The Social Psychology of William McDougall

Part of the Springer Series in Social Psychology book series (SSSOC)


The psychology of crowds and of other collectivities developed as a specialism at the turn of the century on the continent of Europe. Its origins are mainly to be found in the writings of Le Bon and of Sighele. They were responding to the social and political events that they had witnessed and which were changing the nature of the societies in which they lived. In the case of Le Bon this was the crisis of democracy in the Third Republic (Nye, 1975). It was not long, however, before others began to construct or to conceive of a new discipline (i.e., social psychology), which might incorporate and help to explain the observations of Le Bon and of others on the nature of crowds and on the changing nature to social influence. Various textbooks of social psychology began to appear, and Tarde (1910) conceived of a new specialism devoted entirely to the comparative study of conversation. Moscovici (1981) recently gave us a lucid exposition of Tarde’s original project in the context of his own modern reappraisal of the significance of the work of Le Bon. The important social changes to which Le Bon, Tarde, and others responded included the emergence of a mass, mainly urban, society and of the modern media of communication that flourish in such societies.


Social Psychology Mental Life National Life Parent Discipline Interracial Marriage 
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© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1986

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