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Unformatted text preview: at stress as the balked desire. The history of man is made up of the struggle of
normal instincts, emotions and purposes against the mistaken inhibitions and prohibitions, against mistaken
praise and blame, reward and punishment. Moral and ethical ideals develop institutions, and these often press
too heavily upon the life and activities of those who accept them as authoritative.
 See his book "The Great Society" for a fine discussion of this important matter.
We have spoken as if praise and blame invariably had the same results. On the contrary, though in general
they tend to bring about uniformity and conformity, people vary remarkably from one another in their reaction
and the same person is not uniform in his reactions. The reaction to praise is on the whole an increased
happiness and vigor, but of course it may, when undeserved, demoralize the character and lead to a foolish
vanity and to inefficiency. To those whose conscience is highly developed, undeserved praise is painful in that CHAPTER II. 23 it leads to a feeling that one is deceiving others. Speaking broadly, this is a rare reaction. Most people accept
praise as their due, just as they attribute success to their merits. The reaction to blame may be anger, if the
blame is felt to be undeserved, and there are people of irritable ego who respond in this way to all blame or
even the hint of adverse criticism. The reaction may be humiliation and lowered self-valuation, greatly
deenergizing the character and lowering efficiency. There, again, though this reaction occurs in some degree
to all, others are so constituted that all criticism or blame is extremely painful and needs to be tempered with
praise and encouragement. Where blame is felt to be deserved, and where the character is one of striving after
betterment, where the ego is neither irritable nor tender, blame is an aid to growth and efficiency. Many a man
flares up under blame who "cools" down when he sees the justice of the criticism, and changes accordingly.
 A very striking example of this was noticeable during the Great War. American business men in general,
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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