un-American Social Psychology

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1962, Vol 7(11), 420-421. Reviews the book, Social Psychology: A Study of Mind in Society by V. V. Akolkar (1960). Persistent issues in social psychology usually include group mind theories, the nature of social learning, the development of social motives, the articulation of individual personality with social systems, and the influence of culture patterns on social perception and interaction. Professor Akolkar deals lucidly with these broad theoretical issues in the first half of his book, using scholarly detail in historical perspective that is often lost to the present-day student. Neglectful of significant modern sources, Professor Akolkar nevertheless shows sound judgment and imagination in examining older authorities. He criticizes McDougall–whose Social Psychology (1908) was the first book to be published with that title–for his theories of instinct and national character. The chapter on Personality nicely divides the book into two major sections. Professor Akolkar suggests that the evolution of religious consciousness, like that of moral consciousness, is marked by an increasing refinement in man's view of, and relationship with the Unseen. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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