Psychology of religion - Wikipedia

A psychological crowd once constituted, it acquires certainprovisional but determinable general characteristics. To these generalcharacteristics there are adjoined particular characteristics which varyaccording to the elements of which the crowd is composed, and may modify itsmental constitution. Psychological crowds, then, are susceptible ofclassification; and when we come to occupy ourselves with this matter, we shallsee that a heterogeneous crowd--that is, a crowd composed of dissimilarelements--presents certain characteristics in common with homogeneouscrowds--that is, with crowds composed of elements more or less akin (sects,castes, and classes)--and side by side with these common characteristicsparticulari-

Personal Transformation Stories

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The story of the blind men touching ..

Janet thought that only a small part of the interaction between an organism and its environment occurs within conscious awareness: under ordinary circumstances, people automatically integrate new information by taking appropriate action without paying much conscious attention to what is happening. Most experiences, values, habits, and innate and acquired skills are automatically integrated into existing cognitive schemata. These automatic adaptations, which Janet called "automatisms," are actions triggered by ideas and accompanied by emotions. They may range from simple reflexes, such as the grasping reflex, to complex executions of particular skills (2, 16). By combining cognition, conation, and emotion with action, psychological automatisms represent rudimentary elements of consciousness that are both psychologically and biologically encoded (2,21). Janet coined the word "subconscious" for the memories that are thus automatically stored.

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One hundred years ago, in 1889, Pierre Janet (1859-1947) published Líautomatisme psychologique (2), his first book to explore the psychological processes involved in the transformation of traumatic experiences into psychopathology. During the preceding century, Benjamin Rush and various French psychiatrists, including Pinel and Briquet (3-6), had already suggested that certain mental disorders originate in traumatic experiences. Stimulated by Charcot's teachings at the Salpêtrière at the end of the nineteenth century, psychiatrists on both sides of the Atlantic attempted to define how psychological trauma affects the psyche (4,5); for both Janet and Freud this formed the basis of their early theories about the nature and treatment of psychopathology.

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In recent years many different clinicians and researchers have rediscovered the role of past trauma in psychopathology and have attempted to find a coherent framework for their observations. Although there is a basic consensus on the accuracy of the DSM-III-R descriptions of PTSD and the dissociative disorders, the precise psychological and biological processes involved in the transformation of traumatic experiences into psychiatric disturbances remain to be identified. Janet provided a broad framework that integrated into a larger perspective the various approaches to psychological functioning which have developed along independent lines in this century. An overview like this can hardly do justice to how current knowledge in such diverse scientific disciplines as memory processing, neurobiology, developmental psychology, and the human response to trauma have rediscovered, confirmed, or disproven Janet's notions. However, we will try to illustrate how he anticipated contemporary developments in some of these areas, which may serve as a guide toward a better understanding of how the data from these disparate disciplines may be related.

Macbeth's Transformation :: William Shakespeare

Government Political - Party Leadership - (See Figure Three) parties contend and conflict in the struggle for power. Leaders face a perpetual battle of combative parties seeking power. Leaders discover their own interests and activate interests, wants, needs, and expectations of followers, and then promise to meet them, resulting in mobilized demands for economic, social and psychological resources. Power is channeled and distributed, creating the basis of transactional structures of political and party leadership (p. 311). The tendency in such transaction structures is towards oligarchy, as leaders of fighting groups are pitted against one another. In any organization the leader competes and bargains and compromises with competing parties of conflicting group interests. The oligarchy fights against fragmented and decentralization of power into splintered and diverse group interests. The populace resists strong centralized party leadership. The oligarchy resists by forming coalitions. This is Robert Michel's "iron law of oligarchy." Parties begin with transformational, even charismatic leadership and revolution and reform and end up as anti-democratic, bureaucratic, and political organizations. "Bureaucratic timidity replaced the old daring and creativity" (p. 314). Leaders in today's corporate empires engage in bargaining, coalition building, and compromise to get any movement at all among deadlocked political power groups.

Problems with Transformational Leadership.

What constitutes a crowd from the psychological point of view--A numerically strong agglomeration of individuals does not suffice to form a crowd--Special characteristics of psychological crowds--The turning in a fixed direction of the ideas and sentiments of individuals composing such a crowd, and the disappearance of their personality--The crowd is always dominated by considerations of which it is unconscious--The disappearance of brain activity and the predominance of medullar activity--The lowering of the intelligence and the complete transformation of the sentiments--The transformed sentiments may be better or worse than those of the individuals of which the crowd is composed--A crowd is as easily heroic as criminal.