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:>iervous aou nUaiai ujs«as<g <>looograpli benefi No. 28 

The Autonomic Functions and 
the Personality 


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Nervous and Mental Disease Monograph Series No. 28 

The Autonomic Functions and 
the Personality 












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She was one of those women whose faith in God and Nature,^ 
as the nature of God, inspires men to study Nature. 





Preface vii 

Introduction ix 

Introductory discussion. Statement of the theory of the physiolog- 
ical origin and nature of the emotions and Hheir mechanism of obtain- 
ing gratification. 

Part I 3 

Designation of the autonomic apparatus— the origin and necessity of 
the projicient apparatus^-designation of the projicient apparatTus— -the 
organs constituting the autonomic ai^paratus-^he priority of the 
"autonomic component" of the organism— postural changes in the 
projicient apparatus to suit the autonomic component 

Part II 17 

The significance of the continuous activity of the proprioceptive cir- 
cuit for postural tonus and the kinesthetic contents of the stream of 
consciousness— the dual nature of the striped muscle and the depend- 
ence of its postural tonus upon the proprioceptor circuit and the 
sympathetic motor neurone in Ihe spinal cord — ^influence of autonomic- 
a£Fective tensions upon the pc»tural ttonus of skeletal muscles — 
postural muscle tonus (kinesthesis, apperception, reflex imitation, 
and "understanding")— ithe postural tonus of *he unstriped muscle — 
peripheral origin of the emotions in the autonomic apparatus— auto- 
nomic-afiFective tensions— postural traits and traits of dharacter— pain 
and pleasure giving 'Stimuli of distance receptors — similarity of physio- 
logical reactions to painful distance and contact receptors — metabolic 
reactions to fear of potential failure (increase of sugar and adrenin 
in blood, unfatigueabiHty of muscle cells, decrease of coagulation 
time, increase of bbod pressure and heart rate, changes in visceral 
volumes with shifting of blood supply for defense and attack and 
dilation of the bronchioles— 'fear and debilitated physiological states 
— "conditioning" of the autonomic-a£Fective apparatus. 

Part III 68 

Continuity and complexity of the autonomic-a£Fective stream— influ- 
ence of the a£Fective stream upon behavior— characteristic affective 
states and their influence upon behavior — (fear, anger, shame, disgust, 
sorrow, joy, anguish, love, jealousy, envy) — affective repression and 
fixation in the persistent postural tensions of the autonomic seg- 
ment—influence of the repressed affect upon motor incoordinations 



(accidents, errors, oversights, mistakes in speech, writing, dreams), 
the integration of the compensatory autonomic strivings for social 
esteem into a wiity which constitutes the ego — the will and the 
zwjA— aflFective fixation and progressive divergence of character and 
social interests — a£Fective summation and reenforcement, and recip- 
rocal inhibition of affective cravings — affective conflict and dissocia- 
tion of tfie personality— the essential di£Ference between extroversion 
and introversion— aflFective progression and regression— aflFective re- 
adjustment, assimilation, sublimation, and coordination— acquisitive 
and avertive capacities of the personality— the use of the image of 
reality— memory— the nature of and the content of consciousness — 
the wishfulfiUing mechanism of hallucinations, delusions, obsessions, 
misinterpretations, misrepresoitations, and practical approximation 
of interpretation to reality. 

Part IV 139 

General Recapitulation — Speculation as to Man's place in Nature. 


It has always seemed to me that the inability of earnest, intelli- 
gent students of medicine and psychology to grasp Freud's and 
Jimg's libido concepts indicates that there must be something not 
quite satisfactory with the idea of libido. Although it attempts to 
give a more intimate portra)ral of the energic constitution of man and 
his love of life, it loses clearness because the mind is unable to clearly 
conceive of a process without some thing to proceed. From an- 
other source — ^an old aversion for the clerical-academic, vague soul 
hypothesis and its unintelligible psychophysical parallelism — ^I have 
for some time felt that the only psychological conceptions that can 
be expected to endure must be f oimded entirely upon the functions 
of the reflex circuit and the autonomic apparatus. 

The recent laboratory demonstrations of the peripheral autono- 
mic origin of the craving for food (acquisitive-assimilative) and the 
craving to urinate (avertive-emissive), and the capacity of the domi- 
nant autonomic apparatus to become conditioned to react to indif- 
ferent stimuli, that have been coincidentally associated with its 
primary stimuli, have permitted the completion of a conception of 
the personality on the basis of the conditioned autonomic reflex. 
Hence a d)mamic mechanism, that can be visualized by the student, 
may be substituted for the libido concept. 

I am particularly indebted, in order, to the works of Darwin, 
Sherrington, James, Freud, Cannon, von Becbterew and Watson, 
and and the teachings and personal influence of my teacher in psy- 
chology. Prof. Ernest Lindley ; in physiology. Profs. W. Moenkhaus 
and J. Macleod ; and in psychiatry. Prof. Adolf Meyer and Dr. W. 
A. White. From the thoughts and works of these men, scientific 
data, suggestions and theories finally became associated together for 
me in the following conception of the dynamic nature of the per- 
sonality and its place in the great cosmic system. 

I wish especially to express my thanks to Dr. White for his sug- 
gestions in the preparation of the book, and, to Dr. Stanley Cobb, 
Miss Clara Willard and Mrs. Kempf for suggestions in correcting 
the manuscript. 

Edward J. Kempf 

Saint Elizabeth's Hospital, 
November 7, 1917. 



In order to make a brief presentation of an autonomic principle 
that has extensive manifestations in all forms of the biocasmos it 
must be presumed that the reader has an elementary knowledge of 
biology and psychology, otherwise some of the discussion will seem 
barren of supporting facts. 

This book has been written to show how the autonomic apparatus 
dominates the organism, and that the affections have their origin in 
the peripheral functions of this apparatus. Therefore the affec- 
tions should be recognized as the dominating dynamic force of the 
personality and determine the nature of its normal and abnormal 
traits and behavior. A theory of the neutralization mechanism of 
the autonomic or affective functions is proposed in the text and the 
psychological nature of its variations is presented so that the reader 
may use the theory and data in his work with biological and psy- 
chological problems. By developing a thoroughly dynamic con- 
ception of the personality the biologist and physiologist, the psy- 
chologist and psychiatrist, the clinician, the criminologist, and the 
social worker can acquire a far more intelligent insight into their 
problems. At present there is an unusually strong tendency among 
behaviorists and biologists to urge psychobiological conceptions that 
include the personality as a whole, following the suggestions of 
Hughlings Jackson, on the three integrative levels — structural, physio- 
logical and psychological. This is particularly valuable in that it dis- 
courages the adoption of the old, sinister soul-body, parallelistic no- 
tions of the personality which have so long diverted enthusiasm and 
obscured the vision of psychobiological researchers. 

On the other hand the movement encourages the substitution of a 
practical monistic conception of the personality and promises marked 
practical results. The adoption of merely a monistic viewpoint, is, 
however, wholly insufficient. The history of philosophy shows that, 
as soon as a generation of researchers and students become familiar 
with monistic or parallelistic forms of thinking, the natural, irre- 
pressible question arises, " Well, how does the mechanism as a unity 
actually work ? " Then follows an epidemic of speculative explana- 
tions which finally wears itself out and the preponderance of ag- 
gressive thought swings to the opposite side. 

This monograph will probably arouse the charge of precocious 


theorizing and I feel that the suppressive influence of this attitude, 
so widely characteristic of the multitude of American university 
professors, is so serious in its sterilizing influence upon original 
thinking that I wish to quote Qiarles Darwin, from his autobiogra- 
phy. Herein he reveals the attitude that enabled him to break 
away from the suppressive educational system of England and read- 
just, for a time it seems, the thinking methods of modem science. He 
says : " From my early youth I have had the strongest desire to un- 
derstand or explain whatever I observed, that is, to group all facts 
under some general laws. These causes (pure love of natural 
science and the desire to be esteemed by his fellow naturalists) com- 
bined have given me the patience to reflect or ponder for any number 
of years over any unexplained problem." " I have steadily endeav- 
ored to keep my mind free so as to give up any hypothesis, however 
much beloved (and I cannot resist forming one on every subject), 
as soon as facts are shown to be opposed to it." " Science consists 
in grouping facts so that general laws or conclusions may be drawn 
from them." 

My theory of the dynamic nature of the personality is submitted 
to those whom it may interest with most decidedly the attitude, that 
no matter how enthusiastically I may ever regard it, it is only worth 
its working value. No theory or conception of life is worth being 
upheld as a creed except by those who need it to comfortably main- 
tain affective repressions. A theory should only be submitted with 
the purpose that it shall be, if necessary, unreservedly modified so as 
to be inclusive of all facts. This was the method of Darwin and 
why should it not be the method of Science? 

Until students of animal and human behavior learn to present be- 
havioristic and psychopathological experiments and observations, af- 
fective mechanisms and basic principles, so that they are clearly 
translatable into the fundamental mechanisms of the integrative 
functions of the nervous system, they are in danger of working with 
fine psychobiological blanket phrases that merely cover up parallelis- 
tic forms of thinking. Since even two such thinkers seem unable to 
clearly understand one another it is highly imperative that students 
of human and animal behavior shall learn to think from a common, 
simple, yet comprehensive, practical attitude. 

In order to develop a method of making and presenting clinical 
and behavioristic observations that will avoid the tangles of body- 
soul or mind-matter parallelism, a new reeducational epoch of 
neurologizing and psychologizing is developing. 

Evidence of this is already to be seen in the physiological works 


of Sherrington, Cannon, Crile, and others. Holt's adoption of the 
"wish" in his book on "The Freudian Wish" as the "first key 
which psychology has ever had which fitted and, moreover, the only 
one that psychology will ever need " (29, p. vii), indicates the nature 
of the physiological trend in academic psychology. As to the nature 
or source of the energy of the wish Holt says : " One will best, I 
think, not hjrpothecate to this end any such thing as ' psychic energy,' 
but look rather, for the energy so expended in the nervous system " 
(29, p. 4). This brings the student abruptly to the physiology of 
the emotions and the nature of the autonomic functions of the per- 

Watson, in his physiological work on "Behavior," in order to 
avoid the dilemma that always arises with the adoption of the paral- 
lelistic soul-body hypothesis, wholly ignored the function of con- 
sciousness, which rather weakened the monistic position, the phe- 
nomena attending consciousness being the last stronghold of the 

Consciousness of self is too omnipresent a fact to be disregarded. 
There is a distinct functional difference between the integrative 
f imctions of the unconscious and the fully conscious individual which 
lies in the persistent fact that in the latter consciousness of self exists, 
and in the former it does not. The assumption that in the uncon- 
scious animal some coordinating cerebral area or center is out of 
order is unsatisfactory, if it is held that in this center or centers 
consciousness of the functions of the rest of the body exists when 
the center is in proper working order, because cerebral pathology 
cannot demonstrate it even by elimination of each cerebral area. ^ If 
it is, however, assumed that the afunctional brain area prevents the 
organism from reacting as an integrative unity to the special or sen- 
sational activity of some one or several of its parts and the result of 
this function of reacting as a unity is consciousness, that is aware- 
ness by the body as a whole of the hyper-activities of some division 
of itself, then the behaviorist and psycho-pathologist may deal with 
consciousness as a physiological phenomenon without being embar- 
rassed by the mind-matter riddle. 

The phenomenon of consciousness, as a result of the synthetic' 
activity of the constituent parts of the organism, is as much of an 
entity or fact as a nerve cell is a synthetic structure; duration of 
existence not being a fundamental difference. / There has been a 
sleight-of-hand movement in psychology to drop the term "con- 
sciousness " and adopt the term " awareness " in order to escape the 
Sphinx. If the above physiological conception of the mechanism of 
consciousness of self is true then the psycho-physiologist has an en- 


tirely different problem to work out than that which the old cerebral- 
izing notions created for him. 

The psychological laboratory method of studying human be- 
havior is peculiarly unsuited for the study of the spontaneous be- 
havior of an adolescent or adult subject because the tendency to be 
conscious of himself continually interferes with the spontaneity and 
determination of his reactions. The individual who has learned to 
analyze the spontaneous adjustments and inspiraitons that occur in 
his daily life becomes aware of processes that the controlled-intro- 
spective method of analysis never permits him to recognize. Be- 
cause of this the importance of the wish was not recognized until a 
patient's behavior demonstrated it to the founder of modem psycho- 
pathology — Sigmund Freud. 

In the following study of the autonomic functions of the per- 
sonality physiological and psychological, experimental data, psycho- 
pathological data, and observations of spontaneous behavior have 
been used to demonstrate the nature of the autonomic influence upon 
the structure and behavior of the individual. 

The theory of the autonomic functions is presented before the 
discussion of the data, upon which it is formulated, in order that, if 
the reader will familiarize himself with it before reading the dis- 
cussion, it may greatly facilitate considering the facts in the light 
of the theory. 

The discussion of the autonomic functions and their funda- 
mental law is naturally divided into its three manifestations — struc- 
tural, physiological and psychological. 

In Part I, the plan of the structure or anatomy of the higher 
organisms is discussed to show that since the process of atrophy of 
disuse tends to eliminate the useless material and movements on the 
one hand, and the growth of the useful tends to make permanent 
necessary material and movements on the other, the architecture of 
an animal should reveal in a general but reliable manner the funda- 
mental law or process that determined the peculiar form of its 
existence. To be sure there are anatomical features that seem in- 
explicable on this hypothesis, probably because we are as yet not able 
to imagine an explanation, having insufficient data. 

Part II is devoted to a consideration of such physiological data 
as are suited to demonstrate the dominant nature of the autonomic 
apparatus. The interpretation of (i) the continuity of postural 
tonus of the striped muscles as the source of a continuous kinesthetic 
stream, and of (2) the unstriped muscles as the source of a con-^ 
tinuous affective stream, is based principally on the physiological re- 


searches of Sherrington and Langelaan and on introspective obser- 
vations of spontaneous reactions. Researches of Cannon and Sher- 
rington on the nature and origin of hunger and fear, and the labora- 
tory demonstration of tlie peripheral origin of the desire to urinate 
are advanced to demonstrate the peripheral origin of the affective 
cravings in the autonomic functions. 

It is but proper to acknowledge here that Cannon and Sherring- 
ton were inclined, from their researches, to believe in the cerebral 
(central) origin of the emotions in the sense that the autonomic 
changes resulted from cerebral-emotional disturbances. The same 
research material, plus other data, is used in order to show that 
emotions are not experienced upon the cerebral changes that precede 
the autonomic changes, but that an emotion only comes into existence 
as the peripheral autonomic reactions become active. 

Liberal use is made of Cannon's work on the bodily effects of 
pain to show that a painful stimulus, whether contact, visual or 
auditory, so disturbs the autonomic apparatus that its peculiar state 
of tension or unrest compels the adjustment of suitable receptors so 
as to acquire such stimuli as have the capacity to produce the return 
of a comfortable autonomic state. The dynamic value of increases 
in the quantity of adrenin and blood sugar for this purpose is also 

Laboratory, clinical and psychopathological data are used to show 
that variations in the affective stream are due to peripheral variations 
in the autonomic functions, which is contrary to the general belief 
that since visceral reactions appear to be similar for different emo- 
tional states, the variation in function probably occurs in the central 
nervous system. 

The law that autonomic functions, or affective cravings, become 
conditioned to react to ordinarily indifferent stimuli, because the 
latter have been coincidentally associated with the inherent primary 
stimuli of a particular autonomic fimction, is elaborated as the mech- 
anism of the development of the personality and its individual char- 
acteristics, whether normal or abnormal. 

The more popular conceptions of emotions and instincts show 
that there is an illy defined tendency among psychologists to dif- 
ferentiate them according to the physiological functions involved. 
In Part III, this material is advanced to stabilize the primary effort 
of the monograph, namely, to obtain recognition for the fact that in 
the higher organisms an affective setisori-motor system {autonomic) 
exists which created and uses the cerebrospinal or projicient sensori- 
motor system as a means to keep in contact with the environment in 
order that the autonomic apparatus may fulfill its biological career. 


The recent tremendous advances in psychopathology are forcing 
a delayed but appreciable recognition from the academic psycholo- 
gist. Hence, the mechanisms of affective conflict, repression, fixa- 
tion, dissociation, regression, readjustment, coordination and reen- 
forcement, reciprocal inhibition of the negative or antagonistic wish, 
and affective compensation with sublimation or refinement, are dis- 
cussed in Part III, with the object of showing that the affective 
mechanisms probably originate and persist in the heightened postural 
tensions of particular divisions of the autonomic apparatus. The 
physiologist and psychologist will probably, in the near future, co- 
operate in working out the relations of definite affective traits to 
particular autonomic postures, on the hypothesis of hypertension and 
hypotension of various autonomic segments determining the content 
of consciousness. 

This particular physio-psychological phenomenon of h)rper- or 
hypotension of different divisions of the autonomic apparatus, and 
the mechanism of its creation and continuation, has not yet re- 
ceived the specific attention and discussion it deserves. It seems to 
be the most important psychobiological phenomenon in the determina- 
tion of the character of the personality that confronts psychopathol- 
ogy and psychology at present. 

A brief discussion of functional anesthesia, which was suggested 
by a case of so-called hysteria, as a possible explanation of the physi- 
ology of recall of sensory impressions (memory) and attention, and 
a discussion of the manner in which the entire integrating mechanism 
produces consciousness of itself closes the third part. 

Part IV is devoted to a brief restatement of the functional prin- 
ciples of the personality with some consideration of man's place in 

The references are listed at the end of the book and each ref- 
erence is numbered. The reader will find the number of the ref- 
erence and its page number inserted in the text as the references 
are used. The first niunber refers to the reference. 


In the higher animals and man an autonomic or affect-producing 
sensori-motor system exists which uses a projicient sensori-motor 
system as a means to project and keep itself in contact with the en- 
vironment. The affective sensori-motor system has specialized 
physiological functions and a definite anatomical structure, consist- 
ing of the entire autonomic apparatus and the sympathetic or un- 
striped part of the striped muscle cells. The latter make a reenf orce^ 
ing affective contribution to the personality through the postural 
tonus of the striped muscles, particularly the facial muscles and ex- 
tensor and flexor muscles of the skeleton. (The nervous division 
of this cellular system has often been referred to as an involuntary, 
or vegetative, or sympathetic nervous system.) 

The projicient sensori-motor apparatus has also specialized func- 
tions and a distinct anatomical structure in the entire cerebro-spinal 
apparatus (so-called voluntary) which does not include those auto- 
nomic centers and their nerve fibers which are embedded in it. 
(The projicient sensori-motor apparatus, it appears from the nature 
of postural tonus and kinesthetic imagery, is, in a sense, the think- 
ing apparatus of the organism.) 

The theory advanced is that whenever the autonomic or affective 
sensori-motor apparatus is disturbed or forced into a state of unrest, 
either through the necessities of metabolism, or endogenous, or 
exogenous stimuli, it compels the projicient sensori-motor apparatus 
to so adjust the receptors in the environment as to acquire stimuli 
having the capacity to produce adequate postural readjustments 
in the autonomic apparatus. In this manner, only, the disturb- 
ance of function may be neutralized. The constant tendency of the 
autonomic apparatus is to so organize the projicient apparatus into a 
means as to acquire a maximum of affective gratification with a 
minimum expenditure of energy or effort. 

This continuous dynamic pressure determines the tendency towards 
perfection through practice, eliminates the useless and stabilizes the 
useful. It determines the evolution of organic structure, of person- 
ality, behavior and achievement. The healthy individual is a dy- 
namic entity that has an elastic although limited quotient of energy, 
hence the tendency to attain a maximum influence upon the environ- 

^ :•••••: : AutoNocMic functions and the personality 


ment with a minimum expenditure of his resources conserves the 
unusued resources for further extension of power and influence. In 
commerce men are constantly striving to find methods of reducing 
the waste of power and of extending the influence of power. Each 
invention that improves a method in either direction causes the old 
method to be discarded. This principle is also to be seen in the 
individual's refinement of his personality, as speech and movements, 
until he attains a comfortable maximum of skill. 

In discussing the above conception of the dynamic nature of the 
personality the entire organism is conceived as a unity and the 
central nervous system is reduced to a means, or instrument, for, first, 
the integration of the various physiological divisions into a functional 
unity, and, second, the reenforcement of their powers. 

Franz (46, p. 161) has concluded from his experiments on the 
variations in distribution of motor centers that " the same forms of 
behavior are not always due to the activities of the same cerebral 
cells." When such data and conclusions are associated with the re- 
cent work on the influence of the proprioceptive arc and postural 
tonus the old, unfounded notions about the supremacy of the cerebral 
cortex and localized origin in the cortex of the controlling forces of 
behavior must be considered to have been thoroughly undermined by 
the more recent contributions to the knowledge of the nervous 


Structural Indications of the Principle of the Autonomic 


In order to build up or attain a dynamic conception of the per- 
sonality, the body must be seen as a biological machine that assimi- 
lates, conserves and expends energy. Since nature constantly tends 
to conserve the useful through trophic processes and discard the use- 
less through atrophic processes the present structure of the human 
body as a unity of anatomical parts should reveal the dynamic prin- 
ciple upon which it has been developed. 

The physiological divisions of the body that have the essential 
functions of assimilation, conservation, distribution and regulation 
of the expenditure of energies and the elimination of waste products, 
work as one autonomic apparatus. Because of the vital importance 
of the autonomic apparatus in the higher animals and the nature of 
its evolution attention is called to the nature of the primordial auto- 
nomic apparatus and its relations to its environment. 

All organisms are immersed in a continuous bath of environ- 
mental stimuli. This bath, in so far as an organism is concerned, 
is composed of two general types of stimuli, the harmful and the 
beneficial (because of destructive or constructive mechanical and 
chemical effects), for which all organisms have some avertive and 
acquisitive capacities. Because the living organism itself is a con- 
tinuous, complicated stream of metabolism, literally flowing through 
the stages of infancy, adolescence, maturity and senility, its avertive 
and acquisitive needs are constantly changing and this fluctuates the 
value of a relatively small proportion of the environment back and 
forth, as harmful or beneficial. 

The avertive and acquisitive needs and motor tendencies, as will be 
shown later, depend upon the disposition of the autonomic apparatus. 
The primordial autonomic apparatus may be seen in the unicellular 
organism where it has highly developed capacities for the assimila- 
tion, conservation and expenditure of energy, but relatively poorly 
developed capacities for avoiding harmful or acquiring beneficial 
stimuli. In the ameba and the phagocyte, as free, perfect cells, one 
finds a complete autonomic apparatus but only a temporary pro- 
jicient apparatus in the pseudopodia. 



As some forms of the primordial autonomic apparatus became 
more powerful they probably became able to conserve enough energy 
to sustain a permanent projicient apparatus. When the ameba 
reaches a certain stage of nourishment it undergoes mitosis. The 
manner of growth of the embryo of higher organic forms suggests 
that during the gastrulation period all the cells retain independent 
metabolic f imctions until the layers begin to thicken and some of the 
intermediary cells have insufficient access to the food supply. Then 
food-distributing cells and a circulation apparatus begin to appear 
in that group of cells (mesoderm) which has the least access to a 
food supply. Not until after considerable progress has been made 
in the physiological division of labor, and the specialization of ftinc- 
tion and structure in the autonomic apparatus, do some of the cell 
groups take on the attributes of the permanent projicient apparatus. 

As the autonomic apparatus becomes more powerful and its divi- 
sions highly specialized it is also able to sustain a more intricate 
projicient apparatus which in turn enables the autonomic apparatus 
to extend its capacities for the assimilation and conservation of en- 
ergy. \ The structural plan of the two systems in the higher animals 
shows how the two systems have grown apace and moulded one an- 
other, as for example the shape of the lungs and the thorax, but the 
initiative always comes from the autonomic apparatus.) Higier em- 
phasizes the fact that the * 'myelin sheaths (47, p. 79) develop first 
in the ganglion system, then in the metameric system, then in the 
mid-brain system, and finally in the cerebral and cortico-associative 

On the basis of this dynamic initiative the evolution of the 
needs of the autonomic apparatus may be considered as the deter- 
mining factor of the structure of the projicient apparatus, hence the 
structure of the body and the nature of its practical adaptations to 
the environment. But the successfulness of the career of the or- 
ganism depends upon the capacity of its receptors to react to stimuli 
in order that the autonomic apparatus may differentiate harmful 
from beneficial types. These qualities in stimuli are usually not 
differentiated by the exteroceptor but by the autonomic apparatus 
through the reactions the stimuli produce there. That is, the eye 
does not differentiate the grewsome from the pleasant painting; 
this is determined, as will be shown later, by the peripheral auto- 
nomic reactions, or feelings, that are aroused by what the eye sees. 

Since the only contact the autonomic apparatus has with the en- 
vironment is through the extero-ceptors, its career and integrity must 
depend upon its capacity to keep these receptors exposed to appro- 


priate stimuli. So long as the moose can keep its nostrils free from the 
odors of man its margin of safety is greatly increased, but when the 
food supply is in the area of the man odors a compromise of the 
avertive and acquisitive tendencies must be made. This compromise 
of avertive and acquisitive tendencies is also characteristic of plants 
and insects. If a white mustard seedling is suspended on a cork 
float in a water culture and illuminated equally from all sides the 
stem grows practically straight upward and the root straight down- 
ward. Then if all the light is closed off except from only one point 
the stem will bend toward the light and the root will turn away from 
it.* (From Macfarland.) 

Numerous illustrations are not needed to show that the avertive 
and acquisitive tendencies opposing one another, as the organism 
makes its complex reactions to the environmental stream, determine 
the organism's position and course in the environment and its organic 
structure. ^ An organism's behavior in the environment, at any mo- 
ment, is the resultant of its avertive and acquisitive cravings as they 
control the find common motor paths of adaptation in order to prop- 
erly expose its receptors. The importance of the receptors to the ) 
older cellular forms probably necessitated the evolution of the sense 
cells into sense organs and then the integrating nervous system 
(Higier). "All nervous functions have had their phylogenetic 
origin in the activity of the oldest sense cells and the direct descend- 
ants of these cells. Among these must be included the little known 
paraganglion cells, the chromafiin cells and above all the cells of the 
sympathetic and autonomic ganglion, ». e., the ganglionic system" 
(Higier, 47, p. 79). 

Relatively little of the brain is necessary to the vegetative func- 
tions. It is, however, essential for procuring materials that are 
necessary for the existence of the vegetative functions. 

In the case of the mustard seedling it is important to recognize 
that when the stem grows toward the light it also grows away from 
the darkened areas and that the root grows toward the darkened 
area and away from the light. The ambivalent avertive-acquisitive 
nature of growth and structural determinism becomes of the utmost 
importance when the psychic functions of organisms are studied. 

The successful struggle for existence obviously has always de- 
pended upon the organism's capacity to develop efficient means for 
meeting its emergencies, and upon the method of associating the 
projicient apparatus with the receptors has depended the whole bio- 
logical career of all organisms that try to master the environment. 

We may therefore conclude that in the higher forms a system of 
skeletal levers has been developed which are manipulated by systems 


of muscles that work in opposition to one another so that the position 
of the lever in space is always the resultant of the parallelograms of 
opposing muscular forces. By this elaborate system of third-degree 
levers the organism or its parts can be shifted about in the environ- 
ment or manipulate the environment so that stimuli which are ade- 
^quate for the autonomic needs of the organism can be acquired and 
the other stimuli can be avoided. This seems to have always been 
the underlying principle of organic evolution. 

The functions of this elaborate motor system are coordinated by 
the cerebrospinal nervous system. The cerebrum (Sherrington, i, 
p. 347-349), is a large ganglion that has been developed upon the 
extero-ceptors of the organism, particularly distance receptors, and 
the cerebellum is the head-ganglion that has been developed upon 
the proprioceptive system. 

Since the receptors are so highly specialized that they will only 
react to specific types of stimuli, for which they are said to be posi- 
tive, and cannot react to all the other stimuli, for which they are 
negative, and since they are fixed in their anatomical positions, the 
organism must use the motor system to shift its various receptor 
groups about in the environment, to repeat, in order that it may 
adequately expose them or withdraw them from the stimuli for 
which they are specialized and also protect them from harmful 
stimuli. For example, since saltiness cannot be seen, heard or felt, 
to become aware of such qualities in an object the taste receptors 
must be exposed to it or the organism can have no consciousness of 

Sherrington expresses the dual function of the receptor as fol- 
lows : " The main function of the receptor is — ^to lower the threshold 
of excitability of the arc for one kind of stimulus, and to heighten 
it for all others" (i, p. 12). 

It has been pointed out that the selective function of receptors is 
based upon their specialized capacity to react to " different forms of 
vibratory energy." The skin contains tactile receptors which react 
to contacts ranging from i to 1,552 vibrations per second. The in- 
ternal ear reacts to vibrations of air ranging from 30 to 30,000 per 
second (2, p. 70). The retina reacts to ethereal waves giving sensa- 
tions of brightness and colors, according to the ethereal vibrations. 
The skin gives reactions to radiant heat from objects. Taste and 
smell react to chemical stimuli, and, of the two, smell reacts to par- 
ticles which are small enough to float in the atmosphere. 

The distance receptors have all been grouped in the most ele- 
vated, antecedent, and most easily protected segment of the body, and 


have the shortest circuits to the great coordinating centers and dis- 
tributing tracts of the nervous system. Since the head segment, in 
order to acquire food, is exposed to the greatest danger, we may see 
in the development of the architecture the fundamental principle of 
economy upon which is based the evolution of all life — namely, io 
acquire a maximum of result for the affective needs with a minimum 
expenditure or loss of energy. The mouth in the higher vertebrates 
is placed at the tip of the head and may be extended farthest into 
the environment and is usually first exposed to danger. Just above 
it lies the olfactory apparatus to discriminate dangerous odors and 
undesirable food before it is seized, within the mouth are several 
varieties of taste receptors, to further discriminate undesirable foods 
and to augment the digestive preparations for the desirable food. 
At points in the head which are usually more highly elevated are 
located the eyes, arranged for greatest range of vision with a mini- 
mum of exposure to injury, and on the sides of the head the auditory 
apparatus is fixed, but with adjustible ears to catch the sound waves. 
Whatever organ or group of organs we may examine, as any one 
tooth or the teeth as a group, any bone, muscle, muscle group, muscle 
cell, any gland of internal secretion, the stomach or the entire diges- 
tive apparatus, the hand or the nail of a finger, a corpuscle, or the 
entire organism as a cellular unity, it reveals that its structure fits 
the purpose or function of tending to obtain a maximum of result 
with a minimum expenditure of energy; the result to be obtained 
always refers back to the particular needs of the autonomic ap- 
paratus for which the projicient instrument is used. 

This principle is found also to hold true, in an elastic sense, for 
the development of immunity for many infections and the produc- 
tion of antibodies. 

It may be objected by those who would hold this theory to a strict 
interpretation that there is a general tendency to over-production of 
reconstructive or defensive material, as when bones are broken or 
infections occur, and the application of the principle of maximum 
result for a minimum expenditure of energy is not apparent in the 
excesses of the defense. 

The protective or compensatory adjustment must also include 
quickness as well as durability and thoroughness of the defense. 
What seems to be an excessive expenditure of defensive energy is 
probably just sufficient to make the speediest reconstruction possible 
under the circumstances. A vast excess of war material is always 
created with the ending of warfare, but this was not too excessive 
until the decline of the enemy began. When a poor defense is made 
a protracted seige or illness occurs. 


The survival of the fittest in the universal struggle for life often 
depends upon the marked change of function required of some 
organic structure and the sacrifice must be made, perhaps even en- 
tailing the loss of all but the rudiments of the structure, if it is an 
tmmodifiable hindrance., It may be suggested here that the most 
persistent and intensively disturbing affective or autonomic influence 
upon the structure of an organism is fear. Qianges in structure 
seem to appear first in the projicient apparatus as the organism 
adapts itself to new conditions in the environment for comfort and 

V There is little diflference of opinion as to what organs constitute 
the autonomic apparatus. Unfortunate differences in naming the 
system and its division have been spmewhat confusing. Higier, 
White and Jelliffe use the term vegetative, Gaskell uses the term 
sympathetic, and Langley and Cannon use the term autonomic to 
include the same, that is, the entire involimtary apparatus. The 
term autonomic seems to best suit the dynamic nature of the ap- 
paratus and its affective functions. 

Gaskell (3) places in his sympathetic system the following group 
of unstriped muscles in vertebrate animals which are characterized 
by their innervation and by response to certain substances formed 
naturally in the body, namely, (i) a vascular group, (2) a group of 
muscles underlying skin or epidermis, (3) a group of muscles un- 
derlying the surface of the gut or endoderm, (4) a group of muscles 
around the segmental duct, (s) a group of muscles forming part of 
the gut walls which especially constitute the system of sphincter 
muscles, (6) a group of muscles connected with the adjustment of 
vision. These groups of unstriped muscles include all the muscu- 
lature of the autonomic apparatus. 

Herrick (2, p. 225-232) says of the sympathetic nervous system 
that it consists of two imperfectly separable parts. " The first is a dif- 
fusely arranged peripheral plexus of nerve cells and fibers adapted 
for the local control of the organs with which it is connected" — ^**the 
peripheral autonomous part." " The second part of the sympathetic 
nervous system includes those neurones which put the peripheral 
autonomous system into f imctional connection with the central nerv- 
ous system, thus providing a central regulatory control over the 
autonomous system. This part of the sympathetic nervous system 
includes the peripheral courses of the neurones involved in the gen- 
eral cerebrospinal visceral reflex systems." 

He devides the so-called cerebro-spinal visceral nervous connec- 
tions into (i) mid-brain sympathetic, (2) bulbar sympathetic, (3) 


thoracic-lumbar sympathetic (I thoracic to II or III lumbar) and 
(4) sacral sympathetic (II to IV sacral). 

1. The mid-brain sympathetic regulates the functions of the 
sphincter of the iris and ciliary muscle. 

2. The bulbar sympathic— the heart, blood-vessels of mucous 
membranes of the head, salivary glands, walls of digestive tract 
from mouth to descending colon including outgrowths of this region 
— as trachea and lungs, gastric glands, liver, pancreas. 

3. The thoracic-liunbar sympathetic, dilator of iris, orbital 
muscles, arteries, muscles and glands of the skin, blood vessels of 
lungs and abdominal viscera and of digestive tract between mouth 
and rectum, arteries of skeletal muscles, muscles of spleen, ureter, 
and internal generative organs. 

4. The sacral sympathetic — ^arteries of rectum, anus, and exter- 
nal generative organs, muscles of external generative organs, walls 
of bladder and urethra, walls of descending colon to anus. 

Cannon's autonomic system is virtually similar to Herrick's ex- 
cept that he includes his mid-brain sympathetic and bulbar sympa- 
thetic in the term of cranial autonomic. 

Higier includes in the sympathetic or vegetative nervous system 
all nerve fibers which supply the secretory parts of glands as well 
as automatically acting organs having a smooth musculature. 

The autonomic apparatus, in this study, is considered to include 
the digestive system with its secretory glands and the liver for the 
intake, assimilation, and storing of energies (glycogen) and the 
elimination of waste products ; the entire circulatory system and the 
kidneys and sweat glands for the circulation of working supplies 
and the elimination of endogenous waste products; the respiratory 
system for the intake and elimination of necessary gases; the sex 
organs and pituitary glands for reproduction and growth of the 
body; the glands of internal secretion, such as the adrenals, thyroid, 
parathyroids, for the regulation of metabolism in emergencies and 
otherwise; the unstriped parts of the skeletal muscle cells which 
maintain the postural tonus of the muscles and contribute largely to 
the expenditure of energy and production of body heat; the tear 
glands and muscles of the iris. The functions of these immensely 
complicated systems are all woven into one apparatus by the auto- 
nomic nervous system and it includes all the vital organs except that 
part of the cerebrospinal nervous system which coordinates the 
projicient functions of the organism. 

The autonomic nervous system may be said to be composed of 
(i) a double series of ganglia lying along the spinal column and near 



Pituitary gland 
Pineal gland 
Lachrymal gland 

Dilator of pupil 

Salivary gland and artery 


Surface artery 

Sweat gland 

Thjnroid and parathjrroids 



Hair, surface artery 

Sweat gland 



Visceral artery 



Adrenal gland 


Surface artery 

Sweat gland 



Artery of external genitals 

Ovary, Testis 


the viscera, which they enervate, and ganglia in some of the viscera, 
and also of (2) a series of autonomic centers that lie within the 
cerebrospinal nervous system proper. Through this latter group 
of centers the autonomic and cerebrospinal systems effect a regu- 
latory control of one another. (See Figure i.) 

Physiological research has shown that, as summed up by Cannon 
(4, p. 34), '^when the mid-part meets either end-pa/rt in any znscus 
their effects are antagonistic. Thus the cranial supply to the eye 
contracts the pupil, the sympathetic dilates it ; the cranial slows the 
heart, the sympathetic accelerates it ; the sacral contracts the lower 
part of the large intestine, the s)rmpathetic relaxes it; the sacral 
relaxes the exit from the bladder, the sympathetic contracts it." 
Higier and others have also emphasized the importance of this mech- 

In a physiological sense the course of activity of the viscera is 
to be seen as a resultant of opposing forces in which must be recog- 
nized the possibility of unhealthful conflict. 

This mechanical principle is found consistently throughout the 
organism when two afferent neurones converge for the control of a 
final efferent path, or where two or more great neurone systems con- 
verge for the control of a general efferent path, as in the control of 
the heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, muscle tonus, overt 
movements, etc. 

As Sherrington (i, p. 178) has expressed it, "At any single 
phase of the creature's reaction, a simultaneous combination of re- 
flexes is in existence. In this combination (i) the positive elem^ent, 
namely, the final common paths (motor neurone groups) in active 
discharge, exhibits a harmonious discharge directed by the dominant 
reflex arc, and reinforced by a number of arcs in alliance with it." 
"But there is also a (2) negative element in the simultaneous combi- 
nation of reflexes. The reflex not only takes possession of certain 
final common paths and discharges nervous impulses down them. 

Fig. I. (From Cannon.) "Diagram of the more important distribu- 
tions of the autonomic nervous system. The brain and spinal cord are repre- 
sented to the left. The nerves to the skeletal muscles are not represented. 
The preganglionic fibers of the autonomic system are in solid lines, the post- 
ganglionic in dash-lines. The nerves of the cranial and sacral divisions are 
distinguished from those of the thoracico-lumbar or 'sympathetic' division 
by broader lines. A + mark indicates an augmenting, effect on the activity of 
the organ ; a — mark, a depressive or inhibitory effect." The thyroid, para- 
thyroid, th3rmus, the kidney, pituitary and pineal glands, and the organs 
of reproduction, and the diaphragm have been added by the author to com- 
plete the conception of the autonomic apparatus as used in this monograph. 


but it takes possession of the final common path whose muscles 
would oppose those into which it is discharging impulses, and checks 
(inhibits) their nervous discharge responsive to other reflexes. 
This negative part of the field of influence of the reflex is more dif- 
ficult to see, but it is as important as the positive to which it is 
indeed complementd" (This physiological principle, as will be 
shown, is also to be seen in the wish to go from " here " to " there," 
to choose " this " instead of " that," and to compare and discriminate 
"why," "how" or "what" a thing is from "why," "how," or 
" what " a thing is not,) 

There is still a tendency to classify organs and diseases accord- 
ing to location or physical appearances instead of functions, as in 
the easier scientific methods preceding the acceptance of Darwin's 
theory of evolution. Considerable resistance still exists in recog- 
nizing that the cerebro-spinal autonomic centers should be grouped 
as the central division of the autonomic apparatus around which 
has been constructed, as the autonomic apparatus developed, the 
cerebro-spinal projicient system for the purpose of mastering the 
environment. Like the vagus centers in the medulla, they are vir- 
tually autonomic ganglia imbedded in superimposed projicient nerv- 
ous tissue. This constructive tendency is to be seen at present in 
the comparatively rapid growth of the neopallium in man. 

In the biological forms previous to the evolution of a projicient 
sensori-motor system the autonomic apparatus was submerged in an 
environmental medium which brought to it the supplies necessary for 
metabolism. This hazardous dependence of living tissue upon the 
fates of nature has been gradually reduced as a compensatory work- 
ing system has been evolved about the autonomic apparatus. This 
apparatus virtually submerged itself within its own tissues and built 
up a complicated medium through which it might project itself to 
master the environment. Man has made another step forward in 
this sathe direction of assuring his autonomic comfort by construct- 
ing with machinery a protective environment within the larger en- 
vironment. Civilization is the result of the incessant striving of the 
autonomic apparatus to extend and refine this sphere of influence. 

In the behavior of all the vertebrates we see constantly the 
tendency of the autonomic system to develop, or to sacrifice if neces- 
sary, the projicient sensori-motor system in order to save itself. 
One might say that practically the entire striped muscle apparatus, 
which excludes the cerebellum (a ganglion built up on the unstriped 
muscle cell or autonomic component of the striped muscle cell), may 
be extirpated without the total disintegration of the organism, 


whereas if any division of the autonomic apparatus is entirely de- 
stroyed the animal dies. 

Long after the autonomic apparatus had constructed a means by 
which it could manipulate itself about in the environment the tend- 
ency to protect its reproductive functions (the welfare of the species 
follows the safety of the individual) became manifest and instead of 
ejaculating the spermatozoa into an environmental medium which 
by chance might enable the impregnation of the ovum a semi-direct 
means of reaching the ovum was evolved. As "life" climbed up 
the spiral plane of organic, really autonomic, evolution any tendency 
to repression has been met with dread and rage. The most potent 
cause of revolution in the society of man is affective or autonomic 
repression, usually due to the usurpation and waste of economic 
necessities and sex. But sex still follows the necessities of life 
and may prostitute itself in order to secure them (S). , 

In reviewing the architecture of the human machine the tendency 
of the autonomic apparatus to sacrifice the cerebro-spinal apparatus 
in order to save itself was emphasized. This principle has been 
neatly demonstrated by Langf eld in a series of studies " On the Psy- 
chophysiology of a Prolonged Fast" (6). The tests (i) rote mem- 
ory for words, (2) tapping test, (3) strength test, (4) tactual space 
threshhold, (5) touch threshhold, (6) free association and reproduc- 
tion reactions, (7) association reactions, genus species, (8) associa- 
tion reactions, noun-verb, (9) cancellation test, (10) hand- writing, 
(11) visual acuity, (12) memory for words after 55 minutes, were 
made daily during a period of thirty-one days of fasting, during 
which time the individual consumed only 750 c.c. of distilled water 
daily. "The tests depending most on the muscular reactions 1. e., 
the strength test showed a falling off" (6, p. 48). All the tests 
involving the higher process of attention, perception and associa- 
tion showed improvement which may be seen as a compensatory 
coordination of the acquisitive faculties as the muscle powers weak- 
ened. Skill, being intimately dependent upon postural muscle 
tonus, is influenced by the autonomic cravings. The capacity for 
improvement of the autonomic control while the capacity for overt 
movements diminished indicates that the organism tended to con- 
sume the resources of energy in the projicient motor system first. 
The capacities of coordination of movement are retained longest, 
being more likely necessary for success than mere muscle strength 
when the food supply is difficult to attain. Species that have very 
accessible and abundant vegetable food supplies develop enormous 
bodies with a relatively meager integrating nervous mechanism. 


Apparently skillful or elaborate motor coordinations are not essen- 
tial to the welfare of most herbivorous animals such as the rhinoc- 
eros. Carnivorous types have developed, relative to their body 
weight, far larger and more intricate projicient nervous systems 
because the nature of the food supply required a higher degree of 

Gaskell (45, C. i) in his brilliant discussion of the origin of 
vertebrates from invertebrate forms of the sea-scorpion or spider 
type, has advanced the theory that since the esophagus pierced the 
anterior portion of the nervous system, as the nervous system grew 
the esophagus became constricted until only liquid food (blood) 
could pass, and as the nervous system continued to grow and con- 
strict the esophagus more and more the formation of a new ali- 
mentary canal became urgent for survival. He summarizes the dy- 
namic principle in this romantic biological revolution as follows: 
"Further upward evolution demanded a larger and larger brain 
with ensuing consequence of a greater and greater difficulty of food- 
supply. Nature's mistake was rectified and further evolution se- 
cured, not by degeneration in the brain region, for that means 
degradation not upward progress, but by the formation of a new 
food channel, in consequence of which the brain was free to develop 
to its fullest extent " (45, p. 66). This explanation of the revolution- 
ary process that occurred admits that another solution of the di- 
lemma would have required only sufficient degeneration of the nerv- 
ous system to enable the esophagus to pass the food to the stomach, 
but he says this would have meant degradation and not upward prog- 
ress. £rhe autonomic apparatus in itself cares nothing about the 
morals of upward or downward evolution,/and one cannot help but 
wonder why a screiitlst with such acumen should care to inject a dy- 
namic supposition having only a moral value. \ Its on^ Jaw is tpJ ulfiU 
its biologjcal career, that is^3;atify its cravings, and upward evolu- 
tion, in the sense of greater skillfulness in its projicient functions, is 
the result of the requirements of the environment. (( When no skill is 
necessary the integrative functions tend to atrophy through disuse. 
Hence the moral attributes of upward evolution must be recognized 
as results of the nature of the autonomic struggle and not as causes. 
No further dynamic principle need be assumed than that of distress 
in the peripheral sense organs of the autonomic apparatus to explain 
why the nervous system was increased and finally almost occluded 
the esophagus, even though it meant death for the organism because 
of the vicious circle that was established. It was not for the sake of 
upward evolution and the development of a larger brain that "Nature 


made a mistake " but the increase of the brain was due to the neces- 
sary, desperate efforts of the autonomic apparatus to develop a more 
efficiently integrated projicient nervous system in order to catch its 
prey. Such biological dilemmas have probably exterminated many 
species. The invertebrate types in which this biological revolution 
occurred were blood suckers. It is probable that at one time the 
food supply was so enormous that the carnivorous sea scorpion 
learned to relish only the blood of its victims and its digestive secre- 
tions specialized considerably for that type of food. As the quantity 
of victims gradually decreased more skillful efforts were necessary, 
hence more intricate integrations and more numerous association 
fibers in the projicient nervous system were developed and with ex- 
tra effort sufficient blood could be had. Then probably a still greater 
decrease in the food supply occurred, and as the brain had become 
too large to permit the esophagus to pass solids desperate efforts had 
to be made to catch sufficient prey for the blood supply. This neces- 
sitated a progressive increase of the nervous system as the only im- 
mediate solution of the danger of starvation. In the end, however, 
this was doomed to defeat its own purpose because of the mechan- 
ical principle involved and it can hardly be regarded as " a mistake 
of Nature." 

Eventually the increasing projicient nervous system constricting 
the esophagus made the formation of a new alimentary system im- 
perative because a decrease in the nervous system made the animal 
too inefficient to capture enough prey and the necessary continued 
increase in the nervous system threatened to constrict the esophagus 
entirely. It has been shown that when rats are inbred, reducing the 
brain weight, they learn less rapidly to make associations than their 
brainier ancestors (Bassett, 49). That the dynamic pressure for an 
increase in the size of the brain should have its source in the periph- 
eral structures of the autonomic apparatus has been discussed at 
some length in order to emphasize the principle that the dynamic 
urge of evolution must have a strictly metabolic origin and has no 
structural preference. The structures evolved are sustained only 
because they are the best means under the circumstances for the re- 
tention of a comfortable autonomic state. 

The body is a vast community of cells, each one living an indi- 
vidual existence but dependent upon and reciprocating with all the 
others in a complex unity. The specialized cell types have collected 
into colonies or organs and systems, and the reciprocating systems 
into a functional and structural unity, but the underlying plan of 
evolution of the cellular unity has always been directed by the auto- 



notnic needs of the organism, as they were imposed upon the auto- 
nomic apparatus by the environment and by metabolism. 

Very early in the embryonic development of the human or- 
ganism, before striped muscle cells and cartilage or bone-forming 
tissue appear, a circulatory system is started (for distribution of 
food — the first circulation developed being associated with the yolk- 
sac), and soon after the heart an autonomic (vagus) nerve cell or 
center appears. As the spinal cord evolves, the peripheral autonomic 
ganglion colonies emigrate from the spinal cord segments. The 
autonomic centers within the cord and, particularly in the medulla, 
are far enough developed to support the inference that, like the de- 
velopment of the cerebrum on the distance receptors, the cerebro- 
spinal system is developed upon a nucleus of the central autonomic 
sensori-motor system. It would be expected that the final construc- 
tion of the two systems would proceed together and regulate one 
another. The point to be emphasized is the priority of the autonomic 
apparatus over the projicient apparatus. The unstriped muscle cell 
appears before the striped muscle cell. 

This brings us to the problem of the peripheral origin of 
autonomic distress, the peripheral origin of the affections or emo- 
tions, their persistence in the postural tensions of the viscera and 
their relation to the receptors manipulated by the projicient appara- 
tus. Part II is devoted to a discussion of these mechanisms. 


Functional Considerations of the Theory 

The Significance of the Continuous Activity of the Proprioceptive 


The continuous activity of the afferent proprioceptive arc of the 
skeletal and visceral musculature has been demonstrated by Sher- 
rington (7, p. 196-7). He found that when all the nerves of the 
muscles of both hind limbs in a decerebrate cat are severed, includ- 
ing all the nerves from the skin, except the nerve of the muscle 
whose tonus is. to be studied (extensor muscle of the knee), that 
muscle retains its full tonus. This nerve of the tonic muscle con- 
tains both efferent and afferent fibers, the latter being traceable from 
receptors in the tendon of the muscle and, mainly, from the muscle 
itself to their entrance into the cord via the dorsal (posterior) roots 
of the fifth and sixth spinal nerves of the lumbar segment in the 
cat. **If these two afferent dorsal roots are severed the tonus at 
once vanishes from the muscle, although the corresponding ventral 
roots containing the motor fibers for the muscle remain intact, and 
although all the other nerves of the limbs remain intact as well.*' 
Experiments with other muscles exhibiting tonus demonstrated the 
same phenomenon and the maintenance of tonus seems to be true 
for all the skeletal muscles that oppose gravity, thereby maintaining 
the posture of the animal. This probably includes all the skeletal 
muscules, except the abdominal, which "prevent sinking to the 

He also found, although ithe length of the muscle was shortened 
or lengthened by changing the posture of a limb (extension or 
flexion), that the tonus remained constant. It does not interfere 
with the reflex movements which might be superimposed upon the 
tonus as demonstrated by Langelaan (8). 

Sherrington (7, p. 202) considers that the tonus of skeletal 
muscle in the mammal is nothing more than postural contraction; 
both are reflex functions. Tonus is a contraction of muscles en- 
gaged in the execution of a definite coordinate reflex, a reflex differ- 
ing from reflexes ordinarily examined only in that its functions are 
posture and not movement, the reciprocal innervation of antagonists 



for posture having also been demonstrated ; as " in reflex standing 
the opponents of the posturally contracting anti-gravity muscles, the 
flexors as they may in brief be termed, exhibit no postural contrac- 
tion, and the stronger the reflex posture the less trace of contrac- 
tion may these lattef- be expected to show." 

The proprioceptive system as shown by Sherrington is necessary 
for the maintenance of postural tonus, and also it is indicated by 
the mechanism of maintaining tonus that the sensations (kines- 
thetic) acquired through the activity of the proprioceptive system, 
in turn, depend upon the contractural states of the muscles and 
tendons in which the receptors are imbedded, the positions of the 
joints, and, perhaps, skin pressures. Therefore the proprioceptive 
arc, functionally a circuit, must be considered in its entirety, includ- 
ing the muscle or gland cell, in relation to kinesthesis. 

Postural contraction, like other contraction, is only present in 
response to nervous impulses reaching the muscle from the motor 
neurone, but the tonic function of the efferent motor neurone de- 
pends largely upon the intact afferent arc. The action currents, 
Sherrington observed, vary from 40 to 90 per second for various 
muscles, and under different conditions (7, p. 230). . These action 
currents, producing an almost ceaseless, very rapid stream of proprio- 
ceptive impulses, may explain the continuity of the kinesthetic 
content of the stream of consciousness. Its continuity is accepted 
in that the rapidity of the proprioceptive impulses flowing from 
manifold sources can not be differentiated into their elements 
except when particular divisions of the proprioceptive system have 
attained especial activity, becoming more prominent and vivid than 
the mass of other proprioceptive circuits. For example, when 
threading a needle while seated one would not likely be aware of 
the functions of the leg unless the leg divisions suddenly had undue 
stresses imposed upon them. Then the delicate neuromuscular coor- 
dinations of threading the needle would tend to be dissociated and 
cause a general momentary discomfort because the slight incoordi- 
nations of the hands resist the affective functions or the wish. 

The continuous activity of innumerable proprioceptive circuits 
also explains the apparently unlimited depth of the stream of ac- 
tivity of a personality for any moment, shading from the predomi- 
nant proprioceptive functions of the moment, of which the indi- 
vidual is clearly aware, to functions of which he is more or less dimly 
aware, into the mass of neuromuscular functions for which he may 
not have or can never have consciousness. This seems to be the 
physiological nature of the apperceptive functions of the personality. 


That Other receptors than those of the contracting muscles them- 
selves can influence the reflex postural action maintained by the 
proprioceptive arc of the muscle has been " evidenced in many ob- 
servations." EwaTd, quoted by Sherrington (7, p. 206), split the 
lower bill of a pigeon's beak into its two lateral halves ancj found 
that the destruction of the right labyrinth weakened the postural 
contraction of the right half much more than that of the left, the 
right half not being able to support as much weight as the left half. 

That the proprioceptive circuit is influenced by the exteroceptors 
is maintained, after demonstration, by Sherrington (9, p. 472-473). 
He says " the reactions produced by the receptor organs of the deep 
field {proprioceptive) are results primarily due to the stimulation of 
the organism by itself, but secondarily due to the stimulation of the 
organism by the environment," that is, through the exteroceptors. 

The proprioceptive reflex " allies itself in its effect to the primary 
reflex excited from the exteroceptive surface and reenforces it," or 
it may oppose the effect of a conflicting exteroceptive stimulus. For 
example the flexion reflex of the hind limb of a dog can be elicited 
by an adequate stimulus applied to either the skin of the foot or the 
afferent nerve fibers of the flexor muscles themselves or by the syn- 
chronous sublimai stimulation of both afferent (extero- and proprio- 
ceptive) nerves. These stimuli mutually reenforce ^stimulation of 
the afferent nerve of a flexor muscle of the opposite leg. Then the 
second or proprioceptive reflex restores the comfortable posture of 
the limb which the exteroceptive reflex has disturbed. The proprio- 
ceptors evoke a compensatory reflex in the opposite direction to the 
reflex excited from the skin, the exteroceptive surface. Langelaan 
(8, p. 330) agrees with this conception of the relations of movement 
to posture ; " the tonus, the tendon reflex, and the clonus are closely 
allied phenomena ; and that they are composed of an element, * con- 
traction,' due to the action of the motor cell of the anterior horn 
and by an element 'plasticity' ('autonomic tonus'), due to the ac- 
tion of the sympathetic motor cell of the cord. In tonus the auto- 
nomic component prevails. In the tendon reflex the twitch domi- 
nates the tonic contraction." 

Sherrington's researches )indicate that the activities of the pro- 
prioceptors are indirectly but primarily under the control of the 
autonomic nervous system, and, although he does not specifically 
claim that the affective state regulates postural tonus, he mentions 
the frog's sexual clasp and catatonia, phenomena that may be con- 
sidered as being caused by an affective state, as examples of 
unfatiguability of postural tonus. Every intelligent individual is 


aware of the weakening influence upon his muscle tonus when 
something causes a hopeless fear and on the other hand, when 
his anger is socially justifiable, his postural vigor is tremendously 
increased. The compensatory aflFective state is surely reenf orced by 
the postural skeletal tonus, but the affective tension has its origin 
in some viscus because the phenomenon of reflex change in postural 
tonus instantly follows affective repression ; jas, when one holds a 
cigar in a light postural grip and suddenly, upon repressing or con- 
cealing an emotional reaction to a situation, a momentary postural 
relaxation occurs and gravity pulls the cigar from the fingers. Such 
phenomena can only be explained as a change in postural tonus fol- 
lowing a change of affect. Langelaan (8, p. 338) and DeBoer and 
Mosso (7, p. 231) maintain that the state of postural tonus is regu- 
lated by the sympathetic or autonomic innervation of the striped 
muscle cell ; whereas, G. van Rinjberk^ and J. G. Dusser de Barenne* 
argue against Sherrington and DeBoer, maintaining that there is no 
distinct evidence that the striated muscle has a second innervation 
of sympathetic origin which regulates its tonus. 

The explanation, that postural tonus of skeletal musculature is 
determined by the autonomic component, is the only theory, so far 
given, that satisfactorily accounts for the effects of fear, rage and 
love upon postural tonus. 

The dual nature of the striped muscle cell and the dependence of 
its postural tonus upon the influence of the autonomic component 
supports the conception that the activities of the autonomic sensori- 
motor apparatus are projected into the functions of the skeletal mus- 
cular system and are in turn reciprocally reenf orced by them. The 
angry man or savage tends to work himself into a greater state of 
anger by cursing, yelling and clenching his fists, and making threat- 
ening gestures and perhaps punishing himself. The general tonus 
of his skeletal muscles becomes considerably increased and he can- 
not handle a delicate instrument while in that physiological state, 
although he can fight better. 

On the other hand one may check the wave of anger, if its stim- 
ulus is not too severe, by making a few distracting movements, smil- 
ing, etc. (As "when angry count ten before speaking.") 

The important features of the functions of the proprioceptive 
circuit of the skeletal musculature for psychology are that its activ- 
ity is virtually continuous, occurring automatically and contributing 
to the most fundamental functions of the personality; that the 
degree of its vigor is determined by the autonomic component ; that 

^Arch. de Physiol., 1917, i, 257-261. Physiological Abstracts, 906. 
2 Pflueger's Archive, 1916, 166, 145-168. Physiological Abstracts, 1638. 


it is capable of reciprocal inhibition and reenf orcement ; and that the 
subliminal stimuli, which may be proprioceptive or a mixture of 
proprioceptive and exteroceptive stimuli, may combine to produce 
a reflex, or inhibit one another and prevent it. 

Sherrington observed (9, p. 473) that "the reflex due to the ex- 
teroceptive surface is reenforced by the appropriately chosen pro- 
prioceptive reflex " or may be inhibited by an inappropriate posture. 
This probably explains the psychophysiological process of attention, 
of indiflference, of study, etc. When an individual is coordinated 
for any length of time on a particular course of study he distinctly 
feels himself to be maintaining a characteristic tonus of his skeletal 
muscles. We can usually see distinct characteristics in the bodily 
carriage or posture of the professional soldier, sailor, clerk, minister, 
physician, or plowman, the confirmed criminal, dementia praecox, 
the indolent, ignorant, refined, hateful, timid, or bold. 

When affective fixations occur and individuals "get set" on a 
postural course like the exalted, persecuted, paranoiac, or catatonic, 
or agitated melancholic, it is extremely difiicult to divert them from 
their course, that is, break through the stereotyped proprioceptive 
stream with an exteroceptive distraction. Modern psychotherapy 
usually tries light forms of fascinating occupation. Often an auto- 
nomic or affective shock like pneumonia, appendicitis or the death 
of some intimately involved person will be followed by an adjust- 
ment ; particularly is this true in depressions. 

Pulling oneself together in order to study, or relaxing for light 
reading, is obviously dependent upon postural muscle functions be- 
cause the postural tonus of the muscles contributes the kinesthetic 
content of consciousness, and by lowering the resistance to sublim- 
inal exteroceptive stimuli of a certain order (the subject of study) 
our apperceptive reactions are greatly extended. We are well aware 
of postural tensions as we " get into form " for purely motor coordi- 
nations, as a stroke at a golf ball, and when we get into a " studious " 
posture, we may justly assume that a similar physiological pro- 
cedure has also occurred. 

Since the functions of apperception are at all times necessary for 
the understanding of oneself, the behavior of living objects, or the 
nature of lifeless objects, attention is called to the functions of pos- 
tural muscle tonus and the stream of kinesthetic imagery for the 
explanation of the physiology of the apperceptive functions. 

Apparently we may have such changes in the postural tonus as 
reciprocally increasing or decreasing tonus between the flexors and 
extensors, pronators and supinators, abductors and adductors of 


a limb or several limbs without overt movement of the limb; as 
when one makes his arm give him the sensations of wielding a tennis 
racket without going through visible movements ; and as the sensa- 
tions of such movements are made more vivid the overt movements 
begin to appear. 

This may be the mechanism of understanding the behavior of 
others — ^that is, by miniature forms of reflex reproduction of the 
movements of others, the proprioceptors, giving the appropriate 
kinesthetic sensations, enable the personality to become aware of the 
significance of the posture and movements or behavior of others. 
Children spontaneously, unconsciously imitate others to learn, imi- 
tate sounds, the movements of animals, a speaker, teacher, playmate, 
machinery, when they are trying to get the full significance of the 
thing observed. We tend to reproduce another's movements when 
we describe conduct, adults often imitate facial expressions to un- 
derstand faces of others, our facial muscles tend to reproduce the 
facial expressions of our associates. If the reproducing movements 
give us unpleasant kinesthetic sensations we tend to avoid that 
person. It is extremely difficult to prevent the facial muscles from 
reacting to the facial expression of an angry person. Friends tend 
to weep and sing together. This imitative mechanism precipitates 
the stampede and the mob. Its speed and accuracy of working is to 
be seen in the darting and leaping of a school of fish or the flight 
of a swarm of bees, or flock of birds. 

The more clearly we are able to reproduce another's behavior or 
facial expression the more accurately we understand its significance. 
An Indian best understands the Indian. The postural and personal 
characteristics are revealed in such phrases as " square jaw," " stiflF 
upper lip," "eagle eye," "no backbone," "mincing step," "a Miss 
Nancy," etc. When we try to recall an experience we assume a 
characteristic attitude as we direct our attention to the postural 
immitations of the experience. 

Frequently in making explanations we find ourselves, when lost 
for words, going through explanatory movements which may even 
be embarrassing and not desirable under the circumstances. The art 
of the stage is founded entirely on the physiology of inducing the 
people in the audience to forget themselves in order that they may 
give themselves up to their imitative tendencies and reproduce the 
feelings, and, in miniature, the behavior of the actor. The actor 
that succeds in this seduction is applauded for his effectiveness. But 
when his movements are incongruous the observer feels the incon- 
gruity and a conflict in his tendencies to follow the actor or his own 


Furthermore the facial expressions of anger, pleasure, disgust, 
deception, sincerity, etc., are really not intuitively understood, but 
seem to be reflexly understood because of the reflex imitation 
through similar, brief muscle tensions which give the necessary 
kinesthetic or proprioceptive sensations upon which our understand- 
ing is based. 

The degree with which the postural changes of muscles must be 
involved in order to explain the lightning-like quickness of thought 
and its bewildering complexity may seem rather contradictory par- 
ticularly in such instances as abstract philosophical or mathematical 
discussion. The bases for such forms of thought lie perhaps in the 
motor functions of the speech apparatus and the muscles that move 
the eyeball, the head and the hand. Complexes of extensive bodily 
movements may be represented by abbreviated motor functions in 
these muscle groups. 

Sherrington (7, p. 209) states that the extrinsic muscles of the 
eyeball are preeminently postural in their functions. 

The peripheral dependence of postural muscle tonus upon the 
proprioceptor, constituting the source of kinesthetic imagery, indi- 
cates that in a certain sense we think with our muscles. This is 
another contribution to the conception of peripheral instead of cen- 
tral origin of " thought." The rather universal assumption as to the 
central origin of thought, that the ** mind " or consciousness is in the 
frontal region of the brain, is probably due to the dominating activ- 
ity of the visual receptors and their extrinsic muscles, causing most 
of the content of consciousness to have its source in the upper, front 
part of the head. The nature of the content of consciousness is 
probably entirely determined by the activity of our receptors, and 
the greater part of the receptor field is the proprioceptive from 
which arise the kinesthetic sensations of movement. The content 
of consciousness may therefore be compared to a complicated mov- 
ing picture of vivid and dim figures which are all made of black 
dots, and, as the black dots are shifted in their arrangements and 
intensity, the picture changes. Let us assume that each receptor in 
the body is represented by a dot, and the vigor of the receptor's 
activity is represented by the vividness of the dot. Then, as the 
various receptor fields become associated together or dissociated in 
their afferent contributions, the content of consciousness becomes 

This is virtually saying that we think with our muscles, because 
the kinesthetic impulse (dots) arising from the embedded proprio- 
ceptors are much more numerous than all the others. For example, 


if we allow ourselves to become aware of the visual image of a mov- 
ing automobile, the awareness of its movement is furnished by ex- 
trinsic muscles of the eyeball as they shift the image by shifting 
their postural tensions. Overt movements are not necessary unless 
we desire a very vivid image, then, also, the muscles of the neck 
may contribute by moving the head. If the image of the moving 
automobile is one of ourselves pushing it, then the muscles of the 
body come into play to furnish the images (receptor dots), and, if 
it is to include pushing it through a cold, wet, muddy road, the sen- 
sations of coldness and wetness arise from the tactile receptors of 
the skin of our legs. If the description of the experience includes 
the reproduction of an accident (say slipping), we feel the image of 
the movement of the slipping in our legs first, and, the remainder of 
the body then adjusting and coordinating to the change of posture. 
(The reader must discriminate between the printed word-images of 
the automobile incident, as he reads, and the visual-motor images.) 

The postural motor tensions of our striped muscles contribute 
the kinesthetic impulses or images of movements that reproduce the 
experience. If we cannot reproduce the experience we cannot re- 
call it, and those who have not had the experience of hearing or 
seeing a savage playing a " botabo " are unable to become conscious 
of anything more than a vague, indefinite picture, because they 
cannot grossly reproduce the movements and weird rhythms. But, 
if someone should speak of a small boy playing " In the Good Old 
Summer Time" on his mouth harp, we quickly get a vivid visual 
and motor image of it. 

It may be contended that should an individual lose a limb or 
group of muscles he loses part of his psychic personality. This 
would probably be found to be the case on minute analysis of his 
psychic functions but no gross changes may be observable because 
the remaining muscles that had been adjusting to the special activi- 
ties of the formerly intact group may almost completely supply the 
deficiency, as in adjusting to walking with an artificial foot. The 
manifold primary adjustments of various parts of the body to a 
single object like a pencil and the secondary adjustments to one an- 
other, enable us to learn about the pencil in numerous ways besides 
through the eye and hand. Hence with the loss of the eye and hand 
knowledge about pencils is partly, though not ostensibly, lost. 

Watson (lo, pp. 430-431) found that the behavior of rats was 
little disturbed by the loss of the visual, auditory, and olfactory re- 
ceptors. He maintains that " there are no centrally aroused sensa- 
tions and that even in 'thought* there is always a movement of a 
muscular mass somewhere." 


The Autonomic Component — Postural Tonus of the Unstriped 
Muscle — Its Influence on the Striped Muscle 

Sherrington's work on the proprioceptive circuit has finally com^ 
pelled the inclusion of the effector muscle cell or secretory cell as an 
indispensable factor or organ for the circulation of energy in the 
autonomic apparatus, since the autonomic motor (efferent) neurones 
are greatly influenced (stimulated or depressed) in their activities by 
the afferent currents from the proprioceptors which, in turn, are 
aroused by the muscle cells' activities, making an efferent-afferant- 
eflferent circuit, and so on. His work on the postural tonus of the 
hollow viscera arid vascular system has demonstrated that they must 
contribute an enormous, continuously circulating stream of auto- 
nomic activity to the personality, and this mechanism supports the 
conception that the autonomic functions are in themselves the dy- 
namic component of the personality, as the following experiments 

Mosso and Pellacani (cited by Sherrington, 7, p. 215) observed 
that the bladder in a dog could hold at even close intervals different 
volumes of water ranging from 10 c.c. to 90 c.c. at the same intra- 
vesical pressure. They concluded from theif experiments in man 
that an intravesical pressure of 18 cm, was accompanied by a desire 
to micturate ; and " they point out that the stimulus exciting desire 
to micturate is closely related with intravesical pressure but not 
closely with the quantity of bladder content ; 1. e,, bladder volume." 
They found also that the capacity of the bladder to adjust its pres- 
sure to increase or decrease of content was very rapid and did not 
depend upon the quantity of fluid it contained. A quantity of fluid 
injected into the bladder would cause desire to micturate when the 
pressure arose over 18 cm, but if the fluid was retained the pressure 
soon fell to below 18 cm. (water) and the desire disappeared. (In 
voluntary, prophylactic micturition the abdominal muscles are con- 
tracted, the intravesicular pressure is thus increased and the desire 
to micturate is then felt.) 

Sherrington compares (7, p. 217) the light grip of the bladder 
wall on the fluid contents to the hands gripping a ball and says their 
postural functions are " analogous." In the case of the bladder its 
postural tonus depends, it seems, upon the intravesicular contents 
arousing afferent stimuli which in turn cause the posture of the 
bladder to change sufficiently to lessen the intravesicular pressure 
and diminish the stimuli. ^ The relation of postural vesicle tonus and 
the peripheral genesis of a desire has been experimentally demotp- 


"Direct observation" Sherrington says (7, p. 219) "shows the 
ability of the fundus (stomach) to adjust suitably its postural con- 
traction in the case of diminishing content " and also in increasing 
content. Although this power is present in the excised organ it is 
less ample and less perfect than under natural conditions. 

Grey (50) makes the following conclusions from his experiments, 
on the postural activity of the stomach: "the normal stomach 
possesses a striking capacity for adapting its size to the volume of 
its contents with only minimal changes in intragastric pressure. 
This capacity disappears only shortly before the viscus ruptures." 
" The extrinsic nerves have nothing directly to do with the postural 
configuration of the viscus. The mechanism responsible for these 
changes concerns solely the musculature itself, together with the 
intrinsic nervous mechanism*' — ^that is, the nerve cells imbedded in 
the gastric walls. (Italics inserted.) Grey's experiments demon- . 
strate the surprising degree of independence the stomach has. for 
regulating its own postural tensions, hence its semi-independence as 
an affective source, influencing the remainder of the organism td 
adjust to it. . • 

Sherrington (7, p. 222) compares the auricles of the heart to the 
fundus of the stomach and the ventricles to the pylorus, and regards 
the auricles' variation in capacity at different times as a function of 
postural tonus. He holds also (7, p. 223) that in arterial vessels, 
when they accommodate to the posture of the body and maintain a 
fairly constant pressure upon the changing volume of the contents, 
as in the horizontal and erect position of the body, the postural 
tonus is analogous to the postural function of the bladder or stomach. 

The relative unfatigabUity of postural tonus "is often extra- 
ordinarily great" (7, p. 226). Sherrington has observed postural 
contraction in the decerebrate cat to last for six days andincludes 
the embrace posture of the male toad and cataleptic postures in 
psychoses as phenomena of postural tonus. 

In the postural tonus of the bladder we find a definite example 
of the physiological functions of a division of the autonomic appa- 
ratus generating a desire by producing peripheral sensations which 
in turn dominate the behavior of the organism, exhibiting clearly, 
a dynamic influence of peripheral origin that determines the activi- 
ties of the personality. 

Phenomena of excessively repeated acts of micturition in psycho- 
neuroses indicate that a mechanism exists which may cause the 
bladder to maintain a fixed tonus so that when the vesicular con- 
tents reach a certain quantity an intravesicular pressure causing a 


desire occurs. Such spastic states of viscera, psychoneuroses show, 
dominate nearly all other interests of the organism or personality 
when they exist. Langelaan (8, p. 331) makes the encouraging sug- 
gestion that perhaps certain types of convulsive seizure and some 
progressive myopathies are related to the autonomic component, 
and Sherrington includes the cataleptic postures, which may endure 
for months. 

Since the proprioceptive arc must be continuously active in order 
to maintain the postural tonus of the bladder, it is necessary tp ?ts- 
sume that, so long as the individual is unconscious of the activities 
of his vesicular proprioceptive system, these activities are not in- 
tense enough to arouse the reactions of the organism as a whole. 
When they do become intense enough to cause the entire organism 
to make an adaptation to the dominating activity of this part, namely, 
in the preparation for, and in the act of micturition, then we have a 
distinct physiological function, which is, in a definite sense, dif- 
ferent from the previous subliminal functional state, and which 
causes a compelling craving to micturate ; that is, a wish. 

In this instance the phenomenon of awareness or consciousness 
occurs when the body ay a unity must adjust itself to the special or 
dominating activity of one of its parts,^ 

If it is true that the proprioceptive arc is necessary for the main- 
tenance of the postural tonus of visceral muscles, and these muscles 
in turn stimulate the intramural receptors of the afferent arcs, and 
the. circuitous flow of energy is practically continuous, although 
varying in its rapidity, then we have at last a satisfactory physiolog- 
ical basis for the conception that from each visceral division flows a 
continuous afferent stream of subliminal stimuli (feelings) recipro- 
cally, though, perhaps, indirectly, influencing the functions of the 
other organs separately as well as collectively. And, further, when 
the postural tension of a division or an organ, like the bladder, 
stomach or genitalia, is increased to a greater degree than the ten- 
sions of the other organs, the afferent, sensory, flow from this organ 
or division dominates the afferent flow of the remainder of the 
group, thereby dominating the behavior of the animal, i, e., to apply 
this principle to man, the nature of the hyperactive viscera deter- 
mines the nature of the affections or wishes that we are conscious of 
and explains the fact that we are never directly dominated by purely 
one emotional craving or one wish. Our wishes are all more or 
less active. 
; It is much more practical and satisfactory for the psychologist 

« This explanation of consciousness of self and of the environment will 
be later referred to more fully. 


and psychopathologist to work with a hypothetical conception of the 
personality that considers it as an interwoven, continuous stream of 
affective cravings of unfathomable depth and numerous shades of 
aversive and acquisitive tendencies toward the world as it is consti- 
tuted for that personality; some cravings reenforcing each other, 
some repressing each other, some overcompensating for the deficien- 
cies of others; all, more or less, actively striving to attain the con- 
trol of the personality in order to acquire satisfactory stimuli through 
the adequate exposure of appropriate receptors. 

To present the same conception concretely we must learn to see 
the living, working body as a complex unity because of the individual 
importance of the postural tensions of each autonomic division, the 
salivary glands, stomach, liver, intestines, rectum, diaphragm, heart, 
lungs, kidneys, bladder, prostate, genitalia, etc., all more or less, 
vigorously striving, at times quite independently, with one another, to 
dominate the final common projicient motor paths, in order that the 
exteroceptors will be appropriately exposed to stimuli. (See Fig. 2.) 

The nature of the afferent stream emanating from a diseased, or 
an organically inferior, or an organically superior organ, or from a 
repressed, or an excessively used organ, modifies the relative impor- 
tance of the afferent contributions from the other organs and may 
seriously interfere with the personality's general development and 
comfort. For example, if a woman, whose organic constitution is 
unusually voluptuous, who cannot avoid having incessant, vigorous 
cravings for maternity, is married to an impotent, imambitious man, 
although organically constituted for prolific reproduction and hap- 
piness, she must suffer incessant anxiety because she is bound by 
society to avoid living naturally. The potent-husband-and-frigid- 
wife dilemma, and the reverse, are among the most persistent to be 
met with in social problems. 

The above hypothesis explains how the increased postural tonus 
of an important viscus may be the source of a persistent afferent 
stream of nervous impulses (feelings to act) which are intense 
enough to entirely dominate the other affections for a period of 
time — ^such as a particular postural tonus of the rectum and its 
sphincters which would compel preparations for defecation. Psy- 
chotics, who feel they must defecate but cannot (this I have ob- 
served to continue for a long period of time), show the most intense 
distress and inability to become interested in anything else. 

If it is possible, as psychotics abundantly indicate, and those who 
recover through a psychoanalysis substantiate, that instead of a 
brief period of distressing posture of a viscus the posture Inay be 


Fig. 2. This diagram represents the continuity of the energic stream 
flowing through nutritional, sexual and sublimational functions of the per- 
sonality. At no particular point does it have a beginning or an end. The 
large figure represents the healthy, happy, well-^balanced, progressive, con- 
structive, virile personality. He is so constituted because, being free from 
serious affective repressions, he lives a well-rounded-out biological career. 
This, the most general type, is the most difficult to maintain throughout the 
struggrle for potency. (Comfortable potency exists in proportion to the suc- 
cessfulness of the compensation for fear.) 

The smaller figures represent the six different general types of eccentric 
deviations from the normal that may occur because of organic inferiority, as 
in the idiot (C) or excessively fecundating moron (£) ; or because of func- 
tional inferiority due to affective-autonomic repression, as in the chronic, 
profoundly dissociated personality (C), or in some prostitutes (£). The 
representations of the six figures are gfiven below. The capacity for ex- 
tension or retraction in the various directions should be recognized as elastic, 
varying greatly at different times for the same individual. 

A — the undernourished striving, asectic, paranoid, philosophizing type. 

B — ^the emaciated, autoerotic, demented— organic and functional. 

C — ^the fat, gormandizing, demented— organic and functional. 

D — the erotic, inspirational, eccentric manic type. 

£ — ^the pimp, prostitute, and fecundating moron type. 

F— the comfortable, ascetic, gormandizing, religious tjrpe. 


sustained for long periods of time, then, probably, we have discov- 
ered the elementary physiological foundations for the development 
of the eccentric traits of character in personality. Each individual 
organ of the viscera, containing an afferent innervation, and each 
field of distribution of the circulatory system must be considered. 
The infinite capacity for postural variation among individuals, and 
the similarity of the psychic productions of individuals possessing 
similar dominant postural traits seem to be best explained by this 

Sherrington (9, p. 474) suggests that ^^one function this tonus 
may serve is that of an adjuvant to so-called muscular sense *'^ 
" Much of the reflex reaction expressed by the skeletal musculature 
is not motile, but postural, and has as its result not a movement, but 
the steady maintenance of an attitude." 

A young man carries his hands like his father, another walks like 
his father, another holds his head tilted toward one shoulder Uke 
his father, a daughter tried to have a deformed finger like her 
father's, another works the muscles of her cheeks, unconsciously 
imitating her father, internes in hospitals notoriously imitate their 
chiefs of the staff, students weartheirclothes, hats, carry their bodies, 
facial expression, accent their words, adopt the characteristic phrases, 
moral and social attitudes of their teachers or of older, socially potent 
students. Postural imitation, in order to develop a personality like 
the hero, is the eternal effort of the hero worshipper. Qiildren 
learn to spit like others, laugh like their playmates, cut their fingers, 
injure themselves, tear and soil their clothing and adopt countless 
artifices in order to be like their associates. The influence of asso- 
ciates upon the personality is a physiological mechanism and occurs 
unconsciously, or at least begins unconsciously. 

The tendency to maintain a characteristic setting of the facial 
muscles, vocal cords, diaphragm, muscles of the thorax, carriage of 
the body, is apparently traceable to the affective disposition of the 
individual — ^"the autonomic component." When the artist wishes 
to portray a certain affective state, he must paint his figure in a char- 
acteristic posture so that the postural imitative reactions of the 
viewers will give them a characteristic content of consciousness. 

Peripheral Origin of the Emotions 

That the visceral functions have a fundamental influence on the 
personality, no one questions, but the nature of this influence has 
long been a controversial subject for physiology and psychology. 

^Italics mine. 


Sherrington (II) has concluded that the visceral functions only re- 
enforce the affective state and do not produce it, being secondary to 
cerebral emotional activities. 

A reconsideration of his experiments, however, shows that if 
the postural tensions of the diaphragm, which introspective analysis 
indicates reacts significantly to potentially painftd or pleasant exo- 
genous stimuli, are given due importance in their reciprocal mechan- 
ical influence upon respiration, cardiac contractions and alimentary 
adaptations, the experiments do not refute the physiological mech- 
anism of James' theory. 

Sherrington foimd (II, p. 389) that spinal transection through 
the seventh cervical segment and the section of the vagi above both 
recurrent laryngeal branches, and of the sympathetic trunks at the 
same level did not "dull" a young puppy's exhibitions of "joy," 
"pleasure," and "fear," or an older bitch's reactions of "anger," 
" disgust," " pleasure " and " fear." The afferent and efferent nerve 
supply of the diaphragm was left intact. The viscera, which were 
connected with the autonomic centers in the spinal cord, were ex- 
posed to the mechanical influence of emotional changes in the ten- 
sion of the diaphragm. Through well established habitual and 
phylogenetic associations these postures may have been a connect- 
ing mechanical medium of influence between the part of the animal 
which was intact with the brain and the segregated part.** The 
motor reactions of the muscles of the head, fore legs, larynx and 
diaphragm (as indicated by the barking and breathing) were typ- 
ical of "aggressive rage."*** Such violent reactions might have 
characteristic mechanical influences upon the viscera and surely 
affect the contents of the great blood-vessels. It is not safe to 
assume that the viscera and motor tensions which were still con- 
nected with the brain were not causing consciousness of typical sen- 
sations which constituted the emotion, and that the segregated part, 
when normal, did not greatly increase and reenforce the affective 

That the autonomic apparatus may be conditioned to react to 
stimuli even during a state of cerebral anesthesia is shown by Sher- 

** It is not established that the operation completely separated the viscera 
from efferent and afferent influences with the brain although in the dog the 
connecting fibers between the cervical sympathetic and thoracic sympathetic 
lie in the same sheath with the vagus and the depressor branch of the superior 
laryngeal (Sherrington). 

*^The method of testing whether or not the spinal dogs showed emo- 
tional responses to exogenous cerebral stimuli was to bring appropriate 
stimuli to play upon the exterceptors in a natural manner, such as dog's flesh 
in milk to arouse disgust, scolding to arouse fear, and a cat to arouse rage. 



ringtcHi's Turin spinal dog (II, p. 393). The cardiac rate and 
strength and respiration showed marked reactions, of the fear type, 
to auditory stimuli which had formerly accompanied pain stimuli 
(faradic current). 

James' theory of the emotions, maintains that affect producing 
motor responses to agreeable or disagreeable stimuli occur before the 
affective reactions are felt, that is, before the emotion as such exists, 
and, unless this motor response occurs the emotion does not come 
into existence. Therefore, it may be held that the observed motor 
responses of joy, anger, eta, to the visual, etc, stimulation of Sher- 
rington's spinal dogs were cmly partial motor-joy, or fear responses, 
but sufficient to give the dog a diaracteristic appearance, though not 
so intense as when the entire system was intact. 

The Sherrington argument, in principle, is the same as that 
which might be made in case the stomach were removed and the 
animal still digested food and one concluded that the stomach had no 
digestive functions. 

We cannot assume, since part of the organism shows charac- 
teristic affective t)rpes of motor responses to agreeable or disagree- 
able stimuli, that the isolated or extirpated organs did not have very 
important or even more important affective functions of a similar 

The only manner in which Sherrington's type of experiment 
could be satisfactorily used to prove that certain or all viscera had 
no affective influences would be to isolate them from all connec- 
tions with the cerebro-spinal system and if the individual still felt 
characteristic affective changes, and no visceral changes cotdd be 
noted, then we might conclude at least that the motor functions of 
the isolated viscera do not alone determine the affective reaction 
of the personality. 

Another tmsatisfactory point in Sherrington's experiments was 
the intact diaphragm. The extensor muscles of the fore limbs were 
connected with the brain and, although the spinal cord from the 
seventh cervical segment posteriorly was not connected with the brain 
and anterior portion of the cord, the reflex movements of the fore 
limbs (and head and neck) by pulling on the skeletal frame, trans- 
mitted possibly characteristic mechanical influences upon the iso- 
lated remainder of the skeletal musculature and set up proprio- 
ceptive reactions that rapidly produced cooperative responses in the 
isolated muscle groups. 

The spinal dogs showed strong aversions for dog's flesh and 
the point arises that, if the face, ears, etc., assumed a dejected pos- 
ture, it would be highly important to know what emissive move- 


ments the stomach was making, since the dog's flesh " excited dis- 
gust " unconquerable by ordinary hunger ; and hunger, according to 
Cannon, is dependent upon definite gastric contractions. Since the 
spinal dogs also showed sexual jexcitement and nursed young, it is at 
least safe to assume that the visceral functions pertaining to repro- 
duction and maternal interests tremendously influenced the dog's 
behavior, and it is well known that exteroceptive stimuli do not ex- 
cite a bitch's sexual interests if the reproductive organs are not 
functioning properly. 

That Goltz's (i, p. 207) dog, with its cerebral cortex removed, 
should have shown anger symptoms when its foot was held, and no 
other affective symptoms, seems to support the conception that the 
more highly intricate the integrative f imctions of the cerebral cortex 
are, the more refined and delicate becomes the affective response. 
But this does not support the notion that the affective reactions, as 
such, originate in the cortex. The intricate cortex is only a medium 
of coordinating and reenforcing reactions and enables the organism 
to react as a unity more readily and more delicately to the auto- 
nomic responses to pain and pleasure stimuli. 

Sherrington contributed materially to the knowledge that pos- 
tural skeletal muscle tonus is primarily influenced by the autonomic 
system, and the dejected posture (postural muscle tonus) of the 
spinal dog, disgusted by dog's flesh, suggests strongly that in some 
manner the unpleasant olfactory stimulus had free access to the auto- 
nomic system of his dog and produced strong avertive reactions to 
the odor. 

The autonomic genesis of desires, cravings, wishes, emotions, 
hungers or, in a comprehensive word, aff ectivity, by causing periph- 
eral proprioceptive changes in the viscera and circulatory system also 
is supported by the work of Cannon and Carlson. 

^ Cannon's studies of hunger (4, p. 247) indicate the mechanism 
of the dynamic functions of the personality. That himger, as a 
craving, should have a peripheral origin should be given great sig- 
nificance in formulating a conception of an affective sensori-motor 

Cannon eliminated emptiness of the stomach and excessive 
hydrochloric acid as causes of hunger by observing that hunger oc- 
curred in subjects when no acid was present in the stomach contents 
or only slightly present and that hunger disappeared after gastric 

Turgescence of the mucous membranes was disposed of, because, 
when indigestible foods are swallowed, according to Pawlow, no 


juices are secreted to relieve the turgescence, and hunger disappears. 
Cannon well maintains that ''a// that we need as a support for the 
peripheral reference of the sensation is proof that conditions occur 
there, simultaneously with hunger pangs which might reasonably 
be regarded as giving rise to those pangs f^ 

His method of demonstrating that peripheral changes occurred 
at the moment of feeling the hunger pangs was that of swallowing a 
small rubber bulb, then inflating it and connecting it with a record- 
ing apparatus. A series of records showed that with each wave of 
hunger feeling, concomitant and slightly preceding gastric contrac- 
tions occurred in characteristically intermittent waves. These ob- 
servations were obtained in others besides himself. He concludes 
(4, p. 259) "the feeling of hunger, which was reported while the 
contractions were recurring, disappeared as the waves stopped." 
^'The close concomitance of the contractions with hunger pangs 
therefore clearly indicates that they are the real source of those 

Carlson's observations (12, p. 64), which were similar to Can- 
non's, "on more than fifty men are in complete accord with those 
of Cannon and Washburn." " There is a fairly close correspond- 
ence between the strength of the stomach contractions and the 
degree of hunger sensations experienced simultaneously." (12, 
p. 69) "The hunger sensation seems to be produced by the con- 
tractions only. When the empty stomach is normal, strong con- 
tractions, however catted, produced a sensation of hunger/* 
" Hunger contains elements of kinesthetic sensation as well as pain, 
the latter predominating in strong hunger." (12, p. 65) "Tetanus 
periods of the stomach are invariably accompanied by a similar fusion 
or tetanus of the hunger sensation" and (12, p. 66) "abrupt cessa- 
tion of the gastric tetanus at the end of a strong contraction period 
is accompanied by an equally abrupt and complete cessation of the 
hunger sensation." (This supports the conception that the hyper- 
active viscus determines the nature of the dominating affective crav- 

Carlson (12, p. 219) found that 20 to 50 c.c. of fresh defibrinated 
blood from starving dogs injected into normal dogs "increases the 
gastric tonus and hunger contraction of the latter, if their stomachs 
are empty and if moderate tonus and hunger contractions are in evi- 
dence in the recipient at the time of injection of the blood." These 
reactions did not occur when the stomach was atonic. This indi- 
cates that products of metabolism in the blood stream probably have 

• Italics mine. 


an initiating and an augmenting effect on the autonomic hunger 

Cannon's (4, p. 234) description of hunger contains a valuable 
suggestion for psychology. Hunger is an intermittent, '^dull ache 
or gnawing pain referred to the lower mid-chest region and the epi- 
gastritun, which may take imperious control of human actions " and 
has an abrupt onset. Besides the dull ache, however, "lassitude 
and drowsiness may appear, or faintness, or violent headache, or 
irritability and restlessness such that continuous effort in ordinary 
aflFairs becomes increasingly difficult" (4, p. 236). ''The peculiar 
dull ache of hungriness, referred to the epigastrium, is usually the 
organism's first strong demand for food'' which if not heeded may 
" grow into a highly uncomfortable pang or gnawing less definitely 
localized as it becomes more intense," including the above quoted 
sensory disturbances (4, p. 235). "The unpleasantness of hunger 
leads to eating, eating starts gastric digestion and abolishes the sen- 
sation. Meanwhile the pancreatic and intestinal juices, as well as 
bile, have been prepared in the duodenum to receive the oncoming 
chyme. The periodic activity of the alimentary canal in fasting, 
therefore, is not solely the source of hunger pangs, but it is at the 
same time an exhibition in the digestive organs of readiness for 
prompt attack on the food swallowed by the hungry animal " (4, p. 
264). This state of "readiness" really is a state of neediness for 
food and the "dull ache" or "gnawing" sensations may well be 
classed as itching sensations which are relieved by the soothing rub- 
bing of foods as well as " indigestible " stuff, mucous, gastric lavage, 
etc., which according to Pawlow relieve himger, although no juices 
are secreted. 

The conception then, that the unpleasant itching feeling in the 
stomach, which is the " constant characteristic, the central fact " of 
hunger (4, p. 236) and takes " imperious control of human actions," 
is the key to the dynamic functions of the personality. At a glance 
we may see the enormous influence produced upon the behavior of 
man by the periodical itching in his stomach and his elaborate ef- 
forts to acquire adequate stimuli which will neutralize the affective 
state of hungriness. 

It may not be premature here to claim that all the affective f tmc- 
tions have the same physiological principle as hunger, and that in 
principle all the affective cravings are, in their mechanism, forms of 
hunger no matter how delicately, as sentiment, they may be poised. 
Their dynamic principle is compulsion of the organism to acquire 
such stimuli as will soothe the different forms of itching; for ex- 
ample the phrase " itching for a fight " or to do a certain act. 


That food htinger should be classified as physiologically and 
psychologically similar to other affective cravings or emotions is not 
new. Cannon says (4, p. 232) " on the same plane with pain and the 
dominant emotions of fear and anger, as agencies which determine 
the action of organisms, is the sensation of hunger." It is only 
necessary, in order to firmly establish the James-Lange theory of the 
peripheral origin of emotions to apply Cannon's principle of the 
peripheral origin of hunger in order to demonstrate that (charac- 
teristic) conditions occur somewhere in the autonomic viscera, 
"simultaneously," with consciousness of an affective or emotional 

James's theory of the emotions (13, p. 449) is that "the bodily 
changes follow directly the perception of the exciting fact, and tha4 
our feeling of the same changes as they occur is the emotion*' 
'' Every one of the bodily changes, whatsoever it be, is felt, acutely 
or obscurely, the moment it occurs." The fact that bodily changes 
occur directly following a perception and this change is felt as the 
emotion is exactly what Cannon established when he demonstrated 
that certain forms of gastric contractions caused a "gnawing" feel- 
ing called hunger. It is interesting that Cannon disagreed with 
Boldireff's belief, that hunger provokes the gastric contractions and 
reversed the conception to gastric contractions provoke hunger (4, 
p. 253), then he stopped and reversed his dynamic principle by ac- 
cepting Sherrington's belief that the other emotions originated in 
the cerebrum, even though (4, p. 211) he says, "according to the 
argument here presented the strong emot'ions, as fear and anger, are 
rightly interpreted as the concomitants of bodily changes." (Italics 

It is now necessary to demonstrate that environmental condi- 
tions (exteroceptive stimuli), which cause, reflexly, obvious reactions 
or symptoms characteristic of definite emotional states, also cause 
visceral changes which are essentially as characteristic. This has 
in a sense never been satisfactorily established. Darwin was in- 
clined to feel that quite opposite emotional states seemed to accom- 
pany very similar motor disturbances, to which view Cannon and 
others tend to agree. I hope to show that the error lay, not so much 
in the observations, but in the interpretation of the observations — 
particularly the inciting causes of the emotional disturbances which 
were observed. 

It is first important to demonstrate that visceral changes of a 
pleasant or unpleasant nature always occur when the exteroceptors 
are exposed to certain potentially beneficial or harmful stimuli. 
These visceral changes are certainly capable of causing a consistent 


stream of sensory reactions or feelings which tend to persist until 
stimuli are acquired that have the capacity for relieving the auto- 
nomic sensorimotor tension or unrest and reestablishing a compara- 
tive state of relaxation or rest. 

Pawlow (4, p. 4), by careftd surgical methods, made a side 
pouch of a part of the stomach (dog) with a normal nerve and 
blood supply and wholly separated from the remainder of the 
stomach. The secretions of the isolated part of the stomach are 
considered to be representative of the secretory activities of the 
entire stomach. 

By also establishing an esophageal fistula the swallowed food 
dropped out and was called sham feeding. By this means " Pawlow 
showed that the chewing and swallowing of food which the dogs 
relished resulted, after a delay of about five minutes, in a flow of 
natural gastric juice from the side pouch of the stomach — sl flow 
which persisted as long as the dog chewed and swallowed the food, 
and continued for some time after eating ceased." "And since 
the flow occurred only when the dog had (i) an appetite and (2) 
the material presented was agreeable, the conclusion is justified that 
this was a true psychic secretion" (4, p. S). (Italics mine.) 

" The mere sight or smell of a favorite food may start the pour- 
ing out of the gastric juice as was noted by. Bidder and Schmidt" 
and confirmed by Schiff and Pawlow (4, p. 6). 

That such complex reflex changes are called " true psychic secre- 
tions " is confusing and imf ortimate for physiology and psychology 
because the above two sentences contain all the factors necessary to 
produce physiological responses to adequate stimtdi. "When the dog 
has an appetite " means certainly that the physiological state of the 
dog is appropriate or vulnerable to the stimulus, implying that much 
of the time the physiological state is different and inappropriate for 
the reaction. The assertion that when "the material presented is 
agreeable," or a " favorite food " is seen or smelled, then salivary 
and gastric secretions are started, is merely stating that the salivary 
and gastric secretory glands are conditioned to react, reflexly to 
these visual and olfactory stimuli and the resultant turgescence and 
activity of the glands cause pleasant feelings (if the food is not 
withheld). The term " psychic secretion " is not justified and is ex- 
cessive because it clouds up the simple dynamic principle involved. 
Even in man, where the salivary glands may be stimulated to secrete 
by recalling the image of a past adequate stimulus, the term " psychic 
secretion " is unnecessary. It is clearer to adhere strictly to what 
actually happens and leave out unintelligible "psychic" phrases. 

Cannon says (4, p. 8) : " Hornburg found that when the little 


boy whom he studied chewed agreeable food (that is, when the gus- 
tatory and perhaps visual and olfactory receptors were exposed to 
adequate stimuli) a more or less active secretion of gastric juice in- 
variably started, whereas the chewing of an indifferent substance (in- 
adequate* stimuli), as gutta-percha, was followed by no secretion." 
"These observations clearly demonstrate that the normal flow of 
the first digestive fluids, the saliva and the gastric juice, is favored 
by the pleasurable feelings which accompany the taste and smell of 
food during mastication, or which are aroused when choice morsels 
are seen or smelled." (Italics and parentheses mine.) 

If we adhere to the principle of attributing the " pleasurable feel- 
ings" to peripheral autonomic changes because the latter occur 
simultaneously with, or slightly preceding, awareness of the feel- 
ings, the glandular changes should be considered to produce the 
above pleasant feelings. Adequate stimuli playing upon the ex- 
teroceptors of an organism, when in an appropriate autonomic state, 
cause a turgescence of certain secretory glands which, as they secrete, 
cause feelings which are usually pleasant. (The secretions would 
cause unpleasant feelings if the individual had parotitis or the food 
was withheld.) It therefore becomes an excessive appendage to 
psychology to require an additional source of the emotions. 

*' Agreeable foods" are really materials having the qualities, as 
sensory stimuli, to cause reactions which are " agreeable " or " pleas- 
urable." Hence they are selected as "choice foods." We usually 
do not choose the food and then wish the glandular activities to 
follow. The glandular activities, the vasomotor turgescence and the 
autonomic activities which result from these stimuli cause the " pleas- 
urable feelings," just as the gastric contractions cause the feel- 
ings of hunger. When the feelings of hunger are accompanied 
by assurances of prompt and adequate gratification they are con- 
sidered to be most desirable, and we are pleased to feel our " mouths 
water," but when they are accompanied by fears of not being satis- 
fied, we speak of " pangs of hunger " and dislike to have our mouths 
water. (See Homberg's boy.) When the food is attractive to all 
the others at the table and, because of anxiety about personal respon- 
sibilities or love disappointments, etc., we find that our mouths do 
riot water, we complain of very unpleasant feelings which may not 
only be referred to the dry mouth but also to the griping viscera and 
inadequate food stimuli. 

(When we are not distracted by worries and fears our digestive 
processes functionate so as to give us a comfortable sense of po- 

"The conditions favorable to proper digestion are wholly abol- 


ished when unpleasant feelings such as vexation and worry and 
anxiety, or great emotions such as anger and fear, are allowed to 
prevail" (4, p. 9). 

In the following series of observations of visceral reactions un- 
favorable to digestion it should be noted that in each instance the 
animal was exposed to stimuli that may have first caused fear reac- 
tions (types of painful stimuli) and then the autonomic system pro- 
tected itself by compensating with an anger state which would de- 
stroy or remove the pain producing stimulus. 

Homberg*s boy (4, p. 9) became "vexed" (angry) when he 
could not eat at once and began to cry, then no secretion appeared 
and Bogen's child (4, p. 10), with closed esophagus and gastric 
fistula, "sometimes fell into such a passion" (anger), "in conse- 
quence of vain hoping for food, that the giving of the food after the 
child was calmed, was not followed by any flow of the secretion." 

In both observations delaying the food seems to have been a 
form of painful fear stimulus which aroused compensatory anger 
reactions in order to procure the food by destroying the resistances. 
It might be held that the digestive functions of the viscera were tem- 
porarily changed to anger functions and thus the secretions did not 
appear. The cries of the child may be regarded as the final reac- 
tions to visceral feelings that were made unpleasant by delaying the 

These observations demonstrate that pleasant digestive reactions 
result from adequate stimuli, but when the latter are compounded 
with harmful (pain) stimuli (withholding the food) visceral changes 
occur which impair the digestive functions. The visceral disturb- 
ances become unpleasant as they tend to impair the digestive func- 
tions ; they retard vitally necessary f imctions of life. 

Bickel and Sasaki (4, p. 11), as referred to by Cannon, observed 
that a dog's stomach secreted 66.7 c.c. of pure gastric juice in 
twenty minutes after five minutes of feeding. Under very similar 
conditions, after the dog had been enraged by the presence of a 
cat (painful visual stimuli) the stomach secreted only 9 c.c. of fluid 
in twenty minutes after five minutes of feeding. This secretion 
was rich in mucus. They also observed that when the stomach of 
this dog was secreting at its usual rate in order to digest the food, 
and the cat was then brought into the immediate environment, the 
stomach only secreted a few drops in the next 15 minutes and reac- 
tions unfavorable to digestion continued long after the painful 
stimuli were removed. 

Oechsler (4, p. 13), as referred to by Cannon, reported that 


the secretion of the gastric juice, the secretion of the pancreatic 
juice, and the flow of bile, may be definitely checked "in such 
psychic disturbances," that is, to say it more simply, in the presence 
of fear or hatred-producing stimuli. 

Cannon observed (4, p. 15), by means of the Roentgen rays, in 
the dog, cat, and guinea pig, that "very mild emotional (fear, rage) 
disturbances are attended by abolition of peristalsis." " Even indi- 
cations of slight anxiety (such as covering the cat's nose and 
mouth until a slight distress of breathing is produced) may be 
attended by complete absence of the churning waves." "Like the 
peristaltic waves of the stomach, the peristalsis and the kneading 
movements (segmentation) in the small intestine, and the reversed 
peristalsis in the large intestine all cease whenever the observed ani- 
mal shows signs of emotional excitement" — ^that is, when the ani- 
mal is exposed to potentially harmful stimuli (4, p. 16). 

Just what is the significance of the seeming cessation of the vis- 
ceral digestive functions? Is it a spastic postural tonus? What is 
the nature of the proprioceptive reactions (kinesthetic sensations) 
which are aroused by the viscera going into a spastic form of pos- 
tural tonus? Do these proprioceptive sensations constitute the 
stream of feeling or "emotional excitement" that one becomes 
aware of at that time? Is the striped muscle system compelled to 
act by the peculiar nature of the postural tonus of the viscera, in 
order that the organism may acquire such stimuli for its exterocep- 
tors as have the capacity to relieve the uncomfortable, probably spas- 
tic, condition of the viscera and allow them to resume their more 
fruitful, pleasure-giving digestive functions? It is obviously bio- 
logically imperative that spastic visceral states should be relieved. 
Spastic visceral and skeletal muscles are the source of a continuous 
afferent proprioceptive stream and, as spastic tensions lose the ca- 
jpacity to adapt to new needs, they are generally a hindrance. 

" The influences unfavorable to digestion, however, are stronger 
than those which promote it " (4, p. 12) which is what one would 
expect in the universal struggle for life, and accounts for our elab- 
orate defensive compensatory capacities. 

Restatement. — ^In the preceding collection of observations we 
have seen that the autonomic secretory and motor activities react 
immediately when the organism (man, dog, cat, etc.) is exposed to 
compounded stimuli which contain a potentially painful stimulus. 
The autonomic sensorimotor apparatus seems to go into a peculiar 
form of (spastic) postural tonus and this status is the peripheral 
origin of a stream of unpleasant ^'feeling.** 


Cannon's belief that the change in the autonomic apparatus 
rather followed "emotional excitement" in the cerebrum seems to 
have been largely influenced by the impression that, since different 
emotional states seemed to be accompanied by apparently similar 
visceral disturbances a difference in physiological function must 
occur somewhere when different emotions are observed, hence in 
the cerebrum because of Sherrington's findings in the spinal dog. 

It is necessary, because of this belief, to review the cases of 
anxiety, the one of supposed joy, and the case of supposed disgust 
referred to by Cannon and two of my cases of vomiting, in order 
to show that in each case pain stimuli and fear reactions occurred 
first. (Cannon's interpretation of the psychology of these cases is 
not satisfactory, because he does not seem to consider that visual, 
olfactory and auditory stimuli may be as painful as sciatic pain 
stimuli, and he does not consider the conditioned reflex.) 

Cannon reports the case (4, p. 17) of a " refined and sensitive 
woman" who had "digestive difficulties." She was given a test 
breakfast and the examination of the stomach contents revealed 
no free acid, no digestion of the test breakfast, and the presence of 
a considerable amount of the supper of the previous evening. 
Her husband had the night previous to the test breakfatsfeljecome 
uncontrollably drunk (an expression of semi-suppressed hati^d 
for his wife). An uncontrollably drunk husband shoijlif normairy 
cause anxiety and temporary indigestion for any woman if she is 
normal. We need not assume undue sensitiveness. Qere was 
a definite vigorous fear stimulus (of social degradation) and com- 
pensatory anger reactions but probably suppressed because the pam- '"* ^ V*« 
ful experience occurred among strangers (hotel), and the cause *of^ * fJ^* 
the pain was inaccessible to pimishment in his " uncontrollable " ^* 
drunken state. The second morning, after a " good rest," the gastric ; 

functions again became normal ; the husband had probably resumed /v. 
a fairly decent attitude. ^' ^ 'y^^ 

Cannon maintains that the digestive functions are also affected^ • 
by emotions (4, p. 277) " which are usually mild— such as jey and* 
sorrow and disgust — when they become sufficiently intense'^ and 
*' the normal course of digestion may be stopped or quite reversed 
in a variety of Jhese emotional states." This view seems to be 
based on a case of tromiting following supposed " intense joy " re- 
ported by Darwin,*'and Miiller's case of "intense sorrow," and a 
case of " intense disgust " reported by Burton. 

The case of supposedly intense joy was taken by Darwin (14, 



p. 76) from the Medical Mirror of 1865 reported by Dr. J. Crichton 
Browne. How probably accurate and personal Dr. Brown's obser- 
vations were, must be kept in mind for the sake of the scientific 
problem involved. It is given here in full: "How powerfully in- 
tense joy excites the brain, and how the brain reacts on the body, 
is well shown in rare cases of Psychical Intoxication " — " A yoimg 
man of strongly nervous temperament, who, on hearing by a tele- 
gram that a fortune had been bequeathed him, first became pale, 
then exhilarated, and soon in the highest spirits, but flushed and very 
restless. He then took a walk with a friend for the sake of tran- 
quilizing himself, but returned staggering in his gate, uproariously 
laughing, yet irritable in temper, incessantly talking, and singing 
loudly in the public streets. It is positively ascertained he had not 
touched any spirituous liquors, though everyone thought that he 
was intoxicated. Vomiting after a time came on, and the half 
digested contents of his stomach were examined, but no odor of 
alcohol could be detected. He then slept heavily, and on awak- 
ening was well, except that he suffered from headache, nausea 
and prostration of strength." (Italics mine.) This description of 
human behavior confuses one with a queer use of opposites and 
makes the case have doubtful value, except that a young man of 
" strongly nervous temperament," upon learning that he had been 
bequeathed a fortune, was plunged into a brief intense psychosis. 
It is noted that he was " irritable " in temper, of " strongly nerv- 
ous temperament," a polite term for an irritable temperament, 
and that he first turned pale when he was informed of his inherit- 
ance. This case cannot be safely accepted as a pure case of intense 
joy because the young man gave strong indications of first reacting 
with acute fear (paleness). This could only have been safely de- 
termined by a psychoanalysis, because the inefficiency of auto-eroti- 
cism, anal-eroticism, inability to handle the fortune, and being re- 
minded of old homicidal wishes suggest themselves as possible reac- 
tions in this psychopathic personality. Then followed the compen- 
satory mixed reaction of joy and anger. So in this turmoil of fear, 
joy, anger, and possibly love (successful wooing often depends on 
money) this psychopath was swept off his feet, and after excessive 
pychomotor activity with marked incoordinations of incessant talk- 
ing, singing, irritabilty and weakness, he vomited, slept heavily, and 
awakened "well," but suffering from headache, nausea and weak- 
ness. This case reminds one of an epileptic seizure initiated by a 
fear reaction. 

Cannon (4, p. 278) gives his impression of this observation as 


" a case of a young man who on hearing that a fortune had been 
left him, became pale, then exhilarated, and after various expres- 
sions of joyous feeling vomited the half digested contents of his 
stomach," and bases on this case his argument that intense joy can 
cause gastric changes similar to other affective disturbances. 

The case of sorrow referred to by Cannon (4, p. 278) was a 
"young woman whose lover had broken the engagement of mar- 
riage. She wept in bitter sorrow for several days, and during this 
time vomited whatever food she took." Whatever this girl sacri- 
ficed or lost by the breaking of her engagement is undetermined but 
obviously pain and also fear of never again having her love-object 
caused the behavior reactions of "sorrow" and a definite relation 
existed in this case of vomiting to pain and fear. 

The case of disgust and vomiting (4, p. 278) is given as follows : 
^*A gentle woman of the same city saw a fat hog cut up, when the 
entrails were opened, and a noisome savour offended her nose, she 
. much misliked and would not longer abide ; a physician in presence 
told her, as that hog, so zvas she, full of filthy excrements, and ag- 
gravated the matter by some other loathsome incidents, insomuch 
this nice gentle woman apprehended it so deeply she fell forthwith 
a vomiting, was so mightily distempered in mind and body, that with 
all his art and persuasion, for some months after, he could not re- 
store her to herself again, she could not forget or remove the object 
out of her sight." (Italics and capitals mine.) This case cannot 
be safely accepted as a case of intense disgust causing vomiting, 
because of the probability that the ignorant but overly refined, gentle 
woman was made extremely apprehensive when she was reminded 
of her offensive interior by an aggravating physician who delighted 
in telling refined people that they had filthy interiors, and some other 
things too indecent to print. The filthy interior readily suggests 
the filthy soul to people who are obsessed with trying to escape the 
wickedness of the flesh, and repress their emotions in order to 
appear refined. It is at least safe to regard the physician's sugges- 
tions as painful stimuli causing fear reactions which were perhaps 
complicated with reactions of disgust or aversion aroused by the 
odors. Besides, judging from the later apologetic attitude of the 
physician, strong feelings of anger for the offense also complicated 
this woman's reactions. 

Because of the apparent similarity of the crude (shadow) ob- 
servations through the fluoroscope and the more accurate gastric>v 
analysis Cannon concludes that there are "no noteworthy" dif- 
ferences to "visceral accompaniments of fear and rage." (Pain- 


f ul Stimuli and fear reactions, it will be shown, always precede the 
compensatory reactions of rage — ^see discussion of fear and rage.) 

Cannon says (4, p. 277) : " Obvious vascular differences, as 
pallor or flushing of the face, are of little significance. With in- 
crease of blood pressure from vasoconstriction, pallor might result 
from action of the constrictors in the face, or flushing might result 
because the constrictors elsewhere, as, for example, in the abdomen, 
raised the pressure so high that facial constrictors are overcome . . . 
or the flushing may occur from local vasodilation." This inference 
about the variation of facial vasodilation seems to be a mechanical 
guess and is not a sound point in his contribution. 

One can readily understand why those who feel that such 
vascular differences as pallor or flushing of the face are of little 
significance, are not likely to be impressed by their own subjective 
experiences or James's theory of the emotions, because the very foun- 
dation of the theory is that the secretory or motor changes, wherever 
or however they occur, cause characteristic sensory disturbances. 
(The principle that the nature and location of the peripheral changes 
determine the nature of our feelings is similar, physiologically, to 
the conviction universally held that the area of an inflaiftmation or 
injury is the origin and cause of the.sensation of pain.) Intravesicu- 
lar pressure does not cause a desire or feeling until the pressure is 
over 18 cm. of water which indicates the delicacy of the peripheral 
adjustment necessary to produce an affective change. Hence it is 
readily conceivable that slight variations in postural visceral ten- 
sions, which are not observable to the fluoroscope or eye, may cause 
critical affective disturbances. 

Further evidence that the functional tensions of the viscera de- 
termine the affective status of the individual is found in the af- 
fective influence of cold, fever, exhaustion, and exogenous intoxica- 
tions. Cannon (4, p. 262) states that "in fever, when bodily ma- 
terial is being most rapidly used, hunger is absent. Its absence is 
understood from an observation made by F. T. Murphy and my- 
self, that infection, with systemic involvement, is accompanied by 
a total cessation of all movements of the alimentary canal. Boldi- 
reff observed that when his dogs were fatigued the rhythmic con- 
tractions failed to appear. Being ' too tired to eat ' is thereby given 
rational explanation.^^ 

This is also true for the more delicate affective reactions. When 
we are fatigued or have systemic involvements with fever our ac- 
quisitive interests and defensive or resistive capacities are decidedly 


reduced. We may be "too tired," or "too sick" to enjoy music, 
art, companions, parties, day-dreams, current events, or withstand 
a shock, etc. Neither are we then able to readjust the primary af- 
fective disturbances of fear, anger, shame and grief. If aroused 
they tend to continue unduly, indicating an inability of the autonomic 
apparatus to make compensatory readjustments so readily as in 
health. I reported a case (15) of nausea and vomiting in a young 
woman due to repressed hatred and fear following a series of con- 
flicts with her. mother-in-law. This psychoneurosis persisted for 
more than a year and reversed (nauseating) peristalsis was quickly 
aroused by red fruits and vegetables. Also an instance of vomiting 
in a physician, who, while fishing soon after breakfast, was excited 
by hooking a fish and vomited after it escaped, which was probably 
the result of inability to protect himself from the fear of losing the 
fish, by catching it (52, p. 450). Everyone is familiar with the feel- 
ing of nausea that precedes abdominal retching and vomiting and 
the nausea and disgust, with sensations of gastric movements, in- 
dicating a reversion of peristalsis. Oiildren, to express disgust, 
will hawk, make emissive movements and even make vomiting move- 
ments, indicating that visceral disturbances have already occurred 
which gave sensations suggesting the vomiting movements. Many 
people can testify to a disappearance of all affective interests when 
seasick, during which time the digestive system is inclined to make 
persistent, energetic emissive movements. Cannon remarks that loy- 
alty disappears in the face of excessive hunger. So may love, 
shame, fear, etc., indicating that too vigorous hunger functions of 
the stomach, when once established, do not permit the less strong 
affective functions to come into play. Among college athletes I 
have heard used the phrase "he lost his guts," to mean that the 
athlete was a weak contender because he suffered from diarrhea 
(excessive emissive peristalsis)— due to fear of losing and inability 
to compensate. 

When we have an acute " sickening pain " we do not feel affec- 
tionate at the same time, and when the sickening pain is felt it is 
known that marked visceral disturbances occur. We are all fa- 
miliar with the severe digestive disturbances, lowered resistaiice and 
distressing visceral sensations that are caused by the loss of a love- 
object and the vigorous appetites and splendid digestive powers that 
are established when we have firmly acquired the love-object. It 
requires little imagination to apply the physiological principle of 
failure to compensate to so-called cases of " shell shock." 


Pain- and Pleasure-Giving Stimuli of Distance Receptors 

The prominence of the painful stimulus and the primary fear 
reaction, which precedes the avertive adjustments, must necessarily, 
from the nature of the proBlem, be studied as a physiological phe- 
nomenon and then its psychological or behavioristic significance 
reviewed. In order that the similarity may be recognized the 
physiological disturbances that accompany painful physical injuries, 
such as crushing a nerve or tearing flesh, should be compared to cer- 
tain painful visual or auditory stimuli. It is perhaps necessary to 
show that visual, auditory and gustatory stimuli may produce auto- 
nomic (physiological) effects which are similar to the effects of 
physical injuries. 

A personal experience, while sitting near the side of an open 
street car absorbed in a problem, confirmed this impression for me. 
Just as we passed some workmen, who were loading boards on a 
wagon, they let a heavy board fall flat. It made a sharp, loud bang 
near my head. My first clear recognition of the presence of the 
wagon followed the bang. The strong, sharp percussion of my 
ear drum did not cause pain there, but the instantaneous violence 
with which my diaphragm (?) "jumped" and (probably) stomach 
and intestines reacted was painful and, even before I fully realized 
what had occurred, I felt a rapid defensive compensation of anger 
sweep over me as a marked vasodilatation in both arms, chest, neck, 
and face occurred, and then I became aware of a rapidly develop- 
ing compulsive feeling to speak and act (remove or destroy the 
cause). Fortunately, before overt movements got under way an af- 
fective compulsion to maintain a respectable dignity asserted itself, 
and instead of wasting the aggressive energy on the unsuspecting 
workmen it turned on the opponents of the James-Lange theory of 
the emotions. 

While preparing these observations on the peripheral origin of 
the emotions a trivial experience emphasized the peripheral origin 
of fear and the compensatory anger reaction which followed. I had 
filled a metallic, disc-shaped hot-water bottle and was drying it with 
a towel when suddenly I felt it slipping rapidly through my fingers. 
The hand was reflexly tightened on the slipping object but also the 
body and leg muscles had reflexly started to contract in order to pull 
the frame down toward the floor so as to enable me to get beneath 
and catch the bottle that had started to fall. This all occurred in an 
instant and is of course related by retrospection, but the sequence of 
events were promptly and accurately noted, being a valuable obser- 
vation because of its entirely spontaneous nature. The hand that 


had been holding the bottle in a light postural grip succeeded in 
resuming its grasp on it and the other bodily movements, particularly 
that of getting into a crouching position, automatically became ex- 
cessive and were abruptly stopped when only about one third started. 
The abrupt stopping of the general flexion of the legs by a general 
abrupt counter-extension produced a brief but intense tingling of the 
muscles of the legs and thighs. This was decidedly unpleasant, 
causing a very disagreeable tingling of the muscles, and might be 
described as startling. The abrupt onset of the falling of the object 
itself caused no disagreeable feelings, but the abrupt stopping of 
the sudden, tense contractions was very disagreeable, and belonged 
to the pain-fear type. 

Within a few seconds I felt a decided reaction of anger at the 
bottle and then at my carelessness. This incident, as a* spontaneous 
phenomenon, illustrates the sequence of the peripheral origin of the 
startling, tingling pain and compensatory anger and is worthy of 

A thirteen weeks' old puppy was cautiously making his first in- 
spection of the snarling head of a bear rug when I made the fol- 
lowing observation. He was gradually compensating for his vig- 
orous fear (avertive) reactions which had instantly started when he 
first saw the head. After many distant, encircling inspections be- 
hind chairs, etc., he gradually advanced first behind the head and 
smelled an extended hind paw, and then cautiously walked up the leg 
with every receptor wide open for dangerous stimuli. Finally he 
worked around in front of the bear, pushing his head (the distance 
receptors, eyes, ears, and nose with the defensive teeth) up first 
and keeping the remainder of the body extended as far back as pos- 
sible. When I was sure he could not see me I made a sharp sound 
with my foot. The sudden auditory percussion precipitated a panicy 
scramble across the floor away from the bear. A minute or so later 
a curious interest urged him to return. Some obscure affective crav- 
ing was urging him. Finally he reached the head, touched noses, 
licked each eye, smelled in each ear, inspected the open mouth, licked 
the nose and then mounted the head and began copulation move- 
ments. When hunger, fatigue and fear are absent sexual functions 
come to the foreground in the infra-human primates and man. 

It is well known that all young animals, including infants, may 
be terrified by staring, fierce-looking eyes and deep, guttural sounds. 
Mothers use soft, purring sounds and brief glances to keep the 
yotmg comfortable. All animals use harsh sounds and staring to 



intimidate enemies. Selous in his African Nature Notes, reports 
that his Kafirs said " their hearts died " when the lions roared near 

The yelping wolf pack, barking terriers and the profane, irate 
bully tend to paralyze their victims with auditory percussions before 
they make their assault with teeth and paws. The cheering of loyal 
friends in athletic competitions, in theatricals and of soldiers on 
parade and in battle has an energizing effect. 

The purely visual stimulus may cause extremely painful feelings 
and terror. If one walks through a field or woods in a dusky light 
with the mind engrossed and suddenly sees a coiled object lying on 
the ground under one's feet, painful visceral reactions are felt and 
fright occurs even before one recognizes that the object is or is not 
a snake. The mere contours of the object start autonomic reflex ac- 
tivities even before the perception of the object is completed. I 
well remember an experience when walking across a freshly plowed 
field. As my foot was descending in the stride a partly coiled 
" something " caught my eye, lying very near the place the foot was 
to touch the ground. Instantly the leg supporting the body reflexly 
projected it onward and the foot, which had descended too far to 
be retracted, extended out of danger by a movement which started 
as a step but terminated in a leap. Painful visceral fear reactions 
seem to have started, before the perception of ''snake'* was formed. 
The conviction of "snake" did not occur until I turned aroimd. 
The autonomic reflex activities are quicker than perception and prob- 
ably the existence of many people depends upon this accomplishment 
of nature, not trusting the responsibilities of life to perception.^ 

Naturally the arm-chair psychologist, who studies out a hypo- 
thetical case and visualizes the snake in the grass and then imagines 
what will happen, will naturally put perception first and visceral ac- 
tivities and emotion second ; which is quite true for the fantasy be- 
cause he has to visualize the snake image first to start the experi- 
ment going. When the exogenous stimulus is forced upon the ex- 
teroceptor quite a different process occurs. 

To return to the hypothetical snake in the grass. If it is small, 
say a foot long, the compensatory reactions of anger to destroy the 
painful stimulus quickly follow the unpleasant surprise and perhaps 
the impulse will be to stamp the head of the snake. Let us magnify 
the snake, increasing its potency and reducing our proportion of 
power by being surprised by a snake four feet long. If compen- 
satory anger reactions occurred, an effort to destroy the snake might 


be made, provided the individual could realize a comfortable margin 
of power by seizing a long, strong club. If no weapon was to be- 
had the fear reactions would remove the individual and the aggres- 
sive anger compensation would have to get an outlet through fancies 
of what he would have done had a real club been found. Let us 
magnify the snake to eighteen feet in length, the painfulness of 
the visceral reactions and terror may be sufficient to paralyze one, 
if his physical condition at the time is not rugged, and at best, the 
painful affective reaction of fear would only produce prompt efforts 
to remove the receptors from the stimulus. Anger would only 
follow after a sufficient margin of safety was acquired. As this 
marginal feeling of safeness and power increased fancies about de- 
stroying the snake might be succeeded by efforts to actually accom- 
plish the destruction of the snake or its capture, which would also 
be destruction of its potential dangerousness. 

The compensatory reaction of anger or rage only follows a 
pain stimulus and primary fear reactions. It is not necessary to 
expect, for the peripheral theory of the emotions, that immediately 
a marked difference in the metabolic adjustment of the organism or 
in the autonomic postural reactions should be recognizable upon 
crude observation of the fear and rage because rage is so quickly 
and intimately associated with fear that its onset would escape the 
observer and no difference in the physiological fimction would be 
noted. The later autonomic reactions should show at least a marked 
difference in the postural tonus of the viscera and extensor muscles, 
and in the regions of vasodilation if a protective compensation oc- 
curred. Such phenomena could hardly be seen in the shadows of 
the fluoroscope, but are quite easily differentiated by a frank intro- 
spection of one's spontaneous affective reactions. 

Some olfactory stimuli, it is well known, cause strong emissive, 
gagging and retching movements with feelings of nausea and disgust 
which under certain conditions might be fearful ordeals. Some dogs 
and horses become panic-stricken when they inhale odors of bears, 
elephants, lions, etc. Like the moose and deer, they do not have 
fear reactions upon seeing some animals, including man, but bolt 
in a panic when they receive the obnoxious odor. 

Wertheimer, cited by Cannon (4, p. 18), showed that, in an 
anesthetized animal the stimulation of a nerve, that would produce 
pain in a conscious animal, quickly abolished the contractions of the 
stomach (which is very similar to the fear reaction). This indi- 
cates that the higher central functions (perceptive) are not neces- 
sary to start characteristic autonomic disturbances for contact. 


noxious stimuli. (The notion that the emotion of fear must be 
felt centrally first and that it then causes the peripheral disturb- 
ance is further shaken by such data.) The above experiments indi- 
cate that the higher central association tracts are necessary to enable 
the organism as a whole to become aware of, or react to, the un- 
pleasant (nauseating) feelings caused by the visceral disturbance 
from the pain stimulus. 

This interpretation is further substantiated by Netschaiev, cited 
by Cannon (4, p. 19). He "showed that excitation of the sensory 
fibers in the sciatic nerve for two or three minutes resulted in an 
inhibition of the secretion of gastric juice that lasted for several 
hours." Nausea, vomiting (reversed gastric peristalsis of varying 
intensity) is well known to follow painful accidents as well as fear- 
ful visual, auditory, and olfactory stimuli. 

It may be well to present here further data to show that, although 
ostensibly the body is not injured by a visual stimulus, it may ac- 
tually be seriously disturbed, not only in its digestive secretory and 
motor functions, but also in its metabolic functions and that the 
reactions are so similar in their nature that it would not be possible 
to distinguish, from them alone, whether the causes were painful 
visual, auditory, olfactory, or physically destructive stimuli. 

Cannon (4, p. 44-66) demonstrated that when blood was re- 
moved through a properly prepared catheter from the inferior vena 
cava just above the entrance of the renal veins, from a quiet, normal 
cat, the blood did not cause a relaxation of a test muscle ; whereas, 
when the blood was removed after the cat was frightened or en- 
raged by a barking dog (visual, auditory, olfactory ( ?) stimuli) it 
caused a relaxation of the test muscle. If the adrenal vessels are 
tied off and then fear reactions are produced in the cat, the blood 
does not cause relaxation of the muscles. 

Similar relaxations of the test muscle can also be caused by 
adrenalin solutions of i : 1,000,000 (4, p. 58). Artificial stimulation 
of the nerves leading to the adrenals causes an increase in their 
secretions (4, p. 43). 

These observations lead to the conclusion {4, p, 62) that the 
adrenal glands are reflexly activated and pour into the blood-stream 
an increased amount of adrenin when the organism is exposed to a 
painful stimulus, whether actually destructive, or visual, auditory 
or olfactory. When the sensory nerves (4, p. 45-46) in and about 
the femoral vein were made anesthetic with ethyl chloride, the cat 
remained tranquil and an increase of adrenin was not found in the 
blood. Wertheimer (4, p. 18) }n a previously cited experiment on 


the anesthetized, unconscious animal, found the gastric functions 
were inhibited upon the stimulation of a sensary nerve such as would 
cause pain in a conscious animal. These observations indicate the 
importance of the afferent neurone and its almost direct effect upon 
the autonomic system. The influence of consciousness, or the higher 
cerebral tracts, is not necessary for autonomic reactions, of the fear- 
producing type, from contact stimuli. This mechanism surely has 
an enormous protective value during sleep and emphasizes the im- 
portance of autonomic priority of reaction to stimuli with or with- 
out the animal being conscious ; hence, with or without the addition 
of perception. 

The effect of the painful or unsatisfactory stimulus and the 
primary fear reaction have also been shown to cause extremely im- 
portant metabolic changes. (Unfortunately the physiologists have 
used the clumsy, complicated term " emotional excitement " in these 
experiments which, however, doubtless refers to compensatory 
affective striving following a situation that aroused an acute fear 
of failure to avoid a painful defeat or to retain a love-object.) 

In his study of the causes of glycosuria. Cannon concluded that 
(4, p. 72) *Uhe promptness with which glycosuria developed was 
directly related to the emotional state of the animal. Sugar was 
found early in animals which early showed signs of being fright- 
ened or in a rage, and much later in animals which took the ex- 
perience more calmly ; " and also an increase of glycogen was found 
in students after being excited by a football game and after exam- 
inations (fear of failure) (4, p. 75-76). 

Hence he concluded that just as in the cat, dog, and rabbit, so 
also in man, "emotional excitement" produces temporary increase 
of blood sugar. 

Macleod, as cited by Cannon (4, p. 198), "found that if the 
nerve fibers to the liver were destroyed, stimulation of the splanch- 
nic . . . did not increase the blood sugar. The increased blood sugar 
due to splanchnic stimulation, therefore, is a nervous effect, de- 
pendent, to be sure, on the presence of adrenin in the blood, but the 
amount of adrenin present is not in itself capable of evoking in- 
crease." (Italics mine.) Again, as Macleod has shown, a rise in 
the sugar content of the blood can be induced, if the adrenals are 
intact, merely by stimulating the nerves going to the liver. The 
increased blood sugar of splanchnic origin, therefore, is not due to 
a disturbance of the use of sugar in the body — but is a result of a 
breaking down of the stored glycogen in the liver and is of nervous 

This " nervous origin " may be a painful stimulus or " a resuk 


of excitement" (4, p. 200) which, however, to simplify the term 
"excitement," has its origin in fear of failure, a form of painful 

Relative to the coagulation time of blood, Cannon (4, p. 182) 
concludes : " Such stimulation as in the unanesthetized animal would 
cause pain, and also such emotion as fear and rage, are capable of 
greatly shortening the coagulation time of blood. These results 
are quite in harmony with the evidence previously offered that in- 
jected adrenin and secretion from the adrenal glands induced by- 
splanchnic stimulation hasten clotting, for painful stimulation and 
emotional excitement (fear of failure) also evoke activity of the 
adrenals." (Parenthesis and italics mine.) 

As to the distribution of the blood supply, Cannon says: "At 
times of pain and excitement sympathetic discharges, probably aided 
by the adrenal secretion simultaneously liberated, will drive the 
blood out of the vegetative organs of the interior, which serve the 
routine needs of the body, into the skeletal muscles which have to 
meet by extra action the urgent demands of struggle or escape" 
(4, p. 108) from the fear-producing stimulus. 

As to fatigability of muscle, adrenin (besides influencing the 
constitution and distribution of the blood) also has the action "of 
restoring to a muscle its original ability to respond to stimulation, 
after that has been largely lost by continued activity through a long 
period. What rest will do after an hour or more adrenin will do 
in five minutes or less" (Cannon, 4, p. 133). 

In his experiments on the fatigability of muscle he found also 
that (4, p. 102) " the increased general blood pressure was effective, 
quite apart from any possible action of adrenal secretion, in largely 
restoring to the fatigued structures their normal irritability." 

In their studies of visceral volume changes, Oliver and Schafer 
(4, p. 200) "showed that injected adrenin drove the blood from 
the abdominal viscera into the organs called upon in emergencies — 
into the central nervous system, the lungs, the heart, and the active 
skeletal muscles. The absence of effective vasoconstrictor nerves in 
the brain and the lungs, and dilation of vessels in the heart and 
skeletal muscles during times of increased activity, make the blood 
supply to these parts dependent on the height of general arterial 
pressure. In pain and great excitement (fear) . . . this pressure 
is likely to be much elevated, and consequently the blood-flow 
through the unconstricted or actually dilated vessels of the body 
will be all the more abundant." (Italics and parenthesis mine.) 

As to rate and amplitude of heart beat Cannon (4, p. 202), bas- 


ing his conclusions largely on the work of Hoskins and Lovellette, 
believes that adrenin, as secreted by the gland, increases it. 

"Adrenin injected into the blood stream has as one of its pre- 
cise actions the dilating of the bronchioles" (4, p. 204). The 
adrenin from the adrenals goes to the right heart first and then to 
the lungs, so the first effects would be to dilate the bronchioles for 
the easier intake of air. In strenuous exertion "pain and excite- 
ment" (fear) the intake of air is greatly increased by an increase 
in the volume and rapidity of breathing which are essential for a 
plentiful supply of oxygen and the discharge of carbonaceous waste 
in the time of struggle. 

By testing the relaxing effects of inferior vena cava blood upon 
intestinal test muscle taken just above the inlet of the blood from 
the adrenals before and after asphyxiation. Cannon (4, p. 207) dem- 
onstrated that adrenin was secreted during states of asphyxiation, 
and since (CO2) asphyxiation is the result of strong exertion, per- 
haps following pain, fear or anger, he concluded that not too severe 
asphyxiation, by increasing adrenin secretion, reenf orced the animal's 
powers, after the effects of the emotional reaction had disappeared. 
(Anger may follow some considerable time after painful fear.) 

To summarise the significance of the above series of conclusions 
by Cannon, Crile and others: Any form of potentially harmful 
stimulus, whether it stimulates the visual, auditory, olfactory, gus- 
tatory, cutaneous, or the entero-, or prioprio-receptor fields, tends 
to cause a more or less vigorous fear or avertive reaction which 
is promptly followed by a compensatory reaction which either re- 
moves the painful stimulus from the receptor (fight) or the receptor 
from the painful stimulus (flight). In order that this vitally neces- 
sary procedure shall be quickly and safely accomplished the auto- 
nomic apparatus has developed the capacity to compensate by increas- 
ing the amount of glycogen and adrenin in the blood, by increasing 
coagulability of the blood, by regulating the blood supply so that the 
organs necessary for the immediate struggle shall be given an in- 
crease of blood supply and the organs not necessary for the struggle 
shall have a decreased blood supply, by appropriately changing the 
blood pressure, by increasing the rate and amplitude of the heart 
beat, increasing the dilatation of bronchioles and the working powers 
of the muscle cells. 

It is highly important to recognize, in cases of infection and 
toxemia, fatigue, and in compensation or disease of a vital organ, 
and surgiaul operations, that all forms of pain and anxiety produc- 
ing stimuli should be prevented from influencing the patient by re- 
moving them from the environment, as completely as possible. 


(Knowledge of and insight into the affective mechanisms is of the 
utmost importance to the physician and yet very few medical 
schools are giving prominence in their curriculum to the psychology 
of the emotions.) 

It now is safe to assume further, since the vital organs must 
respond in avoiding a pain stimulus, that when their functions are 
weakened by disease or fatigue, etc., the individual is in a pecu- 
liarly vulnerable physiological state, and his capacity to compensate 
being reduced, an ordinarily minor test of power or resistance may 
have a disastrous affective influence, whereas, ordinarily the indi- 
vidual may have been capable of heroic endurance. Furthermore, 
it is also necessary, in order to intelligently consider the problems 
of the emotions of man, to recognize that the postural tensions of 
various autonomic divisions (viscera) may become such that the 
individual's resistance to a pain- or fear-producing stimulus is 
greatly reduced, and, based upon the law of summation of stimuli, 
a series of ordinarily minor tests may cause disastrous affective dis- 
turbances in the individual. This mechanism probably determines 
why many toxic patients become '^delirious'* and is intimately re- 
lated to the " war neuroses " or " shell shock." 

To illustrate, a soldier (described by Salmon) who had repeatedly 
demonstrated heroic courage in the trenches, and received due hon- 
orary recognition, fell in love with and married a prostitute while on 
leave in London. She became lonely when he had to return to duty 
and, to keep her from returning to her old life, he gave her ample 
means and sent her to his home on a Canadian farm. Shortly after 
she arrived she eloped with a laborer. A duly indignant letter from 
his family was received by the young man and a serious depression 
of the autonomic functions resulted. While in this state he de- 
veloped "shell shock" upon being sent into the trenches. In this 
case we must recognize the development of a vulnerable autonomic 
or affective state, a summation of pain stimuli and the final reaction 
of " shock " with distortion of the personality. 

The importance and intricate nature of the mechanisms of the 
emotions makes it highly essential that, wherever students are trained 
for the purpose of correcting anomalous human functions, as in 
medicine, surgery, social service, psychology, the law, and the min- 
istry, an adequately organized course of instruction on the mech- 
anisms of the emotions be given. 

Crile (i6, p. 224) concludes from his observations on the adap- 
tive mechanisms of man and animals that " adaptation to environment 
is made by means of a system jof organs evolved for the purpose of 
converting potential energy into heat and motion. The principal 


organs and tissues of this system are the brain, the adrenals, the 
thyroid, the muscles, and the liver." Upon the functions of this 
series of organs Crile formulated his fertile conception of the 
"kinetic drive" which is wholly a physiological mechanism of the 

Just as in hunger, we have seen that in the autonomic-affective 
disturbances of the love, fear and anger types the organism reflexly 
readjusts its relations to the environment so as to acquire from it 
stimuli which have the capacity to set up such autonomic reactions 
cts will neutralize the unpleasant, disturbed affective or autonomic 

This autonomic law applies also for all other affective disturb- \ 
ances, including all the so-called " delicate " sentiments. The prin-" 
ciple of acquiring adequate stimuli and avoiding inadequate or harm- 
ful stimuli determines an organism's behavior in its relations to the 
environment. The principle of acquiring adequate stimuli for itch- 
ing surfaces is certainly the final compulsive mechanism of the 
sexual functions of both sexes in all animals and birds. The grati- 
fication of the compulsive sexual craving is in its physiological 
mechanics very similar to the gratification of the itching gastric 
surface, compulsive food craving. The self-preservative cravings 
and the reproductive cravings are in no essential respect dissimilar 
in the principle of seeking counter-stimulation for the neutralizing 

The physiologist has been able to demonstrate the autonomic 
changes of hunger, fear, anger and anxiety, and his experiments in- 
dicate that he will probably be able to demonstrate changes occurring 
in joy, shame and disgust reactions. Clinical and psychoanalytic 
studies, and, most essentially, introspective studies, as in the physi- 
ologist's study of hunger, will have to be depended upon for insight 
into the more delicate affective reactions. 

The physiologists, like the anatomists, will have little use for any 
other term than that of the autonomic system or apparatus, but so 
soon as introspective data is needed and one's awareness of the par- 
ticular feelings caused by the autonomic changes are necessary, 
then the term affective sensorimotor system becomes useful. For 
the psychologists, and in all forms of applied physiology, psychology 
and psychiatry, the term atfective sensorimotor system is more con- 
ducive to clearness. 

It has been amply demonstrated by the experiments of Cannon, 
Crile and others that the autonomic apparatus preserves itself first 


at ail costs of energy, of structure and suffering to the organism. 
In a behavioristic or psychological sense the autonomic apparatus or 
affective sensorimotor system always dominates the personality and 
is the only dynamic principle in the personality capable of sustained 
action. The simple reflex in itself has only a brief reactive capacity. 

At birth, birds, young animals, and infants have anatomically a 
well-organized autonomic apparatus and apparently a functioning 
affective sensorimotor system as shown in their very early hunger, 
love and fear reactions (Watson, 17). How much the affective 
sensorimotor system is elaborated with growth is still a problem, 
but it seems that the cerebro-spinal sensorimotor system is the ap- 
paratus which becomes coordinated and systematized most after 

The clumsy, helpless struggles of the terrified, or hungry, or 
playful young indicate that they have a comparatively well-organ- 
ized affective sensorimotor system and a very inefficiently organized 
cerebrospinal (projicient) sensorimotor system; the latter having, 
however, an enormous capacity to be efficiently coordinated in its 
functions. The value of this, making possible greater adaptive ad- 
justments to environmental changes, is obvious. 

'^ Conditioning " of the Autonomic Apparatus 

The recognition that the emotions or feelings, or better, the 
affective-autonomic cravings, have their origin in the peripheral 
changes in the viscera is of the utmost importance in the study 
of the nature of man. The problem arises now, how do certain 
affective cravings come to use certain receptors and avoid others, 
and seek certain stimuli and avoid others? 

It seems, as the following data indicate, that the autonomic ap- 
paratus becomes conditioned, through experiences, in its avertive and 
acquisitive tendencies toward the environment. The fear reactions 
of one cat or chicken may be strongly aroused by the presence of a 
small boy and others may feel no fear reaction from the same 
stimulus. Obviously the whole question of the individual's success- 
ful struggle for life depends upon what stimuli in the environment 
cause fear reactions in the autonomic apparatus. In new territories 
explorers find that a man at first causes little fear reaction in game. 
It seems that the autonomic apparatus is not only conditioned in its 
fear reactions, but also in its food-hunger, sexual-hunger, love, play, 
disgust, and even the selection of migratory trails and habitat, and 
its mating and creative endeavors. 


The work of Pawlow, Bechterew,* Watson and Latchley (23) and 
an observation by Sherrington, besides a long series of individual 
studies of the affective functions of normal and abnormal people 
seem to confirm the more recent impression that the cerebrospinal 
sensorimotor apparatus becomes organized, in the development of 
the personality of man and animals, according to the conditioning 
of the avertive and acquisitive needs of the autonomic apparatus. 
(This principle, if true, may necessitate a revision of the general 
conception of instincts.) 

The young of the higher animals and birds have to learn to co- 
ordinate the functions of their skeletal muscles and particularly of 
the extremities. They use the same skeletal muscles and very simi- 
lar coordinations for defence as well as for offense, for the avoid- 
ing or acquisition of stimuli. In the different uses there seems to 
be no fundamental variation. The variant lies in the affective 
{autonomic) disposition at the moment. 

This is probably also true for the nest-building of birds and for 
raising the young.'' Certainly marked changes occur in the auto- 
nomic apparatus during the breeding season and observations of 
the fear and anger reactions of birds and animals during the breed- 
ing state indicate that marked changes occur in their affective dis- 

Bechterew first pointed out, and has since been supported in 
America by the work of Watson and Latchley, that when the pri- 
mary stimulus of a secretion or motor reflex is associated simul- 
taneously for a number of times with an uninfluential or indifferent 
^stimulus then the reflex will become conditioned to react to the 
previously uninfluential stimulus.® It has been observed that indi- 
viduals vary greatly in their susceptibilities for having reflexes con- 

«I have had to depend upon an unauthorized translation of Von Bech- 
terew's "La Psychologic Objective," Chapter IX, which, however, is so 
clearly intelligible that many of the general principles of conditioning re- 
actions are freely used in the following discussion. 

^ The so-called inherent nest-building instincts of birds and animals are 
not satisfactory as contradictory or substantiating evidence because of the 
little that we know about the conditioning influence of the birdling's sojourn 
in the nest, the frequency with which the bird handles material in the non- 
nest-building season, and whether or not it uses any specifically different 
movements in the nesting season. 

8 If a painful electric stimulus is applied to the great toe, which causes it 
to be reflexly withdrawn, and is simultaneously associated for a number of 
times with a bell sound (uninfluential stimulus) which previously did not 
affect the toe reflex, the toe reflex will become conditioned to react to the 
bell sound after the painful electric stimulus has been stopped. Watson (23). 


ditioned, which observation is strongly supported by studies in 
psychopathology (15). 

Bechterew's studies have demonstrated further that when a se- 
cretion or motor reflex has been well conditioned to react to a for- 
merly uninfluential or indifferent stimulus, this non-influential or 
conditioning stimulus may in turn, under forcible conditions, be- 
come the means by which other indifferent stimuli may develop a 
conditioning influence. Here again individuals (men and animals) 
vary greatly; no doubt the affective-autonomic apparatus varies 
greatly in its reactivity, existing in a more or less vulnerable physio- 
logical state, which is indicated from the study of psychoneuroses. 
The variation in reactivity lies not only in the association capacities 
of the individual but also in the nature of the affective cravings at 
the time of the stimulation of experience. 

This peculiar capacity of the different segments of the auto- 
nomic apparatus to react directly to primary stimuli, and also to 
become conditioned through experience to react to the associated 
stimuli, knits the entire organism into a reactive unity because of 
the complicated, repetitious intermixing of stimuli in the environ- 
ment. Hence it becomes more complexly integrated and delicately 
balanced in its avertive and acquisitive reactions as the effects of 
later conditioning experiences become superimposed upon the pre- 
vious experiences of preadolescence. 

A hungry monkey or child that will boldly take a prune from 
the hand, but run from a stick in the hand, may cautiously approach 
to seize a prune from the end of a stick, but under no circumstances 
return near the stick-prune after it has been struck by the stick. 
Also the stick itself will not cause fear reactions, nor the empty 
hand, but the stick in the hand may cause a panic. The sight, odor, 
and sounds made by a hunter did not frighten a young moose until 
he threw a club at it. After that the olfactory, visual and auditory 
stimuli from the man alone caused fear reactions and flight. 

The association of primary with indifferent stimuli seems to be 
the principle by which the distance receptors develop most of their 
capacity to cause reactions of motor and secretion reflexes. Some 
time in the individual's past the stimulus of the distance receptor, 
which heretofore had an indifferent effect upon the reflexes of the 
organism, was, by coincidence, associated with a contact stimulus 
that had an inherent primary capacity to arouse pain or pleasure 
reactions in the organism. 

A two-year-old boy was learning to play with fireflies through the 
influence of an adult. For him all insects of the firefly size were 


like fireflies. One day he caught a bee. It stung him in the finger 
and since then he will not go near a bee and touches fireflies very 
gingerly. If the bee experience had been the first experience with 
insects all insects would have been potential bees for some time 
(causes of pain), and fireflies would probably not have been handled 
until numerous pleasure experiences with other very different in- 
sects had been acquired. 

A young girl (about six) was in a carriage crossing a track, 
when the horse, driven by an older girl, became frightened at the 
approach of a train. A horrible catastrophe was barely averted 
and since then this girl (now fifteen) still feels uncomfortable reac- 
tions when she recalls the experience, when she passes this railroad 
crossing, and is very uncomfortable in carriages without a well- 
trusted man driver. 

Another young girl (about seven) found her grandfather hang- 
ing by the neck from a tree. He committed suicide largely because 
his son, the girl's father, mistreated him and wished him to be out 
of the way. The man's face made a particularly horrible visual 
impression because of the protruding black tongue and the dark, 
swollen face. At thirty-five, this girl is almost constantly in more 
or less of an anxiety state because she cannot get rid of the visual 
image of her dead grandfather, which becomes particularly vivid 
at night. He was her chief comforter during childhood and she 
still retains an affective craving for him which she cannot repress 
("forget"). She has made several attempts to commit suicide by 
blowing herself up with dynamite and destroying herself with fire» 
so that she will not leave a horrible scene of herself like the grand- 
father. She speaks of him as calling her to come to him.® In her, 
the conditioned love cravings persist in seeking their most pleasing 
stimulus, the living grandfather ; hence, the broken idol which must 
be reconstructed. 

Bechterew and his assistants showed that the conditioning of 
the reflex comes into existence through the simultaneous association 
of an indifferent stimulurS with a primary stimulus of the motor or 
secretion reflex. The following series of observations of this func- 
tion were selected because they seemed the most pertinent for psy- 

I. The associated reflex thus established shows a tendency to 
gradual extinction which is unlike the influence of the primary re- 
flex, as the dodging of the troops to shell fire disappears in due time. 

• For further illustrations of the conditioning influence of the ordinarily 
indifferent stimulus, see (15). 


2. The conditioned reflex, at first, is in type, more or less, a 
general reflex, but gradually becomes a closely determined (special- 
ized) reflex. In some people all guns and pistols cause fear reactions, 
but gradually only the loaded gun causes fear reactions. People are 
conditioned through opinions to be afraid of all mushrooms, but 
gradually will eat anything called mushrooms without fear, if they 
are served by certain people, or if the mushroom has certain charac- 

3. If the conditioned reflex becomes reenforced by every new 
stimulus which occurs at the time with the primary stimulus of the 
reflex, the reflex then tends to become generalized in its reactive 
capacities. When a buyer feels that he has been cheated by a 
clothier having certain racial characteristics, he does not feel wary 
of all salesmen, unless it is his first buying experience, but, if he is 
defrauded a series of times by salesmen of this same race, all sales- 
men of this race will cause him to have fear reactions. As men 
grow older in experience their distrust of men increases, becomes 
more generalized, and their feelings of confidence in men is only 
won by accurately defined assurances. 

4. Artificial respiratory reflexes can be formed to react to a light 
stimulus when the light stimulus is associated several times with a 
violent sound, such as the firing of a gun. The respiratory reflex 
may be aroused by sounds, if for a time they are associated with 
pain stimuli. 

Children, their crying and general fear reactions, may become 
conditioned, not only to react with fear at the sight of an instru- 
ment that caused pain, but at the sight of the surgeon that per- 
formed the operation even when seen under entirely different cir- 
cumstances, such as on the street, or upon seeing some one who looks 
like the surgeon. 

5. Motor reflexes such as extension of extremities may become 
conditioned to react to ordinarily indifferent light and sound stimuli 
through simultaneous associations with pain stimuli. 

6. The formation of the conditioned reflex seems to begin with 
the onset of the indifferent stimulus. For example: If a faradic 
stimulus is started several seconds after a light stimulus has been 
started the reaction will begin with the onset of the light stimulus 
after the association has been established and not several seconds 
later (the time of onset of the primary stimulus). This reaction 
may again become specialized. When a child is bitten in his first 
experience with a barking dog he has fear reactions so soon as he 
sees or hears any dog. Later, after experiences with gentle 


dogs he only has fear reactions when dogs show their teeth, or 
growl or bark. Still later the bark may only be regarded as a bluff 
and the growl may become differentiated in its qualities of pitch 
and timbre as a playful growl or a dangerous growl. 

If a reflex to a given color (Walker, cited by Bechterew) is es- 
tablished, it occurs at first to every other color, but gradually, 
as other colors than the given one (say red) are allowed to play as 
indifferent stimuli, the reflex becomes conditioned to react only to 
the red stimulus. (See the vomiting and nausea reactions of Mrs. 
V. G. 15.) 

7. In dogs (Protopopoff, cited by Bechterew) the (motor) reflex 
may become conditioned in its reactions to differentiate the quali- 
ties of a 1/7 tone. 

8. A reflex may become so specifically conditioned to react to 
certain forms of stimulation of certain skin areas that stimulation 
outside these boundaries will not arouse it. (Israelsohn, cited by 

9. A reflex once established gradually grows weaker in its re- 
sponse to the associated stimulus and finally disappears entirely 
(atrophy of disuse). It can be revived by a renewed association 
with the primary stimulus and with frequent repetition grows more 
and more permanent, as in teasing. 

10. Aside from repeated association of the primary and indif- 
ferent stimulus, the similar qualities of the stimuli and the condi- 
tions of the association are of importance; in dogs a reflex to a 
tactual stimulus is established very quickly when associated with 
an electrical stimulus and it can be obtained more than 30-40 times 
in succession without reassociating it with electrical stimulation 
( Israelsohn j cited by Bechterew) ; while the reflex to color stimuli 
requires a much greater number of associations for fixation, does 
not differentiate so quickly and weakens sooner (Walker, cited by 
Bechterew). (See the determinants for the selection of images, 
p. 64). 

11. Fairly strong stimuli that have the capacity of arousing af- 
fective reactions may be inhibited for a time by other stronger 
stimuli (distractions) but gradually the inhibiting influence is lost. 
Peasants in France who fled with the first sounds of cannon have 
returned to their homes and are no longer disturbed by the firing. 
This seems to be true also for the birds and small animals along 
the firing line. 

12. When a motor reflex has been conditioned to react to an 
association stimulus, under certain conditions other stimuli ^nay be 


asgoctated with this conditionii^ sdnmliis and a secondary condi- 
tioning of the reflex may be established. For example a foot retrac- 
tion may be conditioned to react to a sound stimulus and then by 
association with the sound stimulus it may become secondarily con- 
ditioned to react to a light stimulus. 

13. A motor reflex conditioned to react to a combined light and 
sound stimulus will react upon the incidence of either one. If the 
reflex is fatigued to sound by repeated stimulation then the reflex 
to light is also fatigued at the same time (but perha^ not to the 
same d^;ree), or vice versa. Although the reflex is fatigued for 
either single stimulus, it will still react for a brief number of times 
to a combination (summation) of the two stimuli. The reflex may, 
however, become so specialized in its reaction that only a comlMna- 
tion of the two stimuli will produce the reaction. 

" Individuality " (that is affectivity) plays a great role in the for- 
mation of the reflex as well as in its durability. 

14. The reenforcement of a waning association stimulus of the 
distance receptors always depends upon its reassodation with the 
primary pleasure or pain stimulus. 

15. Investigations have shown that the lowest threshold of the 
association reflex corresponds to the threshold obtained by intro- 
spection. (This seems to mean that the faintest or most obscure 
traits in an object that are still necessary to remind us of another 
object are the stimuli that have the lowest threshold in order to 
arouse the association reflex.) For example, the physical attributes 
and posture of a patient's hand may suggest a comparison with 
Mona Lisa's hand to one observer and not suggest it to other ob- 
servers until they are reminded of it. It is almost certain that this 
novel association of hands was conditioned by the observer having 
had a recent or unusual interest in the Mona Lisa hand. 

16. Association reflexes are just as mechanical as simple reflexes 
and cannot be inhibited voluntarily. Spoken words and written 
words as motor reflexes (see also dreams, 19) are well known to 
become so conditioned and determined that they will be reflexly 
aroused by the association of stimulus words. (The reaction time 
measures the intensity of the voluntary struggle to repress the un- 
pleasant reaction word in order to respond with a substitute.) 

17. When one blushes upon hearing an unpleasant remark about 
himself the reaction may be interpreted as a vasomotor reaction of a 
certain area being conditioned to respond to the stimulus-remark. 
The foundations for the conditioning associations must necessarily 


be sought for in the primary stimulus (an experience which aroused 
shame reactions although one may not be aware of the association 
at the moment of blushing) . 

18. It is well known that under certain physiological conditions 
(a) salivary secretions may be aroused by certain words, having 
a definite connotation; (6) hunger contractions may be started by 
sight of food, sound of a bell, the hand of the clock, etc. ; (c) evacu- 
ation of urine or feces or inhibition of their evacuation may be 
caused by anxiety producing stimuli ; (d) sexual sensorimotor and 
sensori-secretory reactions are highly conditioned to respond to 
closely circumscribed sound, light, color and form stimuli, olfactory 
stimuli and less specifically defined touch and kinesthetic stimuli 
aroused through movement. They are always inhibited by fear- 
producing stimuli. 

19. If, as Bechterew has shown, the autonomic apparatus can be 
conditioned to react to (a) definite forms of stimulation of almost 
specifically circumscribed skin areas, to (b) sounds having almost 
exact timbre and pitch, to (e) definite colors, forms and intensity 
of light stimuli, to (d) certain gustatory stimuli and the highly im- 
portant olfactory stimuli, then Freud's conception, that the develop- 
ment of secondary and primary erogenous zones is always diflferent 
for, and characteristic of, each individual (determined by his expe- 
riences) is given a firm physiological foundation (20). 

Just as the autonomic functions became conditioned to use certain 
receptors and avoid using other receptors, and seek certain stimuli, 
and avoid other stimuli, so may the affective cravings be shown to 
act. The principal value in this rather repetitious discussion of 
the conditioning of our cravings or wishes is in that it strongly 
supports the inference that sensations caused by the autonomic 
changes and the affective cravings or wishes are one and the same 
thing, but unfortunately have not been generally so regarded. 

Conditioning of the Affective Cravings 

We not infrequently hear of people " falling in love " at first 
sight, or upon hearing a voice, or of spontaneous enduring friendships, 
or spontaneous aversions on sight, etc. A male patient was hetero- 
sexually impotent unless he visualized the face of a certain man. 
When a boy of fifteen this man seduced him several times. Another 
man was in an anxiety state for fear of social ruin because of his 
tendency to become infatuated with men of a certain type. When 
girls admire their fathers they are very prone to feel strong attrac- 
tions for men having some of their father's attributes and may be 



unable to feel love reactions for other types of men. This tend- 
ency varies considerably in degree with different girls and, as their 
affections become more definitely conditioned so as to react to the 
father's attributes only, they become more unable to love all other 
types of men. This conditioning of the love reactions of the son 
to the father's or mother's, the brother's or sister's, or aunt's attri- 
butes is also true. Phobias and obsessive cravings have essentially 
a conditioned reflex foundation. Heterosexual potency in adult 
males and females is entirely dependent (considering the individual 
to be organically normal) upon the nature of the conditioning of 
the sexual reflexes (love affections). If the type of the sexual 
object that alone has the property of invigorating the male's or 
female's sexual functions is so highly specialized by a parental at- 
tachment that no adequate image or substitute can be had, the indi- 
vidual tends to suffer from the horrors of incest. Passive homo- 
sexuality is usually the result of so conditioning the affective reac- 
tions that the individual is incapable (castrated) of heterosexual 
powers, fear apparently causing an affective regression to a more 
dependent affective attitude (5). 

The grave problem of sexual perversions is essentially one of 
conditioned reflexes in a large group of people just as a happy 
virility is the manifestation of the conditioned reflex. 

Selection of mates is essentially dependent upon the conditioning 
of the affective reactions to respond to definite forms of stimula- 
tion of the exteroceptors. This generally determines mating to 
occur only within species, since its specific nature generally precludes 
mating between species and constitutes the mechanism of — natural 

Biological potency depends upon the conditioning of the affective 
sensori-motor system to so react to stimuli as to give feelings of 
power and joy and not of fear by causing an appropriate shift in 
the blood supply and by stimulating the glands of internal secretion. 

Savages, as well as people of the present day, use rituals, images, 
fetiches, amulets, souvenirs, eat and drink animal and vegetable 
extracts in order to stimulate in themselves feelings of happiness, 
grace and power. The images and rituals that are retained, and are 
liked, have an energizing, " inspiring " value because the autonomic 
apparatus is conditioned to react to certain stimuli which are to be 
found, in part, perhaps in miniature, in the image or ritual. The 
image or fetich used by the intelligent individual or savage has an 
actual and very valuable physiological influence in counteracting the 
tendency to anxiety about his fitness and potency. One observes 


that demented patients resort to this same method of reinvigorating 
themselves, using mannerisms, fetiches, "cures," etc. Some reli- 
gions have highly developed the subtle use of images and fetiches 
to give the anxious individual feelings of grace, potency and well- 
being, but the individual refuses to recognize that the ritual exists 
merely for that purpose because that would tend to defeat its value. 

The following observation may be considered as an instance of 
the conditioned affective reactions in an individual to visual stimuli. 
A young man, while walking through a crowd in a depot suddenly 
felt and showed considerable elation and excitement as his eye 
caught the figure of a girl. "It is R — ," he said, and started 
toward the girl. As he drew near, his eye caught a movement of 
the girl's head that made him say, " It may not be R — , but it cer- 
tainly looks like R — ." Another step, and his eye caught features 
that made him say, "It is not R — , but her figure and carriage 
certainly look like R — 's " and his elation changed to chagrin. The 
personal and physical attributes of R — had certainly previously 
given him very pleasing affective reactions and the physical attributes 
of the stranger, which were similar, also caused pleasing, affective 
reactions, until they became too adulterated by other visual stimuli 
of indifferent or offensive value. 

One can easily collect numerous illustrations of fear, anger, 
anxiety, hunger, shame, sorrow, joy, and other affective reactions, 
to peculiar stimuli, which would have had an indifferent value, 
except for their associations with other stimuli which have pre- 
viously had an unusual affective influence. 

We tend to like strangers because they have physical and per- 
sonal attributes and mannerisms like certain friends. We tend to 
dislike new acquaintances because they have attributes like people 
who have been offensive to us. 

That the autonomic nervous system may be conditioned to react 
to stimuli is observable in the milk sheep. When her lamb is shown 
to her milk begins to drop from her udders and this may occur 
when she hears it bleat (Mikitin). When a piece of meat is taken 
from a box for a series of times opening of the box will start the 
digestive functions in the dog. 

A personal experience may be cited here. While eating a 
shredded biscuit in a restaurant the spoon uncovered a cooked fly 
in such a manner as to cause conviction that it had been in the 
biscuit. With the greatest difficulty the nausea and disgust was 
controlled, but since then it has been impossible to eat this type of 
shredded biscuit without feeling strong avertive movements in the 


stomach. As this was first written the recall of the images of that 
experience aroused feelings of nausea. 

Blushing, obsessive phobias, compulsive cravings, psychoneu- 
oses, appetites, sexual excitement, hatred, convulsions, vomiting, 
anesthesias (15), etc., are autonomic reactions that become condi- 
tioned to react to well-defined stimuli which may have a wholly in- 
different effect upon other people. 

Sherrington (11, p. 395) observed in his Turin dog that the 
signal noise of the inductorium which was heard by the animal 
caused cardiac inhibition (from 180 to 54 per minute) with increase 
of its systolic amplitude and also aflfected the rate of the respira- 
tion. He explained that this was possibly due to association of the 
sounds of the inductorium to previous painful (faradic) stimulation 
of the skin when mapping out areas of anesthesia upon several 
previous occasions. Besides the cardiac and respiratory disturbance 
he noted that the recurrence of the sound occasioned "emotional 
anxiety." No rise of blood pressure occurred, the dog having a 
spinal transection just posterior to the origin of the phrenic nerve. 

One may see in this laboratory experiment a situation analogous 
to the stage experiments of theatrical managers. The audience, 
which congregates to give itself up to being emotionally manipulated 
by the players, is artfully conditioned by the actor's words and man- 
ner to be ready for a scene or incident that is to follow. A further 
(conditioned) complication may arise when the players get the 
audience " set " and then fail to put the hit over the footlights due 
to the mispronunciation of a well-known word, the situation falling 

Savages as well as intelligent people in modem civilization are 
greatly affected by the personal property of the dead, departed, hated 
and loved. Mementoes and gifts cause affective reactions by asso- 
ciation of the gift (indifferent stimulus) with the donor (primary 
stimulus) on the principle of the " conditioned " reflex. 

Lovers delight in giving themselves to each other in the form of 
gifts, photographs, wearing apparel, etc. Parents often cherish the 
wearing apparel and toys of their children for their affective stimu- 
lation ("old ties"). On the other hand people tend to avoid ob- 
jects to which they have become conditioned to react with unpleas- 
ant feelings of hatred, disgust, sorrow, shame, fear, etc. 

Restatement. — ^We have seen that various divisions of the auto- 
nomic system, which includes the innervated cells, such as the 
salivary glands, tear glands, circulatory system, stomach, sexual 
organs, etc., eventually become conditioned to react with avertive 


or acquisitive tendencies to definite forms of stimulation of any of 
the great receptor fields, and this is also true of all the typical forms 
of emotional or affective reactions one may experience, as well as 
the more atypical and usually more delicate affective reactions or 
sentiments. Furthermore, different autonomic reactions may be- 
come conditioned to react to the same general situation, as fear and 
love being aroused in an individual without his being able to recog- 
nize the different stimuli causing the reactions, and since this 
tmconscious mechanism would be even more likely to occur in the 
savage, jhild, and lower animals, birds, fish and insects, it explains 
the medanism of unconscious or natural selection; that is, sexual 
selection, which Darwin emphasized in his theory of evolution, as a 
determining factor of the universal struggle for life because of the 
fierce competition that must naturally result when two individuals 
are conditioned to require the same object. 


The Nature of the Dynamic Influence of the Affectivb 
Functions upon Behavior 

The Continuity and Complexity of the Affective Stream 

There has been a strange tendency among many psyi^l^ists 
to consider that an emotional state exists only when the individual 
shows some perturbation of his habitual composure. It is funda- 
mentally essential to recognize that during consciousness an emo- 
tional or affective status continuously exists, and during sleep the 
stream of affectivity is subliminal in its activity, except during 
dreams. We are always, when conscious, aware of a state of feel- 
ing, of an emotional status, even during states of rest, reverie and 
general indifference. The affective status constitutes our attitude- 
of-mind and largely determines the nature of the content of con- 

Another confusing practice of some psychologists, that has 
been the cause of considerable confusion, is the tendency to con- 
sider that an emotion either exists or does not exist, and that it 
exists in the personality by itself as a free agent that may attach 
or detach itself to objects, people, ideas, etc. The facts that a re- 
flex may be aroused by the summation of subliminal stimuli and that 
gastric contractions precede hunger, certainly show that autonomic 
activities occur before cravings or sensations are felt and may en- 
dure without our being conscious of them. There is no evidence 
that we are ever possessed by one pure emotion, such as love, anger, 
fear, sorrow, shame, disgust, etc. We may feel that an affective 
status such as love, anger, fear, etc., completely dominates us, but 
if one will take the trouble to analyze himself while he is dominated 
by a strong affective disturbance he can usually recognize the symp- 
toms of other affective tendencies at work in the background of 
consciousness. Frequently they are quite opposite in nature, and 
one's behavior is the resultant or compromise of the various affective 
tendencies inhibiting or reenforcing one another. One may often 
see this neatly illustrated in struggles with compulsive cravings and 
in moments of indecision that occur frequently during the day, as 
opposing affective interests demand gratification at the same time by 



one act or decision. We may have two or more affective processes 
strongly at work within ourselves at the same time aroused by the 
same complex situation, because various attributes of an object or 
a situation may each vigorously stimulate quite different varieties 
of autonomic activity, causing a quite indescribable but very strong 
affective state. 

A simple experiment demonstrates this type of affective conflict. 
(See Fig. 3.) A prune held before a series of monkey cages brought 
the monkeys in almost a straight line to the screen. A stick then 
held bejy e the cages caused them to make tangled trails in the back 
of tl4Vk^s. Then a prune on the end of the stick brought them 
to the prune in a zigzagged line^ In such experiences one sees that 
the prune-hunger straight-line and the stick-fear tangled-line of 
adaptation is formed into a resultant prune-hunger, stick-fear zig- 
zagged line. One is inclined to see in this zigzagged line the effects 
of mild avertive fear and acquisitive hunger contractions in the 
stomach compromising each other. Affective conflicts, at times, may 
become extremely severe and complicated. We may feel a confu- 
sion of admiration, love, hatred, and disgust for the same person at 
the same time. We may admire a man's delivery of a speech, love 
some of the principles he propounds, hate him for an irreparable, 
personal wrong, and be disgusted by his personal appearance, and 
then say to our friends that Senator X is an eccentric old man. 

A young woman's personality was almost annihilated by a pro- 
longed turmoil of emotions. She admired her husband's ability but 
suffered anxiety from his extravagant waste of money. She loved 
her baby but felt herself to be unfit to be its mother because of her 
shame from masturbation. She was in a perpetual state of fear 
lest she would be without means and her wrongs discovered. She 
was angered because of the frank aversions of her people for her 
husband and she suflFered from feelings of inferiority {fear) of long 
standing and mingled with this was a distressing compulsive eroti- 
cism. Finally, bewildered, she attempted to commit suicide, then 
passed into a long-enduring grave dissociation of the personality. 
Like the diagnostician, the psychologist must learn to exhaustively 
study all possible complicating derangements after th^ primary 
disturbance has been found. In this young woman the primary 
difficulty was due to an uncontrollable autoeroticism. 

Affective processes, as numbers of psychoanalyzed cases have 
shown, may greatly influence an individual's behavior without the 
individual being aware of the nature of his affectivity except that 
he feels strong avertive or acquisitive tendencies toward an object. 


^ *. 12 *- 

O 9 

Fbop Stick Fdop-t-SricK 


Very few people realize, when they are expecting to speak before 
an audience and are disturbed by violent cardiac, vasomotor (blush- 
ing or pallor) and visceral disturbance, that beneath the eagerness 
to say something impressive is the fear that the audience will be 
indiflFerent, pr bored, or inclined to ridicule instead of respect the 

Individuals may suffer, without being aware of any affective de- 
rangement other than a distressing feeling of internal tension, from 
repressed hatred, fear, shame, sorrow, love or disgust, while striv- 
ing to mjtintain an attitude of apparent composure. 

The Influence of the Affective Stream upon Behavior 

All affective processes are always characterized by acquisitive 
tendencies toward certain stimuli and avertive tendencies toward 
other stimuli. Hence an affective craving has an ambivalent rela- 
tionship toward the environment and exerts an ambitendency upon 
the organism in its avertive and acquisitive striving. Any typical 
affective craving, by its nature, divides all stimuli into satisfactory 
or unsatisfactory stimuli, into beneficial or harmful stimuli for itself. 
When conflicting affective reactions are aroused by an object or a 
situation, such as fear and admiration, or fear and anger, diflFerent 
attributes of the same object or situation arouse the diflFerent 
affective reactions. The fangs of a small rattlesnake may arouse 
strong fear reactions and avertive tendencies, but its smallness 
arouses In us a safe marginal feeling of power and compensatory 
anger reactions with strong acquisitive tendencies for its destruction 

Fig. 3. This diagram shows how one's behavior is like the resultant of 
parallelograms of opposing forces— autonomic cravings. ^ to F are six 
monkeys separately tested while isolated in a cage. In series I, a bit of food 
was held in the hand iby a careful observer, at (X). The arrow marks the 
comparatively direct acquisitive course of reaction. In series II, a stick was 
held at (X) and the arrow marks the excessive avertive course of reaction 
which became tangled and incoordinated because of the firm resistance of 
the environment In series III, a bit of food on the end of a stick was held 
at (X). The arrow shows a zigzagged resultant of avertive and acquisitive 
reactions, with final seizure of food. (The avertive, fear, reactions in A 
were so marked for the stick that they could not be traced.) The degree of 
the acquisitive or avertive reactions to the situation must, of course, vary 
with the vigor of the autonomic craving or tension. 

The same diagram may well be used to show the reactions of a child or 
adult doing pleasing work under a parent, teacher or boss who is liked, 
series I; or doing work that is disliked under conditions that cause anxiety, 
series II; or doing work that is liked under conditions that cause anxiety, 
series III. 


which dominate the avertive fear reactions. The cautious assault 
reveals the compromise. The crushed, dead rattlesnake as a stimu- 
lus then appeases (neutralizes) the anger reactions. We feel " satis- 
fied " and tend to brag of our exploit (potency). An object or situa- 
tion must always be regarded as a composite of stimuli some of 
which may cause quite the opposite reactions at the same time, 
although the object only stimulates one receptor field, like the prune- 
stick (visual) stimulus. An individual may fill us with admiration 
and then shock us with a revelation of weakness. An actress may 
win our admiration by her grace and ingenuity while we are dis- 
gusted by her moral reputation. One may imagine a painting that 
may be a source of inspiration to many so soon as the pose of the 
head of one figure is changed appropriately. 

A sound, an odor, a glimpse, a movement may instantly destroy 
the sublime eflFects of a stage scene. A misplaced word may be 

In the study of the behavior of animals, and even in the simple 
reflex, a variation in threshold of response may often be observed. 
The status of the affective cravings (or "autonomic component") of 
the animal determines its reaction to the maze, the puzzle, problem, 
struggle, etc. Hunger, fear, and love, sometimes disgust, and anger 
are usually depended upon to furnish the dynamic principle in the 
experimental situation. When the behaviorist must depend en- 
tirely upon the physical attributes of the maze and not the affective 
urge, his efforts yield little result. 

When a rat solves a maze to acquire freedom or food it quickly 
learns to eliminate the blind passages for which the dominant affec- 
tive craving has an aversion, and when it finally reaches the food, 
say after the shortest possible number of movements, the gastric 
affective craving continues its compelling influence until its itching 
is neutralized by the food stimuli being placed in the stomach. 

In the formation of a habit we may observe in the trial-and- 
error method that the affective state compels the use of a wide 
variety of movements with more or less repetition and unique com- 
binations with the gradual elimination of the movements that ex- 
posed the receptors to unsatisfactory stimuli, such as going to the 
end of the blind alley, or a pain stimulus. (If the animal greatly 
needed to solve the maze for the sake of its life the blind alley would 
virtually become an additional pain stimulus.) When imitation is 
possible the elimination process is often greatly abbreviated. If 
the principal receptors, which the affective craving used most in 
the situation, are eliminated, then the motor coordinations will be 


reorganized so that the newly adopted receptors will not be exposed 
to stimuli for which the dominant affective craving has aversions. 
This is shown in the gradual elimination of useless movements in 
releaming a maze after the eyes, or vibrissa, etc., have been re- 
moved in the rat (lo, p. 210). 

Emotions and Instincts 

No subjects in psychology have aroused more controversy than 
emotions and instincts. A review of some of the most prevalent 
conceptions of emotions and instincts to be found in academic psy- 
chlogy shows a vague but persistent tendency to divide bodily reac- 
tions into instinctive or emotional types as they tend to deal with the 
environment or to terminate within the body. In this respect aca- 
demic psychology tends to agree. The disagreement lies in the con- 
ception of the central or peripheral origin of the emotions. 

James (13, p. 442) confusingly says: "Instinctive reactions and 
emotional expressions shade imperceptibly into each other. Every 
object that excites an instinct excites an emotion as well." "When 
outward deeds are inhibited, . . . emotional expressions still remain." 
" Emotions, however, fall short of instincts in that the emotional re- 
action usually terminates in the subject's own body, whilst the in- 
stinctive reaction is apt to go farther and enter into practical rela- 
tions with the exciting object." (Italics mine.) 

This vague and unsatisfactory differentiation of emotions from 
instincts confuses his law of the emotions. It considers, however, 
that autonomic changes, of which we become aware as feelings 
or affective disturbances, are the emotional reactions. That the 
" emotional reaction usually terminates in the subject's own body 
whilst the instinctive reaction is apt to go farther and enter into 
practical relations with the exciting object" is hopelessly vague 
and confusing. The terms " usually " and " apt to go farther " per- 
mit such unlimited vacillation that they are useless for physiological 

Ladd and Woodworth (22, p. 523) state that "besides the 
physiological changes of central origin which accompany or follow 
certain perceptions and trains of ideas, the wonderful characteristic 
effect which these forms of feeling produce upon certain of the 
vital organs is the most noteworthy peculiarity of the affections, emo- 
tions and passions." They emphasize the vasomotor reactions as 
being among the most important. This is a reversion to the old 


notion about the central origin of feelings but recognizes that the 
autonomic apparatus plays a part in the affective process. 

Pillsbury (24) says a single response is a reflex, a complicated 
series of responses an instinct. All emotions have an instinctive 
basis— every emotion has its instinctive side ; and every instinct has 
its emotional side; emotion is concerned primarily with responses 
that end altogether within the body ; impulses are the instincts that 
lead to action directed beyond the body. 

Pillsbury is more definite than most introspective psychologists 
in his definition that emotions end ^'altogether" in the body and 
that instincts lead to action directed '^ beyond'* the body. He cer- 
tainly applies emotions to functions of the autonomic sensori-motor 
system and reserves instincts for the expressions of the projicient 
sensori-motor system. That every emotion has its instinctive side 
and every instinct has its emotional side is a confusing statement, 
unless it means that every affective sensori-motor change (emotion) 
exerts an influence upon the activities of the projicient motor system 

Angell (21, p. 369) quotes James in his discussion of emotions 
as follows : " An emotion is a tendency to feel and an instinct is a 
tendency to act characteristically when in the presence of a certain 
object in the environment." Here again we meet with a distinct 
connotation for emotions, as an internal bodily function, a tendency 
to feel characteristically, as an autonomic-affectivc sensori-motor 
phenomenon. It diflFerentiates emotion from instincts. The latter, 
he says, are a tendency to act characteristically, which is a phenome- 
non of the projicient sensori-motor system. But he rather confuses 
the value of instincts and emotions by using the terms to apply to 
the same physiological phenomenon by maintaining that a minimum 
measure of emotional tone exists in all instinctive or impulsive acts, 
which is referred to the bodily resonance aroused by all such acts, 
and that some instinctive activities are more markedly emotional 
than others (21, p. 381). Those instinctive activities ''which are 
obviously of the emotional type present instances in which emotion 
is largely confined, so far at least as concerns its immediate signifi« 
cance, to intraorganic disturbances." 

Parmelee (25, p. 301) says "the emotions are the feelings which 
are aroused in the nervous system by these internal processes and 
the movements of muscles, viscera, etc., which accompany the emo- 
tions, are their causes." He made a helpful contribution when he 
divided the nervous system, as a sensori-motor machine, including 


all its effectors as well as the receptors, into somatic sensori-motor 
and visceral sensori-motor systems, which are really identical with 
my division of the body as a sensori-motor machine into projicient 
sensori-motor and aflFective sensori-motor systems. 

James (13, p. 383) says "instinct is usually defined (i) as 
the faculty of acting in such a way as to produce certain ends, 
(2) without foresight of the ends, and (3) without previous educa- 
tion in the performance." (i) refers to the use of the projicient 
motor system to attain certain ends. (2) implies a compotmd reflex 
act. (3) that the neurones functionate in inherent systematic as- 
sociations without previous coordination of the associations, being 
phylogenetically so determined. 

Parmalee (25, p. 226), after an extensive digest of the subject, 
says: "in order to distinguish an instinctive activity from an in- 
ternal physiological process it must indicate that an instinctive ac- 
tivity is an external activity of the organism . . . therefore ... an 
instinct is an inherited combination of reflexes which have been in- 
t^rated by the central nervous system so as to cause an external ac- 
tivity of the organism which usually characterizes a whole species 
and is usually adaptive." 

Parmalee emphasizes the phylogenetically associated reflexes 
which control the activities of the projicient motor system and 
which are usually " adaptive " to certain ends. He also insists upon 
the necessity of differentiating an instinct as an " external activity," 
a function of the projicient sensori-motor system, from an ? internal 
physiological process." The internal physiological process is re- 
ferred to certain functions of the visceral sensori-motor system 
which he diflFerentiates from the somatic sensori-motor system. 

Judd (26, p. 213) says : " Coordinated activities of the muscles 
provided for in the inherited structure of the nervous system, are 
called instincts." The muscles are not specified as to whether they 
are the striped or unstriped systems or both. He explains the in- 
stinctive motor phenomena entirely through the existence of phylo- 
genetically associated neurones and seems to assume a predeter- 
mined arrangement of neurones as a basis for the instinctive reac- 

Angell (21, p. 339) says: "Instincts have an origin unquestion^ 
ably similar to reflexes. ... It is impossible to draw a sharp line 
between them." He also depends upon a phylogenetic association 
of the neurones and the impulsive or reflex manner in which this 
associated train of neurones is started to work. 

Pillsbury (27, p. 425) says: ^^The term instinct is tised to indicate 


all acts whose conditions are inherited. It matters not whether 
those acts may be referred to specific inherited connections in the 
nervous system or whether the act is the result of striving for an 
end which some innate predisposition compels the individual to strive 
for, and whose attainment gives pleasure." (Italics mine.) This 
sweeping inclusion of all those motor functions whose conditions 
are inherited fails to differentiate, as an instinct, the digestive func- 
tions from the pecking functions, in the behavior of the newborn 
chick. Such formulations are also unsatisfactory because they de- 
pend entirely for the dynamic source of behavior upon a predeter- 
mined static type of arrangement of neurones. 

In the sense that the newborn chick pecks with the point of its 
beak and does not put the food into its mouth with its foot or wing, 
its projicient motor functions are perhaps to be considered as coor- 
dinated through phylogenetic or congenital associations, but in the 
pecking act, as a voluntary or involuntary phenomenon, we must 
look for the source of the desire or the motive for the act. This 
leads us again to the autonomic-affective functions. 

It will be seen upon an extensive review of the conceptions of 
emotions and instincts that the division of an individual's behavior 
into functions of the autonomic and projicient sensori-motor systems 
is a step toward formulating a more simple, more dynamic compre- 
hension of an organism's behavior by following the tendency of 
academic psychology, but adhering more definitely to the autonomic 
(aflFective) domination of projicient (instinctive) movements. This 
behavioristic formulatidh is also far more consistent with the or- 
ganic functions and structure of the organism. 

McDougall (28, p. 26) says that "every instance of instinctive 
behavior involves (i) a knowing of some thing or object, (2) a 
feeling in r^ard to it, and (3) a striving towards or away from 
the object" which he calls (i) the cognitive, (2) the aflFective, and 
(3) the conative aspects of an instinctive act. 

McDougall (28, p. 28) identifies the affective aspect with emo- 
tions; "each kind of instinctive behavior is always attended by 
some such emotional excitement, however faint, which in each case 
is specific or peculiar to that kind of behavior." The specific nature 
of the emotional excitement for certain instinctive reactions is es- 
sential to McDougall's theory. 

He does not, however, attach to the affective element any dy- 
namic properties and does not attribute a definite relation of the 
conative strivings to the aflFective reactions except that the conative 


efforts are a striving towards or away from the object, but, it seems 
to me, he offers no explanation why. 

" Each of the principal instincts (28, p. 47) conditions some one 
kind of emotional excitement whose quality is specific or peculiar 
to it; and the emotional excitement of specific quality that is the 
affective aspect of the operation of any one of the principal in- 
stincts, may be called a primary emotion." " The affective quality 
of each instinctive process (28, p. 46) and the sum of visceral and 
bodily changes in which it expresses itself are peculiar and distinct." 
These opinions of McDougall give one the impression that emotions 
are considered to be subservient to instincts. 

My dynamic theory is based upon the same physiological prin- 
ciple that is demonstrated in local anesthesia, wherein the part is 
not retracted (flight) when injured because it causes no painful 
disturbance. If a means could Be devised wherein a local anesthesia 
could prevent the spasmodic adjustment of the diaphragm and 
viscera from producing feelings of fear (upon injury) the animal 
would not flee or feel any fear. In men who feel no fear in a dan- 
gerous situation we find no evidence of autonomic disturbance and 
in men who do feel fear a marked autonomic disturbance is observ- 
able and this is what they really flee from or try to prevent, and 
this process is active before the perception of dangerousness exists. 
The researches of Cannon and Sherrington, which have been so 
extensively cited, demonstrate the peripheral origin of the affections, 
as in hungriness, the desire to urinate, sexual craving, etc. 

Watson (10, p. 106) says "an instinct is a series of concatenated 
reflexes. The order of the unfolding of the separate elements is a 
strictly heritable character. Instincts are thus rightly said to be 
phylogenetic modes of response (as contrasted with habit, which 
is acquired during the lifetime of the individual). Such a series 
of reflexes, or an instinct, is best illustrated by the young bird's 
egress from the egg, and its later attempt at building a first nest." 

This conception of an instinct includes the activities of the auto- 
nomic system as well as the cerebrospinal or projicient and is as 
inclusive as MacDougall's conception. It places no emphasis on the 
dynamic importance of the affective factor. 

In his discussion of affection as a form of instinctive behavior 
Watson (10, p. 24) details the neurophysiological mechanism of sex 
excitement. He traces from the sex changes in the circulatory, 
glandular, secretory and muscular mechanism afferent impulses — 
*' which upon reaching the motor centers produce the actual seek- 


ing movements in the striped muscles." The afferent impulses are 
" the bodily substrata of the emotion of pleasantness." This is es- 
sentially the mechanism of my dynamic theory if to it is added that 
important factor that the skeletal muscles are compelled to expose 
the proper sense organs to appropriate stimulation so that the af- 
fective or autonomic disturbance will be neutralized. The process 
of neutralisation of the affective disturbance is the dynamic prin^ 
ciple underlying all behavior and not the inherently concatenated 
series of reflexes. Watson's simplification of the organic machine 
into a problem of stimulus and receptor-effector response seems to 
have obscured the importance of the affective mechanisms. 

Holt (29, p. 98) in his discussion of the physiology of the wish 
says '' thought is latent course of action with regard to environment 
(i. e,, is motor setting), or a procession of such attitudes." "Will 
is also course of action with regard to environment, so that the only 
difference between thought and volition is one of the intensity of 
nerve impulse that plays through the sensori-motor arcs." " Thought 
is the preceding labile interplay of motor settings which goes on 
almost constantly." In "wish or function we have the pure es- 
sence of human will and of the soul itself. No distinction can 
be found between function, wish and purpose." The wish is "a 
course of action which the body takes or is prepared (by motor set) 
to take with reference to objects" (29, p. 94). 

Holt's conception of the origin of the wish, will emotion, pur- 
pose, etc., in the motor functions does not specify the autonomic 
sensori-motor functions, but his discussion hardly leaves any other 
inference. His definition of thought as the preceding labile inter- 
play of motor settings certainly must be the same as the kinesthetic 
stream arising from the postural tonus of the skeletal muscles, as 
they react to the afferent influences arising from the autonomic 
sensori-motor or affective changes. Herein we have a physiological 
explanation of the wish determining the thought — ^the affective 
craving being the wish or dynamic principle. 

My theory maintains that the movements of the projicient sen- 
sori-motor system are compelled by the affective disturbances and 
become a means to acquire stimuli which will reestablish a com- 
fortable affective state. The status of affective rest is the end state 
of the dynamic striving, if the unsuitable term ' end ' may be used 
here. , 

McDougall and other psychologists have not mentioned this self- 
neutralization principle of the affective compulsion. 


Characteristic Affective States and Their Influence on Behavior 

The description of symptoms of affective cravings or emotions 
has been unprofitably overdone by psychology and psychiatry and 
is not desirable here. The dynamic aspect of affective states only 
are discussed in the following. 

AflFective reactions may be looked upon as largely autonomic 
postures in which the entire autonomic apparatus may pla/;a part, 
although the actual feelings at first seem to emanate from one re- 
ceptor area, as hunger, nausea or disgust starts in the epigastric 
region. Continued hunger may become associated with feelings of 
weakness, headache, irritability, etc. It has long been recognized 
that one characteristic affective state may become adulterated by 
another and even obscured by a second or third superimposed reac- 

The biological career of the autonomic apparatus, considering 
the organs it has gradually evolved through specialization of its 
fvinctions, is, imperatively, to preserve and reproduce itself. The 
d3mamic organism has grown from one functional stage to another. 
It is constantly exerting pressure upon the environment, upon which 
it must maintain itself, in order to fulfill its biological decree. 
Hence its more simple reactions tend to be comparatively temporary 
unless the affective reactions should become conditioned to react 
to something which is constantly in the environment, as fear of 
arrest for a crime, or censureship for a wrong, loss of position for 
insubordination, etc. 

The affective reactions of fear and its variations as shame, 
sorrow, disgust, anxiety, anguish, sadness, jealousy, pity and meek- 
ness, are all due to some kind of noxious stimulus and exist so 
long as the organism fails to protect itself.^ 

Forms of rage, such as anger, hatred, indignation, which are 
principally variations in intensity, are all compensatory protective 
reactions following the fear reaction caused by a painful stimulus. 

The pain stimulus may arise from within the individual (as un- 
skillfulness) as well as from the environment (insurmountable re- 

Fear. — The fear reactions always tend to remove the receptor 
from the painful stimulus and continue the retraction untU the or- 
ganism has succeeded in obtaining neutraJijsing stimuli for its re- 
ceptors. Many animals when frightened dash into a familiar hole 

^Watson, J. B. (30, p. 165), suggests that fear and rage and love in the 
Freudian sense are the fundamental affective reactions to be found in the 


which cuts off the painful stimuli and immerses the receptors in 
comf ort-giving stimuli. Birds and many animals depend upon weak- 
ening the stimulus through interposing distance. Young animals 
not having the power to escape, often go into catatonic-like states 
in which the posture, drooping ears, diverted or closed eyes indi- 
cate an aflFective flight within the organism away from the pain- 
giving receptors, thereby increasing the affective reaction threshold 
to the stimulus. For the criminal to faint when being executed is 
popularly regarded as a form of escape or cowardice. 

Puppies, young monkeys and other animals when frightened by 
the threatening posture of a more powerful animal of the same 
species often assume a state of complete submission with exposure 
of the throat, abdomen and vital organs to assault without signs of 
defense. This helpless posture of the young seems to relax the ag- 
gressive posture of the adult because it is made excessive by the 
complete submission. Terror and panic are extreme forms of fear 
in which the organism canhot make well coordinated eflForts to 

Anger, — Forms of anger {indignation, hate, rage) always tend 
to remove the painful stimulus from the receptor and continue to do 
so until the stimulus is sufficiently altered so that it no longer is a 
potential threat, but is harmless. The removal may be effected by 
driving it from the environment, destroying its consistency, or, if it 
is a threatening posture in another animal, the removal may consist 
of merely changing the aggressive posture of the opponent into a 
submissive one. In the social relations of man this assumes inter- 
esting forms to be found in requirements for subordination, retrac- 
tions, apologies, "the last word," bluffing, slander, subtle domina- 
tions, etc., obtained by overt or implied threats. 

Anger may be directed upon a disagreeable habit and lead to 
severe self-mutilations to destroy the habit because it is a form of 
painful stimulus — as self-castration for masturbation. 

The motive for the destruction of the painful stimulus may 
not be obvious in a man's reactions until an analysis is made of a 
situation. For example, a physician's daughter (age three) disap- 
peared in the wooded grounds of an asylum where many insane 
men and women had the freedom of the grounds. The father of 
the little girl with several other physicians were about to start a 
game of tennis when the child was missed. A general search was 
immediately started. We all showed unmistakable evidence of fear 
reactions in our facial pallor and tense looks. The common cause 
of the fear was the possible seduction of the child. Being inter- 




ested at the time in the compulsipfis arising from affective disturb- 
ances I analyzed my reactions/ What I called fear was caused 
largely by a seemingly continuous very uncomfortable stream of 
sensations located about the epigastrium and stomach which had to 
be removed. Although it apparently did not inhibit my breathing I 
could not easily vary the amplitude of inspiration or expiration. 
Something like a static diaphragmatic posture or tension resisted it. 
Only one thing could remove it — ^the acquisition of the child — safe. 

As I hurried through the ravine fancies of myself encountering 
the assailant were already preceding the reality and the compen- 
satory nature of the preparation for the encounter was decidedly 
that of anger. Additional fear reactions, caused by the unknown 
nature of the offender, necessitated that the compensatory angry 
compulsion to punish (or destroy or capture would be a potential 
punishment also) should become intensified. 

When I had passed through the ravine and came out onto the 
open grounds the secluded back of a building suggested a possible 
hiding place of the child. Visions of a possible fight faded away, 
and as I hurried along visual images of children mischievously hid- 
ing from their parents were presented by the shifting affective 

Now the blame for the painful fear reactions was quickly shifted 
upon the child herself and anger began to attack the child with 
fancies of punishing her. Since she was not my child other aflFec- 
tive inhibitions urged a compromise by suggesting that she should 
be punished for running away and causing so much discomfort, 
so that it would not be repeated (herein lies the angry destruc- 
tion of the painful stimulus). But the age of the child made her 
irresponsible and so the anger, which would by this time have rel- 
ished giving punishment, again had to be diverted. I was now 
joined by the father and naturally he said something about insane 
patients and children, and wandering children. A minute later we 
rounded the comer of a building and there we found the children 
playing with some of the women who had started in the searching 
party. The next thing said by one woman, after she explained 
where the children had been, was that she thought they should not 
be punished, for they were entirely innocent, having merely taken a 
walk with one of the women. Evidently this was the woman's 
answer to her own anger and tendencies to punish as well as ours. 

All such situations are composites of numerous stimuli and 
pass through a series of transitions. Our affective reactions occur 


reflexly. I was clearly aware of fear being superimposed by pro- 
tective anger which would prevent a recurrence of its cause. 

After the tennis game several players commented, that the " ex- 
citement" had spoiled the tennis playing. In myself it seemed as 
if the anger had not had time to be assimilated and it caused inco- 
ordinations which showed in my own difficulty to concentrate on the 

Anger is essentially destructive, although it may be elaborately 
and persistently constructive in order to ultimately attain the satis- 
faction to be derived from the destruction of an object or some 
person's atitude. A man may work for half a century to acquire a 
fortune or reputation in order to ultimately wring a submission 
from some one. Anger has a tremendously aggressive value if its 
energies are so controlled by other emotions that it must expend 
itself through constructive work. 

Self-protective anger may be aroused by the discomfort result- 
ing from any affective craving failing to acquire necessary stimuli. 
This additional aggressive component may then make the acquisi- 
tion possible by overpowering the resistance. 

We speak of expending our anger, or letting it out, as if the chief 
pleasure resulted in giving it free play or projecting it. This is in 
a sense true, but in the loudly, harshly spoken phrases is the need 
of having the victim react with discomfort (pain) to the phrase. 
Often a medium is depended upon to transmit the evidence of our 
feelings. The mere emission of the hostile phrase is evidently in- 
sufficient because of the tendency of hatred to continue uncom- 
fortably within us whenever we fail " to get satisfaction." The in- 
difference of the object for our anger is torturing. Few people, 
however, are highly enough integrated to take advantage of the 
value of indiflference to an assailant's anger. 

Shame is a type of fear reaction (a retraction) caused by the 
misapplication of stimulus and receptor for which is felt a certain 
responsibility, as in error, stealing, lying, perversions, etc. The pro- 
tective compensation for shame is in escape or flight through re- 
pression (forgetting) the experience, or compensatory atonement. 
This entails a form of functional castration in that, after aflFective 
shame repressions are made, the personality no longer has free use 
of the experiences or affections that led to the shame experience. 
This may have a beneficial or detrimental influence. It may be acci- 
dently instrumental later in successful reactions because of ability 
gained through compensatory striving, or it may lead to excessive 
timidity and failure. 


Disgust seems to include elements of fear and anger reactions 
and is caused by the gastrointestinal defensive-emissive movements. 
When we feel disgusted with the appearance or behavior of anyone, 
the attribute of wasted material or wasted energy is in some manner 
included in the appearance or behavior (inefficiency) of the indi- 
vidual. Efficiency never arouses disgust. It always arouses ad- 
miration, even in an enemy; whereas inefficiency tends to arouse 
disgust, even in a friend who of course compensates by making sym- 
pathetic demonstrations. 

That contempt for inefficiency, extravagance and wastefulness 
should be associated with spitting, vomiting (nausea and disgust), 
urination, defecation or purulent discharges is obvious. Olfactory, 
gustatory, visual, auditory or tactile stimuli may, by association with 
waste material, arouse emissive reactions and are spoken of as dis- 
gusting. (See conditioning of affective reactions.) 

The expression of disgust, through overt emislive movements or 
implied emissive feelings in the adjectives attributed to an object, 
may be illustrated by a young woman, who in expressing her dis- 
gust and contempt for the behavior of another person, reflexly made 
vomiting noises and movements in association with the words de- 
claring disgust. One not infrequently hears phrases comparing or 
associating some work or person with excreta, as expressions of dis- 
gust for the work. 

In the emission of the stimulus, casting it off from the organism, 
is to be seen a type of anger reaction. In misers and those types 
of epileptics who are anal erotic, one finds a deep chronic hatred 
for the constructive interests of society. (The compensatory affec- 
tive reaction for disgusting, wasteful tendencies in the self or in 
society is the development of system, conservation, hoarding, and 
scrupulous cleanliness.) 

Sorrow is a form of fear reaction caused by the loss of a 
pleasure-giving stimulus; that is, the inability to retain or expose 
the receptor to the lost stimulus. The compensatory striving is 
obviously for the acquisition of another pleasure-giving stimulus. 

Joy is an affective state caused either by the disappearance of a 
potential pain stimtdus or the acquisition of a positive pleasure 
stimulus. The disappearance of a pain stimulus is reciprocally fol- 
lowed by the acquisition of a returning pleasing autonomic status. 

Anguish is a complex affective reaction which seems to contain 
traits of fear, shame, sorrow and anger reactions. A girl who spoke 
of her emotional state as " anguish," which endured for weeks, said 
it was due to her selfishness and masturbation (shame), which she 


imagined was causing the death of her family (fear). She wept 
bitterly (sorrow) for her wrongs, and seemed to become, at times, 
desperately angry at the habit she was trying to destroy. In an- 
guish, there seems to exist a serious anger reaction, which is turned 
upon the self, because, in some manner, the self is partly respon- 
sible for the failure. In such cases, sorrow is not directly the result 
of masturbation, but the result of waste, for having lost a sense of 
refinement, dignity and self-confidence, through the misapplication 
of receptor and stimulus. 

Love is essentially a form of affective hunger and in man at 
least, like hunger, tends to be 'consistently recurrent. Its dynamic 
pressure is almost constantlyyelt in some form and its influence upon 
behavior, when unadulterated, is reproductive, constructive, creative. 
Repression of love reduces creativeness. Its genesis, like food 
hunger, is dependent upon the metabolic (reproductive) functions 
as well as the environmental stimuli in the sense that, like food- 
hunger, love hunger may be felt in a completely neutral environ- 
ment which is not characteristic of other affective reactions. Love 
demonstrates its constructiveness in reproduction and maintenance 
of the species, race, clan, community, religion, family, business, 
reputation, etc. It is the urge behind the progress of civilization. 
Although many of the progressive innovations of civilization are 
the creations of anger they have been cherished and retained by 
love of efficiency and progressive refinement. 

Love, as an affective state, causes intense suffering (fear) if the 
organism is unable to acquire or retain a suitable love-object. Like 
all other affective reactions it becomes conditioned to respond to 
certain stimuli of certain receptor zones, which in some individuals 
may differ grossly from the normal, gradually requiring almost spe- 
cifically defined stimuli to produce a state of affective comfort. In 
these needs it exerts a marked acquisitive and avertive influence 
upon the attitude of the personality toward the environment. The 
same principle of the affective state acquiring a comfort-giving 
stimulus for itself is seen when the mother is horrified by her dirty 
child, then cleans, pets and dresses it until its status delights her, or 
the mother cat caresses its kitten into relaxation or nurses it to 
sleep; or in the loyal sacrifice in order to further a cause or attain 
an end — for honor, which however must not be admitted, for then 
the sacrifice would be selfish. 

It has been noted that objects that pertain to the waste of foods, 
energy or time, etc., arouse feelings of disgust, and we give them de- 
scriptive adjectives that have an origin in the emissive functions. 


as "rotten," "dirty deal," "putrid," "foul." On the other hand 
objects that give us delightful stimuli, which we like to assimilate, 
are given descriptive terms, such as sweet, good, wholesome, etc., 
expressing the assimilative reactions they arouse in us. Girls like 
to speak of sweet colors or sweet dresses because their "mouths 
water " when they look at them. 

If a buyer or seller, while bartering, is imable to prevent the 
prospective fulfillment of his own wish from making his salivary 
glands secrete ("mouth water") the party, whose consent to the 
trade is necessary, becomes suspicious that he himself is abandoning 
a tempting morsel and reacts with fear of making a losing deal. 

Jealousy and envy are mixed affective reactions of pride, love, 
fear and anger. The loss of the love object causes pain and fear 
with feelings of inferiority, and anger tends to pimish the cause of 
the pain. 

In the above discussion of the dynamic compulsion of an affec- 
tive state upon the organism to acquire suitable stimuli and avoid un- 
suitable stimuli the term instinct was found unsatisfactory in the 
sense of fear arousing the instinct to flee. If an instinct is a series 
of concatenated reflexes, the variations of the reflexes used in flight 
are so enormous that the term (as an inherent concatenation) is not 
accurate enough. We may have very similar overt movements in 
flight, attack or play. It seems more satisfactory to speak of the 
compulsion 'to acquire neutralizing stimuli, thereby recognizing the 
variation of movements for acquisition and aversion. 

Since acquisitive and avertive tendencies toward the useful and 
useless stimuli in the environment are constant attributes of every 
affective state, and since we may have a quite complex affective 
status at one time, the complicated nature of even ordinary spon- 
taneous behavior is apparent. The behavior observed at any period 
is the resultant or compromise of the various affective trends active 
at the moment and is always symptomatic of the affective state. 

Studies in psychopathology have shown that not only does the 
affective status avoid or use things in the environment but it also 
tends to avoid or use certain divisions or functions of the projicient 
sehsori-motor system. For example: Some people live mostly in 
their flexor (submissive) and others in their extensor (aggressive) 
muscles. Awkward people tend to avoid muscular exercises because 
of fear of embarrassment. Early in life we tend to specialize on 
relatively a few skillful movements and avoid developing others in 
order not to betray our functional or organic inferiorities. Since 
the tendency to perfection comes only with practice most individuals 


become victims of a vicious circle. Congenital defect or inferior 
organic construction may increase the tendency to disuse, hence it 
increases the inferiority (31). Fear of using a function or of per- 
mitting an affective reaction free play constitutes an inferiority as 
well. Fear of allowing love free expression tends to inhibit crea- 
tiveness. This is essentially the mechanism of biological impotence 
to be seen almost universally in males who have been intimidated 
in their youth by older females or males. Frequently a hatred com- 
pensation is developed as a protection in order to use its additional 
energy to overcome the social resistance and timidity. 

Affective aversion for an organ or a sensori-motor division tends 
to cause its atrophy through disuse and makes it become a poten- 
tial source of disease, as functional paralyses, or phthisical chest 
of the timid and seclusive, liability to failure or injury in the timid. 

We see this aversion also in affective resistances producing an- 
esthesias of any receptor field, disuse of any motor division, inhi- 
bition of visceral functions. On the other hand affecfive acquisitive- 
ness may cause a painful hyperacuity of a receptor field or h3rper- 
trophy of motor divisions. The same principles are manifested in 
our aversions or preferences for names, words, phrases, languages, 
studies, vocations, communities, lines of travel, hobbies, people, dress, 
mannerisms, politics, religions, etc. 

The affective dispositions of most people are usually not so 
complex that the principal trends are not symptomatically apparent. 
We read them in the postural tonus of the muscles of the face and 
body. Smiles, looks, frowns, scowls, lines, the contour of the nose, 
lips, chin, the muscles about the eye, the mannerisms of the eye, 
furrows between the eyes, tilt of the head, posture of the shoulders, 
mannerisms of the hands, the grip, fingers, the style of the nails, 
the stride, the sound made by the foot, the voice, dress, style of 
phrases and general interests are manifestations of the postural 
muscle tonus which has its dynamic determinant in the autonomic 
posture or affective disposition of the individual. 

Instantly the postural tonus varies as the affective disposition 
varies, ^ This is best illustrated in accidents. A man, while shaving, 
was holding an open razor in his hand, a remark by a companion 
caught his attention and the razor dropped. As it was approaching 
the floor he reflexly made a dangerous grab for it. The postural 
muscle tonus that held the razor in a light grip was determined by 
an affective state. The remark caused a disturbance of his aflfectivc 
tension, the postural tonus of the fingers reflexly relaxed slightly and 
gravity instantly pulled the razor out. A butcher was pressing the 


point of a heavy knife into a joint of beef to dismember it. He was 
brooding at the time over the remark of his superior in charge. 
A remark of some one caught his attention, the postural tonus of 
the gripping hand was relaxed slightly for an instant, but sufficiently 
for the downward pressure of the arm to force the fingers off the 
handle and down the knife blade. He received a disastrous slash 
in the hand. 

A manufacturer informed me of the following accident. His 
most reliable planer had his hand torn off in a machine. This 
man had the reputation of never having had an accident during many 
years of service. The night before his wife had gone on an escapade 
with another man. 

In vocations and games requiring accurate, delicate, skillful co- 
ordinations, such as golf, tennis, shooting, aviation, etc., the proper 
postural setting of the muscles ("good form") are recognized to 
be of the utmost importance and are impossible to maintain when 
one is distracted by affective disturbances. 

The posture of the ambling, lolling, lazy, indifferent man is in 
marked contradistinction to the tense, erect, stiflf figure of the sensi- 
tive, proud, ambitious, striving man. The feelings of muscular 
weakness and loss of muscle tone in the fearful, and the firm muscle 
tone and feelings of power in the confident are further examples. 

The postural tonus of the handshake may reveal the insincerity 
of the greeting by its flabbiness, quick withdrawal, slight push, over- 
compensatory tenseness, etc. The smile of a supposedly pleasant 
welcome may reveal signs of effort or an ominous exposure of the 
incisors, because with the desire to extend a welcome is active irre- 
pressible unwelcoming affectivity. 

The aggressive pose of anger, the timid retractiveness of fear, 
the spontaneity and exuberance of joy, the retarded movements of 
depression, the relaxation of indiflference, the set of attentiveness 
are further illustrations of the postural tonus of the skeletal muscles 
as determined by the autonomic-aff ective state. 

The extreme delicateness or sensitiveness with which postural 
tensions react to stimuli is well illustrated by the manner in which 
we miss the subliminal stimuli, the more delicate qualities of pitch, 
timbre and rhythm when listening to music, if we cannot adjust our 
muscles freely so they may assume rhythmic tensions similar to 
those being rendered by the musician. When we are disconcerted 
by an uncomfortable chair, a high collar, a tight shoe or a dull, 
wheezy companion, we are unable to react to the strains of classical 
music. The manner in which every individual, who develops the 


capaxuty to react to classical music, goes through a process of train- 
ing, shows that the delicate, nervous integrations, necessary for pos- 
tural reactions, are acquired in the same manner that other skillful 
movements are acquired, through the survival of the fittest integra- 
tions that please the affective craving for music. 

Hence motifs in music, not only become associated with domi- 
nant motives in behavior, but certain motifs can never be enjoyed 
by certain types of people because of the resistance of their affective 
cravings, considering other capacities as being equal. While writ- 
ing this part of the discussion, an agent, whose business makes it 
necessary for him to look up data in our office, entered the rocHn. 
He habitually speaks with a most unusually cultivated, mushy cast 
of voice and upon almost every occasion the workers in the room 
who did not have to respond to his questions showed unmistakable 
avertive reactions by the manner in which they twisted in their 
chairs. After the man left on this occasion a general series of 
commentaries verified the fact that the mere sound of his voice had 
aroused wishes (autonomic aversions) that he should leave. This 
unfortunately posed man probably has suffered intense anxiety to 
know why his presence causes an aversion for him and has probably 
never been able to understand the difficulty or to change it. 

The ability to read character varies enormously in different ob- 
servers, and also in the same observer at different times. When our 
wishes persist in idealizing another person their deficient traits, 
which may be very obvious to others, are persistently overlooked. 
An affective resistance in us makes us have a functional anesthesia 
for them. On the other hand, the analytical c)mic does not neces- 
sarily make the best reader of character, although he may be keenly 
proficient in detecting the inferior traits in his subject, the wish- 
fulfillment, in himself, to see deficiencies in others, may make him 
anesthetic to the constructive powers in the individual. By develop- 
ing the capacity of preventing oneself from making either positive 
or negative affective transfers to the individual, and by carefully 
avoiding the subject's endeavor to win a transfer from us and recog- 
nizing it when it occurs, we may be able to study an individual's 
character without unduly influencing him to conceal his deficiencies 
or to overemphasize his powers. In reading character, the observer 
should maintain a firm altruistic attitude in himself, so as to impar- 
tially estimate the subject's powers for social and personal construc- 
tiveness, and, recognizing that always the individual must strive to 
reform the more primitively selfish, cruder tendencies in himself, 
he must estimate the subject's deficient traits with the object of 


learning how much he has yet to accomplish — ^not how much he has 
failed to accomplish. This last point is extremely important, be- 
cause the observer, himself, as an animal competing in the universal 
struggle for social power, may yield, unconsciously, to the temptation, 
being an opponent, of estimating his subject's deficiencies in a pes- 
simistic light. Thereby, he would be subtly relatively elevating his 
own rank in the social herd, and his observations might be inac- 

The true estimation of a subject's affective responses, for ex- 
ample, when he spontaneously shows that he is pleased, depends 
upon seeing how gently or spontaneously he exposes his teeth, f It is 
most important to recognize the nature of the tension in the posture 
of the lips. 

Let us take a smile and analyze its affective significance. It is 
one of the most observable manifestations of the affective state of 
the individual and is far from being simple, imless camouflaged 
behind a mass of hair. One thing to be estimated is, how much 
too much or how much too little does the individual habitually use 
his lips to mask his more sincere affective reactions. One thing is 
certain, most individuals can only afford to hide their selfish interests 
or asocial reactions. We are glad, indeed, to permit our altruistic 
impulses to show themselves, when we have them, because they have 
everything to gain and nothing to lose. Through improving our 
friends and the herd, we improve ourselves. Because of the con- 
sciously disguised movements of the lips in most adults, when being 
observed, children and adolescents alone may be satisfactorily 
studied, unless one can be honest with himself. In regard to ac- 
curs^te estimation, through impression, of the degree of reflex re- 
sponses, I am reminded of two specialists in nervous diseases who 
disagreed in their opinions as to whether or not a patellar reflex was 
increased or diminished in its responses — ^not a rare disagreement; 
hence, impressions as to the affective significance of the movements 
of the lips are to be expected to vary somewhat with the observer's 
aflfective state. 

The two important features of the smile seem to be the spon- 
taneity and gentleness with which the lips are exposed when the eye 
is looking honestly at the observer; and second, how much of this 
muscle group is used in the revelation of having been pleased. 
Many people smile with difiiculty, revealing a sinister resistance 
through a miniature snarling exposure of the canines, others use 
chiefly the corners of their mouths, some the upper lip or the lower 
lip, others the right side of the mouth more than the left, and still 


Others attractively purl the middle of the lips while their friends 
gush all over. 

The word "smile" may have a commonly accepted meaning 
for many, but the spontaneous act of smiling is different for each 
individual. The contours and tensions of the lips are minutely de- 
termined by a complex affective pressure. The shades of its ten- 
sions are so difficult to read accurately that one is not surprised that 
astute physiologists and psychologists should crudely classify most 
smiling, laughing, crying or cursing as having a simple significance. 
The postural tensions of other muscle groups, such as the eyelids, 
nose, cheeks, chin, posture of the head, shoulders, etc., make im- 
portant revelations of the complex affective character of the indi- 
vidual. Artists have always recognized these facts but scientists 
have stupidly avoided them. 

The manner in which the affective cravings become conditioned 
so as to be aroused in a complicated manner by one complex situa- 
tion has been covered in the study of the mechanism of condition- 
ing the affective and autonomic reactions. The mechanism by which 
complex affective cravings are established and retained is next to be 

Affective Repression and Fixation 

Through the psychoanalytic method of studying psychoneuroses, 
it was first recognized that functional derangements or symptoms 
disappear after an adequate affective readjustment is made, and 
that while the affective readjustment is in progress the individual 
becomes aware of forgotten memories and old desires to do certain 
things. Usually the history of the genesis of the desire is such 
that it conclusively, in a sense logically, explains the cause of the 
s)miptoms and why they should disappear when the desire subsides. 
Such phenomena are only intelligible on the assumption that the 
desire, or affective compulsion, because of the persistence of the 
symptoms or tendencies, existed somewhere continuously from the 
time of its genesis until its readjustment./ Since the affective crav- 
ing has a remarkably persistent tendency to remain true to its orig- 
inal form upon its recall, and since it disappears or subsides after an 
adequate readjustment, it is reasonable to conclude that the aflfective 
craving persisted after its genesis in something like its original 
form, because it was not permitted to adjust itself. Since the host 
had no awareness of its nature or origin (after the repression) but 
only felt its symptoms, it is also reasonable to consider that it may 


have continued its repressed existence in the autonomic functions of 
the organism. ' 

If the origin of the affections lies in the peripheral functions of 
the autonomic apparatus then we may turn to the autonomic ap- 
paratus for an explanation of the physiology of repression and fixa- 
tion of the affective craving. Since the craving or wish is really 
one's consciousness of the autonomic proprioceptive activities as 
they are aroused by the contractural and postural motor functions, 
we may look for the physiological source of the repressed but en- 
during affective craving in the persistent (heightened) postural ten- 
sions of the autonomic musculature; the type of the craving being 
determined by the autonomic field involved. There seems to be no 
reason why the increased or lowered tonus of a viscus might not 
continue indefinitely. Crile has pointed out that this is indicated in 
certain forms of hyperthyroidism and Sherrington has demonstrated 
the relative unfatigability of postural tonus of muscles. The spas- 
tic hypertonic or hypotonic derangements of cystic, gastric, rectal 
and laryngeal musculature definitely support this conception. 

We may therefore assume that, when an affective craving is re- 
pressed by fear of the consequence of permitting it free play, the 
larger part of the organism, which is not the source of the craving, 
prevents the autonomic field, which is the source of the craving, from 
adjusting itself by not permitting it to dominate the projident sen- 
sori-motor functions; thus preventing it from acquiring such stimuli 
as are necessary to bring about the adjustment of its tension,! This 
constitutes the functional neuroses, as the spastic gastritis, 'colitis, 

A craving or wish may be said to be repressed when it is not per- 
mitted to cause awar^n^j^ of its needs, whereas it is suppressed when 
it may cause a vague awareness of its needs. This theory of the 
physiology of the repressed affect explains the cause of individual 
postures and that peculiar differential trait of individuals by which 
some are conditioned to continuously have undue affective or auto- 
nomic reactions for certain stimuli, while others are indifferent to 
them. /Irhe traits of predilection for, or hypersensitiveness for, 
certain types of things or situations seem to be due to the condi- 
tioned nature of some hypertonic autonomic field. Sherrington has 
shown that when a segment is in a state of increased postural ten- 
sion it will react to certain subliminal stimuli — Whence its natural 
selection for the stimulus. 

When the autonomic sensorimotor system reacts to a painful 
situation with anger-producing functions and the compulsion to 
act must be restrained to avoid a greater difficulty, one many feel 


for hours the visceral and bodily tensions, loss of appetite and dis- 
comfort. The compulsion to act continues unmistakably recogniz- 
able in a characteristic, persistent disconcerting stream of thought, 
and a tendency to make incoordinated movements and mistakes. 
Such phenomena certainly indicate the persistence of the postural 

Since the repressed affect becomes a painful, disconcerting in- 
fluence in the personality the psychopathic individual may usually be 
relied upon to furnish evidence of the final outcome of the auto- 
nomic disturbance because he suffers until relieved. The comfort- 
able (trained) introspectionist cannot usually afford to be completely 
truthful. Because it would be horribly embarrassing, introspective 
academic psychology has been sterilized and conventionalized. In 
cases of repressed affections of any intensity we find persistent auto- 
nomic derangements manifested in such conditions as loss of appe- 
tite, gastric irritability, tendency to nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, 
dyspnea, headaches, cardiac palpitation, blushing, disturbances of 
menses, insomnia, general hypochondriacal complaints, eccentric 
physical attitudes, long-enduring gross, psychoneurotic derange- 
ments, etc. In the case where the repressing fear influence is ana- 
lyzed away and the repressed affect is at least permitted free play 
one observes the repressed affect coming forth like an uncoiled 
spring of activity and it completely dominates the personality until 
an adequate affective readjustment is made. Following this re- 
adjustment the individual, with apologies, often expresses sur- 
prise that his discomforts should have disappeared. The func- 
tions of the autonomic system seem to have become adjusted back 
to their norm. The postural tenseness, as shown in the features, 
movements, visceral feelings, etc., disappears. The repressed af- 
feet seems to be stored, like the energy in a compressed spring, 
in the heightened postural tension of some division of the auto- 
nomic apparatus. In this manner all our secrets are probably 
stored.) Perhaps in no function is the persistence of the hyper- 
tension of a muscle group, upon affective repression, so obviously 
demonstrated as in the persistence of an aresonant voice after repres- 
sions of an angry impulse to speak. This aresonant or avibratory 
condition, judging from the feelings of laryngeal tenseness, is due 
to a hypertonus of some of the voice-producing muscles. 

If the affective repression involves interests which are part of 
the daily life of the individual, as in his love-seeking, an affective 
fixation occurs of which the personality, no matter how much 
it attempts to disguise the influence of the repression, is never 
able to entirely escape awareness. Such characters often make 


themselves into romantic heroes to compensate. The repressed 
aflfect seems to remain in its peculiar status quo throughout the 
existence of the personality unless an affective readjustment is 
brought about in some manner. This is particularly manifested in 
the repression of a painful love. Years later the individual, who 
may have developed the compensatory traits of a wit and a wag, 
may succumb to depression, or should he attempt to make love again 
he must master the anxiety of the previous love affair. The in- 
fluence of the repressed aflfect is often unmistakably revealed in 
dreams and sincere artistic and literary productions which of course 
can only occur when the censoring aflfect tolerates the disguise used 
by the repressed aflfect. 

The principle of opposition of forces or conflict of functions is 
as old as biological structure and as basic. Even in the automatic 
reflexes we experience functional conflicts as in biting our lips and 
tongue, or swallowing food into the trachea, or sneezing when drink- 
ing, which phenomena one may readily observe in himself to result 
from aflfective confusion or conflict. Sherrington (i, p. 145) has 
emphasized that "each instance of convergence of two or more 
afferent neurones upon a third, which in regard to them is efferent, 
affords ... an opportunity for coalition or interference of their 
actions." The currents in the affective stream, because of their con- 
tinuity and complexity, tend constantly to oppose or reenforce one 
another as they converge to dominate the behavior of the projicient 
sensorimotor system. 

The importance of conflict in the affections of a personality be- 
comes manifested in its childhood, as soon as it begins to socialize 
itself and consider another's approval of its wishes. The age when 
this tendency begins depends largely upon the moralizing attitude 
of the parents and their methods of influencing the child to adjust 
Itself. In modern civilization, man having so thoroughly mastered 
his environment through his mechanical inventions, the individual's 
great struggle in life is not so much a problem of self-preservation 
in a physical sense as it is one of attaining social approbation, and 
potency. Hence the greater proportion of the personality's affec- 
tions gradually become socialized or socially conditioned and any 
asocial cravings tend to be inhibited or repressed by them. 

There has never been a tendency in the history of man, as a 
species, that can be considered to have been at all characteristic of 
the species, for individuals to live a totally isolated or independent 
existence from all social herds. Man's gregarious, herding pro- 
clivities helped to make him stronger than the beasts and the ele- 


ments. The group cherishes the individual for the help he can give 
it and this is largely the nature of the relations between one man 
and another. More than this psychologists and sociologists have 
not emphasized. 

The transference of affection between individuals is perhaps of 
even greater importance than physical assistance, except when the 
individuals are pressed to a desperate struggle for life. In the 
past few years psychopathologists have learned to recognize that 
upon the nature of the affective transfer required by the patient 
practically the whole prognosis of the psychosis depends. That is, 
if the transfer, in its specific requirements, belongs to a type that 
must be tabooed the prognosis is proportionately discouraging. It is 
the inherent autonomic or affective disposition of every personality to 
need from some other personality, fervent, spontaneous demonstra- 
tions that its existence is wanted, and its nature is approved. No 
matter how substantial is the contribution to social improvement, one 
cannot be quite satisfied, until from some esteemed source is received 
a sign of approbation. In some subtle manner, we tend to seek for it 
The craving for such an affective transference is vital, and its grati- 
fication is the only method of giving the personality a sense of well-- 
being and social fitness. Men who would think for themselves are 
abandoned until they prove their truth, and the frigidity of the 
social void is too terrible to be braved except by the most courageous. 
Whether or not the tendency to socially ostracize or torture any 
member of the herd who strayed slightly out of bounds was charac- 
teristic for the species since its existence, may be conjectured from 
history. It is well established, however, that the affective need for 
a transfer begins with nursing and probably becomes a fixed at- 
tribute of every adjustment in adult life because of its firm develop- 
ment through the long years when the successful struggle for life 
depended entirely upon the affections of another personality. As 
society increases its care for the individual, and the individual for 
society, in order to prevent disease, waste, and degeneracy, poverty 
and usurpation of privileges, the individual grows more and more 
to need social esteem in order to feel safe and comfortable, and 
less and less to need the mystic's encouragement. The charac- 
teristics of the individual's family group, while he is developing, 
becomes the prototype for all the future selections for affective 
transfers of both the positive and negative nature. As experience 
increases the dimensions of the personality, the ramifications of 
affective transference become very intricate, but the principal love 
and hate objects in maturity have easily traceable associations, in 


frank people, to the love and hates of childhood ; like the branches 
of a tree arising from the trunk but having their extensions into 
space directed largely by the environment. 

The history of the human race is full of accounts of terrible 
pimishments of independent thinkers by the community ; hence, one 
would feel that the corollary of this censuring would be active in 
each individual, to live, as much as possible, so as to retain society's 
approbation, and, if possible, win society's esteem. Hence, asocial 
individuals find safety in nufnbers, and clique together into a society 
of their own, so as to be held in some esteem. One of the most 
persistent causes of anxiety and depression in the individual is the 
fear that he has lost prestige through a blunder or a vicious indul- 
gence. In psychotherapy the most essential means of helping a^ 
patient to make an adequate affective readjustment is the establish- 
ment of an altruistic transference (48) between the patient and 

When an affective transference is broken between two indi- 
viduals, as an employer and employee, anxiety is at once observable 
in the most dependent member of the transference and probably in 

In mating, well-constituted males exuberantly make heroic sac- 
rifices of power and health in order to retain the love of their mates. 
They are really happy slaves of their transfer. When the transfer- 
ence is broken they are hurled immediately into despair. This 
mechanism is a most fundamental force in the evolution of character 
and personality, and the genesis of affective healthfulness or of an 
affective diseased state. 

The individual's cravings for social esteem or approbation be- 
come the most manifest and dominantly active of all the autonomic 
functions in that the individual is always being made aware of their 
needs by their activities forcing him to do the things that will main- 
tain or win approbation. The wish for social approbation is grad- 
ually cultivated to qualify every sexual or nutritional craving and 
determines that the sexual and nutritional wish shall not freely 
dominate the whole organism and compel it to do something that 
would earn the everlasting damnation of society. The herd, begin- 
ning with the parental influence in the home, trains the individual so 
that its strivings will contribute to the general progress of the herd's 
development. The infant's nursing and elimination cravings are 
early counterbalanced by developing wishes to please the mother, 
hence control the nutritional and sexual cravings. The child quickly 
learns that whenever it disappoints the mother or father it loses its 
source of sympathy and encouragement. That is, it injures itself 



by depriving the .wish to-be-loved of its gratification. The child's 
wish to-be-loved is vital. Practically its entire mental development, 
as anyone can see in himself, until long after maturity, has been 
influenced by the wish to win love and esteem. After maturity 
most adult males prefer to substitute the words honor, esteem and 
power for love. 

The mechanism of the '' transfer/' which is the key to successful 
psychoanalysis and psychotherapy, depends upon the physician's 
ability to sincerely appreciate the patient's emotional conflict. He 
must genuinely wish to assist the patient for his welfare and the 
welfare of society. The analysis must proceed upon a clearly de- 
fined altruistic basis. The physician must not become a censor 
or moralist, or temptation. He must remove, as soon as possible, 
the patient's fear of losing social approbation in order that the 
repressed functions may manifest themselves. The physician rep- 
resents the highest reconstructive interests of society, hence, so soon 
as the patient confidently feels that the revelation of his wishes will 
not lose for him the physician's esteem, he promptly begins to show 
relief from anxiety; that is, relief from the pressure of affective 
cravings that he has repressed (that he tried to forget). 

Very early in childhood the autonomic apparatus begins to 
struggle to control itself so that the individual autonomic cravings, 
as the desire to steal, urinate or defecate, will not cause the loss 
of the esteem of those it loves most, (mother, father, brother, sister 
and friend), by exposing them to obnoxious, disgust-arousing stimuli 
which in turn would arouse an avertive affect for the child. 

This peculiar striving of the autonomic apparatus, to act as a 
unity in order to control an individual segment, develops gradually, 
and should be regarded as a compensatory reaction, in order to, 
directly, avoid the causes of pain and fear and, indirectly, retain 
love. When the child has developed the power to reliably control 
the more simple autonomic adjustments, such as the eliminative, it 
achieves its first great social triumph. When this capacity becomes 
so soundly established that no doubtful feelings remain, the indi- 
vidual's strivings become reversed and feeling its sense of power it 
begins to strive directly more and more to win love and esteem and 
indirectly to control itself. The supreme triumph comes with the 
gradual compensatory development of the power to control mastur- 
bation, usually from fourteen to eighteen. This compensatory mech- 
anism applies also, obviously enough, to perverse sexual and homo- 
sexual interests and must not be considered in the sense of apply- 
ing merely to the act of masturbation but to all the fancies, move- 


ments, interests, associations, etc., that are related to autoeroticism. 
Most boys, when they conquer the autoerotic cravings, develop an 
aversion for all the associations that are connected with it and com- 
pensate with high resolutions to enrich society. 

One must therefore see that slowly but incessantly from infancy 
the autonomic apparatus develops, through integrating itself into a 
unity, a compensatory capacity to control the more individual seg- 
mental cravings. These compensatory cravings, through being con- 
ditioned by associated stimuli, gradually become interwoven into a 
unity of constantly active wishes. This unity responds to the 
mother's address of " you," or " John." The child begins to think 
of itself as "John," "he" or "you" won over the bad little boy, or 
spirit, or devil, which represents the socially indifferent, segmental 
wish. In this manner is slowly developed the " I," " Me," " Myself," 
and the "Not-I," "Not-Me," " Not-Myself ." There is no other 
source of the "devil's" influence in us. When the personality or 
organism acts as a unity with the hunger cravings, we say " I am 
hungry." When the individual wishes to do something and hunger 
is disconcerting him, he says " my hunger." The child, the savage 
and the dissociated personality often say "he is hungry" or "the 
stomach is hungry." The intelligent adult, upon experiencing a 
new, disagreeable gastric sensation which is functionally analogous 
to hunger, as a " burning pain," does not often say " I am burning " 
but says " my stomach is burning," or " I feel a burning sensation." 

Gradually, in youth, this unity develops into the " good," " con- 
scientious" / and the evil, uncontrollable Not-L Many people 
are still inclined to differentiate this as the " soul " striving against 
the "flesh" or the "devil." In the chronic, functional deteriora- 
tions this mechanism dissociates and the individual interprets the 
Not-I as another personality. This mechanism is of the utmost 
importance to the insight of the psychopathologist and for all people 
who wish to relieve the suffering and anxiety that is caused by the 
eternal feud between the " I " and the " Not-I." 

A man or woman may learn to know, with little difficulty, that 
all his anxiety is due to fear of failure to live at the level that 
pleases all his wishes best. This failure may be caused by a disease 
in an important organ or by an unmodifiable persistent affective need 
that we cannot or dare not permit to have gratified. 

Before considering the mechanism of repression of individual 
cravings the physiological nature of the so-called wUl must be con- 
sidered. The riddle of the nature and origin of the will, which has 
baf9ed philosophy and psychology since man began to assume its 


existence, may be remarkably clarified for the student if he will 
follow the suggestion to see the will to be or the will to have as 
the zvish to be or the zvish to have. 

The will is the compensatory affective or autonomic striving 
which, as a wish, protects the individual from the fear of failure or 
losing the esteem of the object of his transference. 

When we will to do this or that, or go here or there, we really 
allow ourselves to wish without restraint. This capacity is, or 
should be, assiduously cultivated by the individual throughout its 
life so as to become a consistent attitude toward everything in the 
environment. The affect craves for an event or an object and the 
likelihood of its not becoming a pleasing reality causes a fear-pro^ 
ducing reaction in proportion to the seriousness of the wish and the 
likelihood of its not being gratified. The fear reaction, in turn, 
very quickly arouses a compensatory speeding-up of the autonomic 
apparatus, as shown by Cannon and others, in the increased rate 
and strength of the heart beat, increase of adrenin and sugar in the 
blood, and an appropriate shift of the blood supply to the working 
parts. This compensatory increase of physiological power, greatly 
invigorating it, enables the wish to attack and reconstruct the en- 
vironment so that within a certain time events must occur. 

This mechanism works incessantly in every person's daily life 
in a ceaseless stream of minor events. When I wish a pencil I 
must compensate for the pencil's failure to place itself in my hand 
by picking it up, an aggressive act. When I need some one's as- 
sistance I must compensate for the discomforts caused by not hav- 
ing it by expending the energy which has been aroused by the in- 
conveniences of the situation and seek it. 

The man, who, after due consideration, allows himself to wish to 
have an object or an event, such as a position, factory, invention, be 
an honored guest, conduct a hazardous responsibility to a successful 
conclusion, make a scientist of himself, must not only be able to 
wish for the event but be able to successfully compensate for all the 
fears of failure that may arise. Just as his compensatory powers 
begin to fail the weakness of his so-called will becomes manifest. 
When we wish for an event but do not act to make its fulfillment 
possible, the wish is not strong enough to act. It is only strong 
enough to cause the thought. 

This compensatory physiological striving occurs reflexly and 
through the introspective analysis of the occasions of what would be 
called increased will power in myself I have been able to find a re- 
pressed banal fear of losing the thing I wished to acquire. For 


example, while working on a manuscript my capacity to coordinate 
details and to visualize the object for which I was striving (demon- 
stration of a theory) had greatly subsided and for several days I 
could get nothing done. Then one day about noon the capacity to 
work had become greatly accelerated. This acceleration had oc- 
curred so spontaneously that it was well under way before I realized 
that it had occurred. At first I could not account for it. No one 
had relieved any diffident, repressive tendencies in myself through 
an expression of esteem for my work, but, with further recall, I 
became aware of the fear that another psychopathologist, who was 
acquainted with my material and theory, was finding it difficult, 
revealed in his manner of saying what he would like to do, to 
refrain from usurping my rights. The only practical defense was 
being reflexly made through vigorous self-assertion which discour- 
aged the other man. Within a few minutes the vigorous autonomic 
compensation for the fear of the possibility of losing the fulfillment 
of an important wish began to show itself in an aggressive onslaught 
upon the environment, my data, and making it conform itself to 
please the wish by assuming the form of a completed article. 

The grand old law that " honesty is the best policy " has a crit- 
ical significance in the development^ of personal power. It often 
requires the endurance of great anxiety to honestly endure the pros- 
pect of failure, particularly when a dishonest adaptation, as a lie, 
secret, or malicious advantage, may save the situation. But the en- 
during of the anxiety in turn gives the individual a sublime reward 
in that the autonomic apparatus is so constituted that the situation 
forces it to augment its vigor and thereby develop additional skill, 
endurance and power. One may see this compensatory mechanism 
wonderfully developed in such remarkable characters as Charles 
Darwin (51). 

The failure to endure anxiety makes the vicious, secret intrigues, 
the behind-the-curtain-politician, the pathological liar, the drug 
habitue, the shyster, etc. Society can only protect itself from the 
destnictive influences of such dishonest adjustments by resolutely, 
promptly, severely punishing every unlawful adjustment. Because, 
then, the greater fear will influence the individual to endure the 
lesser fear until the compensation is established. He then only can 
become a stronger link in the social chain providing he is given a 
fair chance to win social esteem. 

The so-called paraphrenia types, that is, individuals who are 
"weak of will," fail to make socially approvable adjustments be- 
cause of the poorly developed nature of the wish to be socially es- 


teemed; This is due in turn to the nature of the conditioning of 
the love-cravings. The self-lover or autoerotic type naturally sacri- 
fices society's interests in the innumerable petty crises as well as in 
the greater crisis, in the sense that he would rather dream about him- 
self than work for the welfare of society. This is not his choice, 
but, during his growth, his parents failed to give him sincere love 
and esteem, without cost, during critical tests. The attitude of 
wishing to be esteemed was not developed sufficiently to endure the 
stresses of competition when a more self-reliant rival had to be 
beaten. Hence the timid retreat into autoeroticism where no rivals 
care to enter. 

We may sum up then, the " will-to-become " is the same as the 
'' wish-for-esteem" and the "wish-to-have." It is the autonomic 
apparatus's reflex compensation to protect the wish from the possi- 
bility of failure to acquire gratification that gives us the power to 
endure and act. 

This now brings us logically to the significance and mechanism 
of the affective conflict between what may be designated as the so~ 
dalized wishes of the personality, which constitute the " I," " Me," 
" Myself," " My Soul," " My Conscience," which are physiologically 
founded in the personality acting as a unity, and the perverse, indi- 
vidual craving or wish that constitutes the Not-I or "evil" and 
arises from some individual autonomic segment as the digestive or 
sexual apparatus. 

To illustrate : The hunger cravings in the stomach may, through 
their compulsive power, place the entire organism and its future in 
jeopardy by forcing the stealing of food. This has a much more 
common application in the commitment of sexual transgression, par- 
ticularly when the compulsive craving for autoerotic, or perverse 
homosexual, or incestuous indulgence is insistently forcing itself 
upon the individual. This conflict of the integrative functions is 
the mechanism that causes the destructive psychoses and is to be 
found underlying every functional deterioration of the personality. 
Where the sexual cravings support the socialized wishes of the per- 
sonality, the individual becomes virile, good and happy, and a most 
constructive social influence. It applies further in that when society 
becomes abnormal, the sexually normal attack society, as in the great 
social upheaval in France which overthrew a perverse aristocracy. 

Out of the affective conflict between the cravings of the organism 
as a unity and the cravings of an individual part for control of the 
final common motor path of adjustment, arises the mechanism of 
suppression, repression, the summation of allied cravings, and the 


••• :\ :' 

summation of the antagonistic craiuings, dissociation of the person- 
ality and affective compensation with satisfaction giving compro- 
mises as sublimations. 

Always, asociai, egocentric and pernicious tendencies must be 
repressed or denied in order to retain another individual's transfer 
unless the object of the transfer tolerates asocial and perverted 

The function of affective repression seems to have developed con- 
siderably later in the phylogenetic scale than affective restriction 
(32) and is to be observed late in the life of the modem child. It 
probably does not often occur in savages and is poorly developed in 
mental defectives and certain types of asocial adults. 

The mechanism of affective repression is to be met with more or 
less in every personality in modem civilization. It is essentially 
the result of the personality becoming the host of an affective crav- 
ing which, being utterly intolerable because of its disastrous conse- 
quences if allowed free play, is repressed by a vigorous fear reac- 
tion and soon followed by a compensatory striving. The social 
and moral exigencies absolutely require such an adjustment because 
the individual members of society must protect themselves from 
their imitative predispositions. 

In the phenomenon of repression, two factors are always ap- 
parent, (i) fundamental selfish or egocentric cravings which are 
repressed, afid (2) socialized cravings which repress them. The 
egocentric cravings are usually repressed or censored when they 
tend to place themselves above the race to the detriment of society, 
as in unjustifiable loves, perversions, hatreds, autoeroticism, or ava- 
riciousness. The healthful resolution of the conflict occurs when 
the egocentric cravings require that which will further the best con- 
structive interests of the individual and society. 

Almost every imaginable variation in the intensity and firmness 
of the egocentric and the socialized affective cravings may exist. No 
two individuals are alike, although the mechanisms are essentially 
the same. 

Obviously enough, in modem society, the one persistent affective 
craving which is more or less constantly censured is the sexual, 
since society must protect itself from excessive sexual indulgence 
because it leads to a pernicious waste of energy. Civilization and 
the race would deteriorate. On the other hand, sexual interests 
may become so excessively repressed that civilization must become 
a burden. This is not strange, but is a universal biological result 

• •• ••• 

.*itt»**'*:: iCDf9No]cic functions and tse fessonauty 
':.•!•.• • • • 

that occurs with excessive indulgence in, or undue denial of, any of 
the necessities.* 

The affections, which should tend to a refined, honest, sexual ex- 
pression in the adult, may become perversely conditioned in the in- 
fancy or youth of the personality, and, when the cravings to acquire 
social approval are developed, the individual's eyes may be opened 
to his plight. Horror, shame and anxiety may be the result. For 
example, a too devoted, pretty mother loved to bathe her infant son. 
This arrangement continued happily until he was about twelve. 
The situation was innocent enough until one day some of his boy 
playmates, who had no little insight into sexuality, learned of it 
through an innocent remark. Their surprise, scorn and sexual im- 
pressions opened the youth's eyes. That night the boy absolutely 
refused to be seen by his unwise mother. Foolishly she persisted 
and almost worked up a catastrophe, but no commands or persuasion 
could change the boy's horror for the arrangement 

In psychopathology one finds that many people suffer because 
their sexual affections are conditioned to react to an unattainable 
object such as, either (i) a socially tabooed object like the father, 
mother, sister, brother, or a perverted or homosexual object; or (2) 
a lost, or unresponsive, or degraded love object. 

On the other hand the sexual affections may be apparently normal 
in their reactions and requirements but the socialized cravings may 
be so rigorously repressive of all tendencies pertaining to sexuality 
that the individual may suffer from chronic anxiety. A pathologic- 
ally conscientious woman, who apparently was trained to believe 
that anything pertaining to sex was horrible and the cause of the 
sorrows of humanity taught her children this belief. All her chil- 
dren, when they matured and the reproductive forces began to make 
themselves felt, became psychopaths. The man, a son, who gave 
this information in order to have his brother saved from a serious 
state of sexual anxiety, frankly included an account of his own suf- 
ferings and insanity because of his inability to reconcile the impres- 
sions of his mother's life-long teachings and his sexual affections. 
A healthful solution for himself came with the gradual revision of 
his moral feelings. 

Such pathological conditions do not require sexual license. On 
the contrary, as a fundamental social necessity, the conditioning of 

* Sexuality is here used in the sense that love is usually used. Sexual 
intercourse is not normal unless accompanied with love. Even among stu- 
dents of human behavior the necessity of love in the sexual functions of the 
individual is just becoming generally recognized. 


the sexual aflfections, to react to, and require, such objects that their 
seeking shall bring a healthful affective freedom, efficiency, honesty, 
happiness and virility, is required. 

When affective cravings urge an old man or a boy to run home 
in order to deposit something and then hurry him back to the street 
comer to see the circus parade, we have an instance of conflict. In 
such processes, which occupy most of our daily behavior, conflict 
occurs as the various affective processes strive to control the final 
common motor paths of adjustment. Under such conditions, how- 
ever, affective repression does not occur. The individual is not 
forced by the situation to repress or make himself " forget " any of 
the yearnings. He freely entertains them as they arise, and, in due 
course of events, they are permitted to attain gratification. Re^ 
pressions are made at a critical moment and occur reflexly and not 
after consideration. Giving the affect consideration is almost the 
opposite of repressing it. The individual, like the proverbial ostrich 
that buries its head in the sand, represses the affect in order to for- 
get or escape being made aware of it. The repression of the primary 
affective functions, it seems, is always pathological. Any form of 
affective craving may be repressed, such as love, fear, disgust, 
shame, anger. One may imagine an infection that led to health and 
fortime and so with an affective repression, but, as a general prin- 
ciple, the repressed craving causes severe functional disturbances in 
the stream of thought. This becomes manifested when the indi- 
vidual attempts to adapt his wishes to unpleasant interests and finds 
in himself an unexpected resistance or aversion. He feels a tend- 
ency to make mistakes, to show unexpected preferences and aver- 
sions, forgetfulness, insomnia, loss of spontanity and inspiration, 
feelings of weakness, headache, " queer thoughts," obsessions, man- 
nerisms, fancies, change in style of writing or drawing, speaking, 
laughing or singing, etc. The repression does not always indicate 
a personal weakness. A serious repression may be made from dire 
necessity, and, if an3^ing, indicate unusual self-control. 

A young naval officer, who had incurred the animosity of his 
superior, was repeatedly enraged by the latter's humiliating nagging 
on board ship. The situation required repeated repression of the 
anger and indignation, since escape and retribution were impossible, 
because of the peculiar nature of his personality and of other cir- 
cumstances. This finally produced a state of utter inefficiency in 
the man, including loss of weight, insomnia, depression, forgetful- 
ness, etc. 

A young woman was persistently dominated in a most irritating 


manner by her husband's mother. The family arrangement was 
such that a frank conflict, which would surely have been violent, 
had to be avoided by the young woman. A series of repressions of 
hatred and shame finally produced a grave psychopathic state (15) 
with eight independent symptom complexes. 

Affective repressions may be made after a long struggle, and 
the aflfect may disappear, it seems, without one's realization of it. 
An obsessive thought or feeling may be irrepressible for days, and 
we may complain to our friends of not being able to get rid of it. 
Some time later, we may be asked about the obsession, and, for 
the first time, we realize that it is gone (assimilated or repressed). 
The repression was made without awareness of its occurrence. In 
every instance of repression, the personality makes an intensive 
affective coordination along compromising lines of adjustment, which 
really become the resultant or final common path of adjustment. 
We may take journeys, substitute compromising vocations, hobbies, 
sports, artistic and intellectual interests, charities, religious sects, 
rituals, societies, in fact, anything, in order to forget the painful 
memories ; that is, to escape being made aware of the needs of the 
painful affect. 

A child may be delighed by anal erotic, masturbatory, sadistic, 
masochistic or exhibitionistic play, thievery, a mannerism, perversion, 
or the death of someone, and, later, upon its realization that the 
wish for such things is an indication of degeneracy or inferiority, a 
repression of it may be effected after an anxious struggle. In 
the desperate effort to escape from any reminder of the difficulty, 
the individual goes in almost the opposite direction. Unconsciously, 
he strives to get as far away from it as possible. The compensatory 
trend may gradually become the dominating characteristic of the 
personality during maturity, depending upon the vigor of the re- 
pressed affect, and the persistence necessary to keep it repressed. 

A child that is delighted by eneuresis, excreta, odors, filth, waste 
or slovenliness usually is later horrified by the significance of such 
pleasures, and, compensating with a phobia for everything that sug- 
gests a return of the old cravings, becomes painfully clean and 

The anal erotic psychopath is notoriously stingy, systematic, and 
has a horror for dirt. When he yields to his cravings, he becomes 
extremely slovenly and filthy. The extravagant, licentious Augus- 
tine, when he saved himself, became a saint of self-denial and holi- 
ness. The epileptic, heathen, politic Paul became a saintly teacher 
of Christianity, justice and equity. 


The repressed aflfect is conditioned to react to the presence of the 
stimuli that previously generated it before the repression occurred, 
and, in this sense, a fixation of its functions is established. If love 
or anger for an individual is repressed, the presence of this indi- 
vidual, or one with associated attributes, causes uncomfortable auto- 
nomic reactions despite all resolutions to prevent it. The defense 
is usually to avoid the stimulus. In adults we rarely see a com- 
promise or congenial readjustment after a quarrel in which both 
sides failed to get satisfaction, which is due to a fixation of the 
resentment. A young woman remarked that when she got a new 
position she would tell her " autocratic '* boss what she thought of 
him. The new position would remove the repressive fear and the 
anger might then enjoy free play. The comment itself was the 
result of -allowing the inhibited aflfect some freedom which the in- 
fluence of sympathetic friends made possible through removal of the 
inhibiting fear of appearing petulant. 

Freud (33, 34) has shown that the repressed aflfect is constantly 
trying to break through the resistance and manifests itself in motor 
incoordinations, that is in the innumerable little mistakes of speech, 
writing, forgetting, substituting, misspelling, etc. When the re- 
pressed aflfect succeeds in breaking through the resistance in the 
disguise of wit, the feelings of potency produced are a great pleas- 
ure and we laugh. This occurs when we are repressing an aflfec- 
tive interest unduly or when the presence of someone is the repress- 
ing influence. 

The repression is always the result of a form of impotence, lack 
of skill, power or courage, often because of a long-established timid- 
ity through the domineering influence of a parent, but more fre- 
quently because of the peculiar situation involved and the vulner- 
able physiological state of the individual at the time of the crisis, as 
in exhaustion, convalescence, etc. Wit disarms the aggressor by a 
spontaneous, subtle, ingenious stroke of words and the old feeling of 
potency returns. It always makes us chuckle. The witty remark 
may be made by another at the aggressor's expense but all who 
laugh are enjoying the release of their own repressions, if not 
toward that particular individual then toward an identifiable likeness, 
or situation. 

Humor is an attack of benign ridicule directed upon the difficult 
things in life which we cannot comfortably master, and is adminis- 
tered to soothe an irritation. In the humorous phrase or caricature 
is often a revelation of one's previous deficiency. The caricatures 


of Mutt and Jeff, Happy Hooligan^ Hans and Fritz, the mighty 
Katinka, etc., must certainly give the authors a delightful vehicle 
for avenging an ancient grievance. Mark Twain is said to have 
written as a humorist in a serious attempt to teach a philosophy of 
living. We laugh, spontaneously, with unrestrained pleasure, when 
we become aware that a restrictive influence has been spontaneously 
subjected to an utterly heedless humiliation. Some one in a gjoup 
of men described a large, stem suffragette with an ugly temper 
getting hit on the head by a tomato during the badgering of a 
militant suffrage parade. Everybody laughed, surely, because the 
description of the oppressive Amazon caused a faint discomfort, 
and her sudden humiliation permitted an affective readjustment. 

The struggle for social supremacy is so universal and continuous 
among all men and women that pleasurable feelings are produced 
by every situation, no matter how insignificant, that reflects directly 
or indirectly upon us a sense of superiority or relatively greater po- 
tency than usual. We seem to be prone to smile at all sorts of mis- 
takes, failures, clumsy movements, errors, signs of weakness among 
our associates. Fortunately, our own strivings, when they are 
crude, become amusing, and the energic economy in this is apparent 
when the "saving sense of humor" is compared to the waste of 
energy attending chronic anger and worry at our own mistakes. 

An eccentrically developed tendency to enjoy the failures of 
others is symptomatic of relief from strivings to be superior and 
indicates a subconscious sense of inferiority. We find such symp- 
toms in people who suffered from humiliating inferiorities in child- 
hood, such as bed-wetting, awkwardness, ugliness, etc. The seizure 
of little opportunities to display knowledge, such as looking for 
opportunities to make corrections, are also symptomatic of sub- 
conscious feelings of inferiority. One often notes the use of pre- 
tensions in order to hide a secret which has been more or less in- 
hibited from consciousness. 

The metropolitan newspapers rarely miss an opportunity to 
socially submerge unfortunates by publishing broadcast their scan- 
dals, because the upward-striving, common herd delight in reading 
about the downfall and failure of others. Rarely indeed are suc- 
cesses ever featured in a paper, unless they involve a direct advan- 
tage to the average reader. On the other hand, social degradations 
which have no direct relation to the average individual are given 
blazing headlines. 


Summation and Reinforcement, and Reciprocal Inhibition of 
Affective Cravings 

Often, "a lot of things" or "several reasons" is the explana- 
tion given for doing something or making a change of position or 
habitat when any one of several wishes may not be strong enough 
to cause a change. Sherrington demonstrated that a summation of 
subliminal afferent impulses, when associated with an appropriate 
postural tension, will finally produce a reaction in the efferent 
neurone; also, a summation of cravings from a series of postural 
tensions may occur and produce overt adjustments, as when one is 
wearing tight clothing and must maintain a cramped, dignified posi- 
tion during an austere ceremony. Furthermore, Sherrington dem- 
onstrated the reciprocal inhibition of the negative or antagonistic 
afferent impulse, and it is probable that reciprocal inhibition of the 
negative or antagonistic wish occurs in a similar manner. 

Various wishes may urge the same journey, as anger at some- 
thing in the environment which we can punish by going away, ennui 
because of other things, love for some one, and a business wish may 
finally decide the going. The summation of a series of " petty an- 
noyances" (anger reactions) may cause a change of employment. 
When the desire to go " there " is reenf orced by a desire to leave 
" here " a change of position occurs. 

In order to act, the negative wish not to act must be inhibited 
like the reciprocal inhibition of the negative impulse, which Sher- 
rington says is just as important but more difficult to see (i, p. 178). 
For example, one may desire to be in the city, but will not go be- 
cause he has no desire to leave the country, or one may wish to 
leave the country, but will not go because he can't think of any 
place desirable to go to. One does not go from " here " to " there " 
unless one wishes to leave " here " and wishes to go " there." The 
wish to go "there" may be very prominent in consciousness, and 
the reciprocal wish to leave "here" may be active subconsciously. 
The same mechanism would hold for saying "this" instead of 

Summation and reinforcement may also occur in the repressed 
affections. This is indicated by the analytic studies of dissociations 
of the personality which have shown that disastrous dissociations 
of the personality may develop as the repressed affections accumu- 
late and become too strong to be controlled. 

Repression of a wish implies a fear of its consequences if it is 
allowed to work, but few people have the courage to admit that they 


have been weak enough to repress a desire or impulse. One finds 
people who stoutly maintain that they "never" repress anything 
but (courageously by implication) say " right out " what they think. 
Experience with such claimants indicates that they have no insight, 
and are often chronic "brooders" (repressors) with eccentric re- 
sistances, and only make the outburst upon an adequate summation 
(provocation) of repressed wishes. When we become aware, be- 
cause of repeated irritations, that a summation of affect to retaliate 
is occurring within us, we are inclined to become disagreeably pre- 
occupied with the dilemma until we find an acceptable means 'for 
retaliation. It is not uncommon to see highly trained men refrain 
from making an important expression of opinion, because they are 
afraid the accumulated affect may cause a momentary loss of self- 
control and something might be impulsively said or done that would 
later be undesirable, because it revealed the "bearing of malice." 

Affective Conflict and Dissociation of the Personality 

The concept of dissociation of the personality had its most defi- 
nite formulation, though not its origin, in Bleuler's (44) studies of 
schizophrenia. When intense, enduring cravings or wishes oppose 
one another they seem to struggle for control of the final common 
motor paths just as two afferent neurones or two opposed indi- 
viduals might struggle for an effector or a mechanical means to an 
end. The socialized interests of the personality, through incessant 
training, control the more self-indulgent affective cravings without 
much difficulty so long as both interests are fairly well satisfied by 
the compromise. However, when the sexual cravings or other 
powerful affective reactions such as fear, anger, shame, are re- 
pressed> because their tendencies are intolerable in a given situation, 
temporary dissociation of the functions is likely to occur as the so- 
cialized interests become fatigued, depressed or distracted, which will 
be shown in errors, forgetting, and persistent, undesirable thoughts. 
In the hallucination, say auditory, the repressed, dissociated wishes 
that arouse the auditory image are not recognizable as belonging to 
the ego or socialized self and are treated as a foreign influence or 
the work of another personality. In this sense a state of schizo- 
phrenia, or dissociation of the personality, occurs. In the normal 
individual, except during sleep, the wish produces a degree of aware- 
ness of itself, causing a sense of ownership and the question as to 
whether or not it is a part of oneself does not usually arise. This is 
in striking contradistinction to the repressed wish which is unable to 


produce a recognizable awareness of itself but must reach conscious- 
ness through some S3rmbol or disguise. 

The persistence and semi-independent nature of the repressed 
wish was not given its due importance until the psychopathologist 
Freud (33) demonstrated that a repressed wish caused mistakes in 
thought and expression and proved to be the origin of hallucinations. 

The inhibited or repressed wish often plays a trick on the re- 
pressing wish by substituting its own fulfillment through a slight 
change in expresi^ion. For example, when one writes a manuscript 
and upon reading it over finds that a neat little change in the mean- 
ing of an important sentence has been unconsciously made by the 
substitution of a letter in a word. Upon reading over a letter that 
I had written I found the word spell instead of smell, having un- 
consciously suibstituted the letter p for m. The word spell was an 
embarrassing revelation of a concealed wish to say something about 
spelling a name. Such incoordinations are forms of dissociation 
because the effort to produce a thing correctly is dissociated suffi- 
ciently to permit the injection of another expression. Dissociations 
of the error type will show, if analyzed, a wish fulfillment in the 

The repressed wish, when it becomes dissociated or is out of 
control and independently seeks gratification through the compul- 
sion, delusion or hallucination, becomes fixed in its conditioned re- 
quirements and tends to remain so for life. One highly intelligent, 
old paranoid gentleman has a history of having the same auditory, 
visual and tactile hallucinations for over fifty years. In the so- 
called dementia praecox cases (chronic dissociations) this is very 

Failure to inhibit the negative or antagonistic wishes always pro- 
duces incoordinations of thought or movement which may be cor- 
related with Sherrington's principle that the entire nervous system is 
evolved on the mechanism of coordination of allied impulses and 
incoordination of antagonistic impulses. The psychoanalyst has been 
able to demonstrate that this same mechanistic principle holds true 
on a greater, more complicated, scale in the functions of the affective 
cravings. Analytical studies of psychopaths, as well as normals, 
have repeatedly shown that apparently all conceivable degrees of 
affective conflict occur, ranging from the unconscious error, to se- 
rious, acute dissociations (35), to the grave, unadjustable, chronic 
dissociations of the personality. 

The law that the autonomic or affective unrest tends to compel 
the acquisition of adequate stimuli, having the capacity of producing 



a State of affective rest, holds true also for the affective cravings that 
have become dissociated from the ego (socialized wishes of the per- 
sonality). When we are hungry we become aware of visual, olfac- 
tory, gustatory, kinesthetic and perhaps auditory images of past sen- 
sations acquired from previous attempts to get food. This aware- 
ness of the sensory images of getting food is a manifestation that the 
autonomic craving is already on its way to acquire food. Our think- 
ing about where we will eat and what the dinner shall consist of is 
only the further progress of the affect on its journey, and the seeking 
and eating of the food completes it. When we mistake a stranger 
for someone, the misidentification is due to the adulteration of the 
actual visual sensations made by the physical attributes of the 
stranger with images of past visual impressions made by the person 
for whom we have strong affective reactions. The awareness of the 
old visual images is produced by the restless affect which, in order 
to attain its object, like the food hunger, utilized semi-adequate sen- 
sory images until the reality could be obtained. 

In the dream the same mechanism occurs and determines the 
dream imagery as was first demonstrated by Freud (19) — wish ful- 
fillment or affective gratification in the dream. 

In the delusion and the hallucination (35) the same affective 
mechanism occurs and the difference exists only in the degree of 
vividness, persistence, and quantity of the sensory images associated 
with the actual sensation produced by the exogenous stimulus at the 
moment. Because of the persistence and vividness of the image 
(endogenous stimulus) the individual cannot differentiate its reality 
from a new sensation (exogenous stimulus). When one looks at 
the door and the door as a visual stimulus forces an awareness of 
itself despite all resistance or indifference it has certain essential 
attributes of exogenous reality. If the door seems to move and the 
visual afterimage of the moving door (hallucination) is as vivid and 
persistent as the actual, stationary door, the personality has no means 
of differentiating it from the exogenous stimulus and an affective 
craving is the cause of the visual adulteration. We are expecting 
some one. A protest may be made here, namely, that we may be so 
engaged that for some one to enter the room would be most unde- 
sirable, so how can there be a wish fulfillment in the hallucination 
of the moving door? The answer must call attention to the nega- 
tive side of the affective craving " to be alone by all means." The 
affective reactions have preceded the possibility of being taken una- 
wares by preparing a defense so that if some one should come the 
organism would not be caught unawares. Since all anticipatory 


States are states of unrest, usually more or less painful, the defensive 
aflfective reaction which had been restrained was unconsciously 
allowed to break through because its striving for adjustment had 
caused too much discomfort. Hence the door is seen to move as 
the restricted but aggressive aflfect gets into action. The anxious 
hunter often shoots wildly just in order to be shooting for relief 
from his tension. This mechanism is the greatest defect of raw 
troops because the agony from withholding the affect to. counter 
charge becomes so great that they break and rush into danger rather 
than endure the anxiety. The defensive counter-charging affect 
finally breaks through and compels the assault, hence, like the hallu- 
cinated swing of the door, almost any situation is seized by the 
inhibited affect as an opportunity to make a comfortable readjust- 
ment, and " have it over with." 

Complete affective dissociation occurs when the repressed affect 
becomes vigorous enough to break through the resistance while the 
individual is not aware that it is doing so. The socialized person- 
ality or ego cannot at any price accept the existence of the horrible, 
dissociated affect as a part of its personal makeup. This is ex- 
tremely common in men and women who suffer intense agonies of 
fear from a persistent, uncontrollable craving for sexual perver- 
sions. In homosexual men, who would commit suicide rather than 
accept the tendency to sexual perverseness and yet who love the 
world, we often see the tendency of the growing sexual cravings 
breaking through the resistance in dreams — ^night terrors — ^and grad- 
ually, as the defense becomes exhausted, hallucinations of homo- 
sexual advances and finally of assault occur. Often such men make 
desperate counter-attacks upon all sexuality by fostering vigorous 
social-sexual reforms. In every hallucination for the existence of 
which I have been able to work out a reasonable explanation, a re- 
pressed (forgotten), intense affective craving was found to deter- 
mine it. The exhaustion of the capacity to control the autonomic 
forces of the personality is in no sense dissimilar to that of a stu- 
dent who, after intense efforts to coordinate his interests in study 
in a distracting situation, becomes fatigued and must finally yield to 
the distractions. 

The dissociated affect may become so persistently active that the 
awareness of the sensory images it produces may be treated by the 
individual like mental impressions caused by the suggestions of an- 
other personality. In such cases an intricate, elaborate, compensa- 
tory defense (perhaps self-aggrandizing) and an angry counter- 
attack is often developed. One may see such individuals in any 


asylum, charging a friend or relative or fictitious personality with 
being the cause of sensory disturbances which are often obviously 

It often happens that the repressed affect does not become dis- 
sociated or assert its independence until disease, intoxication, or ex- 
haustion weakens the controlling affective strivings. The repressed 
affect, like the antagonistic afferent impulse, is controlled by pre- 
venting it from dominating the final common efferent paths which 
it must use to acquire gratification. 

In the psychogenic dementias or chronic dissociated states the 
dissociated perverse affective cravings act on the principle of acquir- 
ing gratification just as the well-conditioned affective cravings, seek- 
ing gratification, develop a personality with mighty powers and 
sublime accomplishments. The degree of affective dissociation may 
often be measured by the degree of social disorientation. 

The dissociation of the affective forces of the personality may be 
correlated with independent conflicting functions of various divi- 
sions of the autonomic apparatus. Concrete proof that such things 
occur is furnished by undesirable sexual cravings, incontinence of 
feces and urine, vomiting, glandular secretions in the presence of 
certain stimuli, or the tendency to do opposite things at the same 
time when in panic states. In many psychoses it seems that part of 
the organic unity strives to coordinate itself to work along certain 
lines (socially laudable), and a reactionary division of the organism 
persists in going in another (conditioned) direction which is horri- 

That different divisions of the autonomic apparatus may oppose 
one another is now accepted by physiologists and given much em- 
phasis by Cannon (4), who finds indications that the sympathetic 
autonomic division opposes the cranial and sacral autonomic where 
a dual innervation of visceral muscles occurs. 

In seasickness strong swallowing and gulping reflexes start 
esophageal peristaltic waves downward in opposition to nauseating, 
retching, emissive, peristaltic waves coming upward from the 

Individuals who are predisposed to affective dissociation are 
usually characterized by tendencies to brood, be irritable and eccen- 
tric. They belong to the ** shut-in " type because they have chronic 
tendencies to inhibit or conceal their affections. Fear of permitting 
the affect free play, such as in curiosity, friendliness, love seeking, 
prevents it from attaining practical contact with reality and the 
environment, and forces it to use endogenous forms of counter- 
stimulation, as day-dreams, imaginations, hallucinations, etc. 


In this sense the personality becomes introverted in type. The 
extroverted type of affective adjustment is quite the opposite and 
contact with reality is its consistent characteristic. Jung (37) and 
White (38) have strongly emphasized the importance in psycho- 
pathology of extroversion and introversion of the affective strivingfs. 

A compromise of extroversion and introversion tendencies is 
the mechanism normally used in everyday life with the extroversion 
tendency always slightly dominating the introversion tendencies. 
Modem American society inclines to be organized on the basis of 
individual equality and when an individual tends to either excessive 
affective extroversion or introversion he becomes eccentrically bold 
and inconsiderate or too timid to support the social system. The 
whole civilized world is reacting to destroy the excessively domi- 
neering extroversion characteristics of the Teutonic peoples which 
have been assiduously cultivated for a series of generations under 
the guise of " will-to-power " through the means of an oligarchical 
militarism. . We must " make the world safe for democracy " is the 
affective reaction. The affect may be so shut-in and qualified with 
feelings of self-blame that anger may attack the organism itself. 
This always occurs when the stimulus of the anger originates within 
the organism as in a stupid error, carelessness, indolence, or auto- 
eroticism. One may observe individuals " cussing themselves out " 
for laziness after missing an opportunity, or the self-castration of 

The extroversion mechanism is essentially healthful and con- 
ducive to robustness, because the autonomic disturbance is more 
promptly neutralized; whereas the introversion mechanism tends 
to a prolonged increase of affective sensitiveness. With introver- 
sion a lowering of the threshold of the autonomic reactions occurs 
so that ordinary, subliminal stimuli may cause vigorous, autonomic 
reactions which are usually distressing. Painful consciousness of 
self results and this may become so chronic as to become an en- 
during characteristic of the personality. Self-conscious personali- 
ties are notoriously irritable and unstable in crises. The self -con- 
sciousness of psychopaths is well known and is probably due to 
heightened postural tensions in the autonomic apparatus. It is ab- 
solutely vital for a happy maturity that youth shall master the causes 
of self-consciousness. 

The biological principles of atrophy of structure through disuse 
and the specialization of function and crystallization of structure 
through use give particular significance to the recent physiolog- 
ical conception, that the skeletal striped muscle is fundamentally 


an unstriped cell in which is embedded a striped or projicient motor 
apparatus (an evolution of the skeletal muscle to enable the auto- 
nomic apparatus to fulfill its biological career). This indicates the 
intimate nature of the fundamental need of the reactions of the auto- 
nomic or affective sensori-motor system for the prompt spontaneous 
usage of the skeletal striped muscle. Therefore, when an affective 
disturbance occurs and an outward appearance of indifference is 
maintained, the affect is " shut in " and so-called affective introver- 
sion may occur. The boy or girl who, because of teasing (repressive 
influences), is too timid to risk the crude mistakes of adolescence, 
tends to remain autoerotic, and his or her affections become intro- 
verted, i. e,, dependent upon endogenous sources (fancy) for 

An affective repression in a crisis may so seriously inhibit or 
retard the spontaneity of affective response and expression in future 
situations that the very essence of living becomes lost through im- 
potence. We find innumerable people who are utterly unable to 
respond to a situation until the safety of a prospective course of 
action is completely assured. This vital lack of initiative must be 
as fatal to any career as headlong impulsiveness — owd is as radical. 
Such people are characterized by chronic capacities for retrospective 
thinking about " what they might have, or should have done." The 
timid individual may tend to a persistent chronic hatred of the causes 
of his failure. This anger may be directed, self-consciously, at his 
deficiency, timidity, cowardice, self-love, or projected upon some 
innocent critic or aggressor. Anger for a deficiency seems to be a 
valuable mechanism for overcoming it if the deficiency is not too 
firmly established. This is a common mechanism adolescents use to 
break up masturbation cravings. Brooding is a symptom of the in- 
troversion tendency when imbued with anger, wherein the affect is 
not permitted free play, is not assimilated, and tends to punish the 
self. The smoldering self-hatred may reach such bounds that the 
individual may mutilate himself physically, socially or morally. 
This tendency is found in a queer group of alcoholics who are vir- 
tually compelled "to fight booze" and drink themselves to death. In 
some cases of dementia where the personality tends to destroy itself 
through masturbation, self-mutilation, or castration, this self -hatred 
appears. A young dipsomaniac, whose chief pleasure in life seemed 
to lie in keeping himself in a drunken stupor, remarked during his 
psychosis, when he tried to eat the dirt on the floor, " I thought I 
ate all the dirt in the world." We see this self-hatred mechanism 
most highly specialized in the wretched, poverty-stricken dipso- 


maniac who smiles as if he were a hero when, with his belly against 
the bar, a certain type of patronizing individual praises him as a 
" booze fighter." The significance of " fight booze " is recognizable 
in the hatred for all constructive interests in life. Introverted 
anger like extroverted anger tends to destroy its cause. Such men 
are usually doomed to self-destruction if the cause of the intro- 
verted hatred is chronic. A flirtatious mate may arouse a grave, 
smouldering hatred, and long-established repressive habits may per- 
mit of no other solution than the alcoholic's method of getting indi- 
rect revenge. Occasionally one meets with middle-aged men who 
have become vicious alcoholics without apparent cause. An anal- 
ysis of the situation may show jealousy of the wife, who is openly 
demonstrative of her preference for her maturing son. She parries 
the husband's angry thrusts so cleverly that he can get no satis- 
faction. After this affective dilemma has continued a year or so 
society is suddenly astonished to learn that the alcoholic husband, 
who has become a physical derelict, has destroyed all the resources 
of his family through whiskey debts. The introverted rage thus 
tends to obtain gratification by destroying its causes, i. e., the home 
and the tactless self. 

The tendency to affective introversion may become so excessively 
developed that the individual gradually loses practically all interest 
in the environment. The asylums contain many such individuals, 
who contribute no spontaneous effort to improving the environ- 
mental conditions. They are characteristically socially indifferent 
and spend their existence in a dream state. Their timid, retarded 
movements, meager, monosyllabic replies, total lack of spontaneity, 
and oblivious deliberateness, demonstrate the extreme degree of the 
autonomic indifference and the peculiar, almost unchangeable pos- 
tural muscle tonus. They are easily recognized as they wander 
along, looking at nothing, arms hanging semi-rigidly at their sides. 
They never laugh out loud, except to themselves, their voices lack 
resonance and at best they respond to a humorous situation with a 
faint little smile. They make no friends. When such individuals 
strive to establish their social equality, they become irritable, un- 
stable and inclined to incongruous, impulsive acts. Every spon- 
taneous movement makes them extremely self-conscious, as if with 
astonishment at themselves. The introverted individual seems to 
be uncreative, in proportion to his introversion, whereas the extro- 
verted manic is often ceaselessly creative. The Oriental is unimag- 
inative in a constructive sense, is not inventive and is relatively far 
more introverted than the European or American. 


Affective Progression tnd Regression 

If the adult will scan his affective career, he may note that, 
rather consistently, up to a certain age, at least, he felt a constant 
pressure to improve and refine his methods of fulfilling his wishes 
in order to attain in some endeavor socially preeminent potency. 
The law by which this tendency is seen to work is that the craving 
or wish strives to attain a maximum of gratification with a minimum 
expenditure of energy. Thereby occurs the extension of power. 
As a man refines himself and his instruments, he feels a decided pro- 
gression in general efficiency and integration of thoughtA This 
tendency to perfection through practice, in manipulating the self as 
well as the environment, is also to be seen in animals (36). One 
must recognize that, in himself, each wish strives according to this 
law, and that with resignation to one craving, although this pleases it, 
the other more or less opposed affective cravings, being unable to 
realize themselves, cause discomfort, that is, a sense of waste or 
misuse of energy, hence shame and " pangs of conscience." There- 
fore, the tendency naturally develops to conduct oneself and select 
associates so that all of one's cherished wishes may freely influence 
one's behavior. Upon this mechanism is based the moral progress 
of honest men, as well as the degradation of thieves. 

In many adults, after a critical failure, a tendency to affective 
regression to a lower, easier level of less exacting requirements, is 
likely to occur. Apparently, this regression is a return to an affec- 
tive adjustment that was previously satisfactory, and is usually far 
more vulgar, more heedless and infantile, and less satisfactory for 
winning social esteem. An observable degree of social indifference 
occurs with it. Extreme instances are particularly common in hebe- 
phrenic forms of dissociation of the personality. In such cases, the 
personality regresses to a heedless, self-indulgent, indolent, child- 
hood level, where, with its enormous reserve of physical power, it 
easily gratifies its slothful, childish requirements with relatively care- 
less incoordinated forms of thought. Affective regression essentially 
produces a disintegration of the higher integrations of function or 
thought, whereas affective progression requires the construction of 
more comprehensive and refined integrations of thought. 

Thfe tendency of the biological forces to constantly refine them- 
selves so as to attain a maximum of result or satisfaction with a 
minimum expenditure of energy is not only to be seen in the org^ic 
structure and the curves of objective and subjective learning, as 
studied in the psychological laboratory, but we may see this prin- 
ciple demonstrated in the evolution of machinery, the automobile* 


aeroplane, piano, factory, university, church, kitchen, soap. A de- 
lightful thrill is felt when we hear of some new invention or about 
something being done " for the first time." With it, we transcend 
our old ways, and feel a momentary respite from the resistances 
to our striving wishes. 

The tendency of a particular affective craving or autonomic dis- 
position to acquire neutralizing stimuli, which is characterized by a 
consistent pressure to gracefully economize in the expenditure of 
energy, may be observed in play as well as work. In play, where 
energy seems to be wasted with utter disregard, the freedom of 
movement healthfully counteracts the restrictive tendency of con- 
trolled movement which must occur during work. Play prevents 
a form of atrophy of disuse by increasing the elasticity of the 
adaptive functions as well as permitting the affect more freedom, 
and, more rapidly than work, rounds out the growth and skilfulness 
of the individual. One's endurance for work is greatly increased 
when work becomes play. 

The attainment of satisfactory exogenous stimuli, which gives 
one a delightful sense of potency or power, is, perhaps, due to the 
excess of metabolic (adrenin) or energic products which were pre- 
pared for the work or struggle and still suffuse the system after 
the goal is won. This phenomenon holds true for any form of 
affective cravings so soon as the object becomes assured. With the 
assurance comes relief from a form of tension, a fear of not win- 
ning or retaining the object. 

On the other hand, so long as the desired state or goal is not as- 
sured one feels an unpleasant sense of postural tenseness, and, when 
the object becomes hopelessly lost, or is unattainable, a sense of 
impotence or weakness is felt throughout the body. Such struggles 
against anxiety may become chronic, as when poverty or business 
disaster seems unavoidable. It is quite possible that the quantities 
of adrenin in the blood stream during the states of potency and 
impotence, above referred to, are equal but the fact that in the potent 
state the object is assured makes the quantity relatively excessive, 
whereas when the object is lost the struggle is not at once abandoned. 

Every personality tends to develop certain individual interests in 
which it strives particularly to establish its potency and rather early 
becomes indifferent to most other interests. One may observe this 
in individuals as they strive to establish their potency as scientists, 
philosophers, pugilists, educators, bankers, beggars, cooks, surgeons, 
tailors, social lions, and what not. Whatever the trend of a man's 
interest, one may observe that it is his vehicle for establishing his 


biological potency. The individual cherishes his vocational or spe- 
cial interests with the same jealous care that characterizes the atti- 
tude of the bull moose with his mate. 

Nothing so quickly destroys an individual's potency as any cause 
of fear. This probably has a physiological mechanism which is 
similar to the inhibitions of the digestive fimctions during fear 
states. Sexual impotence often results, in the physically well- 
constituted male, from a subtle form of fear which the individual 
himself is tmable to master or understand. The fearful situation 
causes the blood supply to be conveyed into the head and organs of 
defense and forced out of the digestive system and sexual organs 
causing impotence. 

Affective Readjustment, Assimilation and Sublimation 

When, through the psychoanalytic method, because of freedom 
from restraint, the repressed (forgotten) painful experience is re- 
called a disturbance of the patient's behavior occurs. After the 
affect has been permitted to adjust itself, as in anger, by saying 
whatever the inclination requires, the patient often adds something 
about being relieved or " feeling better." Symptoms of functional 
derangements, as well as persistent thoughts, disappear and the in- 
dividual gives many indications of having made an affective read- 
justment in which the hypertonic or hypotonic condition of some 
viscus, such as the bladder, stomach or vocal cords disappeared as 
the organ resumed its normal functions. 

When an individual is offended and is prevented from making 
an adequate retaliation, he is disposed to use a sympathetic medium 
with whom he talks over the other fellow's offense and then feels 
relieved. For some time after the painful situation, if he failed to 
obtain "satisfaction," the restlessness and distractibility reveal his 
difficulty with the persistent affect. This tends to continue until 
the affective reaction is thoroughly submerged by a change of in- 
terests or gradually becomes assimilated. 

When an affective reaction (such as anger) is aroused by an 
exogenous or an endogenous condition, one becomes aware of a com- 
pelling influence or motive to punish the offensive factor. The sen- 
sations it causes are often clearly recognizable as a fullness of the 
thorax with a tendency to expel the air forcibly, such as to shout, 
speak vehemently, or blow the breath out noisily when speech is 
suppressed. Also one feels a tumescence of the muscles of the arms 
and hands, a fullness in the neck and congestion of the face with 
distinct sensations of griping and striking postures of the muscles. 


The clenched fist and jaw and staring eye overtly signify the state 
of the postural tendency to punish or remove the offensive stimulus. 

So long as the affect is inhibited from executing overt move- 
ments an inhibiting or restraining affective force is at work in some 
form of fear. Few individuals have the frankness to admit that 
they are afraid to attack when angry, but insist they refrain on 
grotmds of decorum, propriety, etc. This, however, implies a fear 
of violating social dignity. In some instances, upon " mature con- 
sideration " the offender may be held irresponsible or justified in his 
oflFense. An affective readjustment may then occur as the inhibi- 
tions of anger disappear, which is then, however, duly qualified 
by admissions that the offense was deserved. The aggressive tend- 
ency becomes directed upon the self, and satisfaction is derived 
through a self-punishment for the neglectfulness which angered the 
assailant. Such assimilation, in a sense, incapacitates us in that we 
are no longer able to become angry at an identical offense. This 
may constitute a personal deficiency or an excellent quality. We 
sigh (relief), go through distracting movements, and feel a gradual 
relaxation of the tense posture of the muscles as they readjust to 
their norm. 

Another method of affective readjustment is to substitute an 
object associated with the offender and punish it, as his name, repu- 
tation, business. Wherever men are subordinated to one another 
in grades, as in armies, hospitals, factories, etc., one may trace an 
aggression as it passes down from a superintendent to an assistant, 
to an assistant's assistant, and so on. 

With any type of adequate affective readjustment, the postural 
tensions of the visceral and skeletal muscles involved seem to relax 
and a state of affective calm recurs, as when we sigh our relief. 

Whenever an affective readjustment is made to a situation it 
seems that the reaction threshold of the particular affective reaction 
(as anger) returns to the normal, whereas, when the affective read- 
justment is not made, the reaction threshold is lowered and an ordi- 
narily subliminal stimulus may increase the autonomic or affective 
reaction. Since this mechanism is apparently true for all the affec- 
tive reactions, it also explains how individual characteristics and 
variations toward the environment develop during the growth of 
the personality. We speak of such people as being irritable, sensi- 
tive, or " easy to kid." 

The complex affective stream of the adult contains the condi- 
tioning influences of his past experiences, beginning with infancy. 
If one could make a cross section of the adult personality, towards 


its center or infancy, one would find, like the imbedded fossils of the 
Pleistocene period (Jelliffe), the repressed and submerged but well- 
constituted affective cravings of infancy and childhood sustained in 
the infantile autonomic tensions. One may see in many adults the 
symptoms of childish affective retentions in the peculiar resonance 
and pitch of voice, the style of the words used, the bodily man- 
nerisms, and particularly the adjustment mechanism to stressful 
situations which are strong enough to scatter the coordinations 
cultivated for social propriety. That we devote most of the excess 
of energy of maturity working out the wishes of childhood has been 
amply demonstrated by psychoanalysis. 

The most consistently potent affective craving, in its influence 
upon behavior and the growth of the personality in modern civiliza- 
tion, is love. Upon the conditioning of a man's or woman's love 
cravings depends his entire career. Popularly, love is said to give 
or be given as if something passes out from the lover to the love 
object. This is an absurdity. What obviously does occur when 
the autonomic functions of love are freely active is an enormous 
pleasurable expenditure of energy through a reflexly sustained, in- 
vigorated postural tonus of the skeletal and visceral musculature, 
which in turn makes the love-object comfortable and inclined to 
reciprocate. "Love lightens labor" in that receiving the demon- 
strations of it the struggle for esteem need not be so severe. Also 
there occurs an increased capacity for varying spontaneous move- 
ments which seem to be characteristically fashioned to cherish the 
love-object and induce a reciprocal demonstration of affection. 

The loss of the love-object may occur in a variety of ways, all, 
in a sense, involving its destruction as a love-tfbject, as death, dis- 
grace, unresponsiveness, etc. In wretched young people, who are 
suffering anxiety because of the unresponsiveness of the love-ob- 
ject, it is not uncommon for them to seek for defects, physical or 
moral, in the love-object, in order to free themselves from the 
tremendous affective influence of the love-object to which they have 
become veritable slaves. Rival lovers in romance (author's fancies) 
often tarnish the love-object's reputation in order that the affective 
reactions can no longer be aroused by the one-time ideal. The 
heroic lover is always made to resent this effort to mingle disgust 
with love. 

When the love-object is unattainable in fancy as a deferred 
gratification, that is, when hope is gone, the vigorous affective 
exuberance and the potent tumescence of the muscular systems lit- 
erally shrinks, producing a depression, perhaps anxiety, psycho- 


motor retardation and visceral pain. Ambition, cheerfulness, op- 
timism, vigor, excellent digestive functions, refreshing sleep, effi- 
ciency, courage, spontaneity, as symptoms of the successful pursuit 
of the love-object become changed to depression of the neuro-mus- 
cular and gastro-intestinal functions, with insomnia, frightful, un- 
finished dreams, restlessness, incoordinated, retarded movements, 
seclusiveness, anxiety and despair. This general depression of the 
autonomic activities seems to continue until another love-object is 
substituted. In proportion to its suitableness, an exuberant affective 
readjustment occurs. Most mature males and females, that is, all 
who lack inspiration, finally have accepted a substitution for their 
love-object. According to the ancient Greeks, when Cupid (Love) 
flies away. Psyche (mental integrity) dies. In this sense, perhaps, 
half of the matings are disastrous. 

When the affective cravings of love are repressed through pride 
or fear, tremendous changes in the personality immediately occur 
which may endure throughout life, and the effects of the repression 
are to be seen in the deranged autonomic functions, as chronic 
sleeplessness, due to the lowered reaction threshold of autonomic 
tensions, irritability, gastro-intestinal distress, sexual impotence, etc. 

Proportionately as the substituted love-object has attributes that 
gpratify the conditioned nature of the love cravings, the restoration 
to a healthful, comfortable autonomic status recurs. A self-cure 
is often effected in the following manner. The anxious lover may 
devote his life to working for the fulfillment of the love-object's 
wish or yearning as he conceived it to be. This may be a work of 
art, a business or a social reform, an invention, a book, an explora- 
tion, a song, or crime, etc. The nature of the substituted love- 
object may be beneficial or injurious to civilization and the indi- 
vidual. The substitution for the love-object, of something asso- 
ciated with the love-object, is often called sublimation of the affect. 
Upon a successful sublimation depends the successful cure of the 
psychopath. The tendency to sublimation is usually characterized 
by efforts to acquire a finer object when anger complicates the love 
yearnings, as in Washington Irving's delightful Ichabod Crane. 

The substituted love-object may be an attribute of the individual 
himself, as in the regression to narcissistic love of his own hair, 
eyes, hands, voice, demonstrating intellectual powers, as capacity for 
mathematics; or the substitution may be an impersonal object, as 
art, science, religion or philosophy for its own development. Sub- 
stitutions vary in their protective value for preventing a recurrence 


of the affective disappointment, and, further, though successful 
during part of a career they may fail later on. 

Certain forms of compensatory striving should also be consid- 
ered as forms of affective sublimation. The anal erotic child may 
become eccentrically fond of perfumes or colors when he matures. 
Qiildren who are delighted by cruelty and suffering may, as adults, 
preach generosity and pity for criminals. The sexually impotent 
male may become a great inventor (creator), which is a very com- 
mon compensatory trend of the semi-impotent. 

A most important force in the development and refinement of 
the personality is the art of suitably withholding or restraining the 
gratification of a wish or craving as well as cultivating its genesis. 
By restricting certain wishes, the personality retains a dynamic urge 
which may be so directed that more difficult work may be accom- 
plished than if the wish is permitted an early freedom and the pres- 
sure of the additional craving is lost. One may see this detfion- 
strated by individuals when they have a keen desire to tell or do 
something, and, after having once accomplished the act, a repetition 
becomes labor. When the dog is hungry, he is a keener hunter. 
Many great producers of fine things owe their inspirations to some 
associate who was inaccessible but inspiring. 

When the post-adolescent loves, he plainly shows a consistent 
urge to develop and demonstrate excellent personal qualities and 
perform creative work — ^as biological demonstrations of heroic po- 

Occasionally, work drags, not from fatigue, but from the need 
of a wish that will speed things up. Then, quite unexpectedly, one 
finds himself entertaining a vigorous urge to tmdertake or finish 
a piece of work. Under such conditions in myself, I have been able 
to find the source, after a little retrospection, usually in fear of 
losing an object, although I did not recognize the fear reaction at 
the time of its onset. Only the compensatory urge to get busy was 
recognized until a self-analysis was made. 

The man who refrains from accepting substitutions for the needs 
of his wishes usually has an excess of ungratified wishes that are 
displayed in his energetic seeking. Most people who lack power 
and energy have never learned to conserve their wishes or energic 
resources. They either suppress them or waste them on substitu- 
tions. It seems that when the wish is controlled but allowed to 
assert itself a tendency to refine the means results, as in the selec- 
tion of words to best fit a subject and the audience. 


Affective Coordination and Reenforcement — Acquisitive and Averts 
ive Capacities of the Personality 

Upon the nature of the conditioning of the affective or auto- 
nomic cravings, it has been shown, depends the personality's devel- 
opment of virility, goodness and happiness. The conditioned affec- 
tive reactions are the brick and mortar out of which the architecture 
of the personality is constructed. When they are so conditioned iri 
infancy and youth that their acquisitive and avertive strivings in 
maturity are conducive to virility, goodness and happiness the world 
says "there goes a man." Though it takes at least three genera- 
tions to make a man, every succeeding generation must sustain its 
own manhood through work or surely the individual, the family, 
and the race must regress to a lower phylogenetic level through 
atrophy of disuse. 

Obviously the strong man is he who is relatively free from con- 
flicting affective cravings — ^whose primary affections are so condi- 
tioned that their energies reenf orce each other in their strivings to 
mould the earth to the desire — whose minor affective repressions 
are such that the reflex compensatory strivings fit him truly into his 
social group. Then he becomes a potent, constructive member of 
society. Upon the conditioning of the avertive and acquisitive needs 
of the affective cravings in infancy are superimposed the condition- 
ings in childhood, in adolescence, and in maturity, as the personality 
grows through its biological stages. 

A scattering of the needs of wishes or cravings retards specializa- 
tion of function, but excessive specialization produces atrophy of dis- 
use of other, perhaps vital, personal or social interests. Work is felt 
as play so long as the personality must not strive to keep repressed a 
contradictory, inharmonious craving particularly of a primary na- 
ture, such as hatred, sorrow, shame, fear, or love. The repressive, 
one-sided life of a Fabre, though its specialized strivings have the 
stamp of genius, can only be an inspiration to those who are affec- 
tively similarly constituted. 

The affective urge to talk will talk even though the tongue and 
throat be swollen and ulcerated by cancer. Affective aversions for 
talking will prevent talking although the vocal cords are anatomic- 
ally perfect. Excuses (reasons) need only be found to justify the 
free play or restriction of the wish. The tendency to over utilize 
or depress the function of a particular organ, for which the affec- 
tions are conditioned to have acquisitive or avertive tendencies, may 
cause the hypertrophy or destruction of the biological potency of 
the organ and even the individual, as the child deforming its face 


by pulling its nose to the right or by sucking its finger, or, in the oral 
erotic cutting his throat or refusing to eat. This principle of affec- 
tive striving also determines the selection of vocational interests and 
the acquisition of particular kinds of knowledge. The compensa- 
tory strivings that endure consistently for years in order to cover 
an organ inferiority, or another affective inferiority, are to be found 
in every personality. The stuttering youth Demosthenes became an 
orator. The child that has a retarded speech development in in- 
fancy often becomes a linguist. 

The avertive tendencies not only retard the acquisition of knowl- 
edge or skill but they in themselves constitute an enormous quotient 
of the energic capacities of the individual which may be turned in 
the opposite, asocial direction. It reminds one of the result when a 
regiment surrenders its guns and ammunition to the enemy. An 
individual becomes a dullard when parents, collegiate, social, or 
business obligations compel him to acquire the necessities of life 
through a vocational means for which he feels persistent aversions. 
No power or influence tmder the sun can change the affective aver- 
sions without changing the significance of the object. So soon as 
the vocational means and the object become adjusted to suit the pri- 
mary acquisitive cravings, the personality develops its efficiency and 
accomplishments in leaps and bounds that amaze the observer and 
the individual himself. The herd joyfully exclaims : " He has found 

Old men and women of the Kentucky moimtains trudged the 
moonlighted trails to the township schools to learn to read and write 
in order to acquire the affective gratification to be had from reading 
the letters of their absent children. The rate of learning of men 
and women of seventy astonished the educational world. There is 
no such thing as being too old or too stupid to learn when the object 
fits the vital acquisitive needs of the personality. In such light 
one is never able to forgive the hideous impositions of useless, 
pseudo-knowledge forced upon the student by many sterilized, aca- 
demic courses of education. 

It is well known that in efficiency tests by controlled word asso- 
• ciation test, unpleasant reaction words consume time because they 
reflexly arouse a tendency to suppress them which conflicts with 
the tendency to speak them. Dr. M. E. Haggerty and I found (39), 
in a class of male and female students of psychology, that, although 
the females were more efficient in the Woodworth and Wells can- 
cellation tests, naming tests, substitution test, and two-direction tests, 
they were less efficient in the series of controlled word association 


tests, apparently because it was necessary to be " on guard " against 
embarrassing associations due to the greater severity of social cen- 
sorship for the overt behavior of female than for the male. 

Curiosity and ambition are manifestations of freely working 
affective cravings. There are two types of curiosity and ambition 
which distinguish men and women more definitely than the pigment 
in the skin or the contour of bones. Individuals who strive chiefly 
to hide an ineffaceable sense of inferiority and attain social advan- 
tages for self-aggrandizement ; and individuals who strive and work 
for the sheer joy of self and racial improvement. 

In the latter the standard of fitness and worth rests solely upon 
the indelible sense of work well done. The g^eat secret of educa- , 
tion lies in the conditioning and freedom of affective functioning. 
Since the affective or autonomic reactions are so conditioned that the 
pursuit of happiness develops means and ends that are either harm- 
ful or beneficial to the self and civilization, the future educator and 
psychologist must see to the nature of the individual's conditioned 
affective reactions — and his insight. 

Love is the most consistently potent of the affective cravings. 
The personality always grows in the direction of love's acquisitive 
needs, though its social course may be zigzagged by fears, hatred, 
shame, pride and grief. The ultimate reason for all purposive beha- 
vior contains a vital determinant which, if the individual is honestly 
frank, is easily traceable to love. When love is so conditioned that 
only those love-objects which are characteristic of maturity will 
give satisfaction, the personality becomes creative and self-sacrific- 

Matured love, in order to acquire its object, must create and 
cherish. Because of this the child should be permitted to acquire 
true insight ; should be educated to imderstand itself, to live for its 
maturity and should be so trained that fear and anger will be aroused 
by that which threatens to deprive love of its goal. And love should 
not be directed by repressions of shame. It should be so finely 
poised and conditioned as to be independent of social fears. Since 
the needs of the individual are so complicated that society is neces- 
sary to gratify them the creativeness of love must include society's 
welfare as well as that of the immediate love-object. Our neighbors 
must have fine families in order that our children shall develop finely 
and mate well. 

The influence of associates is genetic because of the tendency of 
the affective reactions in a group of individuals to imitate one another. 
The eternal necessity for the harmonious behavior of the herd in its 


Struggle for existence is obviously the phylogenetic source of this 
tendency in man. Men and women tend to flodc into diques, socie- 
ties, fraternities, churches according to the acquisitive or avertive 
needs of love. Behind the ambitious strivings of youth is always 
the compelling desire to fit himself for the winning of the love- 
object The mental image of this goal becomes the spur of ambi- 
tion, and his toughened courage makes the final achievement a pos- 
sibility. All other laurels and accomplidmients, no matter how 
finely they reflect upon the progress of civilization, are but incidental 
means for the winning of the love-object, and the love-object, in 
itself, is but the most satisfactory means for the autoncmiic appa- 
ratus to fulfill its biological career. The scientist in his hermitage 
nurses his ants, germs and electrons, as he searches to rediscover 
the cradle's secret of happiness. All men and women are interested 
in but one ultimate secret, the genesis of potency, of life. 

The asylums and the streets are filled with adults who have been 
unable to transcend the love cravings of infancy. The slums and 
tenderloin swarm with the victims of unhappy childhood; wander- 
ing heroes who crave, insatiably, to eat the dirt of the world. 

For them, competition and restraint, in order to attain a state of 
social creativeness, is impossible. They must be flattered and petted 
like children to prevent anxiety and confusion. Their voices, words 
and manners betray the infantile posture of the affect which has 
become fixed if one will but see through the compensatory demon- 
stration of toughness and braggadocio. In many, disastrous griev- 
ances came when the social pressure to break away from parental 
dependance was resisted by a fixed attachment. In order to avoid 
anxiety, confusion, and dissociation of the personality they have had 
to live so all things might possibly some time be theirs in order that 
one thing might be found. Like an Emperor of Dreamland, the 
dementia praecox marries his mother and rules his world, in his 
fancies. For unbridled debauches in a world of imagery, he aban- 
dons forever the realities of life. Through disuse, his hands and 
his muscles become as soft as an infant's ; most imlike the postural 
tonus of virility. 

The physical attributes of the individual, though pertinent, are 
always secondary to character formation. We find, right and left, 
in every social state, every variety of character in every variety of 
body of both sexes. When compensatory strivings for physical 
inferiorities do occur, we find that the inferiority resisted the ful- 
fillment of the individual's affective cravings. Similar autonomic 
tensions show similar behavioristic symptoms, even though indi- 


viduals vary in race, caste and physique. The primary emotions 
(htmger, fear, hate, love) of birds, animals and man cause very simi- 
lar postures and overt movements. 

Psychoanalytic studies of character formation have revealed, as 
the experiences and feelings are recalled, that, in every case analyzed, 
the reactions of today were partly determined by the reactions of 
yesterday, and so on back, down the years, through adolescence and 
infancy. This does not establish, finally, the inheritance of the fun- 
damental traits, but throws the foundation of character formation 
upon the parents or guardians of childhood. Critical physiological 
conditions and the influence of associates subtly condition the affec- 
tive adjustments in infancy as the sculptor moulds his clay. Earlier 
reactions may later determine affective repressions, and, gradually, 
as the clay hardens, so the affections of maturity become fixed. 

The Image of Reality. 

Frazer (40, p. 52 ff), after collecting an enormous series of ob- 
servations of the customs and rituals of savages and primitive peoples, 
formulated the inference that the event which it is desired to bring 
about is represented dramatically, and the very representation, it is 
believed, effects, or, at least, contributes to, the production of the 
desired event. It is an old axiom in psychology that when a desire 
is inhibited it causes discomforts and anxiety. The value of pro- 
ducing the event in imagery has obviously a psychotherapeutic effect 
upon the uncomfortable savage, as well as the civilized man. 

Frazer reports that certain savages, who wished to be strong and 
difficult to hold in combat, attached pieces of ox hide to their para- 
phernalia and an amulet of frog's skin to their bodies. 

Some preadolescent boys, who were training themselves to do 
acrobatic stuns in their penny circus, rubbed themselves with a paste 
they made out of cooked angleworms. They declared it made them 

A young girl, who was obsessed with fear that her mother might 
die while away on a journey, saved a glass of water from which 
the mother drank before starting. The mother having partaken of 
the water, seemed to cause it to become a part of her and through 
preserving it the child comforted herself , despite her obsessive fears, 
with feelings that by her act she was saving her mother's life. 

Frazer concluded from his data that one of the principles 
of sympathetic magic is that any effect may be produced by imitat- 
ing it. This is certainly the underlying principle of modem ritual- 


istic religion. Psychologically it is however only another manifes- 
tation of the conditioned needs of the affective sensori-motor system 
obtaining comfort through substitutions. 

Any affect produces unrest, perhaps anxiety and discomfort, 
until it is neutralized by the acquisition of adequate stimuli. Then 
a pleasing feeling of potency suffuses the organism. When these 
stimuli cannot be extracted from the environment images or symbols 
are substituted which are identified by associations of similarity or 
contiguity with the desired reality. In proportion as they approach 
the reality they give comfort and affective rest. This is the affec- 
tive process that determines the behavior of savages, girls, boys, 
all men and women. It is this affective principle that creates art. 
Rodin's le Penseur, and Pygmalion and Galatea, as well as Shaw's 
Pygmalion, may be recognized as reproductions of themselves. The 
fashion designs of Erte are his crucificial self in monk's clothing. 
Mona Lisa's smile was the recreation of Leonardo Da Vinci's 
mother's smile (41) and Darwin's inspiration for the origin of 
species and theory of evolution are easily traceable to his mother's 
fascinating riddle propounded to him before he was eight years old, 
that by looking '^inside" of the flower one can read its "name/* 
secret of its origin. ^ 

When some one who is dear to us dies, we derive g^eat comfort 
from dreams in which he appears as alive and happy. The psycho- 
path often experiences comfort from his hallucinations and delu- 
sions. An impotent, auto-erotic, dementia praecox male derived 
great pleasure from rubbing a stick with his fingers, claiming that 
it furnished power for the Pennsylvania Railroad. (This patient 
wore out one stick after another.) The hallucination or delusion 
may cause great anxiety and still be a wish fulfillment that gratifies 
a repressed affective craving. The analysis of wishes for the death 
of people, dreams about friends and relatives dying, obsessive fears, 
and compulsions have demonstrated this. A woman, who could not 
induce herself to sue for a divorce, which she wanted, was horri- 
fied to dream of the death of her child. It bound her to the mar- 
riage and later in her psychosis she worried about the child being 
killed or kidnapped. 

The mechanism of the hallucination in the insane is not essen- 
tially different from the ordinary mechanism of mistaking a stranger 
for some friend or enemy. The savage's adoption of imagery is 
the same in principle as our passion for photographs, reminders, 

The functional psychoses were utterly unintelligible until observers 


learned that the behavioristic expressions and symbolic content of 
consciousness of the psychotic could be so correlated as to show 
that they gratified certain intense, unmodifiable biological cravings. 
It has been found that the psychopathic personality has become 
more or less dissociated because of his conflicting motives or affec- 
tive needs. In each instance the more dominant biological motives, 
because of this conditioning, required for their gratification stimuli 
of a definite nature and frequently from socially tabooed objects, 
so that the social motives of the personality could not tolerate their 
acquisition. The irrepressible biological cravings then apparently 
obtained gratification through the utilization of sensory images (hal- 
lucinations, symbols and delusions) instead of actual sensations pro- 
duced by exogenous stimuli. The endogenous sensory disturbances 
were given the vividness and persistence of reality by the cravings. 

The opponents of the pleasure-pain conception may hold that, 
although throughout biology the great dynamic principle is to avoid 
the painful stimulus and acquire the pleasure-giving stimulus, in man 
at least a contradiction is to be observed when he sacrifices his best 
interests to duty. Careful consideration does not support the in- 
ference that even then any other than the pain-pleasure principle 
exists. The mother suffers injury to save her young because her 
own danger is a lesser pain than the perils of her helpless young. 
The death of the hero in the trenches is an accident of his business, 
and not a wish fulfillment. He goes there to fight, and dies by acci- 
dent. In instances where self-sacrificial death occurs, the affective 
state is such that the self-sacrifice may be a pleasure. Suicide is 
often a m^sure of relief from pain. 

Individuals may strive in pain and poverty, like saints and heroes, 
for an ostensibly impersonal object. Although they do not ask for 
honor or glory, their associates are quick to encourage them with 
reminders that it is coming. Should some one apparently less de- 
serving get first honor, then the pleasure-seeking motive for the 
sacrifice is exposed in the protest and discontent, as in the mortal 
feuds of saints, philosophers, scientists, statesmen, kings, ministers^ 
politicians, athletes, and tramps, for honors. 

Tait (42, p. 31) found in a series of studies on (i) the capacit)r 
to remember pleasant and unpleasant words, (2) the capacity to re- 
call a list of indifferent words after having something pleasant read 
to the subject, and another list, after having something unpleasant 
read, and (3) remembering pleasant and unpleasant colors, that 
(I) "Pleasant impressions are remembered better than unpleasant^ 


and both are remembered better than indifferent ones " ; (II) " Not 
only are such impressions themselves remembered, but they seem to 
exert the same influence on other material. Unpleasant impressions 
have the opposite effect, that is, they, exert a repressing influence 
on other impressions." 

This characteristic of learning is only another demonstration that 
every affective state has a dual nature toward the environment: 
that is, the tendency to acquire neutralizing stimuli and to avoid 
the stimuli that do not have a neutralizing capacity for the peculiar 
needs of the affective state. The autonomic apparatus maintains its 
equilibrium through the simultaneous seeking of its many cravings 
for gratification. 

The Acquisitive and Avertive Affective Needs and the Recall of 
Impressions of Experiences {Memory). 

In the study of the psychoneuroses (15) it has been found that 
the affective state seems to determine the degree of sensitiveness of 
the receptor for the stimulus as the affect tends to avoid or use its 
stimulus. This is probably the process of attention and gives us a 
possible clue to the physiological nature of memory. At any mo- 
ment, we are aware of only an extremely small portion of our ex- 
periences or memory capacity. The awareness shades from central 
interests like the glow of a light in the night, to the waning subcon- 
scious periphery and on into the total darkness of unconsciousness. 
As the affective stream winds its way here and there through the 
environment, the content of consciousness is changed in vividness 
and kind of sensory images to suit the acquisitive and avertive 
needs of the affective stream. Its resistance is lowered or raised 
to the functions of different divisions of the organism, as it uses 
the final common motor paths, and this determines the kinesthetic 
stream's nature. This suggests, therefore, that, if an essential ele- 
ment of thought is the kinesthetic image of movement from motor- 
sensory postural functions, forgetting is a form of physiological or 
functional anesthesia due to autonomic-affective resistance for the 
receptor group or motor-sensory functions which would produce the 
unsatisfactory kinesthetic sensations and the unsatisfactory thought. 
The recall of a memory or sensory image is the affective process 
lowering its threshold of reaction to the functions that have been 
previously avoided. Absolute forgetting is, perhaps, then, a form 
of atrophy of disuse. 


The Affective Functions and the Content of Consciousness 

Since we are never conscious without being conscious of some- 
thing, it is necessary to consider consciousness and its content as 
one phenomenon. 

Consciousness of self, as an awareness of the self, occurs in the 
same manner, as consciousness of a complex of exogenous stimuli, 
i. e., a situation. That is, awareness of the self exists in the form 
of a stream of vague endogenous activities in which some especially 
vivid feelings or sensations are in the ascendency for the moment, 
and are accepted as being representative of the whole. The activi- 
ties producing consciousness of self are endogenous to the body, 
and awareness occurs only when the physical activities are such as 
to produce (sensory) reactions in the receptors which are adequate 
to arouse affective responses. When no receptors exist to react to 
a particular t)rpe of stimulation or irritation, no awareness occurs. 
It seems that no matter what the fantastic nature of thought, we 
can become aware of nothing but the activities of our receptors. 
On the other hand, even though the receptor is adequately stimu- 
lated and the central and autonomic neurone system reacts strongly, 
as shown by the experiments of Netschaier and Wertheimer (4, p. 
19), no awareness occurs if an anesthetic prevents the higher asso- 
ciation tracts from integrating flie body into a unity. Crile (16, p. 
6) demonstrated that nerve cells in the cerebellum showed molec- 
ular changes of the disintegrating type upon prolonged painful 
stimulation during deep anesthesia. He has also shown that, if the 
afferent neurone is " blocked " with novocaine, no awareness of vig- 
orous stimulation of the shut-off receptors occurs. One may have 
an inflammatory process somewhere on the surface of the body or 
within it for several hours or days without becoming aware of it, 
although quite marked physical disturbances are occurring. When 
awareness does occur in such cases, the organism begins to adjust 
itself as a unity to the special activities of the inflamed part. Simi- 
larly one is only intermittently aware of a repeated stimulus such 
as the ticking clock, or a constant stimulus such as the pressure of 
the hand on the paper as one writes. Manifold other afferent cur- 
rents which are subliminally active at the same time do not cause 
distinct awareness until some one part, like the cramped foot, as 
the stretched or compressed parts become hyperactive, finally causes 
the organism as a whole to make an adjustment. Awareness of 
the cramped foot need not occur when a simple reflex adjustment is 
sufficient to relieve it. One may be seated in a position so that the 
foot may be extended for relief without other segments of the body 


making adjustment. Then no awareness occurs. If, however, it 
finally becomes necessary for the whole body to adjust then aware- 
ness occurs concomittantly as the adjustment proceeds, and to the 
degree that an adjustment becomes necessary by the body as a unity. 

When one is conscious of a complex object, as a desk, only 
some of its attributes are producing awareness, like its color, form 
and style, perhaps its material, while its contents or mechanisms are 
unnoticed. The attributes which cause awareness, however, are 
usually accepted to represent the whole. This holds true for a 
cigar, a flower, a country, the stars. Woodworth (43, p. 15) holds 
that for himself " all recall is of facts previously noted freed from 
the concrete setting in which they occurred when noted." 

Similarly, when we are conscious of ourselves we are actually 
only conscious of a very small part of our activities or attributes 
at the moment and tlTey represent the self as a unity. We may be 
conscious of ourselves through a headache, an error, dress, failure 
of movements, successful movements, compensatory respirations, 
stiffness of the eyes, the visceral tensions of the moment, etc. When 
we are conscious of reproducing a past experience, only certain de- 
tails of the experience are recalled, which we usually consider, 
without hesitancy, to be representative of the whole. 

In consciousness of self or of the environment, usually, those 
attributes of the self or of the environment that happen to be caus- 
ing the strongest reactions of the moment represent the self or the 
object as a whole. Consciousness or awareness at any moment 
is the reaction of the organism as a unity to the special activity of 
any one or several of its receptor fields. The content of conscious- 
ness is the special activity of any or several of the receptors of the 
organism, and this particular state of activity of the receptor may 
be considered as sensational. 

The reaction threshold of the body as a whole for a receptor may 
be attained by increasing to a special degree the activity of a recep- 
tor, overcoming the affective resistance, or by decreasing the affec- 
tive resistance, until it reacts to a subliminal stimulus, as in strong 
hunger and poor food. In psychoneuroses, wherever diminished 
sensitivity of a receptor-field is complained of, upon an adequate 
psychoanalysis, we find an affective aversion or resistance for the 
receptor's functions. On the other hand, where hypersensitiveness 
of a receptor-field is causing discomfort, we find an increase of 
affective acquisitiveness for the particular receptor group — ^as the 
aches of the " railroad spine " until an indemnity has been received, 
or the painful vision in the incestuous peeper. When we force our- 


selves to study a definite subject affective resistances are brought 
into play in order to raise the reaction threshold for all our receptor- 
fields except the visual or auditory, so as to enable the affective 
cravings to acquire only certain stimuli. The affective craving may 
even specialize on certain forms of stimuli of a receptor field and 
block out all others, as the sleeping mother's response to a baby's 
cry. (Her fear becomes conditioned to react to certain auditory 

The resistances to disconcerting stimuli, when we are trying to 
study, are usually a mild form of aversion in the sense that we tend 
to remove them. By maintaining a resistant posture, which is 
always recognizable because of its characteristic fixedness, we de- 
stroy the usual potency of commonplace stimuli, as when we refuse 
to recognize another's remark while we are trying to study. When 
the affective craving is intense, as in love, or anger, or fear, the 
organism as a whole cannot comfortably endure awareness of any- 
thing that does not pertain to the neutralization of the affective dis- 
turbance, as conservative advice. Innumerable illustrations may be 
gathered to illustrate the fact that the content of consciousness is 
determined by the autonomic-affective cravings, except, perhaps, 
when destructive stimuli press themselves upon the organism and 
reflex retractions are made. Even then it is probable that the or- 
ganism as a whole does not begin an adjustment until the autonomic 
apparatus has proceeded with characteristic affective reactions of 

All forms of thought or knowledge, no matter how abbreviated 
or abstract, seem to be analyzable into reactions of our exteroceptors 
or enteroceptors, as they are activated by exogenous stimuli, and be- 
come qualified by our proprioceptors through muscle functions. We 
understand the behavior of an animal or individual by reflexly imitat- 
ing it with postural tensions. Overt movements are often used spon- 
taneously, particularly by children, to make the sensory reproduc- 
tions more distinct. The Greek column, because of the astute in- 
sight of the ancient Greeks, was so constructed that it gave a com- 
fortable sense of balance and power to the observer. When we see 
objects that are out of proportion we reflexly (imitatively) have 
feelings which are out of balance and compensate with a tendency to 
correct the object, so as to give ourselves comfortable feeling. The 
phenomenon of course only becomes apparent to one Who learns to 
recognize it. We tire of people who cultivate eccentric poses, be- 
cause we must resist the reflex tendency to imitate and correct them. 
Even our vocal cords and muscle tensions react to their drawling 


or falsely cast voice sounds. The embarrassed speaker embarrasses 
his audience and one may hear remarks about helping him through. 
We are thrilled by a fine Hamlet. One may often observe the un- 
conscious imitativeness of the affective functions in a group of in- 
dividuals. In the imitative facial expressions and bodily move- 
ments of children this is very noticeable. When we happen to 
strike a posture that is characteristic of some one whom we have 
known quite well we find ourselves thinking of him. 

The child learns that a straight line is the shortest distance be- 
tween two points by passing a part of the body or the entire body 
between two points. This journey must usually be made several 
times before the axiomatic conviction is attained. We are con- 
vinced that two parallel lines will never meet because, as we project 
ourselves into space along two parallel lines, we remain parallel in 
our projections. Multiplication and division are abbreviated forms 
of addition and subtraction through movement. All mathematical 
calculation, no matter how abstract, seems to be dependent upon a 
specialization of muscle sense — sense of movement in various direc- 
tions from a common center and of multiple movements toward a 
common center — ^as in attaining the sense of proportions of an ob- 
ject or line by converging the fingers upon it or moving a glance 
of the eyes over it. The relative size or value of two objects 
is compared by measuring them by the amount of muscle energy 
necessary to lift, circumvent, move or make the objects, or how 
much force they are capable of enduring or exerting. 

The content of consciousness, in the form of complicated ideas, 
is dependent largely upon the simultaneous centripetence of pro- 
prioceptive currents from manifold sources of muscular activity. 
This may be observed in the utilization of overt movements by chil- 
dren as they describe an experience or in the behavior of adults when 
they have to reproduce a situation in order to explain it because of 
loss of words. When individuals have fixed ideas a fixed postural 
attitude is noticeable. Most of the literature one may read is de- 
voted to imitative interests in moving objects, from baseball, mathe- 
matics, imageless thought, war, electrons, expulsions from society, 
murders, and what not. The construction of the sentence is based 
on the nature (adverbs and adjectives) of movement (verb) of 
something (noun and object). We become aware of the meaning 
of the behavior of another person or animal in proportion as we are 
able to imitate it. When we can't imitate an individual's behavior 
we are at a loss to understand it. When the stage hero punishes 
the villain we have pleasant visceral and muscle sensations if we 
previously felt motives to do likewise. If not we question the 


' justness ' or the art of the dramatist. If the killing is done with 
neatness and dispatch, say after a fight under tremendous handicaps, 
we enthuse with potency. I asked a lady, who had heard lectures 
on Othello, read the tragedy several times and had seen it drama- 
tized a few years ago, whether or not Othello killed lago. She an- 
swered: "I don't remember. I guess he did.*' I asked, "Why?*' 
She contemplated further, recalled the behavior of lago and Othello 
for a few moments and continued her answer " Because it wouldn't 
seem (feel) right if he didn't." The genius of Shakespeare, how- 
ever, only allows Othello to wound the contemptible lago and then 
devotes the next, last, 8i lines to a most tantalizing conviction of 
him as a criminal. Not until the fourth last line does he give as- 
surances of lago's punishment and above all his torture. Appar- 
ently the lady, like most other witnesses of the play, was very un- 
comfortable when the mighty Othello only inflicted a puny, bleeding 
wound upon the " demi-devil " that " ensnared his soul and body." 
(Very similar answers were given by several people upon being 
asked whether or not Othello killed lago.) 

When the lady recalled the plot she did so with " ideas " about it, 
but probably she swiftly reproduced the behavior of Othello and 
lago in affective images and muscle tone images (kinesthetic) of the 
movements of the act. I did and then readjusted myself by read- 
ing the scene. She said it did not ''seem right," meaning "feel 
right " to have lago escape. 

One evening at the movies the audience watched with expectant 
excitement a disagreeable, prospective father-in-law as he dimbed 
among the branches of a tall tree, apparently greatly frightened by 
two leopards owned by the undesirable, prospective son-in-law. One 
of the leopards climbed rapidly after him while the other sat expec- 
tantly at the foot of the tree. As I enjoyed the scene I was thor- 
oughly conscious of strong visceral sensations and muscle tensions. 
Evidences of similar visceral conditions among others in the audience 
were evident from the giggles and exclamations. The panic- 
stricken man clutched at a limb above him. Unexpectedly it 
snapped. Down went his body ; for only a few feet, however, be- 
cause his leg, unnoticed by us, had been wrapped around a lower 
limb like a trapeze performer's. Instantly our gasps from fear of 
the consequences of the fall were changed to convulsive roars of 
laughter at the trick played with our feelings (viscera). 

Only those sculptors, artists, dancers, philosophers, psychiatrists, 
musicians, actors, poets, writers, speakers who can become conscious 
of relatively pure, in the sense of unalloyed, emotions can ever 


express them clearly in images or interpret them when they occur 
in others. The artist whose affective repressions and resistances 
are such that he must keep his true self obscured in his work can 
only produce empty phrases or expressionless figures. 

Today my stenographer complained of making numerous mis- 
takes in her copy. She said she was dropping the letter "s." She 
was astonished when I asked if she had made up her mind to drop 
someone whose name began with " S." She admitted that she had. 
The affective aversion for S had not yet become specialized for the 
particular S-mith. This gradually ocurred after numerous recla- 
mations of the dropped letter " s " permitted a desire to be formed 
to retain all letters " s " except S-mith. 

We know Why, How, or What a thing is by Why, How, or What 
it is not. Our knowledge of the environment depends upon our 
capacity to compare and contrast stimuli. When one receptor field 
is not contributing enough information as to an object's properties, 
all organisms having multiple receptor fields apply them respectively 
to the object in order to learn its due affective value. 

Primitive man learned that by comparing and contrasting objects 
additional properties of things could be learned. Then modem man 
learned that still further knowledge of the environment could be ac- 
quired by bringing various elements in the environment to play 
upon each other and finally, by standardizing a series of materials 
by which all others are to be compared, as by the formulation of a 
series of weights and measures, scientific or exact comparisons and 
contrasts were systematized and greatly extended. 

All questions of Why, How, or What about things or processes 
always seem to receive their ultimate answer by explaining How 
things occur. I know not ultimately What I am or Why, but some- 
times I think I know How I do things. The Why of one's be- 
havior, implying a purpose, is readily transposed into How he did 
the thing if we will recognize that the d3m2unic factor in the pur- 
pose, the Why, was a compelling wish. Then purpose, because the 
force of the desire precedes the formal thought, becomes a mechan- 
ical question of How the particular process worked in the indi- 
vidual's physiological functions. 

The correlation of the stream of affectivity, as the determinant 
of the thought content of consciousness, with the stream of affectivity 
which determines the postural tonus of the skeletal muscles, becomes 
clear in the concept that certain forms of muscle activity largely con- 
stitute the thought process and that we think according to the dic- 
tates of our wishes. When we become drowsy and as we fall asleep 


our postural coordinations become so dissociated that we must re- 
cline. As the postural coordinations dissociate we experience a 
dissociation of thought and unrelated sensory images. ) 

The destiny and comforts of the individual are so extensively 
interwoven and so intimately reciprocating in nature, with the in- 
terests of society, that almost every craving and adjustment made 
by the individual exacts some degree of response from the social 
g^oup. Invariably the autoerotic, for example, after he masturbates, 
entertains strong feelings of having betrayed the welfare of society, 
and, as a result, is inclined to become apprehensive and suspect per- 
secution and punishment. Such mechanisms also occur with anger. 
When, for example, an angry or vicious personal criticism is indis- 
creetly made about some one, it causes the assailant to feel vague 
apprehensions of a retaliation. One may observe individuals, after 
such remarks, meet the unsuspecting objects of their assault with ill- 
concealed discomfort. 

On the other hand a stable sense of dignity, well-being and 
' friendliness seems to result from work well done, especially when it 
contributes to the welfare of society. This is particularly true for 
mechanical forms of work — 3, sublimation of the hands. One ob- 
serves that wherever individuals support the same measures or 
cause for the same affective purposes they tend to meet on a basis 
of intimate friendliness. 

The economizing tendency of such affective interests may be 
seen as the underlying motive of such adjustments, in the effort to 
avoid a waste of power and assure the efficiency of power as it exists. 

Some may wonder how this correlates with the behavior of a 
howling mob or a destructive invasion. In the behavior of such 
groups, dominated by hilarious joy or blind rage, one may recognize 
an economizing tendency to gratify the particular affect, in the mono- 
maniacal concentration of power and interest. 

It is necessary to recognize the composite nature of the stream 
of affectivity and its manifold needs. A destroyed object may 
please anger but also it may later cause sorrow and regret. Because 
of the continuous opposition between the affective cravings the tend- 
ency to economize power and refine means (movement and devices) 
must appear in the general trend of adjustment toward improve- 
ment, because substitutes and images are less satisfactory than real- 
ity. The substitute, displeasing- some of the affective cravings, tends 
to be progressively perfected until it pleases all of the affect. The 
tendency to refine the affective reactions and poise them more deli- 
cately in their adjustments is also characterized by conservation and 


control of the motor resources of power and expression. Hence 
the utilitarian restf ulness of music and the arts. 

The mechanism of self-control always depends upon the control 
of the content of consciousness by the socialized cravings (the 
wishes to attain social esteem which constitute the ego)^ substituting- 
a content of relatively indifferent value until the affective crisis or 
painful subject has been passed. This is the protective mechanism 
used by polite society in conversation as well as by the psycho- 
neurotic. By controlling the content of consciousness the organism 
tends to keep itself unconscious of a vast multitude of minor 
disagreeable endogenous as well as exogenous stimuli. Soldiers are 
inclined, through wit and nicknames, to apply a balm of humor to 
the dangers and privations of warfare. 

Restatement and Some General Considerations 

A review of the structural plan of multicellular animals and the 
influences upon consciousness of the autonomic apparatus shows that 
the autonomic apparatus, the apparatus that assimilates, conserves and 
regulates the expenditure of energy, determines the nature of the 
anatomical construction of the projicient apparatus through the 
atrophy of disused and stabilization of the useful structures. The 
constructive and destructive processes are so balanced as to gener- 
ally prevent excessive hypertrophy or atrophy of the necessary parts. 
Excessive hypertrophy, for example, gradually tends to disuse and 
atrophic reactions follow until a suitable balance of function is rees- 
tablished; that is, if the orgnism is permitted to freely choose the 
lines of activity in a favorable environment. 

An intimate study of the autonomic functions decidely indi- 
cates that the affective cravings or emotions have a peripheral origin 
in certain motorsensory functions of the autonomic apparatus. The 
nature of the affective craving is probably determined by the nature 
of the postural tensions of the autonomic structures that happen to 
be involved, and the autonomic functions, through the cravings 
aroused, determine the avertive and acquisitive interests or behavior 
of the organism. 

It has been shown that various autonomic functions may be 
conditioned in the laboratory to react to indifferent stimuli after 
they have been duly associated with the primary stimuli of a par- 
ticular autonomic function. Studies of psychoneuroses and psy- 
choses, as well as individual traits and spontaneous affective adjust- 
ments in normal people, show that the affective functions tend to 
become conditioned to react to, or to require, previously indifferent 
stimuli that have become coincidentally associated with the primary 
stimuli of the affective craving. This capacity, of various affective 
cravings to become conditioned to react to, and require, almost 
specific stimuli, knits the personality into a functional tmity, because 
of the tendency of stimuli to become mixed in the heterogeneous 
environment. This determines the individual, acquired traits of per- 
sonality, normal and abnormal. 

When an affective craving or particular autonomic disposition 



is prevented from attaining adequate neutralization, a heightened 
postural tension in that particular autonomic segment, as in the 
anxious tensions that follow the loss of a love-object, seems to per- 
sist. It then exerts a constant pressure to be relieved. These per- 
sistent hypertensions and hypotensions of various autonomic seg- 
ments, and not the structural conformations in themselves, consti- 
tute the character of the individual. A serious physical deformity 
in a girl is not depressing unless it is an obstacle to affective yearn- 
ings that have their sources in other s^ments of the body. 

As an affect-producing mechanism, the hypertense autonomic 
division may be said to be repressed when it is not permitted to 
make the organism conscious or aware of its needs. The hyper- 
tense division is suppressed when it is permitted to cause awareness 
of it needs but is not permitted to dominate the projicient motor 
system and attain a state of neutralization. 

This permits the formulation of the personality and its behavior 
as follows : 

Primary Wishes + Subsidiary Wishes (manifest) 
Primary Wishes + Subsidiary Wishes (repressed) 

X Environmental Resistance = Behavior. 

When an excessive summation of repressed cravings or auto- 
nomic tensions occurs, its force cannot be controlled by the re- 
mainder of the organism or prevented from dominating the pro- 
jicient motor system, and functional confusion results. This is 
shown by incoordinations, accidents, errors, obsessive thoughts and 
cravings, "queer" acts, dreams, hallucinations, delusions or disso- 
ciated states of the personality that always accompany loss of con- 
trol of the affective cravings. 

The affective craving or autonomic component determines the 
postural tonus of the skeletal muscles, the stream of kinesthetic 
imagery, and, largely, the thought content of consciousness. When 
an affective need, like hunger, produces thoughts of how to get food, 
the affect is already using the projicient apparatus to acquire the 
food. When an affective conflict occurs, a change in the postural 
tonus of the striped nmscles immediately occurs, as one may observe 
in disastrous incoordination, accidents. Such observations, besides 
laboratory experiments, reveal the intimate nature of the autonomic 
or affective relationship to postural tonus, and the kinesthetic stream. 

Since the affective functions determine the nature of the con- 
tent of consciousness through causing awareness of satisfactory 
sensory images, or exogenous stimuli, which they tend to use, or an 


awareness of unsatisfactory stimuli, which they are trying to change 
into satisfactory forms, the misinterpretation (delusion or halluci- 
nation), as well as the misrepresentation (lie) is due to an affective 
craving causing an awareness of endogenous stimuli. That is, old 
sensory images, which adulterate the individual's awareness of the 
present sensations of exogenous origin, constitute the wish fulfill- 
ment in the delusion, hallucination, lie, fancy or truth. 

The affective stream should be seen as a continuous but com- 
plex stream of afferent impulses arising, peripherally, from the re- 
ceptors in the autonomic apparatus. The thought content of con- 
sciousness is largely determined by the nature of the affective 
stream as it effects the postural tonus of the striped muscles. Be- 
cause of the relations of postural muscle tonus and kinesthetic 
imagery, the projicient apparatus may be regarded, in a sense, as 
the thinking apparatus of the body, trying to acquire means to please 
the affect. 

Therefore, in the psychoanalytic study of any personality, or of 
an act or fantasy, such as an hallucination, a work of art, a poem, 
play, novel, or Darwin's contributions to knowledge of evolution, the 
formula to be followed is : 

Affective Craving X Environmental Resistance = Behavior. 

Given the Behavior and the Resistance, the nature of the 
Wishes may be quite accurately inferred; or 

Given the Wishes and the Resistance, the Behavior may be quite ^ 
accurately predicted; or 

Given the Wishes and the Behavior, the Resistance may be quite 
accurately deduced. 

The next stage in the analytical study is the disclosure of the 
genesis of the Wish and its conditioning for definite objects and 
special receptors. 

Since consciousness of anything or of the self exists only in the 
form of awareness of the activity of some receptor-group, con- 
sciousness may be defined as the reaction of the body as a whole 
to the special or sensational c^tivity of any one or several of its 
parts. A cerebral center or area of consciousness is discredited and 
the central nervous system is seen to have no other function than 
that of integrating and reenforcing afferent and efferent nerve im- 

It is natural to assume that the seat of consciousness or of the 
"mind" occupies a region just behind and above the eyes, because 
the eyes and their extrinsic muscles are the supreme afferent channel 
of the entire organism. No interests may be aroused in an)rthing 


without the eyes being immediately so focused as to acquire addi- 
tional information about its nature. When the eyes are useless, as 
in total darkness and blindness, the auditory apparatus tends to be- 
come the chief afferent channel, which, no doubt, supports the 
common assumption of humanity that the mind occupies an area in 
the brain. The search for this mysterious area has long been the 
will-o'-the-wisp of neurology. No expression of thought is com- 
plete without the inclusion, frankly or implied, of a verb. The verb 
denotes some form of motion, and rarely does the personality refer 
to or reproduce an image of a form of motion without the extrinsic 
muscles of the eyes contributing kinesthetic sensations of movement 
as the eye follows the visual image of the moving object. 

If the scientific investigations of the future should verify the 
conception of the peripheral origin of the emotions and of thought, 
and decentralize our old notions of the mind, it would not contribute 
one iota to the existence or non-existence of the soul. On the other 
hand, the old notion that the mind has its seat in the brain has given 
no more support to the soul-hope than a conviction that it exists in 
the stomach. A certain class of benighted individuals might be driven 
into distraction if they were deprived of the faith that the " mind " 
is in that part of the brain, just behind and above the eyes. Their 
sublimations of the " spirits of the flesh " upward require that they 
should ascend as high as possible to be safe from the fleshy demon 
that would draw their interests downward to the realms of perdi- 
tion about the pelvis. 

The future of humanity forces one to speculate as to man's 
place in nature, the nature of his biological career, and the best 
means of realizing it. 

As to his place in nature, man is a vast community of cells, work- 
ing in systems which are integrated into a unity to further the bio- 
logical interests of the cellular community as a whole. The auto- 
nomic functions of the organism tend to utilise and organise the 
projicient functions so as to acquire a maximum of gratification 
from the environment zvith a minimum expenditure of energy. De- 
ficiencies, sin and failures in the struggle for happiness are largely 
due to the persistence of past or primordial traits that are unequal to 
the refinements of functions required by the exigencies of the present. 

No other source for the impulse to attain goodness, honesty, 
virility, efficiency and happiness, in a criminal or a saint, need be 
assumed, than the mechanism that opposed wishes, striving for their 
individual gratification, always determine the resultant course of 
behavior. If one wish is permitted unrestrained freedom to gratify 


itself, say, to be extravagant, another wish may be abused in its 
Striving, say, to be judicious, and the tmgratified affect causes a 
feeling of discomfort, and, hence, a sense of inferiority. 

The reverse principle holds true, of course, when one tends to be 
miserly with liberal companions. Here, the wish to be agreeably 
liberal is abused by the wish that prompts miserliness, and a sense of 
unpleasantness is produced which the individual cannot well endure. 

Upon the above principle, man's code of ethics and social rela- 
tionship seems to be turning. He is demanding equal rights and 
privileges, in order to refine himself to the maximum level that his 
inherent capacities will support. People settle into social strata 
according to the sensations they give one another. The coarse, 
crude, vulgar, stupid, are usually opposed to the refined, intelligent, 
well-bred ; or the miserly usually cannot comfortably associate with 
the extravagant, the immoral with the prudish, the tough-minded 
with the tender-minded, etc. 

The primitive autonomic system protected itself from the fates 
and stresses of the environment by gradually creating and sur- 
rounding itself with a projicient apparatus whereby it could avoid 
the harmful and seek out the beneficial environmental fields. This 
method of obtaining autonomic gratification continued through the 
ages until an ape found that its paw or hand was dexterous enough 
to use a stick as a means to an end, perhaps for scraping pla3rthings 
or foods out of holes and crevices. The dawn of civilization came 
as the ape learned to project himself through exogenous means, 
applying himself indirectly, in order to build a pleasing environment 
within the greater environment. Civilized man is absorbed in further 
extending and controlling his readjusted environmental spheres. 
As he succeeds in accurately projecting himself through his instru- 
ments into the future, his capacity for controlling the environment 
increases. As the ape learned to use exogenous means to attain 
an end, the tendency to adjust himself to suit the nature of the 
means probably greatly increased his capacity to modify himself 
through conscious effort. This, perhaps, contributed to the evolu- 
tion of the capacity to become conscious of the resources within him- 
self, to exert self-control, and refine his wishes. 

As the primitive man's capacity to project himself into the future 
increased, that is, to imagine (imitate in postures) what his position 
might be like in the near future, the conflicts between the needs of 
the social group and the individual required the deferment and sup- 
pression of many of the individual's wishes and the formulations of 
fixed laws. Then man developed the capacity to repress asocial 


wishes and obtained his gratification tfarougfa the use of images, 
sjrinbols and rituals, the pictorial and symbolic narration of fancies 
(the age of fables) and historical accounts that pleased his wishes. 
Hence, the mania for word-sounds and word-signs which created 
languages, dictionaries, novel-writing, etc. 

The lower animals use the method of appljring various receptors 
to an object in order to familarize themselves with the various 
qualities of the object The monkey learned to further analyze ob- 
jects by tearing them to bits with his hands. Then the ape-man 
learned that further qualities could be detected by making various 
objects work upon eadi other, and, when Man learned to standardize 
a set of objects by which all others might be compared, so-called 
scientific investigations began. The quarrel between science and 
religion has always been a quarrel between gratifying wishes with 
endogenous fancies or exc^enous realities. 

Philosophical and metaphysical speculation on the ultimate na- 
ture of creation, when based upon the researdies and facts of 
science, has changed its words for ultimate particles of matter from 
molecules, to atoms, to electrons. The latter term, however, can 
also only refer to fractions of matter. Fractions of matter are no 
more ultimate in the sense of being theoretically indivisible than 
fractions of bricks. The mind is unable to clearly define or con- 
ceive of an object without automatically imagining it to have a com- 
position and a capacity for further division. 

An attempt to assume that an electron is an indivisible, final and 
ultimate form of energy or matter does not prevent speculations as 
to its constitution. 

Perhaps the most persistent sources of the belief in a b^^inning 
and end of this universe are ungratified wishes that need comfort- 
ing fancies. The beginning and end of composite objects, as tem- 
porary manifestations of the creative powers of the universe, greatly 
encourage this dream, hence the world is assumed to have had a 
b^^inning and the primordial creative force must be regairdtd as 
eternal. Only inter-relations of the primordial force have a b^^- 
ning and an end, but pure activity, cts such, if it exists, can have had 
no b^^inning and will have no end, because that would mean a stage 
of no activity, which contradicts pure activity. 

The feeling of unlimitedness to spatial extension has for one of 
its sources, the consciousness of contiguity of numerous simulta- 
neously active receptors, as in the relationship of various receptor- 
groups when they tend to be brought together or separated; for 
example, the eyes, or the hands. Such experiences may be end- 


lessly magnified in number and extent of convergence or divergence. 
The proportions of a hill are measured by comparing it to other 
objects, but its size to the individual varies inversely as his climbing 

The consciousness of unHmitedness of duration of activity, or of 
time, has for one of its roots the continuity of the complex afferent 
stream, flowing from the exteroceptors, proprioceptors and entero- 
cepters, as it modifies the. content of consciousness. The muscle- 
sense of movement may be magnified into an unlimited duration by 
projecting ourselves, in visual-motor imagery, through space over 
and over again. 

The tendency to believe that unlimited space and time existed 
before the beginning of the personality is not due to memories of 
when the personality began, but to our faith in the experiences of 
those we love, who are older than ourselves and who are able to 
trace the sequence of cause and effect beyond our earlist memories. 
The acceptance of this evidence becomes the basis for accepting the 
evidence of prehistorical facts. One sees this common quality dis- 
turbed in psychotics who believe (imagine) that those they love are 
destroyed and "the end of time has come," seeming to mean the 
past and the future. 

The tendency to believe that the personality will have unlimited 
duration is a wish-fulfilling necessity. Our repressed wishes force 
the belief in this possibility upon consciousness. Since we can have 
no awareness of a state of total unawareness or unconsciousness, 
we are unable to become conscious of a contradictory state of non- 
existence. That other personalities, except those we love, shall have 
a beginning or end, is acceptable on the same basis that cooked food 
has a beginning and an end, but this is not applicable to ourselves 
except on a basis of common sense. 

With peculiar faith we tend to construct parallelistic or monistic 
philosophies to please our ungratified affections. We are unable to 
imagine anything but unlimitedness of duration and extent of the 
primordial creative force. The qualities of duration and extent are 
shown in some form. While we may firmly believe in the limited 
existence of the imiverse as we sense it to be, we cannot avoid 
feeling that an unlimited primordial source with many attributes of 
our personalities preceded it. We create God in our own image. 

The mind seems unable to clearly conceive of a process without 
some thing to proceed. Hence, energy is assumed to be composed 
of electrons. This seems to be due to the nature of the mechanism 
of consciousness, for whenever we have a sense of movement or 


force we have a consistent sense of an objective cause. We may 
vaguely imagine the beginning of matter, or electrons, as the re- 
sult of crystallization of energy, but, so soon as the imagination 
tries to convert the vague notion of formless energy into a clear 
conception, it automatically, but persistently, becomes crystallized 
into particles of some thing. 

The great tragedy of the human mind is its inability to thor- 
oughly convince itself that it need never and can never know the 
ultimate nature of the universe; but that its sole problem is the 
creation of a social state whereby the greatest efficiency, goodness 
and happiness can be had by all of the number. 

The chronic persistence of the world-old riddle of the universe 
and man's innumerable, unsatisfactory, conflicting speculations as to 
its nature, indicate the hopelessness of speculations based upon any 
other than sensory reactions. The creation, in fancy, of a heaven, 
in which our priceless longings will be fulfilled, certainly has a val- 
uable psycho-therapeutic effect so long as its influence does not 
become debilitating. Hope and faith are often all that keep the 
vital organs alive, but they also, more often, keep them lazy. 

Common sense is at last influencing men to abandon the pursuit 
of solutions for useless riddles and is encouraging pragmatic in- 
terests in living. Gradually, man is learning to dignify labor and 
efficiency, honesty, goodness and happiness as sacred to the cause of 
the human race, and slowly, but surely, mysterious symbols and 
rituals are waning as an energizing necessity. 

As we succeed in mitigating the persecutions of nature and of 
one another we tend, less and less, to resort to energizing symbols 
in order to give ourselves grace and comfort. Gradually, our affec- 
tive needs are becoming conditioned to enjoy the realities and exo- 
genous needs of life more than the fancies. 

Enough is known of the nature and vital needs of living things 
for the thinker to recognize that all forms of the biocosmos are so 
intimately related to one another and so interdependent upon each 
other for existence that practically no form of life can exist inde- 
pendently of all the others. Although animals seem independent and 
self-sustaining as they move in space unattached, they are, relatively, 
little more independent in their needs than the wandering phagocyte 
in the blood stream. We must learn to see the body as a com- 
mimity of cells and all organisms as one grand community. Upon 
the apex of this seething, throbbing biodynamic pyramid, the uni- 
verse has succeeded, after ages of striving, to erect its semi-sublime, 
egotistical, masterpiece — ^Man. 


If one, in a moment of reflection, will let his imagination pass 
back down the inclined plane of organic evolution to the existence 
of the primordial cell, far beneath and long ago, one may see it, 
as it lay buried in the slime and ooze, receive its first inspiration 
from the warm rays of the morning sun. One may see this cell 
gradually work its way out of the slime into the streams and seas, 
onto the land and into the air, generally toward the light. In its 
higher commimal forms, one may see in its strivings the funda- 
mental law of the extension of its power and the refinement of 
itself, following the dual mechanical principle of attaining a maxi- 
mum of autonomic gratification with a minimum expenditure of its 
energic resources as a means of attaining greatest aflfective develop- 
ment, freedom and happiness. This principle is so universal and 
f imdamental in the evolution of living things that one wonders if it 
is not a fundamental attribute of the constitution of pure activity, 
and whether or not this incessant, irrepressible urge in the nature of 
man, to understand and reconstruct his environment, is not dignified 
by a sublime necessity. One's impressions of the nature of cosmic 
evolution is greatly influenced by his feeling whether or not he is 
a means to an end or a means to attaining a more refined m^ans. 
The pleasures from the refining process are the reward. 

Is not man, as a ftmctional ent:ity, like a corpuscle in the living 
universe, created for and depended upon to assist in furthering the 
refinement of the sublime cosmic tendency? If so, then labor and 
sincere endeavor becomes augustly dignified. Equality of oppor- 
tunity, fulfillment of duty and aflfective freedom become divine ob- 
ligations of men to men. 

There is, besides a frank expression of democracy and equality, 
a divine economizing of human energies in " the golden rule," that 
men shall do unto others as they wish to be done by. Perhaps then 
man's place in the great cosmic scheme is more than that of being 
merely an optimistic monkey that must live and die. Perhaps he is a 
necessary contributor to the vital, fundamental endeavors and evo- 
lution of the living imiverse. 

Newton's first law of motion, that a body at rest continues at rest 
until acted upon by some external force, and its corollary, a body in 
motion continues in uniform motion in a straight lines except in so 
far as it is acted upon by some external force, seem to have a biolog- 
ical application in the mechanism of the autonomic-aflfective crav- 
ing acquiring gratification. In their relationship, when environing 
forces attain a state of equilibrium with a constellation of energies 
having centrifugal tendencies (the cell) a certain mean of activity 
will be maintained so long as either factor does not change sufli- 


ciently to disrupt the energic balance which constitutes the metabo- 
lizing cell. When a seed, cell, or egg is placed' in its appropriate en- 
vh"onment and the temperature, that is, the activity of the environ- 
ment, is raised to a proper degree, multiplication of the cell begins. 
It may also be checked by excessive activity (heat) or a decrease of 
activity (cold) of the medium. If the energic constitution (molecu- 
lar) of the medium is altered, the centrifugal-centripetal balance 
between the environment and cell becomes altered, and the course 
of the balance (growth of the cell) will continue to be (propor- 
tionately ?) altered, it seems from the biological experiments of Loeb 
and others. 

The falling body gravitates straight toward the center of the 
earth, unless acted upon by some other force, and one may see in 
its flight toward its final equilibrium a perfect economy of motion 
in that there is no waste of motion in its course. In chemical reac- 
tions, as when sodium hydrate is dissolved in hydrochloric acid, 
and salt-water results, a similar economy of motion is to be recog- 
nized in the dissociation, flight and reorganization of the various 
atomic constituents. This same principle or economizing of mo- 
tion is obviously at work in the maintenance of autonomic or affec- 
tive equilibrium by acquiring a maximum of adequate stimuli with 
a minimum expenditure of movement. This mechanism facilitates 
quickness and directness of result through the perfected coordina- 
tion of movement. It is the most likely mechanism to support 
autonomic equilibrium, despite its very rapid, constant, complex 

xhanges due to metabolism and environmental changes. 

Jn the mechanism of wishes or cravings reenforcing one an- 

-oflier, and accelerating and coordinating movement for the acquisi- 
tion of a satisfactory object, just as the summation of aflferent im- 
pulses finally dominates a final common motor path, may be recog- 
nized a biological manifestation of Newton's second law of motion — 
that change of motion is proportional to the force applied and takes 

. place in the direction of the force. The corollary of this law, that 
motion of an object is inhibited according to the nature of the 
resistances, applies to the mechanism of the suppressed wish or 
autonomic tension. Behavior is the resultant of parallelograms of 
forces-wishes. The third law of motion, that action and reaction 
are equal and opposite, is probably the foundation of the dual con- 
struction of the projicient apparatus, because, when one side of the 
body exerts pressure on the earth, say to go forward, or to the 
right, the opposite side, by exerting a pressure in the opposite direc- 
tion, prevents the body from displacing itself from a desirable into 
an undesirable position. 


The opposition of wishes or autonomic cravings, as forces de- 
termining the result of behavior (movement), prevents the per- 
sonality from deviating too eccentrically from the normal, because 
certain wishes, which exert a balancing influence, being ungratified, 
cause tension and discomfort if misused. Nature, in perfecting the 
mechanism by which the autonomic functions should oppose one an- 
other, so as to regulate one another, followed the third law of 
motion, that, to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. 
This, perhaps, may be illustrated by the f imctions of the stomach. 
Hunger cravings compel the eating of food until the accumulating 
food, as a stimulus, sets up reactions (equal and opposite) that 
neutralize the craving, and then follows the opposite tendency of 
avoiding food; or, if an excess is eaten, a tendency to regurgitate 
is aroused. The third law of motion holds true for both assimila- 
tive and emissive functions. 

Love, prompting self-sacrifice, becomes counteracted by restrain- 
ing fears of getting into a self -jeopardizing position, hence the op- 
posing wishes counteract one another. An individual suffering from 
a perfect balance of wishes to do " this " and " that " at the same 
time suffers from inability to accomplish anything. 

The tendency of energy, to establish a* state of universal equi- 
libritmi, has led philosophy, in some quarters, to the pessimistic 
conclusion that, finally, a universal adjustment, cold and still, would 
be reached. Therefore, let us lie, eat, drink and be merry, for to- 
morrow we die. 

Two phenomena support the belief that a final, absolute equi- 
librium is unlikely. The primordial force of the universe has 
already had infinite endurance, havings had no beginning, and hav- 
ing had no beginning we must accept that it is pure activity, and, 
as such, has an inherent nature. This is eternal self-refinement. 
A final state of absolute equilibrium is unattainable, and the con- 
ception of it is not acceptable because of the fact of past infinite 
duration of activity. 

As the philosopher was reduced to the ridiculous impasse of 
accepting that intelligence, whatever it is, exists because "I think, 
therefore, I am," so the scientist, who is unable to believe that the 
calcium in his bones is alive, will be forced to the realization that, 
even though the chemical processes of life have no vitalfcy different 
principle than that to be found in the physical and chemical reac- 
tions of the elements, he is alive and must live according to the auto- 
nomic laws. 

No matter how simple science may, in the future, demonstrate 


the process of life to be, Nature's capacity to create and improve 
Life's mechanical prowess cannot be denied. The energic processes 
of the universe must surely follow some principle that is inherent 
and fundamental to its nature and some of its laws should be mani- 
fested in its workings. Hence, the ethical interest of man should 
reveal some of its principles. One may infer that error and evU 
are due to vestiges of past mechanisms that were at one time neces- 
sary steps in evolution, as, for example, the primitive ape-man's 
sexual aflfections (5) for animals which led to the capacity of culti- 
vating herds, packs and flocks, and that these traits must become re- 
fined, and the refinements require persistent support in order that 
they shall have the endurance and efficiency that the present stage of 
civilization requires. Men unconsciously measure one another ac- 
cording to their sincerity, and sincerity of the wish is the individual's 
only reliable means of refinement of activity. Moral laws are only 
moral in so far as they promote the progress of humanity. No 
matter how holy and sanctified the laws may seem to sound, if sup- 
pressive wasters of energy they are immoral. 

The curiosity of man must include 5Dme speculation on the 
nature of the goal of the great cosmic scheme in so far as it per- 
tains to the assurance of the fulfillment of his wishes. Kings and 
high-priests have taught, for obvious reasons of self-identification 
that justified their pleasures, that it was to the end of glory and 

Herbert Spencer saw in the tendency of things an automatic 
evolution from a stage of dull gray homogeneity to a stage of ultra- 
varied and brilliant heterogeneity and then on into dull gray homo- 
geneity, to be repeated forever without end. This depressing in- 
terpretation neglects the inspiring nature of the ceaseless, self-refin- 
ing tendency of living things, and does not consider the career of 
the biocosmos as a whole. One feels that surely universal activity 
must have a perfect process of working since it has had unlimited 
endurance. That is, it never had a beginning. The idea of be- 
ginning is indigenous to man's awareness of his sensations. The 
inference that man has a truly dignified and sacred contribution to 
make is supported by the economizing of movement and his unavoid- 
able regret of neglect and waste. (With apologies, this must be 
admitted as distressing to a lazy man's ideal of the perfect state.) 

In this dark hour of human events, when the desperate carnage 
of men threatens the foundation of civilization, the struggle, "to 
make the world safe for democracy " from the plots and schemes of 
self-centered men, who would style themselves as " gods," alone is 
sufficient to redeem the slaughter and the waste. The economizing 


of human interests rings true as steel in the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence and Lincoln's " Government of the people, by the people 
and for the people." How it contrasts with the sodden, self- 
aggrandizing machinations of a bigoted plutocracy I 

A world-state of individual equality and opportunity, so that 
each personality may enjoy affective freedom and develop to the 
fullest his powers for efficiency, goodness and happiness, alone, must 
finally endure. A condition of human affairs is coming when the 
affective strivings of the creator and the reconstructor shall alone 
merit the dignity and respect of men. Labor will be recognized as 
the only sincere and sacred tribute of men to God. Art and song 
and play then will be felt as having a utilitarian value for the whole- 
some relaxation and evolution of the personality, and parasitism, 
wastefulness and profligacy will be recognized as disgusting crimes 
against the welfare of humanity. 

The whole principle of Christianity and the mechanism of con- 
version may be summed up in the Renimciation of Envy./ 

The facts that are being gathered through the analytical study 
of the affective struggles of the insane, the sick and deformed, the 
oppressed and tmhappy, make it evident that from out of the dismal 
night humanity is unvirtuously approaching the dawn of a new 
social era. 


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Affections, 27 

peripheral origin of, 139 

assimilation, 118 

conflict, 100 

coordination, 123 

craving, 34, 35 

dissociation, 11 1 

fixation, 90 

neutralization, 128, 139 

progression, 116 

readjustment, 90, 118 

reenforcement, 123 

regression, 116 

repression, 90 

sensorimotor system, 33 

sublimation, 118 

suppression, 140 
Affective stream, 

complexity and continuity, 68, 141 

and behavior, 71 
Affectivity, 33 

Ambivalent (avertive-acquisitive) , 
nature of 

behavior, 71 

cravings, 71 

discrimination, 12 

growth, 5 

reflexes, 11, 12 

selection, 12 

structure, 5 
Angell, 73, 74, 75 
Anger, 49, S3, 80 
Anguish, 83 
Apperception, 18, 21 
Autocroticism, 96 
Autonomic apparatus, i, 11, 28 

component, 19, 72 

conditioning of, 31, 56 

diagram, 10 

ganglia, 12 

muscles of, 8 
Awareness, 27, 91, 131, 132, 139 

Bassett, 15 

Bechterew, 57, 58 
Behavior, as a resultant, 5 
Bickel, 39 
Bidder, 37 
Bleuler, 108 

Blood contents and fear, 50 
Bogen's child, 39 
Boldireff, 36, 44 
Brown-Darwin case, 42 

Cannon, 8, 11, 33, 34, 35, 36, 40, 41, 42, 

44, 50, 51, 52, 53, 55, 112 
Carlson, 34 
Cases — disgust, 43 

moods, 41 

nausea, fear, 45 

sorrow, 43 
Cerebellum, 6 
Cerebrum, 6 
Compensation, 98, 126 
Conditioning, affective cravings, 64 

autonomic reactions, 63, 139 

method, 59 

reflexes, 57 
Conflict, II, 93, 102, 108 
Consciousness, 23, 27 

mechanism of, 131, 132, 139, 140, 
Counter-stimulation, 55 
Crile, 53, 54, 55, 131 

Darwin, 12, 36, 41, (fj 

DeBoer, 20 

Delusion, no, 141 

Dementia, functional, 97 

Desire, peripheral origin of, 25, 56 

to urinate, 25 
Discrimination, 136 
Disgust, 32, 83 
Dissociation, 108, 109 
Dream, mechanism of, no 
Dusser de Barenne, 20 

Ego, development of, 97 
Emotions, 73 

peripheral origin of, 31, 36 




Emotions, James' theory of, 3S 
Energy, conservation and expendi- 
ture, I, 7 
Envy, 85 
Extroversion, 113 

Fear, 8, 31, 45, 79, 98 
and adrenin, 50 
coagulation time of blood, 52 
dilatation of bronchioles, 53 
distribution of blood, 52 
fatigueability of muscle, 52 
glycosuria, 51 
visceral volumes, 52 
and stimuli, 53 
auditory, 46 
olfactory, 49 
visual, 48 
destructive, 50 
Fetiches, 66 
Fixation, 92, 105 
Franz, 2 
Frazer, 127 
Freud, 105, 109, no 

Gaskell, 8, 14 
Grey, 50 
Goltz, 33 

Habit formation, 72 

Hallucinations, mechanism of, no, 

Haggerty, 124 
Herrick, 8 
Higier, 4, S, 8, 11 
Holt, 78 
Homburg, 37 
Homburg's boy, 39 
Humor, 105 
Hunger, 33, 34, 36, 44, 55, 72 

Images, 64, 66, 127 
Imitation, 22, 72, 125, 133 
Impotence, 105 
Inferiority, 126 
Instincts, 73 
Introversion, 112 
Intuition, 23 
Isrealsohn, 61 
Itching, 55, 72 

James, 31, 36, 73, 75 

theory of the emotions, 36 
Jealousy, 85 
Jelliffe, 8, 120 
Joy, 83 
Judd, 75 
Jung, 113 

iCinesthesis, 18 

Ladd, 73 

Lange, 36 

Langelaan, 17, 19, 20, 27 

Langfeld, 13 

Langley, 8 

Latchley, 57 

Laughter, 105 

Learning methods, 
trial and error, 72 
imitation, 22, 72, 125, 133 

Love, 84, 120 

MacDougall, 76, 77 
Macleod, 51 
Macfarland, 5 
Memory, 130 
Mikitin, 65 
Mind, 141 

Misrepresentation, 141 
Misinterpretation, 141 
Mosso, 25 

Natural selection, 

mechanism of, 64 
Nervous system, 

autonomic, 8 

cerebrospinal, i 

projicient, i, 14 

sjrmpathetic, 8 

vegetative, 8 
Netschaier, 50, 131 
Neuroses, mechanism of functional, 

Newton, laws of motion, 

first law, 147 

second law, 148 

third law, 148 

Oechsler, 39 
Opposition of forces, 6 

of muscles, 6 

of autonomic centers, 11 



Parmelee, 7A, 7S 
Pawlow, 33, 37, 57 
Pellacani, 25 

diagram of functions, 29 
formulation of wishes, 140 
Pillsbury, 74, 75 
Pleasure-pain principle, 72 
Postural contraction, 18 
grip, 25 
imitation, 30 

tensions, 44, 91, 92, 119, 140 
continuity of, 23, 24, 27 
spasticity of, 26, 28 
variations of, 86 
Postural tonus, 
of arteries, 26 
bladder, 25 
heart, 26 
sexual organs, 28 
rectum, 28 
stomach, 26 
striped muscle, 17 
/ viscera, 25 
Postural unfatiguability, 26 
Projicient apparatus, i 
Protopopoff, 61 
Psychotherapy, 127 
Purpose, 78 


positive and negative, 12 
Reality, sense of, no, 127 
Recall, 22, 130 

dual nature of, 6 

distance, 6 

extero-, 6 

proprio-, 6, 17 
Reciprocal innervation, 19, 21 
Reenforcement, 107 
Refinement, 137 

allied, 93 

antagonistic, 93 
Repression, 91, 92, loi, 103, 140 
Resultant, 11, 68, 85, i04» 142 
Rinjberk, 20 

Sasaki, 39 
Schmidt, 37 
Self-control, 138 

Self -neutralization, 78 * • . 
Sexual Cravings, 55 ' 
Sexual flection, 67 
Shame, 82 

Sherrington, 6, 11, 17, 18, 19, 20^ 23, 
^4, 25, 26, 27, 30, 31, 66, 93, 107 
Social esteem, 94 
Sorrow, 83. 
Spastic viscera, 40 

compound, 71 

negative, 6, 11 

positive, 6, II 
Sublimation, 121 
Summation, loi, 107 
Suppression, 140 

Tait, 129 

acquisitive, 84, 85 

avertive, 84, 85 
Theory^, of affective-autonomic func- 
tions, I, 77, 78 
Thought, 23, 78 

mechanism of, 136, 141 
Threshold of response, 

variations of, 73 
Transference, 94 

Understanding, 133 

Watson, 24, 57, 77, 79 

Wertheimer, 49, 50, 131 
White, 8, 113 
Will, 97, 98 
Wish, 78, 141 

negative, 107 

positive, 107 

repressed, 109 

repressing, 109 

suppressed, 140 





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