The desire for pleasant things commences to guide its

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Unformatted text preview: hungry. It is within the first few months of life that the child shows that he is a gregarious[1] animal,--gregarious in the sense that he is unhappy away from others. To be alone is thus felt to be essentially an evil, to be with others is in itself a good. This gregarious feeling is the sine qua non of social life: when we punish any one we draw away from him; when we reward we get closer to him. All his life the child is to find pleasure in being with people and unhappiness when away from them, unless he be one of those in whom the gregarious instinct is lacking. For instincts may be absent, just as eye pigment is; there are mental albinos, lacking the color of ordinary human feeling. Or else some experience may make others hateful to him, or he may have so intellectualized his life that this instinct has atrophied. This gregarious feeling will heighten his emotions, he will gather strength from the feeling that "others are with him," he will join societies, clubs, organizations in response to the same feeling that makes sheep graze on a hillside in a group, that makes the monkeys in a cage squat together, rubbing sides and elbows. The home in which our child finds himself, though a social institution, is not gregarious; it gives him only a limited contact, and as soon as he is able and self-reliant he seeks out a little herd, and on the streets, in the schoolroom and playground, he really becomes a happy little herd animal. [1] One of my children would stop crying if some one merely entered his room when he was three weeks old. He was, and is, an intensely gregarious boy. Let us turn back to the desire for activity. As the power to direct the eyes develops, as hands become a little more sure, because certain pathways in brain and cord "myelinize,"[1] become functional, the outside world attracts in a definite manner and movements become organized by desires, by purpose. It's a red-letter day in the calendar of a human being when he first success...
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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.

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