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Unformatted text preview: e are merely names for a spreading of emotion from one
member of a group to another, for a something that makes members of the group teachable and makes them
wish to teach; that is back of the wish to conform and help and has two sets of guiding forces, reward and its
derivative praise; punishment and its derivative blame. Perhaps the term "derivative" is not correct, and
perhaps praise and blame are primary and reward and punishment secondary.
So eminent a philosopher as the elder Mill declared the distribution of praise and blame is the greatest
problem of society." This view of the place of praise and blame in the organization of character and in
directing the efforts and activity of men is hardly exaggerated. From birth to death the pleasure of reward and
praise and the pain of punishment and blame are immensely powerful human motives. It is true that now and
then individuals seek punishment and blame, but this is always to win the favor of others or of the most
important observer of men's actions,--God, The child is trained through the effect of reward and punishment,
praise and blame; and these are used to set up, on the one hand, habits of conduct, and on the other an inner
mentor and guide called Conscience. It may be true that conscience is innate in its potentialities, but whether
that is so or not, it is the teaching and training of the times or of some group that gives to conscience its
peculiar trend in any individual case. And before a child has any inward mentor it depends for its knowledge
of right and wrong upon the efforts of its parents, their use of praise-reward and blame-punishment; it reacts
to these measures in accordance with the strength and vigor of its social instincts and in accordance with its
fear of punishment and desire for reward. The feelings of duty and the prickings of conscience serve to
consolidate a structure already formed.
Here we must discuss a matter of fundamental importance in character analysis. Men are not born equal in any
respect. This inequality extends to every power, possibility and peculiarity and has its widest range in t...
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This note was uploaded on 09/26/2011 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 110 taught by Professor Kannan during the Spring '11 term at Anna University Chennai - Regional Office, Coimbatore.
- Spring '11