By William McDougall
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Extra info for An introduction to social psychology, 14th edition
The situation that more particularly excites this instinct is the presence of spectators to whom one feels oneself for any reason, or in any way, superior, and this is perhaps true in a modified sense of the animals; the “dignified” behaviour of a big dog in the presence of small ones, the stately strutting of a hen among her chicks, seem to be instances in point. We have, then, good reason to believe that the germ of this emotion is present in the animal world, and, if we make use of our second criterion of the primary character of an emotion, it answers well to the test For in certain mental diseases, especially in the early stages of An Introduction to Social Psychology/53 that most terrible disorder, general paralysis of the insane, exaggeration of this emotion and of its impulse of display is the leading symptom.
In men of the latter type it may become the main source of intellectual energy and effort; to its impulse we certainly owe most of the purely disinterested labours of the highest types of intellect. It must be regarded as one of the principal roots of both science and religion. 50/William McDougall The Instinct of Pugnacity and the Emotion of Anger This instinct, though not so nearly universal as fear, being apparently lacking in the constitution of the females of some species, ranks with fear as regards the great strength of its impulse and the high intensity of the emotion it generates.
10 The excitement of the efferent or motor part reaches it by way of the central part; its constitution determines the distribution of impulses to the muscles of the skeletal system by which the instinc- An Introduction to Social Psychology/35 tive action is effected, and its nervous activities are the correlates of the conative element of the psychical process, of the felt impulse to action. Now, the afferent or receptive part and the efferent or motor part are capable of being greatly modified, independently of one another and of the central part, in the course of the life history of the individual; while the central part persists throughout life as the essential unchanging nucleus of the disposition.