1: Introduction [and Summary]
Vol. 2: The Conflict Helix
If we admit that the person is a totality, we can not hope to reconstruct him by an addition or by an organization of the diverse tendencies which we have empirically discovered in him. On the contrary, in each inclination, in each tendency the person expresses himself completely, although from a different angle.... But if this is so, we should discover in each tendency, in each attitude of the subject, a meaning which transcends it.|
----Sartre, Being and Nothingness
Before moving on, it is important at this point to discuss sources. For a political scientist, and particularly a student of international politics whose ultimate concern is the dynamics of conflict and war, to thoroughly survey psychoanalytical texts, the behavioral experimental literature, and physiological results is a clear misuse of time. First, an acquaintance with some of this literature's variety suggests that I would not have a consistent picture from the mass of contradictory results, different methods and techniques, and diverse schools that invigorate these areas. Second, an understanding of many results sufficient for their use demands a familiarity with the quantitative and experimental techniques underlying them. Finally, and because of the above, it is easy to fall victim to one particular psychological school or to end up with individually shining facts like the Berelson and Steiner inventory,1 but an incoherent collection overall.
Fortunately, I can rely extensively on one area, that of multivariate experimental psychological research, which combines a number of virtues. First, research within this area comprises the conscious combination of physiological, clinical, ethnological, sociological, and introspective evidence and observation, as well as a variety of behavioral data, including observation, questionnaire, laboratory experimental, and personal reports. In short, this field sits athwart clinical psychoanalysis, behaviorism, comparative psychology, social psychology, and ethology.2 Second, research results and comparisons are done within a self-consciously systematic framework (behavior is a product of situation and person)3 and a mathematical model.4 The comparative results are thus consistently interrelated, and the findings have unity and integration. Third, I have some theoretical and applied familiarity with their major methodology5 and thus can judge the methodological soundness of their varied results and their interpretation. Third, the theoretical structure of their results--the assumption of an underlying multidimensional Euclidean space--is the same as that assumed throughout this book, The Dynamic Psychological Field. Finally, the multivariate psychologists have been testing their results in practice, for example, by helping the clinician, the school or personnel counselor, or society with its problems.
"Aha," the reader may blurt at this point, "thanks for the previous warning as to where you are going, for I now have you. You are depending on a field that is basically behavioral, and by relying on mathematical models and results, you will defeat your desire to treat people as creative organizers of their future--you are trying to square the circle."6 For one thing, adopting a theoretical explanatory model (and thus adopting its philosophical assumptions) like behaviorism differs from adopting a mathematical model. And nothing requires that I adopt the same interpretation as the behaviorist, of whatever variant.7 Second, I can exploit the results without accepting multivariate psychologists' explanatory model, which is basically of a tension-release kind.8 And, most important, their empirical results on motivation are consistent with the integrated personality view I will take, and thus lend it considerable empirical support.
After all this, I might finally point out the specific literature I have consulted. Rather than do this, however, I will just refer to the primary psychologists of concern and let subsequent references define the particular studies of most use. Relevant are Raymond Cattell, Cyril Burt, John Horn, Joseph Royce, Roy B. Mefferd, Jr., William R. Thompson, H. J. Eysenck, John Digman, J. P. Guilford, C. Spearman, and L. L. Thurstone.9 Among these men, there is no doubt that Cattell is the central and outstanding contemporary psychologist pertinent to our concern. For this reason, most references will be to his works.
For example, consider a man who is intensely jealous and suspicious of his wife's relationship to her boss. Now, within this situation the most minor occurrence, such as her coming home a half hour late from work, may occasion a violent outburst by the husband. Jealousy and suspicion form a perspective, a regionally strong psychic energy field containing diverse, actualized potentialities (forces) with great power to become manifest, which is to say that the husband is quite tense. So disposed with such strength, the occasion provides merely the trigger for manifestation.12
As a second example, consider the hunger that we all feel in missing our accustomed meal. Hunger as a feeling constitutes a strong region of the dynamic field. Its diverse dispositions can be (from our own perspective) manifest in many ways, such as the various activities associated with leaving my desk, persuading my wife to go to a restaurant, getting into our automobile, driving there, getting seated, selecting a dish from the menu, and so on. Each of these behaviors is a manifestation of the potentialities of the energy field in the mode of power, of actual dispositions. Which of the diverse dispositions in the field (I could raid the refrigerator, or wait until my wife prepared a meal, for example) become manifest depends on their power and on my perspective at the time. If, for instance, I had been starving and thus the associated regional energy has been at its strongest, particular dispositions, such as those manifested by moving directly to the refrigerator, would have had exceptional power.
So far, we have a dynamic field of potentialities and regionally varying dispositions and powers. Moreover, we recognize that the manifestations of the field are within either the perspective of the self or of an involved observer. There is no other perspective, not even the convenient Martian's.13 Our needs, such as sex and hunger, when activated, comprise an increase in the regional strength of this dynamic field, and when gratified, a weakening of this region. Activated needs thus constitute, at this purely psychic stage, the increase in the power of actualized potentials, of dispositions, inherent in a particular region; either their gratification constitutes a decrease in the power of these
dispositions or appropriate manifest behavior drains the associated excess energy. Figure 20.1 shows this process, with the example of hunger as a need shown in brackets.
It seems that I have done no more than elaborate a tension-release model with a slightly different twist. But let us go on. From previous chapters, we know that the potentialities of our dynamic field are structured or organized by the personality components defining our abilities, temperament, and moods and states, as well as our motivations. Moreover, our location in our total psychological space thus defines the dialectical balance among a variety of perceptions, external powers, memories, motivations, and so on. So much has been previously established.
Now, certain (to be discussed subsequently) motivational components comprise needs and provide the energy to increase the strength of associated regions in the field, regions which merge into each other and exist throughout the field. These motivational components, these needs, are the generators of energy that maintain these continuous, but varying regions. The needs may be more or less gratified, regions may vary more or less in energy, but in general the total energy system is in balance, that is, in an equilibrium regarding the personality, which includes the needs, self, will, perceptions, expectations, and behavior. All these among themselves form an equilibrium which constitutes a state of tension within the individual.
This state of tension is a directed equilibrium with regard to a person's future-oriented goal. In other words, an individual has a superordinate goal (leaving its content aside for a while) that integrates his dynamic field and constitutes an equilibrium among the diverse energies generated from his various needs.14 It is the self that maintains this equilibrium and legislates among the various dispositions and powers the needs generate.15
Examples of this integrative function of the self regarding some future goal (which may be only instrumental to the superordinate goal) are many. The graduate student struggling for a Ph.D. integrates almost his total psyche around this. Needs are satisfied more or less as they fit within the equilibrium--the state of tension associated with this goal. The businessman seeking financial success, the gang leader seeking status and prestige among his peers, the communist seeking Marxist Utopia, the Christian seeking heaven or union with God--all integrate their motivations within such a unified structure.
As an equilibrium in the dynamic field, how does the self maintain integration with a superordinate goal? There are three possibilities. First, the self can satisfy the need in some appropriate manner. The energy--tension--associated with a need may be directed by the self toward satisfaction if the equilibrium--the integrity of the self--is not upset or in need of adjustment thereby. For example, if my integrating goal is a college degree, and if I can satisfy my needs for food, sleep, and sex without compromising or requiring the adjustment of my goal, then I may go ahead and do so. Thus, the self may relieve the tension associated with hunger by manifesting those potential behaviors leading to gratification. Moreover, tension accumulated from needs stimulated, say, by watching my favorite basketball team in close competition or by an argument, can thus be released through appropriate behavior (clapping, cheering, stomping my feet) without loss of psychic equilibrium regarding my central goal.
A second case is when a need cannot be gratified nor its energy easily adjusted to without compromising one's superordinate goal. The need is then opposed by the self, and the behavioral potentialities in the resulting energy field are not allowed manifestations. Such a need may generate considerable power, and to oppose this will require a strong, well integrated self. And the result of such opposition will be an overall heightened state of tension.
For example, consider a student opposing the demands of his body for food or sleep while cramming for exams. A strong orientation toward a degree or consequent career enables him to confront the power generated by his needs, to consciously repress them, but at the cost of higher tension. In other words, the dispositions associated with his needs cannot be manifest within the student's perspective at this time, a perspective comprising his goal. Thus it is with easy sex for the conventioning businessman who sees potential disclosure as a risk to his career; and thus it is with pain for the spy who refuses to divulge his country's secrets.
The third case is when needs can be accommodated within the psychic equilibrium. Here the energy associated with the needs becomes absorbed into the equilibrium. That is, a need for love or social companionship may merge with one's goal of social status; a need for security may become part of one's striving for power; a need for identity may become part of one's climb up the executive hierarchy; a need for self-assertion may become part of one's joining a political movement.
The need-related tensions that develop in some situations, such as extended imprisonment, continued failure, personal disasters (such as the death of a loved one), or communist indoctrination may only be absorbed through reintegration around a different goal, by a new equilibrium. Such occurs, for example, in cases of political or religious conversion or under the pressures of prolonged physical interrogation or the gradual progression of terminal cancer.
Figure 20.2 summarizes the three ways in which needs work their way through to behavior. It illustrates the three ways the integrated self relates to needs. Some needs are opposed by the self. They are prevented from gratification, at least for the time being, because the appropriate behavior would interfere with, compromise, or negate the self s future goal. And third, the needs may be absorbed by the integrated self, requiring some adjustment of the psychological equilibrium this integration represents, and perhaps some change in the future goal itself.
To summarize, at the dynamic level the psychological field consists of energy of varying regional strength whose organization is delineated by our personality components. This energy is the seat of potentials with varying power to be manifest, and power--tension--defines the strength of the dynamic field. Within this field is a particular configuration of actual dispositions and powers constituting balance between the self, perceptions, abilities, motivations, temperament, roles, memories, and so on. This equilibrium--this configuration of dispositions and powers--is an integration of the self regarding a superordinate future goal. As needs energize regions of the field, the self actualizes potentials constituting a particular perspective through which (1) some needs will be gratified, (2) some needs will be blocked from gratification, (3) some needs will be absorbed into the psychic equilibrium.
Now, where does this leave us regarding the tension-release, behavioral, teleological, and existential explanations of motivation? Clearly, I have employed a tension concept with meaning close to Freud's, but I also have interrelated the concept of tension within a teleological and existential perspective. First, a person is presumed basically motivated toward a superordinate goal. He is thus self-directed, and his behavior can only be understood, fundamentally, as movement toward this goal. Second, a person does have other motivations, some essentially physiological. These are the sources of additional energy or tension, aside from that involved in integrating the personality to pursue the superordinate goal. Third, this additional tension will find normal release if the appropriate behavior does not threaten or contradict the superordinate goal. However, fourth, if the appropriate behavior for satisfying the need is inconsistent with the goal, then the self may oppose its satisfaction or move to satisfy it through adjusting the goal or compromising the two. In the former case, increased tension is the consequence with such possible well-known results as anxiety, nervousness, facial tics, stuttering, related dreams, and the like. Here I could develop the repertoire of psychological mechanisms for handling excess tension, but this is aside from my major thrust. When the superordinate goal is adjusted to the satisfaction of particular needs, the associated tension is released through the goal-directed activity or in related gratification of the need.
The behavioral model also plays a certain role, for surely certain stimuli (such as the smell of food) can stimulate needs, but whether they find satisfaction depends on the self's goal. Moreover, much behavior leading to the satisfaction of individual needs, as well as to the future goal, is learned, and here, no doubt, contingent response learning theory is important. The central point of this whole section, however, is that such learned responses and the tension stimulated by a person's needs are subordinated to his goal, to his uniquely visualized future.
It is thus that to understand motivation is primarily to comprehend our superordinate goal and secondarily to understand the tensions that beset us and the experiences we have had.
I am trying to follow the rule of not multiplying distinctions beyond need; however, the complexity of the psychological domain and the comprehensive approach being taken require that many terms crucial to later discussions be integrated into my picture. One such word is attitude which is a workhorse concept both at the general motivational level and in explaining social conflict, violence, and war. With another apology to the reader, let me relate attitude, potential, and disposition, and then deal particularly with the dimensions of attitudes.
At the outset, a rather common and unfortunate use of attitude among social scientists might confuse the reader. Most social science attempts to determine attitudes have been through yes-no answers to questionnaires, where the attitude thus defined represents a preference pattern of answers to specific questions, such as "attitudes" toward American aid to North Vietnam, having a black or white live next door, or abortion. Leaving aside problems in such measurement, what is thus taken for attitudes is but a momentary, context-dependent manifestation. Nonetheless, the concept of attitudes has become associated in many minds with this prevalent approach. Therefore, let me state here that attitude will not mean the preferences or beliefs underlying yes-no type responses to questions. Rather, attitude will mean a disposition to act from a motive in a particular way in a specific situation. To use Cattell's model for an attitude,16 it can be defined by a person's feelings that:
Thus, the attitude represents a disposition to manifest specific behavior regarding some goal and need. Interest, then, is the power of the attitude based on a need. For example, when in the evening I feel mentally drained from writing or teaching, I want to watch television. The "situation" is an evening when I am tired, the "want" is to watch television, and the "goal" is to relax without mental effort. Whether I do watch television, of course, depends on my interest, the power of my need at that time. If the interest is low and there are no good programs, I may instead read a magazine or go to sleep early.
The attitude thus comprises our basic motivational unit. And what is important for my analysis, an attitude is also a teleological-dispositional-power term. It refers to the disposition for some specific future goal or course of action to be matched with needs and the power this disposition has to be manifest. From this the relationship between attitude and the concepts of energy, potential, and tension developed in the previous section is clear.
Now, a disposition is an actualized potential moving toward manifestation; it is a particularization of the class of potentialities. Therefore, an attitude, as the basic motivational unit, is a particular actualized potential with power to be manifest. The power of this potential is then the interest generated by a need. Power is the general term, and interest is its particularization in the motivation domain. Figure 20.3 shows the meaning of interest and attitude in the context of my
Given all this, what frames the attitudes? This is not to ask about the different needs, but rather about the organization of the energy field which patterns the attitudes and interests. For example, Freud posed his superordinate Eros instinct (drive) as the source of energy, and then argued that the resulting dispositions were organized in terms of an id, superego, and ego. The id comprised the basic instincts under Eros (and later also Thanatos); the superego was the parental authority, values, and morality that guide or dictate what ought to be done; and the ego was the executive, the reality mechanism, carrying out behavior in specific situations and guided by the conflict between the id and the superego. Do attitudes have such a framework? Or, to put it in my terms, are the id, ego, and superego the three elements composing attitudes?
In the previous section, I have already implied that attitudes have at least two elements. One is the needs that give them power; second is the integrated self which directs the needs, and thus by facilitating or absorbing some needs and blocking others, determines the nature and direction of the attitudes. Thus, in effect, I have assumed attitudes to be composed of an id (needs) and ego (integrated self).
So far as we can observe,17 the actual framework is more differentiated. There are two psychological levels through which attitudes are organized and receive their power. First, the most basic level of differentiation (not to be confused with the unconscious) comprises seven primary elements18 organizing attitudes. For clarity, these may be listed as follows:
(1) Conscious id:
- This defines the "I wish," "I want," "I desire" element in attitudes and reflects both needs yet to be integrated and a felt lack of gratification.
(2) Unconscious id:
- This represents the constitutional element in attitudes (a person's constitutional ability to derive gratification from behavior related to a need), impulsiveness, and unconscious wishes and needs.
(3) Physiological needs:
- This is the element in attitudes derived directly from unconscious physiological needs and underlies the interest or power in attitudes. It covers sympathetic system responses (emotions).
(4) Unconscious memories or complexes:
- This is the element arising from repressed complexes, some of which are based on previous experience of success or rewards and failure or sanctions.
- This element is closest to Freud's ego, and to the integrated self. The ego comprises that element in attitudes that adjusts us to the nature of (perceived) reality and to values and morality. In Cattell's words: "We shall hypothesize that this motivation factor [element in attitudes] represents the long circuited interest habits acquired through necessity and duty, fully conscious and well-integrated into the daily habits of the self. Possibly we should find that they are also, generally, long established. It corresponds pretty closely to the psychoanalytic concept of the ego forces--of habits acquired under the constraint of super ego and reality testing."19
- This represents the ideal-self, the ideals, the "I ought," in attitudes. It represents what an individual thinks he should be.20 It is close to my superordinate goal orientation of the self.
- The surroundings of the individual are the final element of attitudes.21
These seven primary elements are not independent of each other and enter into organizing attitudes in definable patterns. A higher level of organization of attitudes is defined by the patterns among these elements, of which there are mainly four. These define the broad, organic organization of attitudes, the most general and comprehensive attitudinal constituents. The first such pattern among the primary elements is the integrated self22 which consists of the ego and superego; the second is the unintegrated needs,23 involving the id, physiological needs, and repressed complexes; the third is physiological-autonomic elements,24 and the fourth is context.25 These relationships are presented in Figure 20.4.
Leaving aside the element of context, I have shown that the attitudes and their power (interests) at the highest level are organized into the integrated self (composed of the ego and superego), the unintegrated needs (such as physiological needs as stressed in the last section), and physiological autonomic sources. Freud's ego and superego are thus found to combine at a higher level into a reality-oriented, morality-conscious self; a self that bases action on thought and experience, and is integrated in its functioning. This self which is found empirically in multivariate research is fully consistent with the integrated self postulated in the previous section, including the presence of a self ideal, an "I ought to be." Thus, all that remains now is to give content to this ideal, this superordinate goal.
The empirical division between the integrated self and unintegrated needs is not between the conscious and unconscious. Rather, lack of integration appears to be the most salient characteristic of this pattern of elements in attitudes, as well as the presence of some preconscious attitudes and emotional responses. The unintegrated needs account for the needs, the repressed complexes, the felt lack of gratification that together comprise the motivational field within which the self maintains an equilibrium. That is, the integrated self as a pattern of elements in attitudes serves as the executive and judicial branches in the psychological government of the individual, while the unintegrated needs serve the legislative function.26 They are our motivation-parliament. Subject to the constraints and goals of the judiciary (superego), the executive (ego) may initiate policy (attitudes) or such may be initiated legislatively (needs). In the latter case the executive may veto, but in all cases the executive monitors, executes, and administers policy with regard to pragmatic constraints and possibilities (reality).
In summary, then, I have shown that the perspective of needs versus an integrated, superordinate goal-oriented self has substantial validity in the results of multivariate psychological research. Moreover, attitudes, as potentials tending to be manifest, are organized most basically by seven primary elements, of which Freud's id, ego, and superego are three. And at a higher level of organization, these seven elements combine mainly into the integrated self (ego and superego) and the unintegrated needs (id).
I will return to explore further the nature of this self-integration after dealing with the substance of the needs, which I am well overdue in considering.
* Scanned from Chapter 20 in R.J. Rummel, The Dynamic Psychological Field, 1975. For full reference to the book and the list of its contents in hypertext, click book. Typographical errors have been corrected, clarifications added, and style updated.
1 . Human Behavior: An Inventory of Scientific Findings (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1964).
2. If this claim seems exaggerated, compare the interests and substance of the studies in the field's central work: Raymond Cattell (ed.), Handbook of Multivariate Experimental Psychology (Chicago: Rand McNally, 1966). Moreover, note that for many of these studies the fundamental interest is in comparing results across diverse bodies of data and schools of thought.
3 . This is the specification (or behavioral) equation basic to much of this work. See, for example, Raymond Cattell, The Scientific Analysis of Personality (Baltimore: Penguin, 1965), chap. 9.
4. This is the common factor model (on which see "Understanding Factor Analysis"). As the work of Lewin has not been appreciated because his "mathematical" model repels many, the multivariate psychological field has been ignored because of the mathematics used. In Cattell's case, however, this is unjustified, for unlike Lewin, the multivariate researchers have developed an integrated and comprehensive quantitative science of psychology. They have mixed mathematics, substance, and application in the best tradition of systematic empirical science. The allegation that they are technique-happy factor analysis machines simply reflects on the detractor, as would an allegation that physicists such as Newton, Einstein, Edington, and Maxwell were calculus machines or calculus happy.
5. See my Applied Factor Analysis (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1970). For a summary of this book, see "Understanding Factor Analysis".
6. No doubt this kind of contamination theory underlies the avoidance of mathematics, methodology, and empirical results by many humanists. A pity.
7. To see this, consider that we can cover by a four-dimensional Einsteinian space-time both the fully determined motion of physical bodies and a our presumed self-determined, free-will directed motion. Analogously, a map of the world does not assume that national behavior fits a tension-release, behavioral, teleological, or existential view of their motivations.
8. Cattell, The Scientific Analysis of Personality, op. cit., pp. 198-204. Note especially diagram 22.
9. I might have mentioned the multivariate psychologists who emphasize methodology or substantive areas remote from our concern, such as Benjamin Fructer, Harry Harman, P. Horst, W. Stephenson, G. Thompson, Chester Harris, or Henry Kaiser. My interest here is with substantive results on motivation, not method per se. For the methodological considerations and my use of the psychometric literature, see my Applied Factor Analysis, op cit.
10. I mean region as a subspace and not in Lewin's sense.
11. I am using these terms as defined in Chapter 8.
12. From the viewpoint of an observer, be it wife, child, or visitor, the husband's rage is a manifestation within the observer's perspective, and thus subject to all the dialectical forces influencing his perception. From the husband's perceptual perspective, his "rage" is but the manifestation of his concern and love for his wife and his desire to maintain their family. From our perspective? We have none separate from these two. We must avoid the tendency to treat ourselves in thinking about others as though disembodied from the situation and thus capable of unique insight into and definition of human behavior. We are either the actor in a situation, and thus see it from the actor's perspective, or we are the involved observer, and thus see it from an observer's perspective. In either case, we thus actualize within our own perspective particular potentialities of the situation. It is thus that the dynamic psychological field and forces of which I write are themselves actualizations within a particular perspective on humankind, a perspective I will call intentional humanism.
13. Were he actually to exist within a situation he would be an involved observer with his own perspective.
14. Clearly, I follow the paths of Nietzsche, Adler, and Sartre in this view.
15. The nature of the self will be only sketched here; a fuller picture is shown in Chapter 28.
16. Raymond Cattell, Personality and Motivation (Yonkers-on-Hudson, N.Y.: World Book Co., 1957): 444. See Cattell's whole discussion of "the attitude as the manifest dynamic variable or motivational unit," pp. 442-446, which underlies my use of attitude here.
17. Cattell, Personality and Motivation, op. cit., pp. 453-464, and The Scientific Analysis of Personality, op. cit., pp. 173-184; John L. Horn, "Motivation and Dynamic Calculus Concepts from Multivariate Experiment," in Raymond B. Cattell (ed.), Handbook of Multivariate Experimental Psychology, op. cit., pp. 625-631.
18. These are called motivational components by Cattell. I have not used the term component here to avoid confusion with the psychological and behavioral components which structure the personality, as discussed in previous chapters, and the motivational components (in my terms) to be considered shortly.
19. Cattell, Personality and Motivation, op. cit., p. 459. By "long circuited," Cattell means attitudes that are remote from needs, and only connected to them by an extended lattice of relationships. See Cattell, Personality: A Systematic and Theoretical and Factual Study (New York: McGraw-Hill): 163.
20. Cattell, Personality and Motivation, op. cit., p. 461.
21. This element is called the situation in the multivariate studies; however, I have called it instead the context, to avoid confusion with my use of the term situation in previous chapters. The context is the most tentatively defined in the empirical studies underlying these seven elements. See Horn, op. cit., p. 629, where it is called the Eta Component. The largest and best defined elements are the conscious id, ego, and superego.
22. For Cattell, this is a second order factor among the seven "motivational components." He calls it "integrated self-sentiment interests." Cattell, Personality and Motivation, op. cit., p. 500.
23. Cattell calls this element the "unintegrated unconscious interests." "Unintegrated needs" seems an apt name instead, given the primary elements associated with it.
24. The third is given in Horn, op. cit., p. 630.
25. No mention is made in Horn of the relationship of the context ("situation" for Horn) element to the higher order factors. Accordingly, I am treating the element of context as though independent of the others, and thus a fourth factor at the higher order.
26. It is well to point out that quantitative results are fully consistent with the integrated self supervising the unintegrated. needs, even though the integrated self and needs are found to be statistically independent at a higher level or organization. This independence simply means that the variation of interests in attitudes is such that for the same person some interests derive mainly from the integrated self, some mainly from needs, some from both, and some mainly from neither.
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