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PSY3011_Social Psychology Lab

© 2009 South University

Views of Floyd Henry Allport

In 1920, Floyd Henry Allport surveyed the prevalent theories and works related to trends in social
psychology, ranging from issues of the mind to Freudian viewpoints. His work seemed to be
strongly influenced by a behavioral outlook, because he severely criticized viewpoints related to
the mind and social consciousness.

Here is an excerpt from Allport’s essay on social behavior and society, reflecting what social
psychology focused on at the time (at least from his viewpoint):

Slowly but surely, social psychology is coming into its own as the study of social behavior
of the individual. Many writers are noting, and some are investigating, social stimulus and
response, and the specific effect of a social environment upon individual reaction. In spite
of the persistent speculative essays of the old school, the trend is encouragingly toward
observation and experiment. Recent literature echoes the cry for “socialization” in social
theory, in government, in education, and in life. If the war rescued individuality, it has also
taught the value of cooperation and the stern necessity for reconstruction of individual
interests so as to include a regard for social welfare. Here again lies the need for study
and control of the socially significant aspects of individual response (p. 85).

The areas Allport’s essay emphasized were:

• Sociological theory

• Psychology of racial temperament

• Marriage and family problems

• Social movements

• Social control and government

• Rural problems

• Educational problems

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