New JHBS! Sociology, Stereotypes, & Emotions

The autumn 2012 issue of the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences is now online. Included in this issue are articles on the role of emotions in animal experimentation, the career and interests of Japanese sociologist Tamotsu Shibutani, the development of sociology during the Progressive Era in the United States, and the importance of Walter Lippmann’s (left) theory of stereotypes. Full titles, authors, and abstracts follow below.

“Animal Tales: Observations of the Emotions in American Experimental Psychology, 1890-1940,” by Anne C. Rose.  The abstract reads,

In nineteenth-century science, the emotions played a crucial role in explaining the social behavior of animals and human
beings. Beginning in the 1890s, however, the first American psychologists, resolutely parsimonious in method, dismissed affective experience as intellectually imprecise. Yet in practice, feelings continued to influence at least one research setting: animal experiments. Laboratory reports, although focused on learning, became a repository of informal observations about the animals’ temperaments and moods. When American psychologists began to reexamine the emotions between the world wars, they drew on this empirical legacy in animal studies. They also devised a conceptual approach to emotion consistent with their expectation of experimental precision.

“Japanese American Wartime Experience, Tamotsu Shibutani and Methodological Innovation, 1942-1978,” by Karen M. Inouye. The abstract reads,

A case study of how wartime internment reverberated in the life and work of Japanese American intellectuals, this essay discusses the career and interests of Tamotsu Shibutani, a sociologist who began his training as part of Dorothy Swaine Thomas’ Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study (JERS). Though recent scholarship has noted some of the ethical problems that attended the use of Japanese American participant observers during the war, this essay concentrates instead on how interned intellectuals responded to their double role of both researcher (and intellectual) and object of study. I argue that in the case of Shibutani, his circumstances and identity shaped his scholarship, both as an academic endeavor and a political project. By tracking Shibutani’s postwar scholarly activities, I show that his wartime experiences—as an internee, military officer, and participant-observer—reverberated in his sociological publications long after the war’s end.

“In search of the Kingdom: The Social Gospel, Settlement Sociology, and the Science of Reform in America’s Progressive Era,” by Joyce E. Williams and Vicky M. Maclean. The abstract reads,

This critical narrative history examines the development of sociology in the United States during what has come to be labeled as the Progressive Era, roughly the years from the 1890s to World War I. Despite the label, this era was defined as much by social problems associated with industrialization, urbanization, and immigration as by the growth of its cities and the wealth of its capitalists. We explore the roots of American sociology in the transition of protestant theology from Calvinism to its reformation in the social gospel, the simultaneous development of settlement houses, and the “creation” of sociology as the science of reform.

“”The Casual Cruelty of our Prejudices”: On Walter Lippmann’s Theory of Stereotype and its “Obliteration” in Psychology and Social Science,” by William P. Bottom and Dejun Tony Kong. The abstract reads,

Reflecting on his wartime government service, Walter Lippmann (1922) developed a theory of policy formulation and error. Introducing the constructs of stereotype, mental model, blind spots, and the process of manufacturing consent, his theory prescribed interdisciplinary social science as a tool for enhancing policy making in business and government. Lippmann used his influence with the Rockefeller foundations, business leaders, Harvard and the University of Chicago to gain support for this program. Citation analysis of references to “stereotype” and Lippmann reveals the rapid spread of the concept across the social sciences and in public discourse paralleled by obliteration by incorporation of the wider theory in behavioral science. “Stereotype” is increasingly invoked in anthropology, economics, and sociology though Lippmann and his wider theory ceased being cited decades ago. In psychology, citations are increasing but content analysis revealed blind spots and misconceptions about the theory and prescription. Studies of heuristics, biases, and organizational decision substantiate Lippmann’s theory of judgment and choice. But his model for social science failed to consider the bounded rationality and blind spots of its practitioners. Policy formulation today is supported by research from narrow disciplinary silos not interdisciplinary science that reflects an awareness of history.