Leçons Sur Les Phénomènes De La Vie


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CHAPTER IV

Language Behavior

I

An appetite (or appetence, if this term may be used with purely behavioristic meaning), so far as externally observable, is a state of agitation which continues so long as a certain stimulus, which may be called the appeted stimulus, is absent. When the appeted stimulus is at length received it stimulates a consummatory reaction, after which the appetitive behavior ceases and is succeeded by a state of relative rest.

An aversion is a state of agitation which continues so long as a certain stimulus, referred to as the disturbing stimulus, is present; but which ceases, being replaced by a state of relative rest, when that stimulus has ceased to act on the sense organs.

The state of agitation, in either appetite or aversion, is exhibited externally by increased muscular tension; by static and phasic contractions of many skeletal and dermal muscles, giving rise to bodily attitudes and gestures which are easily recognized signs or "expressions" of appetite or of aversion; by restlessness; by activity, in extreme cases violent activity; and by "varied effort." . . .

A young bird . . . makes feints of flying before it has ever flown. . . . One of my young doves . . . looked at the perch and aimed at it with perfect definiteness, opening its wings and making feints of flying. In the evolution of birds, there can be no doubt, flying developed gradually from jumping. The new movements of flying were gradually intercalated into the interval between the initial action, leaping from the ground, and the final action, landing again upon the feet. The young dove to this day shows first the incipient end action, aiming at the perch to be alighted on, and only after it has launched itself toward this end situation does the "chain" of flight reactions take place.1

In human relations these internal agitations come to the surface in the emotional expressions of crying, threatening, sulking, sneering, shrugging, leering, laughing, embracing, kissing, blushing, patting, smiling, nodding, bowing, "giving the once over," which are observable releases or restraints of agitation and tension, having a social meaning, and able to be read like a language. The sneer, for example, is an incipient vomiting, the snarl an incipient biting, the bow an incipient prostration, and in some populations the varieties of the shrug form a small vocabulary.

1 , 2: 5–6.

2 Hull, C. L., "Goal Attraction and Directing Ideas Conceived as Habit Phenomena," Psychol. Rev., 38: 505.

1 Craig, W., "g>Appetites and Aversions as Constituents of Instincts," Biol. Bull., 34: 91–92, 99–100.

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Chicago: Leçons Sur Les Phénomènes De La Vie in Primitive Behavior: An Introduction to the Social Sciences, ed. Thomas, William I. (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1937), Original Sources, accessed July 18, 2019, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=P24IA58G7DSKC66.

MLA: . Leçons Sur Les Phénomènes De La Vie, Vol. 2, in Primitive Behavior: An Introduction to the Social Sciences, edited by Thomas, William I., New York, McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1937, Original Sources. 18 Jul. 2019. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=P24IA58G7DSKC66.

Harvard: , Leçons Sur Les Phénomènes De La Vie. cited in 1937, Primitive Behavior: An Introduction to the Social Sciences, ed. , McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., New York. Original Sources, retrieved 18 July 2019, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=P24IA58G7DSKC66.