative expression of 
the degree of uniformity which exists in the literary terminology 
of the "emotion" category. With raters representing wide varia- 
tions in social status, the consistency would be correspondingly 
less. Even with his relatively uniform group and the results of 
subsequent experiments, Landis (1926) is unable to convince him- 
self that the literary classification is serviceable. He says, "Any 
attempt to define 'emotion' in a simple, clean-cut fashion must 
be a failure since the phenomena generally classified under the 
term are much too complex and diverse to admit such treatment" 
(p. 242). I think this means that the literary classification of 
emotions, developed as it was without a sensorimotor background 


simply cuts across the stimulus-response uniformities which 
Landis was investigating. In emotions as in feelings, it is probably 
more fruitful to differentiate the mentalistic category into 
biosocial categories. 

The plausibility of the James-Lange theory of emotions has led 
to studies of the changes in bodily processes during those condi- 
tions in which the organism was said to be in an emotional state. 
Among the organic processes that have been and are being studied 
we find changes in pulse, blood-pressure, blood composition, respira- 
tion, knee-jerk; changes in the electrical resistance of the tissues, 
in action currents, basal metabolism, and metabolic rate, etc. 

As one phase of these studies a peculiar condition has arisen. 
Because of the absence of a generally acceptable criterion of 
emotion, the tendency is in the direction of defining emotion in 
terms of these organic measurements. For instance, instead of 
regarding the psychogalvanic process as an organic function of 
emotion, we tend to say that the psychogalvanic process is pro- 
portional to the emotion. As yet the real problem how does 
the psychogalvanic process correlate with the degree of bio- 
social adjustment which the individual is able to make? is just 
being recognized. Whether these organic responses are better 
functions of the character of the overt responses which deter- 
mine the individual's social status than are some other easily 
measurable responses, remains an open question. 

The Biosocial Approach to the Problem of Emotion 

As I pointed out under the topic of feeling, the biosocial approach 
is specifically directed toward the description of those movements 
and the antecedents of those movements which we call human 
behavior. Thus an individual who is sitting on a chair in a relaxed 
condition and whose hand is suddenly brought into contact with a 
number of live frogs, which he djd not see beforehand, goes through 
a series of movements which can be described, photographically at 

The greater the number of responses that are recorded and the 
better the stimuli have been controlled, the more instructive will 
be the experiment. Whether we call this a "fear" response or an 
"emotion" is quite beside the point. If the stimulus and the 
response conditions are under the best control, we may classify 
the subjects on the basis of the behavior records of which a psy- 
chogalvanic reading may be one out of many others. 

If, further, the action is studied from the standpoint of the ontog- 
eny and phylogeny of both the individual and social stimulus and 


response conditions, we shall approach the limit of at least knowing 
something about this one form of behavior. 

Specific and Non-specific Behavior 

From the biosocial standpoint a very important relationship 
between responses is one in which we determine the percentage of 
specific as compared with non-specific activity in performing a 
given task. The difficulty of defining specific and non-specific 
can be eliminated by assigning a task which must be done in a 
predetermined manner before the response series is accepted as 
biologically or biosocially adequate. If in performing such a task 
the individual makes many non-specific movements (either im- 
plicit or overt), the time will be lengthened. If he fails to make 
the specific movements necessary to perform the task, the time 
will also be lengthened. We can now define specific movements 
as those movements which complete the task in the shortest time, 
even though they are not qualitatively identical. The partic- 
ular task can be simple or complex to meet the capacities of the 
individuals to be measured. 

Meyer (1924) was the first, to my knowledge, to formulate this 
category, 8 and he has designed an apparatus which meets the 
preceding conditions. The task consists of a combination of 
relatively simple movements, which the subject learns for the 
first time. By combining these simple movements into various 
tempi and rates, a problem of any degree of complexity can be 

It seems to me that the literary classification " emotional in- 
stability" best describes an individual who makes non-specific 
responses for which specific biosocial responses have been estab- 
lished. This conception seems also to be shared by Warren (1919) 
who says, under the r61e of emotion in mental life: "The emotions, 
more than any other kind of mental states, represent by-gone 
conditions of life. They do not fit particularly well into the human 
world of to-day" (p. 300). "The emotional part of our mental 
life is to some extent an anachronism. Emotion, if uncontrolled, 
hampers the proper interrelation between the individual of to-day 
and the environment of to-day. It is only when the instinctive 
emotions are trained into intelligent modes of expression that this 
phase of mental life works harmoniously with the rest" (p. 302). 

8 Meyer uses the terms " useful*' and " useless" movements. If we abide strictly 
by Meyer's definition of useful and useless, no difficulties arise, but I doubt whether 
in the present state of psychology it is possible to use the terms without a strong 
"vitalistic" tinge. We are still too much disposed to run into discussions of the 
"purposive" type which include much more tnan Meyer would include. 


The Elimination of the Literary Category of Emotion 

It seems to me that a category of behavior which is defined as 
the ratio between specific and non-specific movements will elim- 
inate many of the problems that lie hidden in such a classifica- 
tion of the emotions as given by Warren (1919) : 

1 . Expressive (Nutritive) : e. g., joy, grief, shock, etc. 

2. Reproductive: e. g., love, lust, tenderness, etc. 
8. Defensive: e. g., fear, disgust, shame, etc. 

4. Aggressive: e. g., anger, hatred, pride, etc. 

5. Social Emotion: e. g., affection, cordiality, pity, etc. 
0. With Temporal Projection: e. g., regret, surprise, etc. 

Of course for special forms of behavior such as aesthetic or 
ethical, it may be useful to attempt a complete biosocial analysis 
of some of the separate items given in lists of this type. The 
stimulus-response conditions of any behavior series can be arbitra- 
rily delimited and, when so delimited, the movements of which it is 
made up can be classified as specific or non-specific on the basis 
of some criterion based upon personal, domestic, professional, and 
public requirements which are relatively constant for a given social 

If a biosocial approach can eliminate such vexing questions as 
these Are there any emotions? What is rage? What is anger, 
joy, grief? Are there any instincts?, etc. questions which are 
now sources of much controversy, a great deal will have been gained. 
The biosocial approach clearly recognizes the fact that all behavior 
classifications are human classifications and that classifications or 
descriptions in biological, statistical, and social terms are supersed- 
ing those that were developed when only a supernaturalistic 
theory of human behavior was possible. 

Organic Measurements in Emotion 

Every response requires a certain expenditure of energy which 
varies greatly for different stimulating conditions. Under normal 
conditions the reserve food material in the nervous and muscular 
tissue is not much above that required for the demand of a basal 
metabolism rate of about 100 calories per hour. If a set of muscles 
functions strongly, the available reserve is soon used up and must 
be renewed. This is done through the blood stream, which carries 
a constant amount of food in the form of glucose. As this is ab- 
sorbed by the functioning tissues it is replaced in the blood by the 
conversion of the glycogen in the liver to sugar. To keep the sugar 
content of the blood as constant as it actually has been found to 
be, requires delicate sensorimotor regulation of the glandular 


system. If this system is not functioning properly the individual 
makes movements that are too strong, too weak, or biosocially 

Inadequate functioning of the regulating mechanism 9 would 
give us another class of behavior which would indicate emotional 
instability as generally understood. It seems to me that the pres- 
ent interest in the organic measurements under experimental 
emotional situations is an attempt to learn how this regulating 
mechanism is related to social interaction. 


From what has preceded we may regard the biosocial problem 
of emotions from two views: (a) as the ratio of specific as com- 
pared with non-specific movements in the performance of a given 
task, (6) the relationship between the internal energy regulating 
mechanism and biosocial adjustment. 


One of the big problems in science is to answer the question: 
What does the normal person do and how does he come to do it? 
The individual himself does not know and the traditional method 
of asking him does not yield scientific results. We must make a 
study of the biological and social antecedents of his actions. There 
are at least four phases to be studied : (a) the actions themselves, 
(6) the conditions which produce them, (c) the effects of the 
actions on other persons, (d) and the origin both ontogenetic and 
phylogenetic of both the stimuli and the movements of which 
the actions are made up. In other words, we wish to know how 
the infant becomes the adult and how the adult modifies the infant. 

Our present conceptions of the individual and of human behavior 
were developed long before we had the neurological information 
that is essential to make any action at all comprehensible. As 
a result, the literary categories that were developed show no 
connection with the stimulus-response type of categories now 

The problem of feeling becomes a study of the facilitation or 
interference between movements when these conditions arise from 
stimuli at sensory points other than the ones which are releasing 
the particular response. This is a special case of the more gen- 
eral problem of how any facilitations and interferences between 
responses are brought about. 

9 A more complete account is given in my A Theoretical Basis of Human Be- 
havior, pp. 369-377. 


The problem of emotion becomes that of determining the 
conditions under which non-specific activity interferes with the 
development of biosocially specific action, or of determining 
the relation between the internal energy regulating mechanism 
and the biosocial adjustment. 

Feeling and emotion should be regarded as categories of be- 
havior resulting from the interaction between physical stimulating 
conditions and the sensorimotor system. To regard feelings and 
emotions as non-physical forces which modify behavior leads to 
a type of experimentation the results of which cannot be in- 
corporated into the rapidly developing system of biological and 
social laws. 


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DR. BDHLER (University of Vienna): I do not intend to isolate but to reconcile 
the main standpoints we have today in psychology. When recalling last night's 
introspective paper and comparing it with what you heard from Dr. Weiss today, 
the situation seems to be this: we shall have to decide whether in the future we 
want to be behaviorists or introspectionists. I do not think so. I think I am 
a behavior ist and a mentalist too, and I think that in the future all of us will be 
at the same time behaviorists and mentalists. I do not think we have two exclu- 
sive standpoints, but I think we must have the one and the other, too. I cannot 
explain to you briefly the reason for my opinion, hut I shall pick out some points 
from what Dr. Weiss said. First, let me tell you a little story. Last Sunday morn- 
ing I had a very nice drive around Johns Hopkins; the driver was a psychologist 
you know him very well. His little daughter was with us and suddenly she asked 
the question: "Father, they ask me at school whether you are a behaviorist." 
Papa shrugged his shoulders and finally said, "Ask Dr. Buhler whether he is a 
behaviorist or not," "Yes, I am a behaviorist" and I am willing to be a be- 
haviorist in the field of animal psychology, and in so far as behaviorism is a method 
to make experiments and use what we can observe in young children or animals. 
But it is not possible to carry out entire scientific work when you think in terms of 
the behaviorist only. I state further that Dr. Weiss in his paper used terms, no- 
tions, coming from the other aspect, from mentalism. For instance, I have not 
been able to appreciate exactly and to get his definitions of pleasure and dis- 
pleasure, but one I think is that "pleasure means that the movement of our be- 
havior will be repeated, and displeasure means that it will not be repeated." 
All right; let us point out that this definition means that certain behavior will be 
repeated in the future. Yet he goes on to say that this is not a stern rule, not a 
definite law, but has many, many exceptions. All right; who gives him the right 
to say there are exceptions exceptions to what? If those movements will not be 
repeated, they will not belong to this type of movements of behavior to what he 
calls pleasure. All movements that are repeated belong to this class the move- 
ments of behavior called pleasure. Why say that not all movements not all 
behavior is repeated? Let us ask ourselves and our subjects. We all know exactly 
what pleasure is and what displeasure is. Weiss compares the experiences he has 
and those of other people with what he calls the law. Some movements are re- 
peated, others are not. He said, " You have not an exact definition of pleasure and 
displeasure in the field of emotional psychology." Has he an exact definition? 
I do not think so. You remember there are many exceptions to his rule. Is that 
an exact definition? Let us take another view. We have a fact; for instance, 
you remember that Roentgen found his famous X-rays, as he called that phe- 
nomenon. He found a certain fact and then by scientific reasoning defined it, 
and we now know partly what X-rays are. In the same way we define pleasure and 
displeasure. We are quite sure we have had pleasure and displeasure. Ask a child 
of three years. It knows exactly that some things have been pleasant and others 
unpleasant. This is not a definition, of course; but, we first state the facts and then 
we have to find a good definition. I have tried to show in a new book just published, 
The Crisis of Psychology, that behaviorism as such is a very good aspect, one of the 
possible and one of the necessary aspects of psychology; but the terms of behavior- 
ism need some facts derived from other aspects, for instance, from introspection. 
I think we need more than that, another, a third aspect perhaps in the future 
we shall call it a social aspect. Everyone of these three aspects is possible as well 
as necessary. Behaviorism as such cannot carry out the whole program and 
cannot cover the whole ground of systematic psychology. I think with Dr. Dunlap 
that in the future we will not have as many psychologies as we have now. The 
situation now is that we must decide whether we are behaviorists or mentalists, 


but in the future we will combine these two and maybe more aspects in psychology. 

DR. PRINCE (Harvard University)-. I should like to ask Professor Weiss two or 
three questions. If I understand him correctly, he told us that experience does not 
modify behavior. I take it that by experience, of course, he means conscious 
experience, consciousness in some of its forms. I like to get away from the word 
"consciousness," calling it experience; but I think we ought to call facts by their 
names, call a spade a spade. Consciousness does not modify behavior. Now I 
should like to ask if that is not pure dogmatism; is it not a dogma to say that all our 
behavior is determined in every way by physiological activities? If that be true 
we are only automatons. Of course it would be a corollary. I should like to ask 
whether that statement was made by his intelligence or by his nervous system. It 
seems to me that if you adopt that view, then you are simply going back to the old 
discussion of whether or not we are automatons, which, as you remember, Huxley 
discussed many years ago. Is not the whole of the social organization based upon 
the fact that intelligence or consciousness does modify behavior? Is it not the 
basis of criminal law or criminal intent? And I should like to ask Professor Weiss 
that he assume that he had committed a criminal act (impossible supposition we 
admit, I suppose) but let us say he has committed a criminal act stolen some oil 
lands, or committed a murder, or whatever it may be. Suppose he pleaded to the 
judge that he had no criminal intent, "Why, Your Honor, it was nothing but my 
nervous system, my neurones that committed the crime." What do you suppose 
the answer of the judge would be? " We shall punish your nervous system; we shall 
send your grey matter down there?" He is practically reducing us to mere 
machines. Now, we may be automatons, but I believe it is very difficult to make 
the man in the street believe that we are nothing but automatons and that our 
experiences, that our feelings, are only the symptoms of consciousness, or that be- 
havior takes place in us and that we are powerless to determine that behavior. I 
find myself in accord with a great deal of what Professor Btihler has said. There 
seem to be only two aspects of the same question. You have got to consider both 
aspects. But we can go a certain distance as a method of investigation, using the 
physiological method. And I say to anyone that uses that method, "Godspeed 
to you! Go as far as you can go; but you are bound to come up against a stone wall 
somewhere, sometime, and you have finally got to come to conscious experience." 
I can trace back, as I see it, to something that went before my presence here today. 
When I was nine years of age I was first interested in psychology. In a way, every- 
thing is related to what has gone before. We cannot isolate any behavior from 
what has gone before; but that antecedent behavior was conscious behavior, it 
was conscious experience at that time. And so it seems to me impossible to conceive 
that our feelings, our consciousness, our ideas, our beliefs, are different. They 
finally boil down to different aspects of one and the same thing. 

CHAIRMAN: I regret that lack of time makes it impossible for Dr. Weiss to 
answer his various challengers. 


Special Problems in the Psychology of 
Feeling and Emotion 



University of Vienna 

If a first sign, Z), means displeasure, and a second one, P, 
pleasure, then psychologists have generally agreed, since Aristotle 
and Epicurus, that the general direction of human activity is, 
as a rule, from D to P. In terms of behaviorism we may say: 
There is a steering principle to be found in the field of movements 
we can observe. Think of what physicists call a field in the theory 
of electricity and magnetism. As the needle in the compass 
shows a certain directing influence, so also does human behavior. 
Concerning this scheme let us make the assumption that the 
arrow has not a static but a dynamic significance there is a 
movement, an occurrence, along the arrow, changing the status 
D into the status P. 

Now, draw the consequences and you have a theory the 
theory of common sense applied to pleasure since ancient times, 
but nobody till Fechner tried to formulate it in exact scientific 
terms. After Fechner, Freud and I myself in the same year 
(1920) were concerned with this formula. 

There are small differences. Fechner speaks as a pure physicist 
on this point, and Freud, whose speculations always touch philo- 
sophical problems, took the opportunity to find a fundamental 
definition of libido, and to confess his black pessimism in things 
of human life. Freud's relationship to Schopenhauer appeared 
clearly on this occasion. I myself, without knowing Freud and 
Fechner and coming from biology, used some biological terms. 

But beyond those differences there is an agreement in the main 
point, which I shall now state. Whatever human activity may be, 
wherever the forces (powers) implied in the movements we can 
observe are coming from, as far as this scheme is right and the 
movements are steered along the direction represented by this 
arrow, there is no reason why the status of P once reached should 
be transgressed and left again by the continuing of the same 


Therefore, Fechner says, P means stability, D means insta- 
bility, in terms of physics. Out of the status of D springs what 
we call an action (or reaction), and in the status of a relative and 
maybe temporary stability is to be found the natural end and 
conclusion of the movements, the changes. In other words, if 
you substitute the psychological terms tension and relax- 
ation in the scheme, the place of tension is here and the place of 
relaxation is there. 

D > P 

T > R 

H S 

I do not think there is anything new or astonishing for any 
psychologist in this formulation. Replace the general terms 
tension and relaxation by adequate notions drawn from more 
concrete situations like the food business or sexuality, and the 
behavior in the status of being hungry comes to stay here and 
the opposite behavior in the status of satisfaction there; sexual 
eagerness here, satisfaction there. In zoological gardens before 
and after the mealtime of the big carnivorous animals there is 
a good opportunity to observe a relatively short and swift transition 
from the first status to the second, and so to examine and prove 
this formula. Or think of certain big snakes, like the boa con- 
strictor. Their behavior after the meal is a picture of a long 
and complete relaxation. 

In human beings, especially in those restless products of modern 
civilization like us, maybe this picture is sometimes a bit faded 
put. Neurologists know and describe a certain form of neurasthenia 
in which the patients are entirely unable to relax and digest, as 
it were, in the right manner. They chase after the enjoyments of 
life and collect them, like trophies or scalps, only to feel themselves 
in all the riches of their collection starving with hunger for new 
ones, or finally prostrated with satiation or disgust. Maybe 
we restless men of modern civilization are placed in the series 
far from the behavior of a boa constrictor, and nearer the neur- 
asthenic patients. But I do not think we have overcome and 
surpassed the general law of this formula. The human child in 
the first years of its life shows better the naive and unspoiled status 
than we adults. 

But, notwithstanding, it is observation of the child that has 
convinced me that the old and venerable formula does not con- 
tain the whole truth about the relation between the pleasure prin- 
ciple and activity neither in man nor in animals. It explains 
but one side of the facts. There are two others. And psychology 


does violence to the facts when it confines itself to that one prin- 
ciple applicable only to the first of the three aspects we must 
consider in our field. 

By the way, it was also observation of the child that spoiled 
Freud's theory of libido for him. He then started anew, and 
wrote that strange book, Beyond the Pleasure Principle, and so 
startled his followers that for seven years they have not recovered 
from their fright. Beyond the pleasure principle Freud felt com- 
pelled to invent and state the existence of a second powerful 
factor determining and ruling human and animal behavior, be- 
cause he once came in direct contact with and observed some facts 
in a child's playing. 

I now have for examination a series of six systematic researches, 
complementing each other, which we have just finished in Vienna. 
These six researches concern play in childhood and its development, 
and they agree with Freud in the main point. Indeed, the facts 
concerning children's activity in play are not to be explained by 
the supposition of a general libido and this formula alone. 

I found another one. Think of the movements themselves as 
endowed with pleasure, and we have formulated a fundamental, 
a central knowledge concerning children's play. I call it Function 
Pleasure. The fact is, certain forms of movements are themselves 
pleasurable. I postpone the general question as to what forms 
and why. It is my purpose to enumerate some concrete cases. 
In the phase of development where the child learns to grasp, the 
grasping movements of arms, hands, and fingers are endowed 
with function pleasure and so in other phases the movements 
of walking, or talking, etc. 

Do not expect me to explain in this short reference the empirical 
reasons we found for this central statement. But suppose it is 
true and look with me at some important theoretical consequences: 

1. According to the first formula, P means relaxation and 
quietness. Freud drew the radical conclusion: Ergo P finally 
is a principle of death. I do not think that relaxation is equal to 
death. But there is indeed a problem. One and the same thing, 
namely, the playing business in childhood, is endowed with pleas- 
ure and is characterized by movement (not relaxation). All right, 
because, according to the second formula, P does not play the 
part of a brake but the pjart of a motor. 

2. Repetition is one of the most impressive characteristics in 
children's playing. Well, this repetition is the necessary and imme- 
diate consequence of function pleasure. Repetition is the simplest 
way for the P of a movement to be prolonged. It is superfluous 
to state a special principle of repetition as Freud did. Children's 


playing is not beyond the pleasure principle, but the first and 
simple consequence of function pleasure. 

3. We know repetition means habit formation. All right. 
This agrees with the old and good supposition that children's 
playing produces useful habits and abilities for later life. Certain 
forms of behavior endowed with function pleasure constitute a 
method so simple and efficient as to effect the training of restless 

4. There is a general direction to be found in the development 
of children's playing leading to better and higher forms of move- 
ments. Function pleasure is bound to rhythm, for example, and to 
other shapes, structures, forms of movements. And therefore we 
find a selection and performance progressing from worse to better 
and more effective movements or behavior. 

These are, in short, the main steps of a theory of play: beginning 
with the fundamental statement that the movements of the 
functions implied in play are themselves endowed with pleasure, 
and finishing with the other statement that the development we 
can observe in children's playing business goes all the way from 
simpler and lower to higher and more complicated forms of move- 
ments or behavior, because function pleasure especially is bound to 
what we call today form, structure, shape, like rhythm and the 
others. There is a steering principle to be found in the develop- 
ment of children's playing which leads to better and higher forms 
in behavior. 

Now the third formula, the third aspect, in which we find P 
connected with activity. Look at the enjoyment, the happiness 
in any creative human work. What phase of creative work is 
endowed with the highest kind of enjoyment of happiness humans 
are able to experience? I think of inventions and discoveries and 
how they are endowed with pleasure. 

My answer is: This kind of pleasure is bound neither to the 
end and the following relaxation nor to the process of realization, 
but to those delicious moments when the invention or discovery 
overcomes the subject and grows up in him. It is bound to what we 
call the conception, and conception stays here. 

Think of the highest forms of human inventions and discoveries 
in the fields of sciences, arts, technical inventions, organizations, 
etc. Psychologically considered, it is always the same process. Or 
think of the lowest forms we know today, Kohler's chimpanzees. 
I don't know whether the chimpanzees already enjoy the moment 
of finding a solution in a new situation or not. But I know 
exactly, because we have observed the phenomena, that human 
children do that already in the first years. I think it belongs to the 
common features in human nature. 


The process of growing human civilization can be considered as 
a complicated texture of accumulated inventions and discoveries. 
Well, and one of the different powers or leading principles in it is, 
I think, and was from the beginning, the enjoyment humans find 
in making inventions and discoveries. 

If we, by way of convention, call this side or aspect of human 
behavior intellect, then the pleasure in creative work is the 
emotional background of intellect and is correlated with it as 
nearly and as adequately as function pleasure is correlated with 
habit formation in children's playing. It would take me too long 
a time to explain here the details and to discuss the observations, 
especially on children, upon which this statement is based. 

Let me finish the abstract scheme of the theory with two 
remarks : 

1. I think it can be and is to be carried out in the most exact 
and well-defined terms of modern psychology. I can give an exact 
definition for the notion of a steering principle in human and 
animal behavior. 

2. As for the correlations and transitions between the three 
formulae, I think they are nothing less than differentiations or 
specifications of one and the same more primitive and fundamental 
relation between movements and what we call pleasure. I am an 
optimist in things of life and suppose, with Herbert Spencer and 
many others, that life with its changes and movements of vital 
processes originally means pleasure. 

Jennings found that the natural status of lower organisms is not 
quietness and relaxation but movement. That statement is not 
true, except in certain respects, when applied to what we can 
observe with children in the first weeks of life. It is a fact that 
sleep and relaxation dominate in them nearly all the movements 
we find which follow the characteristics of this first formula, 
except a relatively small group of those events that Preyer called 
impulsive movements. But out of them, in swift development, 
springs the important playing of children. And concerning the 
great development of living beings, I suppose that not what we 
can find in the differentiated system of behavior of new-born 
human children but what Jennings found in the system of behavior 
of lower organisms is to be considered as the first step. I am willing 
to think those movements are already endowed with pleasure, 
because I am an optimist. But that belongs to philosophy. 




Duke University 

There is still much uncertainty and confusion in the use of 
the terms "emotion" and "feeling, " corresponding to the un- 
certainties and diversities of views as to the status, conditions, 
and functions of the processes to which these terms are applied. 
After many years of gradual advance toward clarity of my own 
thinking on these problems I feel able to offer a scheme which 
seems to me comprehensive, coherent, and fundamentally correct, 
however much in need of correction and elaboration in details. 

The scheme I offer is founded on evolutionary and comparative 
or genetic considerations and moulded in conformity with the 
facts of human experience and behavior. It implies a voluntaristic 
or hormic psychology, that is to say, a psychology which regards 
as the most fundamental feature of all animal life the capacity 
actively to seek goals by means of plastic behavior, of striving 
expressed in bodily movements adjusted from moment to moment 
to the details of each developing situation in the manner called 
by common consent, intelligent. 

As I have argued elsewhere, the capacity to strive towards an 
end or ends, to seek goals, to sustain and renew activity adopted 
to secure consequences beneficial to the organism or the species 
must be accepted as a fundamental category of psychology. 1 
Whether in the course of evolution such capacity has "emerged" 
from modes of being lacking all germ of it; whether it can be 
explained in terms of physics and chemistry, as the psychologists 
of the Gestalt School seek to show these are questions for the 
future. Psychology is not called upon to await affirmative an- 
swers to these questions before recognizing purposive striving as 
a mode of activity that pervades and characterizes all animal life. 
Nor need we determine whether plant life exhibits in some lowly 
degree the same essential functions, or whether some cognition, 
however lowly, is always and everywhere a cooperating function. 

It is reasonable to assume that the primary forms of animal 

1 " Purposive Striving as" a Fundamental Category of Psychology. " Presidential 
address to the Psychological Section of the British Association, 1924. Reprinted 
in Science, November, 1924. 


striving were the seeking of food and the turning away from the 
noxious, primitive appetition and aversion; and that from these 
two primitive forms all other modes of appetition and aversion 
have been differentiated and evolved. 

Setting out from these assumptions, my thesis is, first, that all 
the modes of experience we call feeling and emotion are incidental 
to the striving activities, the conations of the organism, evoked 
either by impressions from the environment or by metabolic 
processes taking place within it or, more commonly, in both ways; 
secondly, that we may broadly and consistently distinguish feelings 
on the one hand and emotions on the other by their functional 
relations to the conative activities which they accompany and 
qualify, these relations being very different in the two cases. 
||There are two primary and fundamental modes of feeling, pleas- 
ure and pain, or satisfaction and dissatisfaction, which color and 
qualify in some degree, however slight, all strivings.\ Pleasure 
is the consequence of, and sign of, success whether partial or com- 
plete; pain, the consequence and sign of failure and frustration. 
It seems probable that primitive pleasure and pain were alter- 
natives, perhaps not mutually exclusive in any absolute sense but 
practically so. But with the development of the cognitive powers 
came the simultaneous apprehension of diverse aspects of objects 
and situations and, further, the pleasures and pains of anticipation 
and recollection. The former brought the possibility of the simul- 
taneous excitation of diverse impulses conflicting or cooperating 
with reciprocal modifications. The latter rendered possible the 
conjunction of present success with anticipation of failure, and of 
present frustration with anticipation of success. With these came 
corresponding complications of the modes of feeling. 

The organism that has attained such a level of cognitive develop- 
ment no longer oscillates between simple pleasure and simple 
pain; beside and between these simple primitive extremes, it 
attains a range of feelings which are in some sense fusions or blend- 
ings of pleasure and pain; it experiences such feelings as hope, 
anxiety, despondency, despair, regret, and sorrow. And, with 
the fuller development of mental structure, the adult man learns 
to know "sweet sorrows," joys touched with pain, "hope de- 
ferred that maketh the heart sick," and "strange webs of melan- 
choly mirth"; "his sincerest laughter with some pain is fraught"; 
his darkest moments of abject failure are lightened by some ray 
of hope; his bright moments of triumph and elation are sobered 
by his abiding sense of the vanity of human wishes and the fleet- 
ing, unstable nature of all attainment. In short, the grown man 
no longer is capable of the simple feelings of the child, because he 


' has learned to "look before and after and pine for what is not." 
With the development of his cognitive powers, his desires have 
become complex and of long range, and the simple alternation 
between pleasure and pain has given place to a perpetual ranging 
through the scale of complex feelings. These complex feelings are 
known in common speech as emotions. Adopting the terminology 
proposed by Shand, I have elsewhere discussed them under the 
general title "the derived emotions of desire, prospective and 
retrospective. " 2 

It would greatly conduce to clarity and precision if, in science, 
we should cease to give the general name "emotion" to these 
complex feelings. The difficulty of distinguishing these complex 
feelings from the emotions proper and the common practice of 
confusing them arise from the fact that well-nigh all the strivings 
of the developed mind are qualified both by emotions proper and 
by complex feelings or "derived emotions," blended in one com- 
plex whole or configuration. 

To turn now to the emotions proper or the qualities of emotional 
experience : As the primitive appetition and aversion became differ- 
entiated into impulses directed toward more special goals and 
evocable by more special objects and situations, each specialized 
impulse found expression in some special mode of bodily striving 
with some corresponding complex of bodily adjustments facilitating 
and supporting that mode of bodily activity. Without accepting 
the James-Lange theory in an extreme and literal way, we must 
suppose that each such system of bodily adjustments is reflected 
in the experience of the striving organism, giving to each specialized 
mode of striving a peculiar and distinctive quality, the quality of 
one of the primary emotions; and that, when mental development 
reaches the level at which two or more of the specialized impulses 
come into play simultaneously, conflicting or cooperating, these 
primary qualities are experienced in the complex blendings that 
we call the secondary or blended emotions, such complex qualities* 
as embarrassment, shame, awe, reverence, reproach. 
; Let me now contrast the complex feelings or " derived emotions " 
'with the emotions proper, primary and blended, bearing in mind 
that all the concrete emotional experiences of the developed mind 
are configurations in which are blended qualities of both kinds, 
qualities which we abstractly distinguish as the true and the derived 

1. The complex feelings, like the simple feelings, arise from, 
are conditioned by, the degrees of success and failure of our striv- 

2 Introduction to Social Psychology (Boston: Luce, 1910), and Outline of Psy- 
chology (New York: Scribner, 1923). 


ings, and, like the simple feelings, they modify the further working 
of the impulses by which they are generated, strengthening and 
sustaining them in so far as the balance of feeling-tone is on the 
pleasurable side, checking and diverting them in so far as the 
balance of feeling is on the painful side. 

The true emotional qualities, on the other hand, are prior 
to and independent of success and failure; they spring to life with 
the evocation of the corresponding impulses and continue to color 
the experiences of striving each with its distinctive tone, giving 
its specific quality to the whole configuration regardless of degrees 
of success or failure, actual or anticipated. And they have no 
direct influence upon the course of striving. As qualities of ex- 
perience they are merely indicative of the nature of bodily adjust- 
ments organically bound up with each fundamental mode of 
striving; but in the developed mind they play an indirect part in 
determining the course of conation because, serving as signs of 
the nature of the impulse at work, they render possible to the 
self-conscious organism some degree of direction and control of 
these impulses. 

2. The complex feelings, then, are dependent upon and secon- 
dary to the development of the cognitive functions. It is perhaps 
true to say that they are peculiar to man, though possibly attained 
in their simpler forms by the highest of animals. The true emo- 
tions, on the other hand, must be supposed to be of very much 
earlier appearance in the evolutionary scale. Throughout the 
major part of that scale they appear as mere by-products of the 
impulsive strivings of the animals. In man alone they become an 
important source of self-knowledge and, therefore, of self -direction. 

The introspective study of these emotional qualities has been 
much neglected by psychology, for the reasons that they do not 
readily lend themselves to experimental control, and that our 
nomenclature inevitably remains very inadequate. Yet the 
practice of such introspection brings great increase of facility in 
recognition of the nature of our conations; and such facility is of 
more practical importance than any other kind of introspective 
skill, not only because it greatly conduces to efficient self -direct ion, 
but also because it is a principal means to a better understanding 
of the motivation of conduct in general. It is not difficult to 
know that we desire (or are averse to) some particular end; the 
difficulty, theoretical and practical, is to know what is the nature 
of the impulse in which the desire is rooted, what tendency finds 
satisfaction in the attainment of such an end. 

3. The named complex feelings (such as hope, anxiety, re- 
gret) are not in any sense entities and do not spring from special 


dispositions. Rather, each of the names we use in describing such 
feelings denotes merely an ill-defined part of a large range of 
feeling, the whole of which may be incidental to the working of 
any strong desire, no matter what its nature and origin. As the 
subject, moved by desire, passes through this range of complex 
feelings, each named part is experienced in turn, and in turn passes 
over into its neighbor quality; there is consequently no blending 
of such qualities. 

On the other hand, each one of the true primary emotional 
qualities arises on the coming into activity of a corresponding con- 
ative disposition, which is an enduring feature of the mental struc- 
ture of the organism; hence, each such quality is experienced only 
in association with an impulse or a desire of a specific type; and, 
since two or more such dispositions may come simultaneously 
into play, yielding cooperative or conflicting desires, the corres- 
ponding primary emotional qualities may be simultaneously 
evoked and may fuse or blend with one another in various inten- 
sities. Let me illustrate these contrasting features with examples. 
Hope is the name we give to the complex feeling which arises 
when any strong desire is working in us and we anticipate success; 
if new difficulties arise hope gives place to anxiety or despondency, 
but cannot under any circumstances be said to blend with des- 
pondency to yield anxiety; rather, as the circumstances become 
less favorable, the feeling rooted in our desire changes by imper- 
ceptible gradations from hope to anxiety and then to despondency. 
Contrast with this the emotion we call curiosity or wonder and 
its relations to the emotion we call fear. The emotion-quality 
wonder accompanies always, in some degree, the impulse or desire 
to explore and to become better acquainted with some object; 
it is never experienced save as an accompaniment of that tendency 
in action. The process of exploration leads to the better compre- 
hension of the nature of the object and this in turn may evoke 
fear, a quality which accompanies always the impulse to shrink 
from, or the desire to retreat from, the object. But with the rise 
of this new impulse with its distinctive emotion-quality, wonder 
is not necessarily driven out or arrested; the impulse to explore 
may continue to work simultaneously with the impulse to retreat, 
and in this case we experience an emotion-quality in which we 
recognize affinity to both wonder and fear, and which we seem 
justified in describing as in some sense a blend of these two pri- 
mary qualities. 

Note: I seize this opportunity to illustrate the fact that the distinction drawn 
in the foregoing paper obviates certain objections which have been raised against 
the view of the relation between emotion and instinct propounded in my Social 


Psychology. Professor Harvey Carr (in the paper contributed to the symposium) 
raises against that view (namely, that each primary emotion is one aspect of the 
functioning of a corresponding instinct) the fact that "the emotion of joy" is apt 
to spring up on the completion of some instinctive action, that is to say at the 
moment of attainment of the goal, the moment when the instinctive impulse sub- 
sides. This fact would constitute a serious objection, if joy were a primary emo- 
tion (as has so commonly been assumed ever since Descartes claimed that position 
for it). But as I have tried to show elsewhere, joy lacks the distinguishing features 
of a primary emotion; it must rather be regarded (together with sorrow) as one of 
the "derived emotions of desire," that is to say, in stricter language, one of the 
complex modes of feeling. Joy, as Professor Carr points out, has no specific ten- 
dency, does not constantly accompany or qualify any one instinctive impulse, the 
desire for a goal of any one type, but rather may arise upon the attainment of any 
strongly desired goal, no matter what the instinctive root of the desire. It has all 
the distinctive marks of feeling, rather than those of emotion. 




State University of Iowa 

The new approach to the study of emotion which I wish to 
outline in a few words is restricted largely to the field of emo- 
tional expression in music and speech. But the principles observed 
in vocalization are often such as may be transferred directly or 
indirectly to other channels of expression. 

The technique I advocate on the basis of our experience in the 
laboratory for the last eight or nine years rests upon the simple 
assumption that everything that the singer or speaker conveys to 
the listener in the form of music or speech is conveyed on the 
sound wave. We may have dramatic singing and gesture and 
other forms of embellishing action, but these are accessory and 
can readily be recorded by photographic methods if desired. 
But the fundamental fact is one which even the psychologists 
and physicists have been slow to recognize, namely, that what is 
conveyed from voice or instrument to the ear is conveyed on the 
sound wave and through no other medium. 

This being granted, we have only to take advantage of the 
marvellous development in phonophotography which has taken 
place within the last few years. We intercept the sound-wave 
message with the camera, which records every character of the 
message on moving-picture film permanently and in minute detail. 
We may then build a scientific terminology of emotion within 
these fields in terms of measurement upon this sound-wave record 
and convert this into psychological terminology. 

My purpose in speaking today is not to announce any marked 
contribution to the advance in phonophotography, but rather to 
point out how we psychologists may take advantage of the re- 
markable development of facilities for exact record, reproduction, 
analysis, and measurement of sound waves. 

We may note three reasons why this approach to the study 
of emotion is full of promise and assurance for the psychology of 
emotion. These are: (1) that phonophotography furnishes us 
in this field complete objective records of emotional expressions 


in permanent form and adequate detail; (2) that music and speech 
represent perhaps the most highly developed artistic forms of 
the expression of emotion in the human being and constitute the 
medium most commonly used for the expression of all stages of 
affective life; and (3) that basic records of this kind become a 
common instrument of reference in all studies of physical and 
mental conditions of emotional expression. 

1. The physical record in a phonophotogram may be reduced 
to four factors; namely, the wave-form, the wave-length, the wave- 
amplitude, and the wave-recurrence, each of these giving us in 
turn timbre, pitch, intensity, and duration of sound. 1 The infinite 
complexes of rich experience in hearing are all built up from 
these four fundamental sources. Each of these four factors of 
the sound wave has a large range for itself and when we take into 
account all the possible permutations in combination of these 
four series of variables we have sufficient physical basis to account 
for all auditory experience from the stimulus point of view. 

The thing I wish to emphasize here is that a complete record of 
vocalization may be available for physical measurements on 
these four phases of the sound wave and that theoretically we 
shall be able to reconstruct from these four fundamental measure- 
ments an almost infinite variety of experiences or expressions 
which are recognized as vocal. While some of the detail in the 
building of instruments for a complete record of sound waves 
yet remains to be worked out in practice, we have theoretically 
in sight, and in most cases practically, instruments which will 
record emotional expression in appeal to the ear through voice 
or instrument in as fine detail as may be significant for psycho- 
logical analysis. I know of no other field for the expression of 
emotional life in which we have or are ever likely to have a tool 
of investigation so adequate and readily available. 

2. When we regard all mental life as tinged with emotion and 
when our object is to tease out this particular tinge from the 
normal, beautiful or ugly, agreeable or disagreeable act, music 
and speech present an incomparably fertile field. Our largest 
interest is, of course, in the problem of determining the laws for 
the expression of the beautiful. The expression of the ugly may 
be regarded as the negative or obverse phase of the same thing. 
Now beauty in vocal expression may be regarded as a pleasing 
deviation from the regular, the fixed, and the exact. Thus, in 
determining what constitutes beauty in singing, we must formulate 

1 Although the attribute of extensity belongs in this category of attributes of 
sound I do not give it a separate status here because its physical basis is wave- 
length, which is the same as for pitch. 


the laws for deviation from the regular true pitch, exact time, 
fixed rhythm, pure tone, and so forth. This simplifies our problem 
and makes it specific and concrete. I am using the term "expres- 
sion of emotion" here in the broadest sense so as to include the 
affective phase of concrete acts and experiences from the most 
attenuated affective tone in the everyday act up to the violent 
emotional expression or experience. The emotior^Js therefore 
never_jnegarded_as^a process in itself but rather as a pEaseTot ~expe- 
rience and action almost universally present.. We, thereforeTSpeak 
of the photogram as representing a song or a speech in toto, yet 
the photogram is such as to enable us to deal with the affective 
aspects in and by themselves in the actual setting of the process 
as a whole. 

3. A phonophotogram becomes a basic record embodying 
or representing the emotional act. In the study of all factors 
involved we have, therefore, not that illusive consciousness 
which introspective psychology has changed, but the overt 
emotional act as a whole preserved and available for examination 
from all points of view. The photogram therefore becomes a 
universal tool of investigation. 

On the basis of our own experiments in the laboratory, I may 
give a number of examples of the manner in which this tool may 
be used. I cannot stop to give results, but merely indicate 
principles involved. 

a) Comparison of the auditory experience and the analysis of 
the objective record. The photogram of the rendition of a great 
singer from a phonograph record has strategic value in that it 
enables us to go back at any time and compare the hearing of the 
sound and its objectively analyzed features. Countless problems 
involving laws of hearing may be solved in this manner. By the 
introduction of the tone-producing feature the same film may now 
report both for the purpose of auditory reproduction, as in the 
vitaphone, and for quantitative analysis as now studied in our 
laboratory. When such a camera can be taken out to primitive 
peoples for the making of this double record, a new wonderland 
may be brought home to the laboratory. And, when distance 
is annihilated so that the double record may be made instantly 
in the laboratory from any part of the world over the radio, 
science seems to approach magic. 

6) The motor mechanism in the expression of emotion. With 
the conditions under which phonophotograms are taken, ob- 
jective record may be made of any feature in the motor mechanism 
for the purpose of determining the primary sources of innervation 
and the order and relationship of the various secondary innerva- 


lions which enter into the musculature of a given act. For 
example, with the phonophotogram of the beautiful rendition of 
a tone, minute photographic records may be made also of the time, 
the extent, the form, and the spread of the movement in the 
individual muscles involved which produce that element of 
beauty. The same amplifying system which is used in reporting 
the sound may be used in amplifying the reproduction of other 
inceptive and otherwise unobservable muscular movements. 
Such studies enable us to give a structural picture of the motor 
mechanism in a given emotional act. 

c) The neural functions which condition the act. The principle 
of amplifying for the recording of sound may also be applied to 
the photographing of the action current. Thus in the study of 
the sources and paths of innervation we need not wait for the 
response of the muscle as an indication of the innervation, but 
may record directly the origin, the course, and the frequency of 
the innervations of the given muscle. It has been shown recently 
that the rate of transmission of a nerve impulse through a simple 
set of synapses is correlated with mental alertness, and by the 
same principle there would be reason for assuming that it would 
correlate with types of emotional response. Although it concerns 
only the grosser movements of the nerve impulse, the technique 
of measurement of action currents furnishes a new tool for the 
determination of the neural mechanism which correlates with a 
given emotional act. 

d) Causes and conditions of emotional responses. The phono- 
photogram as a permanent representation of the original act 
enables us to tease out under experimental control one after another 
of the countless subjective and objective factors which condition 
a particular emotional act, such as its relation to stimuli, specific 
mental processes, awareness, effort, and dominant drives. The 
problems and types of approach from this point of view are 

e) The relation of artistic expression of emotion to talent. The 
quality and degree of artistic emotion expressed in song, for 
example, is dependent upon the singer's possession of certain special 
capacities such as the sense of pitch, sense of rhythm, musical 
imagery, reflective thinking, and various forms of motor control. 
Each of these may be studied in turn under control in relation 
to the actual performances as recorded by a photogram and such 
studies immediately reveal aspects of general forms of personality 
traits such as emotional stability, persistence, or introversion. 

/) Objective differences in the expression of emotional qualities. 
The differentiation in the expressions of love and anger, the 


quiet emotion and the violent emotion, and similar qualitative 
differences in emotional experience may now be approached a 
step nearer by measurement; for, if fear, anger, love, are expressed 
through music, the differences among them, so far as the affective 
quality of the singing is concerned, may be expressed in terms 
of measurements upon the sound wave. 

g) Development or adaptation of emotional expression. Since 
age groups may readily be studied by phonophotography for this 
purpose, the development of artistic singing forms the modulation 
of the expression of feeling; and the actual rise and fall of certain 
emotional tendencies may be adequately recorded. 

h) Racial traits in song and speech. We may now compare 
the beauty or ugliness of a particular expression of emotion in 
music or speech of the Hottentot or the Bostonian, the Fiji 
Islander or the Eskimo, for many of our instruments now available 
bring all these within our reach. 

i) The inheritance of emotional qualities. Likewise, since our 
objective records enable us to make comparisons within a family 
and for successive generations in a family group, the study of 
inheritance of emotional traits, such as a beautiful singing voice 
or a conspicuous rhythmic activity, may be studied objectively. 

j) Learning, the acquisition of emotional skill. The voice has 
up to the present time been one of the most grossly neglected 
factors in the judgment of the charm of personality. As interest 
in art grows we are going to place the development of the affective 
aspects of human intercourse on a part with the cognitive; and 
the most important of these is the pleasingness of the human 
voice. Appreciation of the forms of beauty in the human voice 
and skill in its control are among the large lessons that cultured 
man has yet to learn; and, in the present approach, we have a 
means for laying scientific foundation for a science of the expres- 
sion of the beautiful through voice. 

To this list of ten vantage grounds many more might be added. 
These are selected as points of view which are actually in opera- 
tion at the present time in the Iowa laboratory. I might illustrate 
all of them in a specific case, the study of the vibrato by Dr. 
Metfessel and others. By such methods the investigator has 
been enabled to work out a number of laws of the relation of 
the perception which the vibrato has to its objective existence; 
what fundamental types of motor mechanism actually operate 
in the production of the vibrato; what are the primary and what 
are secondary forms of innervation indicating the seat of control 
of the vibrato; what types of mental and physical antecedents 
and motives condition the vibrato; what are some of the charac- 


teristic limitations of artistic vibrato as set by limitations upon 
specific musical talents; what are some of the objective devices 
in an expression of, for example, love and anger; what is the 
normal order of development and the mode of origin of the vibrato 
in an age series of children; how the vibrato of the Carolina negro 
spiritual compares with that of the trained artistic singer; whether 
an early vibrato comes through true inheritance or merely as a 
social or educational factor; how may the vibrato be taught and 
how a disagreeable vibrato may be corrected. 

This illustration should suffice to convey something of the 
unlimited scope of possibilities which are open to us by the 
technique of phonophotography in the study of emotional life. 


DR. DUNLAP: (The Johns Hopkins University): The program which Dr. Sea- 
shore has laid down is one which should excite our enthusiasm as an experimental 
program, and it does excite mine. Nevertheless, I am 99.44 per cent skeptical. 
Many of us have worked in this field in the past. I am still somewhat skeptical, 
not as to the desirability of the program, but as to the possibility of attaining the 
results which Dr. Seashore has predicted for us. I am afraid that in exposition 
Dr. Seashore has confused beauty and expression, which I believe are two different 
things, and possibly Dr. Seashore seemed to confuse them because of the limitations 
of his presentation here. 

But the beauty of a singer's voice, its power to arouse emotions in the hearers, 
is one thing. Her voice as an expression of her own emotions is in most cases an 
entirely different thing. Many of our singers are, you might say, human violins 
or oboes. They do not feel the emotions which they arouse in their hearers. 

Moreover, the mechanism which they have built up for the purpose of working 
on pur organisms in that way is one which is not built up through emotional ex- 
perience of that type, but through a careful and long training in details of technique, 
which singers know will have that effect in the mechanical perfection of the human 

To a large extent, as we know, those methods of arousing feeling in auditors, 
these elements of beauty, as we may call them, are conventional. The things which 
to us are of great value, which arouse deep emotions in us, to other men of the same 
heredity, who have not been trained in that same thing, arouse loathing and disgust. 
The vibrato is an example, where the training to that constant trembling of voice 
may lead us to accept that somewhat jazzy element of singing as something of 
great beauty, that is, may arouse in us emotions which it did not arouse fifty years 

When it comes to the voice as expressing the actual feelings of the vocalizer, then 
we are entering upon a problem of exceeding great interest, but the problem where 
my pessimism is deepest. 

It is true, as Dr. Seashore has pointed out, that the totality of vocal expression 
can be reduced to a few elements. In that consideration lies great advantage and 
significant danger. 

Water can be reduced to two elements, oxygen and hydrogen. But you tell 
your engineer designing a city water system, with all of its complicated requirements, 
that all he has to do is to deal with oxygen and hydrogen, and you won't convince 
him that the matters of pressure and purification and the manifold details of en- 


gineering practice in regard to water supplies can be solved by a simple synthetic 
consideration of primary elements. 

Our problem with regard to emotions is as much an engineering problem as it 
is a chemical problem, I believe, and I think Dr. Cannon would agree with that. 
But important as the chemical consideration is, it is a much more complicated 
problem than that, and I think we can very quickly assure ourselves of that fact 
with regard to vocal expression. The voice does express feeling or emotion, what- 
ever you want to call it. Of that there is no question. It is one of those physiological 
signs. We are long past the day when we were inclined to connect those factors 
with anatomical signs in a mixed population. But we know all physiological signs 
must be considered, both with regard to the fleeting expressions of mental changes, 
and with regard to the permanent tendencies in mental constitution. 

But here we are dealing, if my experience is dependable, with factors of great 
subtlety. If we were to estimate Galli-Curci's voice in the terms of simple factors 
on the basis of a synthesis and an analysis which we could make of those at present, 
I am afraid that Galli-Curci, with her well-known characteristic of inability to 
keep on the pitch, would be rated much below some of our church sopranos. Those 
elements of superiority in Galli-Curci's voice which enable her to produce her effects 
you see I am getting over into expression, but you see now it is the effect of the 
voice itself rather in beauty than expression regardless of how Galli-Curci feels 
when she sings, and from what I have heard, her introspection would be quite 
worth while in that regard those elements which give her voice superiority in 
spite of its grave technical defects are subtle considerations. That has to do with 
the difficulties of instrumentation and analysis which we get immediately. 

I unfortunately did not hear the beginning of Dr. Seashore's paper. He may 
have overcome this in his opening. But all of the instruments which I know, six or 
seven different instruments of phonographic registration of vocal expression, are 
exceedingly troublesome. I suppose nobody in our land knows that better than 
Dr. Dayton C. Miller, who spent the greater part of his life in attempts at this type 
of analysis. And a phonograph isn't any more a source of difficulty than the other 
instruments. We can, it is true, register pitch, we can register duration, we can regis- 
ter amplitude, we can register wave-form. How much these details of average 
pitch, average amplitude, hiive to do with emotion is a question. I do not think 
they have much to do with it. 

A person who talks may talk in a voice which has been standardized for many 
years, but he gives himself away in small matters, and those small matters are the 
significant matters. Timbre is important but timbre is standardized by our meth- 
ods of training, and the analysis of timbre from our best phonographic records, as 
some of you know, is a matter yet for conjecture. If you succeed in analyzing in 
months a few feet of record and are sure of your analysis, I think you will have the 
commendation of Dr. Miller. 

Our instruments are not at the present time capable of registering timbre ac- 
curately. You have to make manifold physical corrections. It is in those slight 
variations that we find the significant things, so that slight variations over a long 
period of time, not through a few seconds but over some moments, in pitch and in 
amplitude are the things which give the other fellow's expression away to you. 
Now, those difficulties may be overcome. Maybe sometime in the future we 
will be able to make analyses which will give us these glittering results. But after 
considering some of the simpler points and finding the best I can calculate the solu- 
tion of a single one of these minor points for a single singer (which would be a mile 
of phonographic records), then consider how long it would take anybody, comparing 
details over miles of records, assuming he has methods of analysis not yet invented, 
to get that done in several years, if it could be done. The labor of getting at general 
principles, you see, would still be left as an exceedingly long task. 


The question of instrumentation and analysis is a different thing. I think it is 
a splendid thing that Dr. Seashore has held up these glittering ideals, in order that 
our energy, which many people have been putting into attempts to overcome these 
apparently insuperable difficulties, shall be restored, our courage heartened, and 
we may go on and perhaps in the course of thirty or forty years I will be optimistic 
to that extent we may have succeeded in getting a start on this program. 

Even then, however, valuable and important as the registration of the emotional 
expressions of the human voice may be, I am not sure but what dependence on that 
as a very important index of emotional life would not be something like depending 
upon a record of barometric changes in the state of Colorado over ten years as an 
index of the agricultural and mercantile productions she might be ultimately 
capable of producing. 

DR. SEASHORE: This is a splendid opportunity to add another specimen to my 
collection of those who are not willing to go back to fundamentals and what seem 
to me to be self-evident truths with which I start out and which we must believe 
in if we are going to do laboratory work. As Dr. Dunlap spoke, I was trying to 
decide whether he was speaking as a philosopher or psychologist. If he speaks as 
a psychologist or as a critic of laboratory methods, he has my full support and 
sympathy. And I am sure he will agree with me that we are at the very beginning 
of an extremely large program. But I see no reason why we should not see the 

The paper which I read has been written with some care for the purpose of 
printing it, and I shall be very glad to have psychologists of that very fine critical 
type of mind which Dr. Dunlap represents show wherein I have made a wrong 
forecast in placing the program for measurements of this type before you. 

I should consider it unnecessary to mention in this audience that the first prin- 
ciple of scientific work in psychology is that you must isolate one factor, study that 
under controlled conditions, and limit your conclusions to the factor which is 
under control. I did not think it necessary to say that in my paper, but if I had 
said that, I would have taken the momentum away from the thunder which seems 
to carry the impression that I had a complete explanation of emotional life and 

What I am making a plea for is that we scientists shall be willing to settle down 
and spend generations and ages if necessary in studying one form of one sound wave, 
in order that we may lay sound foundations. And, of course, the apparatus is 
not the feature. But even the most excellent apparatus with which Dr. Miller 
has led the way is very much surpassed at the present time by the newest forms of 
instrument for recording, and I want to say at this time that we owe a great deal 
to Dr. Miller for doing just the thing which I have tried to do a stage further by 
showing what the program is. We do not have to philosophize about it. We do 
not have to be gloomy or stand in despair. The facts in regard to what is trans- 
ferred physically from the singer to the listener are objective facts which can be 
studied by instruments. 

PROFESSOR RIEBLER (St. Lawrence University): I would like to know whether 
we might transgress on Dr. Seashore's time and have him put on the blackboard a 
typical graph of some emotion, rage or fear, say. 

DR. SEASHORE: That is asking too much, because that is an awfully long story, 
and we have just begun to pry into it. But if you had stopped in the first part 
of your sentence, I could have given you fifty principles somewhat on the order of 
laws in psychology which must be taken into account in the interpretation of that. 
The vibrato that is beautiful is approximately, when plotted in terms of pitch and in 
terms of intensity, a synchronous pulsation of pitch and intensity in which to the 
present musical ear and musical conventions the most beautiful form is that in 
which the amplitude oscillation is something between a half and a third of a tone. 


and in which the intensity oscillation is equally perceptible to the pitch oscillation. 
This oscillation is smooth at the rate of about six to eight or ten vibrations per 
second, depending upon the quality of the emotion that is expressed. 

DR. PRINCE (Harvard University) : I did not catch none of us did, I think the 
method of how Dr. Seashore records the nerve pulsation or nerve current respecting 
the voice. May I ask that question, because I can see that that may be a very 
important and valuable method for the solution of some problems. Will you explain 
that please? 

DR. SEASHORE: We have just recently perfected the instrument for measuring 
these things, so that we have no important results to give as yet. I may say in 
just a word that it is the well-recognized principle of recording the action current, 
and if, for instance, you want to know how the diaphragm is actuated, the nearest 
approach is to the muscles which control the diaphragm and record the time inter- 
vals, so stated as to be significant for your purpose. We have to begin with the 
grosser reflexes in studying stuttering and the vibrato, because vibrato is an 
instability of the voice and stuttering is an instability of the voice. We began with 
the study of patellar reflexes, thinking that if we could master that, we could transfer 
to the study of other reflexes which are less accessible. 

DR. CANNON (Harvard University): How is differentiation made between the 
action current of the muscle and the action current of the nerve? 

DR. SEASHORE: I can answer that only in objective facts; that in this particular 
thing we took the easiest approach, taking the stimulation for the patellar re- 
flex, the nerve impulse has to go up to the spinal cord through a reflex arc (how 
far up that goes we do not know) and then back. And the question arose which 
you asked, how shall we differentiate the place with reference to the recording? 
Now, as I understand it, the action current which we record at the present time is 
a neuro-muscular affair, and the boys who did this measuring went into the ana- 
tomical laboratory and dissected a lot of cadavers, in which they knew where the 
motor impulse which innervates the large muscle, the patellar muscle, is located, 
and then they put the electrodes just above that point. That is the empirical way 
of answering that question. I do not think the full answer can be given to your 
question, but it may be possible to get it. 

DR. CANNON: I hardly think that would give the action current of the nerves. 
The only way that can be got is by having the nerve wholly isolated from sur- 
rounding tissues and having the electrodes applied directly to it. The current is 
so extraordinarily minute tnat the fluids which surround the nerve would readily 
carry any difference of potential which might develop as the impulse passes along 
the nerve, and would not be expressed on the surface by electrodes that are applied 
to the surface of the body. 

DR. SEASHORE: There is no difficulty in getting the response large enough. 

DR. CANNON: You can get muscular action current? 

DR. SEASHORE: Yes, whatever it is. But it is at that point and it is one step 
in advance. Say roughly, not to be exact, the patellar response has ordinarily 
been taken at about a tenth of a second, now the response which we get at this 
point is less than a hundredth of a second, and while we don't know exactly what it 
is, it gives a vantage ground, in that we are closer to the time over the circuit which 
is examined. I admit fully that we do not know just what happens and what it is 
that we are picking up there where the nerve runs into the muscle. 





University of California 

On an earlier occasion, there was reported the experience of 
an aviator who, while doing "stunts" at a height of about 5500 
feet, found that his elevator-control was stuck, and that his 
airplane in that respect no longer answered to the "stick." He 
thereupon kicked the rudder over and sent his ship into a tail- 
spin, and, while falling, discovered and corrected an entanglement 
in the wire of his control, and was able thereupon to straighten 
out the airplane after a fall of about 4000 feet and when within 
about 1500 feet of the ground. 1 While considering this experience 
and its indication of the uses of emotion, I ventured to suggest 
that, along with the particular emotions well recognized by 
psychologists of the day, a place should be made for excitement. 
But at the moment there was no opportunity to explain or to 
justify this thought. Yet because of its intrinsic interest and its 
important bearing on current theory of the emotions, I shall 
now return to it, with the hope of doing more justice to what 
was then confessedly slighted. 

In proposing to recognize excitement in this manner, it will of 
course be clear to the reader that the way has been prepared by 
others. Excitement appears in one of the "dimensions" of simple 
feeling in the well-known account by Wundt. For Ladd and 
Woodworth 2 a feeling of excitement is unquestionably real, and 
they describe some of its forms of expression. Excitement is 
mentioned or briefly spoken of by Bain, 8 Woodworth, 4 Warren, 5 
and others. But while it is recognized by some as a feature com- 
mon to various emotions, there is a reluctance to admit it to a 

l " An Experience during Danger, and the Wider Functions of Emotion" in 
Problems of Personality: Studies in Honor of Dr. Morton Prince (New York: Har- 
court, Brace, 1925), p. 47. 

2 Elements of Physiological Psychology (New York: Scribner, 1911), pp. 501 ff., 

The Emotions and the Will (4th ed.; London: Longmans, 1899), p. 13. 

4 Psychology (New York: Holt, 1921), p. 126. 

* Human Psychology (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1919), p. 284 f. 


place of importance along with sadness, joy, anger, fear, love, and 
the rest. Thus it is notably absent from James's classical survey 
of the instincts and emotions; 8 and from the accounts of the 
emotions and instincts by Shand 7 and by McDougall. 8 Nor 
does it appear in the tabulation by Warren. 9 


Before I attempt a fuller account of this important psycho- 
physical process, let me give a few instances to show what I mean 
by excitement. My dog "pointing" at a squirrel-hole in the 
hills, standing stock-still, but uncommonly ready to be startled 
by some slight sound I make, perhaps by my dislodging a small 
stone which rolls down the slope, or by a single light clap of my 
hands this, I believe, might be called excitement in the dog. 
And in the reports to me by cattlemen, as to the effect of the 
sight or smell of blood, several of them rather shrewdly, I am now 
led to believe, resisted the temptation to call the cattle's response 
anger; they preferred to call it excitement. 10 Some of the behavior 
of birds described by W. H. Hudson, I should feel might most 
safely be regarded not as fear, nor as anger clearly, and certainly 
not as love, but rather as excitement. 

In human beings, the emotion is to be found fairly clearly in 
the experience of public speaking, after one has passed through 
his initial anxiety and, getting well under way, finds his audience 
becoming attentive and ready to indicate its interest. He warms 
to his theme, his misgiving vanishes, and there may come over 
him a condition clearly emotional and yet difficult to identify 
with any of the recognized emotions. I doubt that it is always 
vainglory, a rejoicing in one's adequacy and progress; there seems 
often to come, rather, a lessened self-consciousness and a more 
complete absorption in the work at hand. And when a person 
is hunting or fishing, he experiences fateful moments, when the 
greatest trout of the day hesitates between striking and flight; 
or when the twigs snap deep in the forest, as though the expected 
deer was at last about to emerge. The heart's action, the breath- 
ing, here is no longer calm; the entire receptive and effective 
system is so keyed that the slightest sound, the slightest seen- 
movement, is apt to cause a start; the attention is preternaturally 

fi Principles of Psychology, (New York: Holt, 1890), II, p. 409 ff. 
, 7 Foundations of Character (2nd ed.; London: Macmillan, 1920), p. 27 ff. 

8 Introduction to Social Psychology (Boston: Luce, 1910).. 

9 Human Psychology (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1919), p. 299. 

10 "Cattle, and Excitement from Blood/* Psychological Review, XXX (1923), 
380 ff. 


alert; according to the impressions of the moment, action is ready 
to be set off instantly along one or another course. 

Excitement would also be exemplified in tense moments while 
reading a novel, when observing a decisive football game or game 
of baseball, and by the behavior of those students who, in a con- 
flagration in Berkeley a few years ago, rushed to the help of the 
townspeople whose nouses lay in the path of the fire. Houses 
were entered, all manner of household things were salvaged, 
pianos were carried out to the street, smoking roofs were scaled, 
life was risked for anything or for nothing. Such men were not 
afraid, nor angry, nor in love; neither were they sorrowful nor 
rejoicing, nor were they calm. They were in a highly emotional 
state. The plain man would probably have said that they were 
excited, or would have urged them not to get excited. And I 
do not see but that he is right in recognizing their condition as 
emotional and yet as being not that of any specialized emotion. 

There can accordingly be no shadow of doubt, it seems to me, 
that we here have a principal form of psychophysical behavior 
as real and as definite and we might say as important as fear, or 
anger, or joy, or sadness. But its definite character, if one may 
risk a bull, lies in its indefiniteness, in its being more nearly 
general than any of these others, in its being less specific. 

Excitement differs from joy or sorrow in its external behavior 
and in its internal course and quality, as well as in the situation 
which usually calls it forth. It goes less clearly to one or the 
other extreme of rejoicing or of wailing. It is easily distinguished, 
for example, from the elation of the victor and from the depression 
of the vanquished. In either of these two emotions, pleasure or 
unpleasantness comes to a high pitch and occupies a prominent 
place in the total complication. Excitement, on the other hand, 
while it may be pleasant or unpleasant, is mildly so, and it may 
be mixed or perhaps neutral. At the moment, the pleasure or 
unpleasantness is hardly at the front; what is more prominent 
in excitement is the tension, the expectation, the readiness for 
instant adaptation to novel openings in the situation; there is 
a distinct looking for something yet to come. In joy and sadness, 
the situation has shown itself with relative fullness, the tension 
is gone, and one is glad or sad in what has come to pass or is fore- 
shadowed. In excitement the mind and body are extraordinarily 
alert; and for the normal organism, one may assume, alertness 
is pleasant. But this is a pleasure had in the very living itself, 
arid not in some particularly favorable turn which the events of 
life have taken. 


Excitement is also distinct from anger, fear, and affection. 
For these three emotions have characteristic impulses fairly gen- 
eral and unspecialized; and with the impulses there are connected 
with each of the three emotions movements which are of wide 
variety and are fairly unspecific. But connected with excitement 
there is no special impulse nor even a general impulse which is 
characteristic of this emotion. In anger there is the impulse to 
injure another person or to destroy his resistance to one's purpose 
or interests. In fear, there is an impulse to hide or flee or to 
reduce by some manner of defense an impending injury. In 
affection, there is an impulse to remain near and to enjoy the 
endeared object and to benefit that object. But in excitement 
there may be no clear impulse to any definite form of action. 
The excited man is active; he is apt to be in motion; but the 
fact that he is excited tells us nothing as to the end to which his 
movements will be directed. His whole being may or may not be 
dominated by a purpose. He may be on the qui vive and with 
no impulse but a most general one of being ready for anything 
that may occur. Or he may have a very special impulse to 
make a fortune by an impending change of the market, to rescue 
a drowning man, to get to a fire. But what the impulse is or is 
to be, cannot be deduced from the excitement itself; all will 
depend on circumstance. Excitement can support and strengthen 
any particular impulse you please. Or, as I said, it can be without 
particular impulse. In this respect, then, excitement is unlike 
anger, fear, and affection. But in this very respect it is like 
joy and sadness, which also are marked by far less specific and 
characteristic impulses to action than are anger and fear. Yet 
it is unlike joy and sadness in the several respects already in- 
dicated. Excitement thus appears as the least specialized, the 
most generalized of all the emotions. 


The relation of excitement to the other relatively simple emo- 
tions might be represented by the accompanying diagram, in 
which there are conceived to be four limits of emotion; namely, 
the most generalized and the most differentiated or specialized, 
and the most pleasant and the most unpleasant. 













One should not assume that these analytic findings indicate 
that in evolution and development the causal derivation is pre- 
cisely as this diagram represents. What the evolutionary and 
developmental connections may be is a matter to be determined 
by further observation and experiment. It would not be sur- 
prising, however, if the order in evolution and development should 
be found to correspond to what is here suggested. 

The relation of excitement to the other emotions may be 
further clarified by a word. One might well ask whether excite- 
ment always stands clearly apart from the others, or whether it 
mingles with them. The facts seem to me to warrant us in holding 

1. Excitement may stand alone; it may arise with the full 
qualities, even if without the full strength, of excitement, and 
may, without leading to any other emotion, slowly or swiftly 
pass away. 

2. Excitement may be the precursor of any one of the other 
emotions; before there is joy or sadness, before there is fear or 
anger or love there often is although there need not always be 
mere excitement. A man's manner may stir me before he awakens 
in me fear or anger or any other emotion; there may be an initial 
stage marked by quick interest and alertness, as though on the 


verge of something fateful, but without as yet any clear reaction 
of alarm or resentment or of friendly attraction. When the 
situation becomes the definite occasion for one of these, then the 
mere excitement has gone and a less generalized emotion is in 
its place. 

3. Excitement may be the successor of other emotions. When 
fear is relieved by the sudden disappearance of a menace, as when 
one has killed a rattlesnake faced suddenly in the mountains, 
there is no instant calm. The alarm is gone, but the waters 
continue to be troubled as after a squall. This persisting dis- 
turbance, when the specific emotion is no longer demanded by 
the situation, this continuing agitation seems to me emotional 
and to be identified as excitement. 

Some would perhaps add a fourth assertion, that excitement 
is an accompaniment or essential constituent of all emotion, being 
present in every case of fear, anger, love, elation, or depression, 
as well as in the more complex emotions. I have no stout objec- 
tion to this, although my vote would be against it. In the end 
it is a matter less of fact than of words and of prudence in limiting 
a concept. To include under the one term "excitement" both 
the generalized emotion, and also the commotional aspect of all 
the specialized emotions would hardly tend to clarify; we had 
better continue to designate this common aspect of the specialized 
emotions by a separate term, such as emotionality, or agitation, 
or affect, or by Woodworth's "stirred-upness." We shall then 
perhaps be less tempted to believe that each emotion is a mere 
compound attained by agitation plus specific impulse plus pleasure 
or unpleasantness, and so on; whereas, instead, each emotion 
is an organized whole. 


As for the situations which arouse excitement, something of 
their character has already become clear. Excitement is our 
response to a situation which we recognize as calling for somewhat 
more than an easy and routine handling. The situation which 
arouses excitement may require no adaptation beyond our powers; 
but it does require an adaptation not covered by our resources 
immediately available, by our forces at the front; there is need of 
our reserves. Moreover, it is not enough that the situation has 
this unusual character; it must be recognized as having it. A 
rattlesnake in the open and within a foot of one's hand or face 
would for most of us call for an unusual act of adaptation; but 
unless one is aware of the snake's presence, there is no emotion. 


But, further, if the situation, including the recognition of it, 
is of a relatively clear character and such as calls forth what we 
might call one of the stock impulses to flight or hiding or attack 
or affectionate embrace or wailing or glad shouting and laughter, 
together with the feelings and judgments usually connected with 
one of these impulses then, instead of excitement, there is joy 
or fear, or the like. For excitement, the situation must be other 
than this. It may be either (a) unresolved as yet, not developed 
enough to indicate its meaning for us, as when a hunter hears a 
crash in the underbrush and cannot make out what it is; or (6) 
so complicated that it tends to stir incompatible impulses which 
cancel one another and leave the individual bewildered, as was 
the case with many persons when the World War burst upon us; 
or (c) relatively clear, and arousing unmistakably a particular 
impulse but not what I have called one of the stock impulses. 
Thus to face a difficult examination, or to see one's neighbor's 
house in flames, or to be stopped on the street by a policeman 
with a summons, for the first time in one's life to appear in court 
for jury duty any one of these may arouse a particular impulse 
but no primal or stock impulse; the whole reaction, inner and outer, 
is of mild or intense excitement. In a great business crisis, a man 
may, as at no other time in his life, be brought to commotion, while 
also not confused. 

Following all these directions of the evidence, then, it has 
seemed to me that our thinking would be clarified by recognizing 
this peculiar state of mind and body. In excitement we have a 
form of emotion, which perhaps exists at an earlier date than do 
the other forms, and which certainly is less differentiated than any 
other form of emotion. It may exist itself, or it may be the pre- 
cursor or successor of any of the other emotions usually recognized 
by psychologists. It has its own situations which call it forth, 
and which can be as adequately described as are the situations 
which arouse joy or sorrow, fear, anger or love. 




Columbia University 

Among psychological theories which have won acceptance 
because of the neat way in which they introduced order into a 
large and confused field, few can rank with William McDougall's 
doctrine that specific emotions are the affective phases of specific 
instincts. 1 With instinctive avoidance behavior goes the emo- 
tion of fear, with instinctive aggressive and pugnacious behavior 
the emotion of anger, with curiosity and exploratory behavior 
the emotion of wonder, and so on through a list of the most 
"powerful instincts," each including one of the primary emotions. 

Considered as an attempt to find a one-to-one correspondence 
between characteristic modes of overt behavior and equally 
characteristic affective states of the organism, this theory pre- 
supposes that it is possible to identify the several emotions in- 
dependently of overt behavior. Otherwise we have only a *lgpu- 
rious correlation?" IF fear "is recognizable and definable only as 
thS^eEaotional" state that goes with avoidance behavior, it is no 
great achievement to discover that fear goes with avoidance. 

If we turn to the dictionary for definitions of the several emo- 
tions, we read that fear is "the painful emotion characteristic 
of the apprehension of evil; agitation and desire to avoid an 
object"; that anger is an "emotion of displeasure or antagonism 
excited by injury or insult"; that wonder is the "emotion excited 
by novelty." Apart from non-specific characters such as pain 
and agitation, these attempts at definition go outside of the 
organism altogether for something to serve as the differentia of 
any given emotion. McDougall himself does no better. He makes 
no serious attempt to give an introspective description of each 
of the primary emotions. Indeed, it is very doubtful if a purely 
introspective description with no reference to the external 
situation arousing an emotion or to the overt behavior attending 
it could be made so characteristic as to enable the reader to 
identify the emotion which was being described. Warren has 

1 W. McDougall, Introduction to Social Psychology (Boston: Luce, 1910), p. 46. 


gone further than most authors in attempting to describe the 
emotional states as such. 2 He says of a certain emotion that its 
hedonic tone is unpleasantness, usually present in a high degree, 
that its characteristic organic sensations come from the lower 
viscera and the region of the heart and lungs, and that there are 
kinaesthetic sensations of trembling, etc. Of another emotion 
he says that its general hedonic tone is unpleasant, that its char- 
acteristic organic sensations come from the upper digestive tract, 
the heart and lungs, and the circulatory system generally, and 
that there are intense kinaesthetic sensations of muscular tension 
from the face, hands, and legs. It is safe to assert that these 
emotions would not be recognized from the introspective descrip- 
tions, aside from the indications of overt behavior admitted by 
way of the account of kinaesthetic sensations. 

Now we have to admit that introspective study of the emo- 
tions has not been carried far enough to warrant our denying 
that each emotion could be defined as a purely affective (and 
sensory) state. But certainly psychologists are not yet in a 
position to point to a well-defined list of such states, along with a 
well-defined list of modes of overt behavior, and then to call 
attention to the remarkable one-to-one correspondence that 
exists between the two lists. 

The behaviorists, though looking with contempt on any such 
attempt to characterize emotions in terms of feelings and sensa- 
tions, still regard the concept of emotion as usable, provided the 
emotion is defined as intra-organic behavior, consisting largely 
in the action of glands and unstriped muscles. 3 But when Watson 
comes to his admitted list of three primary emotions, fear, rage, 
and love, he describes and identifies them in terms of external 
stimulus and overt behavior, with practically no reference to the 
glands and smooth muscles. So he says of fear in infants: "The 
responses are a sudden catching of the breath, clutching randomly 
with the hands (the grasping reflex invariably appearing when 
the child is dropped), sudden closing of the eyelids, puckering of 
the lips, then crying." Of rage he says, "If the face or head is 
held, crying results, quickly followed by screaming. The body 
stiffens and fairly well-coordinated slashing or striking movements 
of the hands and arms result; the feet and legs are drawn up and 
down; the breath is held till the child's face is flushed." 

Indeed, at the present time it would be as impracticable to 
present an identifiable picture of each of these three emotions in 

2 H. C. Warren, Human Psychology (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1919), p. 1297. 
3 J. B. Watson, Psychology from the Standpoint of a Behaviorist (Philadelphia: 
Lippincott, 1919), pp. 195-202. 


terms of the activities of glands, smooth muscles, and internal 
organs in general, as it is to present an identifiable picture in terms 
of sensations and feelings. Cannon 4 finds the same internal 
changes in fear and rage, as well as in states of "being all keyed 
up" for strenuous activity, which states cannot properly be called 
either fear or rage. All serious and thorough experimental efforts 
to discover a characteristic bodily expression for each emotion 
have failed. Shepard 6 found that "feelings cannot be classified 
on the basis of vasomotor and heart rate changes. ... In 
short, all moderate nervous activity tends to constrict the periph- 
eral vessels and to increase the volume and size of pulse in the 
brain." Landis, 6 introducing into the laboratory a variety of 
often drastic emotional situations, was unable to find differential 
patterns of response, either from the vascular organs or from the 
muscles of facial expression, while Brunswick 7 found the same lack 
of characteristic patterns in the field of gastro-intestinal reactions. 
Similarly, the students of the psychogalvanic reaction have not 
reported different types of response for different specific emotions. 
The present state of the question is thus summed up by Landis: 

"When an organism is in a situation which results in a disturbed or wrought-up 
condition, then the situation plus the reaction gives us a name or word which char- 
acterizes the whole as a specific emotion. The reaction of itself is not sufficient to 
differentiate the emotion; the character of the situation is involved in this differ- 
entiation. That is, the same bodily responses in different situations will be called 
by different names on other than the emotional attributes of the entire situation. " 

Experimental studies of internal bodily activities, we might 
say, afford plenty of evidence of emotion, but little or none of the 
emotions as characteristically different states of the organism. 
This conclusion should, indeed, be accepted with some reserve, 
since laughter seems an exception, and since a strong sex emotion, 
unhampered by embarrassment, has perhaps not yet been ex- 
amined under laboratory conditions. In short, we may not have 
succeeded, thus far, in bringing the whole range of emotion under 
careful observation. But, at any rate, we have to admit that 
many distinctions which we unhesitatingly make in everyday 
speech, such as that between fear and anger, do not rest on any 
known intra-organic difference, either introspectively or object- 
ively observed. We seem to be driven back to where the dic- 

4 W. B. Cannon, Bodily Changes in Pain, Hunger, Fear, and Rage (New York: 
Appleton, 1915). 

6 J. F. Shepard, "Organic Changes and Feeling," American Journal of Psychol- 
ogy, XVII (1906), 557-558. 

8 C. Landis, Journal of Comparative Psychology, IV (1924), 497; Landis and 
Gullette, ibid., V (1925), 243; Landis, ibid., VI (1926), 238. 

7 D. Brunswick, Journal of Comparative Psychology, IV (1924), 286. 


tionary left us. U.nable to separate the emotions in intra-organic 
terms, we needs must seek a basis of distinction in the external 

Such a search, indeed, does not appear very promising at the 
outset, since emotion would seem to be nothing if not intra- 
organic, and since it would seem very unlikely that we could 
successfully classify external situations as fear-situations, 
anger-situations, amusing situations, satisfactory situations, 
without reference to the responsive organism. The same external 
situation may be any one of these, according to the native 
characteristics and past history of the organism in question. The 
response of the organism must certainly be considered. And it 
will riot be sufficient to take into account the visceral or other 
internal response of the organism, for we do not know that the 
internal response differs in fear and anger. Any valid basis for 
distinguishing between fear and anger must take into account 
the overt response of the organism. The overt response in fear 
we may call avoidance, and in anger attack. Fear we distinguish 
from anger, accordingly, by the overt behavior of avoidance in 
one case and attack in the other. 

This tentative conclusion is so far sound, I am sure, that no 
valid distinction can be drawn between fear and anger that does 
not include this difference in overt behavior. But several difficul- 
ties at once present themselves. 

There may be, there often is, a cold-blooded or unemotional 
avoidance or attack. This difficulty can be readily met, however, 
much in the manner of Allport, 8 by agreeing to limit fear to in- 
stances of emotional avoidance, and anger to instances of emotional 
attack, and then referring the, perhaps undifferentiated, emotional 
part of the total response to the viscera, while the distinction 
between the two "emotions" lies in the overt behavior. 

There may be anger or fear without overt attack or avoidance. 
We speak of a controlled desire to attack or escape. Probably 
there are minimal movements of attack or escape, and, at any 
rate, the distinction is still in terms of the overt behavior "de- 
sired," whatever that means in terms of the dynamics of the 
organism some kind of set, readiness, or adjustment, probably. 

A third difficulty is less trifling than it first appears. We have 
been talking as if, however ill defined might be the difference 
between fear-situations and anger-situations, or between the 
intra-organic responses of fear and anger, at least the overt re- 
sponses of avoidance and attack were perfectly easy to distin- 
guish. As a matter of fact, this distinction cannot be made in 

8 F. H. Allport, Social Psychology (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1924), p. 91. 


purely motor terms. There are no muscles of attack, no muscles 
of avoidance. Movements are not classified on any such basis, 
since the same movement, as flexion of the arm, may be an 
avoidance reaction (if the hand is pricked or burned), or may be 
" hauling off" preparatory to striking a blow, or preparatory to 
throwing a kiss. Almost any movement can be a movement of 
avoidance, or can be something quite different, according to the 
situation; just as almost any situation can be a fear-situation, or 
something quite different, according to the response. 9 

Avoidance can be defined only in terms of the relation of situa- 
tion and response, in terms of the change in the situation pro- 
duced by the response. Let us first attempt to define this change 
or relation without assuming any " desire,' 1 adjustment, set, 
or orientation of the organism in short, without assuming 
anything intra-organic that characterizes one "emotion" as 
distinct from another. 

We might try to define avoidance as any motor response that 
separated the organism from the exciting stimulus. Of course 
we should have to break up the total situation to the extent of 
specifying which element in it was the effective stimulus, since 
every movement towards one object is inevitably a movement 
away from some other object. Every movement could be classified 
as either an approaching or an avoiding reaction, unless we felt 
we knew enough about the organism to specify which element 
in the objective situation was getting this response. But even a 
movement away from an object, aroused by that object, is not 
always avoidance. The dinner-gong sounding in the living-room 
provokes a general exodus, which is not an avoidance of the gong, 
but a " conditioned" approach to the dining-room. In view of 
the prevalence of substitute stimuli and substitute responses, 
avoidance reactions would have to be sorted out by a study of 
the life-history of the individual. 

When such an ontogenetic classification has been carried out, 
the question remains whether the manifold "avoiding responses" 
have anything in common at present, or are only historically 
connected. Just as the words "radius," "radium," and "radio" 
have little in common except their derivation from a common 
root, so the various forms of behavior classed together under the 
head of avoidance might have nothing in common, except the 
fact of a common origin. At this point, I recognize that my argu- 
ment becomes perceptibly weaker, but I cannot seriously doubt 
that common sense is dimly viewing some real intra-organic fact 

9 Cf. the discussion by Grace A. De Laguna, Psychological Review, XXVI (1919), 


when it says that certainly, no matter what be the origin of an 
individual's fear or avoidance, and no matter what the avoiding 
movement may be, avoidance always means that the individual 
is trying to get away from something, or trying to keep away from 
it. Common sense here introduces a teleological note, in speaking 
of "trying to avoid," but it is a genuine note, which demands 
to be included harmoniously in our psychological system. We 
make a start towards a mechanistic, or at least causal, formula- 
tion of this teleological notion by speaking of an "adjustment to 
avoid," for there can be little doubt that this term means some- 
thing genuine in intra-organic dynamics. 

The avoidance adjustment probably represents some pattern 
of neural and other intra-organic stresses, the attack adjustment 
another such pattern, the satisfaction adjustment a third. They 
have to do with the external situation and the overt response, 
and, since they cannot be objectively observed, they have to be 
identified in terms of external situation and response. Even if 
we observe them introspectively as different desires, we still need 
to identify them by reference to external stimulus and overt 
response, since desires can be distinguished only by such objective 
reference. These adjustments cannot be called emotions; they 
are too external in their reference. If we follow the lead of 
McDougall and Watson, and distinguish emotion, as some form 
of internal activity, from overt behavior, then the several distinct 
"emotions" are not emotions at all, but adjustments for different 
types of overt behavior. 




University of Chicago 

Since the time of Lange and James, the somatic conception 
of the nature of emotion has been the orthodox doctrine. For 
purposes of exposition, the various activities of an organism may 
be divided into two classes: (1) The first class, which may be 
termed the intelligent activities, are those which are primarily 
concerned with the adaptation of the organism to its objective 
environment. In an emotional situation, they would embrace 
the apprehension of the nature and significance of the exciting 
situation, danger for example, and the overt reaction of the 
organism to that situation on the basis of this appraisal. (2) The 
second group embraces the vital, the vegetative, the autonomies 
or the somatic activities which are primarily concerned with 
the maintenance of the structural and functional integrity of the 
organism. They are concerned with the intake, transformation, 
distribution, and assimilation of energy and the elimination of 
the waste products involved in its consumption. 

An emotion, according to the orthodox doctrine, represents 
an instinctive and biologically useful interaction between these 
two classes of organic activities. The stimulating situation of 
danger, for example, also excites a distinctive set of changes or 
alterations on the part of the on-going somatic activities whereby 
the reserve stores of energy are released, mobilized, and distributed 
to the reacting mechanisms involved in flight, and the waste 
products involved in this greater expenditure of energy are more 
quickly eliminated. In other words, the vital or somatic activities 
are readjusted so as to promote a more vigorous, sustained, and 
effective response to the stimulating situation. 

Certain essential features of this somatic readjustment are 
obvious. In danger, for example, the heart beats faster and 
more vigorously. The flow of blood is accentuated. A greater 
volume of blood is distributed to the reacting mechanisms a 
fact which is evidenced by the reddening and flushing of the 
skin in certain areas and the anaemic condition of others. Some 
authorities assert that, as a consequence of the action of a certain 
ductless gland, the composition of the blood is so altered that it 


contains a higher percentage of a readily available form of energy. 
Respiration is deepened and quickened, and the waste products 
are more quickly eliminated. The sweat and sebaceous glands 
are excited; the skin becomes damp and moist in some regions 
and dry in others. The circulatory and secretory changes alter 
the temperature of the skin; the angry individual may feel warm 
or hot in some areas, and cold and chilly in others. All of the 
digestive activities may be considerably affected. The whole 
somatic mechanism is temporarily thrown out of gear. In any 
profound emotional seizure, this somatic disturbance may rever- 
berate throughout every inch of the organism. For example, 
our whole being seems to seethe and boil with rage. According 
to the orthodox conception, it is these various readjustive activities, 
in so far as they are experienced, that constitute the emotional 

An emotion may thus be provisionally defined as a somatic 
readjustment which is instinctively aroused by a stimulating 
situation and which in turn promotes a more effective adaptive 
response to that situation; and it is assumed that this greater 
efficiency 'is sufficient to increase materially the chances for the 
organism's survival in those primitive conditions of life that 
obtained while this instinctive reaction was evolved. 

I am not so much concerned with the truth of this group of 
definitive characteristics as with their completeness or adequacy. 
Does any one or all of them differentiate an emotion from other 
similar experiences? 

I wish to call attention to the fact that the two groups of 
activities the intelligent and the somatic are continually inter- 
acting in a mutually helpful way. The intelligent activities are 
frequently adapted to alleviate various somatic conditions such 
as ' hunger, thirst, intra-organic pains, digestive disturbances, 
fatigue and lassitude, etc. Likewise the somatic or vegetative 
activities are continuously being altered and modified in an ap- 
propriate manner in response to all pronounced variations in 
the organism's reaction to the external world. The heart beats 
faster and more vigorously, the respiration is altered, the face 
becomes flushed, the perspiratory activities are stimulated, and 
digestion is affected when we indulge in any vigorous type of 
muscular activity, whether it be chopping wood, playing tennis, 
doing gymnastic stunts, or running after a train as well as running 
from that which we fear. With the change to other types of 
activity such as studying, lecturing, writing, arguing with our 
neighbors, or attempting to be agreeable to our family, we find 
that these somatic activities are altered accordingly. Interaction 
is a continuous affair and not an intermittent phenomenon. 


An emotion, as we commonly use the term, is an occasional 
experience. Somatic readjustments to behavior situations are 
continually occurring, while the emotional type of readjustment 
occurs relatively infrequently. The emotions are thus special 
cases of a more general phenomenon. There are non-emotional 
as well as emotional somatic readjustments to behavior situations, 
and any definition of an emotion, to be adequate, must differentiate 
those experiences from the non-emotional class of somatic dis- 
turbances. What is the differentia of an emotion? How does it 
differ from the non-emotional readjustments that are continually 
occurring? Do the definitive characteristics that have been 
enumerated do so? 

The emotions do not differ from the non-ernotional reactions 
in their compositional character. If we take any standard de- 
scription of the somatic readjustments in anger, the account can 
be approximately duplicated almost word for word in describing 
the somatic changes that accompany any unusually vigorous and 
prolonged muscular effort. The two do not differ in intensity. 
While it is true that extreme fear and rage represent a more intense 
type of reaction than do most of the non-emotional readjustments, 
yet they may be approximated at least by the somatic disturbances 
involved in such strenuous forms of exercise as football and the 
quarter-mile dash. On the other hand many of the emotional 
adjustments, such as love, sorrow, pity, awe, and the milder 
forms of fear and anger, are no more intense than the somatic 
reactions involved in many of our daily activities. 

The alleged instinctive character of an emotional response is 
not a differentiating characteristic. It is assumed that each 
emotional readjustment is an instinctive response to the stimulat- 
ing situation, i.e., the character of the somatic response and its 
relation to the exciting situation is a function of the inherited 
structure and disposition of the organism. Yet the same statement 
may also be made for the non-emotional reactions. The circulatory, 
respiratory, and secretory mechanisms function just as sponta- 
neously and automatically in the case of vigorous muscular work 
as they do in fear, anger, and joy. One can hardly assert that 
the reaction was learned in one case and not in the other. Both 
types of readjustment are equally expressions of the innate 
endowment of the organism. 

Neither can the emotional readjustments be differentiated on 
the basis of their adaptiveness and biological utility. To my 
mind, not all of the emotions are adaptive and biologically useful, 
while some of the non-emotional reactions are. 

The biological utility of the emotions is a necessary postulate 


of the assumption that the various emotions represent distinctive 
inherited mechanisms that have been independently evolved in 
phylogenetic development. The concept of natural selection 
assumes that each instinctive reaction was selected and per- 
petuated only in so far as that mode of reacting tended to preserve 
and perpetuate the life of the reacting individual or of the species 
to which it belongs. If the emotions are a group of instinctive 
reactions, each of these must possess such a survival or biological 
value for the conditions of life that obtained at the time of its 
origin. For example, fear is said to promote a more effective flight, 
and thus tends to preserve the life of the individual. 

The biological utility of the emotions, to my mind, has been 
somewhat overemphasized. This a priori postulation has con- 
siderable difficulty with the empirical data. I am somewhat skepti- 
cal of the various attempts to specify the survival value of grief 
arid sorrow. These reactions may have a considerable social 
value, i. e., they may be cultivated and utilized in the interest of 
certain social ideals, but this fact will riot account for their origin. 
A biological value assumes that these reactions aid the individual 
to survive by promoting a more effective response to the situation 
which excites them. Grief and sorrow are usually awakened by 
the loss of highly desirable conditions, and I fail to see how grief 
promotes a type of response to such a situation that materially 
increases the chances for survival. Joy is awakened by the sudden 
and unexpected attainment of a highly desirable end. Inasmuch 
as it is aroused after the attainment of an end, it can hardly pro- 
mote a more effective way of dealing with that end. Even the 
survival value of anger and fear is usually overrated. Fear is 
conducive to a more vigorous flight from danger, and anger pro- 
motes a more impetuous and energetic attack, and surely these 
behavior characteristics will tend to preserve the life of the or- 
ganism. An enraged animal not only fights impetuously and 
energetically but also somewhat blindly and rashly a mode of 
attack that is hardly suitable to all occasions. A frightened animal 
may flee precipitately but heedlessly, while a paroxysm of terror 
may interfere with effective flight, and induce a series of futile 
and abortive attempts at escape. Fear may paralyze as well 
as invigorate one's actions. In order to promote survival, perhaps 
Nature would have been wiser to have endowed organisms with 
less emotion and more cunning and intelligence. Some writers 
have classed the paralysis of fear with the death-feigning instinct 
of animals, which promotes survival because the immobility of 
the organism renders it less noticeable to its enemies. But the 
abortive attempts to flee in a paroxysm of fear differ materially 


from the clear-cut and decisive reaction in feigning death; such 
attempts merely court instant destruction rather than survival. 

Not only may we doubt the survival value of some of the emo- 
tional reactions, but we may also call attention to the adaptive 
character of the non-emotional readjustments. The heart beats 
faster, breathing is accelerated, the face becomes flushed, and 
perspiration is accentuated in any vigorous muscular activity, 
and this somatic readjustment functions in turn to invigorate and 
prolong that act. Obviously such a device must materially in- 
crease the organism's chances for survival. 

In passing I wish to take exception to the conventional doctrine 
that the emotions represent a group of instinctive reactions, each 
of which evolved independently of the others and was biologically 
selected and perpetuated because it possessed some distinctive 
utility. Two general objections may be urged against this doc- 
trine. As has been indicated, the biological utility of many of 
these emotional reactions may be seriously questioned, and the 
doctrine likewise necessitates the assumption that the various 
non-emotional readjustments represent a large group of instincts. 
We are thus confronted with the hypothesis of a multiplicity of 
separate instinctive mechanisms to account for the phenomenon 
of continuous interaction. According to this conception, there 
will be almost as many instincts as there are instances of interaction. 
The situation, to my mind, can be better conceived in much 
simpler terms. As we have said, the two groups of activities are 
continually interacting in a mutually advantageous manner. The 
biological utility of such an arrangement is obvious, for the or- 
ganism is a reactive and biological unit and all its separate activ- 
ities must be intimately organized and related to each other so as 
to maintain and perpetuate life. From the standpoint of biologi- 
cal selection and development, we are here dealing, in my opinion, 
with a unitary phenomenon a single biological device and not 
with a multiplicity of mechanisms, each with its own phylogenetic 
history. This conception frees us from the necessity of assuming 
a utility for each emotional reaction and for the non-emotional 
readjustments as well; for any biological device, according to the 
principles of natural selection, needs to be useful only in the large 
majority of cases. So long as the two groups of activities interact 
in a mutually adaptive manner in the great majority of cases, the 
fact that they may influence each other at times in a non-adaptive 
manner and even in a harmful way on occasions will not seriously 
prejudice the survival of the organism. The unitary character 
of this biological device is not inconsistent with a considerable 
variety in its functional manifestations, for what happens in any 


case will depend upon the nature of the processes that interact. 
In other words, the manifestations of this interaction will continu- 
ally vary with the state of the organism and the ever varying 
behavior situations with which it is confronted. 

We may conclude that the conventional definitive characteristics 
of an emotion are inadequate because they do not differentiate 
the emotions from the non-emotional adjustments. The two do 
not differ in nature, intensity, innateness, adaptiveness, or biologi- 
cal utility. The somatic adjustments are essentially alike whether 
an individual runs from that which he fears or energetically speeds 
after that which he desires. These vegetative processes function 
in much the same manner in the fleeing deer and the pursuing pack. 
In both cases they promote vigorous and sustained action, and 
they are equally useful from the standpoint of survival. 

We do distinguish the emotions from the non-emotional ad- 
justments, however, and it is at once obvious that they must differ 
in some respect, or else we should not be able to differentiate them 
as we do. What is the differentia of an emotion? Why do we term 
the somatic reaction an emotion when we flee from danger, but 
do not call it an emotion when we run just as energetically to win 
a race? 

The distinction proposed is that of the orderly and coordinated 
character of the non-emotional adjustments as opposed to the 
relatively uncoordinated and somewhat chaotic course of events 
in the emotional reactions. 

In our ordinary activities of lecturing, constructive thinking, 
or chopping wood, we react to the situation in a relatively orderly 
and methodical way, and the somatic activities nicely adjust 
themselves to this orderly progression of events. The whole 
process exhibits a high degree of adaptive coordination and har- 
monious functioning. 

On the other hand, an individual is unable to respond im- 
mediately to an emotional situation in an intelligent manner. 
How can we react to an overwhelming and irreparable loss except 
to grieve about it? Joy comes with the sudden and unexpected 
attainment of a valued end, and naturally there is nothing more 
that can be done except to revel in our enjoyment. A surprising 
situation is one to which we are temporarily unable to adapt. 
Dread is awakened by the sense of impending danger whose 
nature, time of occurrence, and location may be unknown, and 
as a consequence the individual is at a loss to know what to do. 
An effective way of dealing with a suddenly encountered danger 
is not always readily apparent. Because of the caution with 
which we are endowed or which we have acquired in the vicis- 


situdes of .experience, or perhaps because of the inhibitive influence 
oFbur moral ideals, most of us are not accustomed to rush im- 
mediately to the attack when angered or enraged. An emotional 
situation is one for which there is no appropriate response or one 
to which we are unable to respond for the time being. 

An emotional stimulus is a very effective one and, being denied 
any motor outlet, it necessarily discharges into the somatic 
mechanisms the only available outlet at the time and tends 
to awaken a vigorous appropriate adjustment. These somatic 
activities function in turn as stimuli and release impulses that 
are normally incorporated into the organism's adaptive response 
to the exciting situation. Lacking this normal outlet, these 
impulses are necessarily drafted back into the somatic mechanisms 
and thus interfere with their orderly functioning. Because of 
their vigorous stimulation and because of the lack of a motor 
outlet, the somatic activities become disrupted and react to the 
situation in a relatively disorganized and chaotic manner. In 
dread and terror, our heart jumps and beats irregularly, we gasp 
for breath, and alternately turn hot and cold in rapid succession. 
In grief we breathe convulsively and sob hysterically, and our 
whole being quivers and seethes and boils with rage. In any 
profound emotional seizure, such as a paroxysm of fear or rage, 
this somatic disturbance may be such as to render the individual 
temporarily incapable of either flight or attack. The emotions 
may paralyze as well as invigorate action. The descriptive state- 
! ments that have just been employed are certainly not applicable 
to a harmonious and coordinated type of action. The emotional 
experience is essentially one of inner turmoil and commotion. 

Occasionally an individual may react to a sudden emergency 
in a prompt and a highly efficient and capable manner. In this 
event they usually experience no fear, and humorously report 
that they had no time to be afraid. Again these individuals may 
be overwhelmed with a severe attack of fear after the emergency 
has been successfully encountered. In other words, an immediate, 
effective, and well-coordinated response prevents the arousal 
of an emotional reaction. 

An emotion gradually subsides and finally disappears as the 
organism begins to respond to the situation in an orderly and 
methodical manner. Our anger soon cools and wanes as we settle 
down to the fight, and terror no longer holds us in its grip as our 
precipitate and hasty initial efforts gradually become organized 
into an orderly and effective flight. The athlete is likely to be- 
come excited as he prepares for the race, but this emotional 
excitement soon subsides as he settles down to a rhythmical pace. 


The somatic reaction does not disappear in these cases. It 
merely loses its tumultuous and chaotic and emotional character 
as it becomes adjusted to the demands of orderly action. 

To summarize, we may say that the somatic activities are 
continually being excited to react in an adjust ive manner to the 
behavior demands of the organism. The emotional reactions 
are those that are awakened when the organism, temporarily 
at least, is unable to respond in an orderly and efficient fashion 
to a highly stimulating situation, and for this reason they partake 
of the nature of " a somatic disturbance. The non-emotional 
reactions, on the other hand, represent a relatively coordinated 
and orderly type of somatic readjustment, and hence we may 
suggest that, contrary to orthodox opinion, it is these non- 
emotional adjustments that exhibit the greater degree of adaptive 



Cornell University 

In the year 1924 J. P. Nafe published, so far as I know, the first 
descriptions of the affective experience. 1 The work up to that time, 
and there is a vast body of it, had dealt with problems about affec- 
tion and had given us "facts" about pleasantness and unpleasant- 
ness, "facts " of correlation, but not one word of description beyond 
the qualities of P and U which the workers assumed on empirical 
grounds from the outset. All these "facts" about affection, all 
the correlations, still hold at the level at which the work was done, 
at least so far as the published reports of Nafe are concerned; he 
worked at a different level, viz., description. 

Since method and procedure are important, it will be worth 
our while to turn to the reasons for Nafe's success where others 
had failed. He offers one reason in the introduction to his study; 
the reason, namely, that others had used too strong stimuli, thus 
making their observers into feelers rather than observers of feeling. 
Let that pass. A more important one, in my opinion, is that since 
Nafe himself had no notion of what to "set" the observers to look 
for, he could not instruct them specifically; all he could do was to 
ask for a complete description of experience in the hope that such 
reports would reveal the unique in affection. Hence, the general 
instruction in spirit, if not in words, came into use at least at 
Cornell for the first time. It came out of necessity, bred and born 
of ignorance. The observers, fortunately, were as ignorant of 
what to look for as the experimenter to instruct, so they could not 
set themselves a specific problem from the general instruction; 
all they could do was to describe experience as a total as it ran its 
course freed, very largely, from bias and previous determination. 
Experience became clearer and description more nearly complete. 

What of Nafe's results? There are just two that need concern 
us here. The first, and in some respects the most important, is 
that the affective experience is in its essential character a kind of 

1 J. P. Nafe, "An Experimental Study of the Affective Qualities," American 
Journal of Psychology, XXXV (1924), 507 ff. 


pressure. However varied the pleasantnesses and unpleasantnesses 
of everyday life, whatever modes of experience go to make up the 
total at such a moment, the bright or the dull pressure, as the case 
may be, is essential. After the event it is easy to see that it must 
have been so; that these experiences must be bodily pressures, as, 
indeed, Yokoyama had insisted. 2 The particular quality or quali- 
ties were not apparent for him; it remained for Nafe to make them 
specific. That his results will stand the test of time, I have not 
the least doubt. 

At this point I should like to say a word about the use of the 
term "pressure" as a descriptive symbol. The affective experi- 
ence, especially pleasantness, receives the name "pressure" 
partly by courtesy, partly from the fact that it is a bodily ex- 
perience, partly because it resembles pressure more than it does 
any quality from the other modalities, partly because the ob- 
server does not as a rule coin new terms, but not at all because 
the quality of the experience is like the pressures of ordinary life. 
Practically every observer demurred at the term "pressure" but 
nothing better suggested itself. I am sure we shall have some other 
word to denote these experiences; I wish very much that I had such 
a term for the purposes of this paper. 

The other result which I shall mention is that these pressures 
were non-localizable in the state of specific object perception. This 
explains the former idea of lack of clearness as a special mark of 
the affective life. It may mean either that we must take experience 
at its loosest if we are to report the separate qualities, that as 
experience becomes more highly integrated the qualities lose their 
individual character in the closely patterned total, or it may mean 
that with specific object reference the affective quality drops out. 
For reasons which I shall give presently, I am convinced that the 
latter alternative is the correct one. This means that we are not 
pleased or displeased with this or that object as such, but with 
this or that kind of experience. 

The net result of Nafe's work, for our present purposes, is, 
then, that the essential affective quality is a bright or a dull pres- 
sure which arises only under the condition of non-specific object 

Last year, in the Cornell laboratory, Horiguchi attacked the 
problem of the localization of the affective experiences. Although 
this study is as yet unpublished, I wish to offer such of his results 
as bear upon our topic. He found not only the localization but 
some further characteristics of these bodily experiences. The ob- 

2 M. Yokoyama, "The Nature of the Affective Judgment in the Method of Paired 
Comparison," American Journal of Psychology, XXXII (1921), 357 ff. 


servers who had not served in Nafe's work, as well as those who 
had, were better prepared for the task of affective description than 
were the observers at the time of the earlier study. They knew 
better how to come observationally passive to the work; how to 
take an attitude even less favorable to the perceptive formation; 
in brief, how to shut themselves off from the world of objects and 
allow the bodily experience to run its course fairly free from and 
unhindered by other experiential formations. Do not misunder- 
stand me I do not mean that the pressures of affection come to 
observation only when no meaning is present; they come with what 
I have, in another place, called immanent meaning as opposed to 
transcendent meaning. The former refers to the experience as 
such; the latter, to some object outside or beyond the experience. 
But I am not at all sure that we can put it as strongly as that, for, 
as we shall see, the affective modes of experience may come with 
a situatifcnal meaning which is transcendent in that it refers be- 
yond the experience but not to a particular object as such; it is 
our way of living the object. There are, moreover, degrees of 
specificity of the immanent meaning. The more the observer 
escapes a definite "set" or determination that always comes to 
observation in terms of muscular pressure, the more do the various 
bodily experiences which constitute the warp of mental life come 
immanently into being. This is only another way of saying that, 
as we free ourselves from the dominance of particular instructions 
and laboratory "set," we approach nearer to the condition of 
everyday experience; we get a truer picture of mind in its functional 
dependencies with some hope eventually of its inherent laws. 
Of course I presuppose observers capable of painting a word- 
picture of experience in its totality as a total when under no other 
determination than that to observe. 

Horiguchi found that dull pressure localizes in the region of 
the abdomen, well inside the body. It is a fairly compact, fairly 
limited mass which comes, very positively, at its meaningful 
best, as muscular. That is, it carries a definite muscular ref- 
erence; it means that some muscles of the abdominal region are 
in a state of contraction. It is true the observers in this study 
first came upon the affective pressures as unlocalized, just as Nafe 
reports them. But then they sat back, as it were, and allowed 
them to go where they would. Only the sitting back was not 
absolute; the attitude was not one of complete passivity/ The 
affective pressures were prominent immanently, which proves 
that the observers had an observational "set." As such, of 
course, the dull pressures had no muscle or body reference. |They 
came, nevertheless, to the same general localization. They did 


possess a directional reference, and this came to point to the 
place where the abdomen would have been if it had been there 
for perception. 

The course of the dull pressure from a wholly unlocalized bare 
experience to a definitely localized muscular one and it often 
came to specific perception was not an even one. There always 
was a momentary break or instant of experiential confusion 
just at the passage from bare dull pressure out there in a fairly 
determinate direction to dull muscular pressure there in the 
body. It is true that, after the break, experience showed more 
than it did before, as if some new feature had entered which 
carried the muscle reference. Just the same, I am sure that this 
instant of non-identification and of addition does not prove 
disparity so far as the dull pressure aspect is concerned. Even 
here, however, the perceptive reference does not transcend the 
experience; the reference is to a trait of the experience. This 
ability of the unpleasant affective experience itself to become, 
through an accretion, the object of perception is no doubt one 
reason why so many writers have found it much easier to deal 
with unpleasantness than with pleasantness. 

In some respects the bright pressure of pleasantness presents 
a very different picture. It localizes in the region where the upper 
parts of the body, the neck and the shoulders, would be if they 
were perceived but they never are under these conditions. The 
bright pressure never takes on transcendence; it never means 
muscular pressure nor does it belong to the body; it is all the body 
there is. This detachment makes the bright pressures very 
elusive and, in a sense, difficult to observe. It really is no wonder 
we should find in treatises on affection the phrase, "and similarly 
for pleasantness/' following an elaborate discussion of unpleasant- 
ness. To put it figuratively, I should say that the reaction in 
the case of pleasantness is a more or less complete surrender to 
the luxury of living and does not involve any ordinary or useful 
response of a particular muscle group, while the reaction in the 
case of unpleasantness is one of rejection and withdrawal or 
constriction and involves what may be a useful response of a 
definite set of muscles although the mechanism is probably different 
from that for ordinary muscular response. If you remember 
that this is figurative, the picture will stand. 

In* another phase of his work Horiguchi asked for reports on 
the affective pressures and their localization in ordinary everyday 
cases. For some time the only report was "failure." Logically 
two possibilities presented themselves: either the pressures 
reported by all observers were, despite the approximation of 


the experimental atmosphere to that of ordinary life, artifacts 
of the experimental situation and the observational^ attitude ; 
or the observers were guilty of some oirservationaTTiliiiider. 
Success finally came. The task was easy from the first in the 
case of the unpleasantly toned moods. 

In these the dull pressure aspect is undeniable, even for the 
naive, with general localization almost, if not quite, as obvious. 
The story of the way by which we attained success gives nothing 
really new; it merely throws a known truth into a new and* bolder 
relief. If I take a concrete instance, the facts pertinent to our 
purpose will appear more clearly. The one who made the observa- 
tion was somewhat irritated, annoyed, provoked by a statement 
made by another. As long as the observer looked for unpleasant 
experience directed specifically upon the offender he did not find 
it; as soon as he became simply annoyed, without specific object 
reference, the dull pressure was there localized fairly definitely 
in the abdominal region. 

An instance of a pleasantly toned experience would show the 
same failure of the affective pressure to come for observation as 
long as specific object awareness obtained. That is, if the observer 
looked for the bright pressure and at the same time perceptively 
fixated the object that served as stimulus, he did not find it. If, 
on the contrary, he surrendered himself to the pleasurable expe- 
rience as such without the specific perception of an object, to 
just pleasurable existence, the bright pressure was there with 
the same general though vague localization as found in the 

Now we have to face anew the question of just what happens 
when, in the older terminology, we attend to an affective expe- 
rience. The question as we should put it now in empirical terms 
is: Are the object consciousness and the affective life incom- 
patible? In experiential terms: Can the qualities that go to 
make up the perceptive pattern and those which enter into the 
affective pattern be present in experience at the same time? 
If there is nothing in the nature of the qualities nor in the manner 
of their arousal which precludes their simultaneous appearance, 
it may be that the two types of pattern preclude each other. I 
mean that the pressures of perception as well as those of affection 
might both be present in experience provided neither the one 
nor the other, especially the perceptive, became too highly focal. 
In stimulus terms, being focal would mean, I presume, that the 
muscular action correlated with the same is highly specific and 
relatively strong. An alternative to this question might be, as 
I put it before: Do the various varieties of experience form such 


an intimate whole that they lose their identity? Our answer to 
these questions will come with the next approach. 

The last set of results I shall consider are those from a pre- 
liminary study of the humorous, the comic, and the witty. This 
study carried on last year by E. Frances Wells and myself is also 
as yet unpublished. We made no attempt to define the above 
terms and nothing in the instructions or in the situation indicated 
the possibility of such a division. With this aspect of the work 
I am not here concerned, except to state that the main difference 
is one of degree on the one hand and of temporal course on the 
other. ' 

In comedy and wit there is a fairly sudden shift in experience 
which carries one, in the first moment at least, completely away 
from specific perception. To be seized by the comic is to be 
wrenched suddenly out of the world of specific meanings and hurled 
into a world of sheer enjoyment. We do not enjoy or laugh at the 
concrete; we enjoy and laugh at the enjoyable. Lest this appear 
to be pure tautology let me state it in a different way: Up to a 
certain moment experience shows the qualities and pattern of 
perception together often with the strain of expectation or search- 
ing, then comes the complete break-up of the perceptive and 
expectation experience and the infusion of something at least like 
the affective pressure plus all the stir from laughter a moment 
of just enjoyment. 

Humor is a state in which neither the perceptive nor the affec- 
tive-like aspects of experience come dominantly to the fore. 
The perceptive aspect reduces to something like the situational 
consciousness as opposed to the object consciousness, and the 
affective stands as a diffuse pleasant-like background as opposed 
to specific pleasure. Both approach the attitudinal level of 
organization. I have no intention to present a picture of humor; 
that will come in its proper place. I mention it merely as another 
instance of the bimodal character of bodily experience and of the 
relation which the two modes bear to each other. 

I do not claim we have to do in this work with simple affection. 
I am as sure as one can be in a field where ignorance is still master 
that we are in the face of one of the integrations which involve the 
same fundamental mode of experience as constitutes the essential 
character of affection. I do not believe that there is a fundamen- 
tally different mode of bodily experience, if there is such, for 
every one of the different kinds of mental activity as found in 
empirical and common-sense classifications. The number of 
unique modes of reaction with their correlated experiences is very 
small, and each one of these or combination of them in various 
patterns and integrations gives us our functional variety. 


If the results so far presented will stand, and I can see no reason 
to reject or even to suspect them, we must be ready then to con- 
clude that there are at least three, or perhaps four, modes of bodily 
experience. But before I proceed to the exposition of these, two 
other topics need a word. Perhaps nothing has received more 
emphasis during the past few years than the part played in our 
mental lives by the bodily experiences. In Bentley's terms, there 
are no bodiless minds or soulless bodies. It requires no superior 
insight to see that the one and only source of experience, beyond 
that immediately aroused by some stimulus which acts upon a 
particular receptor, is that from our bodies. I also take it, al- 
though this will not be granted by all, that the experience cor- 
related with the stimulus serves as nothing more than a cue, a 
starting-point, for the various mental acts, or experiential patterns 
of everyday life. That which completes, which renders functionally 
adequate, which makes meaningful all our perceptions, thoughts, 
memories, imaginations, volitions, and what-not is that which we 
bring to the cues offered by the stimulus experience. We should 
know this from the work on imaginal overlay if we had nothing 
else. But the evidence is plentiful and convincing almost any- 
where we turn. So much so that today it is the fad, if such a term 
is not derogatory, to evolve theories and systems which emphasize 
the importance of bodily experience. Since the only part of ex- 
perience which we can acquire and carry about with us and which 
we continually possess is this bodily experience, it is logical, if 
experimental work did not yield the same result, that it should 
play the formative rdle in our mental acts. 

The other topic is one on which we have very little evidence. 
It is the question of the quarter in which we shall seek the laws 
which will eventually lead us to a real understanding of mind in 
its functional character. Many of the so-called laws of psychology, 
at the present time, are laws of stimuli at least they refer in one 
direction to the stimulus. I take it that such laws can never 
afford us the understanding we seek, if any generalization with 
a heterogeneous basis deserves to be called a law within a special 
sphere. Others seek for these laws in the physiological mechanism 
laws of physics and biology, we say. What we call them does 
not matter if they will lead to the goal of our desire. The ques- 
tion is whether these laws, once they are known, will be likely to 
lead to a workable comprehension of any empirical mental func- 
tion such as, for example, memory. At present, I can see no 
promise from this quarter whether we take the muscular and glan- 
dular activities physically or biologically. The one other source, 
as I see it, to which we may turn is the patterns or totals of ex- 


perience. If we can and the outlook is hopeful discover the 
laws which govern the formation of experiential totals, we may 
have placed in our hands the means whereby we can understand 
the functional moments of mental life. Some may contend that 
we shall need a combination of the laws drawn from these diverse 
sources but that, to me, is a surrender which I am not willing to 
make until after further trial. 

Our problem now is to determine what we have by way of bodily 
experiences and how these experiences go together to give us the 
familiar integrations of ordinary life. I said a moment ago that 
there are at least three or perhaps four modes of bodily experience. 
So far as I can make out after long observation, I would say that 
muscular pressure, i. e., the pressures and strains correlated with 
the contraction of the skeletal muscles, constitutes one mode; 
what, for want of a better term, I call bright pressure correlated 
perhaps with a state of non-contraction of the skeletal muscles 
forms a second mode; and dull pressure correlated apparently 
with contraction of the visceral muscles forms the third. The pro- 
posed correlations for the affective modes do not preclude the 
possibility of special end-organs or of special means of stimulation. 
The bright pressure mode corresponds at times with what we 
call in common-sense terms a state of high muscular tonicity. The 
tentative nature of the correlations does not affect the positive 
evidence for the modes themselves. I am not sure whether the 
first group will stand as a single mode, or whether the general 
bodily tensions will make up one mode and the experiences from 
more special muscular activity another. If this is the case, there 
would be four modes. At any rate we can be pretty sure that the 
pressure-strain aspect of experience is the essential mode for what 
we call perception, thought, memory, and imagination, as well as 
the attitudes. The general bodily tensions give the attitudes with 
all that they imply for the above classes of mental activity. In 
so far as they give rise and direction to the subsequent experience 
they belong to the energetic aspect of mind. Volition may very 
well prove to be a more complex experience which involves a 
combination of modes. I have no experimental evidence on the 
point at this time. I use the above as well as following common- 
sense classificatory terms without prejudice, the implication being 
that psychological description will scarcely support them. The 
brighter, livelier experiences of the second mode are essential for 
pleasantness, humor, comedy, well-being, happiness, joy, and the 
like. The dull heavy experiences of the third mode are peculiar 
to unpleasantness, the " brown" moods, unhappiness, sorrow, grief, 
and their kind. With either of the last two modes combined 


with a high degree of the first we get the emotions, provided the 
pressure-strain is not specifically patterned. This, as far as I 
can observe, is our bodily equipment. 

What about their integration? I can do little better than to 
speculate at present. What I have to offer is, by the nature of 
the case, inference rather than observed fact. This, however, 
seems certain, that a highly focal state of the perceptive pressure- 
strains precludes the affective modes from experience. The 
perceptive and the affective modes are not otherwise exclusive, 
which proves that the two types of muscular response are not, 
as such, incompatible. Whether the two affective modes are, as 
types of muscular response, simultaneously impossible, it is much 
more difficult to say. The slight evidence we have indicates that 
they are not; that the incompatibility of pleasantness and un- 
pleasantness is rather a matter of experiential organization. 

I cannot concede that the affective moments in mental life 
are moments that lack pattern. By the term pattern I mean the 
collocation of qualities, extents, and what-not that constitutes 
the totality of experience at any one moment and that reveals 
differences in obtrusiveness or dominance in the organized whole. 
I do not mean that experience, as I have used that term to denote 
the describable as opposed to the value side of ordinary experience, 
comes as a mosaic of separately demarcated qualities. Every 
quality, as we know them in terms of previous experience under 
special determination, gives its color to the whole so that we have 
a blend or fusion which is more than, or at least other than, the 
qualities if taken separately. Thus experience presents totals, 
patterns, configurations, in which there is a focus and a background. 
This definition of the pattern, as similar as it is to the configuration 
of Gestalt psychology at the level of transcendent meaning, has 
long been current in the Cornell laboratory. The patterns of the 
affective moments do not present the same degree of focus as do 
the perceptive and thought patterns, but they are as characteristic 
in their type of pattern as is perception. It is as if they belong 
genetically to the more primitive situational consciousness and 
that the perceptive pattern is a more modern type built out of 
a mode of experience which came in with differentiation of muscular 

Be all this as it may, the earlier experimental findings do not 
stand or fall with our interpretation on this last point. What we 
have then, to put it into brief form, are: first, three modes of 
bodily experience, two of which enter respectively into the pat- 
terns of pleasantness and unpleasantness; and, secondly, experience 
admits but a single pattern at any one moment. Finally, we have 


the suggestion that a discovery of the laws of experiential or- 
ganization will reveal the secrets of mental activity. 


DR. CANNON (Harvard University) : I come to you as a physiologist and not as 
a psychologist, and I hope you will make concessions to my weaknesses. There are 
several points, however, in Dr. Hoisington's paper that I should like to call atten- 
tion to, and they are primarily based on observations which Dr Henry Head of 
London has made on some very interesting cases of hemiplegia which he studied 
during life and also after death. Now the extraordinary feature of these cases is 
that there is a difference in the experience of feeling on the two sides of the body, 
when the same stimulus is applied. On the normal side a warm test tube is felt as 
anyone else reports it; on the other hand, the same test applied to the affected side 
gives a very pleasant experience of warmth, so reported. A hot test tube and a cold 
test tube feel very different to the two sides. On the normal side, they are felt as 
anyone else would feel them; on the affected side, as very pleasant experiences. 
Now it is very difficult for me as a physiologist to see how these feelings would be 
different on the two sides of the body. Certainly we cannot divide the liver into 
right and left sides, nor the alimentary tract, etc., so that so far as the viscera are 
concerned, on the basis of this difference, they may be ruled out. So far as skeletal 
muscle is concerned, this is also a poor case. Dr. Head found that bodily posture 
was entirely without feeling-tone. There was no report back from the muscles 
which gave any feeling of one sort or another, but utter indifference. These matters 
are very interesting in the discussion, and I hope that Dr. Hoisington will comment 
on them. 

DR. HOISINGTON: Well, it seems that Dr. Cannon said just what I tried to tell 
you, i. e., that the central muscles have nothing to do with affections. As far as 
the two sides are concerned, what you have in one case is an affected side which 
will not respond the same as the other side which has functioning skin. 

DR. CANNON: You have perception on both sides; the experience is the same on 
both sides. 

DR. HOISINGTON: What is the exact nature of the experience? 

DR. CANNON: It is a motor affection . . . from the thalamus along the 
motor tract. 

DR. HOISINGTON: Well, I don't know why it should be more effective on one 
side, if they really perceive it as an object the same as they do on the other side. 
I should rather not have very much attention called to the correlation as such. 
It is not the aspect of this paper. I know nothing about it and I do not think very 
much about it myself. It is not what we can observe. I should suspect that prob- 
ably correlations of a chemical nature will be found, and probably involving the 
blood-vessels rather than muscles at all; but I don't know. 

DR. CANNON: May I ask whether the localization in the abdomen is regarded 
by the observer as indicating a definite change there? 

DR. HOISINGTON: Not as affection, no; only when it goes over to the perceptive 
aspect does it take on the meaning of a definite change. 

DR. CANNON: May I point out that it is not at all necessary for a change to 
occur in the abdomen to have it referred there. The reference would often be to 
the periphery and not to the optic thalamus because we naturally refer things out 
to the periphery. 

PROFESSOR DEKKER (Battle Creek College) : I should like to ask a question with 
regard to the technique of discovering these pressures. I think I understood the 
definition of a pressure that the speaker gave, but I do not understand the technique 
of discovering the exact pressure or of measuring these pressures. 


DR. HOISINGTON: The technique is largely one of attitude. What we have to 
do is simply to get the observers into the "set" or rather out of the set so they 
can simply sit there and let the experience come along; and then you apply some 
stimulus that would, under ordinary circumstances, arouse an affective reaction. It 
is pretty difficult to say anything about the technique, because this is all up to the 
observer. Simply get him into such a state that he is not looking for something 
specific but simply allowing experience to go its way though of course observing. 
As soon as you get him into this state, the bright or dull pressure will show up. 
Everyone who has done that has found it. 

PROFESSOR AYHES (Taylor University): I should like to ask this question: Are 
we to understand that the bright and dull pressures are mutually exclusive? And 
if so, how does the author of the paper deal with what was brought out yesterday 
concerning melancholies who are happy only when they are unhappy? 

DR. HOISINGTON: I should deal with that most summarily! I should say it 
simply isn't true. We have not done very much work in an effort to find out whether 
as modes of reaction, the two things are exclusive. All I can say is that the slight 
evidence we have is that they are not incompatible. It is a matter of organization. 
I take it for granted that the matter of incompatibility of pleasantness and un- 
pleasantness is an established fact. I know there are people who deny it, but after 
all, you can't get everybody to agree on everything! 




Northwestern University 

The title of this paper has been suggested to me by experience 
of a year ago with certain deaf subjects in the Vibro-Tactile Re- 
search Laboratory. 1 Instrumental aids were being employed 
by means of which they were enabled to feel in their fingers the 
movement of spoken sentences and of continued discourse verse 
or prose. A small receiver, closely similar to the instrument 
used by telephone operators and in radio sets, was being held in 
the hand of each subject. His finger or thumb was held lightly 
against the diaphragm and thus he felt vibrations that corres- 
ponded to the voice of the speaker at a distant microphone. 

We were attempting to make these cases familiar with the 
pattern of spoken language by means of its character as felt, in 
the expectation that the kinaesthetic elements of language could 
be built into them by this means, and that these elements would be 
effective in improving the subject's manner of speech and of 
reading from the printed page, and in facilitating his reception 
of speech. 

Several examples of verse and prose were selected for reading 
through the- instrument into the fingers of six subjects simultan- 
eously. Each example was chosen because of its strong motor 
quality. No two selections of verse were in the same meter. 
Among them was Southey's: 

"How does the water 
Come down at Lodore, 
From its sources that well 
In the tarn by the fell?" 

And there were Clement C. Moore's verses: 

"'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house 
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. " 

After some drill two of the six subjects began to show signs 
that they enjoyed Southey's verses especially, in relation to other 

1 The activities of this Laboratory are being carried on under the auspices of 
the Carnegie Institution of Washington. 


examples. They began, when these lines were being read, to make 
signs meaning "pretty. " After a week of training, when the signs 
I mentioned had first been noticed, it was not unusual for them to 
ask that a reading be repeated. 

At first it seemed likely that the strong rhythm of the verses was 
the basis for the reaction of pleasure. But when we substituted a 
verse from Stevenson, in the same meter: 

"How do you like to go up in a swing?" 

we did not find evidence of the accustomed reaction. When this 
line and those from Southey had been equally employed as 
stimuli aldng with others to be sure the latter continued to be 
the more thrilling, and even then, our records show, subjects now 
and again asked us to repeat the Lodore verses and gave other 
evidence of their satisfaction with them. 

Evidently it is not rhythm that occasioned the choice between 
them. Possibly it was difference in predominating vowel quality 
that accounted for the phenomenon. 

We set out to examine this hypothesis. For the purpose, on the 
side of instrumentation, we employed a Western Electric loud- 
speaker with which we had been supplied through the courtesy of 
Bell Telephone Laboratories. An oval diaphragm 2" x 3" was 
fixed to the body of the instrument and at its center it was at- 
tached to the armature. In practice this instrument was held 
with its vibrating part, not against the tip of a finger, but solidly 
against the chest wall, over the sternum. The instrument was 
operated by a high-grade microphone through a Western Electric 

We selected but one subject to assist in our preliminary examina- 
tion of the pleasurable reactions I have mentioned. In the labora- 
tory situation I have described he felt the speaker's voice as a 
complex of vibrations, not only upon the skin of his chest but 
throughout the bony wall of his thorax. If he had had any effective 
residuum of auditory function, the arrangement might easily have 
enabled him to hear the stimuli by way of bone conduction to the 
inner ear. But I feel justified in saying that he could not hear in 
the condition I have described. Four audiometric tests had been 
made upon him one of them in the Sound Laboratory at the 
Bureau of Standards. At the Bureau his hearing for simple tones 
was described as zero in one ear and 10% in the other. The 
remaining three reports closely corresponded to f this. Such a 
condition is believed to make it utterly impossible for him to get 
any auditory cues in such a situation as ours. 

I should say that the subject was thirty-five years of age and a 
successful teacher of mathematics by profession. He was not 


plagued by that elusive thing that we call temperament; he had an 
abundance of good common sense and, judging from daily contact 
with him in the laboratory, one would say that he was above the 
average in point of intelligence. He came to the laboratory daily 
and remained there approximately forty minutes. During thirty 
or thirty-five minutes each day he was steadily occupied with our 
exercises. The sessions continued day after day from March 16, 
1926 to May 26. 

This subject was not in the group in which we first observed a 
preference among verses. We first undertook, therefore, a few 
exploratory experiments to find whether he would express any 
preferences as other subjects had done. For the purpose we chose 
four stanzas: Southey's "How does the water come down at 
Lodore," etc.; Moore's "Twas the night before Christmas," 
etc.; Stevenson's "The friendly cow all red and white," etc.; and 
Stevenson's "How do you like to go up in a swing?" etc. (This 
verse is in the same meter as Southey's above. But succeeding 
ones are different, as "Up in the air so blue.") No two of the 
stanzas are alike as to meter, throughout. 

We then went about it to read these stanzas by pairs into the sub- 
ject's chest: the first and second, first and third, first and fourth, 
second and third, and so on till each one had been recited with 
every other in a pair. I should say in this place that the subject 
had no idea before or after or during a session what stimuli were 
being employed. Now and again the members of a pair were 
reversed so that each member was recited first in approximately 
50% of instances. At once after the recitation of a pair the subject 
was asked whether either member occasioned a reaction of pleasure 
and if so which one was the more pleasurable. We tried not to 
suggest to him that one or the other must be found to possess 
this quality. At the outset, in conversation with him, we discussed 
the preference for certain verses that had been exhibited by other 
subjects preferences that have already been referred to in this 

I told him I was not convinced that there was any pleasurable 
reaction from this work that could be counted upon to extend over 
a considerable range of experience within the laboratory or outside 
of it. By this means I sought to dispose him not to indicate a 
pleasurable reaction merely because he thought I was looking 
for it. 

On the first day, March 16, he was given ten opportunities to 
compare each of the stanzas I have referred to with every other one. 

Number one was preferred to number two eight times. It was 
always preferred to number three, and nine times in ten it was 


found more pleasurable than number four. Number four was 
seven times reported as more pleasurable than number three, and 
two was always more pleasurable than three. 

On the basis of that day's experience, therefore, it was possible 
to rate the stanzas as follows on the ground of their pleasurable 

1 . " How does the water come down at Lodore " 

2. " 'Twas the night before Christmas " 

3. "How do you like to go up in a swing?" 

4. "The friendly cow all red and white. " 

I repeat that the subject had no knowledge, either before or 
after, as to what verses were being read. He knew only that they 
were verses. 

Subsequently, on March 24, he had thirty opportunities, under 
the same conditions, to choose between the Lodore verses and 
Stevenson's stanza beginning: "How do you like to go up in a 
swing? " In twenty-seven cases, or 90%, he chose the former. On 
the following two days he was given the opportunity to choose 
again when all four stanzas were in the repertoire thirty judg- 
ments on each pair. The order of preferences was exactly what 
we found on the sixteenth. There were ninety opportunities to 
react to each of the four stanzas. The first was preferred in 54% 
of the instances; the second in 24%; the fourth in 16%; and the 
third in 6% of the cases. Approximately the same result was 
found two days later. 

This appears to make it fairly certain that the subject had a 
real basis of comparison. More than one variable factor occurred 
in the situation. There were rhythm, predominating vowel and 
diphthongal qualities, and varying distinctness of feel correlated 
with these qualities and with the tactual character of consonantal 
elements. It seems clear enough from the observations I have 
mentioned that somewhere in the complex there is a factor, or 
more than one, that accounts for the pleasurable experience that 
follows upon the tactual stimulation. 

For the purpose of making more systematic observation we 
began on March 25 substituting the consonant-diphthong com- 
pound "Ray" for each syllable in the stanzas that theretofore 
had served as stimuli. Thus the Lodore verses became: 

E&y R&y R&y R4y R&y Ry Ry R&y R&y, etc. 
and Stevenson's "The friendly cow" became: 
R&y R4y RSy Ry R&y RAy, etc. 

In twenty-six out of thirty cases the former was preferred to the 


"The night before Christmas" became: 

Ray Ray Ray Ray Ray Ray Ray Ray Ray, etc. 

This arrangement of feet practically tied with /UU. In thirty 
reports sixteen favored /UU and fourteen favored UU/. Each 
of these had an advantage over the changing meter of Stevenson's 
"swing" verses: 

/ u u / u / 
/ u u / u / 

In the one case it was an advantage of eighteen to twelve, and 
in the other of twenty to ten. Throughout six succeeding days, 
during which the subject was held to these exercises without 
varying the stimuli, he almost consistently reported as I have 
indicated. He knew nothing of the nature of the stimuli excepting 
that "Ray" had been substituted for each syllable in the verses 
that had earlier been employed. He said he felt more sure of 
himself in his reactions to the substituted stimuli than to the 
original words. This may be due to the fact that in this case the 
successive tactual stimuli were of uniform intensity (barring varia- 
tions in the speaker's voice) whereas in the other instance there 
was variation of intensity from word to word due to the fact that 
no two vowel qualities get through the instrument with equal 
effect. This would contribute to consistency in the case of the 
substituted stimuli. On the other hand the subject may have 
remembered, as soon as he recognized a movement, that he had 
formerly preferred it to others. This, too, would make for con- 
sistency, and I am unable to estimate its force. I had seen enough 
to afford reasonable assurance that this subject at any rate did 
have real preferences for tactual rhythms. Several times he 
told me he believed all rhythms were enjoyable even at the 
outset. Even then, as the record appears to indicate, some 
were more enjoyable than others. As time went on, however, 
differences in pleasurableness seemed to be accentuated pro- 
gressively. He spoke of it as "learning" to enjoy one thing more 
than another. Naturally he could not describe the process of 
learning. It is impossible, on the basis of these preliminary 
observations, to say anything with respect to a nativistic or an 
acquired pleasurableness in relation to rhythmic tactual im- 

The observation we first made in this connection the greater 
pleasurableness of Southey's verses on the Waters of Lodore as 
compared with the first verse of Stevenson's "How do you like 


to go up in a swing?" suggested that, since the meter is the same 
in the two cases mentioned, the predominating vowel qualities 
in the two examples may account for the difference in the reaction. 
In the first two Lodpre verses there are ten syllables and the 
same number occur in Stevenson's first verse. In the Lodore 
verses there are six vowels that I call "long and broad" and four 
"short and thin." These terms are roughly descriptive of their 
tactual quality. 

For the purpose of examining this guess I undertook to find 
whether there is a difference in pleasurable quality when the meter 
remains constant but the vowel or diphthong changes from 
time to time. Accordingly, I set Row Row Row, Ray Ray Ray, 
Re Re Re, Raw Raw Raw, Rou Rou Ron, Roy Roy Roy, Roo 
Roo Roo, and Ri Ri Ri each group of syllables into dactylic 
feet; fifteen syllables or five feet in succession. From April 10 to 
May 25, inclusive, each of these groupings was compared for 
pleasurableness with every other. In the course of this period 
other exercises were interspersed to break the monotony. There 
were fifty reports upon each pair of nonsense verses. 



I. Row 25 VIII. Roy 28 XV. Rou 29 XXII. Raw 42 
Roy 25 Rou 22 Roo 21 Re 8 

II. Row 25 IX. Roy 30 XVI. Rou 32 XXIII. Roo 29 
Rou 25 Raw 20 Ri 18 Ri 21 

III. Row 40 X. Roy 35 XVII. Rou 34 XXIV. Roo 33 
Raw 10 Roo 15 Ray 16 Ray 17 

IV. Row 42 XI. Roy 35 XVIII. Rou 41 XXV. Roo 33 
Roo 8 Ri 15 Re 9 Re 17 

V. Row 43 XII. Roy 37 XIX. Raw 31 XXVI. Ri 34 
Ri 7 Ray 13 Roo 19 Ray 16 

VI. Row 44 XIII. Roy 46 XX. Raw 37 XXVII. Ri 30 
Ray 6 Re 4 Ri 13 Re 20 

VII. Row 47 XIV. Rou 26 XXI. Raw 38 XXVIII. Ray 28 
Re 3 Raw 24 Ray 12 Re 22 

In the course of all these laboratory exercises each of these 
vowels or diphthongs combined with R was felt upon the chest 
of the subject 350 times in company with one other. That num- 
ber of times he expressed a preference for one or the other of the 
pair. The total data enable us tentatively to rank the stimuli 
I have mentioned on the basis of their pleasurable quality. The 
figures in Table 2 indicate the number of times each was chosen 
while being compared with others 850 times. 



Total preferences 

1. Row 266 

2. Roy 236 

3. Rou 209 

4. Raw 202 

5. Roo 158 

6. Ri 138 

7. Ray 108 

8. Re v 83 

It is bound to occur to anyone who studies these figures that 
the order of preference indicated may depend principally upon 
the relative intensity of the stimuli. One or another may be more 
satisfactory or pleasurable or agreeable than another merely 
because it is felt as more intense and hence more distinctly than 
another. It is appropriate to say here that the subject declared 
that the vibration of the instrument is felt more distinctly when 
his fingers rest upon it, but that the more pleasurable experience 
occurs when the apparatus is upon his chest. And the intensity 
of the stimulus upon the skin is a function not only of the voice 
that goes into the apparatus but of the nature of the instrument. 
And here I have to make what may be a damaging confession: 
I do not know the quality of my own voice. It has never been 
subjected to harmonic analysis. In the course of the day-after- 
day work that brought to pass the material I have presented 
here I had no means of checking the inevitable variations of my 
voice from day to day. All I can say is that I tried to keep it 

With the cooperation of two normally hearing subjects I have 
attempted to rank in the order of their intensity the vowel and 
diphthongal qualities I have employed here. For this purpose 
the subjects were placed in a situation in which they could not 
hear either the voice of the speaker at the microphone or the sound 
emitted by the instrument. Instead of placing the instrument 
against his chest each subject rested his thumb ball against it. 
Each one had twenty -five opportunities to compare every stimulus 
with each one of its associates. Table 3 gives the combined 
order of the stimuli on a tactual intensity basis : 



Times chosen 























ranking and intensity ranking: 21 

I believe it is true of this subject at least that he does get a 
thrill out of some of these vowel and diphthongal qualities 
from some of them more than others. 

It has been interesting now and again to observe his description 
of the sensory experience. After several days of practice he re- 
ported that at the beginning of the campaign he never got away 
from the sense of an object vibrating locally against a small area 
upon his chest. " But now, " he said, *' I am not conscious of feeling 
it locally. I feel it nowhere in particular, especially after a 
sitting has got under way." Neither do you and I hear locally. 
Hearing is all over us just as pleasantness is (excepting perhaps 
when the stimulus is extremely intense then it hurts our ears). 

Work of this nature suggests the well-authenticated case of 
the totally deaf Eugen Sutermeister of Berne, Switzerland, who 
enjoys the feel of the orchestra. Our subject, indeed, enjoys 
the chapel organ, especially when it is playing "Lead Kindly 
Light." He catches himself now and again moving his head or 
hands or feet in rhythm with the organ tones. 

I do not know that these observations suggest anything in 
relation to a theory of the pleasurable reaction. The reaction is 
undoubtedly there and it has to come to pass in an unusual situa- 
tion. I do not believe that the observations can be used to support 
a nativistic hypothesis, for my subject did not at once get a thrill 
out of any movement or tactual quality. Practice was required 
upon the particular stimuli at hand. Even so he believes that the 
great variety of tactual exercises that were distributed over an 
entire year before these experiments began prepared him for 
enjoying the thing in hand. 

Note: Although we have not followed the matter up, it appears probable that 
the subject of these experiments can enjoy singing when he receives it as he received 
rhythms and vowel and diphthongal qualities in the course of this work. He was 
able, roughly, to follow the pitches of the voice of the experimenter while he sang 
and to indicate a primitive scale by marking with a pencil upon a sheet of paper. 
He consistently preferred the time of "Old Black Joe" to five others, even though 
he never knew beforehand what was about to be sung. The syllables "Row" 
or "Ray" were always substituted for the syllables of the song that was being 


Physiology of Feeling and 




Harvard University Medical School 

In this paper I shall restrict myself primarily to a consideration 
of a typical reaction system of the more highly developed organ- 
isms, that which is commonly called an expression or outburst 
of anger or rage. Later I shall consider some bearings which the 
facts may have on the nature of emotional excitation. 

The complex of bodily alterations that appears in rage has 
many features resembling the simple reflexes, such as sneezing, 
coughing, and sucking. First, its occurrence in the early months 
of even so highly developed an organism as the human infant indi- 
cates that its neural pattern, like that of the reflexes mentioned 
above, is congenitally inwrought in the central nervous apparatus. 
Second, as in the reflexes, it is a prompt response to the appropriate 
stimulus. Again, it is a constant and uniform response so much 
is this so, indeed, that there is no mistaking its character, whether 
it be manifested by the diverse races of man or by the lower 
animals. It is like the reflexes, also, in being a permanent mode 
of reaction; throughout life the characteristic display of the rage- 
response may be suddenly evoked in all its elaborateness. Further, 
it is a response to a fairly definite stimulus an inner stimulus 
which arises when there is a hampering or checking of motion or 
an opposition to one or another primary impulse. Finally, the 
rage-response is like the simple reflexes in being useful. Else- 
where (1) I have called attention to the wide range of bodily ad- 
justments which occur in an enraged animal the more rapid 
heart -beat, the redistribution of the blood, the increase of red cor- 
'puscles in the circulation, the deeper ventilation of the lungs, the 
dilatation of the bronchioles, the liberation of sugar from the liver, 
the secretion of adrenin with its favorable action on fatigued mus- 
cles all of which may properly be regarded as rendering the 
organism more efficient in struggle, in such struggle as may be 
necessary to overwhelm the opposition and to allow the natural 
impulse to prevail. Thus, as should be clear, all the main features 
of the simple reflexes the inborn prompt, constant, uniform, 


permanent, and utilitarian nature of the response to a definite 
type of stimulus all these features of the simple reflexes are re- 
produced in the characteristics of an outburst of rage. 

Much evidence exists which indicates that, whereas delayed 
responses uncertain, temporary, and readily modifiable involve 
the cerebral cortex the prompt, uniform, and stereotyped re- 
actions to stimuli have their central locus in lower levels of the 
brain and spinal cord. It becomes a matter of interest, therefore, 
to inquire regarding the seat of the neural mechanism which op- 
erates the action complex of rage. Does this mechanism have 
its locus in the cortical neurones or in the more primitive parts of 
the nervous axis? 

In the brain-stem there s a group of centers which, in the lower 
vertebrate, lacking a cerebral cortex, carry on elementary func- 
tions for maintaining existence. In higher forms these centers, 
though normally held in check by the dominant cortex, are capable 
of energetic response when conditions demand urgent and im- 
pulsive action. If the cortical government is set aside the sub- 
ordinate activities become prominent. Goltz's (2) and Roth- 
mann's (3) hemisphereless dogs and de Barenne's (4) cats de- 
prived of the neopallium illustrate this point. These animals 
under various conditions reacted commonly with signs of rage. 
Goltz's dog exhibited a typical outburst of fury when taken from 
his cage to be fed barking loudly, snapping in all directions, 
and resisting vigorously. Trifling stimuli, such as pulling or 
pressing the skin, called forth similar excesses of emotional re- 
sponse. The behavior of Rothmann's dog was of the same type. 
Gentle scratching of the back was the occasion for snarls and growls, 
and the presence of a fly on the dog's nose would send him into 
a fit of rage. With de Barerme's cats, pinching the toes or skin 
produced energetic movements of defense and such reactions as 
are characteristic of the angry cat spitting, growling, and erec- 
tion of the hairs of the tail and back. Again very slight disturb- 
ance proved an effective stimulus for this response; even the act 
of lifting the cats from the floor would evoke it. 

These various instances of a typical rage-reaction appearing in. 
animals deprived of the cerebral cortex may be interpreted as 
examples of " release phenomena," to use the term introduced by 
Hugh lings Jackson (5) phenomena resulting from the activity 
of lower centers in the cerebrum that appear readily on slight 
stimulation when the dominance of the superior centers is re- 
moved. It seemed reasonable to expect that these lower centers 
might display their typical activity after removal of the cortex 
in an acute experiment. Decortication would eliminate an es- 
sential condition for sensation and therefore the use of a depress- 


ing or disturbing anaesthetic could be dispensed with. Accordingly 
Britton and I (6), using cats as subjects, undertook an investiga- 
tion of some of the immediate effects of decortication. A stylet, 
pressed through the upper, inner quadrant of the left bony orbit 
and then to the bony tentorium on the opposite side of the skull, 
was swept downward and outward and withdrawn along the floor 
of the brain case. A similar operation was performed through the 
right orbit. Thus the cerebrum was substantially decorticated 
and almost all of the ganglia at the base of the brain remained in- 
tact. As soon as recovery from anaesthesia was complete, a 
remarkable group of activities appeared, such as are usually seen 
in an infuriated animal a sort of sham rage. A complete list of 
these quasi-emotional phenomena which we observed is as follows : 
vigorous lashing of the tail; arching of the trunk, and thrusting 
and jerking of the limbs in the thongs which fasten them to the 
animal board, combined with a display of claws in the forefeet 
and clawing motions, often persistent; snarling; rapid head move- 
ments from side to side with attempts to bite; and extremely 
rapid, panting respiration. These activities occur, without special 
stimulation (apart from the operative trauma and confinement to 
the holder) in "fits" or periods, lasting from a few seconds to 
several minutes. During the intermediate quiet stages a "fit" 
could be evoked by slight handling of the animal, touching the 
paws or jarring the table. Besides these changes which involved 
skeletal muscle there were typical and more permanent effects 
produced by sympathetic impulses: erection of the tail hairs, 
which recurred again and again after they were smoothed down; 
elevation of the vibrissae; sweating of the toe pads; dilatation of 
the pupil to a size during activity that was threefold the size 
during a preceding quiet period; micturition; a high blood-pres- 
sure; an abundant outpouring of adrenin; and, as Bulatao and I 
(7) found, an increase of blood sugar up to five times the normal 
concentration. Because of the resemblance of some of these ap- 
parently spontaneous reactions to pseudaffective reflexes which 
Woodworth and Sherrington (8) were able to elicit in decerebrate 
cats by stimulation of sensory nerves, we used the term "pseud- 
affective" in designating the preparation. The animals may 
manifest this pseudaffective state, or sham rage, at short intervals 
for two or three hours before the arterial blood -pressure falls too 
low for continuance of activity. 

The pseudaffective phenomena observed by Woodworth and 
Sherrington, and also by Bazett and Penfield (9) in "chronic" 
decerebrate preparations, were disturbances of an otherwise fairly 
continuous rigidity. In decerebration the cut passes through the 
mid-brain (M, Figure 1); thus the diencephalon and all parts of 


the cerebrum anterior to it are excluded from action. Obviously 
that part of the neural organization which directly sends forth the 
rage-response lies posterior to the section through the mesenceph- 
alon, i. e., in the remnant of the mid-brain or in the medulla. 
In these decerebrate animals, however, spontaneous exhibitions 
of sham rage are rare; relatively strong stimulation is required to 
evoke them, and, when evoked, they are likely to be isolated items 
of the total reaction and may be associated at times with in- 
consistent elements, such as violent clawing accompanied by 
purring. This is in marked contrast to the intense and complete 
manifestation of fury which may be shown by decorticate animals. 
The difference in behavior of the two preparations must be 
referred to some part of the brain-stem lacking in the decerebrate, 
but present in the decorticate animal. In other words, although 
various parts of the rage-response can be activated by afferent 
impulses in the bulbospinal animal, the integration of these 
responses in an energetic and typically widespread outburst of rage 
appears to be controlled by a superior center. Britton and I 
left untouched almost all of the basal gray matter of the anterior 
brain-stem. Where among these basal ganglia does the dominating 
center reside? This question has been the subject of an investiga- 
tion by one of my collaborators, Dr. Bard. 

The method employed by Bard was that of ablating various 
amounts of the brain-stem after decortication, and studying 
thereafter the behavior of the preparation. He found that typical 
sham rage, accompanied by vigorous discharge of sympathetic 
impulses recurs in spontaneous fits or outbursts after both cerebral 
hemispheres, the corpora striata and the anterior half of the 
diencephalon have been removed completely (along dash line, 
Figure 1). The additional removal of the posterior half of the 
diencephalon promptly abolishes the spontaneous activity; but 
since it persists after much of the dorsal portion of the region has 
been cut away (along dotted line, Figure 1), the dominating center, 
we may infer, is situated near the base, probably in the sub- 
thalamus. Its size in the cat is less than a fourth of a cubic centi- 
meter. In recent years considerable evidence has accumulated, 
pointing to the thalamic region as the central station of the 
sympathetic system. Isenschmid and his collaborators (10) have 
localized there the mechanism for temperature regulation a 
mechanism controlling heat-production and heat-loss via sym- 
pathetic channels. And Karplus and Kreidl (11) have observed 
that local stimulation of the same region in anaesthetized animals 
causes a sympathetic discharge. Bard's observations bring strong 
support to the conclusion that in the subthalamus there exists 
an integrating center for sympathetic activities. Thus in the 


diencephalon, in a part of the old brain, which is common to all 
members of the vertebrate series from the fishes to mammals, is 
localized the neural apparatus for integrating the complex reaction 
system of rage, not only the external expression, but also the 
internal mobilization of the bodily forces for the violent physical 
efforts in which rage typically culminates. 



Ch, cerebral hemispheres; D, diencephalon (dotted); M, mesencephalon ; Cb, 
cerebellum; Md, medulla. The parts distinguished by slanting lines can be wholly 
removed without destroying the rage-response. 

Besides the central neural organization there are the peripheral 
effector organs. They arc in two divisions the skeletal muscles 
and the viscera. The skeletal musculature is so played upon that 
a characteristic picture is presented. I have described above the 
appearance of the infuriated cat. Darwin's (12) description of 
rage in young children is not very different; during a violent 
outburst they scream, kick, scratch, and bite. In adult men the 
display is not commonly of this puerile type, but it is likely to 
include the crouching body, the moist and frowning brow, the 
firm lips, the clenched or grinding teeth, the growled threats and 
imprecations, and the tightened fists or the seized weapon ready 
for attack. 

Important visceral alterations accompanying fury I have 
recounted above. They are profound and widespread. They are 
called forth by discharges through the sympathetic division of the 
autonomic system. The neurones of this division are so arranged, 
as I have noted elsewhere (1), that they discharge impulses 
diffusely to smooth muscles and glands in all parts of the body. 
Among the glands is the adrenal medulla a gland of internal 
secretion. Thus at the same time with the diffuse emission of 
sympathetic impulses there is liberation of adrenin (13). The 


adrenin, which is poured into the blood stream, necessarily has a 
general distribution and therefore a diffuse action. Everywhere 
that it acts in the body, it has the same effect as the nerve impul- 
ses i. e., the humoral and the neural agents cooperate. Indeed, 
this cooperation of the ubiquitously distributed adrenin and the 
nerve impulses confirms the concept that the sympathetic neurones 
are arranged for diffuse effects otherwise any special action by 
the neural agent would be covered by the general action of the 
humoral agent. 

The sympathetic system is called into operation in various 
circumstances during marked excitation of the cerebrum as in 
fear or rage (1, 13), on exposure to cold (14), when the blood sugar 
is too greatly reduced (15), in asphyxial states (16), and in very 
vigorous muscular effort (13). Because the system is activated in 
quite different conditions and also because it operates as a unit, 
it induces changes which are useful in one circumstance but may 
not be useful in another. In the rage-reaction, however, as noted 
above, all the known changes may be readily and reasonably inter- 
preted as rendering the organism especially capable of enduring 
prolonged and extreme physical effort. 

Although activation of the sympathico-adrenal system is a 
prominent feature in an outburst of rage, it is not an essential 
feature. Recently Lewis, Britton, and I (17) have succeeded in 
removing completely both sympathetic trunks, from the superior 
cervical to the pelvic ganglia, in cats, keeping the animals healthy 
and vigorous in the laboratory for many months, and noting that 
in appropriate circumstances they exhibit almost all the superficial 
signs of rage. Thus, one of these animals, which had given birth 
to kittens, showed her teeth, drew back her ears, lifted a front leg 
ready to strike, and growled and hissed, when a barking dog 
approached her young. The hairs, however, did not bristle on any 
part of her body, and vigorous struggle resulted in no increase of 
blood sugar. In animals with the adrenals, liver, and heart wholly 
disconnected from the central nervous system the rage-response 
occurs, as Lewis, Britton, and I (18) have shown, quite as in normal 
animals, even to the appearance of a bushy tail, without, however, 
any discharge of adrenin or noteworthy acceleration of the heart. 
In these cases there is no reason for supposing that the peripheral 
operations have disturbed the established pathways in the central 
neurones. If the central neurones are connected with the muscles 
of the tail hairs, the hairs stand, otherwise they lie flat; if the 
nervous connections reach to the adrenal glands, adrenin is dis- 
charged, otherwise not. In short, the central neurones discharge 
in their fated manner; and the activity or absence of activity in 
effector organs depends on the presence or absence of connections 
with the spinal cord. 


Thus far I have given an objective account of physiological 
facts related to a typical emotional expression that of rage. Do 
not these facts have implications pertinent to other emotions? 
Do not they help towards an understanding of the nature and 
functions of emotion in the behavior of the organism? May I 
venture to suggest that they do, and attempt to present some 
reasons for that suggestion. 

A fundamental fact which I would emphasize is that the neuro- 
muscular and neuro-visceral arrangement for the display of rage 
has its central control congenitally organized in or near a phylo- 
genetically ancient part of the brain, the optic thalamus. The 
thalamus is not like the cerebral cortex in being a region where new 
relations with the outer world are registered and old relations 
are modified; it more nearly resembles the spinal cord a region 
under superior dominance, where afferent impulses are received, 
regrouped, and redistributed either to the higher levels, or to 
neighboring motor neurones which promptly discharge to effector 
organs in stereotyped reaction patterns. The typical postures 
and attitudes which result from action of the thalamus are more 
complicated than those produced by spinal reflexes but are not 
essentially different. The physiological organization which es- 
tablishes the reflex figure of rage I have detailed because it may 
serve as a prototype for other primitive emotional responses. 
The expressions of fear, joy, and grief are similar in character; in 
their essential features they are not learned, and they are exhibited 
so early in the human infant that they may properly be classed 
with rage as being natively inherent in the brain. There is good 
evidence that central control for the expression of these emotions, 
like that for rage, lies subcortically and, specifically, in the thalarnic 
region. Bekhterev (19) has reported that whereas "painful" 
stimulation excites cries in an animal freshly deprived of its cere- 
bral hemispheres, gentle stimulation ("petting") may evoke signs 
of pleasure, e. g., purring in the cat and tail-wagging in the dog. 
These responses disappeared, in his cases, after removal of the 
optic thalamus. In human beings indications of a subcortical 
management of emotional expression are to be seen in the effects 
of anaesthetics. During the second (excitement) stage of ether 
anaesthesia, there may be sobbing as in grief, or laughter as in joy, 
or lively and energetic aggressive reactions as in rage all without 
refined or even definite adjustments to the environment. The 
surgeon may open the chest or perform other operations of equal 
gravity, while the patient is pushing, pulling, shouting, and mut- 
tering, and yet the events leave no trace in the cortex which yields 
later a memory of what has happened. A peculiar effect of nitrous 
oxide anaesthesia has led to its common name, "laughing gas,*' 


though an experienced anaesthetist has informed me that under 
its influence quite as many patients weep as laugh; in either event, 
when cortical functions have been so deeply abolished by this gas 
that the patient has no experience from an ordinarily painful 
procedure, there is a release of the typical expressions of gladness 
or sorrow. Pathological cases support these indications of a sub- 
cortical source of emotional behavior. In certain forms of hemi- 
plegia the patient is incapable of moving the face on the paralyzed 
side; but if he is suddenly affected by an occasion which is gay 
or sad, the muscles which have been dissociated from cortical 
government act properly to give the face the expression of joy 
or sadness (19). The clinical studies of Head and Holmes (20) 
have brought evidence of a more precise localization of centers for 
emotional acts. They noted that such unilateral damage to the 
brain as isolates parts of the thalamus from the cortex has a most 
remarkable consequence in the excessive^ responses to "all po- 
tentially affective stimuli. " The prick of a pin, painful pressure, 
excessive heat arid cold, all produce a more vigorous unpleasant 
feeling on the abnormal than on the normal side of the body. At 
the same time, pleasurable warmth may evoke an unusually vivid 
pleasant response. And they conclude that since the affective 
states are increased when the thalamus is freed from cortical con- 
trol, "the activity of the essential thalamic center is mainly 
occupied with the affective side of sensation. " Similar testimony 
to residence of the neural mechanisms for affective expression in 
the brain-stem is afforded by anencephalic monsters the so- 
called "frog-babies/' born without cerebral hemispheres and often 
having little more than the medulla arid cerebellum. Even with 
such a poor remnant of the brain as that, noxious stimulation will 
cause whimpering and drawing down of the corners of the mouth 
as in distress and grief (21). In all these instances of absence of 
cortical function, primitive emotional reactions are as perfectly 
performed as are the reflexes of coughing, sneezing, sucking, and 
swallowing, i. e., they are complicated automatisms. In all these 
complicated acts the nerve impulses run their appointed course 
according to phylogenetic patterns and without individual in- 
struction or training. 

A second point on which I would lay emphasis is the intensity 
of the rage-reaction which we observed in pseudaffective animals. 
Many years ago Hughlings Jackson (5) made the suggestion, 
recently supported by Head (22), that the nervous system is or- 
ganized in a neural hierarchy, such that primitive reactions, which 
might otherwise disturb the more discriminative responses of 
higher levels, are by these repressed. When the cortical govern- 
ment is set aside, the subordinate activities, released from in- 


hibition, become prominent. Then only slight stimulation is 
required to produce extreme effects. Thus may be explained the 
violent and persistent display of sham rage by our decorticate 
cats while fastened to a holder, the vigorous snapping, snarling, 
and resistance of the hemisphereless dogs when taken from their 
cages, and the excessive responses to mildly affective stimuli by 
human beings with thalamus freed from the cortex. The extraor- 
dinary intensity of these exhibitions seems to indicate that the 
neural apparatus for emotional expression is set and ready for 
energetic discharge, and that if only the superior control is weak- 
ened or inhibited, appropriate stimuli evoke an intense and power- 
ful response. If external conditions should be such as to call 
forth an emotional response, therefore, a definite innervation of 
effector organs from the cortex would not be required; withdrawal 
of cortical dominance would be the main condition for prompt 
and vigorous action. But the cortical government may not re- 
lease the excited neurones in the thalamus. Then there is conflict 
between the higher and lower controls of bodily activities there 
are opposing tendencies with accompanying confusion. The corti- 
cal neurones, however, can check only some of the bodily activities, 
those which are normally under voluntary control. It cannot 
check the stormy processes of the thalamus which cause shivering 
and forcible emptying of the bladder and rectum. In states of 
conflict these phenomena become prominent. 

A third point since cognitive consciousness is associated with 
the functioning of cortical neurones, it follows, as a corollary 
from the facts cited above, that the neural mechanisms for the 
primitive emotions operate in a region outside the range of such 
consciousness. This consideration, together with the readiness 
of these mechanisms, when released from inhibition, to exhibit 
a major response to a minor stimulus, explains, I think, some of 
the most characteristic features of emotional experience. We 
have emotional "seizures"; we laugh, weep, or rage "uncontroll- 
ably"; we feel as if "possessed"; what we do in the stress of ex- 
citement is "surprising," "shocking" something "surges up 
within us" and our actions seem no longer our own. These com- 
mon bywords are explicable in terms of a sudden and powerful 
domination of the bodily forces by subcortical neurones. Under 
favoring circumstances, with only a momentary lifting of the 
normal inhibitory check, these neurones capture the effector ma- 
chinery and drive it violently into one or another of its variegated 

And finally, it seems to me that the facts presented above sug- 
gest a new source for the peculiar feelings which we experience 
in an emotional upset. We are familiar with James's (%3) idea 


that the feeling of the bodily changes, which occur spontaneously 
in an exciting situation, constitutes the emotion; and also with 
the similar idea of Lange (24) that consciousness of cardio-vascular 
disturbances is the essential element. Elsewhere 1(1) have pointed 
out that any high degree of excitation in the central nervous 
system, whether felt as anger, terror, pain, anxiety, joy, grief, or 
deep disgust, may rouse the sympathetic system to activity and 
affect in a stereotyped fashion the functions of organs which that 
system innervates. May I recall that the central station for 
the sympathetic system is a small, compact center in the dien- 
cephalon, and, furthermore, that when strongly aroused, that 
system tends to act as a unit. The responses in the viscera, 
therefore, are too uniform to offer a satisfactory means of distin- 
guishing states which, in man at least, are very different in sub- 
jective quality. For this reason I urged that the differential 
features separating one emotion from another could not be 
found in diverse afferent impulses from the viscera. Furthermore, 
as Maranon (25) has shown, injections of adrenalin into human 
beings in amounts which induce the visceral changes charac- 
teristic of emotional excitement do not in fact produce an emo- 
tional experience; the subject merely becomes reminiscent of 
other times when these changes were noted he reports them and 
remains calm. In addition, the afferents from the viscera, espe- 
cially from cardio-vascular organs, are too meager to yield us any 
rich sensation based on the happenings within them. There re- 
main as support for the James- Lange theory the positions and 
tensions of skeletal muscle that are peculiar to the various emo- 
tions. But forced laughter does not bring real joy, nor forced 
sobbing real sorrow, as it appears to me they should do if the 
peculiar quote of the emotion were derived from the innervated 
muscles themselves. Furthermore, Head (26) and his collabo- 
rators report that in thalamus cases the quality of feeling-tone, 
though markedly intensified in relation to other sensations, notably 
those resulting from certain tactile, auditory, and thermal stimuli, 
is entirely absent from such sensations as underlie an appreciation 
of posture. The theory of a peripheral source of emotional expe- 
rience has little or no positive factual support. To produce an 
effect in the cortex, however, it is not necessary that afferent 
impulses arise at the periphery; they may be started anywhere 
in the afferent path. May not this happen in emotional excite- 
ment? The neurones of the subcortical centers in the cerebrum 
act in different combinations in the different emotional expressions, 
as proved by the reaction pattern, typical of the several affective 
states, which they induce. May not the "feeling" be due to im- 
pulses, not from the effector organs, but from the lower neurones 


in the special combination which fixes at the moment the peculiar 
facies and bodily postures of the reaction system? These 'neu- 
rones, as we have seen, are organized in the basal gray matter, in 
the old brain. They do not require detailed inner vat ion from 
above in order to be driven into action. Being released for action 
is a primary condition for their service to the body; they then 
discharge precipitately and intensely. We know that intense 
activity in one part of the nervous system extends to other parts 
by "irradiation." The phenomenon occurs in the gray matter 
of the cerebral cortex; it may occur likewise in the gray matter 
of the basal ganglia of the old brain-stem. Here, within or near 
the thalamus, the neurones concerned in emotional expression 
lie close to the relay on the senspry path from periphery to cortex. 
We may assume that when these neurones discharge in various 
combinations they not only innervate muscles and viscera but 
also' affect afferent paths to the cortex by irradiation or by direct 
connections. Only in this way, I think, can we account for the 
phenomena observed when in human beings the optic thalamus 
is freed from cortical control by a unilateral lesion. All the emo- 
tional aspects of experience are greatly intensified on the injured 
side; in a case described by Head (26), though a tuning fork or 
a bell had no unusual effects, stirring music produced such in- 
tolerably intense feelings (referred to the affected side) that the 
patient was obliged to leave the room. Thus as an accompani- 
ment of each emotional expression there could surge up from the 
old brain to the cerebral cortex impulses characteristic of the neu- 
rone pattern then prevailing. The quality of the emotion might 
arise from the- obscure and unrelated source of the intruding 
impulses, from the sense of extraneous control of the bodily forces, 
and from the different combinations of the excited afferent 
neurones each combination specific for a particular emotion. 
In other words, for the theory that emotional experiences arise 
from changes in effector organs is substituted the idea that they 
are produced by unusual and powerful influences emerging from 
the region of the thalamus and affecting various systems of cortical 
neurones. This view accords with the pertinent physiological 
facts now available. It can be applied to the "subtler" emo- 
tions, which the James-Lange theory had difficulty in explaining. 
It offers interesting suggestions for the study of emotional ex- 
pressions experimentally in lower animals and in human beings 
under the influence of various drugs and in pathological states. 


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12. DARWIN, C. The expression of emotion in man and animals. New York: 
Appleton, 1897. 

13. CANNON, W. B,, BRITTON, S. W., LEWIS, J. T., and GROENEVELD, A. Ameri- 
can Journal of Physiology, LXXIX (1927), 433. 

14. CANNON, W. B., QUERIDO, A., BRITTON, S. W., and BRIGHT, E. M. Ameri- 
can Journal of Physiology, LXXIX (1927), 466. 

15. CANNON, W. B., MC!VER, M. A., and BLISS, S. W. American Journal of 
Physiology, LXIX (1927), 46. 

16. CANNON, W. B., and CARRASCO-FORMIGUERA, R. American Journal of 
Physiology, LXI (1922), 215. 

17. CANNON, W. B., LEWIS, J. T., and BRITTON, S. W. Boston Medical and 
Surgical Journal, CXCVII (1927), 514. 

18. CANNON, W. B., LEWIS, J. T., and BRITTON, S. W. American Journal of 
Physiology, LXXVII (1926), 326. 

19. BEKHTEREV, V. Virchow's Archiv fur pathologische Anatomie und Phys- 
iologic, CX (1887), 345. 

20. HEAD, H., and HOLMES, G. Brain, XXXIV (1911), 109. 

21. STERNBERG, M., and LATZKO, W. Deutsche Zeitschrift fur Nervenheilkunde, 
XXIV (1903), 209. 

22. HEAD, II. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, B, XCII (1921), 184. 

23. JAMES, W. Principles of psychology, II. New York: Holt, 1890. P. 449. 

24. LANGE, C. G. The emotions. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 1922. 
Pp. 63-72. 

25. MARANON, G. Revue frangaise d'endocrinologie, II (1924), 301. 

26. HEAD, H. Studies in neurology, II. London: Frowde, Hodder, & Stough- 
ton, 1920, p. 620. 


DR. REYMERT: In opening the discussion of Dr. Cannon's paper, I want to 
say that we, as psychologists, are extremely fortunate in having a physiologist 
like Dr. Cannon with us His works, as we all know, have exerted a great influence 
upon contemporary psychology, and his latter findings now will most likely bring 


about some revisions which will have to be made in certain psychological conclu- 
sions and investigations. The paper is now open for discussion. 

DR. WEISS (Ohio State University): I would just like to ask Dr. Cannon this 
question which was raised in part also as a response to Dr. Dunlap's paper. I 
agree, of course, with the findings that Dr. Cannon has presented. Now there is 
this, I think, which would be of extreme importance to psychologists: that is, 
what is the criterion of emotion and how many different kinds of emotions are 
there? That, I think, is somewhat unclear to some of us. 

DR. CANNON: That is a question of very great importance and, I think, of 
fundamental importance. It seems to me that this conception that I have tried 
to bring before you tonight, that these patterns exist in the cortex early I do 
not mean in the cortex, but in the brain early, in the thalamus early allows us 
to make studies of the various reactions which the animal exhibits and when I 
say the animal I mean human beings in the first days of existence, and that 
possibly by such careful examination, such as Watson has already started, we 
can get a notion of how many emotions there are to start off with. 

Now my notion is, and I am sure that there are others who have had the same 
idea, that these primitive responses become associated very much as responses 
become associated in cortical operations, so that we have all sorts of complicated 
combinations of emotional reactions that are dependent upon previous experiences. 
I have an emotion or an emotional feeling that is fairly intense and has been so for 
many, many years when I hear sleigh-bells, and it goes back to a time when I saw 
Henry Irving play "The Bells." I was a boy at the time and was immensely 
stirred by the terrific tragedy which he represented on the stage. Since then I 
cannot hear sleigh-bells without having a queer feeling inside of me, which I inter- 
pret as emotion. An association has been established between the sound of those 
bells and the experience which I had at that time, so that a recurrence of the sound 
of the bells brings back the emotions. 

It is a very different matter to explain that emotion. At the time I had it I 
think it would have been an easier emotion to define if I had been introspective or 
had been watchful at the moment. These complications come as a result of ex- 
perience. I am talking now to a lot of psychologists. I am only a physiologist, 
and I am not expert in psychological theorizing and speak upon some of these 
matters haltingly, but that would be my way of answering Dr. Weiss's question. 

DR. WEISS: The results of some investigations which we are now conducting on 
new-born infants, beginning at birth up to about ten or twelve days, indicate that 
there are practically none of these emotional disturbances present at that early 
stage. You can take young infants, wind them tightly in a cloth, and they go to 
sleep. Hold their noses, which is usually an easy way of getting a strong emotional 
response from an adult, and they wiggle a bit and go to sleep. That is as far as 
we have been able to find with our experiments on young infants. We do not get 
the emotional responses, that is, the skeletal responses, except those organic re- 
sponses. We do get those. But we get those also with other things, that is, not 
only with what we would call emotional stimuli, but we get it when we try to elicit 
a palmar reflex or a blinking reflex or an auditory reflex. We are likely to get any 
one or all of these things. So, as far as the new-born infant is concerned, I think 
there is very little opportunity there, as far as our researches go, to try to establish 
the fact that we have such a thing as a primary emotion, unless we eliminate all 
skeletal posture. If we consider the organic responses, we can see them. There is 
evidence of emotion. But we get those organic reactions without emotional stimuli. 

DR. CANNON: May I ask any mother here to hold up her hand if she has heard 
the first cry of her baby? There have been persons who theorized about that 
first cry and they supposed that the first cry was due to the fact that the child 
suddenly found after being in heaven that he was in a very much worse place. 
I am quite sure that that expression of emotion, that cry, is heard almost im- 
mediately or very soon after birth, and I am sure that anything in the way of 
stimulation will bring that out. 




University of Leningrad 

The psychology of feeling, as it is called, rests upon two different 
theories. One maintains that the primary source of feeling is the 
internal experiences of the psychic sphere, which call forth, 
secondarily, corresponding changes in the viscera. The other is the 
well-known James-Lange theory, which considers feeling a second- 
ary phenomenon, usually following physical changes, especially 
changes in cardio- vascular activity and muscular tonus. 

Researches which were carried on in my laboratory by Dr. 
Sreznevski (Dissertation, 1906) prove conclusively that the 
James-Lange theory is not corroborated by the results obtained 
from emotions physiologically aroused. During fright, for instance, 
there is at first an acceleration of the functions of the reproductive- 
associative system, followed by retardation, which occurs before 
the changes in the cardio-vascular system, due to the influence of a 
sudden external stimulus which calls forth the fright. This shows 
us that the James-Lange theory does not explain all the phenomena 
of feeling and emotion, and leads us to conclude that neither of the 
theories are tenable. We must consider other possible explanations 
of emotional states. 

We also know facts of a different sort. For instance, opium or 
hasheesh and a few other poisons which affect the intellectual 
processes bring about a euphoric state; the penetration of the 
organism by the toxins of hydrophobia is followed by strangely 
expressed fear or fright, which is augmented by the presence of 
certain external stimuli, as water or glittering objects. These 
poisons evidently act upon the nervous system by way of the blood, 
poisoning the central as well as the peripheral synapses. It is 
also possible to arouse emotional states artificially. It is well 
known that the subcutaneous injection of adrenalin is usually 
followed by a state of anxiety, together with the phenomena of 
hy pert hyroid ism (tachycardia and tremor). This shows clearly 
that anxiety is associated with hyperthyroidism ; the state of 
euphoria, with athyroidism. There is very interesting work on 
this subject by M. Laignel-Lavastine. 1 

1 "Les psychoses thyroidiennes," Progrbs mtdical, XLIX (1922), 158-163; Ques- 
tions neurologiques cTactualite. Vingt conferences faites & la facult de medicine de 
Paris, 1021. (Paris: Masson, 1922.) 


There are also pathological states of euphoria, some of which 
develop independently, and some in connection with manic 
depression. Thus we see that the basis of these states designated 
as feelings and emotions is alterations in the composition of the 
blood. Hence, the ultimate source of these states must be found in 
the functions of those organs which can quickly alter the chemical 
composition of the blood. Such are the organs of internal secretion. 
Cannon's well-known experiment proves this point. When a dog 
approaches a cat, there is a marked increase in the amount of 
adrenalin in the cat's blood. The question is: How are these 
organs innervated? Investigations which have been recently 
carried out in our laboratory and later corroborated elsewhere 
prove conclusively that each of the glands of internal secretion 
receives nerves from the automatic system afferent as well as 
efferent. We have demonstrated this in the case of the testicles 
and some other glands. It should hold true for the others as well. 
Thus the glands may be controlled through either the parasympa- 
thetic or the sympathetic nervous system. 

When one remembers that the sympathetic system controls 
vasoconstriction, and the parasympathetic system vasodilation, 
it is clear that excitation of the sympathetic nervous system 
should be accompanied by weakening or inhibition of the glandular 
functions, and excitation of the parasympathetic nervous system 
by strengthening or acceleration of them. Individual differences 
in degree of sympatheticotonia or vagotonia are merely expressions 
of different degrees of excitability or reactivity in various types of 
nervous systems. This excitability is naturally reflected in the 
activities of the glands, which, in turn, stimulate the vegetative 
nervous system. 

But, in addition to this nervous control of the endocrine func- 
tions, there is a chemical control. The glands can, and undoubtedly 
do, react to the chemical composition of the blood (chemical 
reflexes). Thus there is established a sort of equilibrium between 
the various glands, due to the direct effect of the chemical com- 
position of the blood upon the chemical elements of the glands 
themselves. 2 

If the nervous control of the glands explains the relation of mood 
to the development of innate and acquired reflexes, then the 
chemical control through the blood may explain the relation of 
changes in mood to the composition of the blood and, consequently, 
to the state of the viscera in pathological cases. 

If we take into consideration the facts that the basis of emotional 

2 Dr. Bielov, one of the men working under my supervision, has established the 
law of the mutual interaction of the glands by study of the brain. 


states is the secretory activity of the glands, and that certain glands 
are innervated chiefly by the sympathicus (e. g., the sexual organs, 
etc.), while others are innervated chiefly by the vagus (e. g., the 
pancreas), it is clear that the relations between the two systems 
determine various degrees of emotional excitability. The pre- 
dominance of one gives the more excitable type of person; the 
predominance of the other, the less excitable type; a good balance 
between the two systems, the intermediate emotional type. 

The facts thus far presented compel us to realize that the 
functional changes in the cardio-vascular, respiratory, and other 
somatic organs during emotional states may be dependent upon 
changes in the secretory activity of certain glands, brought 
about by reflex stimulation through the central nervous system 
or by changes in the chemical composition of the blood. Every 
case involves the chemical excitation of the nerve cells which 
determine the emotional states. As for the functional changes 
in the reproductive-associative system, which precede those 
of the cardio-vascular system in fright, they must be due to 
inhibition of cortical processes. In some emotional states, on 
the other hand, there is an excitation of cortical processes rather 
than inhibition. 

As for the various changes in cardiac function, we must con- 
sider the following cases: (a) strengthening of heart action, (6) 
weakening of heart action, (c) acceleration, (d) retardation, 
(e) strengthening and acceleration, (/) strengthening and re- 
tardation, (g) weakening and acceleration, (h) weakening and 
retardation. If we consider that other variations in heart action 
are possible, and remember also that these changes are accom- 
panied by changes in the blood-vessels dilation and contraction 
in certain parts of the body rand changes in the respiratory 
system deep fast breathing, deep slow breathing, shallow fast 
breathing, and shallow slow breathing then we will understand 
what a large variety of objective changes may occur in the cardio- 
vascular and respiratory systems. We must also consider the 
phenomena of excitation and retardation of the mimic reflex 
activities which accompany these changes. We must take account 
of the reflexly produced secretions which stimulate the nervous 
tissues. This will lead us to an understanding of all the various 
phenomena which occur during the so-called emotional states. 

At present we cannot establish the correlations between all 
the various objective changes in the somatic sphere and specific 
subjective states. We may, however, recognize certain facts. 
For instance, the state of fear is correlated with acceleration and 
strengthening of heart action, contraction of the peripheral vessels, 


increase of blood-pressure, a violent rush of blood to the head, 
strengthening of the respiratory movements, and an increase of 
adrenalin in the blood, according to the results of Cannon's 

Heroic ecstasy is correlated with a strong increase in heart 
action, active dilation of the vessels of the brain and periphery, 
and strengthening of the respiratory movements. Grief or sorrow 
is correlated with weakening of the heart action, accelerated pulse, 
slight dilation of the vessels, and slow shallow breathing; joy, 
with increased heart action, moderate dilation of the peripheral 
vessels, deeper breathing, etc. 

It is understood that all these states are accompanied by a 
number of phenomena which involve the receptors of the striated 
muscles in addition to the other changes in the conditioned 
reflex activities. These phenomena include a great variety of 
external mimetic activities which we will not describe in detail. 
Emotions, as they are called, consist of these external mimetic 
movements together with the above-mentioned somatic and 
conditioned reflex changes. Reflexology regards them as specialized 
somato-mimetic reflexes. On the basis of the general character 
of the reflexes we may distinguish: (1) general somato-mimetic 
tonus, which corresponds to what is called mood in subjective 
psychology; (2) various somato-mimetic reflexes (emotions accord- 
ing to the subjective terminology), which may be exciting, de- 
pressing, or mixed; and (3) somato-mimetic disturbances or 
affects, as the psychologists designate them. The psychologists 
usually study the feelings and subjective experiences which 
accompany these states by the use of the very unreliable intro- 
spective method. Consequently, this domain of science has been 
only slightly developed to date. 

Since the subjective experiences and the nerve impulses in the 
brain which accompany them constitute one and the same process, 
one may analyze one's own somato-mimetic reflexes (excluding 
their external manifestations associated with the exciting stimuli) , 
by using proper instruments and keeping at the same time a record 
of the subjective experiences felt. This is the method of self- 
analysis or the automatic method, which Shumkov and I have 
employed. 3 It is quite consistent with the objective, biosocial 
method of observation (which excludes the external stimuli 
associated with previous life-experiences and constitutional 
condition), and may be utilized to insure greater completeness 
in the study of a subject of such complexity and delicacy as 
somato-mimetic reflexes. 

8 V. Bekhterev and G. Shumkov, Monatsschrififiir Psychiatric und Neurologic, 
LXV (1927). Flechsigfestschrift. 


To turn to the phylogenetic development of the somato-mimetic 
reflexes, we must point out that Darwin explained that human 
mimicry is deeply rooted in the biological world. Here we come 
upon the same law of evolution which applies to all other phe- 
nomena of the plant and animal kingdoms. According to Darwin, 
expressive movements have developed phylogenetically from 
movements which originally had different meanings. Some of 
these movements, which were originally useful to the individual, 
have been retained although they have ceased to be useful. 
For example, the expression of hatred in man is characterized by 
the lifting of the upper lip and baring of the teeth, which, Darwin 
says, represent movements preparatory to fighting, intended to 
frighten the enemy. Although man does not use his teeth in 
fighting, the expression of hatred is retained. The setting of 
the jaws and clenching of the fists in anger have a similar origin. 
Darwin himself did not consider this principle of useful habits 
adequate to all types of expression. He supplemented it by two 
other principles: the principle of " antithesis " and the principle 
of actions which are dependent upon the structure of the nervous 
system. These two supplementary principles have been rejected by 
later critics, and, therefore, need not claim our attention, but the 
first, the retention of originally useful habits not now useful, is rec- 
ognized by the majority of authors. Even this principle, how- 
ever, cannot serve us as a guide, as I have explained definitely in 
my work, "Biological Development of Mimicry" (Vestnik Znaniya, 
1910) . 4 As a matter of fact, what could be the use of scaring the 
enemy by baring the teeth, raising the hair on the neck and on 
the body in general (in order to appear larger and more fearful), 
when the enemy himself employs the same methods of inducing 
fear. My interpretation of the movements in question is entirely 
different. They are "vitally necessary," because they prepare 
the individual for the fight, because the strength necessary for 
the attack can be developed in no other way. One cannot fight 
unless the body assumes the proper position at the appropriate 
time, unless the muscles are tense preparatory to the development 
of maximum strength, unless the heart and blood-vessels are 
prepared to furnish an increased blood supply. 

Neither can an adequate defense be developed without corre- 
sponding preparations : raising of the hair on the neck and body, 
the reptile's raising its collar to defend itself against the bites of 
the enemy, the paling of the superficial vessels to prevent an 

4 See also: V. Bekhterev, "Die biologische Entwicklung der Mimik," 
Folia Neuro-biologica, V (1911), 825860; "Ler61e biologique de la mimique, " 
Journal de psychologic, VII (1010), 385-408. 


excess flow of blood from wounds received during the fight, 
increased heart action, etc. The "muscular concentration," 
which enables the organism to defend itself or to attack at any 
moment, could not exist without initial muscular preparation 
flow of blood to the muscles and increase in tonus. 

Thus we have to deal with general movements which serve the 
general needs of the organism. The same principle applies to the 
movements associated with the specialized sense organs (eyes, ears, 
nose, and tongue). These are movements of accommodation to 
insure better reception of the external excitations according to the 
needs of the organism, defensive movements to protect the organs 
from superfluous and harmful excitations, and muscular readiness 
which makes possible a better orientation during the given excita- 
tion. These movements, which are not only useful but necessary, 
constitute the Very essence of complex activities. They are the 
ultimate source of the somato-mimetic reflexes or expressive 
movements. These reflexes, which were produced as the initial 
stage of certain acts, came to be the mimical language of the animal 
kingdom, facilitating the exchange of reactions among various 
individuals. Thus, even at this stage of development, they are 
just as necessary as they were originally when they constituted a 
part of the complex activities of the individual. This is my point 
of view. 

We have still to say a few words about sexual mimicry. In 
dealing with this subject, the great naturalist again emphasized 
the subjective by interpreting the various expressive phenomena 
including the displays of the male which occur during the period 
of mating as attempts to attract the female by their beauty, 
originating consequently in the process of sexual selection. We 
know, however, that it is not the females who select the males, 
but the males who select the females and fight for possession 
of them. From the point of view which I have set forth above, 
sexual mimicry is simply the result of the increased activity of 
the sexual glands preparatory to mating. It serves also to increase 
sexual excitement in the individual of the opposite sex. This 
is essential to successful mating, which insures the preservation 
of the race. 

This conception of sexual mimicry furnishes a natural explana- 
tion of such phenomena as the reddening of the bare buttocks of 
monkeys, the reddening of roosters' combs, the spreading of wings 
and tail feathers of birds, which Darwin regarded as sexual displays 
intended to attract the female. The secondary sexual characteris- 
tics, which are dependent upon the hormones of the sexual glands, 
also function as sexual stimuli in mating. 

The biological method supplies an account of the phylogenetic 


development of mimicry, but not of its ontogenetic development. 
Since man's greater perfection and sociability have led to the 
acquisition of a large number of new and more refined emotional 
states, we cannot dispense with an ontogenetic study of the 
subject. We must also keep in mind the comparative method of 
studying the genetic development of emotions in animals and in 

Reflexology regards emotional states as somato-mimetic 
reflexes, in which the subjective and objective aspects represent 
one and the same indivisible process. The objective method of 
studying the emotions of other people, which is used in reflexology, 
permits investigation only of the external bodily and internal 
somatic changes. These changes, which vary with the nature of 
the emotion, serve as a preparation, an orientation, for the defense 
or the attack, or mating, and are consequently quite useful. 5 

The present development of reflexology makes it possible to 
approach the study of the various somato-mimetic expressions of 
the human being in a purely objective way. We may be certain 
that the objective reflexological or bioconscious method of study 
will lead us to a better understanding of the human being. We 
approach the subject with the help of this method. 

Let us consider the autogenesis of the somato-mimetic reflexes. 
What is the essence of the reflexological method? It is the study 
of the external expressions of a person under the assumption that 
these expressions are reflexes conditioned by corresponding excita- 
tions. These reflexes are determined by brain processes, for every 
subjective state presupposes a brain process. 

In the case of man the sources of excitation are to be found not 
only in the biological but in the social environment, especially the 
latter. It is these social excitations that make man a biosocial 
being. The reflexological investigation is completed only when the 
very genesis of the phenomena is explained. The fact that the 
majority of these reflexes are somatic shows that the vegetative 
nervous system plays a very important part in their development. 
Since this system innervates the striated muscles, as recent investi- 
gations have shown, it is probable that changes in the muscles 
degree of toiius, tremor, etc. are dependent upon it. 6 

5 Although gestures are closely associated with emotions and especially 
with speech, they must be distinguished from mimicry. They are indeed a 
complement of speech. They do not occur in animals, except, perhaps, in a 
very rudimentary form. Gestures are incomplete movements which orient, 
point, defend, attack, and describe. Thus they supplement the intonation of 
the voice in giving to speech a very vivid demonstrative quality. 

6 We do not include gestures because they are dependent upon the excitation 
of the pyramidal tracts of the nervous system. 


At present the cerebral mechanism of these reflexive somato- 
mimetic phenomena can be made more or less clear. First I must 
point out that, as early as the eighties, I proved experimentally the 
significance of the visual center in the development and execution of 
these movements, which I have designated as "expressive." 8 

The function of the visual center is shown not only in the 
external mimetic movements, but also in the various internal 
somatic changes, as these same experiments have demonstrated. 
More recently these facts have been confirmed by a number of 
clinical observations. Studies made upon the encephalon by 
pathologico-anatomical dissections prove conclusively that the 
striated system, which is intimately connected with the visual 
center functionally and anatomically, plays an important part in 
mimetic phenomena. The main center of the vegetative nervous 
system is, as we know, the gray matter in the region of the lower 
part of the third ventricle, the region of tuber cinereum. It is, 
therefore, probable that the optic nerve sends its fibers in the 
direction of this center of the vegetative nervous system. In this 
way the changes in the vegetative nervous system which accompany 
the somato-mimetic reflexes are brought about. The cortex of the 
brain also belongs to the general mechanism of the somato-mimetic 
reflexes. This r61e of the cortex was first demonstrated in our 
laboratory. We know that the respiratory functions play a part 
in the somato-mimetic reflexes. For instance, a dog's rate of 
respiration increases when a cat is brought near it. At the end of 
the last century, we used this reflex, which is undoubtedly condi- 
tioned, to localize the respiratory center in the brain. Dr. Zhukov- 
ski (Dissertation, 1898), who experimented with dogs in my 
laboratory, found that the somato-mimetic reflex in question is 
eliminated when the cortical respiratory centers, which lie outside 
and in front of the sigmoid convolution, are removed. This may 
also be demonstrated with the somato-mimetic erotic reflex. If a 
male dog is near a bitch during the period of mating, the erection 
of the penis takes place. But if the cortical sexual centers, which 
have been located during the course of these investigations in the 
rear portion of the sigmoid convolution near the center which 
controls the tail, are removed, erection no longer occurs under the 
same conditions. (See Dr. Pussep.) The same holds true for the 
maternal reflex secretion of milk at the sight or cry of the child. 
Experiments upon milking sheep, which were conducted in our 

3 See my work: "On Expressive Movements," Russia Vratch, 1893; "On 
the Function of the Visual Center," Vestnik Psikhologi, 1885; and "Die Be- 
deutung der Sehhtigel auf Grund von experimentellen und pathologischen 
Daten, " Virchow's Archiv fur pathologische Anatomic und Physiologic, CX 
(1887), 102, S22. 


laboratory by Dr. Nikitin, have shown that the electrical stimula- 
tion of certain centers located near the facial center brings about 
a.n abundant secretion of milk. Experiments have shown that the 
same effect takes place at the sight of a lamb or even at hearing 
its cry when it is outside of the building. The reflex is eliminated 
when the centers in question are removed. Analogous phenomena 
have been observed in the case of other glandular secretions. 

These facts show clearly that the conditioned reflex phenomena 
of the vegetative nervous system, which enter into the complex 
of somato-mimetic reflexes (emotions), are controlled by centers 
located in the cortex of the brain, which influence the vegetative 
(vago-sympathetic) nervous system by way of the subcortical 
vegetative nervous centers. 

We must remember that the somato-mimetic reflexes may be 
divided into two groups the innate and the acquired. The innate 
reflexes begin to develop soon after birth without previous experi- 
ence. Such are the mimetic satisfactions after eating: the cry, the 
smile, laughter, etc. They are touched off by reflexogenic stimuli 
external and internal and transmitted to the centers by afferent 
channels. The acquired reflexes originate by an associative 
process; they are conditioned upon the innate somato-mimetic 
reflexes. For instance, the smile which was originally induced by 
favorable internal biological stimuli and appeared later as laughter 
under the influence of external cutaneous stimuli (such as tickling 
in certain regions) may, with time, begin to appear in response to 
visual and auditory (verbal) stimuli, as a result of the association 
of certain social stimuli with the biological and reflexogenic 
cutaneous stimuli mentioned. Like all conditioned reflexes, 
this latter case involves the transmission of the visual and auditory 
impulses to the visual center by way of the cerebral cortex and 
thence to the cerebral center of the vegetative nervous system. 
As for the somato-mimetic (emotional) expressions of the secretory 
activity of the glands, they, too, are directly dependent upon the 
vegetative nervous system, and therefore involve a similar mech- 
anism. Furthermore, experiments performed in our laboratory 
by Pines and others prove that the glands of internal secretion 
(suprarenals, thyroid, sexual glands, and evidently all the rest) 
are innervated both by the sympathetic and the parasympathetic 

Thus we have to deal with conditioned reflexes, which accel- 
erate or inhibit the activity of the glands of internal secretion, 
thereby altering the composition of the blood which nourishes 
the ganglia of the nervous system, thus exerting an influence upon 
the nervous system itself. 


The question is: Which of these spmato-mimetic states are 
to be regarded as the innate or inherited reflexes which supply 
the basis for the development of conditioned reflexes? Dr. Watson 
regards the emotions of love, fear, and anger as innate (The Peda- 
gogical Seminary and Journal of Genetic Psychology, June, 1925). 
But all three may be acquired emotions of the conditioned reflex 
type. There are specific stimuli for each of them. Fear, for 
instance, is aroused by a sudden noise or by the sudden loss of 
support. The innate anger reflex is aroused by inhibiting the 
movements of the body. Stroking of the skin, especially erog- 
enous zones, or patting is the stimulus for the emotion of love. 
We note here that the sexual glands, which exhibit their hormonal 
function from the day of birth, play a very important part in love. 8 
The stroking of the skin really excites the activity of these glands 
and so leads to the erection of the sexual organs. Our observations 
show that stroking of the abdomen when the sexual organs are 
turgid, results in erection even during the first year of life. But 
love in its mature form is the result of a number of external stimuli 
cutaneous (caressing), visual, and auditory which are asso- 
ciated with the original stimulus and so excite the hormonal 
function of the sexual glands. 

The three emotional or somato-mimetic reflexes mentioned by 
Watson are not the only ones which belong to the innate or inher- 
ited group. In addition to them we must recognize: (1) the reflex 
which denotes biological satisfaction, characterized by general 
dilation of the peripheral blood-vessels, especially those of the 
face, and smoothening out of the facial wrinkles; and (2) the 
reflex which denotes biological dissatisfaction, characterized by 
increased muscular energy, increased tonus of the vessels, and 
later by the phenomena of muscular unrest. Very much later 
in the course of development the superabundance of the sexual 
hormone is indicated by sexual excitement and changes in the 
face and eyes. Other somato-mimetic states are aroused by 
ordinary reflexes which act as external reflexogenic stimuli. We 
know that gentle stroking of the skin causes dilation of the 
peripheral vessels, that stroking near the sexual region, especially 
the abdomen, excites the sexual organs, as noted above. Repeated 
manipulation of the armpits and the soles of the feet with fairly 
gentle, short strokes causes irregular respiratory movements, 
contraction of the facial muscles, and characteristic defense reac- 
tions, which result in laughter or even hilarity. Lastly, gross 
stimuli which prick or injure the skin arouse violent and lasting 

8 The influence of these glands upon the uterus before birth is not taken into 
consideration here. 


defense reactions, accompanied by the rush of blood to the face 
and shedding of tears. 9 

Restraining movements arouse the muscular activity of attack, 
characterized by increased muscular energy and tonus, violent 
contraction of the muscles, corresponding changes in facial 
expression, strong heart action, and a rush of blood to the surface 
of the body, especially the face. 

The acquired somato-mimetic reflexes, which develop as a 
result of the relations between the individual and his environ- 
ment, are later superimposed upon the innate, inherited somato- 
mimetic reflexes. It is easy to trace the development of these 
conditioned mimetic reflexes in a baby. For instance, satiety is 
followed by a general quieting, relaxation of the limbs, reddening 
of the face, and consequent smoothening of the features, which 
gives a peculiar expression of physical satisfaction with time. 
But, even very soon after birth, the mere placing of one's arm 
under the back of the crying, hungry child (an act which usually 
precedes the process of taking him into the arms for nursing), 
suffices to produce the quieting effect the moving limbs relax 
and the folds of the face smooth out. 

The smile and other somato-mimetic movements are developed 
in the same way. The gentle touching of the child's cheek with 
two fingers (the thumb and the index finger) very soon after 
birth causes a contraction of the cheeks which resembles a smile. 
After this stimulus has been repeated many times, a smile may 
be induced by merely bringing the fingers near the face without 
actually touching it. Very much later the conditioned secretion 
of saliva at the mere sight of food originates in the same manner; 
similarly the secretion of tears and the secretion from the nose 
in response to external stimuli which do not involve touching the 
skin, as well as the cardio- vascular reactions which belong to the 
complex of somato-mimetic reflexes. 

If we trace the development of somato-mimetic reflexes in babies 
and animals, it is easy to see that all of them originate as condi- 
tioned reflexes superimposed upon the ordinary reflexes which 
appear shortly after birth. All the various somato-mimetic ex- 
pressions of adults gradually develop in the same way as life- 
experience goes on. Similarly, conscious stimuli bring about the 
further development and differentiation of those somato-mimetic 
conditioned reflexes which give greater expressiveness to human 
conversation. On the other hand, social stimuli inhibit the 

9 The shedding of tears is itself a defense reaction, for the tear serves to 
protect the eye just as the secretion of saliva serves to protect against acid 


manifestation of those somato-mimetic reflexes which are con- 
trary to the social interests of the individual. Finally some of 
these reflexes acquire a symbolical character by undergoing 
various modifications, and so become a mimical speech. The 
development of somato-mimetic reflexes in adult life takes place 
just as it does in childhood. For instance it has been shown that 
mere concentration upon work produces a change in the circulation, 
and that muscular work is preceded by the dilation of the blood- 
vessels of the muscles (Leber). Analogous phenomena are ob- 
served in those somato-mimetic reflexes which involve a state 
of tension of the striated muscles, as anger. 

As we have already seen, the experiments performed with 
milking sheep in my laboratory show that the mere sight of the 
approaching lamb or even its cry causes the secretion of milk. 
The same thing happens in women. After a woman has nursed 
a child a fairly long time, the mere thought of nursing causes the 
breasts to fill with milk (Greving). Needless to say, the visceral 
phenomena, which play a part in the complex of somato-mimetic 
reflexes, develop as conditioned reflexes. 

We now know that all the conditioned reflexes of the internal 
organs are developed by the vago-sympathetic system. Such 
are the contractions of the throat, oesophagus, stomach, and in- 
testine, the changes of pulse and blood-pressure, changes in size 
of the blood-vessels, perspiration, secretion of bile and gastric 
juice, micturition, and defecation. In general, the endocrine 
glands react upon the conditioned stimuli, thereby causing an 
abnormal excitation of the sympatheticus or vagus. Cannon 
has shown experimentally that stimulation of the nerves of the 
suprarenal capsules causes a hypersecretion of the thyroid gland 
just as does a small does of adrenalin. On the other hand, it is 
known that the somato-mimetic state may bring about not only 
glycosuria but also suppression of menstruation and sudden 
disappearance of milk. 

Such states generally disturb the equilibrium between the 
vegetative and endocrine systems. According to Ken, traumatic 
syndrome causes a poisoning which originates in the tissues, 
especially the traumatized muscles (histamin). Shocks which 
cause no organic injury may also be classed with emotions (Ballet, 
"Les commotions sont des Emotions"), for the Ashnerov symptom, 
the disturbances of the heart rhythm, and the vasomotor changes 
which they involve are directly dependent upon the increased 
excitation and disturbances of the vegetative nervous system. 

Cardio-vascular phenomena also belong to the conditioned 
reflexes of the somato-mimetic type. For instance, a state of 


gladness arouses faster and stronger heart-beats an effect which 
is produced directly by the increased sympathico-vagotonia, the 
sympathicus predominating. In fright the heart-beat is weaker 
and interrupted, the pulse is irregular and may stop altogether. 
In this case vagotonia, which occurs as a conditioned reflex, is 
highly predominant. The peripheral vessels dilate in gladness; 
they contract in fright. In conclusion we may say that the 
success of the reflexological method shows that the somato- 
mimetic reflexes may be studied experimentally. 

The emotional or somato-mimetic reflex was aroused artificially 
many years ago. In the preliminary experiments made by Dr. 
Czaly an electrical current was used. The strength of the current 
was such that, when applied to the sole of the foot, it aroused not 
only the defensive reflex jerking away the leg but also reflexes 
of the cardio-vascular and respiratory systems. It was shown 
that, when the electrical stimulus is associated with an indifferent 
external stimulus, the subject gives a conditioned cardio-vascular 
reflex, which can be differentiated just as a conditioned motor 
reflex can be. Further work done by Dr. Schneierson upon 
conditioned motor reflexes aroused by electrical stimulation of 
the fingers has shown that, in some sensitive subjects, this stimula- 
tion is accompanied by a somato-mimetic reflex, which may also 
be produced by the indifferent conditioned stimulus in this case 

These investigations supply experimental proof that the 
somato-mimetic states originate as conditioned reflexes. 

As early as 1913 I began publishing a series of papers, in which 
I showed that even general neurotic cases and cases of sexual 
abnormality may be analyzed by the reflexological method. 10 
Pathological somato-mimetic states of a persistent, annoying 
nature originate like other reflexes of the laboratory type. As 
a rule an external stimulus of a given nature, which arouses a 
definite somato-mimetic state under certain conditions, establishes 
the reflex in persons of a pathologically excitable constitution. 
With time it becomes a habitual conditioned reflex. 

We have also developed a therapy for such annoying somato- 
mimetic states, 11 including a special conditioned reflex therapy, 

10 " Concerning Phobias and Their Cure," Russki Vratch, XIV (1915); 
"On the Development of Phobias," Psychological Review, XXIII (1916), et 
a/.; "Sexual Abnormality in the Light of Reflexology, " Voprosi Izucheniya 
i Vospitaniya Lichnosti, nos. 4 and 5, 1922, Archivfur Psychiatric und N erven- 
krankheiten, LXVIII (1923); "Sexual Perversion as Conditioned upon the 
Sexual Reflex," Pedagogitcheski Sbornik (Leningrad: Yefron, 1925); "Con- 
cerning the Perversion and Inversion of Sexual Desire from the Standpoint 
of Reflexology," Polovoi Voptosi (Moscow: Gosisdat, 1925). 

"V. Bekhterev, Russki Vratch, XIV (1915). 


which has been applied successfully to the more elementary 
phenomena of general neuroses (anaesthesia, paralysis) as well 
as to complex annoying acts. 12 It has been applied to such 
childish states as those characterized by kleptomania, in which 
the emotion of satisfaction is associated with the annoying act 
of theft. This method of conditioned reflex therapy, which 
involves the association of the defensive reflex aroused by reflexo- 
genic stimuli (electric current) with the words, "Do not take," 
(Osipov, Oparin), has proven quite satisfactory, for stubborn 
kleptomania in children has been completely eradicated after 
several of these sittings held at weekly intervals. Our results 
are closely related to the investigations of Watson in America. 
Watson was able to develop the somato-mimetic reflex of fear of 
a white mouse in children by striking a metal bar with a hammer. 
The reflex was thus aroused by a number of animals (irradiation 
or generalization of the reflex). 13 

The author regards the above method as the most helpful of 
the many methods used to suppress the somato-mimetic emotional 
reflex. Experiments have been performed which involve the 
introduction of the object of fear while the child is eating break- 
fast. The object (a rabbit) was brought near to the child on 
several successive days, until finally the child would drink milk 
from one hand and caress the rabbit with the other. 

There is no reason to doubt that the strictly objective biosocial 
or reflexological method of investigation, which originated here 
and has been developed in America, has placed the problem of 
emotions as somato-mimetic reflexes upon an experimental 
basis, and has given a great impetus to the development of an 
exact understanding of these complicated states of the human 

DR. WALTER B. CANNON (Harvard University) requested that the following 
questions be submitted to Dr. Bekhterev: 

1. What is the basis for the statement that the vegetative nervous system 
determines the tone of skeletal muscle? 

2. What is the evidence that the adrenal gland is innervated by parasympa- 
thetic fibers, and that the sex glands are innervated by both sympathetic and 
parasympathetic nerve supplies? 

12 V. Bekhterev, "On the Therapeutical Significance of the Conditioned Re- 
flexes in Hysterical Anaesthesia and Paralysis, " Obozrenie Psikhiatri, Nevrologi, 
i Eksperimentalnoi Psikhologi, XI-XII (1917-18). "On Conditioned Reflex 
Therapy," Sanitarno Meditsinski Vestnik, 1925. 

18 J. B. Watson, The Pedagogical Seminary and Journal of Genetic Psychology 
XXXIII (1925). 




University of Paris 

In the lower organisms, the protozoans, which are the least 
differentiated, reactions to stimuli show only slight variation, and 
reduce practically to the avoidance of certain excitations and 
attraction toward certain others. These positive and negative 
responses may be characterized as affective reactions of a primitive 

In the more complex organisms, where part-responses appear, we 
can distinguish diffuse affective reactions of avoidance and attrac- 
tion on the one hand, and stereotyped reactions to certain stimuli, 
the adapted reflexes, on the other. But, when one watches the 
development of reactions which become gradually stereotyped 
with repetition, one ascertains beyond all doubt that these reactions 
originally constitute a part of a complex affective response and 
play a definite role in a general activity of avoidance and attraction. 
This may lead one to believe that the same holds true for reactions 
which have become congenital, and so, to affirm the primacy of the 
affective reaction, from which the reflex would be derived through 
the process of mnemonic automatization, with repetition. 

In animals at the higher stages of evolution, the reaction systems 
are extremely numerous and complicated, the reflexes are mul- 
tiplied, and it is very easy to witness the development of less stable 
automatic reactions in the form of conditioned reflexes. Under the 
given conditions, a general competition is set up between possible 
modes of activity, and prediction of results becomes very difficult 
in default of knowledge of the precise resistance of the action 
systems, a resistance which depends upon numerous factors, both 
past and present. The analysis of the behavior of the higher 
animals and man shows an elaboration of action, which strives to 
provide the best means of attaining a certain end, affectively 

Thought, which is theoretically reducible to a complex play 
of more or less stereotyped mental reactions of the conditioned 
reflex type, functions only under the affective impulse, which alone 


prescribes the ends of action. From the amoeba to man, action is 
always essentially affective, even when it occurs in the preparatory 
form which it may assume in the most highly trained animals, the 
purely mental form of thought. 

Modern psychology, of a biological spirit, is called upon to 
recognize this fundamental r61e of affection in governing the 
interests, even in the play of intellectual processes. If we think of 
the facts physiologically and trace the play of thought to the 
activation of complex associative circuits, then we will identify the 
intellectual sphere of man with the nervous pathways of the cortex 
as a whole, the circuits provided by the new brain, and we will 
attribute to the affective sphere, localized in the old brain, the 
regulation of nervous activity along these pathways, the regulation 
of the functional dynamism of the nervous impulse. 

A network of railroads furnishing numerous and well-distributed 
pathways is not sufficient; the trains must also be steered and 
hurtled along the pathways in a number and with a speed suitable 
to needs. The intellectual sphere is built up just as is the network 
of railroads; but the regulation of the functioning of the network, 
sensitive to the variable needs of traffic, is comparable to the 
affective regulation of thought. 1 

Nervous functioning in all its forms, including the mental form, 
requires a certain specific expenditure of energy, connected with 
the nervous impulse. What is the precise nature of nervous energy? 
Docs it obey the laws of thermodynamics? These are problems 
which have not yet been definitely settled. But one does not need 
to await their solution before utilizing a concept which is indis- 
pensable to all general theory of psychophysiology. In the neu- 
rones there are reserves of energy, accumulated in the course of 
normal metabolism, which are expended during functional activity, 
but their utilization is dependent upon certain liberative stimula- 
tions. It is the affective sphere, acting as regulator, that gives rise to 
the stimulations, which release the more or less copious discharges 
into the nervous pathways of thought and action. 

To the intellectual sphere belong the qualities, the modalities; 
to the affective sphere, the general direction and the quantity. 

Now the idea of emotion seems to be associated with a quantita- 
tive aspect, a certain level, of the affect. The difference between 
the moderate interest taken in a theatrical performance and the 
keen emotion which it arouses, whatever may be the precise nature 
of the feelings involved pain, fear, pity, pleasure, or enthusiasm 

1 Cf . H. Pidron, Thought and the Brain (London: Kegan Paul; New York: 
Harcourt, Brace, 1927), Part IV, "The Affective Regulation of Mental Life," 
p. 229 ff. 


is essentially a quantitative one. But at what moment during the 
continuous increasing of the affect has one the right to speak 
of emotion? 

Evidently there is a conventional element in the application of 
the terminology in this case, as in all our classifications, in which 
we are compelled to establish more or less arbitrary cleavages in a 
continuous series. The examination of cases which we agree to 
speak of as emotion leads us to suppose that the word is employed 
whenever the behavior of the individual reveals either violence or 
disorder. A child injures one of his comrades, the latter replies 
by slapping him in the face, and the response is affective; but, if he 
gets red in the face, stamps his foot, trembles, and slaps violently, 
then he is in a rage, he is prey to an emotion. Between the slap 
given calmly without any other noticeable manifestation of the 
affect and the scene of the rage, all sorts of transitions are possible. 
Where should we draw the line? In the search for a criterion, let us 
appeal to the emotional expressions found in animals. 


An animal is threatened; he gives a defense reaction, a stereo- 
typed reflex, or a more plastic and better adapted response. This 
reaction is generally connected with an affective orientation of 
behavior tending toward flight or aggression. There is no reason 
for invoking the existence of an emotion. But, in addition to the 
defense reaction, the animal displays processes which are foreign 
to this reaction and, like it, are aroused by the threatening stimulus. 
This is the emotional reaction. 

1 lift a rock which has been left exposed by the ocean; I perceive 
a poulp, an Octopus, covered with little stones, motionless; I 
try to seize it, and the animal moves away hastily, or, if I take 
hold of it, grasps my hand in its tentacles so as to bite me with its 
horny beak. These are the adapted defense reactions which the 
animal has at its disposal. But, at the same time, its chromato- 
phores are frantically displaying continual changes of color, which 
pass over its skin like shivers, 2 and its pupils become abnormally 
dilated. These manifestations, which are foreign to the defense 
mechanism, reveal a violent emotion. 

The toads (Phrynosoma cornutum) studied by Redfield, 3 also 

2 These displays of tegumentary coloration have sometimes been regarded as a 
defense reaction belonging to the class of " terrifying attitudes, " such as have been 
noted among the snakes, the lizards (Varanus), the spiders, the mantes, etc. But, 
in reality, the paling or darkening of the tegument cannot be regarded as possessing 
a terrifying value in itself. 

3 A. C. Redfield, "The Reactions of the Melanophores of the Horned Toad," 
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, III (1917), 202. 


showed chromatophore reactions under the influence of certain 
emotional stimuli paling by contraction of the dark pigment cells 
and also by an ordinary mechanism which might be considered an 
exaggeration of the secretion of adrenalin and the characteristic 
hyperglycemia found in the higher animals, such as the cat and 
man, during emotion. These occur along with visible changes, 
many of which also involve the skin, as horripilation. 

Intense reactions which play no part in the functional activity 
of the animal constitute a criterion of emotion. But hasty reac- 
tions which are unsuited to the present circumstances may be 
indicative of the emotional state. If a person hurts himself on a 
table and begins to pound the table or to break a plate, we do not 
hesitate to say that he is angry. An ant, coming upon a spot of 
soil near its nest, which has been saturated with the odor of foreign 
ants, sometimes begins to strike the ground violently with its 
mandibles, instead of being content to flee or to explore carefully 
the neighborhood of the suspicious place. 4 In this case it well shows 
that it is a prey to anger. The same is true of animals which, if 
held still so that they cannot bite their enemies, take to biting 
themselves in their anger. 

We will now consider some cases which border on the limits 
of the emotional level of the affect. The reactions shown are 
indeed defense reactions, but they are of an exceptional nature 
and do not normally occur under conditions where they would be 
necessary for the conservation of life, except when the affective 
shock is present. I borrow examples from my researches on 
autotomy. 5 (Autotomy appears to be like a reflex set off by the 
violent excitation of the nerve of the claw. Leon Fredericq has 
asserted, in his classic monograph, 6 that this is the only possible 
mechanism of autotomy in the crab.) 

We know that many of the Arthropoda (crustaceans, insects) 
amputate their own limbs under certain conditions. For example, 
let us take a crab, and cut deeply the mdropodite (third joint) of 
one claw; the claw breaks off and falls into our hands. Let us now 
tie a crab to a stick by a wire attached to one claw, and leave it 
alone after placing food near it but out of its reach; after one or 

4 1 have verified this fact in the course of my researches upon the olfactory 
recognition of ants: Comptes rendus de la Soci&6 de Biologie, LXI (1906), 385, 433, 
471 ; and Comptes rendus de V Academic des Sciences, CXLIII, 845. 

8 H. Pi6ron, "Le probteme de 1'autotomie," Bulletin scientifique XLII (1908), 
185-246. Cf. also Archives Internationales de physiologic, V (1907), 110-121. 

6 Archives de biologie, III (1882), 235. Archives de zoologie exp6rimentale et 
g6n6rale, II (1883), ser. I, 413. Cf. also the article " Autotomie" in the Dictionnaire 
de Physiologie, II (1895), 952. 


more days we will find it there, still tied, unable to free itself, 
dying on the spot. 7 

Now let us release a poulp, the most dangerous of its enemies, 
near to the tied crab, and we will see the latter amputate its limb 
and escape. In such exceptional cases the reaction is set off by 
what we believe may be termed an emotional shock, an emotion 
of fear. 

This has been verified with Carcinus maenas, in which autotomy 
is obtained only by the reflex to strong stimulation o,f the nerve, 
except in this case. 8 With oth^r crabs, less intense emotions are 
sufficient to set off autotomy. In the Grapsidae, for example, 
sudden seizure is sufficient to cause the abandonment of the claws; 
and if the animal is tied among the rocks, a sudden movement of the 
hand, as though to seize it, brings about the immediate autotomic 
liberation, which only the sight of the poulp can cause in Carcinus. 

A crab, held upon its back by forceps, suddenly removes its 
claws when I pick its carapace with the point of a scalpel, as a 
result of the painful shock, which sets up an emotional state. 

Autotomy of a tied claw occurs also in the pagurians, when one 
makes a swift movement as though to seize them. They react 
by retreating into their shell. 

Some Diptera (the tipulids) remain caught by the legs without 
self -amputation, and one may hold them by the extremities of 
the legs without their flying away, whereas the grasping of the 
femur causes immediate reflex autotomy. But the tipulid com- 
pletely abandons its leg the moment that it is seized, or when it is 
held by the tibia and a grasping gesture is made. 

I have further verified the same facts with various Orthoptera. 
An oedipod (Oedipoda coerulescens, Oedipoda minata) tied by the 
tibia will die without freeing itself unless its femur is pinched, but 
it amputates its legs immediately and takes to flight when a 
mantis, its dangerous enemy, approaches it. 9 

7 In most cases a specific mechanism, functioning by performed anatomical 
structures, brings about the self-amputation of the member at a definite place; 
sometimes there is a simple pulling out of the member, breaking at the weakest 
point (autospasie) ; finally, certain Orthoptera (phasgonurids) amputate their 
anterior legs with their mandibles, a mechanism which Rabaud and I have noted 
and termed "autopsalize." Pie*ron ahd Rabaud, Comptes rendus de la Soci&e de 
Biologic, XCI (1924), 362. 

8 The fact has been noted before by Parize, Revue scientifiqne, II (1886), 379. It 
has been systematically studied by a pupil of Fredericq J. Roskam, who verified my 
results, Archives Internationales de physiologic, XII (1912), 474. 

9 H. Pieron, "Les formes 616mentaires de 1' Emotion dans le comportement 
animal," Journal de psychologic, XVII (1920), 937. 



The emotional level of the affect is first reached when the 
reactions to a given situation show an abnormal, exceptional 
intensity. In anger, or when the presence of danger causes an 
overexeitation of the instinct of self-preservation, the muscular 
strength is increased by considerable amounts; weights which would 
have seemed impossible to lift are lifted, forced marches are 
accomplished, the speed of running may be considerably increased. 
Fear, they say, gives wings. 

It is very evident that changes are not produced in the muscles, 
but that the nervous excitations for the muscular contractions 
attain exceptional levels of intensity, compensating for the de- 
creases in functional capacity of the muscles due to local fatigue. 

The mental abilities, power of attention, rapidity of elaboration, 
etc., may also be noticeably augmented in pressing danger. A 
violent emotion may reinforce memory, and give rise to indelible 
associations. 10 

The emotional exaltation, the excessive discharge of nervous 
energy, which is expended in mental elaboration or in motor 
execution, is highly favorable to the protection to the defense of 
the individual. But there is another side to the story. These 
exceptional expenditures are followed by an exhaustion which 
demands a long period of recuperation and may have pathological 
consequences, especially when emotions are frequently repeated. 

Moreover, this excessive discharge of nervous energy is useful 
only in so far as it finds utilization in the situation in which the 
individual is placed. A stag, threatened by a pack of wolves, 
manages to gain upon his pursuers by his swiftness, and utilizes all 
the energy which his emotion generously discharges for the force 
and rapidity of the movements of running. An angry man 
vanquishes many enemies, thanks to his ten-times increased 
strength. But here is a cat in a cage, threatened by a dog, and 
prey to a violent emotion, although it does not need to fight; here 
is a man prey to a violent anger because he is injured in an anony- 
mous letter, although he does not know on whom to lay hands. In 
such cases the expenditures of nervous energy represent a pure 
waste, exhausting for no purpose. The threatened cat mews, 
hisses, bristles, crouches to leap; the injured man cries out, strikes 
the table, grits his teeth all that in vain. 

10 In my book, Involution de la m6moire (Paris: Flammarion, 1910), I noted this 
fact in the case of a lizard which, after biting a particularly nauseous caterpillar, 
consistently refused thereafter to touch a caterpillar; he had acquired then and 
there an experience which remained fixed. 


But all the nervous energy which emotion discharges is not 
utilized by motor reactions; part of it finds its way into the vegeta- 
tive system. The sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves 
receive stimulations, which are translated into changes in respira- 
tion, the heart-beat, the state of the blood-vessels, the tonus and 
contractility of the smooth muscles, the secretory activity of the 
glands, etc. 

Finalistic biases have lead to an interpretation of these secretory, 
circulatory, and visceral reactions as useful elements in the activity 
of defense. A case in point is the conceptions of Cannon, from 
which Watson has derived the idea of emotion as "visceral and 
glandular instinct. " n 

But, when we see that these vegetative reactions sometimes end 
in death, 12 that they usually paralyze the defense mechanism, and 
that they lead to pathological states which are often serious, we 
become skeptical as to the value of finalistic interpretations. 

The phenomena of cerebral vasoconstriction from emotion 
involve the loss of the use of the legs and fainting, which may also 
result from a syncope due to excessive inhibitory action of the 
vagus nerve upon the heart. The relaxation of the bladder 
sphincter and the colic pains resulting from exaggerated peristaltic 
movements of the intestines do not facilitate the useful defense 
reactions. Although the increased secretion of adrenalin by the 
suprarenals, along with the hyperglycemia involved, which is 
indicated by a certain amount of glycosuria, may be regarded && 
favorable, the other glandular activities which may take the form 
either of functional acceleration or of inhibition 13 certainly cannot 
be invoked in support of finalistic conceptions. 

In reading Darwin, we smile at the childishness of his detailed 
utilitarian explanation of the expression of emotion. Apparently 
the muscles of the face simply participate in the arousal of general 

11 J. B. Watson, Psychology from the Standpoint of a Behaviorist (Philadelphia: 
Lippincott, 1919), p. 195. 

12 Certain birds which are subject to tachycardia and palpitation of the heart 
die without being wounded, when handled, and I have seen a kitten, which was 
kept tied for a physiological experiment, die without suffering an injury. On this 
question, see the observations and researches of E. Martin and Roja Villanova, 
"La mort subite ou rapide par choc e*motionnel, " Journal de mldicine de Lyon, 
VII (1926), 543. 

13 G. Dumas and Malloizel have promulgated what they have called "the 
polyglandular expression" of emotions, Journal de psychologic, VII (1910), 63. 
Anger in the dog causes an increased secretion of urine and saliva. In fear, the 
inhibition of the salivary secretion makes the throat dry, and the digestion is 
disturbed by the sudden suppression of the gastric juice, while the cold sweats 
instance the excitation of the perspiration. 


motor activity under the influence of an intense, diffused nervous 
excitation, as the analysis made by G. Dumas well shows. 14 

Of the vegetative reactions, there are some which may be useful, 
there are some which are unquestionably harmful, while a large 
number are indifferent. At any rate, they do not fit into a finalistic 
systematization, but, on the contrary, taken as a total, they appear 
to confer upon emotion an actual pathogenic value. 16 

Emotion may give rise to true hemoclasic shocks, with all 
the consequences of these shocks, especially in certain individuals. 
Benard and Joltrain have produced experimentally a characteristic 
hemoclasic crisis in a patient suffering from exophthalmic goiter 
and having fits of asthma as a result of a fright, by using an 
unexpected detonation close by as an emotional shock. 18 


It seems to us, therefore, that emotion is associated with an 
affective discharge of abnormally intense nervous energy. A part 
of this energy is utilized for the useful, adapted reactions, which 
may be accelerated and reinforced to an exceptional degree. But 
a more or less considerable part is expended in useless motor 
reactions (like the reactions of the facial muscles), and even finds 
its way into the vegetative organs, where many different reactions 
are produced, 17 varying accordingly as the excitatory or inhibitory 
systems are stimulated, and where injurious or even pathogenic 
processes are aroused. 

The overflow of the excess discharge of nervous energy into the 
visceral organs has been explained by Lapicque in the light of his 
general conception of chronasie and the shunting of the nervous 

14 G. Dumas, " L'expression des Emotions" in Trait6 de psychologic (Paris: 
Alcan, 1923), I, 606. 

16 At the present time, we know of well-certified cases of various diseases, in 
which emotions played the essential pathogenic r61e: cases of jaundice, nettle-rash, 
eczema, asthma, diabetes, glaucoma, scurf, (including the canities brusques) , 
exophthalmic goiter (with persistent tachycardia and tremors, etc.). 

18 Bulletins et m6moires de la Soci6t6 Mtdicale des Hopitaux de Paris, 42nd year 
(1926), 1155. 

17 Many medicines have opposite effects depending upon the size of the dose or 
the phase of the action. The intensity and duration of emotion also play a part. 
In Italian soldiers sentenced to be shot and warned of it the day before, Gualino 
has noted tachycardia and increased blood-pressure, soon followed by a large 
decrease in heart rate and of arterial pressure, Rivista di psicologia, XVI (1920), 42. 
Finally, there may be variations due to the functional condition of the organs at 
the time of the emotion. Thus Sinelnikov has demonstrated that emotion arrests 
movements in an active segment of the intestine and instigates them in a quiescent 
segment, Pf Niger's Archivfur diegesamte Physiologic, CCXHI (1926), 239. 


impulse by the syntony of the neurones. 18 The impulse in one 
neurone arouses an impulse in the neurones with which it is 
connected the more easily when the specific vibration rate of the 
latter is near its own. When the impulse is not very intense, the 
neurones simply respond synchronously with the neurones of 
equal chronasie, as is the case in the reflexes. If the intensity of 
the impulse increases, neurones which are more and more dis- 
chronous come into play. When emotion arouses particularly 
intense impulses, the torrent of excitation overflows the paths of 
the adapted reactions and produces a general diffusion of this 
excitation. The visceral overflow of the emotional excitation 
takes place more easily in some individuals than in others, and 
circumstances also have an effect. 

It is when the normal utilization of the excessive discharge of 
energy for the defense reactions is impossible, and especially when 
motor activity is impeded, that the emotion comes to be diverted 
to visceral reactions. In this connection I would mention a fact 
which seems to establish well the existence of a certain mutual 
compensation between motor reaction and visceral reaction. 

During the war my colleague, Dcrrien, and I studied the influ- 
ence which the lumbar puncture exerts, through its psychical 
effects, upon the amount of sugar in the blood and the cerebro- 
spinal fluid. 19 When the puncture involved an emotion, repeated 
blood tests showed increased glycemia, accompanied by increase 
in the amount of sugar in the cerebro-spinal fluid, whereas, in the 
absence of emotion, there was no variation. For example, in two 
paretic patients, the glycemia (measured in grams per liter) was 
1 to 1.24 gr. before the puncture, 0.95 to 1.20 gr. after it; and, in 
two imbeciles, 1.31 and 1.01 gr. before, 1.30 and 1.02 gr. after- 
wards. These patients had remained indifferent. But here are 
two emotional soldiers, who are restless, cry out, and writhe when 
punctured; in one the amount of sugar increased from 0.98 to 1.08 
gr., in the other from 1.06 to 1.26 gr. Finally, here are three rest- 
less soldiers, who, due to their military discipline, offer no resistance, 
suppress all agitation, inhibit their motor reactions, and try to 
conceal their emotion their glycemic reactions are especially 
high, due to compensation; in one the amount increased from 1.0 
to 1.25 gr., in the second from 1.25 to 1.46 gr., and in the third from 
0.85 to 1.27 gr., an increase of 50% in this last case. 

18 L. Lapicque, "Essai d'une nouvelle thorie physiologique de F&notion," 
Journal de psychologic, VIII (1911), 1. 

19 E. Derrien and H. Piron, "De la reaction glycemique 6mot?onnelle, " Journal 
de psychologic, XX (1923), 533. 



The pathogenic action of emotion, connected in part with the 
nervous exhaustion resulting from the excessive discharge of 
energy, especially when a subject is submitted to a regular emo- 
tional surmenage, to repeated violent shocks, is dependent chiefly 
upon disturbances in the endocrine equilibrium, hemoclasic 
shocks, and functional disorders of organs which eliminate poisons, 
such as the liver, 20 that is to say, vegetative reactions. It is 
normal, therefore, that this pathogenic action should be par- 
ticularly marked when the visceral expression is strongest, when 
the normal defense reactions are consequently rendered impossible, 
and when the discharged nervous energy cannot be used in motor 
activity. These conditions were found peculiarly combined during 
the trench warfare of 1914-1918, and that explains why there have 
been so many diseases of emotional origin among the soldiers who 
have experienced violent bombardments. 

In particular, there very frequently occurs an "emotional 
syndrome/* which A. Mairet and I identified very early in the 
course of the war by distinguishing it from the purely shock 
syndrome resulting from accidents in the air (involving functional 
neurone troubles and hemorrhages from the small capillaries of the 
medullar and cerebral regions. 21 

The essential elements of this syndrome include: (1) emotional 
anaphylaxis, a state of hyperexcitability taking the form of rest- 
lessness or of fear, often going to the extent of delirious hallu- 
cinations at the beginning, and revealing itself for a long time by 
persistent nightmares; (2) extreme mental fatigue, evidencing 
nervous exhaustion from emotion, with aprosexia, fixatory amnesia, 
slowness of speech, easy confusion; (3) finally, headaches aggra- 
vated by mental effort. In the pure shock syndrome, the most 
noticeable symptoms are inertia, staring, indifference, sometimes 
accompanied by anger reactions. There is also considerable retro- 
grade amnesia, anaesthesia, and vertigo. 

The emotional syndrome often occurs entirely apart from any 
pathological tendencies, individual or hereditary (in ten out of 
thirty-five cases of pure emotional syndrome in which I was able 

20 In the frightened cat Buscaino has found changes in the blood, the liver, the 
suprarenals, the thyroid, the ovary or testicles, etc., "Richerche biochiiniche in 
animali normali ed in aniinali emozionati, " Rivista di patologia nervosa e mentale, 
XXIV (1919), 2. 

21 A. Mairet and H. PieVon, "Le syndrome commotionnel dans les traumatismes 
de guerre," Bulletin de I'Acadtmie de Mtdicine, LXXIII (1915), 654, 690, 710; 
"Le syndrome 6motionnel, sa differentiation du syndrome commotionnel, "Annales 
mtdico-psychologiques, LXXIII (1917), 183. 


to obtain adequate information regarding the history of the 
individual and of the family), thus proving, from the nervous 
and mental point of view, the pathological nature of repeated 
emotions in conditions where the normal defense mechanisms are 
not generally called into play. 


Thus it seems to us that emotion may be described as an extreme 
level of the affect, tending toward the pathological as a limit. It 
consists essentially in an abnormal discharge of nervous energy, a 
discharge which exceeds the amount which can be used for the 
normal reactions of the individual, and which occurs even when 
there is no occasion for reaction. It consequently involves a 
diffusion of excitatory impulses into the viscera, which, on the 
whole, seems to be not only useless, but harmful, and even patho- 
genic, adding its own ill effects to the nervous exhaustion which 
results from the excessive expenditures of discharged energy. 

These expressions of emotion are found only among the higher 
animals, whose associative nervous centers are well developed, the 
different species varying considerably in emotional susceptibility. 
It is in the Hymenoptera, the Cephalopoda, and at least the higher 
Vertebrata 22 (all of which have associative areas either in sub- 
oesophagal nervous ganglia, or in the brain) that we find the 
characteristic expressions of emotion, which take the form of agi- 
tation, of cutaneous, cardio-vascular, and visceral Imanifestations. 

It is probable that these centers contribute a reserve of nervous 
energy releasable under the influence of intense affective shock, 
and that it is the sudden expenditure of this energy which brings 
about the overflow into motor and visceral organs. In man, when 
the susceptibility to emotion is high enough so that there is a 
strong power of affective mobilization and a high degree of insta- 
bility in the reserves of energy, the cortical reservoir seems to 
constitute a real danger, just as do large ponds established along a 
water course, which accumulate the available energy and may cause 
disastrous inundations if the barriers begin to give way before a 
sudden onslaught. 

22 Certain birds which fall victim to the fascination of snakes owe their death 
to an extreme emotional state, which involves intense visceral reactions, along with 
motor inhibition, such as are produced in man by extreme terror. 


Pathology and Psychoanalysis of 
Feeling and Emotion 





University of Paris 

In order to understand the true psychological character of the 
feelings it is necessary to analyze the often complex attitudes 
which characterize and even constitute, more often than we think, 
our diverse feelings. One of these most important attitudes 
may be called "fear of action" the fear of acting. This attitude 
may be observed in its typical form during the crises of melancholic 
depression, prolonged or transient; but in the exaggerated and 
slightly ridiculous form, it shows us the caricature of what we often 
enough are experiencing ourselves while we are sad. These 
pathological feelings tell us about the veritable nature of sadness 
and its dangers. 


One of the things which strike even an inexperienced observer 
when he speaks to a patient who is in the grip of melancholy is 
that the ideas, the particular opinions he expresses with regard 
to the surrounding things and any events of which one speaks to 
him are always pessimistic and catastrophic appreciations. 

From the very first, all things and people have lost their agree- 
able qualities and all charm; nothing is beautiful, nothing is 
pretty. A sick woman of this type used to recognize the beginning 
of her spell by the bizarre detail that the landscape she could see 
from her window did not look pretty anymore, whereas from 
experience she knew that it should be pretty. This is the feeling 
of devalorization, the feeling of emptiness of which we shall not 
speak now. These feelings develop rapidly, and the objects 
become ugly, deformed, adulterated, and dirty. "Everything in 
the house is ignoble, ugly, and dirty; everything is sad and lugu- 
brious. " Let me point out to you the feelings of a young man 
driving an automobile on a rather long ride. At the start he is 
proud to show his ability; he admires the landscape and invites 
his companions to do so; soon he stops speaking and makes a 


sombre face, since the landscape has become "ugly" and, above 
all, " lugubrious." "It is," he thinks, "as though we are rolling 
and rolling through one cemetery after another. " 

All events of which we speak to these patients are valued in 
the same way, especially when future events are concerned. These 
events will be horrible in every respect; they will have sacrilegious, 
immoral, cruel consequences; they will afflict all those we love with 
terrific sufferings. "We are going to be robbed, massacred; if 
people come to see me, it is to rob me of my civil position, to steal 
the gold in my teeth, to tear out my eyes." "If the sun rises 
tomorrow there will be disaster, for sun and moon hurled against 
each other by God will smash each other, and the d6bris will fall 
upon the earth, burning and annihilating us; the whole world 
around me suffers and dies. " 

To study these facts I choose two particularly typical examples, 
whose mechanism we shall then discuss. A girl, twenty-seven 
years old, who figures in my books as Flora, when very exhausted 
has one of those asthenic spells during which the periods of melan- 
cholic feelings often and unexpectedly befall. She is at a sanatorium, 
isolated and at rest. I think to please her in announcing that 
her brother's wife, of whom she is very fond, has borne a child, 
and that they intend bringing her the baby to have a look at him 
and kiss him. "Don't do that," she answers. "The automobile 
will dash into the trees by the street; my mother, the nurse, the 
child will be crushed, oh! what horror!" Another time I ask her: 
"Are you willing to see your mother and sister? " She : "It would 
be very painful for me to see them in mourning." I: "But the 
ladies are not in mourning." She: "If they must come and see 
me, my father and my brother will be dead, and then they will 
come in mourning." And then she adds intelligently: "I cannot 
help this; it is a kind of catastrophic vision that is putting all 
things together. I lose my foothold, people wish me bad luck, 
mother scares me, everything is gloomy, the street looks gloomy, 
even the sun looks gloomy." Another example is just as typical: 
Daniel, forty years old, is busy selecting a country home for his 
family; a particular house does not displease him and he is willing 
to rent it. However, immediately one thought invades his mind. 
Now he knows what in that house was appealing to him: the 
rather beautiful, monumental entrance door would look fine when 
d'raped in black above the coffin of his wife. Another day he 
hesitates to go home, because he would find the staircase crowded 
with bearers ready to carry down the coffins of his children. 

Undoubtedly these two patients are not entirely delirious, and 
these ideas present themselves as something like obsessions, the 


absurdity of which they are able to see, at least for some moments. 
But there are others who would assert far more foolish ideas with 
all signs of deep conviction. The woman of whom I have just 
spoken is sure that the stars would smash each other, and she 
already sees the beginning of the catastrophe. Another woman 
whom I used to call Sophie 1 asserts that she sees before her, in the 
alley through which we are going to pass, the corpses of her parents, 
on which we necessarily must step. I will not expound here on the 
different degrees of persuasions, but only on the content of those 
catastrophic ideas. 

These ideas seem to refer to things and events external, but, let 
us not be mistaken, they are nothing but an extension of pessimistic 
appreciation; at the bottom of all this there is a fundamental 
object to which above all this appreciation refers, and that is the 
patient himself and his own deeds. The patient, in spite of 
appearances, is not unaware of this disorder of things. When that 
woman tells us that she sees the stars like fireballs shoot against 
each other to be crushed into chaos by God, she sadly adds: "I 
should not like, however, to destroy the work of God." I: "But 
this does not concern you; if the stars are blinded, and God drives 
them against each other, it is their business and not yours. " She: 
"Why yes! I don't know just how, but I am mixed up in it; 
however, it is my fault, because I have soiled my hands with evil. " 
At the bottom they all accuse themselves. Flora feels sure that 
she plays a part in the smashing of the automobile, for she adds: 
"If they came to visit another person, the car would not run into 
the tree." When I suggest to Daniel that I go up the stairs, 
instead of him, to see whether the hearse-drivers have finished 
their sinister job, so that he may come in, he replies, "It would not 
be worth while; if you go, there won't be any coffins there." 
Briefly, they play their part in those catastrophes; it is their own 
action that produces them, and they objectivate in their persuasions a 
feeling they have in relation to themselves and to their actions. It is 
indeed always the pessimistic appreciation of their own action 
which is essential. 

It is, by the way, easy to verify this statement. The patients 
mentioned above, or others whose delirium is not so far advanced, 
show their unfavorable beliefs are not always relating to the 
external object, but that they refer directly to the actions. We 
find a great number of persuasions of this kind which attribute to 
the act the most horrible characteristics. Acts are considered 
abominable and sacrilegious from the religious point of view. "I 
am insulting God and all that is holy if I make one step. If I wash 

1 De I'angoisse a Vexlase (Paris: Alcan, 1926), I, 337. 


myself I lose my heaven. I do horrible things to the dead if 
I advance in this alley. In stepping forward I should walk on my 
father's corpse. I make my brother stir in his grave if I pant, if I 
breathe. " One poor fellow, a very good musician, stops playing 
his violin, declaring: "Whenever I play the violin I have the 
feeling that I annoy God." And he adds: "When I do anything 
whatever (no matter what) I have the feeling of acting against 
God's divine will." 

Of course this feeling of sacrilegious doing may be toned down, 
and the act appears as simply immoral and cruel. Daniel, for 
example, has bought toys for his children, but does not give them 
to them; for months he keeps the packets unopened. He says: 
"If I give my children these toys, I make them suffer deadly 
tortures; their destiny is tied to these parcels and if I open them I 
put the seal on their death warrant. " By the way, the poor man 
sometimes has the same feeling with regard to anything he does. 
He has ordered new shirts, but does not wear them; he even tries 
to take them back to the merchant, since he is convinced that he 
will wear them at the burial of his children, and that he would 
expedite that burial. 

To a great number of patients, all acts they perform are crimes. 
One woman says that, if she talks about her people, if she mentions 
only their names, she betrays them, delivers them up to the police, 
hurls them into the abyss of misfortune. Or, "This book must be 
immoral, " says another, "since, opening it, I have the same feeling 
I used to have when I was secretly reading forbidden books in 
boarding school. While eating my breakfast at the restaurant I 
have the feeling of robbing poor people. " They feel the necessity 
to take refuge in similes in order to explain this feeling of aversion, 
of culpability: "It is as though I'm throwing needles in the soup, 
putting poison into the bread, bombs into the chimney; it is as 
though I am beckoning to men, inviting them to come up to my 
room. " 

On the same level with criminal acts we should place as a bit 
less serious, but just as significant, feelings of untidiness and 
uncleanliness. Many persons, especially girls, have the feeling of 
becoming dirty in an ignominious way, as soon as they move or do 
anything whatever. 

Finally, underneath the feeling accompanying an act is simply 
that of doing something dangerous, and, especially, awkward. 
One patient says: "I obey you, I walk with you, I keep quiet, and 
yet this is the thing I should not do; it is clumsy, stupid. Oh, if I 
only could do once what I should do!" 

"If I am with a friend I feel in advance that I am going to hurt 


him in saying one word to him. As soon as one word falls from my 
lips I think I have lied. Whenever I have a passion I feel some- 
thing in me that remains cold and finds it dirty. If I touch an 
object I make it fall on somebody's head." 

And always there is the feeling of doing something stupid and 
foolish, of looking like a ridiculous fool, and of being crazy. One 
patient said: "How must I act in a pseudo-reality, with a pseudo- 
purpose, and pseudo-liberty? Deep in me, I always have the 
feeling of acting like a fool." 

These feelings are not without importance; they are the starting- 
point for many frenzies and obsessions; they determine a great 
number of bizarre manias troubling the conduct of neurotics, even 
though it be only the washing of the hands and the mania of the 
endless recommencements of acts. They are especially the 
veritable starting-point for the pessimistic and catastrophic 
appreciation mentioned above. When I speak to Flora of her 
mother's visit and of the baby she will bring along, I conjure up in 
her mind the picture of that visit and of what she will have to do 
to receive her parents or to caress the baby. She cannot help 
picturing these acts as horrible things. Daniel is expected to select 
a country house, to sign a contract. They are acts that look 
dreadful to him. When one believes, one is always ready to 
objectivate, to give external reality to what one believes. If the 
attitude we must show during a visit, or in making a decision is 
something feared, it is the whole visit, the whole decision that will 
be feared, and those patients speak to us of external catastrophes in 
regard to those events in which their conduct is involved. 

Let us not be too severe toward these poor patients; their 
exaggerated ways show us a caricature of what often enough we 
think ourselves. Don't we know about persons who see everything 
in black, who expect lamentable things to happen as soon as we 
want them to act, simply because they are disgusted, frightened at 
the very thought that they have to perform that act? Persuasion in 
relation to things and external events is only an objectivation of 
the appreciation of that act; these objects and events are, in fact, 
only a particular expression of the acts themselves. 

This is, indeed, the general idea which results from the first and 
superficial observations of the catastrophic ideas. To consider a 
thing horrible, dangerous, also means to be afraid of it. And since, 
at the bottom, it is their own action which assumes those character- 
istics, it is their own action of which they are afraid. Amiel, who was 
a patient of this type, said again and again: "I am afraid of the 
objective world; that's why I am afraid of action. It is the 
instinctive fear to act, the fear to make a decision which is paralyz- 


ing me. " When we see everything in black and imagine everything 
to turn out badly, it is because we don't feel strong enough to react 
and to force things to turn out all right. When we are afraid of the 
future, it is because we are afraid of what we must do, in other 
words, we are afraid of action. 


In order to understand the fear of action, which is so important, 
let us first remember the important fear of a living being, of a man, 
an animal, confronted with an object. 

We know an object is characterized by what we think to do with 
or on account of it; an object is, first of all, a comestible object, a 
sexual object, an object to be talked to, to be given orders, to be 
asked for something. It is the act that determines the nature of 
the object, and we recognize the object (only?) if we begin the 
characteristic action, i. e., eat the apple, write with a pen. This 
act may be reduced to a minimum and may manifest itself only 
by outlines of actions which we call desire. The perception of an 
object is only a characteristic act suspended entirely in its first 
stage; that is, in any notion of an object there is the beginning of 
characteristic action. Or, all action implies an essential condition; 
it is necessary that the object be in reach of our senses, our limbs. 
To eat a fruit or to write with a pen requires that the fruit enter 
our mouth or that the pen be in our hand. The fundamental act 
characterizing an object, the use or the perception of an object, 
consists in taking it, touching it, and in every object there is a 
tendency toward the act of approaching it. 

What happens when we are afraid of an object? A radical 
change takes place: the characteristic act is stopped, completely 
inhibited. If for some reason or other the fruit we want frightens 
us, seems to be spoiled, rotten, or poisoned, we don't want to eat it, 
we stop eating it and even wanting it, for wanting a fruit is the 
beginning of the act of eating it, and this act is then stopped 
even in its germ. If the mountain path that invited us to a walk 
frightens us, we stop our promenade, we become disgusted with it. 
If a man to whom we want to speak, from whom we want to ask 
something, frightens us, we stop talking to him, and we have not 
the slightest desire to have anything to do with him. 

The essential condition to stop all action with an object, all 
relation with a man, is that of his not being any more in reach of 
our senses or our actions, and that of our not being in reach of his. 
It is the absence, the removal of that object. Presence and absence 
are fundamental psychological facts which are not often enough 


mentioned by psychologists. To make this absence real we have 
an act at our disposal: dismissal, removal; as, at the same time, to 
determine presence, we would use the acts of bringing together. 

In a general way, we accomplish this removal by a special 
conduct that is the reverse of the preceding conduct. Instead of 
approaching it, we walk, or run, in an opposite direction; this is 
the act of flight thoroughly characteristic of fear. In particular 
cases we may effectuate this removal by more precise acts which 
are exactly the reverse of the acts the object invited us to perform. 
Instead of eating the fruit, we spit it out; instead of asking the man 
something, we give him all we have that he might spare us; instead 
of caressing the dog, we hit him, or kill him, which again is a kind 
of flight. To stop the characteristic action of the object and to do the 
reverse act, to flee from the object instead of approaching it, these are 
the essential attitudes of fear. 

How can these attitudes of fear in the fear of action apply to 
actions instead of objects? This is usually not understood very 
well. In all fear of action there is, first of all, a check of action. 
It has been stated repeatedly that in the case of melancholia there 
occurred a check of action, but this inhibition has hardly been 

The action does not disappear because it becomes impossible; 
it is checked by the patient himself who does not want to eat, to 
walk, or to speak any more. In all the -phobias which are more 
precise, more localized cases of fear to act than melancholia, the 
patient stops working, walking, speaking, eating. He stops this or 
that action and knows what kind of action he stops, whereas the 
melancholic checks a much larger number of them and, what is 
more essential, does not know exactly which ones they are. I 
wish to emphasize one characteristic of this check of action; that 
is that it not only refers to the entire action to be performed, but 
also to the outset, to the slightest beginnings of that action. Now, 
since the desire is nothing but the beginning of the action, more or 
less complex on account of the efforts added to them, these patients 
check their desires and, as far as it is in their power, suppress them. 
The neurotic not only refuses to eat but claims he need not eat 
because he is not hungry and has no appetite. In those bizarre 
diseases called "ereutophobias, " the fears of blushing in public, 
which are morbid exaggerations of timidity, stop the patient from 
joining people, and he loses the slightest desire to do so. Many 
forms of asceticism are fears of action and melancholias. This 
suppression of desire is a very important moment since it is 
responsible for the fact that those patients are not able any more 
to imagine any satisfaction, any consolation, and that the future 


appears to them like a black hole. "I have no wish any more but 
what appears immediately repugnant and criminal. " 

But the fear of an object determines a more serious reaction, that 
of the removal of the object by destruction or by flight. Are we 
able to run away from action, from the motion of our limbs? Are 
we able to flee from ourselves? Yes, in a higher degree than we 
think. First, we can run away materially; we can leave places 
where the acts are expected to be done; we can keep away from 
persons to whom we should speak. This determines the escapades, 
the bizarre conduct of individuals who run away from their family, 
their household, their city, to go no matter where provided they 
can stay elsewhere. There are even, as I have described them, 
escapades from situations, when an individual wants by all means 
to drop out of human society, to break an act of association or 
engagement just to save himself, to shirk actions he would be 
obliged to perform in that situation. There are other ways to 
avoid action. In human society the greatest number of our actions 
are not dictated by circumstances, but by other men who demand 
them or order us to do them. The act of eating is provoked by a 
person who comes to tell us that dinner is served; speech, by 
individuals who ask us questions, who invite us to speak. A good 
means of shirking action is resistance against other people's orders; 
if we never obey orders or invitations, which are sugared orders, 
we suppress a great number of actions. This is the case with all 
patients who offer resistance to any request. In the asylums, 
melancholies may be very quiet in their easy chairs if we don't 
ask them to do something, but they will become very obstinate 
and stubborn as soon as you advise them to have breakfast. 
Negativism, which has been discussed very much at random, is 
not exclusively a symptom of the so-called "dementia praecox"; 
it is a general characteristic of all cases of melancholia, of /all those 
depressions in which the fear of action is involved. 

The resistance toward orders may complicate itself in various 
ways; many patients I have described not only resist orders given 
to them but also protest against other people's actions; they even 
fight orders they are giving to themselves, which causes the most 
bizarre act of dividing themselves into two persons (d6doublemenf) . 

Yet there is, in the flight from action, an attitude still more 
curious and interesting, a phenomenon I suggest calling "inversion 
of acts and feelings. " In the case of an act necessitated by cir- 
cumstances, which the individual is perfectly able to perform, we 
notice the development and sometimes the accomplishment of an 
act completely contrary. This is a phenomenon which a Swiss 
author, Ch. Baudoin, has communicated and well described under 


the title of " converted effort. " He described in this connection 
the inexperienced bicyclist who is turning exactly in the direction 
of the obstacle he wants to avoid, or the person with a touch of 
dizziness who wants to walk straight and who throws himself into 
the abyss. The cases of complete execution of this inverted action 
are fortunately rather seldom. However, what is frequent and what 
I have described a hundred times is the inversion of the very 
beginning of the action, the inversion of the desires. "I detest the 
things I love, and passionately love what I loathe; it is absurd," 
they repeat very often. The mother who wants to bathe her baby 
with kindness and precaution has a desire to boil or drown it. I 
have spoken repeatedly of those poor modest women who make up 
their mind to practice perfect chastity and yet are convinced to 
be the most dissolute women. One of them, whom I have described 
under the name of Hermine, has been upset by the loss of her two 
boys killed in war; she has sought consolation in religious and moral 
exercises. This was the time to be more moral, to behave well. 
"Flirtations of love and intercourse with a husband are good for 
happy people; we must give them up or at least renounce the 
pleasure they might give us. " So she puts much energy into the 
renunciation of all frivolous entertainments. "I have always been 
used to keeping straight, to being severe toward myself. " The 
result came soon enough: obsessions of immorality, apparent 
temptations, and fictitious impulses toward unclean conduct. The 
poor woman no more dares to board a bus or a train since she has 
horrible desires, and fears to be impelled to throw herself on the 
neck of any man. These strange inversions are found in many 
pathological symptoms under different names, as, for instance, 
ambivalent feelings, monstrous desires, mixtures of love and 
disgust making it sometimes difficult to recognize the real 
tendency of the patient. 

Unfortunately, I cannot enter into the very interesting dis- 
cussions of these inversions of acts and feelings. I only remind 
you that the opposed actions are interrelated like the antagonistic 
muscles of our limbs, and that the flight from an act carries us 
away to the opposite extreme which is just the act opposed to the 
former. These facts show us above all the nature and importance 
of the flight from action, which adds itself to the check of the act 
in the fear of action. 


How can we understand all these kinds of absurd conduct? 
And yet it is necessary to understand them a little first, if we want 
to try to cure or to prevent them. I should like to collect these 
troubles in a number of laws which I am studying now under the 


title of "regulation of action," and which, if I am not mistaken, 
give me the best explanation of the feelings. Here are a number of 
reactions which are found in everybody and which, in a certain 
form, are perfectly normal : I mean the actions of retreat, of recoil, 
which we combine under the name of reactions of defeat. 

In psychology we are not very much engaged in the problem 
of the development of action, its beginning, evolution, and end. 
It is especially important to understand the end of action, for 
action does not stop of its own accord. Pathology has shown 
us a great number of troubles characterized by the indefinite 
continuation of actions, although they have become useless or 
even dangerous. With a normal individual, the end of actions 
is characterized by reactions of internal regulations. One of the 
most important of these regulations of the end of the act is the 
attitude of triumph, of which I have spoken extensively in my 
latest essays. It is the reaction of triumph on successful action, a 
real or illusory success, which plays the greatest part in the feeling 
of joy. But this shall not interest us today. The reaction which 
leads to the fear of actions and which creates the feeling of sadness 
is the inverted reaction characterizing the acts as recoil, retreat; it 
is the reaction of stoppage. 

An act is always performed on account of a certain stimulation 
produced on the surface of the body, a stimulation which is either 
to be eliminated or to be preserved. Its purpose is to adapt us to 
these modifications of the external world, be it in making them 
disappear or in transforming us so that they become insensible. 
When the act fails to effectuate these modifications, when the 
disturbance from the external world continues, is it good to con- 
tinue indefinitely the action which has been started in order to 
rid us of it? Certainly not; the persistence of the same fruitless 
act would allow the danger to subsist, and, on the other hand, 
exhaust us completely. It is necessary first to stop this useless 
act and then to employ the forces it was spending uselessly in a 
different way, in performing another act that perhaps leads to 
better results. This reaction of stoppage is rendering the greatest 
service; it is the starting-point of changes, of attempts, and of 

When we study these regulations of action, effort, fatigue, 
triumph, we always run into a great psychological difficulty, the 
determination of the starting-point of the reaction. Why, at a 
certain moment, is the action interrupted by this reaction of 
checking? One can hardly speak of a real check or a real success; 
these are external facts, hard to appreciate, which influence the 
attitude in a more indirect way by the changes of the action which 
they impel . We must admit that performance of the action changes 


independently of the external results, that the act becomes too 
easy or too difficult in the course of its performance, and that these 
modifications of the act determine the diverse regulations. 

However this may be, the melancholic attitudes and in particular 
the fears of action present themselves as checking regulations 
which stop the first action, replace it by another, and, above all, 
invert it in substituting the opposite action. 

But what strikes us is the fact that in our patients these reactions 
of check are enormously exaggerated. Here we have a perpetual 
failure, which, by the way, is the background of melancholic 
delirium. In question is an immediate failure which stops action 
at the very outset after the perception of the least circumstance 
that calls for action. 

Why, then, such exaggeration of the reaction of failure, which 
should intervene but moderately and only from time to time? A 
first reason is of greatest importance : that is a considerable weaken- 
ing of the psychological forces, a reaction to this weakened condi- 
tion, an attitude of misery. Let us take account of one very 
important thing which the old psychology has not sufficiently 
emphasized, namely, the fact that actions, moral life itself, require 
large expenditures of forces. The philosophers who, as disciples of 
Descartes, fixed inner thought as the starting-point of psychological 
life imagined that spiritual phenomena were independent of 
strength and weakness. We, on the contrary, consider that action 
is the essential psychological fact and that thought is nothing but a 
reduced reproduction of it. To our mind, it is extremely important 
whether a man be strong or weak, whether he can march several 
kilometers or only a hundred steps, whether he can speak an hour 
or only five minutes. It is probable that different acts require 
different expenditures, that certain acts are expensive, and others 
economic. Actions performed in company cost more than those 
performed in isolation; acts superior, more perfect, more exalted 
in the psychological hierarchy, will doubtless bring their money 
later, but will be very expensive at the start. 

In such conditions, exhaustion, the psychological misery, is 
disturbing action; it determines sluggishness, irregularities, inter- 
ruptions which we are able to account for in an imperfect way. 
But the reflexes of regulation of the action of which we have spoken 
are irritated, and particularly the reflex of the reaction of failure. 
It seems as though the organism divines that an act that makes so 
little progress cannot end well, that it is too deficient to arrive at its 
goal, that it will find too much resistance, and that it would be best 
to regard it right now as doomed to failure. The driver of an 
automobile who hears too much squeaking and rattling thinks the 
best thing to do is to give up right now. The organism is doing the 


same, and the act, deficient on account of weakness, is stopped, 
modified, inverted. It is that stopping of action, when it is repeated 
too often, which is the fear of action. 

It is easy to prove that all those melancholies with pessimistic 
judgments, victims to the fear of action, are psychologically 
weaklings. The acts they are able to perform even when their fear 
of action does not stop them are little, not numerous, slow, and 
imperfect. Besides, we notice in those patients all the physiological 
signs of exhaustion, all the disturbances of the functions which 
result especially from an exhaustion of the functions of the central 
nervous system. 

In an almost experimental way, we can ascertain the appearance 
of the fear of action and of the inversion of the feelings after the 
performance of a somewhat prolonged action. After enjoying the 
playing of his violin, L feels what he calls a *'bad, ugly, abashing 
fatigue," and he thinks he is annoying God. After excessive 
worldly distractions Sophie believes she walks on the corpses of her 
her parents. After a little longer visit Flora is falling back into her 
catastrophes and buries everybody. The young man who invited 
friends for a ride in his automobile is very proud and happy at the 
start; then he stops speaking and concentrates on his effort; 
finally he is invaded by the "lugubrious. " They must put him to 
bed, and for two days he remains in a state of melancholic depres- 
sion. This explains to me a rather curious characteristic of the 
spells of anguish I have observed in several persons. It is at the end 
of an effort, when the subject may stop struggling, when he begins 
to relax, that anguish and fear of action appear. A girl works 
excessively in school all year, but at the beginning of the holidays 
there come distress and the inversions of action. With another 
they come after an examination; with a third, in the evening, at the 
end of a day's work, when he is ready to go to bed. During the 
school year, before the examination, during the day, an enormous 
effort supported more or less the insufficient strength. When the 
effort stops and the subject relaxes, the exhaustion becomes 
evident, the actions offer to stop, and reaction of failure with its 
retinue of fears and sadness begins its work. It is likewise remark- 
able to observe melancholic reaction after a great joy or after a 
period of excessive joy. After joy, I have noticed epileptic spells 
which are also a manifestation of the exhaustion of the superior 
functions. We must remember here the spells of distress, with 
their feelings of the " lugubrious," fear of action, inversion of 
feelings which overcome certain minds in midst of joyfulness and 
great exaltation. This happens because joy is an expenditure of 
great effort; it, therefore, brings exhaustion and thus calls forth 
melancholic reaction. Briefly, fear of action is often analogous to 


fear of giving out in individuals who are feeling half -ruined and 
therefore are afraid to engage themselves beyond their resources. 

But whatever may be the importance of this real exhaustion 
in individuals who are afraid to act, there are always personal 
dispositions that play a great part. They are weaklings who do 
not know how to make an effort, who very soon quit struggling. 
They are thrifty and miserly, not only with their money but also 
with their strength, individuals disposed to economize with exag- 
geration and to perform the least possible actions. They are timid 
people, long since accustomed to being afraid of everything. "It 
is those fears which always make me indolent," said one of them. 
And, I add, they are the people who have the habit of melancholic 
reaction. "Emotivity, " which we try to explain as very doubtful 
visceral modifications, is just a habit which calls for the regulation 
of stoppage far too early, at the outset of action, at the very 
perception of the circumstance that might call for action. There 
are people who, in a struggle, never admit being defeated and fight 
until they are victorious. There are others who fight for a certain 
time and then quit. Finally, there are those who declare them- 
selves defeated before any beginning of fighting, as soon as they 
smell an opponent. In the study of these anticipated reactions we 
find the explanation for emotion. 

We observe the gradual completion of the emotional reaction, 
and, so to say, the education of melancholia and the fear of action. 
When the patients have several spells of melancholia in succession 
they seem to learn their job as melancholies; they have much finer 
fears of action at the second and third spells than at the first one. 
They finally arrive at the fear of life, which is a completion of their 
fear of action. It brings about a general and continuous state of 
sadness, suppresses all action, makes one indolent, and may even 
lead to highly absurd feelings and actions. 

Let us understand! We have studied this fear of action in 
patients showing it in its exaggerated form; and don't let us forget 
that the disease only magnifies facts which exist in everybody. 
Doubtless, veritable melancholia is a disease, but sadness in its 
most simple form is, after all, identical with melancholia and 
contains the same fear of action. There are families and, one 
might say, entire populations who are going through periods of 
discouragement, of sadness, and of recoiling from action. Let us 
also remember that those spells of sadness should not be called 
poetic, and that they must not be cultivated. Sadness is always a 
sign of weakness and, sometimes, of a habit of living weakly. The 
investigations of pathological psychology have shown us the evil 
of sadness, and, at the same time, have evidenced a very important 
thing: the value of work and of joy. 





It is a fact that anxiety can arise in mind without any connection 
with sensations, impressions, ideas, or any cognitive elements at 
all. In medical pathology the states named "angina pectoris sine 
dolore" refer to such conditions of physiological anxiety as arise 
from functional heart disturbances without the pain with which 
angina pectoris is generally accompanied but even if no pain and 
local sensations are being felt at all, anxiety may arise in full 
strength. In psychoses and neuroses, anxiety arising without any 
object is often described; the patients are frightened, but do not 
know why. Indeed, this is a sentence heard nearly every day in the 
practice of neurologists: "I am so anxious, though I have nothing 
to be afraid of. " Certainly there exist not only psychologists, but 
even also psychiatrists, who deny that emotions can arise without 
connection with a cognitive element (Isserlin). 1 Now, it is not the 
first time in the history of science that systematic thinking and 
convictions have made a fact disappear. I myself have seen the 
indefinite, isolated anxiety so clearly that I cannot doubt its 
existence. It is met with not only in heart disturbances, but is 
sometimes also caused by irritation of the pleura or peritoneum 
and, as mentioned, is found in neurosis, where organic disturbances 
are completely missing. 

From my viewpoint of psychology there are two decisive points. 
First, I think it of the greatest importance whether emotions can 
arise without any connection with cognitive elements or not; 
second, I cannot agree with a psychology that will deny or close its 
eyes to the fact that emotions can really do so, for it is evident that 
anxiety can arise and exist without any intellectual background, 

1 have been glad to see that experimental psychology in recent 
years has arrived at similar results. 2 

1 " Psychologische Einleitung," Handbuch der Psychiatric, ed. Ashaffenburg 
(Leipzig: Deuticke, 1913), II, 179. 

2 A. Wohlgemuth, "Pleasure Unpleasure: an Experimental Investigation on 
the Feeling-Elements," British Journal of Psychology, Monograph Supplements, 
No. IV (1919). 


Concerning anxiety arising from the heart, or peritoneum, or 
pleura, it must be stated that on the one hand it is an emotion, but 
on the other it appears, similar to our sensations, as a sensitive 
element with its own stamp, its own individuality, its own quality, 
just as all sensations do in accordance with Mtiller's Law concerning 
the specific energies of sensations. I do not think that all condi- 
tions of anxiety should arise from heart, or pleura, or peritoneum, 
but I am tempted to think that all anxiety, including that which 
arises from intellectual elements, appears in the mind with its own 
specific quality. 

I am tempted to think that something similar can also be said 
about other emotions. For instance, anger seems to me to contain 
a similar nucleus of specific quality. It is no explanation to say 
that anger is a state of displeasure combined with certain conditions 
in the environment. First, anger is not always disagreeable, and 
second, it can arise quite "spontaneously." This state of anger 
arising apparently without any cause conditioned only by the 
internal physiological state of the individual is well known in all 
asylums in cases of mania. The reader doubtless also knows 
persons who in everyday life present primarily a condition of 
anger, and secondarily an attempt to find an object to which the 
anger can be allied. 

If attention is paid to the phenomena of spontaneous conditions 
of feeling and emotions, it will be seen that there is a great range 
of such states, which often appear with such a peculiar stamp that 
it is easy to describe the condition and name it joy, sorrow, want, 
shyness, etc. If the physiological basis of emotional life were made 
up of a series of different, specific elements which, in excitement, 
produce the states known as emotions, falling back to a light tone 
when in a state of repose, as is commonly observed in neurological 
elements, we would seem to have a simple explanation of most of 
the phenomena within emotional life. 

Regarding the many difficulties which the understanding of 
emotional phenomena even today presents to the psychologist, 
a hypothesis of this content has seemed to me worth trying. 

I do not, however, undervalue the difficulties that attach to the 
practical elaboration of such a theory. Even if we had full security 
concerning the chief point, namely, that emotional life is built up 
in the manner named, yet in the finding of the fundamental 
qualities themselves we would encounter several difficulties. We 
are facing an analytical problem like that of a chemist searching 
for chemical elements. 

While pointing out this reservation regarding the fundamental 
elements which I have found, I venture to recommend a series of six 


elements to be considered as the fundamental elements of our 
emotional life. The number is small, and it would be easy to 
propose dozens or hundreds of fundamental elements, but obviously 
we must credit the emotions with as few fundamental elements 
as possible. 

The elements to be considered as fundamental are the following: 

1. Fear (anxietas, angor) 

. Happiness (laetitia, gaudium) 

3. Sorrow (tristitia, dolor) 

4. Want (desideriwn, cupiditas) 

5. Anger (ira, furor) 

6. Shyness (verecundia, pudor) 

Whether it is justifiable to consider these six elements as funda- 
mental and indivisible or not must be passed over at present. 
Concerning the names chosen for the elements, they are to a certain 
degree fortuituous, and can only be so, as one and the same emo- 
tional element often gets a different name in the language, whether 
it appears in an intense, perhaps eruptive form, or in a milder 

1 is the nucleus, the specific energy in dread, terror, fear, 
anxiety, apprehension. 2 is rapture, joy, happiness, satisfaction. 
3 is grief, despair, pain, sorrow, despondency. 4 is hunger of the 
soul, want, desire, longing. 5 is furiousness, anger, grumbling, 
and, if present, the emotional element in "strength." 6 is shame, 
shyness, embarrassment, bashfulness. 

Mixed emotions appear when two or more fundamental elements 
are simultaneously in action. If we distinguish only three degrees 
of intensity for each of the fundamental elements and combine 
two, three, or six elements, it will readily be seen that these mixed 
emotions run into many thousands. Rich though a language may 
be, it is destitute in comparison with the number of different 
emotional states that exist. On the other hand, it is qfuite interest- 
ing to try an analysis of the more commonly mixed emotions. In 
hope, for instance, we easily recognize the quality of 4, 3, and 2; 
in envy, of 3 and 4; in sadness, of 3 and 2; in bitterness, of 3 and 5; 
in reverence, of 6 and 1, etc. In the case of love, hate, pride, etc., 
we must remember that each such word covers both veritable 
emotions and the dispositions towards producing these emotions 
in regard to certain objects. 

After this brief exposition we should discuss a problem or two. 
Perhaps the reader will ask why loathing has not been listed 
among the fundamental qualities. Perhaps we really ought to do 
so. No doubt there are mixed feelings of 6 and 5, shame and 


anger, which may appear as loathing. Nevertheless, it is possible 
that loathing is to be regarded as a fundamental element; I dare 
not decide the question. I only mention it here to demonstrate the 
practical difficulties which are not wanting in our theory. 

Again, the reader may ask if pleasure and displeasure, those 
two states which have virtually dominated the psychology of 
feelings since Spinoza, are not to be listed among the fundamental 
elements of emotion. To this I must answer "no"; they are not 
to be considered veritable emotional elements. 

Regarding the emotions of fear, happiness, sorrow, want, anger, 
and shyness, it may be remarked that states containing one or 
more of these elements may at one time appear agreeable, at 
another disagreeable. It is also worth noticing that states of 
fear, sorrow, and want, though generally disagreeable, often seem 
pleasurable, especially in case of slight intensity. A discussion 
of the possibility of explaining these facts must be passed over at 
present. I think, however, that the classification of feelings as 
pleasurable and displeasurable is to be compared with a division 
of all colors into light or dark colors, though white and black are 
not fundamental elements in the conception of colors. Or to 
divide feelings into pleasurable or displeasurable is like furnishing 
a row of figures with positive or negative signs. Pleasure and 
displeasure are peculiar accentuations with which the different 
emotions are equipped, accentuations which point out their 
relation to volitional life. Displeasure means the aversion that lies 
within or arises from an emotion, just as pleasure means the accepting 
tendency that lies in or arises from an emotion. The two phenomena 
belong to a boundary area between emotional and volitive life. 

A question which has often been discussed in psychology is that 
concerning the line of demarcation between sensation and emotion. 
Regarding this, I doubt that any such sharp distinction really 
exists. Psychologists have dwelt on the phenomenon of pain, 
which in one aspect is kindred to sensations, in other aspects to 
feelings and emotions. I myself think that bodily pain is a sensitive 
element with a quality of its own, but in the row of sense qualities 
it gets its place in the end that nears emotions. Just the same is 
the case with sensations such as hunger and libido. On the other 
hand, an emotion like anxiety nears sensation. Briefly, it is par- 
tially fortuituous in the list of sensory elements to draw a close 
distinction between sensations and emotions. 

In the problem in question the standpoint of Wundt is often 
quoted. In the demonstration of his conception that feeling cannot 
be a sort of sensation, he points out that a passage from red to 
green or from the deepest tone to the highest is a passage through 


differences, while the passage from displeasure to pleasure shows a 
zero-point, and thence a phenomenon of opposition (Grundriss der 
Psychologic). This opposition between pleasure and displeasure, 
Lust and Unlust, may be right. But the whole way of looking upon 
the matter fails when we recall to mind that phenomena of pleasure 
and displeasure cannot be identified with feelings. 

In the above exposition I think I have pointed out the principal 
points in my way of looking upon emotional phenomena. How- 
ever, I should like to add a few words concerning the opposition it 
will no doubt meet with among psychologists of today. This 
opposition will not be due to the fact that the prevailing theories of 
emotions, such as the pleasure-displeasure theory in its various 
shapes from Spinoza to Lehmann, or the physiological theory of 
James-Lange-Ribot, should have satisfied the claim of empiric 
psychology to a useful hypothesis. In this regard the hypotheses 
at our disposal have shown several deficiencies. Some oppositions 
may arise from the difficulties which naturally attach to the 
theory put forward. In spite of the many phenomena which are 
explained in a simple and natural way, many questions remain 
open, and many analyses still remain difficult. The greatest 
opposition I think, should arise from the fact that this theory on a 
superficial view may seem like the "faculty psychology" of the 
Middle Ages. The reader who, when reading the above, has been 
reminded of the psychology of Suarez or of Thomas Aquinas, may 
certainly have had " a bad taste in his mouth. " Now, I am unable 
to recognize my indebtedness to the psychology of the scholastics; 
even when Descartes reduced the eleven emotions of Thomas to six, 
or when Spinoza reduced them to two, it was a speculative more 
than an empiric psychology, and there is no relation between the 
psychology of these authors and mine. I recognize, however, my 
debt to Johannes Mliller, to his law of the specific energy of 
sensations. Without this law I do not think my conception could 
have been carried through. 

Concerning the utility of the theory brought forward, I should 
like to recommend it also in studies of temperaments. No doubt 
the above-named six elements, though present in all normal men, 
show a different strength in different individuals, and, hence, there 
arises a different tendency towards reacting on given situations. 
Likewise there arise differences in the spontaneous, affective tone 
which the different individuals present. A greater or smaller 
tendency to anxiety, to happiness, to sorrow, to want, to anger, or 
to shyness naturally leads us to twelve types differing in the 
affective aspect of temperament. When two or three fundamental 
qualities are well marked, whilst the other elements are relatively 
failing, other temperaments appear. 


It lies outside the range of this paper to go into details regarding 
these problems; only a single observation should be mentioned here, 
namely, that a temperament charged with sorrow and anger (3 and 
5) renders its possessor an invalid. Such a psychic constitution is 
as fatal to the conduct of the individual as a congenital heart 
failure or idiotia. An individual suffering from " psychopathia 
tristomorosa, " as this constitution may be named, is an invalid in 
human society. 







It is obvious that the style of life does not solely rule an indi- 
vidual. The attitudes do not alone create the symptoms, nor do 
they alone build up the whole neurosis as a security for not going 
on. To this must be added also feelings which do not hinder the 
person's strivings on the useless side. 

This is a new view in psychology and is presented in contradic- 
tion to other conceptions. Individual psychology does not consider 
the part of mind and psyche as separate but rather as a whole. 
What we see in this view is no longer physiological or biological and 
cannot be explained by chemical or technical examination. We 
presuppose all the right physiological results, but we are more 
interested in the goal. Our interest is not that anxiety influences 
the nervous sympaticus and the parasympaticus, but what is the 
end and aim? 

We are very interested in where a feeling has arisen, but we 
mean the psychical rather than the bodily roots, striving towards 
totality. We do not believe that anxiety arises from suppression of 
sexuality nor as the result of birth. We are not interested in such 
explanations, but we know and understand that a child who is 
accustomed to be accompanied by the mother uses anxiety what- 
ever its source may be to arrive at his goal of superiority to 
control the mother. In this we are not concerned with a description 
of anger, but we are experienced enough to see that anger is a 
means to overcome a person or a situation. We believe that only 
such a viewpoint is a psychological one, and not other views such 
as the description of feelings, emotions, and affects, or such as, for 
example, that of inherited instincts. It can be taken for granted 
that every bodily and mental power must have inherited material, 
but what we see in mind and psyche is the use of this material 
toward a certain goal. 

In all the cases we have described up to now we have seen the 
feelings and emotions grown in such a direction and to such a 


degree as was essential to attain the neurotic goal. The anxiety, 
sadness, and all the characteristics have run the way we could 
predict, and have always agreed with the style of life. We have 
also seen that dreams have a similar purpose to arrange the feelings 
and that they are influenced by the neurotic goal. They give us a 
remarkable insight into the workshop of the soul. A person who 
accomplishes his goal of superiority by sadness cannot be gay and 
satisfied in the accomplishment. He can only be happy when he is 
unhappy. We can also notice that feelings appear and disappear 
when needed. The patient suffering from agoraphobia loses the 
feeling of anxiety when he is at home or ruling another person. We 
come to the point of view that all neurotic patients exclude all the 
parts of life in which they do not feel well and strong enough to be 
the conqueror. 

Character is much more fixed. For example, a coward is always 
a coward, even though he shows arrogance (against a weaker 
person) or courage when he is shielded. If he locks the door with 
three locks, protects himself with watchdogs, guns, and policemen, 
and insists he is very courageous, nobody could prove a feeling of 
anxiety. However, that he is cowardly in character is proved by 
the fact that he sought protection. 

The realm of sexuality and love is similar. The feelings belong- 
ing to them appear always when a person has a desire to approach 
his sexual goal. His attention and concentration have a tendency 
to exclude contradictions and conflicting tasks and thus evoke the 
right feelings and functions. The lack of these feelings and func- 
tions such as impotence, ejaculation praecox, perversions, 
frigidity are all established by not excluding other tasks and by 
contradictions. Such abnormalities are always influenced by a 
neurotic goal of superiority and a mistaken style of life. In these 
cases we always find the tendency to expect and not to give. There 
exists a lack of social feeling, courage, and optimistic activity. 

As we have shown, social feeling is of the greatest importance in 
treatment and education. This feeling is the inevitable supplement 
of the organic weaknesses of human beings. From the biological 
side we cannot think of a human being without thinking of social 
feeling. The new-born animal needs to be supported for a certain 
length of time, as does the human child. The pregnant animal 
needs much care before, during, and after birth as does woman. 
Mankind could not persist without cooperation and social culture. 
This culture demands common efforts for education. To accom- 
plish the three questions of life it is necessary, as we have seen, to 
develop sufficient social feeling. As far as we can see, only the 
possibilities for the development of social feeling are inborn. 


There is no use in trusting social instincts because these can be 
destroyed or increased. The most important factor in the develop- 
ment of social feeling is, as we have shown, the mother. In his 
mother every child has his first contact with a trustworthy fellow- 
creature. This is the first change in the behavior of a child and the 
first circuitous expression of his desires and organic drives. His 
interest includes himself and his mother. The goal of all his 
strivings is, as before, to overcome the difficulties of life and to 
gain superiority. 

We can presuppose that such a helpless being striving for 
satisfaction has a feeling of inferiority. This feeling of inferiority 
becomes later the stimulus among all individuals, whether children 
or adults, to establish their actions in such a way that they arrive 
at a goal of superiority. 

The first concretization of this goal is the spoiling mother. This 
goal cannot be fixed permanently. She must, therefore, in this 
phase try to give the child freedom so that he will be able to 
establish a style of life which will enable him to seek for superiority 
on the useful side. The mother must then use a second function, 
which is to spread the interest of the child to other persons and 
situations. In this way she makes the child independent so that he 
feels a part of the whole environment and at home in the world. In 
this way the mother creates inevitably, in connection with this 
social feeling, independence, self-confidence, and courage. The 
goal of such a child will be to become a fellow-man, such as a friend, 
a useful worker, a true partner in love. Whatever place he may 
occupy, the degree of his social feeling, courage, and optimistic 
activity will be influenced by his goal to be superior as a fellow-man 
on the useful side of life. We cannot emphasize too much the fact 
that all the feelings of an individual are dependent upon the content 
of social feeling in his individual goal of superiority. 

We can now understand why all actions on the useless side of 
life among problem children, neurotics, criminals, suicides, sexual 
perverts, and prostitutes are caused by a lack in social feeling, 
courage, and self-confidence. We can understand it better when 
we realize that all the questions of life are social, such as kinder- 
garten, school, companionship, occupation, love, marriage. All 
these questions demand a well-trained and automatized social 
feeling. For example, if a boy terrified by illness and death wishes 
to overcome this fright by being a doctor, he has selected a more 
social goal than another boy in the same situation who wishes to 
become a grave-digger. 

A lower degree of this automatized social feeling is the same as 
too great an interest for one's self. Therefore, we can add at this 


point what we have pointed out before that, as a rule, we find 
this lower degree of social feeling among individuals with a great 
feeling of inferiority, and this appears in the style of life of spoiled 
or hated children with imperfect organs. We can conclude also 
that feelings are always in connection with the whole. They are 
never independent expressions and never in themselves real argu- 
ments for action. They will, nevertheless, always be used in this 
way and influence our secondary decisions from time to time. 

The most important single factor in individual psychology is 
what we have called a feeling of inferiority. This forms the back- 
ground for all our studies. We can ascertain this feeling of inferior- 
ity only from the actions of an individual. In the beginning of life 
it is very varied, for we see many expressions of it in order to 
overcome the urges and the feeling itself. 

We find from these expressions that they are connected with the 
strength or weakness of the organs and the environment. These 
react upon each other and influence the degree of the feeling. The 
remarkable part of this is that neither the inherited material nor 
the milieu are responsible for this; neither is it the result of both 
together. The degree of the feeling of inferiority is due to both of 
these plus the reaction of the child. We cannot expect that a 
child, normal or abnormal, reacts from a stimulus in an absolutely 
right way. Living material as opposed to dead material always 
reacts more or less in a mistaken manner. 

In a study of children in their earliest years we discover three 

1. Children with imperfect organs. They need more time and 
more effort than others to integrate. 

2. Spoiled children. They are not free to function alone and 
they develop in the direction of always wishing to be supported. 
They are attacked on all sides because of this behavior, fall in an 
inimicable environment, and are, therefore, under strain. 

3. Hated children (illegitimate, not wanted, ugly, crippled). 
They have the same difficulties as the second type, but are without 
the aid of a supporting person. 

After some time these strained efforts, particular interests and 
attention become mechanical, and this living machine has its own 
life-plan of how to accomplish the three questions of life. The 
tension among these children gives them a greater impetus, and 
forces them to seek a higher goal of security and superiority than 
the average. 

After this goal has been established, the characteristics, attitudes, 
and feelings are fixed and agree wholly with the purpose to attain 
it. The impressions, perceptions, and expressions are now selected 


and seen in this perspective through a prejudiced mind. Such an 
individual views everything he experiences from all sides until he 
can assimilate it to his style of life. This is equivalent to how he 
wishes to solve the three problems of life. Because these three 
types have a greater feeling of inferiority, they have less social 
feeling and a greater visible interest for themselves. We thus come 
to the conclusion that feeling of inferiority and social feeling are 
connected with, and belong to, the life-plan with which they 
must agree. 

It is not a contradiction if the surface view does not appear so. 
I once met a very rich old lady, who dominated her whole family. 
She had no interest for society and only associated with her own 
relatives. She had great fame as a benevolent woman. This feel- 
ing of pity does not seem to agree with her unsocial life. One day I 
visited her and found her crying. Before her stood an old man 
weeping. I asked her, "Why do you cry?" She answered, 
"Look at this poor old man. He has five starving children. He 
cannot pay his rent and must leave his home unless he pays the 
10 due. I can give him only 5. " I replied, "You must not cry; 
let me add to your great gift my small gift of 5. " She thanked me 
and said, "I have always known you are a good man." I replied, 
" Oh, I am only a quarter as good as you are. " As we can see, this 
feeling of pity and sadness has only agreed with her desire to feel 
superior over this poor man. 

If we judge a feeling separated from other expressions and the 
style of life, we recognize only the physiological factors. For a 
psychological understanding we must know the goal towards which 
the feelings run. 

A patient of mine, a second boy in a family, developed a feeling 
of guilt. The father was very honest, as was also the older brother. 
The older brother was very much beloved and the second boy 
strove to overcome him, as is usual with second children. He was 
seven years old when he deceived his teacher in school by telling 
him he had achieved a task alone, although his brother had done it 
for him. After concealing his guilty feeling for three years, my 
patient went to the teacher and told him how he had lied. The 
teacher merely laughed at him. He went to his father and discussed 
this matter with him with a great feeling of sadness. The father 
enjoyed this love of truth and praised and consoled his son. But 
the boy always felt depressed, thinking in his compulsion neurosis 
that he was a liar in spite of the fact that he had been pardoned. 

Considering the circumstances, we cannot help the impression 
that this boy wished to prove his great integrity by accusing him- 
self for such a trifle. The high moral atmosphere of the home gave 


him the impulse to excel in integrity because he felt inferior to his 
brother in schoolwork and in attractiveness. 

Later in life he suffered from other self-reproaches as a sinner, 
because he masturbated and was not wholly honest in his studies. 
This feeling always increased before he took an examination. As 
we can see, in going on he collected difficulties so that he felt him- 
self much more burdened than his brother and, therefore, had an 
excuse for not being superior. 

When he left the university he planned to do technical work. 
However, his compulsion neurosis increased so greatly that he 

B'ayed all day to God to forgive him, and so he was unable to work, 
e was put in an asylum and was there considered as incurable. 
When he had improved, he left the asylum and asked permission 
to be readmitted if he should have a relapse. He changed his 
occupation and studied the history of art. Before he was to have an 
examination in this, he visited a church. It was a holiday and the 
church was very crowded. He prostrated himself and cried, "I am 
the greatest sinner." He was thus the center of attention. 

He again went to the asylum, where he remained a long time. 
One day he came to lunch naked. He was a well-built man and 
could compete in this point with his brother and others. 

His feeling of guilt was a means to make him appear more honest 
than others, but on the useless side of life. His escape from 
examinations and occupations was a sign of cowardice and a too 
great feeling of inferiority. For these reasons he made a purposive 
exclusion of all activities in which he feared defeat. His prostration 
in the church and his shocking entrance to the dining-room were 
also cheap expressions of his striving for superiority. 

We conclude rightly that in the same way his feelings of guilt 
also meant an effort to be superior. 


Feeling and Emotion 
in Children 




University of Hamburg 

I have introduced the concept of Ernstspiel to define an actual 
characteristic of the behavior of the period of puberty. But 
the meaning of the concept is much more general. Ernstspiel 
behavior occurs at all stages of life in very different situations, 
and constitutes the common basis for a multifarious group of facts. 

In the first place, the concept of Ernstspiel must itself be cleared 
up. It is a "personality" concept, that is, one which is defined by 
the relation of a single factor to the total life of the individual. One 
and the same performance may be "serious," "playful," or 
t( ernstspielhafty " according to its place and significance in the life 
of the individual. We speak of the behavior of the individual as 
"serious" when it is deeply rooted in the living structure of the 
personality and its real connection with the world. What one does 
"seriously," what one takes "seriously," is consequential and has 
consequences. Indeed, it should have consequences; one is 
responsible for it, because it concerns his own self entirely, and he 
wants to be taken seriously, that is, he expects that the world will 
take the particular event or the particular act in its context, and 
always consider that context as a factor in the account. 

With "playful" behavior, it is entirely different. Play, taken 
in its pure form, moves in a world apart, which seems to bear some 
similarity to the real world, to be sure, but has no "serious" 
connection with it. The freedom of play is contrasted with the 
constraint of the serious. The simple limitation of each period of 
play, which begins suddenly and ends equally suddenly, running 
its course, as it were, upon a plane apart from real life, is contrasted 
with the intricate involvement of serious activity with the sub- 
ject and with the world. Lastly, the immanent sufficiency of 
play is contrasted with the transcendence of serious conduct the 


regard for the past and the future, for preceding conditions and 

But, in this rough contrast, we have merely made a first approach 
to the real problem. For if play activity were so absolutely 
sundered from the normal continuity of life, appearing and dis- 
appearing phantom-like, then, to be sure, it would be a regular 
foreign body, a senseless appendage to the otherwise meaningful 
structure of the personality. Schiller observed that this is im- 
possible when he expressed his famous dictum : " Man is thoroughly 
human only when he plays. " As a matter of fact, all the newer 
theories of play have really assumed no other goal than to correct 
the notion that play behavior is apparently devoid of meaning. In 
children's play this "meaning" is found either in the future of the 
playing individual (preliminary training theory of Groos); or in 
the past, since atavistic impulses may work themselves off harm- 
lessly in play (recapitulation theory of Stanley Hall); or in the 
present, since play represents a disguised and often very misleading 
symbol of unconscious excitations of the sexual or self-assertive 
impulses (Freud, Adler). In all these theories and others, each of 
which contains only a part of the truth, the conception is peculiar 
in that it implies that everything that the person does belongs 
intimately somehow to his mental structure, and consequently 
has a "serious" significance. 

Does this mean that a distinction between play and serious is 
untenable, since all play is " serious "? It does not for two reasons. 

If we grant that all behavior and experience of the individual 
has a relation to the total, then this "interrelated totality" may 
have many degrees of intensity. The individual is "stratified." 
This means that his separate moments have different depths, 
that they are more or less focal, persistent, immediately essential. 
But perhaps it may not be understood that this theory assumes a 
personal nucleus, the real "essence" of the individual, to which 
everything else is opposed as pure froth, unconnected with the 
nucleus. The stratification itself is the distinguishing characteristic 
of the personality; the superficial is just as necessary a part of the 
total structure as is the profound. The chronic and the unchanging 
belong to its vital stream just as do the acute and the changing; 
that which is inextricably embedded in the total is as much a part 
of the multiplex unity as that which is less intimately connected 
with it but never entirely separated from it. 

Now playful behavior per se stands at one end of this opposition. 
It has a relatively superficial character, is more transitory, more 
isolated, less deeply rooted than the especially serious phases 
of life. 


Certainly play always retains its serious relation to the totality, 
as we have already seen. But and this brings us to a second differ- 
ence from the really serious the serious import of play must be 
sought behind real play itself, in another stratum, somehow more 
deeply laid than the one in which play, as such, occurs. The 
immediately given content of play proves to be incomplete and, 
therefore, lacking in significance. Indeed, the conscious content 
of play the experience of freedom, caprice, unrestraint, the 
immanent satisfaction and seclusion appears nothing less than 
delusive. In serious activity, on the other hand, there is the 
agreement of the apparent and the real; the behavior appears to 
be what it is; the consciousness of the consequences involved and 
the responsibility for the serious act are appropriate reminders that 
this activity is of real concern to the individual and his society. 

But this is merely an ideal picture of serious behavior. Now 
we must bridge the gap to play from this side. The completely 
serious, the careful fitting of behavior into the system of conse- 
quences to the individual and the world, is merely a limiting 
case. Even in the most thoroughly serious there somehow lingers 
a trace of the playful, of protest against that forced constraint, 
of inner aversion to the confining structure. The absolutely serious 
would reduce man to the lifelessness of a lofty monument, would 
eliminate the tension between the more superficial and the deeper 
factors, thereby denying the whole dimension of depth to the life 
of the individual. 

Thus we see that, between the two poles of pure play and pure 
serious, there lies an unlimited number of modes of behavior 
which are fusions of the playful and the serious these are Ernst- 
spiele. But we wish to reserve this expression for a very definite 
type of individual manifestations, using it as a technical psycho- 
logical term. A primitive Ernstspiel is exhibited where play cannot 
yet be distinguished from the serious, because the individual is 
still much too vague, too undeveloped, too superficial. Thus, in 
the early years of childhood, one can scarcely distinguish clearly 
between what is serious activity and what playful. To the child 
everything that he plays is very serious; and, on the other hand, 
his serious doings are no more thought of in terms of consequences 
than is his play. 

But, first, we wish to consider the really developed form of 
Ernstspiel, in which both the serious and the playful, now clearly 
differentiated, are present and are recognized, and in which there 
occurs a characteristic synthesis with intense strain coefficient. 
This tension exists between the significance of life to the individual 
and the nature of his mental experience. 


Consequently, in Ernstspiel, the conscious experiences of the 
serious are present, and they seek straightway to maintain them- 
selves against the non-serious, more or less playful, personal 
significance of the act. The period of puberty furnishes an abun- 
dance of examples of this; indeed, one may well say that nothing 
characterizes this period more acutely than this struggle, the 
attempt to take seriously that which is not seriously meant. When 
young people find their societies, have their love affairs, and begin 
to carry out their great creative technical, literary, and scientific 
schemes, they think that they are far removed from childish play- 
things; but the real import of all this activity lies not in the imme- 
diate aims which are taken so seriously, but in their play-like 
significance, for the whole thing is a preparation for the really 
serious problems of adult life, a preliminary trial. Various types 
of life are investigated rather superficially, certain possible experi- 
ences are merely touched upon and abandoned, until the young 
person finally finds, in this school of Ernstspiel, the kind of individ- 
ual behavior and experience best suited to him. More examples 
will be given in the next section. 


We have already spoken of Ernstspiel as behavior of the individ- 
ual. Now we shall speak of it as a mode of mental experience. Up 
to this point we have been concerned with "personality"; we now 
turn to psychology in the narrower sense. 1 

Here we separate the intellectual realm of ideas and thought 
processes from the realm of feeling and volition. The first may 
be dismissed with only a few words, since it does not belong to the 
subject of this paper. The mental equivalent of the serious, in the 
intellectual sphere, is the consciousness of reality; that of play is 
the experience of unreality, of appearance. From a purely intel- 
lectual point of view, there is not a vague wavering between the 
two in Ernstspiel, but a clearly defined consciousness of reality. 

1 The Ernstspiel problem clearly shows how unsatisfactory is a purely objective 
theory of behavior such as behaviorism, reflexology, etc.; they are not fair to the 
phenomenon of "human personality." Since the characteristic mark of Ernstspiel 
lies in the tension between behavior and mental data, it cannot be fully explained 
from an investigation of behavior alone. On the other hand, a pure consciousness 
psychology is equally inadequate, since it, too, is unfair to that tension. I seek to 
avoid both of these one-sided views by setting up a " personalistic " psychology, 
which treats impartially of all the functions and modes of behavior of the individ- 
ual physical, mental, and psychophysical and under which psychology in the 
narrower sense is subsumed as a discipline. A more detailed treatment of this 
concept will be contained in a book on "personality psychology," to be published 


The youth who falls in love with a maiden thinks that he is doing 
this with all seriousness. Thus, in Ernstspiel, the intellectual 
illusion is complete. 2 

But this holds true only for an isolated observation of the 
constituents of thought and idea, and such an isolation carries 
with it the danger that we will overlook the most essential. For 
the consciousness of reality and of appearance is certainly not 
purely intellectual; indeed, we not only think of reality and un- 
reality, but we take an affective and volitional attitude toward 
them. Only in this way do we confer upon them their complete 
content. This brings us to the very core of our problem: how is 
Ernstspiel behavior represented in the affective life of man? , 

The series of increasing seriousness runs from pure play through 
Ernstspiel to the completely serious. Does this mean that the 
feelings associated with this series become continuou3ly stronger? 
By no means! Often enough the intensity with which a playing 
child goes about his play is not strong, and, on the other hand, a 
very serious performance may be accompanied by very weak 
feelings. Nevertheless, there is something like a scale of feeling 
which corresponds to the degrees of seriousness, but it varies in a 
dimension different from the scale of intensities of feeling. It 
seems to me, therefore, that this is the chief result of our study : in 
the affective life there are gradations in various directions; in addition 
to the gradation of affective intensity there is also a gradation of 
affective seriousness. There are feelings, which, in spite of their 
intensity, are non-serious or semi-serious; and there are feelings, 
which, in spite of their serious coloring, are of low intensity. 

It is very difficult to characterize what we have called the 
"degree of seriousness" of a feeling. One has to resort to descrip- 
tion and explanation by use of examples. The non-serious feeling 
has a certain instability and transitoriness at all intensities. The 
fact that the play-like activity has no consequences has its effect 
upon the accompanying feelings; they lack that conscious back- 
ground, peculiar to the serious feeling, which reaches from the 
present experience into the past and the future of the individual, as 
in remorse, repentence, expectation, anxiety, and hope. They 
lack also those nuances of consciousness which lead from pure 
feeling to willing, as in the experience of responsibility, being 
prepared for a decision, and the definition of comprehensive terms. 
The intermediate portion of this scale is occupied by the "semi- 

*In this way Ernstspiel is differentiated from "aesthetic" behavior, in which 
there exists that characteristic wavering between surrender to the illusion and 
conscious dispelling of the illusion. Cf. Conrad Lange's well-known aesthetic 
theory of "conscious self-delusion." 


serious " feeling, which corresponds to the behavior of the Ernst- 
spiel. In this case, those conscious backgrounds of which I have 
just spoken are not entirely lacking, but they are not very promi- 
nent; and, consequently, the resulting affective total always has 
very little stability. 

We give examples: ^ 

1. A youth of fourteen years falls in love. He concentrates 
the first erotic impulses aroused in him upon a chosen person, a 
young girl, or a juvenile leader. The supreme happiness completely 
overwhelms him; throughout each waking hour he thinks only of 
the object of adoration. It seems to him a self-abasement to 
consider possible an attenuation of this feeling or a complete 
cessation of it. All of his childish feelings now seem insipid, 
compared with the ardor of his present affective experiences. And 
yet this feeling is only " half -serious. " The fact that his love affair 
does not go further than adoration from a distance, that the 
inhibitions which prevent advances and the realization of the love 
desire are not overcome, indeed that these inhibitions are them- 
selves created only so that he may revel in ideal feeling as such this 
shows that the feeling was not very firmly rooted in the dynamics 
and volitional system of the young person. This is also corrobo- 
rated by the fact that the feeling may dwindle away after a more 
or less brief time as though it had never existed. Half a year later 
the young person may scarcely be able to conceive that he had 
been so madly infatuated with this or that one; the feeling has 
been replaced by love for another person or by an interest of an 
entirely different sort. 

2. A scholar, who is usually entirely absorbed in his scientific 
interests, may be dragged into politics at times when political 
tension is running high, and, due to his intelligence and eloquence, 
may soon rise to be spokesman of a party. He is now in an 
electoral assembly; he stands upon the speaker's platform, speaks 
enthusiastically and inspiringly, pledging all the intensity of 
feeling of which he is capable to the political ideal, and is com- 
pletely permeated with the purity of his motive, the clarity of his 
argument. This exuberance of feeling is enhanced by the emotional 
expressions of the audience, which he moves at will. But, after 
the assembly, he goes back to his quiet study, and it is not long 
before this emotional intoxication has disappeared; indeed, it 
now seems entirely strange, apart from himself, unreal. He looks 
back upon that excitement much as he does upon a theatrical 
performance, during which he has lived through a dramatic 
suspense. Yet there was none of the aesthetic pretense character- 
istic of theatricals in his participation in the electoral assembly. 


There he believed that he was taking his actions and his feelings 
completely seriously. It is only afterwards that he discovered, 
from his altered affective attitude, how superficial that seriousness 
was, how slightly that strong rush of feeling affected the deeper 
strata and the permanent nature of his affective life. The feelings 
with which he meets his scientific problems may be less intensive 
and less turbulent, but they have an entirely different degree of 

3. The actor is engaged in "play," as his professional name 
indicates. But among actors we can easily distinguish two types: 
those who merely "play " their parts in the strict sense of the term, 
and those who "live" their parts. The virtuosos belong to the 
first group; the true artists to the second. The feelings of the actors 
in the first group are entirely non-serious; they are the feelings of 
another person whom the actor impersonates without actually 
experiencing them as his own feelings. It is different with the 
second group. In its best representatives, both men and women, 
the temporary identification with the individual impersonated 
is complete. The joy and despair, the hope arid anxiety, yes, even 
the good and the evil that the artist acts are actually his joy and 
his despair, yes, even his good or evil. The state of complete 
mental exhaustion in which many actors and actresses find them- 
selves at the end of the performance is an indication of the powerful 
intensity of these merely second-hand emotions. Yet these 
emotions may be characterized as only " half -serious " even in the 
most extreme cases. They may result in exhaustion, but not in 
volitional determinations. They may be acutely violent, but never 
last on chronically. The mere fact that the same actor can play 
such diverse r61es is an argument against the complete seriousness 
of it, for the completely serious is connected with the indivisible 
totality of the personality. 

4. Lastly, we must take account of those cases in which the 
tendency toward Ernstspiel is an essential part of one's con- 
stitution. Indeed, there is a type of person in which the Ernstspiel 
is characteristically the predominant behavior, and the half- 
serious affective life is the predominant content of consciousness. 
Upon the basis of our preceding examples, we may say that it is 
the eternal "puberile," 3 who has not completed the transition 
from the hybrid state of youth to the complete seriousness of 
adulthood. It is the dramatic nature which sometimes plays a 
part in real life, not under pretense, but in complete naivet6. 

3 This term, formed in analogy to " infantile," seems to me indispensable as a 
designation for the perseveration of the characteristics of puberty in subsequent 
stages of life. 


Ibsen has immortalized the Ernslspiel type of person in Peer 
Gynt, and Cervantes in Don Quixote. With people of this sort 
the affective life also seems to have a peculiar shallowness and 
unsubstantiality, although in each particular case it exhibits 
undiminished intensity. This is most clearly manifested in cases 
where the limits of the normal are overstepped, and the human 
Ernstspiel type tends toward the abnormal, doubtlessly just 
because of his inability to adapt himself to the complete serious- 
ness of existence. Hysteria, which is characterized by the patho- 
logical self-importance of the particular ego and his petty concerns, 
and consequently by a tremendous "super-seriousness," also 
shows that correlate of greater violence and, more especially, 
fragility and artificiality. But, in normal life, the finest example 
of the Ernstspiel type of life is the great humorist, in whom fixed 
determination and compelling importance never absorb the individ- 
ual so completely that he cannot turn upon them playfully and 
snap his fingers at them. Yet that half-seriousness which we have 
so often noted before predominates in this vital feeling as well. 






University of Rostock 

For about two years my wife and I have been recording, word 
for word, chats which we have had with our boys, who at the time 
of writing are aged six years, nine months, and five years, three 
months, respectively. Up to this time we have had about three 
hundred chats, some long and some short. These chats have all 
been entirely spontaneous, far removed from anything which 
might be considered an examination or a test. These dialogues, 
which might best be characterized as chats, were taken down at 
various times of the day and on various occasions. As a rule, the 
child opened the conversation, and this was continued until the 
child ceased talking or seemed satisfied with the conclusions 
suggested by the parents. / 

We have up to this time in child psychology very thoroughly 
pursued the development of speech up to the point of complete 
mastery, but there is almost a total absence of studies that reveal 
just what the child accomplishes with finished speech after it has 
acquired the mechanism of speech, the magic key to all higher 
knowledge. That the most important perceptions are awakened 
in the child in his talks with adults is a fact. This is true of the* 
preschool period as well as of the child in school. 

I made it one of our tasks, in analyzing the talks with our chil- 
dren to study the socialization of speech and to learn to recognize 
the peculiar psychic attitudes such as assent, pretext, refusal, 
questions, etc., which develop in them during these talks. 

We are trying to apply an unlimited examination method to 
the entire field of child psychology. This has hitherto not been 
done. The dialogue, not the isolated sentence response, is in 
reality the only natural point of departure for the analysis of 
speech. We are also trying to give the socio-psychological point 
of view its rightful consideration in these studies, as should be done 
in all child psychology. 


These talks furnish an inexhaustible source of knowledge for 
the proper understanding of the child world in all its ramifications. 1 
From our extensive publication, which is devoted to an analysis 
of nearly one hundred and fifty talks, we have selected some ideas 
on the development of a child's conscience as revealed in his 
dialogues with adults. 

The so-called confession talks, which occasionally were carried 
on when the children were lying in bed and were in a communica- 
tive frame of mind, proved to be of special interest in this con- 
nection. This procedure stimulated the child to recall consciously 
the experiences of the past day and to develop in him definite 
attitudes toward purposeful behavior. We were enabled to incite 
a critical attitude in the child toward these larger and smaller 
acts of conduct of the past day in various ways. Sometimes it 
became necessary to reopen a discussion about some naughty bit 
of behavior of the child, because at the actual time of the trans- 
gression it was difficult, if not impossible, to admonish the child 
in any effective way. For instance, the child might have been 
emotionally disturbed, or strangers might have been present, or 
the child might have been in a precarious position, such as at an 
open window, near the stove, or at play, at which times a severe 
admonition was hardly proper. 

By no means did the adult questioner always try to lead up 
to a specific case of misbehavior, but more often the dialogue 
was of a very general nature. The questions asked were by no 
means directed altogether toward the transgressions of the day, 
but also emphasized the good and kind deeds done by the children. 

A child needs such a comparison in order that it may learn to 
distinguish between good and bad. However, we were more eager, 
in seeking out the kind deeds, to prevent a feeling of depression 
or inferiority in the child. A qhild should not be led to think that 
he is a sinful, oppressed creature, but should experience the joy 
that follows naturally the recollection of a kindly deed. 

The more children become accustomed to the quiet evening hour 
in which the day's experiences are reviewed, the more shrewdly 
the questioner needs to proceed in order to obtain an unrestrained 
report of the day's events. 

We have found that these confession talks have a very profound 
influence on the life of the child. The older boy, Theodor (here- 
after referred to as T), from the very beginning gave evidence of 
being mature enough to participate in these confessional talks; 
however, the younger, Julius (hereafter referred to as J), gave 

1 D. Katz and R. Katz, Gespr&che mil Kindern: Unterauchungen zur Social- 
psychologic und Pddagogik (Berlin: Springer, 1927). 


such evidence only after some time had elapsed. By and by, we 
found it possible in the evening to review the events of the day 
with the children at perfect easa> while during the day they would 
have balked at any attempt on our part to have them discuss the 
same questions. 

It may be taken for granted that these evening talks frequently 
afforded the child an opportunity to relieve his mind of distressing 
experiences or incidents which were deeply impressed on his 

After some time this conversational period had become so fixed 
that the children could not be induced to go to sleep until they had 
been given an opportunity to pour out their hearts. Even though 
conscience is not externally aroused, eventually it does become 
aroused, and from this moment it may frequently happen that a 
child who is denied the opportunity of confiding in someone might 
fall asleep in a state of depression, feeling that he had done a 

We are, in any case, convinced of the great significance of the 
confessional talk from the psychological point of view, even though 
we cannot take time to discuss the specific confessional moments 
in these heart-to-heart talks. According to our experiences, these 
confessional talks undoubtedly work toward the establishment of 
desirable motives. They likewise have proved themselves to be 
builders of will-power. By our talks we mobilize the good qualities 
of the child, we enable him to be critical toward himself, and this 
means more than an external coating. 

There are doubtless those who object that it is unwholesome 
for the psychic development of the child to direct attention to his 
inner life too early, that being occupied with self so constantly is 
detrimental to natural reactions, which develop more rapidly under 
conditions where there is a minimum of reflection on the inner life. 
Our experience has shown that such fears are entirely groundless. 


We now present several confessional talks in detail. T and J 
are the children, and M the mother. The letters (a, 6, c, d, etc.) 
refer to the order in which the items are discussed, following the 



M: Did you do .anything wrong today? 

T: I ran around on the floor and Papa scolded. 

M: Well, you shouldn't have done that. 


T: But I was also naked and barefooted, (a) 

M: Did you do anything else? Did you put your finger in your nose? 

T: Yes, I also leaned on my elbows when I was eating. (6) 

M: Did you eat everything on your plrfte? 

T: No. Baby Julius did not do it either, (c) 

M: We should always eat everything on our plates. Did you finish any work 

that you started today? 
T: Yes. I finished the work on my fireplace. That was not hard. First I 

pasted on the black and then the gold, (d) 
M: Are you going to make a fireplace for Tony P. tomorrow? 
T: I do not know yet whether I will, (e) 
M: Have you done something good today? 
T: Yesterday there was constant knocking at the door which caused me to wet 

my bed; I said to Aunt Olga (nursemaid), "Aunt Olga, you have a lot 

of work. " (/) 

M: Did you do anything else that was nice for Grandmother? 
T: I picked up Grandmother's spectacle case from the floor, (g) 
M: And what did you do for Aunt Olga? 
T: I picked up the black yarn, (h) 
M: Were you not angry with Grandmother today? 
T: I struck her. (t) 
M: Yes. That is bad. And Aunt Olga? 
T: I struck her too. (j) 
M: And Ella (maid)? 

T: No. (&). Mamma, I will tell you something about Baby. (/) 
M: Theodor, think, isn't that tattling? 
T: Yes, that is tattling. 
M: One should not tattle. 
T: Mamma, there is such a thing as tattling but one should not do it. (m) 

Discussion: (a) T is not satisfied to relate his misdeeds in 
a general way, but he feels impelled to add the details also. 
(6) The question of M was directed toward a specific misdeed, but 
T refers to several other items, (c) The fact that J has not cleaned 
his plate is used by T as an excuse for his own conduct. There is 
apparent a general, ever recurring tendency to minimize the 
misdeed by incriminating others in one way or another. Appar- 
ently the same misdeed committed by several people is originally 
regarded as being of lesser consequence, (d) Great care was taken 
to see that all tasks begun were completed. Insistence on this 
principle was intended to train the child in perseverance and 
steadfastness. An unfinished task was regarded exactly as a 

T had pasted together a very attractive fireplace and he remem- 
bers all the steps of the process and is very proud of them, (e) It 
speaks for T's feeling of responsibility that he is not willing to 
make a rash promise. He wants to think about the matter. 

(/, g, h) Examples of good deeds of previous days that are also 
readily recalled, (i, j, k) Striking is one of the greatest misdeeds 
that children know of. T, however, admits this rash act, even 


twice. Ella was not struck by either of the children; both are 
very friendly toward her, for she knows how to busy herself with 
them far better than Olga. (/) c T evidently believes that by also 
reporting on the misdeeds of J he can relieve himself of fur- 
ther responsibility; tattling, however, will not be tolerated. 
(m) T's discrimination here is very fine. There is such a thing 
as tattling all right, but one should refrain from it. 


J: Mamma, ask me some questions. 

M: What shall I ask you? 

J: If I slapped anyone. 

M: Did you slap anyone? 

J: No. 

M: Were you bad? 

J: No. 

Discussion: J's request to be questioned is not due to an inner 
urge to confess, but to a desire to be treated exactly like his older 
brother. Since M in the evening busies herself with T by asking 
him questions, so little J craves attention of his mother. However, 
he has not grasped the idea of the confessional nature of the 
dialogues. This fact stands out frequently in the talks. The basis 
of this desire is, we think, the child's natural striving after recog- 
nition. When J demands to be asked if he had struck any one 
(a question that is answered negatively), he is not doing this to 
secure approval, as we might imagine and therefore call his atti- 
tude naive and comical, but he is seeking to follow the model of 
the talks that were carried on with the older brother. 


M: Did you do anything bad today? 

T: I struck Aunt Olga. 

M: Why did you strike Aunt Olga? 

T: Because she smashed our depot. Shouldn't she have built it up exactly 

as it was? (a) 

M: Were you rude toward your grandmother? 
T: (After considerable silence) I do not know. (6) 
M: Have you done anything else bad? Were you disobedient? 
T: What is disobedient? (c) 
M: Disobedience is, for example, when Aunt Olga calls you and you do not 

T: Mamma, I had run away from Aunt Olga and Papa would not have me 

near him, so I came to you. 
M: Were you disobedient this forenoon? 
T: (Long delay) No. 


M: Did you finish up the work you started? 

T: Yes. I finished the fireplace. 

M: Did you pack everything back? 

T: Yes, I packed up the tool-chest. * 

M: Did you eat everything on your plate? 

T: Not all, but I ate all the dessert. (M turns to J) 

M: Were you bad today? 

J: No. (d) 

M: Did you permit yourself to be washed? 

J: (Embarrassed laughter) No. (e) 

M: Did you eat everything on your plate? 

J: Yes. (/) 

T: (Comes in tripping, blinking his eyes) He did not eat everything on h is plate. 

I struck Grandmother with a stick today, (g) 
M: That is naughty. You dare not do that. 
T: But Grandmother was so cross. She took the board for the playthings and 

broke it in two. (h) 
M: You must not say anything like that about Grandmother. She did not 

break the board on purpose. (Long silence) 
T: Mamma, why did you ask us then? (i) 

M: I want you to see what is wrong so that you will not do it again. 
T: But, Mamma, then we will not ask for one day and see what will happen 

then, (j) 
M: I do not ask you every day. Sometimes when I go away, I do not ask you. 

Discussion: In this talk it may be clearly seen that, without 
doubt, it is far from T to conceal his misdeeds in any way. He 
really tries conscientiously to tell everything that he remembers 
in thinking over the occurrences of the day. (a) When T demands 
that Aunt Olga restore the thing that she had broken up, he is 
insisting on that principle of conduct that everything which one 
breaks up, cither purposely or accidentally, must be restored. The 
boy rightly demands that adults shall respect this principle the 
same as children, and Aunt Olga's refusal to do this resulted in T's 
striking her. To be sure, this does not excuse T, and his striking 
her should not be excused, but his act may thus be explained. 
(6) This is an honest answer. He is unaware of any wrong. When 
the transgression is later recalled to mind, he spontaneously repeats 
that he did strike Grandmother, (c) It is indeed striking that T 
does not understand the word "disobedient" especially since it 
has been used in the playroom so frequently, but it is more than 
likely that he fails to grasp its meaning because the word is used 
here in a more or less isolated form, entirely removed from definite 
concrete acts, in which connection he was accustomed to hearing 
it. (d, e) J does not yet readily admit his transgressions sponta- 
neously but repeatedly answers only after some hesitation. Perhaps 
this is due, in the first place, to the difference in the ages of the 
children rather than to a difference in their characters. 

That there is a tendency toward conscious falsehood in J we 


deny. On the contrary, in his answers there is more often the wish 
that he might not have done many of the things that depress him, 
and the desire that by denying iiis blamable attitude the wrong 
might become undone. We believe such inclinations to be more 
conspicuous in J because he is gifted with a vivid imagination, 
which makes him regard things as real that are but children of his 
thoughts or desires. 

(h) One should not take T's severe rating of his grandmother 
too seriously. A child has only a very limited vocabulary with 
which to express human characterizations whether good or bad. 
These are very often undifferentiated and are sometimes very 
brazen, just as they would be in the case of uneducated people. 
For illustration, if an adult were to say, "It was not quite right," 
the child might say that it was "bold" or "rough stuff." In view 
of this natural inability of the child to characterize human acts 
fairly, it would be wrong to use drastic methods in dealing with 
such a situation, but one should not allow him to slip through 

(i, j) It is evidence of an encouraging independence of thinking 
when T inquires as to the reason for the evening question period. 
We find something of the tactics of the experimentalist when he 
suggests that the questioning might be omitted some evening in 
order to determine if this form of inquisition is entitled to be 
considered as of positive value. 

* TALK NO. 4 


M : Did you do anything wrong? Did you strike anyone? 

J: You must ask, "Did you strike Grandmother?" (a) 

M: Did you strike Grandmother? 

J: No. 

M: Did you strike Aunt Olga? 

J: No. 

M: Did you strike Papa? 

J: No. 

M: Did you eat everything on your plate? 

J: Yes. 

M: Were you disobedient? 

J: Yes. 

M: What did you do then? 

J: I ran away from Aunt Olga. (6) 

M: On the street? 

J: No. In the room. I wanted to get a pillow but Aunt Olga would not let me. 

M: Perhaps you went to an open window? 

J: Yes, I was there, (c) 

M: Should you go to the open window? 

J: No. 

M: Why should not one go to the open window? 


J: Because you might fall out. (d) 

M: Don't do it again, Julius. Did you do anything else wrong today? 

J: Yes, I cried, (e) 

M: Why did you cry? 

J: I wanted to come to you. (/) 

M: Did you do anything good today? Perhaps you handed Grandmother a 


J: There was a chair and Grandmother sat down in it herself. 
M: Perhaps you picked up Grandmother's handkerchief for her? 
J: No, Theodor did that. 
M: Did you clean up the playroom? 
J: Yes. 

M: Did you put the chairs away? 
J: Yes. 

T: Mamma, I struck everybody today and I bit the baby, (g) 
M: Why did you strike at them? 

T: They would not let me come to you from the playroom. 
M: Why did you bite the baby? 
T: Well, Mamma, you know he changed the locomotive and the cars around, 

and you know that won't do. The car is shorter and the locomotive 

is longer, (h) 

M: Well, is that so bad that you had to bite him? 
T: No. You must always explain it. You must have a school, (i) 
M: How do you come to think that? 
T: Yes, you must always say, "Theodor, don't bite. " Mamma, I also pinched 

Baby's fingers in the drawer, (j) 
M: What, today? 
T: No, at another time. 
M: Did you do it on purpose? 

T: Baby held his finger in the drawer and then I closed it quickly. (A;) 
M: Perhaps you were at an open window? 

T: Yes. (/) ^ 

M: Do you dare to do this? 
T: No. (m) 
M: You know you must always watch out so Baby will not go to the open 

window. You know you are the older brother. You straightened 

up your things? 
T: Yes. 

M: Did you finish up the work that you began? 
T: Yes, I made Papa a chain and some stars, (n) 

Discussion: (a) J is not satisfied with a general formulation of 
the question as to whether he had struck anyone; he asks that it 
be directed especially to Grandmother in order that he may have 
the satisfaction of denying any culpability. One might suppose 
that J, who should certainly know that he had not struck his 
grandmother, was eager to place himself in a favorable light, but 
we think that the situation should be explained differently. The 
concreteness and visual nature of the child's imagery demands 
concrete and visual questioning. 

Only on the basis of such questions is J able to distinguish. 
Consequently the type of questions demanded by the child is not 


altogether without reason, however humorous they may sound to 
an adult. For safety's sake, M asks if there had been any other 
victims, but he denies that ther^were any others. 

(b, c) New evidence of the fact that J's report about the trans- 
gressions is not like T's, spontaneous, but follows only after very 
definite questioning on the individual happenings of the day. 
Therefore, much more than in T's case, it is advisable to let his 
confessions be followed by exhortations and descriptions of the 
disastrous consequences his misdeeds might entail. 

(d, e, /) The fact that J cried belongs to the other deeds only to 
the extent that J finds it necessary to mention it, because his 
attempt to leave the playroom and to go to his parents presumably 
did not occur without conflict with Aunt Olga or Grandmother. 
The remaining answers of J's show that it was not made very easy 
for him to do some good turns, nevertheless he can name a few. 

(g) T blurts out the chief transgressions of the day almost 
spontaneously. We should not think of these cases of striking too 
seriously. As a rule, in the case of adults there is usually more of a 
threat to punish (strike haueri) than punishment itself. Children 
tend to such threatening, especially when they make an attempt 
to get out of the playroom to see their parents. Fisticuffs between 
the two children are the common way to defend their personal 
interests; left alone, they not infrequently use even their teeth as 
efficient weapons. 

(h) Such a misdeed to change around the locomotives and the 
cars! Yet T finally understands that this should not be regarded 
as a real misdeed and, therefore, requests M to give him an 
explanation as well as a warning to keep him away from similar 
misdeeds. This, then, is what he calls having a school, for in 
school we have the opportunity to learn most. 

(j) T is so engrossed in confessing that he even mentions a mean 
trick perpetrated on little J many days previous. 

(k) T, doubtless, did not intend to pinch J's finger and to hurt 
him, but this was rather a result of a careless act on the part of T, 
and the latter could not resist the temptation to close the drawer 

(I, m) When one lives in an upper flat, one feels constantly that 
the safety of the children is threatened when the windows are open. 
Consequently the opportunity, in the evening talks, to warn the 
children about falling out cannot be passed by. 

(ri) The close of the talk recalls a kind deed that was done for 
Father, which brought joy to the child. 



Space will not permit further illustrations of these confessional 
talks. However, we shall attempt to summarize their psychological 
and pedagogical significance. 

How does the child become embodied in the moral ideals of his 
environment? Most surely more through becoming accustomed 
to reacting to definite situations than through instruction. How- 
ever, we are not speaking of these habit methods only, but we 
shall show how, by taking these confessional responses as an inte- 
grated whole, we proceeded to show the child the difference 
between good and evil. It was the first attempt of this kind that 
has been made, and we expect our readers to object, here and there, 
either to the principles of our method or to details in the formula- 
tion of our questions. It need not be said that we welcome criticism 
whole-heartedly. We ourselves found it necessary to make 
certain modifications in the form of the confession talks. For 
example, in the instance of such a direct question as "Did you do 
anything naughty today?" a question that might easily suggest 
to the child that he is a sinful creature we changed to the form 
"What did you do today?" or, "Did you do something good 

However, we should reject any suggestions to do away alto- 
gether with such questions of conscience. In the case of our chil- 
dren such questions have proved an invaluable aid in proper train- 
ing. We did not notice even a trace of hypochondriacal reaction, 
which might be expected from early introspection or constant 
watching of our own doings. 

To a rather high degree, the self-defense of our soul sees to it 
that psychic phenomena, as in our case introspection and its 
motives, are not mobilized by external stimuli exclusively, if the 
time of their maturity has not yet come. 

No better proof of this statement can be cited than the one 
furnished by J in the first talk. You will recall that he does not 
at all grasp the significance of this catechizing. He wants to be 
questioned, but only because the older brother is questioned. He 
answers negatively the questions which he himself propounds. In 
the later talks, by giving proper answers to meaningful questions, 
he proves that he is mature and has grasped the significance of the 
whole procedure. In one of the first confessional talks with him, 
T's answers exhibit a full understanding of the procedure, and in 
Talk 3 he even rises above the situation by reflecting on the pur- 
pose of these evening talks. The suggestion that the talks be 
omitted sometime to see what might happen implies an experi- 


mental attitude on the part of the child toward the will and its 

As in the case of all recurring Activity of the mind, so confession 
requires a kind of practice. This is clearly shown by the results 
in the case of T. There is certainly little connection between these 
results and his advance in age in the course of the investigation. 
In support of this contention it should be noted that the account 
of the day's happenings seems to come more spontaneously and 
more to the point day by day, so that it becomes more and more 
unnecessary to ask special or even general questions. In the course 
of time the reports were entirely deliberate. J does not arrive 
at this stage, not even after a longer practice. In his case the 
perfecting lies simply in the continuously growing understanding 
of the questions as well as in his correct answers. T's ability to 
ponder over his doings is constantly growing. Of course this 
ability to remember sometimes fails him, which, by the way, would 
happen even to adults. However, a progress in this ability is 

The fact that these evening talks constantly become more and 
more of a necessity for T is not to be ascribed merely to repetition. 
Here we have a noteworthy awakening of conscience. Were it 
not in the nature of conscience to be thus awakened, not all the 
chats in the world could arouse it. Of course T does not expect a 
chat every evening. It depends entirely on whether anything of a 
depressing nature occurred to him during the day. Nevertheless, 
the particular incident that would ordinarily serve to awaken a 
response might be entirely forgotten. The relief which such con- 
fessional talks give to the child is always noticeable. This longing 
of the burdened soul for a confession to a second person mani- 
fests one of its most elementary desires. In other words, socio- 
psychologically, in such cases man is badly in need of an 
understanding neighbor. 

What can be said about the relative significance of good and 
bad deeds as manifested in these confession chats? We get the 
distinct impression that bad deeds are much more readily recalled 
than the good. It seems that good deeds lack the characteristic 
urging motivation that occurs in the recollection of bad deeds. 
Even in adults, conscience more frequently plays the r61e of 
accuser than the r61e of commender. 

What do children regard as violations of the social order? In 
classifying the misdeeds of children we might well have categories 
called: (1) antisocial acts, which manifest themselves in conduct 
involving attempted or accomplished bodily injury; (2) injury to 
things; and (3) harm to his own person. To be sure, the child is 


unconscious of any such classification or of the magnitude of his 
transgression. His attitude toward his misdeeds is entirely different 
from that of the adult. For example, a very minor injury to 
objects may, under certain conditions, arouse in the child greater 
pangs of conscience than had he inflicted bodily injury on someone. 
Indeed, we can almost say that everything that seems "bad" to 
the child is about equally bad. It will be recalled that the bodily 
injuries, either threatened or actually carried out, were inflicted 
upon each other or upon the grandmother or the servants. Only 
rarely are the parents made to suffer. No serious consequences 
arose from the children's spatting with each other nor from striking 
the grandmother or the servants. It requires a far more intimate 
acquaintance to provoke such "love taps." In fact we never 
noticed real rows between our children and those who were 
guests. Occasional visits do not call for frictions so easily as 
constant living together in a family. 

In addition to the antisocial acts we include as misdeeds all 
violations of the family social rules, disobedience, insulting remarks, 
running away from the table at mealtime, playing in the street, 
etc. Cases in which injury to things was admitted in our chats 
were very rare. This is probably due to the spirit of freedom which 
is developed in the playroom, where the child is not held strictly 
accountable for his abuse of playthings and furniture. 

What are the good deeds of which the child boasts in his chats 
with parents? Doing a kindness for his grandmother or aunt, 
greeting a child on the street, making a paper chain for Father or 
a fireplace for a little friend, cleaning his plate at the meal. To be 
sure, no heroic deeds, but after all the opportunity for kindnesses 
is greatly limited for children so young. 

A great many pedagogues have emphasized the significance of 
habit-forming in the development of will to do good. In our 
evening chats we always saw to it that the child made a resolution 
to do better in the future. It is impossible for us to furnish experi- 
mental evidence or numerous proofs that our procedure exerted 
a fine influence; however, we are nevertheless convinced that 
this is a fact. We felt that the task of educating the child was made 
much easier by our procedure. However, even though this might 
not have been true, these evening chats were justifiable, because 
they afforded the child an opportunity to unburden his mind of the 
little cares and worries of the day. In reality they seemed small 
only to adults, not to children. 


Feeling and Emotion in Relation to 
Aesthetics and Religion 



Princeton University 

The general subject of feeling and to a certain extent also that 
of the emotions form perhaps the most unsatisfactory chapters 
in the systematic psychology of the present day. It is therefore 
not surprising that in the literature on aesthetics there should 
be considerable vagueness and uncertainty regarding these expe- 
riences. Some writers use the words "feeling" and "emotion" 
interchangeably, while others separate the emotion from the 
affective experience to the extent of identifying the former with 
a confused manner of thinking. It is true that aestheticians are 
unanimous in the belief that the beautiful is pleasant and the ugly 
unpleasant, but this obvious fact is the only one upon which they 
are entirely agreed. When one seeks to discover the nature and 
function of this aesthetic pleasantness or unpleasantness, and 
the r61e, if any, which the emotions play, one encounters a variety 
of opinions. 

It is far from my desire in this symposium to defend a theory 
of feeling or of the emotions, but it seems necessary at the outset 
to describe the theories which appear to me to be in best accord 
with my concept of the aesthetic activity, both productive and 

Pleasantness is a conscious state corresponding to successful 
adjustment of the organism a state in which the organism is 
approaching and obtaining more of the stimulus. Unpleasantness 
is the conscious state where there is a motor conflict between 
two or more possible reactions, and a withdrawal from the stim- 
ulus. The states of pleasantness and unpleasantness do not 
accompany or follow these conflicts and adjustments; they 
are the conscious side of these particular states of organic response. 
When the motor inhibition or conflict is severe, there is a strong 
response of the muscles directly concerned with the conflict, and, 
through the spread of impulse, of muscle groups that are not 
directly essential to the particular adjustment in question. Under 
these conditions, the inhibitions are apt to be prolonged, and we 


speak of an unpleasantly toned emotion. The pleasantly toned 
emotions are more difficult to explain, but a possible solution of 
the problem is that there freqifently occurs a correspondingly 
strong response of coordination and adjustment following a 
strong conflict, and a consequent emotion which is pleasantly 
toned as long as the motor responses are in harmony with the 
appropriate action. Frequently, however, conflicting and inap- 
propriate responses follow the successful adjustment under the 
condition of strong stimulation, and the pleasant emotion goes 
over into an unpleasant one. For example, an author who is 
writing upon some scientific question cornes to a point where 
conflicting theories occur to him and cause indecision. The 
situation becomes distinctly unpleasant and may go over into 
an emotion very like fear. After much thought, he sees the 
solution, and there is the accompanying emotion of joy, but, if 
he desires to continue his intellectual task, he may find that the 
emotion interferes with his further endeavors, and the emotional 
response then becomes distinctly unpleasant. Or one might take 
an example from direct action. An experienced golfer might 
indulge in the emotion of joy over a successful play, but he would 
be careful to inhibit such expression when taking his next shot. 
It is probably such experiences of emotional interference that 
make efficient workers consider all emotions, whether of joy or 
sorrow, love or hate, to be unpleasant qua emotions. 

In the above description, I have said nothing of the response 
of smooth muscles because I believe they have only an indirect 
relation to consciousness, that is to say, only in so far as they 
affect the response Of the striped muscles. It should also be 
indicated that, in such a theory of feeling, there is no place for 
a neutral affective tone. As long as we are conscious, we are mak- 
ing some sort of response, and are consequently either poorly or 
well adjusted to the situation. Does this hypothesis not fit the 
facts of experience? Are we not at all times in at least a slightly 
pleasant or unpleasant frame of mind, the so-called neutral 
state being a state of contentment which is pleasantly toned? 

In a previous paper, 1 I have attempted to show the relation 
of motor inhibition to art production. The experience of artists 
seems to point to the fact that art production starts with some 
sort of conflict which cannot be resolved by direct action in the 
so-called world of reality. In the young child we see such conflict 
between random movements. There is a striving for coordination, 
and when it cannot be accomplished in the child's ordinary 

l " Conflict and Adjustment in Art," in Problems of Personality (New York: 
Harcourt, Brace, 1925). 


environment, play eventually ensues; and play, according to a 
majority of aestheticians, is the forerunner of art. 

The conflict is a state of unpleasantness, which frequently goes 
over into an emotion, and this conflict (or unpleasantness, if one 
agrees that the terms are identical) is the urge towards continued 
action, whether "real" or in fancy, until an adjustment is made. 
Such an urge is present in artistic production. 
~ It can, therefore, be said that emotions are at the root of aesthetic 
creation, but not as some mysterious driving force that guides 
the artist in his endeavors, or supplies the energy for his effort. 
Nor can it be said that a man is emotional because he is an artist, 
but rather he is an artist for the reason that he is emotional, or 
more explicitly, because his life is full of conflicts, which he is 
best able to overcome in artistic expression. All that is implied 
by this statement is that for artistic creation in the strict sense of 
the term, that is to say, production beyond mere hackwork, 
there must be disturbing problems in the life of the artist. I am 
^reminded in this connection of the complaint of a short-story 
writer whose fiction was being rejected by a magazine which had 
formerly accepted everything she wrote. During her successful 
period she was greatly troubled by social problems, which were 
later resolved in a very favorable marriage. After a lapse of a few 
years, matrimonial perplexities began to appear, with the conse- 
quent return of her former creative ability. 

There still remains to be explained why the activity does not 
always end in useless day-dreaming, in which all of us occasionally 
indulge. To answer this question satisfactorily would be to 
solve the centuries-old problem of the nature of creative genius. 
Although numerous attempts have been made, so far as I am 
aware no adequate psychological explanation has as yet been 

Freud, while not specifically referring to the problem of the 
emotions, has very clearly described the role of conflict in art. 
"The artist is originally a man who turns from reality because he 
cannot come to terms with the demand for the renunciation of in- 
stinctual satisfaction as it is first made, and who then in fantasy- 
life allows full play to his erotic and ambitious wishes. But he 
finds a way of return from this world of fantasy back to reality; 
with his special gifts he molds his fantasies into a new kind of 
reality, and men concede them a justification as valuable reflec- 
tions of actual life. " 2 Further on he makes the significant state- 
ment which is in accord with the theory of feeling which I have 
here accepted: ". . . happy__people never make fantasies, 

2 Collected Papers (London: Hogarth Press, T925)i IV, 19. " 


only unsatisfied oa^g. " 3 We might add that there is probably 
no one who is perpetually happy, so there is no one entirely free 
from day-dreaming. * .- 

"Although 1 agree in the broad with these statements of Freud, 
I do not wish to imply an acceptance of Freud's fundamental 
doctrine of the almost invariable functioning of childhood ex- 
periences. We can pass by this remark regarding erotic and ambi- 
tious wishes, since the term "ambitious wish" might easily be 
interpreted to cover any form of wish, even of the most trivial 
nature, but it seems to me that any relatively recent perplexity 
can be the incentive for a flight into the land of fantasy, and a 
spur for artistic effort. 

The theory of relief from conflict in the production and apprecia- 
tion of art has appeared to many writers to be similar to Aristotle's 
famous doctrine of Katharsis: "through pity and fear effecting 
the proper purgation of these emotions." Is it a matter of ex- 
perience, however, that art frees us from our emotions in the sense 
that our emotional life becomes tempered through artistic creation 
and enjoyment? Can the theory mean any more than that the 
particular conflict and its corresponding particular emotion are 
resolved? The facts of experience, as well as the general laws of 
habit, seem to point to the opposite of a general catharsis of emo- 
tions. The artist, as long as he is creative, seems if anything to 
increase in emotional expression, and the devotee of the modern 
exciting drama or motion picture, as long as he is not worn out 
physically by his experiences, becomes rather more, than less, 
emotional. One only need point to the craving for excitement, for 
new experiences and emotional thrills, by the present generation, 
which night after night is held in dramatic suspense of almost un- 
bearable length by the clever stage and screen craft of our modern 
producers. In short, although art offers us a means of adjustment 
toward fundamental problems of life and perplexing conditions of 
our environment, which we might not otherwise be able to obtain, 
it is very doubtful whether it often acts as a sedative. 

It follows from what has been said concerning the artistic im- 
pulse toward creation that a certain degree of emotion is a neces- 
sary characteristic of that activity. This statement obviously 
refers to what can be considered an original contribution in the 
field of art. Much that goes by the name of art is mere imitation 
produced by so-called artists who are little more than thoroughly 
machine-like individuals. On the other hand, I do not mean to 
imply that the entire process of artistic creation if emotional or 
accompanied by emotional reactions. I have elsewhere 4 attempted 

3 Ibid., p. 176. 

4 The Aesthetic Attitude (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1920), pp. 6-13. 


to describe the balance which probably exists between the intel- 
lectual and emotional life of most artists, and have suggested that 
the artist whose main attention is upon his own emotional re- 
sponses, and who feels that he can only produce in the heat of 
what seems to him an inspirational state, is liable to become a 
mere sentimentalist and to produce a form of art which usually 
marks the extreme of a romantic movement. It is dangerous 
to generalize concerning the lives of artists, since there are as 
many different psychological states as there are forms of art, and 
what one would say of the poet would probably not be true of the 
musician; a description applicable to the classicist among the 
painters would probably be indignantly repudiated by the mod- 
ernist. I should like to venture a guess, however, that while the 
inspiration to creative effort is an emotional experience, and while 
this emotional state may recur at intervals during the period of 
production, for the most part the creative work is carried on with 
great favor, and in a calm, controlled, and relatively unemotional 
state of mind. In short, an emotional reaction seems a necessary 
characteristic, but not a constantly present factor of artistic 

Can the same thing be said concerning aesthetic appreciation? 
If we considered only music, which Ribot, among other authorities, 
believes to be the most emotional of the arts, we should be inclined 
to state that emotional response is as essential to appreciation 
as to the creative process. Wherever we have pronounced rhythm, 
we are likely to have an emotional arousal. In this connection, 
Ribot has pointed out the direct effect of music on animals, where 
the emotional response is frequently very much in evidence. The 
dance and the drama are also very strong emotional stimuli, and 
poetry might be placed on the same level, but painting, architec- 
ture, landscape-gardening, furniture and formal design, do not 
usually call forth ecstatic expressions of joy or sorrow, and when 
they do, one is apt to suspect a shallowness of experience. I am 
aware of the objection so frequently raised, that an unemotional, 
sophisticated attitude toward art is a purely intellectual affair, 
which resembles true aesthetic appreciation about as much as 
candlelight does the sunshine. It is a problem that cannot be an- 
swered to the satisfaction of all, since it is difficult, if not impos- 
sible, to convince those on the one side that their artistic response 
is that of the cold, calculating critic, and therefore not aesthetic. 
But both phylo- and ontogenetically, I believe we can trace in 
the development of aesthetic appreciation a gradual diminution 
of the emotional response. Primitive art was often primarily for 
the purpose of arousing fear and passion, and the child, when it 


has what seems like an aesthetic reaction, is generally highly 
emotional. The emotional response, when it becomes intense, is 
likely to take us out of a strictly aesthetic attitude, out of that 
peculiar state of detachment so essential to appreciation, and I 
suspect that it is the subconscious realization of this fact which 
induces many of us to practise a control over our responses. 

Although the emotional response may be absent from the 
aesthetic appreciation, there is necessarily present a feeling-tone 
either of pleasantness or unpleasantness, wherever there is a 
true aesthetic experience, and not merely an intellectual one as 
to values. The problem is therefore presented as to whether there 
are any characteristics of pleasantness or unpleasantness which 
differentiate them from the affective tone of purely sensual 
experience. Introspection does not seem to reveal any differences 
in the degree of diffuseness or intensity in the two instances. Exact 
localization within the organism is equally difficult, and the 
scale of intensity seems to be equally extensive. On the expressive 
side, experiments have not, so far as I know, shown any changes 
in heart rate, breathing, blood-pressure, or psychogalvanic re- 
sponse, which might not have been obtained during a non-aesthetic 
experience; (the problem is complicated by the fact that it is 
difficult to determine, with any degree of certainty, whether or 
not the subject's response is to the beauty or to the merely sensual 
quality of the object) . Attempts have been made to limit aesthetic 
feeling to those experiences which are obtained through the so- 
called higher senses, but it is easily demonstrable that although 
most of our perceptions of beauty come through the eye and ear, 
any sense may be the vehicle of such an experience. It is equally 
impossible to limit the experience to a particular category of 
objects. Bosanquet 5 has proposed three characteristics of aesthetic 
feeling permanence, relevance, and community; our pleasure in 
beauty does not pass into satiety as do pleasures of eating and 
drinking, they are annexed to some quality of the object, and 
they are not diminished by being shared by others. Although 
these three characteristics seem in some degree to differentiate 
the aesthetic from the sensual, they are not exclusive characteris- 
tics of the former. Sensual pleasures may, under certain circum- 
stances, be fairly permanent, they can be projected into the 
object as well as localized vaguely within the organism, and they 
can be shared by others. I surmise the problem is impossible of 
solution, as it has been stated. The aesthetic experience is a 
complex affair of feeling-tone and specific organic response or 

6 Three Lectures on Aesthetics (London: Macmillan, 1915), pp. 4 ff. 


attitude. The experience is the total situation, and the aesthetic 
quality cannot be found in any of its parts. 

I am fully aware that the v(ews here formulated are based on 
scanty experimental evidence. Up to the present, the data in 
the field of aesthetics have had, for the most part, to be gathered 
from personal experience, from the lives of artists, and from their 
works. Further, an analysis of feeling and emotion has always 
been a difficult problem for the laboratory. The difficulty is 
increased when the problem concerns their role in the aesthetic 
experience. As an experimentalist, however, I hope that eventually 
our technique will allow us to present something more than 
suggestions for a possible solution. 


DR. ENGLISH (Anlioch College): I should like to ask Dr. Langfeld as to whether 
the negative attitude which he takes towards the Aristotelian catharsis would hold, 
at least for creative activity, if we interpret the catharsis as a purification of the 
emotions. I think we should all hesitate to suppose that there is any purification 
of the emotions in the matter of the movies which he mentions, but whether there 
is any type of purification, or, in Freudian terms, sublimation of the emotions in 
the case of the creative artist, is something more doubtful. 

DR. LANGFELD: I think I did imply that in what I have said in my paper, and 
certainly Aristotle would have implied that, although we could not say how he 
would interpret it today, because it is a centuries-old problem for discussion as to 
just exactly what he did mean. He said only a few words, so we cannot tell. 

DR. JASTROW: I find myself in the embarrassing position of agreeing so thorough- 
ly with Dr. Langfeld's position that I merely want to emphasize a point that is 
implied, namely, that one of the few approaches to the study of aesthetics is through 
the ontogenetic series. We have taken emotion, as we have taken a great deal of 
our intellectual life, too high up. We have not started low enough, and we do not 
use the word aesthetic until the experience is fairly well matured. I should like 
to see someone devote half his lifetime to primitive aesthetics, and then the other 
half to enjoying the product of his work. I think that is what we need, the primi- 
tive idea of aesthetics, primitive aesthetics. There have been certain surveys and 
some remarkably interesting material, from the anthropological side, of the play of 
primitive children about which we know much. We of the present generation 
know more of primitive man than any other. The remarkable contributions are 
these amazing discoveries of what has been found in the caves of Northern Spain 
and Southern France. All of this remarkable material is now available for children, 
who are now for the first time seeing the aesthetic problems of the childhood of the 

As for the next point that Dr. Langfeld so well emphasized, namely, that aesthet- 
ic experience runs through the whole series, we have a totally false view of aesthet- 
ics if we confine it to the ear and eye, and particularly the refinements of the ear 
and eye of which those of us who do not go to the movies still have an appreciation. 
The fact is that we must determine, first, what I should call the motor phase. I 
should say there is only one primitive art. That is dancing, the art in which you 
make the expression through the total human machinery. You do not have to have 
any instruments. You do it from within. That is necessarily a total motor response. 

Let us take the idea of gratification. I think the most useful way is to regard 
the word "affect" as a conveniently large category, and by a category I do not 


mean a wastebasket. The point is we must have a term which does not imply a 
too specific connotation. Consequently, anything in this field has its affective side. 
Again, primitive affect would include those forms of gratification. 

So again I have avoided the difficulties it is one of the Freudian methods of 
escape, which is another word for ignorance by calling it plus and minus. Any- 
thing that adds to our human content and adjustment, as Dr. Langfeld said, is 
plus. When we are in an adjusted state of content, we are likely to be on the plus 
side. Otherwise we would be a little pessimistic and there would be no difference 
of opinion. But if a person is in ordinarily good health, he has a little plus, he has 
a little balance in the bank. Consequently the plus and the minus feeling. 

That, carried out, would give us a primitive aesthetics, not of the eye and ear, 
but of this great motor experience, for example, in the ordinary gratifications of 
food, taste, and smell. 

My plea then is this, that in considering, as has been so helpfully done, the na- 
ture of the aesthetic experience, let us not focus too largely on the elaborate and 
the creative artist. The creative artist is fairly rare, and most of us, after we leave 
our childhood, have left all the glory we are ever going to have in life. We are 
interesting in the first four years. The number of geniuses in the first four years is 
remarkable, as family histories indicate. Consequently we have to emphasize 
this primitive aesthetics. I would not stop there. Let us say that the view of 
aesthetics is one with the view of a great deal of our affective study. 

DR. REYMERT: I should like at this point from the Chair with your permission, 
to voice my perfect agreement with Dr. Jastrow and Dr. Langfeld as to the neces- 
sity of the ontogenetic approach to these aesthetic problems. And it may be in- 
teresting for you to hear that we have now some investigations going on here at 
the Wittenberg laboratory along ontogenetic lines, starting with young children, 
and it is amazing how much seems to come out of very simple studies like that. Our 
results so far seem to correlate very well with tentative results arrived at before 
from all of the studies we have on children's growing in Germany and in this coun- 
try, and especially well with results from the Leipzig laboratory. 

DR. DUNLAP: I wanted to ask Dr. Langfeld, first, about the use of his terms for 
feeling. I had a suspicion that he was using them in a way that I hope is not for 
qualitatively distinct entities, but rather as categories wastebaskets if you please 
into which for convenience we put many totally different things which have a 
connection in sometimes a very remote way. Is that what you mean? 

DR. LANGFELD: Yes, that is why I expressed my skepticism in the first place. 

DR. DUNLAP: If I may use another wastebasket term and leave it there, the 
term "desire," I wanted to ask you what you would say about the distinction be- 
tween aesthetic and other emotional attitudes. I have been somewhat interested 
for years in this distinction, in which you might say that the one important char- 
acteristic of the aesthetic attitude is that it is free from desire, using desire in the 
rather commonplace way. One of the points that has occurred to me many times 
in that connection is the constant struggle over the presentation of the nude female 
figure in art and on the stage, and the statements of the moralists all seem to turn 
about that point that if it produces desire, then it is not aesthetic; if it is aesthetic, 
it has not the considerations the moralists allege. And that has a bearing too, Dr. 
Jastrow, (I am not proposing this as anything more than a suggestion) not on the 
origins of art, nor of aesthetic feelings, but as to how far these primitive dances are 
merely sexual matters, which they are today among certain of the African villages. 
In this sense I should say there is nothing aesthetic about them, however important 
for human life they may be. So the question is of art in that sense and of the be- 
ginnings of aesthetics, if we may use those terms rather generally whether they 
may not be found there. The dance may be art in one sense, but not in the aesthetic 
sense until later. 


DR. LANOFELD: I am very glad that Dr. Dunlap brought up that matter of 
desire. I did not mention it in the paper because that would take you a little too 
far. I tried to make it plain in defining the aesthetic attitude, and I am not 
sure that I did not use almost the words that you use now in regard to the elimination 
of desire in the broad sense of the term. Of course, there is a desire of some sort, 
whether it is desire for art appreciation or whatever it is. In art I said we are rather 
led, as distinct from other forms of activity where we ourselves are active, that is, 
we desire and carry out our own wishes according to our own plan, rather than ac- 
cording to the plan of someone else. That seems to me to be the essential distinc- 
tion, if one can express it in such broad terms. Now, I should like to get down to 
more specific terms if we possibly can do it in the future. 

DR. PRINCE (Harvard University): I should like to ask Dr. Langfeld a question. 
1 suppose he can hear me behind the board there. And that is, how much weight he 
would place upon the theory of subconscious activity in creative imagination, to 
use James's phrase in another connection, subconscious incubation of motives apart 
from the experiences of life? I ask that question because there is a good deal of 
evidence in specific cases of subconscious processes in creative imagination. In 
the literary art, a great many pieces, a great many productions, are introduced 
subconsciously. It is said that Stevenson, you know, dreamed his story of "Dr. 
Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." "Kubla Khan" is said to have been dreamed, and I am 
not certain about "The Ancient Mariner. " But there have been many productions 
of that kind produced subconsciously. I have myself I am only mentioning 
this to justify my question I have myself quite a large collection of paintings and 
drawings done subconsciously through automatic activity. I have a large collec- 
tion showing very marked constructive imagination. And also I have a very large 
collection of works of fiction produced in the same way. Now, how are we justified 
in generalizing from those incidents? That is another question. I remember the 
remark of a man who said, "All generalizations are untrue, including this one." 
I should like to hear from Dr. Langfeld as to how much weight he would lay on that. 

DR. LANGFELD: I am glad you have mentioned "The Ancient Mariner" and 
"Kubla Khan," because I have just finished that most delightful of books by one 
of your colleagues, J. L. Lowes, The Road to Xanadu, in which he shows most con- 
clusively where Coleridge got his visual imagery which he uses in "The Ancient 
Mariner" and to some extent in "Kubla Khan," because he had Coleridge's note- 
books, and he did read everything that Coleridge had ever read during the period 
of his life before he had written "The Ancient Mariner." It is a most striking bit 
of research, the almost one-to-one correlation between the lines of "The Ancient 
Mariner" and the words and lines selected from the various readings that Coleridge 
had access to. Now, we know from psychology that at the time of creating "The 
Ancient Mariner" Coleridge was not conscious of all the books that he had read; 
that was not his method to have gone out into a card- index catalogue and picked 
out this image that he had got and say, "That is a good image for me to use. " We 
know that it is not the process of creative art. And if he had done it that way, by a 
system of card catalogues and strictly conscious processes, we would not have had 
"The Ancient Mariner. " We never would have had a work of art. 

So I entirely agree with Dr. Prince that we have got to take into consideration 
the subconscious to a very great extent in creation, and that the period of so-called 
inspiration is very much a period where the facts of former experiences appear. 
I have used just that particular point to try to prove, or as part proof of, the neces- 
sity for the training of the intellectual side of art, the stirring of knowledge. And 
I have said it is only when we get the combination of the highly intellectual man 
and the man of feeling that we get great art. I think we can prove that by numer- 
ous examples throughout the whole history and development of art. It is not a 
one-sided man. It is not an emotional man. Nor is it an intellectual man. But 
it is tha.t rarest of combinations. And that is why I think that genius is so rare. 
It is a thing we hardly ever meet among our friends the man almost perfectly 
balanced between the two. 






University of Marburg 

In German psychology the center of discussion is just now 
formed by the question whether there exists a unity in psychology, 
or whether our science is divided into two parts having to take 
separate ways, a "naturalistic" psychology and a "humanistic" 

The unity of an extensive field can best be made clear by singling 
out some points as widely apart as possible from each other, and 
then showing them to belong to the same sphere in spite of their 
wide separation. Psychological investigation of types generally 
makes use of experimental means and does not disdain to investi- 
gate, in psych ophysics and psych ophysiology, processes of an 
elementary mental kind and even their bodily foundations. There- 
fore, at first sight, the doctrine of values seems very widely 
separated from it. Also, in the philosophy of values it has often 
been represented as a sphere entirely inaccessible to elementary 
psychology, and it was a special stronghold of the attempts to 
put the strictly empirical psychology into sharp contrast with 
entirely different methods of procedure. 

Inside the range of values, the religious values again appear 
to be the most central and the highest ones. If it can be shown 
that it is necessary to comprehend all these different spheres 
in one glance, as it were, and that precisely in consequence of 
such a uniform contemplation of things apparently widely different 
the problems become clearer, an example of this sort can certainly 
help to demonstrate the unity of psychology. 

In another place my co-workers and I have treated the inte- 
grated human type (integrierte Menschentypen) at length. 1 This 

1 A brief explanation is to be found in my pamphlet, "Die Eidetik und die 
typologische Forschungsmethode." These human types have been studied and 
represented more in detail in a book to be published soon by Otto Eisner (Berlin), 
Grundformen menschlichen Seins und ihre Beziehung zu den Werten. But the 
question discussed here, dealing with religious experience, has not yet been explicitly 
examined, and will be treated later on in a special series of monographs. 


can be characterized briefly by saying that the partitions which 
usually separate the functions from one another have been, so 
to say, pulled down. The psyahic processes influence and pene- 
trate each other, a,nd, in more strongly pronounced cases, psychic 
events also exercise a special influence upon physical events. 
Bodily events are here the expression of the mental. 

One external characteristic of this type, therefore, is soulful, 
brilliant eyes, which in their constant mobility are a faithful 
mirror of the soul. This psychic and psychophysical interpenetra- 
tion has been proved, in my Institute, in extensive psychological 
and psychophysical investigations. The spatial perceptions, 
the after-images (Nachbilder), and the processes of adaptation 
function in a different way from what physiology, always starting 
from the normal average adult, has described up to now. 

In these elementary psychological processes of the senses it 
invariably appears as though concepts have here a stronger 
influence upon the processes. Here we can only superficially 
touch upon these phenomena without trying to explain them. 
Following them up would lead us into the deepest questions raised 
by psychology. 2 It is by no means true that conceptions or the 
contents of inner experience mix with the elementary feeling 
processes. What causes the impression that such an influence 
exists, is that the elementary processes of perception in this 
type have been shifted in the direction of the processes of con- 
ception. Briefly stated, they stand in a way between the processes 
of perception of the normal average adult, described by physiology, 
and the conceptions. The barriers which in the average adult 
usually separate perceptions and conceptions and generally the 
elementary mental processes from the inner life exist here to a 
far lesser degree. Eidetic phenomena may serve as an example. 
Pronounced eidetic phenomena are certainly frequently, but not 
invariably, a symptom of the integrated type of man. But 
wherever pronounced eidetic phenomena of this type exist con- 
ceptions can become visible in the literal sense of the word. This 
is one symptom amongst others, but it need not necessarily always 
occur. Yet it is an example in which the "integration" or "inter- 
penetration of functions" appears with particular clearness and 
by means of which it can be very well demonstrated. 

In a way conception and perception here penetrate each other. 
The partitions elsewhere separating them exist here to a much 
lesser degree. I repeat, with the integrated human type the 

2 On the basis of extensive experimental material, I have tried to investigate 
these questions in my book, Ueber den Aufbau der Wahrnehwungswelt vnd die 
Grundlagen der menschlichcn Erkenrdnis (2nd ed., Leipzig: Barth, 1927), Part I. 


eidetic phenomena are often but not always present. 3 But inva- 
riably the principal characteristic of the integrated type consists 
in that functions, elsewhere separated, merely penetrate each 
other. Examined by more delicate tests, the integrated type 
proves to be widely spread. Certainly its frequency varies very 
much with different German tribes, and even more so, as we have 
been able to establish already, with different races and nations. 
But the integrated type becomes of general importance by the 
fact that children at certain ages have more or less of the charac- 
teristics of the integrated type, and because this psychic and 
psychophysical integration of juveniles is of great importance for 
the construction of the world of perception and of all mental life. 
As tests we made use of the different processes of perception 
and feeling. In what way the processes of spatial perception 
can be used for this purpose has been demonstrated in our larger 
publications. 4 

The elementary feeling processes, too, show here the charac- 
teristics of integration and arc, therefore, employed as tests. The 
physiological after-images in integrated adults, and to a large 
extent also in children, behave quite differently from what physi- 
ology until now has always described, e. g., those of the normal 
adult. 5 

3 Occasionally I have been represented as having tried to build up the whole 
of psychology upon "eidetics." Whoever has read the works of my Institute will 
know that this representation certainly does not correspond with the facts. Eidetics 
form only a small section of the work here. 

4 In Uebcr den Atifbau der Wahrnehmungswelt, usw., and especially in the mono- 
graph about to be published, Grundformen menschlichen Seins, usw. 

5 Compare with our older works (especially in the Ze.itschrift fur Psychologic} 
the work being published by W. Schmulling in the same review, "Aufdeckung 
latenter eidetischer Phiinomene und de.s integrierten Menschentypus mit der Inter- 
mittenzmethode," a continuation of the intermittance method of the Englishman, 
Mills, and its application to the investigation of types. The publications recently 
made by Koffka and his pupils on after-images do not refute my theories, but rather 
throughout confirm the results and views published by myself and my pupils. 
Koffka affirms that the doctrines of physiology concerning the after-image are 
wrong, and he points out deviations, as we ourselves have been doing all along. 
But the teachings of physiology about the after-image are to a great extent correct; 
at least they are true for the average adult. On the contrary, they are not true 
for the integrated type and, therefore, to a large extent not for children. The 
deviations indicate a special type; and they can therefore be studied more pro- 
foundly in connection with typology, as I and my cooperators have already been 

Compare the article by W. Walker from my Institute, "Ueber die Adaptations- 
vorgange der Jugendlichen und ihre Beziehung zu den Transformations-Erschei- 
nungen," Zeitschrift fur die Psychologic, CIII. 

Compare iji our publication, Grundformen menschlichen Seins, usw., the passage 
written by Carl Kohler: "Das Verhalten des Pupillenreflexes und die psycho- 
physische Integration der Jugendlichen und des integrierten Menschentypus." 


With integrated people and children the elementary processes 
in dark adaptation also are of a special kind. They are more 
numerous and under certain conditions they can be influenced 
and altered from the sphere of conceptions. But the integration 
or interpenetration of functions does not only exist in the psy- 
chical but also in the psych ophysical sphere, i. e., psychical proc- 
esses influence not only one another, but also, to a high degree, 
bodily processes. Thus motor functions and also the eyes are 
here to a high degree organs of expression of mental life. This 
psychophysical integration of the integrate and of children has 
been proved with great exactitude, e. g., by studying the reaction 
of the pupils of the eye by means of Helmholtz's ophthalmometer. 6 
It was shown that the reaction of the pupils here was influenced 
by central and psychical factors to a fairly high degree. 

In this example of the integrated type it becomes evident that 
typology is important also for medicine. It is the integrated type 
on which psychoanalysts found their assertions. For the inte- 
grated type it is in fact true that the elementary psychic and even 
somatic occurrences are to a large extent dependent upon the 
contents of the higher mental life and upon conceptions, 7 of which 
the occurrences are the expression. But these observations, hold- 
ing good for the integrated type, may not be generalized at once. 
The psychophysical study of constitution is, nevertheless, of far 
greater importance for medicine. Not only in psychiatry but 
also in internal medicine, the problem of constitution has stepped 
more and more into the foreground. Morbid processes are to a 
considerable degree anchored and performed in the constitution. 

It has become evident that the psychophysical tests form a 
very delicate reagent for the discovery of important constitutional 
forms. 8 How the study of types is related to the questions of 
inner medicine can here, where we have to deal with entirely 
different matters, be only briefly hinted at. Psychophysical 
typology has to do with normal types. But the one-sided accentua- 
tion and exaggeration of these types lie on the way to certain 
forms of disease. Typology teaches us to discover their rudi- 
mentary forms, indicates those who are endangered, and thus 

8 See the third paragraph of footnote 5. 

7 E. R. Jaensch, "Ueber psychische Selektion: eine experimentelle Untersuchung 
liber Beziehungen der wertenden zur vorstellenden Seite des Bewusstseins, mit 
Bemerkungen zu der durch die Psychoanalyse hervorgerufenen Erorterung," 
Zeitschriftfiir Psychologic, XCVIII (1 925). Compare also the report of W. Jaensch, 
"Psychotherapie," Benefit liber den aUgemeinen drztlichen Kongressfur Psychologic, 
Baden-Baden, 1926. 

8 Mv brother has treated the psychophysical types of constitution from this 
clinical point of view. Cf . W. Jaensch, Grundzuge einer Physiologic und Klinik der 
psycho-physischen Personlichkeit (Berlin: Springer, 1926). 


opens up prophylactic possibilities; e. g., there are also internal 
diseases where the nervous system plays a decisive part. 
G. von Bergmann has shown thi%to be probable with certain forms 
of gastric ulcer. W. Jaensch and Kalk have made it extremely 
probable that our integrated type is very strongly represented 
amongst this kind of ulcer patient. The individuals of different 
fundamental psychophysical types also show, in their pronounced 
cases, different bodily characteristics But the difference here is 
not anatomical in the build of the body but is functional. 
If, with the integrated type, the bodily characteristics are also 
strongly pronounced, we speak of the B-type. Usually we have 
then to do with strongly marked cases of the integrated type. 

That this is the case of not only the psychic interpenetration 
but also the psychophysical interpenetration, is strongly pro- 
nounced, and, accordingly, so is the complex of bodily charac- 
teristics. We then find a functional preponderance, and increased 
irritability of the entire vegetative nervous system, which, accord- 
ing to Gildemeister's observations, is also highly integrated, i.e., 
works uniformly. To psychical and psychophysical integration 
of this type, there thus corresponds also a somatic integration. 
To the fundamental mental structure, therefore, the bodily 
constitution corresponds. But here we have to do with the purely 
psychological characteristics of types. Also here the fundamental 
characteristic of the integrated type again consists in this, that 
the psychic functions in this case those of the higher mental 
life penetrate each other. This explains the close relation be- 
tween the integrated type and art. Artists express more or less 
the integrated type; inversely, the more gifted amongst the inte- 
grated adults are more or less aesthetically disposed. The reason 
is that aesthetic and artistic mentality stand in an essential rela- 
tion to the integrated type, for art has always to do with the inter- 
penetration of various mental functions. Certainly the work of 
art represents facts, but these at the same time always serve the 
needs of feeling (interpenetration of conception and feeling). 
Every great work of art interprets thoughts, not in a didactic 
form but in the form of sensuous perception (interpenetration of 
thought and perception). To the elements of all aesthetic and 
artistic experiences belongs Einfuhlung (interpenetration of 
perception and feeling). 

In the pedagogical movement in Germany it has long been 
asserted that there exists an intimate relation between the mind 
of the child and that of the artist, and that in view of this at a 
certain age teaching ought to assume a sort of artistic character. 
Typology justifies and explains these experiences of our practical 


pedagogues. 9 It shows that the integrated psychic structure is 
the elementary foundation of art, and at the same time is also, 
at certain ages, characteristic of the child's mind. 

Only now do we come to the principal object of this brief 
treatise; but in order to make ourselves clearly understood, we 
had to begin with some observations about the more general 
results of psychological and psych ophysical typology. Only 
in this way can it be achieved that the unity of psychology will 
appear in the particular subject which we are treating here. 

For this purpose we had to point out, however briefly, how the 
types express themselves in the elementary psychic and even in 
the psychophysical sphere. So far we have treated elementary, 
indeed the most elementary, things. Now, however, we turn to 
the very highest spheres of psychic life. For there is no other 
sphere in which the innermost life of man manifests itself as 
strongly as in his religious life. The unity of psychology shows 
itself in this, that the same structural forms run through the most 
elementary as well as the highest psychic modes of being, deter- 
mining both in the same way. We especially wished to emphasize 
this unity of psychology, for nowadays in Germany it is a bone of 
contention. 10 

To this basic psychic structure, too, corresponds the manner 
in which the individual experiences values and in which he ap- 
proaches the highest, the religious values. Also, the realm of 
ideals and that which is actually given are for the integrate 
unseparated, that is, integrated. The ideal world and reality 
are a unity. These people stand in intimate coherence (Kohdrenz) 
with their animate and inanimate surroundings, are open to 
everything, and, as it were, lovingly given to everything. As the 
lover the object of his love, so the integrate sees all things, as it 
were, transfigured. Values and ideals, as in the theory of ideas 
and manner of experience of Plato, seem to shine through the 
objects of sense. But that which is given can never be experienced 
alone, only in connection with everything else, as it corresponds 
to the process of integration. 

The whole is always seen behind the individual. Hence, the 

fl Experimental and descriptive psychological investigations concerning this 
topic, as well as practical pedagogical experiments, will be found in our mono- 
graph, which is soon to be published: Ueber die psychologischen Grundlagen des 
Kiinstlerischen Schaffens. Very likely it will appear at Dr. Benno Fibert's, Augs- 
burg. Compare also my report: "Psychologic und Aesthetik," Second Congress 
for Aesthetics and General Theory of Art, Berlin, 1924 (Stuttgart: F. Enke, 1925.) 

10 Compare also my lecture, "Die typologische Forschungsmethode," Proceed- 
ings and Papers of the Vlllth International Congress of Psychology held at Groningen, 
1926 (Groningen, 1927). 


separate data have at the same time something cosmic. In the 
experience of the "cosmic" lies the connection between the 
experience of the infinite and the experience of value. In our 
records there are continual references such as this, that things 
are experienced in a finite and an infinite way at the same time, 
that, like the monads of Leibnitz, they mirror infinity, have a 
corona of infinity about them, or seem like an external facade 
of infinity. One subject drew it thus : 


The Finite 

The integrated type has different shades, and, according to 
them, the experience of finite-infinite takes on somewhat different 
forms. It can either form a constant undertone of being, or it 
can appear only at particular points in every state of feeling, or 
only in moments of special inner joy or exaltation. Of importance 
for this experience in every case, however, is the fact that the 
integrate stands in the closest coherence with his surroundings. 
He, therefore, experiences no separating barrier between himself 
and the cosmic, but appears, while experiencing objectivity as 
infinite, to be lifted up into this sphere of the cosmic. For example, 
all this is found with different intensity, very clearly, in the 
following record, which was given by a student of the history 
of art: 

"At certain moments I believe I live in the cosmic. When that is the case, 
things are officially changed, they attain a size, a width, they are large in an optical 
sense. People are literally large and herewith is connected the feeling of a growth 
of the individual persons, corresponding to the tide of feeling which rules the mo- 
ment and may appear in the aforementioned optical appearances. Everything 

that is inappropriate disappears from the figures "He then feels 

himself just as large as, or larger than they. In a room, on this occasion, he may 
get a feeling as if he towers far above the ceiling, so that he, as it were, is above it 
and can span not only the room but the earth below it as well. He then has the 
feeling of being anchored in the cosmic and that a cosmic motion flows through him. 

Changes in perception, as in this case, naturally do not neces- 
sarily need to be present. We have here a very pronounced inte- 
grate, with somatic characteristics as well a B-type, therefore, 
in whom the world of perception usually is particularly fluid. 
For in the typological method we always start from strongly 
differentiated cases, and can then find the corresponding charac- 


teristics in the weaker cases, even though these are not as clearly 
defined. That which has been dealt with here refers throughout 
to a particular case of the integrated type, which we call the "type 
with general and externally directed integration" (allgemein 
und nach aussen hin integrierter typus), or, in short, "i-type." 

"Integration" is a very general characteristic and occurs in 
various special forms. The "general and externally integrated 
type" (i-type) is one of the most important cases within the 
wider group of the integrated type (I-type). We differentiate the 
i-type as the basis of experimental criteria and characteristics, 
which cannot be discussed in the brief space at our disposal. 11 

Some of its characteristics have been partially touched upon 
above, for at the beginning of this essay it was by means of this 
i-type that we explained the basis properties of integration, 
taking it as an example by means of which the properties of the 
whole species (I-type, integrated type) could be demonstrated 
with particular clarity. Of the i-type, it was only the funda- 
mental characteristic which was of consequence in this connection; 
namely, that it stands in thoroughgoing coherence (in closest 
connection) with the external data. 

Before discussing types in which the inner world dominates 
still more exclusively religious experience, we turn to a group in 
which the outer world, with its manifold inclines and color, 
dominates religious experience more strongly than is the case with 
the I-type, so that this religious experience by its primitiveness 
reminds one of the native races. 

Between the I-type and the synaesthetik or S-type, to which 
we come now, there are certain connecting links. Thus, in child- 
hood the "I" nd "S" characters are widely coupled together. 12 

To understand the most characteristic, therefore, we must 
first of all turn to the most extreme synaesthetic types. The inter- 
action of the senses here witnesses to a type of integration, which 
is always a destruction of barriers. 

In pronounced synaesthesis the experiences combine, as it were, 
piecemeal; no unit or whole enters into the amalgam, as is always 
the case with the i-type. To the i-type, a favorite expression of 
the circle round George 13 is applicable: He is always "round," 
always "spherical." He puts into every detail the harmonic 
and closed unity of this "I" (ego) and at the same time the 

11 Some of them will be touched upon briefly later. The whole matter is 
thoroughly discussed in our monograph, Orundformen menschlichen Seins, usw., 
which will appear shortly. 

12 My co-worker, H. Freilung, will prove this in a monograph, Ueber die psy- 
chologischen Grundlagen der Arbeitsschtde, which is to appear shortly. 

18 Stefan George, famous poet and life-reformer. 


closed unity of his "cosmic" conception of the universe. The 
characteristic synaesthetic has no such unity, no uniform "I," 
but also no uniform, closed worlcj therefore, no cosmos. Never- 
theless he, too, is integrated, and so the fragment of his inner 
world and the fragments of his outer world form a firm amalgam. 
As a result, religious experience in the characteristic cases of the 
S-type, which are far removed from the i-type, is primitively 
archaic, fetishistic, demonic, at most similar to polytheism. 
Other things, too, have an influence in the same direction. 

The stronger and, more pronounced the synaesthetic type is, 
the more completely he lives in archaic strata of consciousness. 
Everything appears living and ensouled; for many individuals of 
this type dead things simply do not exist. While the I-type feels 
himself into his animate and inanimate surroundings, the syn- 
aesthetic projects his feelings, or rather feeling-fragments into 
them. For the characteristic I-type Einfuhlung predominates, 
for the S-type Zufuhlung. For the latter, therefore, facts have 
above all a symbolic value. The world of sense perception is often 
extraordinarily fluid; its contents are of importance above all 
according to the symbolic value of the very often primitive 
affects, and in their sense are extensively remodelled. According 
as Zufuhlung predominates over Einfuhlung and the S-type 
recedes from the I-type, all mundane experience, as well as re- 
ligious experience, becomes more autistical, more unintelligible 
to others. 

We men have the "schizoform synaesthetic type." We next 
give a portion of the record of a synaesthetic woman who is still 
close to the I-type and whose demonic, almost polytheistic 
conceptions are at any rate still quite intelligible. 

"The sea is strongly felt as female; she is the infinitely great woman, with very 
deep blue eyes. When I suddenly talk of storm, she laughs aloud and tosses her 
hair. Similarly with the wind, who is felt more as male, a man with the gigantic, 
gray storm-mantle. As I went along the road, the storm whistled past, threw his 
gray mantle around me, the trees bent before him, he did not heed them and 
passed over them. 

"In the roots of trees I continually see faces; when I lie in the forest and gaze 
into the distance, everything around me is full of the ghostly doings of gnomes 
and animals. They come towards me, have long hair, are threatening and hideous. 
When someone scolds me, the whole room is filled with darkness, the scolding 
person seems to touch me to attack me, so that I hold out my arms to defend 
myself and retreat to the wall, just as when a child I used to hide myself. The 
question as to the reality or unreality of these contents of experience is not put at 
all it is left completely in the air " 

The description of his religious experience by a characteristic 
synaesthetic, who is far removed from the i-type, is far more 
artistic. He is a student and passionately fond of boxing. In 


other aspects of his life he is also somewhat primitive, but at the 
same time is very talented. 

"The luminous twilight of Gothic churches forces me to holy devotion, which 
at the same time is coupled with the feeling of inner exaltation and fervor. It 
becomes clear to me what the love of God means one wants to thank someone 
that one is able to achieve this intense realization of one's humanity. I had this 
feeling most strongly in the Egyptian temple in the old museum in Berlin; when 
the two Rameses colossi glimmered in the dim light, I wanted to fall on my knees; 
the feeling of holy awe is intensified by the smell of stone so prevalent in Gothic 
churches. I am inspired by a heroic thought in archaic form. I am happy that as 
a human being one can take part in it. 

"Even though the idea of battle cannot be realized in that form today, one can 
still achieve admiration and love (as a wounded hero on the battlefield). There is 
a rapture in the thought of this dream-world turned to stone, which, for example, 
in its highest power embodies within itself all expression of a warrior's strength. 
Involuntarily an erotic thought vibrates in unison, that the most beautiful woman 
belongs to the hero. ... A ceremonial liturgy, when the priests of Isis 
strike the gong and the temple-girls perform a ritual dance, could force me to 
my knees by its monumental monotony. 

"Religious aspirations are awakened in churches only by monotonous chants 
and liturgies. I can designate this musing in my world of dreams as something 
different from the aesthetic and artistic, namely as 'religiosity.' The sight of the 
Pyramids could make me weep because in them my dream-world towers into the 
real. Eternal happiness for me would be to live my life as a lost and wandering 
Odysseus, an Egyptian Pharaoh, in heroic-antique-archaic wise. This dream- 
world was already mine when I still believed in eternal life, at the age of fifteen; 
afterward I thought God would furnish me with a stone, heroic-antique-archaic 
wise, on which I would live and taste all modes of existence, Odysseus, Pharaoh, 
Centaur, till the end of time." 

The origin of the demonic in fear is quite plain in the case of 
our characteristic synaesthetics, and this fear again arises from 
the torn and disunited character of this type. I once more quote 
a part of the record of the boxer, who in many respects is not at 
all timid : 

"When I have to pass through many doors, I rush because I believe a ghost is 
following me to plunge a dagger between my head and cervical vertebra. I duck, 
jump aside, and, quick as lightning, slam the door behind me so that the ghost 
cannot follow. The world is peopled with demons. During an evening's walk, 
I lose my psychic balance; it seems to me I have gone down in a ship and, separated 
from all living things, am walking along the sea bottom. The evening sky appears 
like the surface of the sea, which is sky-high above me. Shuddering terror over- 
comes me that a shark may grab me from behind. I dare not go through parks, 
because a shark might be hidden in the jungle of seaweeds. In between times is 
a quiet battle of reason. The question of whether reality is attributable to these 
ideas or not remains unsettled, although they determine the action. . 
This fear of ghosts is intensified in states of depression. One may not leave a 
leg hanging out of bed, because outside the bed it would come within the reach of 
bad demons " 

Basing his stories on such experiences, he writes grotesque, 
phantastically gruesome tales after the manner of Edgar Allen 


Poe. His bizarre fancy reminds one of the synaesthetic Victor 
Hugo and of the pronounced archaism of the synaesthetic Richard 

We now return to the i-type, the type with general and out- 
wardly directed integration. We throw a brief glance upon the 
types resulting when the integration outwards recedes more and 
more, together with the external world, and when at the same 
time the integration is inwards and together with it the inner 
world steps more and more into the foreground. In purely 
experimental researches on integration, it first became necessary 
to differentiate between a T-l and a T-2 type. 14 Experiments 
which with T-l at once gave positive results did so with a second 
group, which we called T-2, only under certain conditions, namely, 
only by means of vivid imagining. 

A third group which did not react at all (they are those who 
are not at all outwardly integrated) need not be considered here. 
We find, for example, with the T-l types that if, during the 
contemplation of a line drawn upon a piece of paper, one pulls 
their arms, there very often suddenly takes place an optical 
change in the length of the line. With T-2 this does not manifest 
itself at once but only as soon as the subjects vividly imagine 
that such pulling forces as they have just experienced act on the 
line also. In the inner psychic life corresponding phenomena 
take place as in these elementary strata. These people too stand 
in coherence (Kohdrenz), in connection with the world, but, 
exactly as in the above-mentioned experiment, always through 
the medium of an inner world of conceptions and ideas, which 
here has a firm existence of its own. They do not surrender 
themselves to everything, like the naive and ever plastic, ever 
regenerative type T-l, but only to that which corresponds to 
their determinate, rigid world of ideas and of ideals. Unmis- 
takably even here we always have to do with an outward integra- 
tion, because we see that even these ideal worlds do not entirely 
lack perceptual elements, but somehow bear the features of the 
external world. But the ideal and the divine here do not shine 
forth as immediately from out the real as with type T-l. Type 
T-2 loves veils and distances. For him the ideal world is not so 
near that he can touch it; it is not immanent to facts but it lies 
beyond the hills or in temporal distance, though it still bears the 
features of the transfigured real. They also can still be poets 
and artists. Lucke, experimentally and by means of structural 
philosophy, compares the T-l types investigated by him to the 
Goethe type, the T-2 to the Schiller type. 

14 Further details appear in the dissertations of V. Lucke and H. Weil, which 
are about to be published. 


On the other hand, those who are purely inwardly integrated 
can in general not become poets or artists. Here there exists 
no surrendering to the outer wdrld and to things, no binding to 
the world given by perceptual experience. The purely inward 
integration or interconnection consists here in there being a firm 
line of life, faithfulness to one's self, genuineness. Here it is mental 
complexes, belonging purely to the life of mind and will or to a 
sense of duty, which bring about integration, the unity of per- 
sonality. It is only when these complexes are touched, as when 
man gets immersed in himself and retires from the outer world, 
that the outward sign of integration also shows itself. Only then 
the otherwise dim eye becomes brilliant, whereas with type T-l 
we might say that it always carries the soul outside. Sensuous 
conceptions, especially of a visual kind, are here mostly absent, 
to a degree which would be surprising in other types. There does 
not exist any inner connection with things, quite the reverse; 
things can serve only as material for actions, for practical work, 
or for the fulfilment of duty in the sense of Fichte. 

Only immersion into the dark depths of the seif and into the 
origins of the inner line of life can be experienced as religious. 
Only here the connection with the divine is sought. 

In all these cases the most pronounced form of religious expe- 
rience is not yet to be found. It is only in converts that it mani- 
fests itself. The converts who have been treated on the basis of 
vast material by E. Schlink, one of my co-workers, have the 
aspects of a change of axis. The axis round which existence 
revolves moves out of the world and the axon "ego" merges into 
God, into whose hands the convert feels himself to be completely 
surrendered. And yet, in spite of this conformity, how enormously 
different, according to the type, the experiences in conversions are! 
I limit myself here to the quotation of some passages from our 
records. The first is taken from an integrate: the second from 
a non-integrate. In the first case, God is experienced entirely 
emotionally, nearly sensuously and bodily; in the second case, 
emotion is entirely absent. The experience is quite unsensuous 
and abstract. 

The first case shows the characteristics of the integrated T-l 
type. Before being converted, as a young girl, she always had 

"so much fancy, such an impulse towards something exalted. Especially in 
autumn I could hardly bring myself to stay in the house. Away! Out of doors! 
Into the forest! I was as if drunk, as if I must die if I did not get outdoors. It 
was a passionate clinging to nature. But I am now freed from it by the Lord. I 
am entirely in the Lord. It still gives me pleasure, but it no longer seems to draw 
me away. . 


"To be in God, to be near God, I feel as something sublime. One cannot 
describe it. ... There are services and hours when God can be felt in us." 
(" Can you paraphrase the feeling more in detail?") " If I may say so it is a divine 
feeling of awe! As of being entranced. & . . When I rose from prayer, I 
felt reborn. ... I have experienced God almost bodily. It is a youthful 
force arising out of the inner life and taking hold of my body." 

Again and again the characterization, "quite different." Divine 
joy is a joy "quite different" from any ordinary joy. 

Not only here but also elsewhere we are reminded of the charac- 
terizations of the "luminous" in Rudolf Otto's classical work 
Das Heilige (The Divine). But none of the persons we examined 
were influenced by it. They are simple people and have never 
taken any interest in theology and philosophy. 

Another example is that of a man with a hard nature, a pro- 
nounced soldier type, in his profession as a teacher feared on 
account of hardness and severity, in war a reckless leader of 
attacking detachments (Sturmtruppe) . Conversion took place 
when his child met with a fatal accident. 

"My conversion was a purely rational decision. With me principally the 
merely rational facts have been at play, nothing else. I had a life without God 
behind me; then my attention was drawn to this and God revealed himself to me 
by the love of his judgment. And then, as a cool, reflective man, having stood 
under the discipline of mental training, one is naturally ready at once to sum up 
the results. 'Now go and submit yourself unto this God.' My conversion was a 
purely rational decision. Feelings were quite spared to me in it. Also at my child's 
death I was entirely spared pain. Everything was more rational. It had become 
dear to me that my child had to die, in order that my God might prove his love 
for me. 

"I always kept myself quite free from feelings. I was quite clear about it, that 
this (i. e., the communion with God) is a deadly serious affair. I was quite clear 
that the dangerous side in the communion with God is that one's emotions can 
go astray. I always was repelled by people who spoke emotionally of the divine. 
I then knew: 'Either this man is in danger of going astray, or he has gone astray 
already.' The Lord also has kept people away from emotions. Let the dead bury 
their dead!" 

Occasionally the doubt has been raised that the investigation 
of types might make truth relative, by taking everything equally 
seriously, i. e., by taking nothing seriously. I am going to con- 
tradict this entirely mistaken view in other articles in a more 
detailed way. Investigations of types do not lead to relativism, 
but to a standpoint of relativity, to a neo-Leibnitzian perspective. 
In the doctrine of knowledge, which as a basis makes use of the 
typology of thinking and knowing, it can be demonstrated very 
precisely that the mental structures of the different types com- 
prehend different sides, so to say, different perspective views of 
the real. 15 In this article there is only space to prove my view 

15 This is proved in a Kategorienlehre on which the author is now working. 


that in religious life the same rules hold good as in the sphere 
of values. 

We are convinced that the importance of such typological re- 
searches goes beyond the range of psychology and into that of 
the philosophy of values. A philosophy of values, having as 
basis the knowledge of the different forms of the experience of 
values, will see clearer in many questions. Such a doctrine of 
values will possess a theoretical but especially a great practical 
importance. It will lead to a deeper tolerance. Many discussions 
in the sphere of the philosophy of values suffer from the author's 
knowing only his way of experiencing values, and from his quite 
ignoring the other ways. For everybody is, so to speak, fettered 
to the barriers of his own type. Scheler, for example, in his 
important writings on the philosophy of religion proves himself 
to belong entirely to the T-l type. Herein lies the weakness of 
his excellent works. His polemics against modern times and 
against the Protestant world, and his exclusive glorification of 
the Roman Catholic Middle Ages, especially of Augustinism, 
are brought about chiefly by his not knowing the T-2 type and those 
who have only inward integration. He, therefore, does not know 
people who are religious in quite a different way, whether they 
are Roman Catholics or Protestants. 

In studying mental structures one recognizes how values and 
non-values are coupled together, and in consequence of this 
knowledge one will learn better how to avoid non-values. We 
have mentioned already that the records of our first case of 
conversion, where we had to do with a simple person who had 
not the slightest knowledge of theology, reminds one of Otto's 
description of the "luminous." In the second case, on the con- 
trary, we have to do with an experience of God quite free from 
feeling and purely rational, which seems originally to underlie 
another theological line of thought nowadays very widespread 
in Germany. But just because religious experience here bears 
a purely rational character, there is great danger of gliding into 
dialectic construction and thereby stepping out of religious 
experience altogether. In fact this line of thought has often met 
with the reproach that it is too much inclined to dialectic con- 
struction and that it abandons the ground of religious experience. 
It is manifest that there is a form of religious experience which 
essentially contains this danger; thus the investigations of types 
will be able to indicate in many cases the non-values coupled with 
values and even dangers. 

Thereby we have hinted already that such a study of types not 
only serves the psychological description of the experience of 


values but also the discovery of the values themselves, and thus 
also general philosophy and culture. In this connection it is an 
important circumstance that the> study of types Jbrings about a 
widening of the horizon and an eye for values. It breaks up the 
narrow bounds in which we are confirmed by our own type for 
experiencing values, and it teaches us to know kinds and inter- 
connections of values which otherwise would remain a closed 
book for us. And progress in this sphere inevitably depends upon 
our having as wide an outlook as possible upon the sphere of 
values, for progress here is chiefly brought about by a synthesis 
of different values. It is accomplished by various, even contra- 
dictory values being united in a higher synthesis and thereby 
coming to agreement amongst one another. 16 The strongest 
obstacle acting against a synthesis of this sort consists in the 
barriers of individuality and type, in which we are all locked up. 
Typology, opening for us cin insight into the world of other people, 
is an efficient means of eliminating or at least weakening this 

Thus the work of psychology and philosophic anthropology takes 
its place in the wider field of philosophy, that philosophy which 
does not disdain its foundation on empirically assured facts. 

From Descartes up to Kant and his successors, modern phi- 
losophy has been struggling with the question concerning the 
meaning of consciousness. Idealism, which gave a definite 
answer to this question and which dominated the last phase of 
philosophizing, had overemphasized the importance of conscious- 
ness. At the present time, idealism is believed to have failed, 
and nowadays, in the so-called ontological lines of thought, the 
opposite mistake is being committed of ascribing hardly any 
importance whatever to consciousness. But it is certain that 
consciousness is a system of coordinates, a basis of reference in 
which the real is given, whatever the essence may be, and different 
structures of consciousness are different coordinate systems. 
Idealism was bound to fail on account of its lack of a well-derived 
and insured doctrine of consciousness and because it fought 
against the recognition of the real. Our psychological and anthro- 
pological work aims at such a doctrine of consciousness, and, by 
being founded upon facts, will avoid all the exaggerations of 
idealism, helping at the same time to detach from it that timeless 

16 It seems as if Aristotle, the real founder of scientific ethics, had already known 
this, or at least had had a presentiment of it. At any rate Nicolai Hartmann 
(Berlin & Leipzig: E. Urik, 1926) interprets the Aristotelian concept in this sense. 
According to him, Aristotle did not really mean an average of values but a syn- 
thesis of values. This historical interpretation has not been left unchallenged, 


nucleus which can be taken over into the realistic epoch of thinking 
of the future. 

Every correct and tenable insight holds good also in practice. 
The treatment of philosophic questions on the basis of psychology 
and philosophic anthropology will not only open up important 
theoretical insights but will also assume practical importance. 
That can best be explained by the example of typology discussed 
here. We have hinted already that such a typological treatment 
of fundamental mental questions must lead to a wider tolerance. 
This is of importance with regard to the re-ordering of human 
relationships which is being aimed at everywhere in the world 
today and which is to be based upon men's no longer fighting and 
destroying one another, but striving to come to a mutual under- 
standing. Here we, once more, refer to the examples discussed in 
this short article. 

According to our experiences, the general and outwardly inte- 
grated type is much commoner and much more pronounced 
in the west of Germany than in the north. Our most pronounced 
cases of the T-l type came from western Germany. On the other 
hand, the purely inwardly integrated type seems to prevail in 
northern Germany and at the coast. Most of the subjects of this 
kind examined by us came from there. The west of Germany is 
predominantly Roman Catholic the north, Protestant. It 
now seems to me certain that the stronger inclination of the west 
towards Catholicism and that of the north towards Protestantism 
are connected with the different diffusion of human types and 
their different ways of experiencing the world. For it is clear that 
the T-l type, generally and outwardly integrated, stands in an 
inner relationship to Catholicism, and that the not at all out- 
wardly but purely inwardly integrated type stands in an essential 
relation to Protestantism, because Protestantism leads man to de- 
pend exclusively upon his inner being and thus corresponds to the 
nature of the inwardly integrated type. Catholicism seeks to 
bring the inner and the outer world into harmony, corresponding 
to the way the generally and outwardly integrated type experiences 
the world. Also the innermost being of man, his religious expe- 
rience, is here connected with the outer. It is represented by 
symbols which appeal to the senses, and man appears within his 
innermost nature not solely dependent upon himself, but belonging 
to an outward community, the Church. Both kinds of experience 
have their deeper meaning. If through the doctrine of types we 
learn to know their peculiarity and their significance, we shall 
also do justice to people who are constituted differently from 
ourselves. The representatives of the various faiths will then 


no longer fight each other but will rather strive towards mutual 

And with nations it is the sanq^ as with faiths. Nations also 
stand in relation to the psychophysical fundamental types: in 
one people one fundamental type prevails, in another people 
another type. We have experimental results for this contention 
too. Here, too, typological contemplation will lead to a more 
deeply rooted tolerance. It will bring about peace, or, let us rather 
say, it will prepare the way for peace. For that is a great and 
heavy task. Its solution will require patient work for a long time 
to come. But science must help according to its powers. The 
study of the fundamental psychophysical types also promotes 
the study of nations and puts the merits of each single nation into 
the best light. It explodes all barriers of individuality, which 
prevent us from seeing strange values. Typological contemplation 
leads us to a conception which considers the separate types, as 
well as the various nations, as being instruments of a great or- 
chestra. It will be everybody's first duty to take care that his 
own voice gives a pure tone but he will honor the others too, 
conscious that all are necessary and must complement each other 
in harmonic cooperation. 



University of Berlin 

Every science has its Achilles' heel. It has problems which 
seem difficult or even impossible to solve. It has results which 
lack the certainty and precision of exact science. We know of 
such problems also in modern empirical psychology. This will 
not surprise us if we know the history of psychology and its 
unparalleled development in the twentieth century. It has, 
in point of fact, been authoritatively stated that in a hundred 
years the history of scientific psychology will begin with the 
year 1900. Consequently, we need not give up the hope that some 
problems which are unsolved today will yet be solved satisfactorily 
as investigation advances. 

In present-day psychology the status of the doctrine of feeling 
is particularly confused. And yet it is precisely in this field that 
practical life demands peremptorily a clear answer. This is true 
of all feelings, especially of the aesthetic, moral, and religious 
feelings. In the school we try to educate our children to reverence, 
piety, and trust. But what do we mean when we speak of rev- 
erence, piety, and trust? It is obvious that they are mental 
states and that only a science of mental life can make out what 
they are. In the church we cultivate various feelings: solemnity, 
devoutness, meditation, abandonment, active love. What 
sort of feelings are these? It is obvious that psychology must 
know the answer. Ever since Schleiermacher, which means for 
the last one hundred and twenty-eight years, all religious proc- 
esses have been quite generally referred to the affective side of 
mental life. If, then, the investigation of feeling cannot answer 
these questions, the cultivation of the spiritual life must of necessity 
remain purely external as external as the raising of hothouse 
plants when their cultivator knows nothing about all his various 
plants except that they belong to the large group of "flowers." 

Such deficiency will be felt in particular when very rare and 
delicate plants are intrusted to the gardener. It is then certain 
that in the hands of a gardener so uninformed the very best 


and finest plants will be ruined. And do not the aesthetic, moral, 
and religious feelings belong to the noblest and most delicate 
experiences which a man can h$ve? Are not the finely shaded, 
deeper feelings, which take place in the mind of a highly civilized 
man (Kulturmensch) , an irreplaceable condition for any profound 
and genuine civilization (Kultur)? However one may regard 
religion, one must admit that these very delicate feelings of 
evaluation require tender care if they are not to perish utterly 
in a harsh, material world. But before we can cultivate feelings 
we must know them. 


Let us look for a moment at present-day psychology, as far 
as the time placed at our disposal permits. What can it tell us 
concerning the study of feeling, particularly religious feeling? 

Six years ago there appeared a searching investigation of the 
mental structure of religious experience by my late teacher, 
Karl Girgensohn. That work, which was originally intended 
as a contribution to the theory of religious feeling and as an 
exact test of Schleiermacher's theory of religion, attracted so 
much attention that, despite its scope and the poverty of the 
years after the World War, it was fully sold out in only five years. 
In a first section the book gives a brief exposition of the various 
contemporary theories of feeling. Practically all psychologists 
who have worked at feeling are quoted: W. Wundt, O. Kiilpe, 
H. Ebbinghaus, K. Biihler, E. Dlirr, S. Witasek, A. Messer, 
C. Stumpf, and also R. Lagerborg, W. James, C. Lange, T. Ribot, 
H. Munsterberg, G. Storring, F. Jodl, T. Lipps, H. Maier, 
O. v.d. Pfordten, R. Muller-Freienfels, R. Honigswald, K. Oester- 
reich, J. Orth, and others. 

And what are the established results? The answer is a crushing 
one for scientific psychology. It can be put in a few words: 
Psychology is very far from agreement on what feelings are, what 
mental states belong under them, and what their principal classes 
are. When every investigator today sets up his own theory of 
feeling, it simply means that psychology as science must answer 
honestly: ignoramus. And of religious feeling we know least. 
It is but slight consolation to know that the expression "feeling" 
(das Gefiihl) occurs for the first time in the year 1691 (J. Orth), 
and that it was introduced into scientific psychology only a 
hundred years later by Tetens and especially by Kant, while 
thought (ideation) and will have been elaborated for centuries. 
In view of the situation described, we may well surmise the 


presence of important methodic errors which hinder the steady 
advance of the modern investigation of feeling. 

No change in this situation is^ndicated by the present attempt 
to carry on again with a purely rational psychology to elucidate 
the nature of feeling in a purely conceptual manner (the Austrians: 
A. v. Meinong, W. Schmied-Kowarzik, and others; in part also 
the phenomenologists: E. Husserl, M. Scheler, and others). 
Such work is, of course, meritorious. It must, however, be joined 
to empirical observation of actual mental life; it must follow, 
not precede. If not, it becomes speculative; it brings certain 
theories arbitrarily into the actual state of affairs, and so confuses, 
instead of amplifying, the psychological picture; it generalizes 
before it has apprehended the fullness of reality, and so makes for 
triteness. From this error, J. Leuba, S. Freud, and E. Jones are 
not altogether free. The apparent unanimity which distinguishes 
this group of rational theories of feeling favorably from all other 
theories is, consequently, merely artificial; it is obtained through 
the relinquishment of exact observation. 

If science has not yet been able to set up a consistent theory 
of feeling, it seems reasonable to turn bark to the language of 
everyday life. This method is also followed, as we know, by the 
experimental psychology of the higher mental life; its most refined 
analyses always start out from the subjects' everyday vocabulary. 
So we inquire: What do we mean in ordinary life when we speak 
of feeling? What mental processes are in that case reckoned among 

The answer goes as follows: In everyday life we are acquainted 
with an infinite number of feelings. Every dim or obscure stirring 
of mental life is designated by that name. Indeed, the concept, 
feeling, has become a veritable lumber-room into which we promptly 
throw any internal process that we cannot or will not designate 
clearly. A large number of such feelings have been already recog- 
nized by the so-called pure psychologists, who, since the beginning 
of the last century, have opposed the psychology of associa- 
tionism, who stress exact description, and make no resort to 
experiment: F. Brentano, Volkelt, W. Dilthey, E. Spranger, 
T. Elsenhans, F. Jodl, v. Aster, Pfander, and others; my Munich 
teacher, T. Lipps, also takes a leading position among them. In 
the field of the psychology of religion we can mention R. Otto, 
F. Heiler, I. W. Hauer, and, in part, W. James and M. Scheler. 
They have the merit of having directed attention to the large 
variety of religious feelings: fear, fright, awe, regret, calm, 
exaltation, devoutness, and so on. 


E. B. Titchener, in his Text-Book of Psychology? mentions 
casually 54 different feelings. A. Messer, in an experimental 
investigation (1906), also makes casual mention of 70 feelings. 
I have in my possession a list, wnich I happened to find four years 
ago and which has not yet been published; in it are discriminated 
525 feelings of common parlance. The number has since further 
increased by about 50 feelings, and can easily be still more amplified. 
Wundt, consequently, was right in his surmise that the number of 
feelings is larger than the number of sensations, as of these it is 
already possible to differentiate 1300 separate kinds (Orth). 

But what can we do with so many feelings? Obviously, nothing 
more than with the two feelings, pleasantness and unpleasantness. 
Application requires an ordering, a grouping of this multiplicity; 
else nothing can be done with it. We have just seen, however, 
that scientific psychology has so far been unable to give us such 
an arrangement. Neither the logicians, who wrongly call them- 
selves Analytiker, nor the pure psychologists, now known also 
as phenomenologists, go very much further than ordinary observa- 
tion does. It is obvious that science must take altogether new 
roads in order to get ahead in this difficult field. Let us now turn 
to these new roads, and first of all to the important question of 


In the history of psychology the year 1900 means very much, 
because at about that time Oswald Ktilpe had already found 
altogether new methods for the exact determination of the higher 
mental life. He was a pupil of Wilhelm Wundt, and had been 
trained by this great man of science in precise experimental 
observation. The significance and the limits of the Wundtian 
experimental procedure and his doctrine of feeling are so generally 
known that we can pass over them. Kiilpe was not content with 
measuring, as Wundt had done, only the external reactions of 
feeling. He went much farther. He was primarily concerned 
with obtaining as complete a description as possible of the internal 

The details of our inner life we know only through self- 
observation. If our self -observation were, in fact, reportable with 
full precision and exactness, we should now be already excellently 
informed concerning our inner life. Everything, therefore, depends 
upon improving self-observation as much as possible. How is 
this improvement to be obtained? There are three places in an 

1 German edition by O. Klemm, Lehrbuch der Psychohgie (Leipzig: Barth, 
1910), I, 225. 


experiment where it comes in: in the experience, in the observa- 
tion, and in the report. More precisely, it means that the desired 
experience of the subject can be produced in accordance with a 
regular plan; that the subject's sllf -observation can be made very 
much more exact by the aid of special measures; and that the 
subject's report of the results of his observation can be rendered 
as precise as possible (by recording it immediately, by the use of 
shorthand, by increased practice, and so on). In the simple 
formula, experience-observation-report, is in fact summed up the 
whole of the ingenious technical advance which Kiilpe achieved. 
How great this advance is we realize also when we consider that, 
methodically, even the remarkable psychological descriptions of 
the poets have a similar origin. What gives their portrayals its 
exclusive value is the depth and the individuality of their expe- 
rience, the accuracy of their observation, and the consummate 
art of their narration. 

The practical success of the Ktilpean procedure has been 
demonstrated by his pupils, the so-called Wiirzburg School: 
K. Marbe, H. J. Watt, A. Messer, K. Blihler, A. Griinbaum, 
G. Storring, B. Schanof, O. Selz, L. Rangette, J. Lindworsky, 
A. Westphal, N. Ach, J. Orth, K. Koffka, A. Mager, Segal, 
Legowsky, Michotte, Prum, (in the psychology of religion especially) 
T. L. Haring, K. Girgensohn, W. Stahlin, A. Canesi, W. Gruehn, 
and others. As I showed in my 1924 review, this school has subject- 
ed to exact investigation the most varied provinces of mind:idea- 
tional activity, thought, the processes of volition and the affective 
life (Orth and Storring), the processes of aesthetics, choice, and 
evaluation, and the religious experience. 

The progress thus achieved is not slight. To be sure, in com- 
parison with the great advances which, with the help of improved 
methods, can certainly be made in the next decades, it is infini- 
tesimally small. It is not small when compared with our psycho- 
logical knowledge to date. For it is quite astonishing how every 
one of the investigations already made has brought to light from 
the depths of mental life utterly new material. Connections, acts, 
even the course of individual acts, which formerly were closed 
to observation, are becoming clearly discernible. Most important 
of all, almost every investigation confirms the results of preceding 
investigations, so that in this way we are finally getting again in 
psychology concordant, hence certain, scientific judgments. The 
sole disadvantage, the laboriousness, and the length of these 
investigations, does not counterbalance seriously the great 
advantages. We may then expect that this experimental mode of 
research will soon receive another impetus, after having suffered 


in Europe from Klilpe's death and from the post-war mania of 
uncritical speculation. 

Just a few words more about the methods of investigation 
of religious feeling. I disregara A. F. Shand's thoroughgoing 
investigation, since it analyzes primarily the instinctive life and, 
furthermore, pursues different methods. 

Already in 1903, J. Orth published results in accordance with 
the Kulpean method. His stimuli were tuning-fork tones, odors, 
colored figures, noises, lines, and points. The concrete results were 
rather slight. Yet the discovery of a particular class of experiences, 
Bewusstseinslagen, as he called them on Marbe's suggestion, was 
a very valuable outcome. Though before unknown, they play 
a big role in the mental states which are designated as feeling. 
They enter into connection with the feelings of doubt, certainty, 
uncertainty, contrast, acquiescence, immediate cognition, and 
so on. 

In 1914, W. Stahlin went farther. He presented to his subjects 
selected religious passages. These passages evoked certain 
impressions and feelings, of which a detailed report was required. 
He, too, came across peculiar, as yet unknown factors of feeling, 
which became understood as a result of later studies. 

Then came K. Girgensohn. In his work, which we have already 
mentioned, he followed up the religious feelings in a most com- 
prehensive manner. He presented to his subjects carefully 
selected religious compositions, which he had them read a number 
of times during the experimental period. After every reading, 
the subject had to report in detail upon his experiences during 
the reading. There were twenty-eight compositions and fourteen 
subjects. There were also supplementary association experi- 
ments, carefully planned conversations on religious questions, 
and the like. It will interest Americans to know that this study 
was preceded by experiments, in 1909-10, which were carried 
out with a combination of Starbuck's questionnaire. The results 
of this most important work will be treated in the following section. 
The method is still imperfect, as Girgensohn himself admitted. 
It gives us insight more into the statics than into the dynamics 
of religious life. Yet Girgensohn, like James, knows how to handle 
masterfully an imperfect method. 

In 1913, and independently of Girgensohn, T. L. Haring, 
another pupil of Ktilpe, published a study of the processes of 
evaluation. Provided with a large stock of stimulus-words and 
carefully chosen instructions, he follows up the processes, which 
have not yet received experimental treatment, of logical, economic, 
aesthetic, and moral evaluation. But his results, as I have shown 


and as Haring admitted, still do not go very deep and are im- 
portant chiefly to logical evaluation. The lack of preliminary work 
in this difficult field and a pronounced speculative disposition 
rendered the getting of new facfe difficult. 

I began my studies of the experience of evaluation in 1913 by 
building upon the methods of my predecessors. Instructions and 
stimulus-words were brought into closer relation to each other, 
reaction-times were reduced, and the stimulus-words were short- 
ened. In this way I succeeded not only in scrutinizing minute 
processes but also in uncovering previously unknown mental 
structures. Girgensohn, in particular, repeatedly pointed out 
the advance here achieved. 

Afterward, H. Lorenzsohn, one of my pupils, made a detailed 
study, by a similar method, of the most central religious feelings. 
It is to be hoped that he will soon be able to publish the results, 
which are novel in part and very interesting. Other pupils of 
Girgensohn's, C. Schneider and E. Nobiling, have studied the 
individual and genetic aspects of religious experience. 

A. Canesi, a pupil of Gemelli and Klilpe, went so far as to inves- 
tigate experimentally the life of prayer. He follows Girgensohn's 
investigations and mine, but he believes that he can do without 
a more refined experimental technique because his subjects are 
all selected and very pious. This is a very instructive error. To 
be sure, in this way Canesi obtained results of a very high religious 
status; but the reports are not precise. Thus his results, like those 
of Stahlin, who came at the beginning of this series, in spite of 
a wealth of material derived from many subjects, are quite hazy 
and not perspicuous. The attempts show convincingly that no 
other advantages can replace refinement of psychological technique. 

Looking back, we see in the methodic development of the study 
of religious feeling an unretarded progress in depth. The method 
has already become indispensable. From fruitless speculations, 
from theories of the seat of feeling, from discord-producing 
conceptual analyses, and so on, our methods turn more and 
more to the individual concrete phenomena of mental life which 
are not too distant from ordinary life, and, by intensified self- 
observation, try to penetrate deep into the structure of mind. 
Thus they come closer and closer to real life, which the results in 
the last section will confirm. 

Truly, the more precise these observations become in detail, the 
more do they require supplementary methods. Microscopic obser- 
vation must be supplemented with macroscopic observation. The 
larger connections of mental life must not be forgotten on account 
of the details. At this point the methods of pure psychology 


(J. Volkelt and T. Lipps) and of phenomenology (E. Husserl 
and M. Scheler), which we criticized earlier, become extraordi- 
narily important. The same is ^rue of the modern psychology of 
Gestalt, \jdiose need was early recognized by D. F. Schleiermacher, 
H. Cornelius, C. v. Ehrenfels, and others, and which is now 
successfully represented by M. Wertheimer, W. Kohler, K. Koffka, 
F. Krueger, K. Biihler, F. Sander, and others. It has grown out 
of the realization that a one-sided analysis of mental life, a 
mere resolution into elements, is dangerous to scientific psy- 
chology and breaks up mind in an unreal manner. At the same 
time it tries to find clear concepts for the unresolvable totality- 
character of mental life and of its individual structures and 
phenomena. Yet it seems to me that this tendency which is 
gaining ground in Germany is to be invoked not in opposition 
to but as supplementing experimental analysis. This was the 
standpoint of Girgensohn in his description of the religious states 
of pleasantness and unpleasantness (supra, p. 383 ff.). In my 
Religionspsychologie, I, too, devoted a separate section to synthetic 
normal psychology (p. 106 ff.). Decisive advances in getting new 
facts are to be expected, as I believe I have shown, chiefly from 
analytical experimentation. 


Girgensohn's impressive analyses will long remain a model for 
the study of religious feeling. He shows that subjects mean very 
different things when they talk of feelings, but, in the main, two 
classes of experiences. In the first class, the observer's self plays 
a decisive role, either as self-perception or as self-function. Gir- 
gensohn mentions in this connection agreement and rejection 
(cf. supra, J. Orth, activity and passivity). Thus it is certain 
acts, activities of the self, that are termed feelings. In the second 
class, feeling has definite contents. Either organic sensations 
appear (cf. James-Lange's theory, Leuba, Freud), or the well- 
known feelings of pleasantness and unpleasantness, intuitive 
thoughts, or reproductive bases, memories, and impalpable 
cognition (cf. supra, J. Orth). Here very refined mental operations 
are regarded as feelings. We can only mention the fact that 
Girgensohn has also very significant evidence for the nature of 
intuitive thinking, for the importance of organic sensations, for 
the topography of the field of consciousness, and the like. 

The following result is particularly important. If we take 
together all the mentioned factors of the religious affective life, 
we come close to the experience which Schleiermacher understood 


by the terms, religion or feeling. In the genuine religious expe- 
rience, ideas, discursive thinking, and processes of volition are 
secondary. The experimental psychology of religion has brought 
us farther. It shows us that religion, or what is ordinarily under- 
stood as religious feeling, is a specific compound, synthesis, or 
Gestalt, in which the two groups just mentioned appear in intimate 
fusion with each other. It is at the same time self-function and 
mental operation. 

Of special interest are the self-functions, a class of elementary 
mental processes for whose emphasis Girgensohn deserves credit. 
In these functions or mental acts, the total self, the personality, 
enters into intimate personal relation with the idea of God. It 
is already clear how important these results are to pedagogy. 
Rationalism, voluntarism, the Herbartian one-sided stress upon 
sense-presentation in education, impersonal "objective" religious 
instruction are absolutely mistaken. The sources of the religious 
affective life lie elsewhere. 

In my studies of the experience of evaluation, I tried to supple- 
ment and carry on the investigations of Girgensohn. His defini- 
tion of self-function is still very ambiguous. We have seen that 
he subsumes under it activity, and he does the same with atten- 
tion and the like. I succeeded a point which Girgensohn himself 
had stressed in throwing more light upon these self-functions. 

The central group I have called acts of appropriation. They 
are specific mental acts which bear the character of experiences 
of inner contact. Whatever thus comes into touch or most 
intimate contact with the self becomes a personal possession of 
the self, becomes a part of it. These processes bear the character 
of experiences in the highest degree; they are "events" in mental 
life; they bear the character of microscopic conversions (Bekeh- 
rungen), as E. D. Starbuck has described them. The impressions 
thus received form the depths of mental life. They seem to have 
an outstanding share in the building-up of the individual self. 
A peculiar hierarchical arrangement, a "monarchical principle" 
(O. Ktilpe), brings the individual ideas and thoughts into a sys- 
tematic connection of superordination and subordination. In 
my Religionspsychologie, I described the course and the stages 
of these acts. In my Psychologic des Jugendlichen, I pointed out 
pedagogical consequences of this discovery. It appears that 
the important religious acts or "feelings" of faith and love follow 
exactly the same laws as the self-functions. Indeed, that was to 
be expected. 

I must content myself with the results I have given as examples 
of the modern investigation of religious feeling, although there 


are other most noteworthy things to report upon in the above- 
mentioned works. It is generally admitted that the published 
protocols deserve special attention. For they offer the possibility 
of studying with great refinement the true life of mind. 

It is especially important that these results may already be 
regarded as secure. For we can clearly observe in the studies 
of Orth, Stahlin, Girgensohn, Gruehn, Canesi, and also Haring, 
A. Bolley, and in those not yet published how the same central 
processes, though variously and independently executed and 
guided by different motives, appear again and again, are appre- 
hended from quite different points of view, but, as the method 
progresses, can be diagnosticated more and more univocally. 

At the same time, we find confirmation of certain casual (all 
the more refined non-experimental results are in a measure 
accidental), very interesting, but frequently contested results of 
non-experimental psychologists; in a larger context they become 
comprehensible. So, it seems to me, the doctrine of self-functions 
throws light upon some peculiar observations of medical psy- 
chology and of pure psychology: the concept of transfer (Freud), 
identification (A. Maeder), empathy (Lipps, Volkelt), love and 
hate (Brentano, Scheler), and the concept of a depth dimension 
in mental life (J. S. Mill, Volkelt, Lipps, Scheler, Schmied- 
Kowarzik, Orth, Krueger, and others). 

If we take the results here described and those only indicated, 
Girgensohn is quite right in saying that the first task of the 
psychology of religious feeling can now, thanks to experiment, 
be regarded as solved, namely, the analysis of the fundamental 
elements and structures of religious life. We are now faced with 
the second task, equally important and no easier, of the unitary 
arrangement of the most important religious feelings and the deeper 
understanding of all the immense variety of forms of religious life 
from the newly obtained unitary points of view. The execution 
of this task also opens up very wide perspectives. 

For the progress of the doctrine of religious feeling here sketched 
is of no small importance for the whole of mental life. Let us, 
at the conclusion as we have done at the beginning, look into these 
distances. One hundred years ago German classical idealism 
(Kant, Fichte, Schelling, Hegel) made the gigantic attempt of 
creating a unitary and comprehensive world-view of the whole 
of modern science and civilization (Kultur). After Plato and 
Aristotle, it was the second attempt of the sort in the history of 
man. The attempt failed, and led, as we now clearly see, to the 
terrible debacle of present European civilization. But now we 
see even more clearly the mistakes which frustrated the attempt. 


First, the last peaks of mental life were sought in mysticism 
(Fichte), and in religious rationalism (Hegel) not in that still 
higher sphere in which, as I havg shown, the inwardness of mys- 
ticism and the spirituality of intuitive thought combine into the 
mysterious experience of true piety. As a result of this error, the 
nineteenth century clung to a false religiosity, and neglected 
those genuine sources out of which the peoples and civilizations 
of earlier centuries drew, again and again, rejuvenating power. 

The second error was seen, but could not then be eliminated. 
Kant wanted to establish exact mental sciences this was one of 
the starting-points of his famous Kritiken which were to be 
as securely founded as the natural sciences. To do this he had to 
have very comprehensive and precise work chiefly in the field of 
mental life, the common basis of all the mental sciences. Since 
this work was not available, there resulted the familiar one-sided 
structure of science and civilization, the underestimation of the 
mental and the spiritual, the perverse overestimation of the 
material world, and the spiritual debility of Europe. These 
two errors stand in perspicuous connection with the doctrine of 
religious feeling. 

Humanity is today working again with profound earnestness 
at a re-establishment of the whole of its material and spiritual 
possession. Again, as a hundred years ago, the unsolved problems 
come up. Will we succeed in the exact treatment of the pro- 
found problems and in the attainment of the goal which Kant 
saw? That it is not unattainable is shown in small part by the 
progress of experimental research in the field of religious feeling. 



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DR. REYMERT: Dr. Gruehn's paper is now open for discussion. May I call 
upon Dr. Biihler to please voice his opinion? 

DR. BthiLER (University of Vienna): I do not want to speak first in this dis- 
cussion. I should prefer to be the last speaker. Dr. Schneider can answer as well 
as I. Do you agree to that? 

DR. REYMERT: Surely. Any questions or comments from anyone? I believe 
from my own impressions at several national conventions of psychology in America, 
at which I have been present, that the experimental attack on the psychology of 
religion, as we should know it through the Kiilpe-Girgensohn method, and from 
the work of Biihler, Schneider, and others, is somewhat unknown among American 
workers as yet. I think that we should use this opportunity, having both Dr. 
Biihler and Dr. Schneider here, to ask any questions our hearts desire. Let us 
start in. 

DR. WEISS (Ohio State University): I should like to ask for a more complete 
analysis of the self-function. In religious feelings two kinds were mentioned, the 
self-function and the object-function. 

DR. SCHNEIDER (Wittenberg College): This is not easy to explain in the short 
time at our disposal. It means that finally all religious experience can be analyzed 
into two functions: we may say, in the more popular terminology, into an emo- 
tional function and an intellectual function, that is, the self-related function or 
ego-function, which has qualitative tones of emotional character. At the same 
time every religious experience goes inherently together with an objective relation, 
a more or less intuitive thought process. This thought process is an experience 
of a transcendent object. These two functions may be found in the psychology 
of Augustine. He makes a difference between amare and intellcgere in the religious 
experience. We also have it in the psychological observations of the mysticists. 

DR. WEISS: I understand, then, that this ego-function, so far as religious feel- 
ings are concerned, is dominant. 

DR. SCHNEIDER: Yes, yes. 


PROFESSOR CROWL (University of Michigan)'. As I understand it, the chief 
characteristic of the technique under discussion was that of having persons explain, 
at some sort of request, their feelings which are supposed to be of a religious nature. 
Without meaning to criticize, I should like to ask the speaker what his opinion is 
of a supplementary method, that of employing the spontaneous religious writings 
of adolescents as apparent from diaries and religious poetry? 

DR. SCHNEIDER: We do not put questions to our observers. I think Dr. Gruehn 
has been misunderstood. The process is that we give religious stimuli, religious 
poems, or better, short striking religious sentences; we have tried it also with 
pictures, and I tried it here with religious tunes and melodies. We give the stimulus 
and then the observer has, with his definite Einstellung, to read, hear, or see this 
stimulus and then give us an introspective report. All other methods would be 


useful as supplementary methods, and when you read Girgensohn's books you 
will find he also has often used such supplementary methods. 

DR. ERICSON (Upsala College): Has it been observed in these experiments that 
the subject really changes his report, i. e., that his reaction is reported differently 
at different times? What came to my mind was the suggestion given somewhere 
of the possibility that the physiological condition of the subject has something to 
do with his reaction to the religious stimuli. 

DR. SCHNEIDER: Certainly it has. A complete description has to include all 
these things: physiological condition, Einstellung, i. e., "general mood." Dr. 
Ericson's question refers to a genetic process. Some religious experiences con- 
tinuously change, but we can also observe some structural lines which run through 
all protocols, under all possible conditions. To bring this out in detail I should have 
to cite too many instances. 

DR. BUHLER: I think Dr. Schneider has answered all questions so well and so 
definitely that I have nothing more to add. 


History of the Psychology of 
Feelings and Emotions 




University of Toronto 

It seems proper that in a symposium on feelings and emotions 
some account should be given of the long history of the subject. 
The development of all the sciences has been so rapid in the past 
century that no one can expect to find in the records of antiquity, 
or even of comparatively recent times, any significant addition 
to knowledge. But the function of the historian is quite distinct 
from that of the experimenter or the theorist. In the common 
language of today, history is a cultural subject. It serves to open 
the mind to the long periods of time during which men have 
pursued truth. It also provides a perspective in which it is pos- 
sible to see the variety of interests which dominate research, 
often influencing the whole trend of thought for long periods