"The great value of understanding the foundations of conduct is clearly shown by such living facts as are gathered together in this volume. Bearing upon one type of causation of misconduct, we have here not only a rational psychological theory, but also abundant concrete material. An important field is opened before us, especially interesting because of the revelation (a) of potent subconscious mental mechanisms working according to definite laws of mental life, and (b) of types of hidden early experiences which definitely evoke these mental processes that are forerunners of misconduct. Troublesome behavior, originating in the experiences and mechanisms here under discussion, ranges widely from mere faults of social attitude to severe delinquency and crime dependent upon uncontrolled anti-social motivation or impulse. Cases having this causation occur so frequently that specific knowledge of their nature should be part of the equipment of all who have to pass judgment or to advise concerning misdoing and misdoers. Much reliance has always been placed upon the idea that admonition and punishment is an effectual way of meeting undesirable conduct. However, even the simplest observations show the very great failure of these methods. No thoroughly effective scheme of punishment can be part of our civilization. We have set our faces against barbaric retribution and absolute prevention of offense. Some of us even hesitate at corporal punishment of children. So far as delinquency and crime are concerned, with more or less self-consciousness and with much groping towards progress, we stand nowadays, with our reformatories and probation systems and what-not, definitely for the principle of inducing in the offender self-directed tendencies towards more desirable behavior. It requires little discernment to see how deeply the success of such undertakings must depend on wise adaptation to the causes of misconduct. The remarkable results following upon exploration of mental conflicts, at least when there has been any fair chance for building up better impulses in these cases we have been studying, show most concretely how earnest seeking for causes forms the effective approach to treatment of misconduct. Before the reader goes into the body of the work, I would have It thoroughly understood that our studies are tied to no one psychological school. The efforts at mental analysis which are here represented have been stimulated more by uncovering facts than by any theories, although I gratefully acknowledge the help to appreciation of principles which has been derived from various writers on psychoanalysis and kindred topics. It has been no small aid to scientific conviction that many others, even though working In separate fields, clearly discern that often there are covert mental mechanisms basically affecting attitudes and conduct"--Preface. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
Introduction General principles Applications Methods Conflicts accompanied by obsessive imagery Conflicts causing impelling ideas Criminal careers developed from conflicts Cases readily analyzed Difficult cases Conflict arising from sex experiences Conflicts arising from secret sex knowledge Conflicts concerning parentage or other matters Conflicts in abnormal mental types Conflicts resulting in stealing Conflicts resulting in running away Conflicts resulting in other delinquencies Conclusions.
Includes index. Electronic reproduction. Washington, D.C. : American Psychological Association, 2015. Available via World Wide Web. Access limited by licensing agreement. s2015 dcunns