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“Positive” and “negative” social behavior was defined, and the key words in 3353 studies abstracted in the Psychological Indexes and Abstracts for the decades 1900-1975 were categorized accordingly. Studies were also categorized for their methodological orientation, and whether they used animals, children, or adults as subjects. Results: (a) prior to about 1920, there was little difference between the number of positively and negatively marked studies, (b) since about 1920 there have been more negative than positive social behavior studies, (c) recently there has been a significant increase in positively designated studies, (d) among the latter there has been an increase in experimental and psychotherapy studies using adult human subjects. These results are discussed in terms of certain influences upon research during this period, and the broadening of behavioral sciences theories.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 1981

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