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Language and self

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Title:
Language and self the role of language in personality development
Creator:
Gorrell, John Jeffrey, 1945-
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English
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x, 237 leaves : ; 28 cm.

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Subjects / Keywords:
Language ( jstor )
Learning ( jstor )
Linguistics ( jstor )
Perceptual experiences ( jstor )
Self ( jstor )
Self concept ( jstor )
Spoken communication ( jstor )
Symbolism ( jstor )
Symbols ( jstor )
Words ( jstor )
Psycholinguistics ( lcsh )
Self ( lcsh )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

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Thesis:
Thesis--University of Florida.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 227-235).
General Note:
Typescript.
General Note:
Vita.
Statement of Responsibility:
by John Jeffrey Gorrell.

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University of Florida
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University of Florida
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Copyright [name of dissertation author]. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
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02496714 ( OCLC )

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Full Text












LANGUAGE AND SELF:
THE ROLE OF LANGUAGE IN PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT













By

JOHN JEFFREY GORRELL


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE
DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY


1975




LANGUAGE ANO SELF:
THE ROLE OF LANGUAGE IN PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT
By
JOHN JEFFREY GORRELL
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE
DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
1975


Copyright 1975
by John Jeffrey Gorrell


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
To Art Combs for your belief in me throughout my course of study,
for your guidance and support during the planning and writing of this
dissertation, and especially for teaching me what it is to be a
"professional," thank you. To Walt Busby for your warm and wise touch
in all dimensions of our relationship, thank you. To Vernon Van De Reit
for teaching me much about Gestalt therapy, about human dynamics and
about myself, thank you. To Pat Ashton for being a willing sounding
board for my every half-baked idea, thank you. To Jean Casagrande for
lending your command of linguistic theory and your good-will to this
enterprise, thank you.
To Priscilla Munson, for swapping your typing skills for my
baby-sitting skills in early versions of the manuscript, thank you.
And to Sheryl Snyder for your beautiful typing on the final version,
thank you.
A special thank you and a hug for you, Pat Korb. Our intellectual
discussions on language and experience have produced a felicitous state
in which I do not know where my ideas leave off and yours begin. That's
the way it should be.
iii


TABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter Page
Acknowledgements iii
List of Figures vii
ABSTRACT viii
INTRODUCTION 1
Scope of this Work 4
Valid Theory Building 5
I. SELF AND SYMBOLIC SELF 11
Description of the Self 11
Self as Role Relations 12
Self as Psychosocial Identity 13
Self as Dynamic Force 15
Self as Traits 17
The Eastern Conception of Self 19
The Subjective Experience of Having a Self 20
A Perceptual Approach to the Self 21
Perceptual Field 23
Organization of the Self 26
The Phenomenal Self 28
Self Concept 29
The Symbolic Self 32
Language and the Symbolic Self 35
II.THE SOCIALIZATION OF SELF THROUGH LANGUAGE 38
The Capacity for Self-reflection 40
Cultural Assumptions 43
Overlapping Perceptions 51
Channelling of Information Modes 53
The Elaboration of Self through Role
Relationships 57
ExternalrPerspectives on^Self 57
Roles 59
Primary Socialization 61
The Creation of Common Meanings and a sense
of Cooperation 63
III. SYMBOLIZATION 67
The Extension of Perception through Language 67
Perception of Continuity 68
Labeling Experience 69
The Perception of Patterns and Relationships 73
iv


The Symbolic Function 74
Internalization 77
Symbolizing Personal Experience 81
Transformational Grammar 84
Three Dimensions of Speech 85
Surface structures 85
Deep structures 86
Transformational rules 87
Language Acquisition 88
The Adequacy of Knowledge 89
Language and Self in Daily Life 91
IVSOCIAL AND PRIVATE SPEECH 97
Communicable Experience 97
Egocentric Speech 99
Inner Speech 104
Inner Speech and Deep Structures 109
Exploratory Symbols 111
Syncretic Thinking 116
Inner Speech and the Preconscious 121
VINNER SPEECH AND THE SELF CONCEPT 126
Development of a Complex Self Concept 129
The Complex Self and Preferred Performances 133
Differentiation in the Complex Self 137
Levels of Abstraction 140
Abstraction and the Perceived Self 145
Intensionality 148
Extensionality 150
Intensional Self Concepts 152
Self Concept in a Double Bind 154
VIEXPERIENCE AND EXPRESSION 156
The Integration of Language and Experience 156
The Ideal Communicant 157
Congruence 158
Personal Meaning 159
The Inner Flow of Experiencing 163
Experiential Signals 166
The Split Between Language and Experience 169
Distortion and Seperation 169
Personal Mythology 175
Circularity of Personal Myths 179
Congruence of Experience and Expression 182
VIILANGUAGE AND THE FULLY FUNCTIONING SELF 186
The Self Actualizing Self 187
The Adequate Personality 193
Meaning 196
APPENDIX 197
Toward Disvocering Universal Linguistic Processes 197
Semiotics 197
Semantic Space 199


Gramatical Universals 201
Linguistic Uni versis from a Transformational
Grammar Perspective 205
Phrase Structure Rules 205
Transformational Rules 206
Morphophonemic Rules 208
Caveat 209
Competence 210
Developmental Psycholinguistics 214
Innate Capacities 217
Deep Structures and Personal Meaning 219
Personal Experience 223
REFERENCES 227
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 236
vi


LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1. Continuum of Figure/ground Differentiation
Figure 2. Pyramid of Abstracting
Figure 3. Self-abstracting Pyramid
111
144
151


Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
LANGUAGE AND SELF:
THE ROLE OF LANGUAGE IN PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT
By
JOHN JEFFREY GORRELL
August, 1975
Chairman: Arthur W. Combs
Major Department: Foundations of Education
A person's use of language as the basis for his representing and
exploring the world around him channelizes his thinking processes. It
affects the v/ays in which he abstracts from his experiences, the ways
in which he establishes a sense of his relationship to others, the ways
he generates and manipulates symbols and images about himself, and the
ways in which he makes his experiences available to himself. Thus,
language permeates the individual's experience at many levels, providing
him with the means of freeing himself from superficial appearance on one
hand, and of chaining himself to distortions and misperceptions on the
other hand.
If we look at the speech process itself, we see the individual
finding ways of bringing to public shape his personal thoughts, feelings,
impressions, and ideas. In so doing, the individual discovers more about
the experience he attempts to communicate to others; he has to reflect
upon it, symbolize it, and transform it into some communicable state.
The other side of the speech process, speech for oneself, highlights
v i i i


the exploratory, bringing-to-an-understanding process even more, for
through it the individual develops his characteristic modes of perceiv
ing himself and of relating his experiences to each other. Operating
at a lower levelin most cases, probably a prior level of functioning
a person's inner speech affects his overall psychological structure,
particularly his ability to function fully throughout his life.
The fully functioning person has as one of his primary characteristics
a firm sense of his own identity. That is, he is aware of himself as
a responsive organism with continuing meanings and values. Being in
touch, on the whole, with his experiencing and having the capacity to
make his experiences available in other experiences, he has differentiated
himself rather completely from his environment and from other people.
This has occurred through his capacity to symbolize his experiences in
a variety of ways and to use his symbolic functioning as an abstracting
process. He is in command of his perceptual organization in'that he
does not mistake symbols for the things symbolized. He is reality-
oriented in that he bases his conceptions of himself upon an accurate
appraisal of situations and events without the distortion that comes
from feeling threatened in some ways.
The inadequate or partially-functioning person has different
perceptual and symbolizing characteristics. He is limited to two
valued terms in defining himself so he tends to be more rigid percep
tually, operating in either/or terms. Thus, he is likely to define
himelf in negative terms, in respect to what he is not instead of what
he is. He confuses symbols and the things they represent, which leads
IX


him to reacting to the wrong elements frequently and distorting the
situations he finds himself in, he acts with a great quantity of unchal
lenged assumptions about what is and what is not.
Furthermore, if he uses his language in ways that remove him from
direct reference to his experience he becomes experientially empty,
incapable of knowing what he feels and what he thinks. Thus, he has a
limited amount of personal experience available to him in new situations,
so he is limited in his being able to respond fully and well.
Finally, out of his lack of participation in experiential modes,
his symbols and meanings are constantly being shuffled through into a
mythological structure, representing not so much what really is but
what he thinks is; this inadequate means of organizing his perceptions,
having little or no means of sorting cut levels of organization and
meaning, severely limits his sense of identity.
x


INTRODUCTION
Benjamine Lee Whorf (1956) once said that language is the best show
man puts on. It certainly is the most characteristic and pervasive means
man has of understanding and representing his experience. Language cuts
across man's every activity. It is not merely a behavior that he exhibits
it has impact upon man's perceptions, mental functions, relationships with
other men, beliefs and meanings. Thus, the study of language in all its
forms and functions is a study of man's capacities and predilections for
experiencing. My purpose in this work is to explore the role of language
in personality development, particularly in relation to development of the
self.
One of the essential human experiences is the experience of one's
self. An individual develops a sense of his own identity through his
experiences. He forms perceptions, attitudes, beliefs, and meanings
about himself as he grows up; this constellation of meanings is organized,
dynamic, and changeable. It is a self-system in that it is systematic,
hierarchical, and understandable. Language capacity and language use
provide the individual with the necessary conditions for perceiving
himself in his environment and for organizing his perceptions into a
holistic self-concept.
Developments in self theory in the last century have moved towards
understanding the self from the individual's own perceptual field.
Beginning with William James' description of the self as an object of


knowledge for each individual and extending through the phenomenological
approach of Combs, Lecky, Rogers, Raimy, etc., self theory has attempted
to account for the individual's experience of himself as the dominant
organizing feature of his existence. These developments have produced
a wide range of studies on the effects of self concept on performance
(Purkey, 1970) and have generated countless discussions about the validity
of the self concept as an explanatory device (Wylie, 1961).
Generally self-theorists have agreed to orient their explanations
of self at the level of describing the dynamic and organizational features.
Studies revolving around this level of understanding of the self have
introduced sophisticated evidence for the centrality of self concept in
a person's life. The effects of environment, history, and experience
upon a person's self concept have been explored (Combs, 1959) and psycholo
gists have found ample evidence for determination of a person's self
concept by social interaction.
The phenomenological approach, which describes a person-'s self in
terms of his perceptual field, places greatest importance upon the percep
tual process in the forming of a self concept. The perceptual process is
described in Gestalt field terms and thereby is able to account for the
dynamic, holistic features of perception. Understanding of the perceptual
process, however, has not sufficiently considered the role of language in
the development of perception. Since language is man's most characteristic
and influential form of knowing, it has great impact upon the individual's
perceptions.
The study of language encompasses investigations from a broad
spectrum of human knowledge: philosophy, anthropology, sociology, linguis
tics, semantics, speech, and psychology. In recent years linguistics as


3
a discipline within itself has emerged as a major theoretical area and
investigations in the relation among language, thought, perception, and
experiencing are generating fascinating new understandings of the role of
language in human life. Out of this study in new frontiers of language
and out of the investigations from the past comes important information
for the psychologist, particularly for the self-theorist who wishes to
account for all levels of human experience.
Two important results can be obtained from a study of language and
of the self: we can increase our knowledge about the role of language
in the individual's experience of himself and we can enlarge our own
perspectives on human functioning by incorporating knowledge from other
disciplines. The cross-ferti1ization of areas of knowledge leads to a
more synthesized holistic conception of human nature. Just as the intro
duction of new experiences enlarges and alters an individual's perceptual
field, the introduction of new approaches to understanding enlarges the
professional's perceptual field.
The matter of relationships between language and perception has
long intrigued me and it is for this reason that my investigations have
proceeded in the direction they are now taking, In addition, I have been
struck by the problems involved in describing a person's self-system,
the total organized systems of perceptions he has, particularly in the
area of describing the growth and development of the self-system in
children. At present there exists much information regarding the organi
zational features of the adult and there are applications of this knowledge
to the developing child and adolescent. However, essentially the descriptions


4
we obtain are based on either an assumption of the social origin of
the self conceptin which significant people in a child's experience
present him with attitudes about himself which he incorporatesor
based on personality dynamics of adults.
While both of these approaches to the growth of the self-system
are highly suggestive and valuable to self-theorists, another approach,
one which considers the development of thinking processes in the indivi
dual, could extend our present knowledge and afford a more complete
picture of the development of the self. My contribution to the field,
then, would be to provide a rationale for considering the cognitive
processes as they relate to the dynamics of personality and perception.
The means for joining these aspects is, I believe, found in psychlinguistic
research and theory.
Scope of this Work
Beginning with a discussion of the self in psychological terms and
the problems attendant in trying to describe the self in terms other than
the individual's own perceptions, I enter into a description of the phenom
enal self and self concept as determiners of behavior. From this point I
outline the socializing effects of language. Following chapters formulate
the role of language in extending the individual's control and understanding
of the environment and of himsel f--\;he ways in which he learns what to
anticipate and how to construe the world. Then, the development of an
inner language, an inner symbol system based upon the external symbol
system, is presented, and its importance in the individual's total
personality is elaborated upon in chapters five and six. The learned ways
of symbolizing himself affects the degree of openness and complexity in his


self concept, and the degree to which he develops an adequate process of
symbolizing and making available his experiences determines how fully he
will be able to function in his daily life. An appendix, dealing with
the search for linguistic universals and psychological processes rounds
out the work,
I have investigated and am continuing to investigate the best
evidence that exists in psychology, linguistics, etc. I draw upon the
research and analysis of such figures as Benjamin Lee Whorf, Alfred
Korzybski, S. I. Hawakawa, Noam Chomsky, David McNeill, Jean Piaget,
Jerome Bruner, A. R. Luria, L. S Vygotsky, George Herbert Mead, Ernst
Cassirer, Charles Morris, Eugene Gendlin, and Gregory Bateson. My own
position in regard to the development of language and emergence of the
self-system owes a lot to the above men in addition to the work done by
self-thecrists in psychology, such as Combs & Snygg, Rogers, Maslow, etc.
Valid Theory Building
The validity of my position should be testable on both the theoretical
and empirical levels. In this current study I intend to define the theore
tical foundations of a psycholinguistic approach to the self-system.
Therefore, the rigor of my investigation is directed by criteria for valid
theory building. Gordon Allport (1947), reporting the results of the
Social Science Research Council on the validation of social theory, lists
six criteria: feelings of subjective certainty; conformity with known
facts, mental experimentation, predictive power, social agreement, and
internal consistency. I propose to follow the same criteria in the formu
lation of my theoretical position, using such criteria as touchstones to


insure that my theory is not only a sound presentation of present
evidence but also a sound generation of explanatory constructs from
the available evidence
Allport's first criterion, feelings of subjective certainty in
theory building, underscores the intuitive or organismic side of know
ing. To someone who has wrestled regularly, extensively, and vigorously
with a body of knowledge, a "feel" for the material develops. He
maintains a subjective sense of the logicality, the relatedness, the
impact, and the adequacy of the total sum of information he has encount
ered. Out of this "feel" for the material the individual is sometimes
able to organize his subjective impressions into a logical framework
that can be communicated to others, but the initial basis for forming
the finished product may lie in the nomothetic or intuitive sphere.
Allport points out the "subjective certainty is one sign that suggests a
good fit for nomothetic knowledge with specific evidence, though it can
never be taken alone"(p. 170). In my own investigations of psycho!in-
guistic areastaking me into philosophy of language, linguistics,
anthropology, developmental psychology, psychotherapy, self theory, and
social psychologyI have long believed that the symbolic functioning in
man, in all of its diverse dimensions, related together at some level of
analysis that could be ordered, organized, communicated, and tested. The
result of this subjective impress-ion is the following dissertation.
In attempting to pass from intuition to analysis, which is the
process of justifying subjective feeling states or nomothetic knowledge,
I have examined the range of existing evidence for all dimesions of
language development. Moving into this sphere of investigation, actually


/
confronting the body of evidence, satisfies All port's second criterion:
conformity with known facts.
Although I am well aware that "known facts" are themselves subject
to scrutiny and challenge, particularly in social science, and that there
are apparent contradictions and inconsistencies in the available evidence,
there is a far greater agreement than disagreement, and greater consistency
than inconsistency. Allport says, "to include known facts and to exclude
none is demanded as a test for the adequacy of theories in physical science.
Important as this criterion may be it is not always easy to apply to social
data (e.g personal documents) where the facts are subjective and often
ambiguous. But at the same time, salient events in the life cannot
remain unaccounted for by an interpretation that pretends to be valid"
(pp. 170-171). My attempt to account for the characteristics of language
development and emergence of the self-system will consider all the events
that pertain.
While accounting for the existing evidence and organizing it into
a coherent body, I will subject this evidence to mental experimentation--
Allport's third criterion. This means that alternative explanations are
to be considered, levels of analysis are to be extended, and implications,
both short term and long term, are to be examined,
The process of mental manipulation is admirably explained by Sir
Arthur Conan Doyle's (1967) fictional character, Sherlock Holmes:
'The ideal reasoner," he remarked, "would, when he has
once been shown a single fact in all its bearings,
deduce from it not only all the chain of events which
led up to it, but also all the results which would
follow from it. As Cuvier could correctly describe a
whole animal by the contemplation of a single bone,
so the observer who has thoroughly understood one link
in a series of incidents, should be able accurately to


8
State all the other ones, both before and after. .
To carry the art, however, to its highest pitch, it is
necessary that the reasoner should be able to utilize
all the facts which have come to his knowledge . .
(p. 160)."
The predictive power of any theory, alluded to in the quotation
above, must be a major consideration, Allport suggests that this
fourth criterion is not sufficient in itself for concluding that a
conceptualization is adequate, but if a theory has predictive power
or heuristic value, then it is greatly improved. In my theory I will
seek to account for those predictions and further questioning that
would be derived from the stated position. For example, if I show
that the abstracting process is mediated on several levels by language,
I would then predict that perceptions, as it is derived from abstracting
processes, would be affected by changes in language. This would lead
to further predictions of how a person's conception of his world and of
himself would be altered through language.
While predictive power can be approached on levels ranging from
simple historical/sequential predictions (as in predicting what behavior
a person will next exhibit) to highly abstract predictions (as in
predicting changes in personality structure or in mental functioning),
a valid theory would maintain means for predicting on all levels of
analysis. Refinement of my theory would increase the amount of specific
ity in predictions with the increase in empirical data. My expectations
for the present, however, are to be predictive on more general and
abstract levels.
There is a great deal of agreement among experts in the area of
language that language itself affects perceptions, actions, thinking,


and feeling. Also among laymen we find a subjective realization of
living in "semantic space"(Hayakawa, 1953), in contexts where the
words used in communication have essential effects upon personal exper
ience. This is one form of social agreement that encourages my
investigation. Although Allport indicates the danger of "prestige-
suggestibility, of scientific fad and fashion, and of common prejudice"
(p. 171), consensual agreement must be reckoned with. It is here that
I expect to have to wait for validation of my theory.
Drawing upon a variety of agreed-upon conceptualizations as I will
be doing, I can expect to find initial agreement on parts of my formula
tion, but I will have to wait for judgments on my interpretations until
they have been thoroughly presented and their implications explored.
Modifications of my theory might come out of the impact it has on other
investigators in the field.
Finally, the validity of a theory rests on the internal consistency
of the conceptualization. As Allport concludes,
Parts of an interpretation can be made to confront one
another. Logical contradictions raise the suspicion of
invalidity. True, the lives to which the interpertations
apply are not themselves without contradictions and
inconsistencies. And yet, just as a personality has
an intricate integration wherein even the inconsistencies
often find a deeper resolution, so too should an inter
pretive scheme applied to the personality have the same
intricate properties of self-confrontation and congruence.
No parts of it should fall out of character (p. 171).
My attempt to realize consistency in the theory comes in the form of a
deeper resolution of seemingly disparate elements.
As a phenomenologist I am aware of the need for self-consistency
within an individual's perceptual experience. As a psycholinguist I


see a similar need for self-consistency among the various parts of my
formulations, This is provided for in each chapter as I relate a
body of linguistic evidence to understanding about the self. Consistency
is also provided in the total organization of the study around man's
capacity to symbolize his experience in many ways.


CHAPTER I
SELF AND SYMBOLIC SELF
Description of the Self
For centuries mankind has debated the existence and the properties
of the self. In the second half of the seventeenth century Blaise Pascal,
mathematician, scientist, philosopher and religious polemicist, wrote an
impressive array of thoughts on human nature. In Pensees (1660-1662) he
confronts the issue of what man really is, not only in relation to God
but in relation to other men. Few people study man, he says, because it
is a difficult project and they do not know how to go about it. The main
problem is in locating the object under scrutiny. In daily life as well
as in formal study we often confuse external attributes of someone for the
person himself, which leads us away from our goals. Pascal says:
What is the self?
A man goes to the window to see the people passing by; if
I pass by, can I say he went there to see me? No, for he
is not thinking of me in particular. But what about a
person who loves someone for the sake of her beauty; does
he love her? No, for smallpox, which will destroy beauty
without destroying the person, will put an end to his love
for her.
And if someone loves me for my judgment or my memory, do
they love me? Me, myself? No, for I could lose these
qualities without losing my self. Where then is this
self, if it is neither in the body nor the soul? And how
can one love the body or the soul except for the sake of
such qualities, which are not what makes up the self,
since they are perishable? Would we love the substance
of a person's soul, in the abstract, whatever qualities
might be in it? This is not possible, and it would be
wrong. Therefore, we never love anyone, but only
qualities (p. 245).
11


\z
I would rather say that we never observe anyone, but only qualities.
In the position of an outside observer I can only see attributes which I
have abstracted from behaviors of others. Thus, in looking at individuals
and attempting to understand them, I am constrained by the impossibility of
knowing another person fully. I may recognize patterns of behavior and
even be able to infer consistent motives for his actions, but if I try to
specify a self in these terms I can only, at best, relate attributes with
each other, not with that person himself. Yet, in psychology the self is
a valuable and widespread construct.
Self as Role Relations
George Herbert Mead (1934) distinguishes between two aspects of
self, the "I" and the "me," both arising out of the social context. The
"me" of personality is the organized set of attitudes and roles that an
individual internalizes from his interactions with others. It is a
composite self, an add-sum relation based upon his social experiences
and expectancies. Roles are not necessarily conscious roles as in play
acting; they constitute any regular interaction between the individual
and his environment.
The individual also reacts to the "me" of his identity. Since
the "me" is formed through complex role relationships, it is observable
by each person as a patterned identity. The "I" of the self is aware of
his roles and his behavior. According to Mead the "I" is conscious of
social expectancies and acts in some particular context. Once it has
acted the "I" becomes a "me," a part of the individual's knowledge of
himself. Mead says:


He has their attitudes, knows what they want and what
the consequence of any act of his will be, and he has
assumed responsibility for the situation. Now, it is
presence of those organized set of attitudes that
constitutes the "me" to which he has sic an "I" is
responding. . .
The "I" is his action toward that social institution
within his own conduct, and it gets into his exper
ience only after he has carried out the act. Then he
is aware of it (p. 230-231).
The self in Mead's conception is the product of social interaction,
which is established through language. He does not consider a person to
have an innate self or a particular set of innate characteristics that
develop in his growing up. Representative of the pragmatic school of
sociology, Mead's theory stands against biological explanations of identity
and personality. Seeking a functional description of the relationship
between the environment and the individual, he settles upon the self as
that which is the most salient product of interaction. This is discussed
more extensively in chapter two.
Self as Psychosocial Identity
Erik Erikson (1968) takes the position that psychosocial identity
in each person is the anchoring point for his whole personality. The
organism unfolds in a prescribed, biologically based sequence. The
inherent biological mechanisms are the controlling elements of identity,
but they come in contact with the social environment and have to adjust
to it; thus, each person develops a psychosocial identity throughout life,
one which is constantly becoming more elaborated and fixed. Erikson says:
in the sequence of his most personal experience the
healthy child, given a reasonable amount of proper
guidance, can be trusted to obey inner laws of devel
opment, laws which create a succession of potential
ities for significant interaction with those persons
who tend and respond to him and those institutions


14
which are ready for him. While such interaction
varies from culture to culture, it must remain
within "the proper rate and the proper sequence"
which governs all epigenesis. Personality, there
fore, can be said to develop according to steps
predetermined in the human organism's readiness
to be driven toward, to be aware of, and to interact
with a widening radius of significant individuals
and institutions (p. 93).
The seif in Erikson's terms has an intrinsic existence apart from
the culture that shapes it. In fact, one of the most telling pieces of
evidence cited in this respect is what happens when the individual overcomes
developmental crises. In Erikson's proposed stages of development there are
crisis points where the individual must establish his identity anew in
relation to others. If he overcomes the crisis point, which balances a
sense of estrangement against a sense of fulfillment and participation, he
becomes more fully functioning, and more capable of further identity forma
tion. Erikson points out that resolution of a crisis produces a more
integrated personality: "some new estrangement is resolved in such a way
that the child suddenly seems to be 'more himself,' more loving, more
relaxed, and brighter in his judgmentin other words, vital in a new
way"(p. 115).;
This description of the resolution of crisis highlights an
important dynamic in human functioning. The experience of being more
oneself through the overcoming of crises is common to many, many people.
Although it does not settle the problem of what the self is and how a
person is to know when he is himself, this experience of identity is
part of the individual's subjective experience of having a self that can
be more fully elaborated. In fact, Erikson proposes that the identity
seeking pattern is maintained throughout all stages of development.


Ib
The notion that the self has its own existence within each person,
apart from society and the physical environment, has many adherents,
particularly those steeped in the psychoanalytical tradition (Rapaport,
1959). Essentially, the problem with proposing an innate self or dynamic
force that has the motive of actualization or "becoming" is that we have
not explained where the self comes from.
Self as a Dynamic Force
Jung (1945) suggests that the self is the mid-point of personality
and also the goal of all activity in the organism. Throughout his life a
person seeks to extend and realize all aspects of his potential. If he is
successful at this he develops an organized, well-rounded, fully realized
personalitya coherent self. The attributes of the self constellate
around the center like planets.
The self in these terms is both a force for existence and a
product of the "urge to become." How can it be both? Maslow (1954)
answers the question by citing a hierarchy of needs common to all people.
The needs for food, shelter, warmth, safety, belonging, love, respect,
self-esteem, and so forth are universal needs, he says, and as people
satisfy basic needs they are able to progress to "higher" needs. Thus,
the process of self-actualization is a dynamic and constant reorganiza
tion of needs on increasingly complex levels.
The single holistic principle that binds together the
multiplicity of human motives is the tendency for a
new and higher need to emerge as the lower need fulfills
itself by being sufficiently gratified (Maslow, 1962,
p. 53).
Each person has an identity at any point of his life; in addition
there is the possibility of becoming more and more of what one is capable.


Ib
Self-actualization, as a psychological concept, incorporates both aspects
of self: it is both process and product. Whether couched in terms of
tension-reduction principles, pleasure-pain balances, hierarchies of needs,
or biological drives, the self has largely been seen as an elegant energy
system, composed of personality dynamics which can be specified both in
function and in form.
A description of the self in these terms often is based upon the
Freudian model of psychological functioning, and accords greater knowledge
of a person's personality structure to the expert external observer than
to the person himself. For example, Otto Rank (1956) states, "The
knowledge of the average man about his own psychic processes and motiva
tion proves to be so false that it works really only in its complete
spuriousness, in all illusion troubled by no kind of knowing"(p. 71).
If the individual is, himself, so imperfectly aware of his own
motives, then it becomes the province of the psychoanalyst to describe
or otherwise reveal it to him. But another consideration is that psycho
analysts may be wrong in their descriptions of personality and their
formulations may not fit with individual experience. It has been pointed
out (London, 1969) that psychoanalysis is essentially a means of training
the individual to see and describe himself in the analyst's terms, not
in his own terms. For the purpose of understanding the self, however, we
have to confront the problem of tallying an abstract, conceptual system
with private experience. They may not be the same at all. As Rollo May
(1961) points out, "The more absolutely and completely we formulate the
forces or drives, the more we are talking about abstractions and not the
living human being"(p. 14).!


Personality theories organize inferred attributes of man into
coherent descriptions of the relationship between the indicated parts.
While most theories focus upon one main attribute of personality and
relate other attributes to it in lesser importance, the avowed purpose
of personality theories is to present a picture of the whole person,
one which will account for all personality dynamics. It is often
assumed that the self in such descriptions is the sum total of person
ality structure. Psychologists are guilty of confusing the map of
personality structure with the territory when they rely more upon
their mappings than they do upon the person himself. The self can be
abstracted from intricate theories of personality dynamics, but it is
an abstraction from a host of abstractions, and therefore, often far
removed from the real person.
Self as Traits
The concept of the self in personality theories in which the
self is used to explain motives, intentions, and behaviors, risks
becoming no explanation at all. Gordon Allport (1955) reflecting
upon the problem of assigning functions to the self says that there
is a danger "that a humunculus may creep into our discussions of
personality, and be expected to solve all our problems without in
reality solving any. Thus if we ask 'what determines our moral
conduct?' the answer may be 'The self does it.' Or, if we pose the
problem of choice, we say 'The self chooses.' Such questicn-begging
would immeasurably weaken the scientific study of personality by
providing an illegitimate regressus"(pp. 54-55).


All port1s solution to the problem of defining the self, which he
calls proprium, is to talk only of traits. He suggests that the proprium,
which incorporates all traits and habits that are central to a person's
existence and which make for inward unity, is a valid alternative to
positing an inner self. From the point of view of an outsider traits
are the building blocks of the individual. As with Pascal's lover,
however, when the traits or qualities we observe in others disappear,
so does our conception of that person.
Traits as the object of study may help the psychologist organize
his conceptions of personality, but they are no better than well made
maps. We could become cartographers of personality and refine our
conceptualizations to pinpoint accuracy, but nowhere would we have the
self. All v/e would have would be the map of our own devisement, and,
although that is valuable to the social scientist, it is not all of the
self. Furthermore, there is a danger in believing that someone can be
understood completely on the basis of traits. While concentrating upon
traits reduces the chance of proposing a model of personality too far
removed from the individual in daily life, it still implies that we know
someone when we know all his traits.
There are areas of each person's experience and personality
that remain hidden from the probing of outside forces. Tolstoy (1950) says:
One of the most widespread superstitions is that
every man has his own special, definite qualities;
that a man is kind, cruel, wise, stupid, energetic,
apathetic, etc. Men are not like that.. . Men
are like rivers: the water is the same in each,
and alike in all; but every river is narrow here,
is more rapid there, here slower, there broader,
now clear, now cold, now dull, now warm. It is
the samewith men. Every man carries in himself


the germs of every human quality, and sometimes one
manifests itself, sometimes another, and the man
often becomes unlike himself, while still remaining
the same man.
The Eastern Conception of Self
In Eastern philosophies the self is not an individualistic
identity, but a transcendence of identity, a merging of the individual
and the other into a cosmological whole. D. T. Suzuki (1970) describes
it this way:
When we say 'self' we distinguish it from non-self,
that is, others, but the self that Zen people
strongly emphasize is not that kind of self, but
Self that is Absolute, Absolute Self. Therefore,
the absolute self might be termed absolute other,
Absolutely Not-self (p. 14).
Self in these terms is beyond the daily experience of most people. I
seriously question if a person's experience of himself in Eastern
cultures is truly different from the Westerner's experience. A highly
refined philosophic viewpoint, like Zen, actually may reflect very
little of the individual's common experience.
In America Walt Whitman probably comes closest to expressing
the transcendent aspects of self that are voiced in Eastern philosophy.
He identifies broadly with all existence and defines himself in "Song
of Myself" (1855) as an all-encompassing identity:
I pass death with the dying and birth with the
new washed babe, and am not contained between
my hats and boots,
I peruse manifold objects, no two alike and
everyone good,
The earth good and the stars good, and their
adjuncts all good.
I am not an earth nor an adjunct of an earth,
I am the mate and companion of people, all
just as immortal and fathomless as myself
(p. 29).


C.\J
No matter if a person identifies himself with a cosmological force,
with all of mankind, with a small group of people, or with no one at all,
he still identifies himself as an existing organism. What he identifies
with is less important here than the fact that he does identify himself
in some way.
The Subjective Experience of Having a Self
All people have unique experiences of themselves and of their
world. Each person has many characteristics that are common to other
people also; these are the data of the behavioral scientist. But the
individual's unique physical and mental experiencesthat is, his total
perceptual frameworkcontain elements that are not reproducible in
others. No one else sees through his eyes or feels with his fingertips.
His individual reality is his own datum from which he distinguishes his
own identity.
Each person has a corporeal identity. He is a body, an organism
that acts in the physical world. He also has a personality identity.
Because he can think, he is more than a physical organism. He is capable
of realizing a continuity in his experience from memories of the past
and anticipations of the future, and because he has a continuity of
experience he can depict patterns in his behavior that are organized into
a coherent whole. Merleau-Ponty (1964) suggests that the body and the
self are one process:
Our body is not in space like things; it inhabits or
haunts space. It applies itself to space like a hand
to an instrument, and when we wish to move about we
do not move an object. We transport it without instru
ments as if by magic, since it is ours and because
through it we have direct access to space. For us the
body is much more than an instrument or a means, it is
our expression in the world, the visible form of our
intentions (p. 5).


Although the individual may experience himself as being more than
or different from his physical being, he is inseparable from his body in
applying himself to the world. That is, his personal experience is
first grounded in his biological, physiological existence.
A Perceptual Approach to the Self
She was the single artificer of the world
In which she sang. And when she sang, the sea,
Whatever self it had, became the self
That was her song, for she was the maker. Then we,
As we beheld her striding there alone,
Knew that there never was a world for her
Except the one she sang and, singing, made (Stevens, 1954).
As distinct perceiving and behaving organisms we, each of us, are
artificers of our world. What we believe about it, transforms it, for us,
into our conceptions. In this sense each person creates his own reality.
He interacts with the world, participates in full and ever-extended
experiences, and establishes relationships with his surroundings. Out
of his endless experience the individual formulates his own reality. As
George Kelly (1963) points out, "events do not come around and tell us
how to do the job--they just go about their business of being themselves.
The structure we erect is what rules us"(p. 20).
Each persons behavior is absolutely determined by his total belief
system at any one moment. What he believes to be real is the structure of
his personal reality. He can act only in terms of this structure of beliefs.
What he believes to be true is his total perceptual field. Thus, perception
and belief are one and the same thing. The perceptual model of knowledge
serves as an appropriate modal for the structure of personality, for each
person is capable of representing his environment like the visual image


represents the environment. A person does not collect willy-nilly the
impressions that bombard him from the physical world. The perceiving
organism selects from the available impressions, organizes perceptions,
and creates meaning out of the stimuli that confront him.
A comprehensive theory of personality based upon the individual's
phenomenological relationship to the world is proposed by Snygg and Combs
(1949, 1959) in Individual Behavior. This approach to personality is
called perceptual psychology, sometimes also called phenomenological
psychology. Based in part on the Gestalt psychology of Kohler, Koffka,
and Wertheimer, and on the field theory of Kurt Lewin, perceptual psycho
logy affords a holistic look at the role of perception in the individual's
development of personality.
It is the construction aspect of perception and knowledge that
most concerns the phenomenological psychologist. How does one organize
his experience? What principles are involved in the construction of
personal reality? In the act of constructing his world, which is a complex
activity and not immediately accessible to the observer, a person trans
forms his impressions of external reality in to what he experiences as
being a true representation of the world. The constructive aspect of
perception is not apparent to the perceiver unless he separates himself
from his perceptual mode in some way and scrutinizes his activity.
The experience of having straightforward untransformed perceptions
accounts for the fact that a person acts totally in regards to his percep
tions of the moment. He cannot do otherwise. Yet we do know that the
individual does affect what he perceives. It is not purely an intake
process. If perception were merely imitation of external reality it would


at best have a one-to-one correspondence with external impressions. However,
in mental activity, which encompases perception, people go beyond simple
absorption of impressions. We draw inferences, conclusions, assumptions,
generalities, abstractions; we imagine details, goals, motives, etc.
Perceptual Field
The field of impressions for an individual is composed of a back
ground and a foreground (Combs, 1959). At any moment a person's perception
is a result of a particular pattern of impressions that emerges for the
perceiver from the total field. The intensity, clarity, stability and
relatedness of particular impressions determine the degree of differen
tiation of the figure from the field. All phenomena that are available to
the senses make up the field; those that have a certain meaning for the
individual become the dominant figure or image that determine what actions,
if any, the perceiver takes.
One of the goals of Gestalt learning theory has been to describe
the holistic, momentary creation of meaning or understanding, what is
sometimes called the "aha" experience. Wertheimer (1959) claims that true
knowing involves knowledge of the structural characteristics of an event.
In his classic discussion of teaching children to find the area of paral
lelogram (1959) he notes that what makes it possible for some children to
draw the appropriate perpendicular and generate a productive answer is not
adherence merely to simple rules or the blind following of a formula, but
a recognition of the formal properties of the geometric figure. The children
had to be able to perform some kind of mental operation on the figure that
not only perserved their sensorial knowledge of it but that also enriched
their total perception of the structural characteristics.


24
In a more personal vein each person determines the structural
characteristics of his own experience. That is, he constructs his
experience in a way similar to that described by Gestalt psychology.
His understanding of the world and of himself is a product of the
constructive process. The meaning of his knowledge in a function of
figure/ground relations and of their relationship to himself.
There are 1 imitations to what someone can see visually. For
example, a person cannot perceive both a figure and a field equally
at the same time. He establishes a context for his perception by
relating the two, thereby providing cues to the identities involved,
but he cannot scrutinize a small segement of the visual field and,
at the same time, take in all of the impressions globally. We are
selectively attentive to the visual environment.
All other things being equal, perceptions are differentiated
in terms of their nearness, similarity, intensity, common fate,
novelty, and movement or direction. For example, as I write this I
have several stacks of books on my desk; I perceive each stack as a
unit of books because they are nearer each other in their respective
stacks than they are to books in different stacks. Within one stack
all the books with pale bindings stand out because of that similarity.
The sound level of traffic outside my window is sometimes altered by
the sound of a motorcycle with a different intensity of noise. Like
wise, bright colors, more pungent odors, objects making extreme
movements attract my attention and, momentarily, stand out from the
other impressions. The objects on my desk have a common fate. Notebook
paper, pencils, ballpoint pens, eraser, scotch tape, scissors and


25
pencil sharpener make up the objects used in writing, so I perceive
them as a unified whole, A new style ballpoint pen which I have just
purchased stands out because of its novelty, but once the novelty has
worn off the pen will recede into less prominence for me. Finally,
all the trees and bushes outside my window are swaying in the same
direction when the wind blows; I perceive their common movement as a
unified impression.
From the patterns that a person reacts to in differentiating
his perceptions come fairly simple conceptual schemes. For example,
I take the swaying of trees in the same direction as evidence that
the wind is blowing from the north. If they were swaying in many
different directions at the same time, I would not know how to concep
tualize the apparent chaos. My understanding of events comes from
the ability to perceive patterns that aid in differentiating objects
and events, and also from my past experience. My past experience
presents me with the concept wind, to account for the visual pattern
I perceive.
Two processes interplay to produce a person's perceptual
field. One is the capacity for organizing perceptions, for seeing
patterns, abstracting common features, etc. The other is the individ
ual's capacity for building upon his past experiences in order to
understand and interact with his current experiences. Actually, it
is misleading to separate these two processes, for they are not
separate but merely two aspects of the same perceptual process.
A person's perceptual field is his unique experience. Through
his ability to perceive, in all the dimensions of the work, he develops


a means of exploring the world and of extending himself into the world.
As Henry James (1888) says:
The power to guess the unseen from the seen, to
trace the implications of things, to judge the
whole piece by the pattern, the condition of
feeling life in general so completely that you
are well on your way to knowing any particular
corner of itthis cluster of gifts may almost
be said to constitute experience (p. 107).
Organization of the Self
The organism grows and extends itself through increased ranges
of perceptions. In fact, the human organism has as one of its most
important features an internal organization that makes it whole. This
has been pointed out in many places. Goldstein (1939), for example,
cites the holistic nature of the organism. He says that organization is
the natural state of the organism, that anything that affects part of the
organism affects the whole, and that disorganization is the stuff of
pathology Thus, we can look at the self in terms of its organizational
features.
If the degree of organization of the organism is a central factor
in the maintenance of the self, we would expect the stable quality of the
self to be disrupted whenever events occur that produce disorganization.
This is exactly what happens. Leon Festinger's (1957) work on cognitive
dissonance indicates that incompatible beliefs or cognitions (arising
from logical inconsistency, conflict with cultural mores, contradictions
between specific opinions and larger, more encompassing opinions, and
past experience) produce an uncomfortable state, which the organism
attempts to rectify.


a
A more embracing theory about the requisite organization of
personality has been elaborated by Prescott Lecky (1945) and modified
by others. The urge for self-consistency in each individual derives
from his being a unique organism placed in the world and from his
needing some systematic way of understanding his environment and his
relation to it. Lecky says that:
The ability to forsee and predict environmental
happenings, to understand the world one lives in
and thus to be able to anticipate events and
prevent the necessity for sudden readjustments,
is an absolute prerequisite for the maintence
of unity .
The interpretations which serve as the basis for
prediction, however, rest upon no other ground
than individual experience. Irranersed in an
environment which he does not and cannot under
stand, the individual is forced to create a
substitute world which he can understand and
in which he puts his faith. He acts in consis
tency with that conception, derives his standards
of value from it, and undertakes to alter it
only when convinced by further experience that
it fails to serve the goal of unity. Since
this self-made scheme of life is his only
guarantee of security, its preservation soon
becomes a goal in itself. He seeks the type of
experience which confirms and supports the
unified attitudes, and rejects experience
which seem to promise a disturbance of this
attitude (p. 50).
As a goal of his behavior, then, the maintenance of a unified,
self-consistent organization of perceptions, beliefs, cognitions encompasses
all of his experience. An individual constantly receives impressions from
his environment, often on a very complex scale, and sorts out these
impressions in terms of their fitting with his existing conceptions. His
perceptual field, then, is affected by the need to maintain a particular
organization, not just any organization. This is where the ability to
perceive patterns and to incorporate past experience become most important.


The Phenomenal Self
Since everything a person perceives is seen in relation to himself,
the maintenance of an organized system of perceptions is essential to the
maintenance of himself as the perceiver. The phenomenal self consists of
all aspects of himself and his relations to others that a person exper
iences at any one time. His phenomenal self is constantly changing with
his circumstances. It lies between his perceptions of his environment
and his concepts about himself as a whole. Thus, the phenomenal self is
his organized perceptions of himself in a particular situation. Combs
(1959) describes the phenomenal self as:
the individual's own unique organization of ways of
regarding self; it is the Gestalt of his concepts of
self. Whereas the concepts of self . describe
isolated aspects of the person, the phenomenal self
is the organization or pattern of all those which the
individual refers to as "I" or "me." It is himself
from his own point of view. The phenomenal self is
not a mere conglomeration or addition of isolated
concepts of self, but a patterned interrelationship
or Gestalt of all these (p. 126).
The phenomenal self is most real to the individual himself. The
outsider cannot see it or touch it; he may be able to infer an approximate
version of the individual's phenomenal self from observed behavior.
However, since each person can experience only his own phenomenal self,
it is not something that can be maintained from the outside. We seek
to maintain our phenomenal selves, not that of someone else.
In maintaining the phenomenal self the individual needs to be
able to anticipate events and alter himself in ways that will best
preserve himself in the future. Combs (1959) points out;


29
man seeks not merely the maintenance of self but
the development of ah adequate selfa self capable
of dealing effectively and efficiently with the
exigencies of life, both now and in the future.
To achieve this self-adequacy requires of man that
he seek, not only to maintain his existing organiza
tion, but also that he build up and make more adequate
the self of which he is aware. Man seeks both to
maintain and enhance his perceived self (p. 45).
The individual's self perceptions, how he sees himself in relation
to the rest of the world and in relation to himself at other times, maintain
the organization of the phenomenal self.
Self Concent
While the phenomenal self is the total perceptions a person has of
himself at any one time, the self concept is a more stable, abstract percep
tion of himself. There are many activities, for example, that I engage in
during any one day. Some are fleeting and even uncomtemplated activities;
others are part of enduring patterns and goals; still others are one-of-a-
kind events. My perception of myself at any one moment will take in all of
the activities and relationships I am engaged in; my perception of myself
as a constant entity, that is, my self concept, is abstracted from my
continuing activities and experiences. Hence, it is largely composed of
the more stable and generalized conceptions I may have of myself. It is
more resistant to change because it has accrued from my total past
experiences.
Combs (1959) points out the necessity for recognizing that the
self concept is an abstraction from each individual's continuing exper
iences. It is not all of his experience, nor is it all of his phenomenal
self. He says:
Though we may sometimes use the self concept as
a convenient device for understanding the indivi
dual, it should never be forgotten that people
always behave in terms of the total phenomenal


field, never in terms of an isolated part. The
self concept is a useful approximation of a
larger organization; it is not synonymous with
it. The self concept is never a sufficient
explanation of behavior by itself (p. 128).
A person's self concept, being an abstraction that he has
formed on the basis of his personal experiences,is changable through
experience. As a child grows up he differentiates aspects of himself
in light of his experience. What begins as a global distinction between
himself and others progresses to more elaborated conceptions of his
abilities, identity and relationships with others.
The sharpness and clarity of a person's self concept may vary
from time to time and situation to situation. Some self perceptions
become crystalized and remain clear throughout otherwise rapidly changing
circumstances; a person's identification of himself with his family often
is a central and stable concept. His concept of himself as a student,
for example, would be replaced by concepts of himself in career situations
once he has finished with formal education.
Overriding beliefs in one's adequacy or worthiness may cut across
specific role-related perceptions of oneself. These perceptions tend to
be even more stable and resistant to change because the indivudal does
not depend upon only one kind of relationship (e.g., student, mother,
athlete) to perceive himself in a particular way. To change such
persistent beliefs about himself an individual would have to build up a
new body of experiences that supplant his earlier formed conceptions.
For this reason the self concept is marvelously consistent.


Victor C. Raimy, who first defined and described the self concept
in 1943, believes that the self concept is a "learned perceptual system
which functions as an object in the perceptual field (1943, p. 97),"
and that its organized, systematic structure makes it an important
determinant of behavior. He says:
If such structure exists as assumed in the above
discussion, the Self-concept assumes more behav-
iroal significance than if only a multitude of
relatively independent "Self-observations" are
present in the perceptual field. Without such
a structuring or unifying process, the self
observations take on the appearance of scattered
objects which have little effect on more than
isolated segments of behavior. With structuring,
the Self-concept has importance for behavior as a
differentiated but organized system with qualities
of dominance and subordination (p. 103).
Mot only is the self concept a product of the individual's total
experiences, it also is a template against which all further experiences
are matched. A person who believes that he is fundamentally an uninter
esting person, for instance, will find in his contacts with others
evidence abounding to attest to his uninteresting personality.
Once the phenomenal self has become established,
experience thereafter can only be interpreted in
terms of the self. Thus all perceptions which
are meaningful to the individual derive their
meaning from their relation to the phenomenal
self already in existence (Combs, 1959, p. 131).
This dual functioning of the phenomenal selfas a product of
experience as a template against which new experiences are evaluated
is an important region of human experience. The capacity for the
individual to abstract from his experience in the formation and
transformation of his phenomenal self is part of his symbolization
processes. I will elaborate on this in the next chapter.


The Symbolic Self
Each person has as his most characteristic endowment the ability
to symbolize all aspects of his experience. In understanding even very
simple phenomena the individual draws upon his capacity for symbolization
in diverse ways. He may symbolize an event in order to communicate it
to another, or in order to remember it for himself, or so that he may
explore its characteristics more fully. Mental activity in itself,
whether it is engaged in abstruse theoretics or in every day manipu
lation of objects, represents phenomena. Not only does it mediate
experience, it re-presents them to each person.
In psychological thought it is recognized that some phenomena
may be both process and product (Combs, 1959; Allport, 1955; Raimy,
1943; Lecky, 1945). In interpersonal relationships, for example, a
person's conception of another is progressively differentiated and altered
through his contacts with the other. Likewise, one person's concept of
the other influences the kinds of contact that he establishes. On one
hand, a concept is the product of interaction and on the other hand it is
part of the process of interacting. The self concept functions similarly.
Raimy (1943) points out that "the Self-Concept not only influences behavior
but is itself altered and restructured by behavior"(p. 98).
Both in the developing and in the elaborating of self concepts we
find a product and a process. The nature of symbolizing activity affects
these concepts, for the human symbolizing act is itself both product and
process. Symbols that are formed become the means of shaping further
symbols. Symbolizing events opens the way to further symbolization.


The universality of symbolization is so basic to human life that
some scholars suggest that it is the distinguishing characteristic of man.
Susanne K. Langer (1951), for example, has this to say:
I believe there is a primary need in man, which
other creatures probably do not have, and which
activates all his apparently unzoological aims,
his wistful fancies, his consciousness of value,
his utterly impractical enthusiasms, and his
awareness of a "Beyond" filled with holiness.
Despite the fact that this need gives rise to
almost everything that we commonly assign to
the "higher" life, it is not itself a "higher"
form of some "lower" need; it is quite essen
tial, imperious, and general, and may be
called "high" only in the sense that it
belongs exclusively (I think) to a very complex
and perhaps recent genus.,. .
This basic need, which certainly is obvious only
in man, is the need of symbolization. The symbol
making function is one of man's primary activi
ties, like eating, looking, or moving about. It
is the fundamental process of the mind, and goes
on all the time. Sometimes we are aware of it,
sometimes we merely find its results, and realize
that certain experiences have passed through our
brains and have been digested there (p. 45).
There may be some confusion over Langer's citing of symbolization
as a need. Symbolization is not a need in the sense that it is a basic
biologic or human need. As elaborated in perceptual psychology (Snygg &
Combs, 1949), the basic human need is the maintenance and enhancement of
the phenomenal self. In those terms, then, the only need is the need for
adequacy. Other areas of human functioning are means toward fulfilling
the basic need for adequacy, or they are merely expressions of that need.
Certainly, symbolization is one of man's most distinguishing
activities, and it operates as the best way he has of fulfilling the
basic need. Through the symbol-making function man is able to extend
and transcent raw perceptual events in pursuit of personal and cultural
adequacy.


In the symbolizing process mental activity transforms undifferentiated
impressions into recognizable patterns, such as figure-field arrangements,
which are related by the individual to the whole of his synthesized
experience. Thus symbolization is the essence of mental life, giving the
individual the ability to go beyond mere absorption of incoming impressions.
The ability to symbolize allows the individual to remember past experiences,
anticipate future events, establish interchanges in the present, and
determine the personal meaning of them all.
In terms of the phenomenal self symbolic functions enable the
individual to experience his existence in a self-reflexive manner. That
is, on one hand the individual is immersed in his perceptions and completly
controlled by them; it this were his only means of behaving he would not
be able to reflect upon his actions; he would merely be doing and reaching
in the way that the autonomic nervous system reacts to stimuli. On the
other hand, he is capable of construing his experience in daily life and
is, thus, ruled more by his constructions.
Man to the extent that he is able to construe his
circumstances can find for himself freedom from
their domination . man can enslave himself
with his own ideas and then win his freedom again
by reconstruing his life (Kelly, 1963, p. 21).
Thus it. is that most of our lives are lived on a symbolic level.
Not that the physical events and activities are secondary to the symbolic--
we do need basic physically satisfying circumstances to maintain our
bodily selves, but that the symbolic realm contains the meaning that
circumstances have for us. This is another way of saying that the phenomenal
self, however it is construed by the individual transcends the physical self.


S. I. Hayakawa (1953) links symbolic function in man with the
phenomenal self by calling it the symbolic self:
Once it is understood that human beings are a
symbolic class of life--once it is grasped that
all human behavior is conditioned, shaped, and
mediated by symbols-then the idea of self-
perservation as the first law of life can be
modified to include almost all of the complexi
ties of human behavior: the fundamental motive
of human behavior. . the perservation of the
symbolic self (p. 37).
As he forms meanings about himself, the individual is constantly
discovering ways of symbolizing his existence. It is this symbolizing
process--one which we only partially understand--that distinguishes
mankind. Thus in perception of himself the individual takes the
externally generated symbolsgood, bad, big, pretty, energetic, intel-
ligent--and combines them into a symbolic representation of himself, and
of his world.
Language and the Symbolic Self
As a person grows from infancy to adulthood, he develops patterns
of behavior, styles of expression, skills in manipulating objects, know
ledge about the world, ways of perceiving, attitudes about himself and
others. His progression from a state of almost absolute dependency to
a state of high independency occurs in a variety of ways. By learning
about the construction of the environment, that is, by learning gradually
what the properties of physical objects are and how they may be manipulated,
the child extends his ability to control his environment. By learning
about the nature of human contact, through his mother, his father, his
siblings, and significant others, he acquires social skills that enable


us*
him to communicate, negotiate, and relate with people. By learning about
his own specific abilities, his strengths and weaknesses, his desires, and
needs, the child learns ways to satisfy his needs and extend his abilities.
Through a rich influx of sensations, experiences, perceptions, and oppor
tunities the child learns to conduct himself in diverse manners through old,
continuing, and new experiences.
The symbolic function in the child cuts across and influences all
of these activities of exploration, manipulation, understanding, communica
tion, and conceptualizing. It influences the character of his experience
and the direction of the growth of his self-system. In this respect the
symbolic function is permanently linked with mental activity of all types.
The most pervasive form that the symbolic function takes is language. As
he learns a system of representation in language acquisition the child is
learning dominant modes of directing his current and future experience.
The early stages of symbolization order his progress in understanding
and manipulating his environment and in differentiating aspects of himself.
The phenomenon of language is interesting because it has both
representational functions and explorational functions. Language is used
to communicate perceptions of physical reality, private experiences, and
communal experiences; in that sense it is representational. Language is
also used to investigate the quality of human experience, to extend
knowledge about objects, and to create new experiences (e.g., novels,
poetry); in this sense language is exploratory. An individual's use of
either mode may be appraised by the individual or others in order to
further their knowledge about existence.


At least one researcher (McElroy, 1972) has proposed that language
is a search for self. I take this to mean that the self is discoverable
through linguistic processes, and what is "discovered" is contingent upon
a person's use of language. In fact, that is a major theme of this work,
one which will be elaborated more fully in the following chapters.
Language plays a major role in the development of the total
personality and in the development of the self concept. The representa
tional aspects of language inform the individual of the essential features
of the world and of himself. The exploratory functions of language enable
him to extend his perceptions and to build up comprehensive perceptual
processes. The kind of symbols, linguistic and non-linguistic, that a
person has available to him determine the openness and flexibility of his
self concept, and the modes of language use that he establishes determine
the degree to which he is able to make his experiences available to himself.
These dimensions of language, as I indicate in the rest of this work, are
ingegral to the individual's personality structure. As such, they are
important areas of investigation for psychologists interested in the
factors contributing to personality development.


CHAPTER II
THE SOCIALIZATION OF SELF THROUGH LANGUAGE
Each individual is at one time a private entity in his own
right and also a member of a larger social identity. Kelly (1962)
points out that we do not need to talk about the individual or
society, because the individual is formed in social contexts. Adler
(1929) cites social interest as the most important factor in an
individual's development of a healthy personality. Goffman (1959)
suggests that a person's "performance" in the social sphere "will
tend to incorporate and exemplify the officially accredited values of
the society"(p. 35), and therefore he affirms the moral values of the
community through his presentation of himself to it. Cooley (1909)
sees "human nature" as being produced and developed through the cooper
ative associations established in group membership. The phenomenal self
is so linked with the environment, both physical and social, that its
formation cannot be considered as going on outside the social process.
Although each person is the architect of his experiences, social
ization influences the tenor of his subjective experience and, through
the symbolic representations that are made available to him, influences
his sense of the rightness of his self. That is, the social context so
informs him of his identity that, if he is faced with a duality between
the social representation of experience and his private representations,
he is inclined to choose the socially agreed upon representation. About
38


39
this Berger and Luckmann (1967) say:
By the very nature of socialization, subjective identity
is a precarious entity. It is dependent upon the indivi
dual's relations with significant others, who may change
or disappear. The precariousness is further increased
by self-experiences . the "sane" apprehension of
oneself as possessor of a definite, stable, and socially
recognized identity is continually threatened by the
"surrealistic" metamorphoses of dreams and fantasies,
even if it remains relatively consistent in everyday
social interaction (p. 100).
As the symbolic self is developed through representation of private and
social experiences the individual generates a sense of his relationships
with others. It is through the communication experience, through the
development of a language, that he is able to increase his contacts with
the world at large. Roger Brown (1956) calls this process of first-
language learning the "Original Word Game," or "cognitive socialization."
Through awareness of his relationships to others, as established in
early language learning, the individual learns to look at himself as a
separate, yet related being.
In the social realm language affects the emergence and development
of the self through: 1) the individual's development of a capacity for
self-reflection; 2) the cultural assumptions embedded in it; 3) the
establishment of overlapping perceptions for members of society; 4) the
channeling of information for individuals; 5) the elaboration of self-
through role relationships; and, 6) the creation of common meanings and
a sense of cooperation. These dimensions of socialization through
language overlap, as we shall see, forming a complex interactive rela
tionship among the individual, society, and language.


40
The Capacity for Self-reflection
Early in life the child develops a consciousness of his own body,
the fact of its existence in space and time. Merleau-Ponty (1964),
drawing upon the investigations of child psychologists, proposes that
at the point where the child recognizes himself in a mirror he develops
a new sense of himself. This occurs in the latter months of the first
year, and perceptual change that accompanies the recognition of oneself
in the mirrorwhat Merleau-Ponty calles the specular image parallels
the development of a sense of self through language and social inter
action. Merleau-Ponty says:
At the same time that the image of oneself makes
possible the knowledge of oneself, it makes
possible a sort of alienation. I am no longer
what I felt myself, immediately, to be; I am that
image of myself that is offered by the mirror. To
use Dr. Lacan's terms, I am "captured, caught up"
by my spatial image. Thereupon I leave the reality
of my lived me in order to refer myself constantly
to the ideal, fictitious, or imaginary me_, of which
the specular image is the first outline. In this
sense I am torn from myself, and the image on the
mirror prepares me for another still more serious
alienation, which will be the alienation by others.
For others have only an exterior image of me, which
is analogous to the one seen in the mirror. Conse
quently others will tear me away from my immediate
inwardness much more surely than will the mirror.
The specular image is the "symbolic matrix," says
Lacan, "where the I_ springs up in primordial form
before objectifying itself in the dialectic of
identification with the other.(pp. 136-137).
This phenomenon of seeing oneself from an external point of
view enlarges ana changes the individual's perceptions of himself. He
is not merely behaving directly in his environment; he is also part of
the environment for others, and he is capable of seeing himself in the


context of others. His private experience and his public experience,
however, become separated. In language these two identities mingle and
merge. They offset each other by producing a synthesized experience.
He experiences himself as object.
Consciousness of oneself and consciounsess of language appear at
about the same time. It is through the taking on of external perspec
tives that the child becomes capable of self-observation, for external
perspectives offer the possibility of defining boundaries. The "me"/
"not me" differentiation of the infant evolves into a "me" and "I" differ
entiation that encapsulates the child's internally generated perceptions
and his externally generated ones. Relatively late in his acquisition
of language the child adopts the use of the pronoun I_> after he has
developed the use of his proper name (Guillaume, 1925). When he does
this he becomes fully aware of his own perspective in opposition to
those of others, and he stabilizes his perceptual modes into fairly well
defined inner and outer forms. Merleau-Ponty says:
The pronoun 2. has its full meaning only when the
child uses it not as an individual sign to desig
nate his own persona sign that would be assigned
once for all to himself and to nobody elsebut
when he understands that each person he sees can
in turn say J_ and that each person is an 2 for
himself and a you for others (p. 151).
The incidence of perceptual relativity, occasioned by the development of
a full awareness of the 2_> extricates the child from perceptual monism.
He develops a conception, however hazy, of the perceptions of others
and of himself as someone with personal perceptions.
The development of personal perspective in social situations is
often exhibited in the young child's declaration of "no" to his parents.
To say "no" is to experience oneself as an agent apart from the immediate


context and to seek to affect the course of this situation in direct,
verbal ways. As he comes to see himself as maintaining a particular
perspective and not merely living in the things around him, the child
solidifies his own self identity. Merleau-Ponty (1964) says:
At around three years the child stops lending his
body and even his thoughts to others. . He stops
confusing himself with the situation or the role
in which he may find himself engaged. He adopts
a proper perspective or viewpoint of his ownor
rather he understands that, whatever the diversity
of situations or roles, he is someone above and
beyond these different situations and roles
(pp. 151-152).
It may be too much to say that the child develops an ability for
self-reflection from the linguistic evidence cited above. However,
reflection has two components that are available to the child at this
point. First, reflection--as in a mirror or as in mental operations
distinguishes an outline in the here and now situation. The individual
sees himself from the outside in and thereby possesses himself in the
same way he "possesses" physical reality. Second, reflection is
historical; to reflect is to place oneself in a historical context, to
see one's actions, thoughts, perceptions in time. At least this is the
phenomenological position enunciated by Husserl (1931) and Merleau-Ponty
(1964).
If the child is capable of establishing a sense of perceptual
relativity through the differentiation of himself and others in context,
he is capable of reflecting upon himself. In short, he is capable of
creating a self- concept through the patterned perceptions afforded him
in his language and action. He is symbolizing his experiences of the
world, of others, and of himself in the language he develops. Combs (1959)


ttw>
points out that differentiation of the self is accelerated through the
development of language; "language provides a 'shorthand' by which
experience can be symbolized, manipulated, and understood with tremendous
efficiency. Above all, the possession of language vastly facilitates
the differentiation of self and the world about"(p.134). But not only
is language an efficient means of differentiation, it also affects the
direction the differentiation will take. This will be explored more
fully in the following sections of this chapter.
Cultural Assumptions
When we look at society as an organism we observe that one of its
organizing modes is communication among all its diverse parts. The
cooperation necessary to maintain an organismic balance is established
and maintained through the language of the society. This occurs on two
basic levels. First, the fact of having a common language and a common
set of assumptions expressed in the language provides some of the unity
among the parts. Second, the act of communication itself establishes
agreements and cooperation among the people in both private and public
sectors. The first is an interesting yet limited means of maintaining
cooperation; the second, an expansive and powerful one.
Whorf (1956), an anthropologist studying the languages of several
southwest American Indian tribes, proposes that "the forms of a person's
thoughts are controlled by inexorable laws of pattern of which he is
unconscious"(p. 252). These laws of pattern are embedded in the indivi
dual's language, said Benjamin Lee Whorf. Particularly when we compare
languages from different linguistic families, such as English, Sanskrit,
or Hopi, we see the vast differences in the ways an individual cuts up,
labels, and organizes perceptions. Whorf says:


t+t+
And every language is a vast pattern-system,
different from others, in which are culturally
ordained the forms and categories by which the
personality not only communicates, but also
analyzes nature, notices or neglects types of
relationships and phenomena, channels his
reasoning, and builds the house of his con
sciousness (p.252).
Whorf's conclusions concerning the effects of language upon
thinking have been named the "Whorfian Hypothesis" and investigators
since his time have attempted to formalize and extend it. However,
attempts to verify Whorf's observations have proven inconclusive and
we are left with an intriguing and partially illuminating theory about
linguistic relativity (Diebold, 1965). It is true that our unconscious
assumptions about the world have great impact upon our subsequent
perceptions and behaviors. A person is word-bound if he does not
realize that the words he uses and the things they refer to are not the
same, and a person is culture-bound if he believes that the forms
described by his culture are absolute.
The suggestion that a person is automatically prey to the
unconscious assumptions of his language reduces the individual to a
blind follower of hidden structures. Whorf (1956) says:
to restrict thinking to the patterns merely of
English, and especially to those patterns which
represent the acme of plainness in English, is
to lose a power of thought which, once lost, can
never be regained. It is the "plainest" English
which contains the greatest number of unconscious
assumptions about nature (p. 244).
The fact is that people have an ability to transcend the superficial
linguistic levels. This transcendence frees him from the patterns
that Whorf describes. Investigators (Bruner, Goodnow & Austin, 1956;


Carrol],1964) find that the individual engages in sorting, analyzing
and conceptualizing procedures that in themselves go beyond mere word-
boundness. Thus, although Whorf's assumptions are logically derived,
they do not account for the complexity of the human mind. If there
are people who restrict themselves linguistically in the way that
Whorf proposes, they likely will exhibit the kind of limited perception
he describes; but such people may not exist.
Carroll (1963) offers the following revision of the Whorfian
hypothesis, accounting for the individual's experience and his thinking
being greater than his use of language.
Insofar as languages differ in the ways they encode
objective experience, language users tend to sort
out and distinguish experiences differently accord
ing to the categories provided by their respective
languages. These cognitions will tend to have
certain effects on behavior (p. 12).
If languages do exert influence on cognition and behavior, they do so
mainly in the hidden assumptions with which the individual works.
In Bruner et al. (1956) concept attainment strategies are
studied in order to understand the non-reportable thinking processes
in individuals, those processes that influence the way he forms
concepts but which he is largely unable to describe for himself. In
seeking knowledge of what is entailed in making a conceptual distinc
tion about objects or events in the physical world, he says, there are
three questions that may guide the investigator. These are:
a. How do people achieve the information necessary
for isolating and learning a concept?
b. How do they retain the information gained from
encounters with possibly relevant events so that it
may be useful later?
c. How is retained information transformed so that it
may be rendered useful for testing a hypothesis still
unborn at the moment of first encountering new information
(Bruner, 1973, p. 132).


Answering these questions has been the goal of concept attainment
studies over the last twenty years. Problems of acquisition of know
ledge, of memory, and of application in new situations are still
perplexing to the psychologist. My suggestion that the assumed
structure of events in our language plays a vital role in the way that
concepts are attained, or, at least approached is suggested also by
Bruner (1956) when he notes that subjects in his studies, when not
given specific instructions about the nature of the concept to be
attained,
will tend to assume that they are looking for a simple
conjunctive concept of the certainty type. Is it
indeed the case, as the late Alfred Korzybski urged,
that Western man is burdened with a preference for
conjunctive classification stemming from the tradition
of so-called Aristotelian logic? Does the difficulty
of dealing with disjunctive, relational, and probabil
istic concepts reflect the difficulty of such concepts
or does the difficulty perhaps reflect certain cultural
biases in problem solvers (pp 57-58)?
Since we do have classificatory biases inherent in the structure
of our language, they point us toward certain conclusions about our
world and about ourselves. Further investigations in cognitive studies
may be able to illuminate the relationship more clearly. If conjunctive,
two-value (either/or) classification is indelibly linked in language and
thinking, we would find it operating powerfully in the person's percep
tions and in his assumptions about how events are related.
Further considerations about the controlling aspect of language
come from Alfred Korzybski's seminal principles of General Semantics.
In his book Science and Sanity (1933) Korzybski proposes that the basic
mode of thinking is an abstracting process. The individual abstracts


47
from his object experience "meanings" that are organized in levels
that extend further and further away from the initial events. Levels
of abstraction are intimately connected with language. Through the
assumptions of Western languages, at least, we tend to believe that
what we can say about something is what that thing is, so we tend to
disregard characteristics and events for which we have no labels. We
devise labels that select only some features of an event and we react
to them in terms of the labels we have devised. Further abstractions
may successively limit a person's perceptions and beliefs until he has
reached a rigid, uncompromising conclusion on the basis of the control
ling assumptions behind his abstractions.
Korzybski (1958) proposes that we can become conscious of our
abstracting so that we avoid the pitfalls of the assumptions of our
language. He says:
If, through lack of consciousness of abstracting,
we identify or confuse words with objects and
feelings, or memories and 'ideas' with exper
iences which belong to the unspeakable objective
level, we identify higher order abstractions with
lower. Since this special type of semantic iden
tification or confusion is extremely general, it
deserves a special name. I call it objectifica
tion, because it is generally the confusion of
words or verbal issues (memories, 'ideas,') with
objective, unspeakable levels, such as objects,
or experiences, or feelings. If we objectify,
we forget, or we do not remember that words are
not the objects or feelings themselves, that
the verbal levels are always different from the
objective levels. When we identify them, we
disregard the inherent differences, and so
proper evaluation and full adjustment become
impossible (p. 417).


48
If, indeed, proper evaluation of events becomes cluttered up
with unconscious assumptions that distort the accuracy of a person's
perceptions, then the plumbing of these assumptions should free the
individual from misevaluations and distortions. This notion is a
highly suggestive one. We know on one hand that the degree of distor
tion of events by an individual is proportional to his own feeling of
adequacy in the situation (Combs, 1959). That is, if someone exper
iences an event as a threatening event he restructures it in order to
fit it into his existing perceptual field. His need to maintain a
consistent perception of himself may lead to severe denials of "reality."
Combs (1959) explains how inadequate, distorted perceptions interfere
with functioning in the world:
Distorted perceptions, it is clear, are unlikely
to prove effective in helping individuals to new
and better adjustments. To deal effectively with
life requires the clearest possible perceptions
of oneself and his relationships to the external
world. The failure of adequate perception is
the most obvious of the characteristice of inade
quate personalities, and at the same time, the
most vital factor in serving to keep them inadequate
(p. 285).
What Korzybski proposes is that a person's perceptions can be made
more adequate through changes in his language and through consciouness
of his abstracting. This would lead to more adequate perceptions of
oneself and a greater feeling of personal adequacy. In addition, Combs
(1959) points out that "when we find ways of helping people change the
ways they see themselves and the world in which they live, it may not
be necessary to change their environments"(p. 316).


49
Of course, perception is not directly manipuable from without.
The individual ultimately is the artificer of his own perceptions.
However, given new words, he has available to him new concepts around
which he may order his perceptions, and this may lead him toward greater
accuracy of perception. On a different plane, if the person is presented
with the implications of his assumptions this may be an occasion for
perceiving anew, and if he comes to see how he uses words to maintain
beliefs that are not necessarily so, this, too, may present him with
an occasion for perceptual change.
The General Semantics approachbased on the work of Alfred
Korzybskiis to concentrate upon the linguistic aspects of perception.
This level of analysis of perception is fairly abstract in itself; it
lends itself to overstatement. For example, Korzybski. (1933) claims
that the word is_ is the most insidious linguistic phenomenon because it
gives the wrong impression that there is an absolute and exact identity
between the things linked by is^. "The cat is brown," he would say,
suggests that browness and cat-ness are necessarily joined together.
However, since we cannot reasonably expect to alter the whole fabric
of all languages, we have to look to the individual's uses of language
to discover ways to improve perceptions. If we followed Korzybski
literally we would be seeking an overhaul of all of Indo-european
languages and we would be too removed from the dynamics of the indi
vidual .
There are ways in which an understanding of cultural relativity
and unconscious assumptions within language can be utilized for increas
ing the adequacy of perception. Generally Whorf and Korzybski (and


b
those who have come after them) alert us to the fact that persons may
be carrying around assumptions on the more formal, cognitive end of
their experience that affect the more operational and emotional ends
of their experience. Since feelings that a person has are a product
of self-perceptions, perceptions of theworld, and the meaning of the
relationship to that individual, an understanding of the ways that a
person has of relating these perceptions will lead to further under
standing of the role of language in the perceptual process.
As members of the same culture we carry around similar means
of appraising our experiences. In this sense we cooperate in our
perceptions of events and in many of the meanings of those events.
In perceptual psychology terms, commonly held perceptions make commun
ication possible (Combs, 1959, p. 31). The degree of overlap of the
phenomenal fields of individuals determine the degree to which they
are capable of sharing their meanings and enlarging their experiences
with each other. In the social sphere what is considered to be
adequate, veridical perception of concrete reality is generally agreed
upon by people as a whole.
What a person can say about anything is always limited. The
pattern of any language, like the pattern of personality traits, is
unified and consistent at some point of analysis. All systems are
organized and structured and this organization means that the things
organized are transformed. The creation and utilization of symbols
(words, in this case) inevitably transforms the things symbolized.
Hayakawa (1958) points out;
human beings live in a "semantic environment,"
which is the creation of their symbol systems,


51
so that even the individual who believes
himself to be in direct contact with reality,
and therefore free of doctrines and assump
tions, thinks in terms of the symbols with
which he has been taught to organize his
perceptions, namely, the visual or verbal
symbols, or images, which are the currency
with which communication is negotiated in
his culture (pp. 131-132).
Overlapping Perceptions
Living in an environment that shapes the form of one's symbols,
while influential, does not absolutely determine the individual's
thinking. Just as the word is not the object it represents, the symbol
system in language is not the whole of perceptual processes. There is
not a one-to-one correspondence between words and a person's concepts.
The individual is also a word user and a word manipulator. Goodman
(1971) points out that, above all, language is a coping behavior:
The common code is not identical with the power
to speak and the actual speech of individuals,
intimate groups, and functional groups, and the
latter is normally always still plastic--it shapes
the code as well as being shaped by it . .
language is not a lifeless tool, but an act of
coping. . It is because our power of speech is
not in absolute correspondence with its code that
we can pick up another way of saying things and
tell it to ourselves, and so begin to understand
the other cultureespecially when, lo! in the
other culture we find human actions that are
relevant to ourselves (p. 49).
The finding of human actions relevant to oneself is the basis
for communities and societies. Communities are held together and
progress to the extent that members within that community see them
selves as participants in common experiences and goals. The indivi
dual in a community fits in to the degree that he finds himself


52
involved in shared activity. Thus, when the goals of the individual
and of society coincide, the individual experiences himself as a member
of a significant group and he sees his actions as being human actions.
Common experiences and common goals promote a feeling of belonging and
participation.
As an organism in itself, a society has to have organization and
structure. The different parts must cooperate in common functions. This
places great importance upon communications with the social organism,
and the symbols that are generated to hold together groups of people
(e.g, religious, technological, economic, political symbols) help
maintain the basic levels of communication. J. Z. Young (1951), the
eminent biologist, links the function of the brain to a communications
system that has developed in social contexts as an organ of communication.
Saying that "the use of words to ensure cooperation is the essential
biological feature of modern man"(p. 98), he cites man's creation of
symbols of greater and greater power as the dominant link between the
individual's mind and society as a whole.
The development of modes to ensure cooperation begins early
in the child's socialization. There is, of course, the cooperative
endeavor of feeding the infant that forms earliest senses of mutuality
between child and mother (Sullivan, 1953). Later developments of
cooperative human behavior extend further and further into the social
world, and necessitate more communication between the child and others.
As he learns how to express his needs or desires in ways that will
elicit responses, the child builds up a repertory of behaviors and
expressions that lead to further elaboration of social behaviors.


b3
The structure and patterns of the language he is learning will
provide him with basic descriptive capabilities and a sense of what is
important to describe, but it is in the development of language as a
coping device that he begins to formulate a social identity and a social
mode of responding to others.
Channelling of Informational Modes
The information that a child possesses about himself and his
environment maintains the overall relationship between him and society,,
If we look at the child for a moment in terms of cybernetic principles
(Wiener, 1961)--also called information theory and, sometimes, communi
cation theory,--we see that he develops means of acquiring, storing,
using, and transmitting information about himself and his environment.
Strictly speaking, "information" in cybernetics is "a statistical
function of alternations within a communication system including: (1) a
sender capable of selecting a specific set of messages states out of
a range of possible states; (2) a channel through which the selection
of the sender can be indicated; and (3) a receiver capable of decoding
this indication to determine the specific message states selected by
the sender"(Sayre, 1967). In these limited terms information is
merely a quantitative term, not associated with human intentions,
meanings, desires It is a measure of the uniqueness of the symbol
combination used at any time; low frequencies of symbol combinations
(phonetically, lexically, or syntactically) have higher information
value; high frequencies of symbol combinations have low information
value.


54
In earliest verbal learning the child receives what to him is
communication with high information value; that is, utterances are
novel; he does not know the sound or the words that will follow. He
is capable of hearing and imitating a wider range of sounds than those
produced in any single language, but as he hears the words spoken around
him certain sounds recur frequently, some others seldom, and others not
at all. As he learns to discriminate the sounds that are produced the
information value is reduced on the phonetic level. He can anticipate
certain sounds and disregard others. As information decreases, that is,
as uniqueness decreases, meaning, in cybernetic terms, increases.
Meaning for the individual develops out of recognizable patterns
and forms. If there is too much uniqueness in the communication, it
becomes chaotic, distorted, unpredictable, and unintelligible. Thus,
a random series of words, unpatterned by grammatical structures or
intention, would have high information value but make no sense. Too
redundant a message, such as the same word repeated over and over
again, loses whatever meaning it may have had. Information encompases
a greater area of perceivable phenomenon than does meaning, for meaning
relies upon distinguishable patterns from a personal perspective. What
is meaningful and coherent to an electrical engineer will be maximally
"informative" but meaningless to a three-year-old.
In terms of an individual's perspective as a receptor of
information there must be a balance between novelty and redundancy.
The child learning to pick his way verbally through a jungle of sounds
and expressions discovers meaning in the repeated and extended content
words. He learns a variety of contexts and usages for the same word.


The redundancy of the word is balanced against the new applications he
discovers for it. Thereby, his information input is kept at a sufficiently
high level to extend the range of his verbalizations and his activities
without overloading him with too much information to assimilate.
Iri his relations with others the child must develop sufficient
skill in communicating internal states or external actions to be compre
hended by those around him. The goal is to maximize the mutuality of
information, to facilitate the transfer and comprehension of as much
information as possible. Interference in this process, called noise in
information theory, reduces the mutual possession of information F J
Crosson (1967) says:
. o .the mutual information will be the amount of
information which they /.the sender and the receiver}
share. For a perfectly noiseless channel and no
ambiguity in coding, the mutual information will be
maximal. As noise and equivocation increase, there
will be less correlation between input and output
ensembles, and the mutual information will decrease
(p. 112).
The mutual possession of information is the first building block of
the socialization of the child through language.
In an experiment conducted by Luria and Yudovich (1969) in the
Soviet Union identical twins, who at the age of 5 years had not developed
a common stock of words except for amorphous exclamations and privately
shared expressions, were separated and given speech training. In three
months they had developed relatively socialized speech. But the impor
tant changes occurred in their playing behaviors. Prior to the special
linguistic training they exhibited the speech patterns and play activity
of a child 1% to 2 years of age. They did not draw, sculpt, or construct


objects from blocks; they did not engage in normal role and object
play; and they did not engage in meaningful play. However, Luria
points out:
with the development of speech, all the activity
of these children was reorganized: role and
object play appeared; disorderly drawing with a
pencil on paper was replaced by meaningful content-
centered drawing; disorderly rolling of clay was
replaced by modeling; constructive activity, which
had been absent earlier, appeared; and typical
forms of intelligent and intellectual behavior
were observed. The short time required to develop
full-valued speech in these children eliminates
maturation as an explanation and permits one to
attribute the shifts in the structure of their
activity to the development of new modes of
speech (p0 145)
Since their social behavior, particularly their play, altered
significantly after they acquired a socialized language, Luria concludes
that language, as an internal representation of external relationships,
has a regulative social function. As children develop a common language
they also develop a common perceptual framework. Therefore, the overlap
of perceptions held in common with each other and with society as a
whole produce conditions for socialized behavior. About this process,
Luria (1971) says:
With the appearance of speech disconnected from
action, indicating an object, action and rela
tions, it was to be expected that there should
also arise the possibility of formulating a
system of connections transcending the bound
aries of the immediate situation and of
subordinating action to these verbally formu
lated connections. It was to be expected
that this would also lead to the development
of complex forms of activity, manifested in
play as 'the unfolding of subject matter'
which would give play a steady character (p. 84).


57
On one level we can say that the mutual possession of information,
the shared language and concepts, makes available to the child socialized
play, for they both derive from a special perspective of the individual.
To communicate a message a person has to consider in some way the person
receiving the message. He has to separate the symbols he uses from
actions in order to formulate an understandable message; that is, in
information theory terms, he learns a coding procedure that has a high
probability of being decoded accurately. In short, he learns to attend
to the effects of his verbalizations. Likewise, in activity with others
he learns appropriate roles for interacting socially.
Luria's analysis, that the reorganization of the child's mental
processes through speech development permits him to evaluate his activity
and produces objectively, suggests that one of the conditions necessary
for regulated activity is the taking on of an outside perspective. This
also suggests that the internal reorganization, as a product of the
external perspective, becomes the rudimentary self system, that it arises
out of the sharing of information and perceptions. The child begins to
see himself in the context of others; his actions and his expressions
are affected as is his sense of self.
The Elaboration of Self through Role Relationships
External Perspectives on Self
In social psychology, which considers the social context as the
most salient dimension of human functioning, the self is described as
a product of the interaction of individuals through the communication
process. The person adopts external perspectives on himself, and treats
himself as an object of knowledge. That is, he sees himself through


58
the eyes of others and conies to know himself in ways that he comes to
know objects, events and other people. Thus he develops a theory of
himself. Seymour Epstein (1972) suggests, in this respect, that the
self-concept is:
a theory that the individual has unwittingly
constructed about himself as an experiencing,
functioning individual, and it is part of a
broader theory which he holds with respect
to his entire range of significant experience.
Accordingly, there are major postulate systems
for the nature of the world, for the nature of
the self, and for their interaction (p. 409).
And recently Raimy (1975) has proposed that self-examination by a
client in therapy can lead to the changing of misconceptions about
himself in the same way that people change their conceptions in every
day life.
Self-examination is practiced extensively in
everyday life when problems develop which
interfer with living. If we suspect that we
may be at fault, we customarily examine our
behavior and our conceptions in the hope of
discovering our faulty conceptions. If self-
examination fails to provide us with suitable
alternatives, we may then seek the advice of
others (p. 48).
Since an individual understands himself through the taking on
of an external view of himself, he may also mis-understand himself in
the same way. Through the use of symbols the individual takes on the
attitudes and assumptions of significant others. In his language these
symbols channel his perceptions of himself along general cultural lines,
but in the communication process itself, more specific self-perceptions
are generated. To develop a "theory" or an "understanding" of himself
the individual holds the attitudes of others before him as a mirror.


59
The effect of mirroring himself in others is circular (Combs,
1959), for as he sees his actions and their implications in terms of
others' perceptions he modifies his actions and also his perceptions.
His perceptual field becomes enlarged through his consideration of the
effects of his behavior on others. The process becomes a self-fulfilling
one when his beliefs about the effects of his behavior produces those
effects he anticipates.
Roles
As the individual adopts the attitudes of others he learns to
see himself as others see him. He controls his actions in relation to
others; he develops attitudes about himself consistent with the attitudes
others have. At least initially this is his primary mode of realizing
his existence as a separate entity. He experiences himself as a self
from the standpoint of external roles he finds himself in. He begins
to see that he has a variety of roles and a variety of ways of looking
at himself. He is his parents' son, his sister's brother, his neighbor's
friend, etc. The dimensions of his experience are extended to his rela
tions with others and to what these relations imply about how he is and
how he should be. Hugh Dalziel Duncan (1968) says;
To become conscious of his self, the child must
learn to take the attitude of others (who are,
of course, different and indifferent and who
hate as well as love), . Thus, it is only be
taking the attitude of individual and general
others into account that he can exist within
the group, and get the kinds of responses he needs
to stimulate himself to relate to others.
It is the child's ability to take roles, not
simply to talk to himself or to 'think,' which
determines his development. That is, the basic


uu
form of communication as a social act, whatever
its content, is histrionic. When the child talks
to himself he addresses himself in roles (p. 79).
Role in Mead's conception is not merely the conscious roles or
masks that a person may adopt, but instead encompases all of his
relationships with others. As the child adopts and modifies his
roles vis a vis others he develops attitudes towards himself in terms
of his experienced relationships. This is not set about in deliberate
ways; it comes about as a perceptual process through which the indivi
dual becomes increasingly aware of his identity.
Using the common symbols of the group and the common attitudes
of others as his basis for conversation with himself, he treats himself
as an object of knowledge. He can know himself through the roles he
experiences through others; he can consider himself as an external
object by looking at himself through the eyes of others; he can talk
to himself (what Mead calls "the inner flow of speech") and formulate
intelligent responses to his various attitudes. With the development
of an inner speech he then possesses the communicative modes that consti
tute the mind. As Mead (1938) says:
The essential condition for the appearance of
what has been conceived of as mind is that the
individual in acting with reference to the
environment should, as part of that action, be
acting with reference to himself, so that his
action would include himself as an object.
This does not mean that the individual should
simply act with reference to parts of his
organism, even when that action is social,
but it does mean that the whole action toward
the object upon which attention is centered
includes as a part of this action a reaction
toward the individual himself. If this is
attained, the self as an object becomes a part
of the acting individual, that is, the indivi-


KJ I
dual has attained what is called self-consciouness
a self-consciounsess that accompanies his conduct or
may accompany a portion of his conduct (p. 367).
This sense of self, elaborated through social relations, is in
only some v/ays the complex, dynamic self which we are investigating.
As a source for internal regulation of behavior and of perception on
a limited scale, the self that arises through primary socialization is,
indeed, an identity. According to Mead there are as many selves in
each person as there are roles that they engage in. However, these
roles do not remain isolated from each other, A person is not entirely
different in each of his roles. He may select out of his possible
ways of behaving certain characteristics which will be organized into
a coherent role, but it is unlikely that he will involve all of himself
in any of the roles he maintains.
Roles, as social expectancies, particularly in the young child,
exert tremendous pressure upon his conceptions of himself. The roles
that he participates in promote self-perceptions that begin to stabilize
to the same degree that the roles stabilize. When asked who they are
most, people enumerate the roles they have: husband, student, sister,
businessman, friend. Children gradually learn this response. They
may begin with their name, knowing that is is a label they can apply
to themselves, and then generate other labels, socially defined, to
further describe themselves.
Primary Socialization
Primary socialization (Berger & Luckmann, 1967) is the process
of creating in the child a concept of the "generalized other," setting
up the conditions for the child to enter the social sphere. The


62
communication modes employed in primary socialization maintain pervasive,
but not absolutely obligatory, concepts about society, self, and one's
roles. Socialization is a stabilizing process. The child orients his
perceptions in line with those around him. Although his internal
experience is relatively amorphous and undifferentiated in relation to
his external experience, which very early begins to be structured and
differentiated, he learns to transform his external experience into a
recognizable internal experience.
Berger & Luckmann point out that early in the socialization
process the child does not distinguish the objectivity of natural
phenomena from the objectivity of social phenomena. That is, in the
terms that he has of dealing with them they both seem to be permanently,
irrevocably the way they are. In Whorf's terms the child is word-
bound and culture-bound by his unchallenged belief in the permanency
of the forms he experiences. Social conventions are seen as unchange
able. They are not the product of human agreement or cooperation.
Likewise, his roles and the language he has for communicating through
his roles are fixed. They are experienced as objective reality.
As the child develops a social self he develops a concept of
the "generalized other," in Mead's terminology. This concept of what
an individual in society does and does not do becomes internalized as
a guideline and touchstone for future activity through the process of
considering himself as an object. Thus, standards of behavior become
formalized. Berger & Luckmann say:
The formation within consciousness of the generalized
other marks a decisive phase of socialization. It
implies the internalization of society as such and of
the objective reality established therein, and, at


UJ
the same time, the subjective establishment of a
coherent and continuous identity. Society, identity
and reality are subjectively crystallized in the same
process of internalization. This crystallization is
concurrent with the internalization of language.
Indeed . .language constitutes both the most impor
tant content and the most important instrument of
socialization (p. 133).
As the child develops a sense of generalized other his private exper
ience and his public experience begin to coincide. We would be hard
pressed to determine the point at which one begins and the other leaves
off.
In phenomenological terms, the individual's experience is his
own perceptual field and the meaning of his experience or of an object
depends upon his perception of the relationship between the object and
himself. However, the concept of the generalized other urges certain
perceptions of meaning in terms of society. He is told, explicitly or
implicitly, that "big boys don't cry," that one should always tell the
truth, that people don't run around without their clothes on. Thus, he
learns to evaluate the meanings of an action in terms of the social
meanings, which have become in many ways his private meanings.
The Creation of Common Meanings and a_
Sense of Cooperation
A person draws upon his own individual experiences and upon his
experiences as a social and socialized being in forming perceptions
about himself. The process of communication with others necessitates
a bridging of the inner and the outer experiences, and it is this
bridging of the two that directs the individual's sense of himself as


a unique organism on one hand, and of himself as a member of a
sustained group with common ties on the other His personal meaning
is tied up in the balancing of these two experiences.
Personal meaning in any experience derives from the individual's
perceptions of himself, his perceptions of the situation, and the rela
tionship he perceives between them. If his overall perceptual field is
organized in accordance with society's dictates, as has been suggested
in the previous sections, the meanings he creates will reflect social
expectancies. He may not be absolutely bound by them, but he certainly
is not free of them either. His past experience, having many elements
of commonality with others and of individuality, directs his expecta
tions about whatever new situations he may encounter.
The development of social identities and of a stock of words,
gestures, and meanings that help the individual interact smoothly with
others, assumes social consequences of actions. Meaningful social
actions derive from the individual's perceptions of the relationship
between himself and others. Grounded in the cooperative dimensions of
communication, interaction between individuals--even those involving
disagreements--transform private individual experiences into public,
common experiences. Anton C. Zijderveld (1971) calls this movement of
sensibility "meaningful intentionality." He says:
It is this meaningful intentionality that transforms
movements of the body into social actions and inter
actions of persons. To this, the internalization of
behavior as a cybernetic principle may be added: we
are able to steer our actions in a meaningful way
because we internalize the gestures and actions of
others and feed them back in further communication
as in a spiral movement.


Participation is a function of this internalization.
If man is no longer able to internalize actively, he
will store up in his self meaningless, disconnected
pieces of informationabstract images and empty
stereotypes which are continuously reflected upon
but do not stimulate any further communicative
behavior. Moreover, in such a situation the actor
will gradually lose the capacity to question or
criticize the incoming information. He will slowly
develop into an easy object for manipulation.
Opinions are consumed passively and stored up in
consciousness for abstract reflections (p. 87).
Zijderveld's conclusion on this matter is that the process of internal
ization is essential not only to the development of a social self but
also to the maintenance of a fully functioning personality.
The picture we obtain at this point is one of an individual
who assimilates the language patterns and the communicative modes of
his culture in such a way that he develops an internal representation
of the gestures, actions, and meanings of others. Through his internal
ized meanings he is able to organize further events into coherent
patterns and he is able to participate meaningful in social activities.
Thus, cooperation in the daily experience, particularly if this cooper
ation is perceived as a fulfillment of ones own identity, coincides
with personal meaning.
Zijdervelds description of the effects of loss of the ability
to internalize reminds us of Korzybski's description of the word-bound
individual (1949). Both suggest that under certain conditions the
individual forfeits the unique, productive ability to relate his
language and his nonverbal experience. For Korzybski a person who
confuses objects and words, who thinks that all things with the same
name are the same, who reacts to words automatically, and who general-


bb
izes and stereotypes experiences and people blindly, is an "intensional"
being. He is caught in rigid, unchanging, narrow attitudes. He deals
with surface similarities and ignores differences; he is uncirti cal of
his experience and he is uncompromising in his perceptions. In short,
he has not internalized the basic symbolizing principle: symbols are
not the things they symbolize.
The social context informs the individual of the appropriateness
of his symbols. Through interaction and participation he builds up a
range of responses that both allow him to relate adequately with others
and to discover personal meanings in his relations. He has to be able
to distinguish social reality, which is based upon common agreement,
from natural reality which is not based upon agreement, but which just
is. The difference in these two realities means the difference between
perceiving oneself as a party to agreements and cooperation, and
perceiving oneself as a mere follower of unchangeable patterns.


CHAPTER III
SYMBOLIZATION
The Extension of Perception through Language
In order for the individual to form a phenomenal self of
whatever complexity, he must possess a capability of symbolizing his
experience and himself. The symbolizing process itself allows the
individual to perceive patterns, to abstract from sensory impressions,
to draw conclusions, and to hold beliefs. It offers a means of ordering
impressions into coherent, meaningful patterns. Without such ordering
processes perceptual experience would be locked into rigid, non-continuous
actions without a sense of direction or movement.
In listening to a musical piece we "understand" it because we
are able to detect a pattern in the sequence of tones, a rhythm, and
a flow of intervals and notes. Without the ability to represent and
hold the notes in our awareness we would experience each note as an
isolated sound, having no relation to what went before or what is to
come. A person's ability to perceive music as a continuous, flowing,
ordered, acoustic phenomenon is a product of his general ability to
handle the accumulation of impressions and of his specific orientations
and experiences with music. Brought up on Western musical structures
(symphonies and concertos, for example), he might experience a disorien
tation upon encountering the structurally different music of traditional
Eastern civilizations, but he would still be able to recognize it as
music and not as random sounds.
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68
Perception of Continuity
Symbolizing activity in man binds the past, present, and future
for him. Before he can abstract from his perceptual impressions he
must be able to experience duration from one activity to the next, from
one impression to the next. Korzybski (1949) calls this distinguishing
activity in mankind "time-binding," and suggests that man's capacity
for abstraction, that is, symbolization, provides him v/ith a continuous
link between impressionistic data and human experiencing. Bergson (1912)
too, claims that individual sense impressions are so "animated by
common life"(p. 11) that we experience them as a flowing from one to
the other.
This subjective feeling of continuity of experience opens the
individual to further abstractions about his environment. The child
appears- to develop a sense of the continuity of his own existence
before developing a comparable concept of continutiy of objects and
persons (Piaget, 1970). He orders his world around the subjective
states of his own body and then gradually extends his awareness and
symbolizing beyond himself into the physical and social world.
The experiences of living in time, of having a past and future
as well as the present precedes the experience of any other continuous
aspect of the self. To communicate this experience to others one
must have a language, for the past and future cannot be expressed
otherwise. By actions alone the child can only present his current
experience. He might be able to signal the need for food or sleep or
clean diapers, but that in itself is not symbolic activity. To represent


69
a feeling state requires at least some symbolization of that state,
which means that it also must be felt as part of continuous experience.
The development of language is the development of means for represent
ing experience, and it extends the representation from the here-and-
now signal to representation of past experiences and future possibili
ties. This is an important link in an individual's development. By
learning language he learns more than the symbols to use for represent
ing himself, his thoughts, his feelings. He learns to represent himself,
which is a vast leap in mental functioning.
Labeling Experience
The representation of reality through symbols begins very early,
but it is the blossoming of linguistic ability that opens the child's
differentiation of elements in the environment. He begins to learn
that people and things have names. Furthermore he learns that several
objects can have the same name. As he learns to distinguish those
objects from other objects with similar properties he is also learning
methods for distinguishing them.
Brown (1968) suggests that in the naming activity the child's
vocabulary is more determined by the practices of adults than by his
cognitive preferences. The child learns the utility of the thing
symbolized by language as well as learning the symbol itself.
Naming each thing in accordance with local
frequencies, parents unwittingly transmit
their own cognitive structures. It is a
world where Prince is unique among dogs
and papa among men, spoons are all alike but
different from forks. It may be a world of
bugs (to be stepped on), or flowers (not to
be picked), and birds (not to be stoned).
It may be a world in which Niggers, like


70
spoons are all of a kind. A division of caste creates
a vast categorical equivalence and a correspondingly
generic name. Mr. Jones and Mr. Smith do not come out
of racial anonymity until their uniqueness is appreci
ated (p 86).
Likewise the child's perceptions and personal experience are organized
by the linguistic symbols he obtains from representing them. A child
learns to see himself through the eyes of others and to describe him
self through the vocabulary of others. As he learns to represent
feeling states or physical attributes, he learns what states are
significant for representation and what states are trivial or non
existent in other people's terms. The differentiation of what consti
tutes himself, his possessions, his capabilities, and his feelings
begins on the linguistic level.
I watched my two-year-old nephew one day as he toddled around
the living room of his grandmother's house. He would approach a
cabinet that was "off limits" with obvious interest, but just before
reaching it he would say, "No, Shawn," in exactly the tone of voice
used by his mother. Other objects in the room elicited either the
learned injunction not to touch, or, in the case of objects that were
acceptable for him to touch and handle, a completion of his initial
urge. Clearly, he was learning the language of limitations and rules
and of subsequent actions that could be performed.
The activity of language orients the individual to attend to
those features of his environment a,id of himself that can be named and
communicated. Communicable phenomena must have a history, a continuity
of existence, and some elements that are held in common with other


71
phenomena. The unique, the idiosyncratic can be communicated only if
it is related in some way to the enduring and general. Thus the child
as he learns to talk learns to attend to the things around him that
can be communicated. He learns to see similarities in different
objects, and he learns to deal with these objects in similar terms.
In his perception of himself he attends to repeatable physiological
functions and recurrent feelings. Other phenomena he either learns to
ignore because there is no word for them, or he learns to express in
terms of something else. Ruesch and Bateson (1968) suggest that the
limitations of language to recurring phenomena order the activity
of all people around their perception of common occurrences. "Language
can only deal with recurring phenomena: never can it specify the unique,
and especially the uniquely personal developments and complex growth
which are still in the future"(p. 233). This is one aspect of language
development: its orientating effect upon perceptions of constancy,
continuity, and similarity of sense impressions that shapes a person's
attention. He learns how to respond to the facts of existence (that
some things endure) and what facts are v/orth attention (those that
endure),
In organizing his perceptual field, then, the child attends to
impressions that are responsible along certain lines. He differentiates
those elements that have essentially constant characteristics. Those
that exist over an extended period of time, and those that are similar
in features or consequences. He does not learn to distinguish phenomena
for which there are not adequate words or concepts in his language.


72
For example, childhood synaesthesia, in which more than one sense
modality are experienced together ("hearing" colors; "seeing" sounds;
"feeling" the texture of tastes; etc.) is a common phenomenon, but
it decreases in strength in later years. I suggest that, since we
have no simple ways of expressing those experiences and tend to
disregard them, the capacity for synaesthesia is diminished, if not
lost.
It is a common occurence for perceptual fields in people as a
whole to be broadened and their abilities to experience new phenomena
enhanced through the introduction of new words or concepts. In the
last few years serious scientific investigation of auras around people's
heads, sparked by Kirlian photography, has apparently legitimated the
seeing of these auras by many people in their daily life. Now that it
is fairly well accepted as a legitimate experience more and more people
report having seen auras. The precise reasons for this are not clear,
but it is clear that prevailing ways of cutting up and organizing
experience affect the individual's private perceptions.
Adult linguistic practices shape the early perceptions of the
child. Not only is the child learning a vocabulary for expressing his
wants and his perceptions, he is learning the degree to which such
expressions are acceptable. From the simple differentiation of physical
objects to the more complex differentiation of significant aspects of
his body and his experience, the child reflects the attitudes and
assumptions of those he contacts, Eveloff (1971) summarizes this
procedure:


By interpreting the world around him in an organized
logical manner, the adult reflects facets of reality
for the child that are incomparably deeper and more
complex than those he would have gleaned from his
own experimentations. The incorporated words of the
parent become a tremendous factor which helps to form
the very substance of mental activity.
When the child verbally establishes complex connections
and relations between perceived phenomena with the help
of an adult, the child introduces at each moment essen
tial qualitative changes in the receptivity and
interpretation of sensory input to his brain, that is,
in the perception and cognition of his world. Thus,
the word not only makes possible the coding of infor
mation but modifies the nature of that which is to be
coded (p 1896).
Language, then, is a means of extending one's perceptions into deeper
and richer dimensions. The quality of perceptual experience is height
ened by the ability of the child to orient his intake of information
around symbols. This important facet of perceptual experiences
suggests that construction of the child's experience goes on from his
earliest symbolizing activities. Since he interprets his world, his
actions, and himself through symbols and since these symbols carry with
them the cultural assumptions of those who introduce them, his act of
perceiving is a constructive act.
The Perception of Patterns and Relationships
Besides the basic symbolizing of events that comes from naming
or labelling them, language also exercises a further representation of
events through the patterns of words produced. Much of language is
tied to no specific concrete phenomena, as Benjamin Lee Whorf (1956)
points out. Speech, which incorporates the pattern system of the
language--that is, the sentence structure itselfis more important
than the particular words. He says:


74
That part of meaning which is in words, and which we
may call "reference," is only relatively fixed. Refer
ence of words is at the mercy of the sentences and
grammatical patterns in which they occur . The
sentence "I went all the way down there just in order
to see Jack" contains only one fixed concrete refer
ence: namely, Jack. The rest is pattern attached
to nothing specifically (p. 259).
This means that the child learning a language acquires a particular
system of patterns that influence his perceptions of the ways in which
objects or persons can be related. Although the effects of this
patternment are difficult to assess, there have been some notable
attempts at describing the role of language patterns in perception:
specifically, Whorf (1956) and Korzybski (1933). I will deal with
these in more detail later.
Accepting for the now that patterning in language is important,
we are led to ask how an understanding of this pattern develops. To
find answers to this we need to look at the symbolic functions in
regard: to the internalization of patterns.
The Symbolic Function
The symbolic function not only enables the individual to
symbolize experiences and manipulate symbols, but it also provides
the modality for internalizing experience, for "making it your own,"
so to speak. Out of each person's unique interactions with the world
he forms a complex organization that not only gives meaning to exper
ience, but also provides him with a means of ordering experiences to
come. Thus, there is a static element and a progressive goal to
organization.


75
Static elements in perception derive from the labels we apply
to events. There is a tendency to reify experience, to treat as an
object non-physical phenomena or processes. For example, "love" is
not a thing; it is a label attached to a way of behaving and perceiving.
But we often talk about it as if it has real existence. We can fall
in it or out of it. We can give or receive it. We call upon it as a
panacea for splintered social relations. The quality of loving is
almost systematically transformed into a static object. Most abstract
conceptions are reduced to objectifications in this way.
The human tendency toward objectification of experience illustrates
one way of knowing the world. We can know things by acting upon them,
but that means that they must have some real or supposed physical
existence. Love can be analyzed,categorized, and evaluated in physical
terms only if it has been objectified first. Another way of knowing
comes about through understanding relationships among things. To
understand relationships the individual must be able to perceive patterns,
to abstract from experience, to propose and test combinations of phenom
ena, to transform them systematically. In short, he needs to be able
to bring to his experiences a vast range of synthesizing process.
Objects are not the only things that can be known, but they are
our most ready sources of knowledge and provide us with models for
knowing non-physical things. Piaget 0971b) says:
There are two ways of transforming the object we
wish to know. One consists in modifying its posi
tions, its movements, or its characteristics in
order to explore its nature: this is action known
as "physical." The other consists in enriching
the object with characteristics or new relation-


/o
ships, which retain its characteristics or previous
relationships, yet completing them by systems of
classification, numeral order, measure, and so forth:
these actions are known as "logico-mathematical" (p. 67).
Systematic procedures for transforming objects mentally, in order to more
fully realize their characteristics, apply combinatorial to the situation.
Although Piaget is concerned primarily with what he calls the
logico-mathematical processes, especially as they are oriented towards
exploration of physical realtiy, such processes are only part of a more
extensive perceptual experience. We know that perceptions are differen
tiated on the basis of perceived qualities of nearness, similarity, etc.
Piaget's description of the knowing process formalizes the above Gestalt
description of perception in tightly defined areas. His development
theory supported by wide ranging experiments by others that the child
learns systems for transformation of physical reality allows the possi
bility that the child learns similar systems of transformation for all
of his perceptual experiences, such as concepts about himself.
Evidence cited in the development of cognitive structures is
corroborative but not directly applicable to the whole of experience.
There is a strong suggestion that, if a person's perceptual field is
a product of his mental activity, understanding the structures and
processes in mental functioning will enable us to understand further
the individual's organization of his perceptual field.
Piaget's formulation of logic-mathematical processes in
simplified form looks like this: the individual "knows" reality as
an existing and consistent pehnomenon, that is he knows the basic
properties of physical objects; he also knows and increases his power


to know ways of manipulating and transforming his knowledge so as to
deepen and widen his understanding; these powerful transformational
abilities constitute knowledge in itself and also a means of extending
knowledge; thus, the transformantional processes are the most important
dimensions of knowledge. If we can know how the individual organizes
his understanding and transforming processes we will understand the
nature of thinking itself.
Obviously, mapping the child's total perceptual process is a
massive undertaking, and not likely to yield all the secrets of mental
life quickly or easily. However, even as it stands in a nascent state
this theory of the growth of knowledge contributes an important dimen
sion in considering the whole phenomenal field. The ways that a person
has of elaborating and extending the personal meaning of his experience
can be understood in this model. A person has as his basic self concept
a range of attributes that are central to himself. He also has as a
part of his perceptual framework a set of logical processes that tell
him how to alter conceptions of himself and of his world. Thus, the
perceptual field of an individual is the total of his perceptions of
himself, of his perceptions of the world, and the relationships he
sees between them; the means he uses to discover relationships would
be his transformational processes.
Internalization
One of the unique qualities of mental processes is the ability
of the individual to reflect upon his own experience. This is impor
tant for it means that he is not bound up in the world of sensory
experience but can make his own experiences more extensive by


considering them. This quality of consciousness has ingrigued
philosophers and psychologists alike. Perception refers to the
quality and vividness of a person's experiences in his conscious
state; self-perception refers, then, to his awareness of himself
as a perceiver. This entails reflection upon his experience after
the fact and a change in the level of his perception. Self percep
tion or reflection may be extended indefinitely, like the images
generated by two facing mirrors.
A person is initially a perceiving organism. Me becomes a
self-perceiving organism with the advent of language, for at this
time he can conceptualize himself apart from his environment and
roles. The degree of complexity in self-perception is a function
of experiences and mental maturation. His experiences inform him
progressively of consequences, patterns, attributes, et cetera in
his world. His mental faculties provide him with powerful abilities
to conceptualize, to abstract from his experience salient features.
By internalization I mean the process of assimilating experience
and perceptions into the over all body of concepts that are the indivi
dual s reservoir of attitudes, thinking styles, symbolizing processes
and meanings. Piaget (1970) relates internalization to the replace
ment of action with thought. To him actions that are performed on
objects "are the basis for reflective abstraction"(p. 19): and they
are internalized insofar as they "can be carried out in thought as
well as executed materially"^. 22).! This externalistic view of the
process of making something one's own breaks the perceptual process


/ y
into two parts, an event and the idea of that event; but if we look
at the relationship of action to perception, we see that they occur
simultaneously. Thus, the individual differentiates his perceptions
as he acts upon the external world; those differentiated perceptions
become "internalized" as the individual discovers the meaning of them
to himself. Berger and Luckmann (1967) describe internalization as
"the immediate apprehension or interpretation of an objective event
as expressing meaning"(p. 129).
Internalization, then, is a process of making something a
working part of one's perceptual processes. As differentiated
perceptions are dropped out of the immediate experience of the
individual they become part of the process of differentiating
further perceptions. Combs (1959) describes this as a Gestalt
formation process:
Events learned to the point where they are differ
entiated in clear figure soon fade into the ground
of the perceptual field, being replaced in figure by
some new or more extensive differentiation ....
The economy of the organism requires that we be able
to drop what has been differentiated in clear figure
further and further into the ground of the field.
If every event had to be new and clearly differen
tiated at every moment, need satisfaction, even
the very existence of the organism, would be
impossible (p. 198).
Symbolizing experience on an overt, linguistic level begins
the process of internalization of symbols and images used by the
individual in creating new symbols. As he learns to abstract
patterns from his experiences, the individual replaces these perceived
patterns with others. The ones that are replaced are not precluded


or eliminated; they become more integral elements in his perceptual
organization. They become his "sets," his assumptions, and his means
of differentiating incoming impressions. What he internalizes, v/hat
he drops into the ground of his experience, then, can have great
impact upon his later perceptions.
An example of this internalization is the objectification process
In order to express relationships we have to put them into words which
tend to objectify the expressed event. What begins in perceptual exper
ience as a process becomes a static object or relationship in order to
communicate it. Not only does the speaker learn to apply labels to
events, but he also learns that events are to be labelled like objects.
He learns the objectification process and internalizes it as a part of
his perceptual process. When he encounters new situations he asks
"what is it called?" Eventually this orientation towards naming and
objectifying is so much a part of him that it affects all experiences
he has, including perceptions of himself.
Say for example, that a student uses external, inadmissable
(from the teacher's point of view) sources on an examination. At
the moment of acting the student is merely doing what seems to him
to be the most effective thing he can to succeed on the test. After
he has done this, actually at almost the same time that he does it,
he sees his behavior as interpreted from an external point of view.
The label attached to that behavior is cheating, so that makes him a
cheater. If he is a "cheater" then he may be bad, for having cheated,
or clever for having gotten away with it, but whatever he believes


about himself in that situation will be, partially at least, a product
of his internalized tendency to objectify his experience, to attach
labels and then to react to the labels.
Raimy (1943) describes the concentration of personal observa
tions into symbolic shorthand as being important in the formation of
one's self concept
Instead of a retention of all the details which occured
in actual experience, words or other symbols may be used
to abbreviate and condense the results of personal obser
vations so that only a vestigial symbol may represent the
content of a large number of personal experiences. For
instance, "I am guilty" may be the simple self-character
ization which stands for a whole series of guilty
self-evaluations (p. 101).
Symbolizing Personal Experience
The symbolic function, which makes it possible for someone to
abstract from his experience and to deal with his abstractions as "real"
objects or events, becomes elaborated through personal experience. This
functioning is not an object that causes events, even though the essence
of language leads me to describe it as if it were an object. The symboli
function is inseparable from mental activity, from perception, from
abstraction, from experience.
Self-perception is possible because symbolization is possible.
Symbolization of experience begins as a simple tool for sorting out
the impressions and events that surround a person. It becomes an
elaborate process of understanding, eventually extending beyond here-
and-now phenomena to phenomena that are not immediately accessible to
the senses because they are displaced in time or position. The self
and the perceptual process are both displaced from immediate experience,
but because they can be symbolized, they become accessible to each
person.


82
Cassirer (1946) states that symbols and linguistic concepts help
the individual find limits and draw outlines for experience. As this
formation of linguistic concepts orders the internal structure of a
person's perceptions and conceptions it helps lead him to a clear
understanding of himself and of his world.
. o the primary function of linguistic concepts does
not consist in the comparison of experiences and the
selection of certain common attributes, but in the
concentration of such experiences, so to speak, in
distilling them down to one point. But the manner of
this concentration always depends upon the direction of
the subject's interest and is determined not so much by
the content of the experience as by the teleological
perspective from which it is viewed. Whatever appears
important for our wishing and willing, our hopes and
anxiety, for acting and doing; that and only that
receives the stamp of verbal "meaning."
. . Only symbolic expression can yield the possibility
of prospect and retrospect, because it is only by symbols
that distinctions are not merely made, but fixed in con
sciousness. What the mind has once created, what has been
culled from the total sphere of consciousness, does not
fade away again when the spoken word has set its seal
upon it and given it definite form (pp. 37-38).
As a person learns to organize his experiences along certain
dimensions, abstracting patterns and internalizing them, so he learns to
orgaize conceptions of himself. Erikson (1968) suggests that each
stage of psychosocial development for the indi vidual'is characterized by
an identity formation task that must be resolved successfully for the
individual to increase his growing sense of identity.and personal
adequacy. Identity formation for Erikson is equivalent to self-
concept and it becomes possible through self-perception:


83
In psychological terms identity formation employs
a process of simultaneous reflection and observa
tion, a process taking place on all levels of
mental functioning, by which the individual judges
himself in the light of what he perceives to be the
way in which others judge him in comparison to them
selves and to a typology significant to them; while
he judges their way of judging him in the light of
how he perceives himself in comparison to them and
to types that have become relevant to him. This
process is, luckily, and necessarily, for the most
part unconscious except where inner conditions and
outer circumstances combine to aggravate a painful
or elated, "identity-consciousness (pp. 22-23)."
Even though it may not occur on the conscious level, a person is
constantly relating himself to others in interpersonal terms and abstract
ing from those relations. He thereby is employing a highly sophisticated
form of cognition capable of complex deductions, comparisons, inferences,
abstractions, and meanings. The individual is capable of reflecting upon
his characteristic ways of synthesizing experience, and making those
abstracting and transforming modes more integral to himself by internal
izing them.
What I am suggesting on a broad level is that internalization is
a process in mental activity that derives its existence from the symbolic
function. Only because the individual is capable of reflecting upon
his experience, only because he both perceives and abstracts from his
perceptions, is he able to internalize processes for manipulating and
transforming his experience. First he learns to attach labels, then
to label the labels, then to further label and abstract. Internaliza
tion of these abstracting processes increases his ability to organize
his experience along certain lines; it also directs the ways in which
he will organize perceptions about himself and his world.


84
A further indication of the power of the internalization process
in personality development occurs in the social realm. Individuals who
begin, say, disbelieving in their roles, but enact their roles vis-a-vis
others in a prescribed manner often end up believing in those same roles
(Goffman, 1959). For example, someone who moves to a new locale may
find the social customs and manner of speech quairat or bizarre at first.
He, however, enters into the community style with a faint sense of
playing a role and sometime later has internalized these customs and
speech patterns so that he is indistinguishable from the natives.
Transformational graminer
The acquisition of language may also be viewed as an internalization
of labels (words) and patterns (syntax). The most notable attempt to
describe language in terms of the individuals capacities is in the area
of linguistic theory called transformational grammar.
Transformational grammer attempts to account for the fact that a
normal native speaker of a language is able to understand sentences he
has never heard before and is able to generate entirely novel utterances
(Chomsky, 1957). The fact that all people can grasp intuitively what
is grammatical and what is not grammatical in daily speech suggests that
each person possesses an abstract, although it may be unexpressable,
representation of the grammar of his language which allows him to sort
through utterances and not only know what is a permissible sentence,
but also how to disambiguate, to differentiate possible meanings of
sentences. Noam Chomsky calls this linguistic ability competence.


The concept of competence suggests that the person responds to
several meaningful levels in sentences; he understands the sounds
(phonetics) that characterize his particular language, and he under
stands the meanings of the words and the syntactic patterns of sentences.
He understands more than the mere surface characteristics of sentences.
The development of linguistic competence proceeds from simple
holophrastic utterances, wherein the child expresses one word that
carries the equivalent in meaning to a sentence (e.g. "pencil" for "I"
see the pencil," or "give me a pencil"), to complex, syntactic, "adult"
utterances. As he moves from one-word sentences to two-word and three-
word sentences, the child is constantly testing out hypotheses, so to
speak, about the relationships among words. He acquires subtler and
richer knowledge about the pattern and structure of sentences as he differ
entiates grammatical forms and classes. In short, he operates like a
scientist gathering data and organizing it into increasingly powerful
categories.
Three Dimasions of Speech
Three dimensions in speech production are learned: the surface
structure of sentences, deep structures, and transformational rules.
Surface structures
First, the surface structure of sentences is the organization of
specific words, phrases, and their phonetic representation. The child
learns to make the appropriate and characteristic sounds of his language;
he learns to distinguish minimal sound differences that affect the
meaning of the words he hears. He also learns the names of objects
and events, and he learns the proper word order in sentences. These
dimensions of linguistic knowledge are available in external (written


oo
or spoken) utterances. With the ability to represent thought in words
the child has a working knowledge of language. However, this by itself
is not enough to account for the richness of linguistic ability.
Deep structures
Were the surface structures the only existing linguistic structures,
language use would be limited to the manifest and obvious. All meaning
would reside on the surface. Information that would be transmitted would
have to express all the assumptions involved; nothing could be assumed
because it would have no structure for being assumed. Since it is
apparent that sentences do^ carry prior assumptions within their struc
ture (e.g. personal pronouns, past and future tenses, conditional voices),
we are led to specifying deeper structures which accommodate such aspects
of language.
In deep structure (sometimes referred to as Kernel sentences)
basic grammatical patterns of a language are given abstract representation.
Being concepts about the bative speaker's language, they are more general
ized than surface structures. That is, in deep structure the individual
has an abstract formulation about the acceptable utterances in his lang
uage. These concepts act as templates in that they allow the individual
to sort out the acceptable and unacceptable sentences and to generate
appropriate utterances of his own. As abstractions about language, deep
structures cannot be expressed without additional components; the surface
structure assigns appropriate sounds to the words thereby giving it
final form.


o/
Transformational rules
An intermediate step in sentence production occurs by means of
transformational operations,, Transformational rules consist of further
abstractions about language. In transformational operations the indivi
dual applies his knowledge about the structure of phrases and how they
may be recombined to produce variations on the basic phrases. Thus,
at this level grammatical rules (such as the various tense forms, the
changing from active to passive constructions, etc) are applied to
deep structures, giving the form the sentence will take on the surface.
Transformational rules, it is believed, bridge the abstract level of
representation and the surface level of production and understanding.
A more detailed description of transformational grammer may be found in
the appendix.
Coding of a sentence begins at a deep structure level. Semantic
representatations, personal meaning, motives for speaking, ideas and
concepts begin to be formulated in terms of the speaker's language at
this point. Appropriate grammatical constructions and transformations
are applied, and the resultant sentence, being transformed into sound,
is generated. The production of speech is a complex cognitive function
that operates on several levels. In linguistic terms, motives for
speech are not considered as part of the grammatical ability of the
speaker. He may have diverse reasons for saying what he says, but
whatever the reasons, his bringing of his thoughts to the surface
follows this linguistic structure.


88
Language Acquisition
The course of language acquisition is two-fold. The child
develops greater mastery of vocabulary and syntax on one hand, while
he subordinates that knowledge to knowledge of transformational rules
on the other hand. That is, he develops categories of words and
phrases which can be generalized from to produce abstract principles
of application. This is similar to Piaget's (1968) description of the
learning of logico-mathematical structures. These principles reduce
the amount of infomation the child has to store, and through them he
becomes capable of generating all possible sentences from a basic
vocabulary and a string of transformations.
As the child categorizes and differentiates categories, the
deep structure becomes an internalized version of basic English or
French, for example. When it is coupled with the transformational
rules (the operative element), a means of bring forth the internal
structure is available. McNeill (1966) says:
A child seems to operate like a professional grammarian
who takes advantage of the fact that transformations
are intrinsically more powerful than base-structure
deep structure rules and so can express grammatical
relations more economically. The pressure--or, if
you prefer, the motivationto devise transformation
rules may come from the cognitive clutter that comes
from not having them (p. 61).
The picture of mental and linguistic development that we obtain from
transformational grammar approaches is one of progressive differentia
tion of specific, surface elements, and a concomitant internalization
of powerful mental constructs which become the guiding principle in
speech.


oy
It seems that the child internalizes the structure of his language
in ways similar to how he internalizes his knowledge about physical
objects. In both cases the capacity for symbolizing opens the possibility
of organizing knowledge in systematic ways and it follows that the more
abstract, deep level representations will have the greatest effect upon
the individual's perceptions. They become his unconscious assumptions
in dealing with the world.
The Adequacy of Knowledge
The existence of transformational structure, that is, systematic
ways of relating and structuring basic knowledge of events, although
not capable of explaining all of human functioning, is highly sugges
tive of the process of knowing for the individual. Piaget (1970)
working in a different framework from grammarians, explains his concep
tion of knowledge:
Knowing an object does not mean copying itit means
acting upon it. It means constructing systems of
transformations that can be carried out on or with
this object. Knowing reality means constructing
systems of transformations that correspond, more or
less adequately, to reality. .Knowledge, then, is
a system of transformations that become progressively
adequate (p. 15).
The dimension of adequacy of transformations in representing the
true state of existence corresponds with a similar dimension in percep
tual experience. A person's perceptions are self-correcting in that
they are testable against reality; this applies particularly in the
realm of physical reality.


Full Text
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
3 1262 08556 8367


LANGUAGE AND SELF:
THE ROLE OF LANGUAGE IN PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT
By
JOHN JEFFREY GORRELL
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE
DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
1975

Copyright 1975
by John Jeffrey Gorrell

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
To Art Combs for your belief in me throughout my course of study,
for your guidance and support during the planning and writing of this
dissertation, and especially for teaching me what it is to be a
"professional," thank you. To Walt Busby for your warm and wise touch
in all dimensions of our relationship, thank you. To Vernon Van De Reit
for teaching me much about Gestalt therapy, about human dynamics and
about myself, thank you. To Pat Ashton for being a willing sounding
board for my every half-baked idea, thank you. To Jean Casagrande for
lending your command of linguistic theory and your good-will to this
enterprise, thank you.
To Priscilla Munson, for swapping your typing skills for my
baby-sitting skills in early versions of the manuscript, thank you.
And to Sheryl Snyder for your beautiful typing on the final version,
thank you.
A special thank you and a hug for you, Pat Korb. Our intellectual
discussions on language and experience have produced a felicitous state
in which I do not know where my ideas leave off and yours begin. That's
the way it should be.
iii

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter Page
Acknowledgements iii
List of Figures vii
ABSTRACT viii
INTRODUCTION 1
Scope of this Work 4
Valid Theory Building 5
I. SELF AND SYMBOLIC SELF 11
Description of the Self 11
Self as Role Relations 12
Self as Psychosocial Identity 13
Self as Dynamic Force 15
Self as Traits 17
The Eastern Conception of Self 19
The Subjective Experience of Having a Self 20
A Perceptual Approach to the Self 21
Perceptual Field 23
Organization of the Self 26
The Phenomenal Self 28
Self Concept 29
The Symbolic Self 32
Language and the Symbolic Self 35
II.THE SOCIALIZATION OF SELF THROUGH LANGUAGE 38
The Capacity for Self-reflection 40
Cultural Assumptions 43
Overlapping Perceptions 51
Channelling of Information Modes 53
The Elaboration of Self through Role
Relationships 57
ExternalrPerspectives on^Self 57
Roles 59
Primary Socialization 61
The Creation of Common Meanings and a sense
of Cooperation 63
III. SYMBOLIZATION 67
The Extension of Perception through Language 67
Perception of Continuity 68
Labeling Experience 69
The Perception of Patterns and Relationships 73
iv

The Symbolic Function 74
Internalization 77
Symbolizing Personal Experience 81
Transformational Grammar 84
Three Dimensions of Speech 85
Surface structures 85
Deep structures 86
Transformational rules 87
Language Acquisition 88
The Adequacy of Knowledge 89
Language and Self in Daily Life 91
IVSOCIAL AND PRIVATE SPEECH 97
Communicable Experience 97
Egocentric Speech 99
Inner Speech 104
Inner Speech and Deep Structures 109
Exploratory Symbols 111
Syncretic Thinking 116
Inner Speech and the Preconscious 121
VINNER SPEECH AND THE SELF CONCEPT 126
Development of a Complex Self Concept 129
The Complex Self and Preferred Performances 133
Differentiation in the Complex Self 137
Levels of Abstraction 140
Abstraction and the Perceived Self 145
Intensionality 148
Extensionality 150
Intensional Self Concepts 152
Self Concept in a Double Bind 154
VIEXPERIENCE AND EXPRESSION 156
The Integration of Language and Experience 156
The Ideal Communicant 157
Congruence 158
Personal Meaning 159
The Inner Flow of Experiencing 163
Experiential Signals 166
The Split Between Language and Experience 169
Distortion and Seperation 169
Personal Mythology 175
Circularity of Personal Myths 179
Congruence of Experience and Expression 182
VIILANGUAGE AND THE FULLY FUNCTIONING SELF 186
The Self Actualizing Self 187
The Adequate Personality 193
Meaning 196
APPENDIX 197
Toward Disvocering Universal Linguistic Processes 197
Semiotics 197
Semantic Space 199

Gramatical Universals 201
Linguistic Uni versáis from a Transformational
Grammar Perspective 205
Phrase Structure Rules 205
Transformational Rules 206
Morphophonemic Rules 208
Caveat 209
Competence 210
Developmental Psycholinguistics 214
Innate Capacities 217
Deep Structures and Personal Meaning 219
Personal Experience 223
REFERENCES 227
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 236
vi

LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1. Continuum of Figure/ground Differentiation
Figure 2. Pyramid of Abstracting
Figure 3. Self-abstracting Pyramid
111
144
151

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
LANGUAGE AND SELF:
THE ROLE OF LANGUAGE IN PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT
By
JOHN JEFFREY GORRELL
August, 1975
Chairman: Arthur W. Combs
Major Department: Foundations of Education
A person's use of language as the basis for his representing and
exploring the world around him channelizes his thinking processes. It
affects the v/ays in which he abstracts from his experiences, the ways
in which he establishes a sense of his relationship to others, the ways
he generates and manipulates symbols and images about himself, and the
ways in which he makes his experiences available to himself. Thus,
language permeates the individual's experience at many levels, providing
him with the means of freeing himself from superficial appearance on one
hand, and of chaining himself to distortions and misperceptions on the
other hand.
If we look at the speech process itself, we see the individual
finding ways of bringing to public shape his personal thoughts, feelings,
impressions, and ideas. In so doing, the individual discovers more about
the experience he attempts to communicate to others; he has to reflect
upon it, symbolize it, and transform it into some communicable state.
The other side of the speech process, speech for oneself, highlights
v i i i

the exploratory, bringing-to-an-understanding process even more, for
through it the individual develops his characteristic modes of perceiv¬
ing himself and of relating his experiences to each other. Operating
at a lower level—in most cases, probably a prior level of functioning—
a person's inner speech affects his overall psychological structure,
particularly his ability to function fully throughout his life.
The fully functioning person has as one of his primary characteristics
a firm sense of his own identity. That is, he is aware of himself as
a responsive organism with continuing meanings and values. Being in
touch, on the whole, with his experiencing and having the capacity to
make his experiences available in other experiences, he has differentiated
himself rather completely from his environment and from other people.
This has occurred through his capacity to symbolize his experiences in
a variety of ways and to use his symbolic functioning as an abstracting
process. He is in command of his perceptual organization in'that he
does not mistake symbols for the things symbolized. He is reality-
oriented in that he bases his conceptions of himself upon an accurate
appraisal of situations and events without the distortion that comes
from feeling threatened in some ways.
The inadequate or partially-functioning person has different
perceptual and symbolizing characteristics. He is limited to two¬
valued terms in defining himself so he tends to be more rigid percep¬
tually, operating in either/or terms. Thus, he is likely to define
himelf in negative terms, in respect to what he is not instead of what
he is. He confuses symbols and the things they represent, which leads
IX

him to reacting to the wrong elements frequently and distorting the
situations he finds himself in, he acts with a great quantity of unchal¬
lenged assumptions about what is and what is not.
Furthermore, if he uses his language in ways that remove him from
direct reference to his experience he becomes experientially empty,
incapable of knowing what he feels and what he thinks. Thus, he has a
limited amount of personal experience available to him in new situations,
so he is limited in his being able to respond fully and well.
Finally, out of his lack of participation in experiential modes,
his symbols and meanings are constantly being shuffled through into a
mythological structure, representing not so much what really is but
what he thinks is; this inadequate means of organizing his perceptions,
having little or no means of sorting cut levels of organization and
meaning, severely limits his sense of identity.
x

INTRODUCTION
Benjamine Lee Whorf (1956) once said that language is the best show
man puts on. It certainly is the most characteristic and pervasive means
man has of understanding and representing his experience. Language cuts
across man's every activity. It is not merely a behavior that he exhibits
it has impact upon man's perceptions, mental functions, relationships with
other men, beliefs and meanings. Thus, the study of language in all its
forms and functions is a study of man's capacities and predilections for
experiencing. My purpose in this work is to explore the role of language
in personality development, particularly in relation to development of the
self.
One of the essential human experiences is the experience of one's
self. An individual develops a sense of his own identity through his
experiences. He forms perceptions, attitudes, beliefs, and meanings
about himself as he grows up; this constellation of meanings is organized,
dynamic, and changeable. It is a self-system in that it is systematic,
hierarchical, and understandable. Language capacity and language use
provide the individual with the necessary conditions for perceiving
himself in his environment and for organizing his perceptions into a
holistic self-concept.
Developments in self theory in the last century have moved towards
understanding the self from the individual's own perceptual field.
Beginning with William James' description of the self as an object of

knowledge for each individual and extending through the phenomenological
approach of Combs, Lecky, Rogers, Raimy, etc., self theory has attempted
to account for the individual's experience of himself as the dominant
organizing feature of his existence. These developments have produced
a wide range of studies on the effects of self concept on performance
(Purkey, 1970) and have generated countless discussions about the validity
of the self concept as an explanatory device (Wylie, 1961).
Generally self-theorists have agreed to orient their explanations
of self at the level of describing the dynamic and organizational features.
Studies revolving around this level of understanding of the self have
introduced sophisticated evidence for the centrality of self concept in
a person's life. The effects of environment, history, and experience
upon a person's self concept have been explored (Combs, 1959) and psycholo¬
gists have found ample evidence for determination of a person's self
concept by social interaction.
The phenomenological approach, which describes a person-'s self in
terms of his perceptual field, places greatest importance upon the percep¬
tual process in the forming of a self concept. The perceptual process is
described in Gestalt field terms and thereby is able to account for the
dynamic, holistic features of perception. Understanding of the perceptual
process, however, has not sufficiently considered the role of language in
the development of perception. Since language is man's most characteristic
and influential form of knowing, it has great impact upon the individual's
perceptions.
The study of language encompasses investigations from a broad
spectrum of human knowledge: philosophy, anthropology, sociology, linguis¬
tics, semantics, speech, and psychology. In recent years linguistics as

3
a discipline within itself has emerged as a major theoretical area and
investigations in the relation among language, thought, perception, and
experiencing are generating fascinating new understandings of the role of
language in human life. Out of this study in new frontiers of language
and out of the investigations from the past comes important information
for the psychologist, particularly for the self-theorist who wishes to
account for all levels of human experience.
Two important results can be obtained from a study of language and
of the self: we can increase our knowledge about the role of language
in the individual's experience of himself and we can enlarge our own
perspectives on human functioning by incorporating knowledge from other
disciplines. The cross-ferti1ization of areas of knowledge leads to a
more synthesized holistic conception of human nature. Just as the intro¬
duction of new experiences enlarges and alters an individual's perceptual
field, the introduction of new approaches to understanding enlarges the
professional's perceptual field.
The matter of relationships between language and perception has
long intrigued me and it is for this reason that my investigations have
proceeded in the direction they are now taking. In addition, I have been
struck by the problems involved in describing a person's self-system,
the total organized systems of perceptions he has, particularly in the
area of describing the growth and development of the self-system in
children. At present there exists much information regarding the organi¬
zational features of the adult and there are applications of this knowledge
to the developing child and adolescent. However, essentially the descriptions

4
we obtain are based on either an assumption of the social origin of
the self concept—in which significant people in a child's experience
present him with attitudes about himself which he incorporates—or
based on personality dynamics of adults.
While both of these approaches to the growth of the self-system
are highly suggestive and valuable to self-theorists, another approach,
one which considers the development of thinking processes in the indivi¬
dual, could extend our present knowledge and afford a more complete
picture of the development of the self. My contribution to the field,
then, would be to provide a rationale for considering the cognitive
processes as they relate to the dynamics of personality and perception.
The means for joining these aspects is, I believe, found in psych!inguiStic
research and theory.
Scope of this Work
Beginning with a discussion of the self in psychological terms and
the problems attendant in trying to describe the self in terms other than
the individual's own perceptions, I enter into a description of the phenom¬
enal self and self concept as determiners of behavior. From this point I
outline the socializing effects of language. Following chapters formulate
the role of language in extending the individual's control and understanding
of the environment and of himself--\;he ways in which he learns what to
anticipate and how to construe the world. Then, the development of an
inner language, an inner symbol system based upon the external symbol
system, is presented, and its importance in the individual's total
personality is elaborated upon in chapters five and six. The learned ways
of symbolizing himself affects the degree of openness and complexity in his

self concept, and the degree to which he develops an adequate process of
symbolizing and making available his experiences determines how fully he
will be able to function in his daily life. An appendix, dealing with
the search for linguistic universals and psychological processes rounds
out the work,
I have investigated and am continuing to investigate the best
evidence that exists in psychology, linguistics, etc. I draw upon the
research and analysis of such figures as Benjamin Lee Whorf, Alfred
Korzybski, S. I. Hawakawa, Noam Chomsky, David McNeill, Jean Piaget,
Jerome Bruner, A. R. Luria, L. S» Vygotsky, George Herbert Mead, Ernst
Cassirer, Charles Morris, Eugene Gendlin, and Gregory Bateson. My own
position in regard to the development of language and emergence of the
self-system owes a lot to the above men in addition to the work done by
self-thecrists in psychology, such as Combs & Snygg, Rogers, Maslow, etc.
Valid Theory Building
The validity of my position should be testable on both the theoretical
and empirical levels. In this current study I intend to define the theore¬
tical foundations of a psycholinguistic approach to the self-system.
Therefore, the rigor of my investigation is directed by criteria for valid
theory building. Gordon Allport (1947), reporting the results of the
Social Science Research Council on the validation of social theory, lists
six criteria: feelings of subjective certainty; conformity with known
facts, mental experimentation, predictive power, social agreement, and
internal consistency. I propose to follow the same criteria in the formu¬
lation of my theoretical position, using such criteria as touchstones to

insure that my theory is not only a sound presentation of present
evidence but also a sound generation of explanatory constructs from
the available evidence»
Allport's first criterion, feelings of subjective certainty in
theory building, underscores the intuitive or organismic side of know¬
ing. To someone who has wrestled regularly, extensively, and vigorously
with a body of knowledge, a "feel" for the material develops. He
maintains a subjective sense of the logicality, the relatedness, the
impact, and the adequacy of the total sum of information he has encount¬
ered. Out of this "feel" for the material the individual is sometimes
able to organize his subjective impressions into a logical framework
that can be communicated to others, but the initial basis for forming
the finished product may lie in the nomothetic or intuitive sphere.
Allport points out the "subjective certainty is one sign that suggests a
good fit for nomothetic knowledge with specific evidence, though it can
never be taken alone"(p. 170). In my own investigations of psycho!in-
guistic areas—taking me into philosophy of language, linguistics,
anthropology, developmental psychology, psychotherapy, self theory, and
social psychology—I have long believed that the symbolic functioning in
man, in all of its diverse dimensions, related together at some level of
analysis that could be ordered, organized, communicated, and tested. The
result of this subjective impress-ion is the following dissertation.
In attempting to pass from intuition to analysis, which is the
process of justifying subjective feeling states or nomothetic knowledge,
I have examined the range of existing evidence for all dimesions of
language development. Moving into this sphere of investigation, actually

/
confronting the body of evidence, satisfies All port's second criterion:
conformity with known facts.
Although I am well aware that "known facts" are themselves subject
to scrutiny and challenge, particularly in social science, and that there
are apparent contradictions and inconsistencies in the available evidence,
there is a far greater agreement than disagreement, and greater consistency
than inconsistency. Allport says, "to include known facts and to exclude
none is demanded as a test for the adequacy of theories in physical science.
Important as this criterion may be it is not always easy to apply to social
data (e.g„ personal documents) where the facts are subjective and often
ambiguous. But at the same time, salient events in the life cannot
remain unaccounted for by an interpretation that pretends to be valid"
(pp. 170-171). My attempt to account for the characteristics of language
development and emergence of the self-system will consider all the events
that pertain.
While accounting for the existing evidence and organizing it into
a coherent body, I will subject this evidence to mental experimentation--
Allport's third criterion. This means that alternative explanations are
to be considered, levels of analysis are to be extended, and implications,
both short term and long term, are to be examined,
The process of mental manipulation is admirably explained by Sir
Arthur Conan Doyle's (1967) fictional character, Sherlock Holmes:
'The ideal reasoner," he remarked, "would, when he has
once been shown a single fact in all its bearings,
deduce from it not only all the chain of events which
led up to it, but also all the results which would
follow from it. As Cuvier could correctly describe a
whole animal by the contemplation of a single bone,
so the observer who has thoroughly understood one link
in a series of incidents, should be able accurately to

8
State all the other ones, both before and after. . . .
To carry the art, however, to its highest pitch, it is
necessary that the reasoner should be able to utilize
all the facts which have come to his knowledge . . .
(p. 160)."
The predictive power of any theory, alluded to in the quotation
above, must be a major consideration, Allport suggests that this
fourth criterion is not sufficient in itself for concluding that a
conceptualization is adequate, but if a theory has predictive power
or heuristic value, then it is greatly improved. In my theory I will
seek to account for those predictions and further questioning that
would be derived from the stated position. For example, if I show
that the abstracting process is mediated on several levels by language,
I would then predict that perceptions, as it is derived from abstracting
processes, would be affected by changes in language. This would lead
to further predictions of how a person's conception of his world and of
himself would be altered through language.
While predictive power can be approached on levels ranging from
simple historical/sequential predictions (as in predicting what behavior
a person will next exhibit) to highly abstract predictions (as in
predicting changes in personality structure or in mental functioning),
a valid theory would maintain means for predicting on all levels of
analysis. Refinement of my theory would increase the amount of specific¬
ity in predictions with the increase in empirical data. My expectations
for the present, however, are to be predictive on more general and
abstract levels.
There is a great deal of agreement among experts in the area of
language that language itself affects perceptions, actions, thinking,

and feeling. Also among laymen we find a subjective realization of
living in "semantic space"(Hayakawa, 1953), in contexts where the
words used in communication have essential effects upon personal exper¬
ience. This is one form of social agreement that encourages my
investigation. Although Allport indicates the danger of "prestige-
suggestibility, of scientific fad and fashion, and of common prejudice"
(p. 171), consensual agreement must be reckoned with. It is here that
I expect to have to wait for validation of my theory.
Drawing upon a variety of agreed-upon conceptualizations as I will
be doing, I can expect to find initial agreement on parts of my formula¬
tion, but I will have to wait for judgments on my interpretations until
they have been thoroughly presented and their implications explored.
Modifications of my theory might come out of the impact it has on other
investigators in the field.
Finally, the validity of a theory rests on the internal consistency
of the conceptualization. As Allport concludes,
Parts of an interpretation can be made to confront one
another. Logical contradictions raise the suspicion of
invalidity. True, the lives to which the interpertations
apply are not themselves without contradictions and
inconsistencies. And yet, just as a personality has
an intricate integration wherein even the inconsistencies
often find a deeper resolution, so too should an inter¬
pretive scheme applied to the personality have the same
intricate properties of self-confrontation and congruence.
No parts of it should fall out of character (p. 171).
My attempt to realize consistency in the theory comes in the form of a
deeper resolution of seemingly disparate elements.
As a phenomenologist I am aware of the need for self-consistency
within an individual's perceptual experience. As a psycholinguist I

see a similar need for self-consistency among the various parts of my
formulations, This is provided for in each chapter as I relate a
body of linguistic evidence to understanding about the self. Consistency
is also provided in the total organization of the study around man's
capacity to symbolize his experience in many ways.

CHAPTER I
SELF AND SYMBOLIC SELF
Description of the Self
For centuries mankind has debated the existence and the properties
of the self. In the second half of the seventeenth century Blaise Pascal,
mathematician, scientist, philosopher and religious polemicist, wrote an
impressive array of thoughts on human nature. In Pensees (1660-1662) he
confronts the issue of what man really is, not only in relation to God
but in relation to other men. Few people study man, he says, because it
is a difficult project and they do not know how to go about it. The main
problem is in locating the object under scrutiny. In daily life as well
as in formal study we often confuse external attributes of someone for the
person himself, which leads us away from our goals. Pascal says:
What is the self?
A man goes to the window to see the people passing by; if
I pass by, can I say he went there to see me? No, for he
is not thinking of me in particular. But what about a
person who loves someone for the sake of her beauty; does
he love her? No, for smallpox, which will destroy beauty
without destroying the person, will put an end to his love
for her.
And if someone loves me for my judgment or my memory, do
they love me? Me, myself? No, for I could lose these
qualities without losing my self. Where then is this
self, if it is neither in the body nor the soul? And how
can one love the body or the soul except for the sake of
such qualities, which are not what makes up the self,
since they are perishable? Would we love the substance
of a person's soul, in the abstract, whatever qualities
might be in it? This is not possible, and it would be
wrong. Therefore, we never love anyone, but only
qualities (p. 245).
11

\z
I would rather say that we never observe anyone, but only qualities.
In the position of an outside observer I can only see attributes which I
have abstracted from behaviors of others. Thus, in looking at individuals
and attempting to understand them, I am constrained by the impossibility of
knowing another person fully. I may recognize patterns of behavior and
even be able to infer consistent motives for his actions, but if I try to
specify a self in these terms I can only, at best, relate attributes with
each other, not with that person himself. Yet, in psychology the self is
a valuable and widespread construct.
Self as Role Relations
George Herbert Mead (1934) distinguishes between two aspects of
self, the "I" and the "me," both arising out of the social context. The
"me" of personality is the organized set of attitudes and roles that an
individual internalizes from his interactions with others. It is a
composite self, an add-sum relation based upon his social experiences
and expectancies. Roles are not necessarily conscious roles as in play¬
acting; they constitute any regular interaction between the individual
and his environment.
The individual also reacts to the "me" of his identity. Since
the "me" is formed through complex role relationships, it is observable
by each person as a patterned identity. The "I" of the self is aware of
his roles and his behavior. According to Mead the "I" is conscious of
social expectancies and acts in some particular context. Once it has
acted the "I" becomes a "me," a part of the individual's knowledge of
himself. Mead says:

He has their attitudes, knows what they want and what
the consequence of any act of his will be, and he has
assumed responsibility for the situation. Now, it is
presence of those organized set of attitudes that
constitutes the "me" to which he has ¿sic¿ an "I" is
responding. . . .
The "I" is his action toward that social institution
within his own conduct, and it gets into his exper¬
ience only after he has carried out the act. Then he
is aware of it (p. 230-231).
The self in Mead's conception is the product of social interaction,
which is established through language. He does not consider a person to
have an innate self or a particular set of innate characteristics that
develop in his growing up. Representative of the pragmatic school of
sociology, Mead's theory stands against biological explanations of identity
and personality. Seeking a functional description of the relationship
between the environment and the individual, he settles upon the self as
that which is the most salient product of interaction. This is discussed
more extensively in chapter two.
Self as Psychosocial Identity
Erik Erikson (1968) takes the position that psychosocial identity
in each person is the anchoring point for his whole personality. The
organism unfolds in a prescribed, biologically based sequence. The
inherent biological mechanisms are the controlling elements of identity,
but they come in contact with the social environment and have to adjust
to it; thus, each person develops a psychosocial identity throughout life,
one which is constantly becoming more elaborated and fixed. Erikson says:
in the sequence of his most personal experience the
healthy child, given a reasonable amount of proper
guidance, can be trusted to obey inner laws of devel¬
opment, laws which create a succession of potential¬
ities for significant interaction with those persons
who tend and respond to him and those institutions

14
which are ready for him. While such interaction
varies from culture to culture, it must remain
within "the proper rate and the proper sequence"
which governs all epigenesis. Personality, there¬
fore, can be said to develop according to steps
predetermined in the human organism's readiness
to be driven toward, to be aware of, and to interact
with a widening radius of significant individuals
and institutions (p. 93).
The seif in Erikson's terms has an intrinsic existence apart from
the culture that shapes it. In fact, one of the most telling pieces of
evidence cited in this respect is what happens when the individual overcomes
developmental crises. In Erikson's proposed stages of development there are
crisis points where the individual must establish his identity anew in
relation to others. If he overcomes the crisis point, which balances a
sense of estrangement against a sense of fulfillment and participation, he
becomes more fully functioning, and more capable of further identity forma¬
tion. Erikson points out that resolution of a crisis produces a more
integrated personality: "some new estrangement is resolved in such a way
that the child suddenly seems to be 'more himself,' more loving, more
relaxed, and brighter in his judgment—in other words, vital in a new
way"(p. 115).;
This description of the resolution of crisis highlights an
important dynamic in human functioning. The experience of being more
oneself through the overcoming of crises is common to many, many people.
Although it does not settle the problem of what the self is and how a
person is to know when he is himself, this experience of identity is
part of the individual's subjective experience of having a self that can
be more fully elaborated. In fact, Erikson proposes that the identity¬
seeking pattern is maintained throughout all stages of development.

Ib
The notion that the self has its own existence within each person,
apart from society and the physical environment, has many adherents,
particularly those steeped in the psychoanalytical tradition (Rapaport,
1959). Essentially, the problem with proposing an innate self or dynamic
force that has the motive of actualization or "becoming" is that we have
not explained where the self comes from.
Self as a Dynamic Force
Jung (1945) suggests that the self is the mid-point of personality
and also the goal of all activity in the organism. Throughout his life a
person seeks to extend and realize all aspects of his potential. If he is
successful at this he develops an organized, well-rounded, fully realized
personality—a coherent self. The attributes of the self constellate
around the center like planets.
The self in these terms is both a force for existence and a
product of the "urge to become." How can it be both? Maslow (1954)
answers the question by citing a hierarchy of needs common to all people.
The needs for food, shelter, warmth, safety, belonging, love, respect,
self-esteem, and so forth are universal needs, he says, and as people
satisfy basic needs they are able to progress to "higher" needs. Thus,
the process of self-actualization is a dynamic and constant reorganiza¬
tion of needs on increasingly complex levels.
The single holistic principle that binds together the
multiplicity of human motives is the tendency for a
new and higher need to emerge as the lower need fulfills
itself by being sufficiently gratified (Maslow, 1962,
p. 53).
Each person has an identity at any point of his life; in addition
there is the possibility of becoming more and more of what one is capable.

Ib
Self-actualization, as a psychological concept, incorporates both aspects
of self: it is both process and product. Whether couched in terms of
tension-reduction principles, pleasure-pain balances, hierarchies of needs,
or biological drives, the self has largely been seen as an elegant energy
system, composed of personality dynamics which can be specified both in
function and in form.
A description of the self in these terms often is based upon the
Freudian model of psychological functioning, and accords greater knowledge
of a person's personality structure to the expert external observer than
to the person himself. For example, Otto Rank (1956) states, "The
knowledge of the average man about his own psychic processes and motiva¬
tion proves to be so false that it works really only in its complete
spuriousness, in all illusion troubled by no kind of knowing"(p. 71).
If the individual is, himself, so imperfectly aware of his own
motives, then it becomes the province of the psychoanalyst to describe
or otherwise reveal it to him. But another consideration is that psycho¬
analysts may be wrong in their descriptions of personality and their
formulations may not fit with individual experience. It has been pointed
out (London, 1969) that psychoanalysis is essentially a means of training
the individual to see and describe himself in the analyst's terms, not
in his own terms. For the purpose of understanding the self, however, we
have to confront the problem of tallying an abstract, conceptual system
with private experience. They may not be the same at all. As Rollo May
(1961) points out, "The more absolutely and completely we formulate the
forces or drives, the more we are talking about abstractions and not the
living human being"(p. 14).!

Personality theories organize inferred attributes of man into
coherent descriptions of the relationship between the indicated parts.
While most theories focus upon one main attribute of personality and
relate other attributes to it in lesser importance, the avowed purpose
of personality theories is to present a picture of the whole person,
one which will account for all personality dynamics. It is often
assumed that the self in such descriptions is the sum total of person¬
ality structure. Psychologists are guilty of confusing the map of
personality structure with the territory when they rely more upon
their mappings than they do upon the person himself. The self can be
abstracted from intricate theories of personality dynamics, but it is
an abstraction from a host of abstractions, and therefore, often far
removed from the real person.
Self as Traits
The concept of the self in personality theories in which the
self is used to explain motives, intentions, and behaviors, risks
becoming no explanation at all. Gordon Allport (1955) reflecting
upon the problem of assigning functions to the self says that there
is a danger "that a humunculus may creep into our discussions of
personality, and be expected to solve all our problems without in
reality solving any. Thus if we ask 'what determines our moral
conduct?' the answer may be 'The self does it.' Or, if we pose the
problem of choice, we say 'The self chooses.' Such questicn-begging
would immeasurably weaken the scientific study of personality by
providing an illegitimate regressus"(pp. 54-55).

All port1s solution to the problem of defining the self, which he
calls proprium, is to talk only of traits. He suggests that the proprium,
which incorporates all traits and habits that are central to a person's
existence and which make for inward unity, is a valid alternative to
positing an inner self. From the point of view of an outsider traits
are the building blocks of the individual. As with Pascal's lover,
however, when the traits or qualities we observe in others disappear,
so does our conception of that person.
Traits as the object of study may help the psychologist organize
his conceptions of personality, but they are no better than well made
maps. We could become cartographers of personality and refine our
conceptualizations to pinpoint accuracy, but nowhere would we have the
self. All v/e would have would be the map of our own devisement, and,
although that is valuable to the social scientist, it is not all of the
self. Furthermore, there is a danger in believing that someone can be
understood completely on the basis of traits. While concentrating upon
traits reduces the chance of proposing a model of personality too far
removed from the individual in daily life, it still implies that we know
someone when we know all his traits.
There are areas of each person's experience and personality
that remain hidden from the probing of outside forces. Tolstoy (1950) says:
One of the most widespread superstitions is that
every man has his own special, definite qualities;
that a man is kind, cruel, wise, stupid, energetic,
apathetic, etc. Men are not like that.. . . Men
are like rivers: the water is the same in each,
and alike in all; but every river is narrow here,
is more rapid there, here slower, there broader,
now clear, now cold, now dull, now warm. It is
the same with men. Every man carries in himself

the germs of every human quality, and sometimes one
manifests itself, sometimes another, and the man
often becomes unlike himself, while still remaining
the same man.
The Eastern Conception of Self
In Eastern philosophies the self is not an individualistic
identity, but a transcendence of identity, a merging of the individual
and the other into a cosmological whole. D. T. Suzuki (1970) describes
it this way:
When we say 'self' we distinguish it from non-self,
that is, others, but the self that Zen people
strongly emphasize is not that kind of self, but
Self that is Absolute, Absolute Self. Therefore,
the absolute self might be termed absolute other,
Absolutely Not-self (p. 14).
Self in these terms is beyond the daily experience of most people. I
seriously question if a person's experience of himself in Eastern
cultures is truly different from the Westerner's experience. A highly
refined philosophic viewpoint, like Zen, actually may reflect very
little of the individual's common experience.
In America Walt Whitman probably comes closest to expressing
the transcendent aspects of self that are voiced in Eastern philosophy.
He identifies broadly with all existence and defines himself in "Song
of Myself" (1855) as an all-encompassing identity:
I pass death with the dying and birth with the
new washed babe, and am not contained between
my hats and boots,
I peruse manifold objects, no two alike and
everyone good,
The earth good and the stars good, and their
adjuncts all good.
I am not an earth nor an adjunct of an earth,
I am the mate and companion of people, all
just as immortal and fathomless as myself
(p. 29).

C.\J
No matter if a person identifies himself with a cosmological force,
with all of mankind, with a small group of people, or with no one at all,
he still identifies himself as an existing organism. What he identifies
with is less important here than the fact that he does identify himself
in some way.
The Subjective Experience of Having a Self
All people have unique experiences of themselves and of their
world. Each person has many characteristics that are common to other
people also; these are the data of the behavioral scientist. But the
individual's unique physical and mental experiences—that is, his total
perceptual framework—contain elements that are not reproducible in
others. Mo one else sees through his eyes or feels with his fingertips.
His individual reality is his own datum from which he distinguishes his
own identity.
Each person has a corporeal identity. He is a body, an organism
that acts in the physical world. He also has a personality identity.
Because he can think, he is more than a physical organism. He is capable
of realizing a continuity in his experience from memories of the past
and anticipations of the future, and because he has a continuity of
experience he can depict patterns in his behavior that are organized into
a coherent whole. Merleau-Ponty (1964) suggests that the body and the
self are one process:
Our body is not in space like things; it inhabits or
haunts space. It applies itself to space like a hand
to an instrument, and when we wish to move about we
do not move an object. We transport it without instru¬
ments as if by magic, since it is ours and because
through it we have direct access to space. For us the
body is much more than an instrument or a means, it is
our expression in the world, the visible form of our
intentions (p. 5).

Although the individual may experience himself as being more than
or different from his physical being, he is inseparable from his body in
applying himself to the world. That is, his personal experience is
first grounded in his biological, physiological existence.
A Perceptual Approach to the Self
She was the single artificer of the world
In which she sang. And when she sang, the sea,
Whatever self it had, became the self
That was her song, for she was the maker. Then we,
As we beheld her striding there alone,
Knew that there never was a world for her
Except the one she sang and, singing, made (Stevens, 1954).
As distinct perceiving and behaving organisms we, each of us, are
artificers of our world. What we believe about it, transforms it, for us,
into our conceptions. In this sense each person creates his own reality.
He interacts with the world, participates in full and ever-extended
experiences, and establishes relationships with his surroundings. Out
of his endless experience the individual formulates his own reality. As
George Kelly (1963) points out, "events do not come around and tell us
how to do the job--they just go about their business of being themselves.
The structure we erect is what rules us"(p. 20).
Each person’s behavior is absolutely determined by his total belief
system at any one moment. What he believes to be real is the structure of
his personal reality. He can act only in terms of this structure of beliefs.
What he believes to be true is his total perceptual field. Thus, perception
and belief are one and the same thing. The perceptual model of knowledge
serves as an appropriate modal for the structure of personality, for each
person is capable of representing his environment like the visual image

represents the environment. A person does not collect willy-nilly the
impressions that bombard him from the physical world. The perceiving
organism selects from the available impressions, organizes perceptions,
and creates meaning out of the stimuli that confront him.
A comprehensive theory of personality based upon the individual's
phenomenological relationship to the world is proposed by Snygg and Combs
(1949, 1959) in Individual Behavior. This approach to personality is
called perceptual psychology, sometimes also called phenomenological
psychology. Based in part on the Gestalt psychology of Kohler, Koffka,
and Wertheimer, and on the field theory of Kurt Lewin, perceptual psycho¬
logy affords a holistic look at the role of perception in the individual's
development of personality.
It is the construction aspect of perception and knowledge that
most concerns the phenomenological psychologist. How does one organize
his experience? What principles are involved in the construction of
personal reality? In the act of constructing his world, which is a complex
activity and not immediately accessible to the observer, a person trans¬
forms his impressions of external reality in to what he experiences as
being a true representation of the world. The constructive aspect of
perception is not apparent to the perceiver unless he separates himself
from his perceptual mode in some way and scrutinizes his activity.
The experience of having straightforward untransformed perceptions
accounts for the fact that a person acts totally in regards to his percep¬
tions of the moment. He cannot do otherwise. Yet we do know that the
individual does affect what he perceives. It is not purely an intake
process. If perception were merely imitation of external reality it would

at best have a one-to-one correspondence with external impressions. However,
in mental activity, which encompases perception, people go beyond simple
absorption of impressions. We draw inferences, conclusions, assumptions,
generalities, abstractions; we imagine details, goals, motives, etc.
Perceptual Field
The field of impressions for an individual is composed of a back¬
ground and a foreground (Combs, 1959). At any moment a person's perception
is a result of a particular pattern of impressions that emerges for the
perceiver from the total field. The intensity, clarity, stability and
relatedness of particular impressions determine the degree of differen¬
tiation of the figure from the field. All phenomena that are available to
the senses make up the field; those that have a certain meaning for the
individual become the dominant figure or image that determine what actions,
if any, the perceiver takes.
One of the goals of Gestalt learning theory has been to describe
the holistic, momentary creation of meaning or understanding, what is
sometimes called the "aha" experience. Wertheimer (1959) claims that true
knowing involves knowledge of the structural characteristics of an event.
In his classic discussion of teaching children to find the area of paral¬
lelogram (1959) he notes that what makes it possible for some children to
draw the appropriate perpendicular and generate a productive answer is not
adherence merely to simple rules or the blind following of a formula, but
a recognition of the formal properties of the geometric figure. The children
had to be able to perform some kind of mental operation on the figure that
not only perserved their sensorial knowledge of it but that also enriched
their total perception of the structural characteristics.

24
In a more personal vein each person determines the structural
characteristics of his own experience. That is, he constructs his
experience in a way similar to that described by Gestalt psychology.
His understanding of the world and of himself is a product of the
constructive process. The meaning of his knowledge in a function of
figure/ground relations and of their relationship to himself.
There are 1 imitations to what someone can see visually. For
example, a person cannot perceive both a figure and a field equally
at the same time. He establishes a context for his perception by
relating the two, thereby providing cues to the identities involved,
but he cannot scrutinize a small segement of the visual field and,
at the same time, take in all of the impressions globally. We are
selectively attentive to the visual environment.
All other things being equal, perceptions are differentiated
in terms of their nearness, similarity, intensity, common fate,
novelty, and movement or direction. For example, as I write this I
have several stacks of books on my desk; I perceive each stack as a
unit of books because they are nearer each other in their respective
stacks than they are to books in different stacks. Within one stack
all the books with pale bindings stand out because of that similarity.
The sound level of traffic outside my window is sometimes altered by
the sound of a motorcycle with a different intensity of noise. Like¬
wise, bright colors, more pungent odors, objects making extreme
movements attract my attention and, momentarily, stand out from the
other impressions. The objects on my desk have a common fate. Notebook
paper, pencils, ballpoint pens, eraser, scotch tape, scissors and

25
pencil sharpener make up the objects used in writing, so I perceive
them as a unified whole, A new style ballpoint pen which I have just
purchased stands out because of its novelty, but once the novelty has
worn off the pen will recede into less prominence for me. Finally,
all the trees and bushes outside my window are swaying in the same
direction when the wind blows; I perceive their common movement as a
unified impression.
From the patterns that a person reacts to in differentiating
his perceptions come fairly simple conceptual schemes. For example,
I take the swaying of trees in the same direction as evidence that
the wind is blowing from the north. If they were swaying in many
different directions at the same time, I would not know how to concep¬
tualize the apparent chaos. My understanding of events comes from
the ability to perceive patterns that aid in differentiating objects
and events, and also from my past experience. My past experience
presents me with the concept wind, to account for the visual pattern
I perceive.
Two processes interplay to produce a person's perceptual
field. One is the capacity for organizing perceptions, for seeing
patterns, abstracting common features, etc. The other is the individ¬
ual's capacity for building upon his past experiences in order to
understand and interact with his current experiences. Actually, it
is misleading to separate these two processes, for they are not
separate but merely two aspects of the same perceptual process.
A person's perceptual field is his unique experience. Through
his ability to perceive, in all the dimensions of the work, he develops

a means of exploring the world and of extending himself into the world.
As Henry James (1888) says:
The power to guess the unseen from the seen, to
trace the implications of things, to judge the
whole piece by the pattern, the condition of
feeling life in general so completely that you
are well on your way to knowing any particular
corner of it—this cluster of gifts may almost
be said to constitute experience (p. 107).
Organization of the Self
The organism grows and extends itself through increased ranges
of perceptions. In fact, the human organism has as one of its most
important features an internal organization that makes it whole. This
has been pointed out in many places. Goldstein (1939), for example,
cites the holistic nature of the organism. He says that organization is
the natural state of the organism, that anything that affects part of the
organism affects the whole, and that disorganization is the stuff of
pathology» Thus, we can look at the self in terms of its organizational
features.
If the degree of organization of the organism is a central factor
in the maintenance of the self, we would expect the stable quality of the
self to be disrupted whenever events occur that produce disorganization.
This is exactly what happens. Leon Festinger's (1957) work on cognitive
dissonance indicates that incompatible beliefs or cognitions (arising
from logical inconsistency, conflict with cultural mores, contradictions
between specific opinions and larger, more encompassing opinions, and
past experience) produce an uncomfortable state, which the organism
attempts to rectify.

a
A more embracing theory about the requisite organization of
personality has been elaborated by Prescott Lecky (1945) and modified
by others. The urge for self-consistency in each individual derives
from his being a unique organism placed in the world and from his
needing some systematic way of understanding his environment and his
relation to it. Lecky says that:
The ability to forsee and predict environmental
happenings, to understand the world one lives in
and thus to be able to anticipate events and
prevent the necessity for sudden readjustments,
is an absolute prerequisite for the maintence
of unity . . . „
The interpretations which serve as the basis for
prediction, however, rest upon no other ground
than individual experience. Irranersed in an
environment which he does not and cannot under¬
stand, the individual is forced to create a
substitute world which he can understand and
in which he puts his faith. He acts in consis¬
tency with that conception, derives his standards
of value from it, and undertakes to alter it
only when convinced by further experience that
it fails to serve the goal of unity. Since
this self-made scheme of life is his only
guarantee of security, its preservation soon
becomes a goal in itself. He seeks the type of
experience which confirms and supports the
unified attitudes, and rejects experience
which seem to promise a disturbance of this
attitude (p. 50).
As a goal of his behavior, then, the maintenance of a unified,
self-consistent organization of perceptions, beliefs, cognitions encompasses
all of his experience. An individual constantly receives impressions from
his environment, often on a very complex scale, and sorts out these
impressions in terms of their fitting with his existing conceptions. His
perceptual field, then, is affected by the need to maintain a particular
organization, not just any organization. This is where the ability to
perceive patterns and to incorporate past experience become most important.

The Phenomenal Self
Since everything a person perceives is seen in relation to himself,
the maintenance of an organized system of perceptions is essential to the
maintenance of himself as the perceiver. The phenomenal self consists of
all aspects of himself and his relations to others that a person exper¬
iences at any one time. His phenomenal self is constantly changing with
his circumstances. It lies between his perceptions of his environment
and his concepts about himself as a whole. Thus, the phenomenal self is
his organized perceptions of himself in a particular situation. Combs
(1959) describes the phenomenal self as:
the individual's own unique organization of ways of
regarding self; it is the Gestalt of his concepts of
self. Whereas the concepts of self . . . describe
isolated aspects of the person, the phenomenal self
is the organization or pattern of all those which the
individual refers to as "I" or "me." It is himself
from his own point of view. The phenomenal self is
not a mere conglomeration or addition of isolated
concepts of self, but a patterned interrelationship
or Gestalt of all these (p. 126).
The phenomenal self is most real to the individual himself. The
outsider cannot see it or touch it; he may be able to infer an approximate
version of the individual's phenomenal self from observed behavior.
However, since each person can experience only his own phenomenal self,
it is not something that can be maintained from the outside. We seek
to maintain our phenomenal selves, not that of someone else.
In maintaining the phenomenal self the individual needs to be
able to anticipate events and alter himself in ways that will best
preserve himself in the future. Combs (1959) points out;

29
man seeks not merely the maintenance of self but
the development of ah adequate self—a self capable
of dealing effectively and efficiently with the
exigencies of life, both now and in the future.
To achieve this self-adequacy requires of man that
he seek, not only to maintain his existing organiza¬
tion, but also that he build up and make more adequate
the self of which he is aware. Man seeks both to
maintain and enhance his perceived self (p. 45).
The individual's self perceptions, how he sees himself in relation
to the rest of the world and in relation to himself at other times, maintain
the organization of the phenomenal self.
Self Concent
While the phenomenal self is the total perceptions a person has of
himself at any one time, the self concept is a more stable, abstract percep¬
tion of himself. There are many activities, for example, that I engage in
during any one day. Some are fleeting and even uncomtemplated activities;
others are part of enduring patterns and goals; still others are one-of-a-
kind events. My perception of myself at any one moment will take in all of
the activities and relationships I am engaged in; my perception of myself
as a constant entity, that is, my self concept, is abstracted from my
continuing activities and experiences. Hence, it is largely composed of
the more stable and generalized conceptions I may have of myself. It is
more resistant to change because it has accrued from my total past
experiences.
Combs (1959) points out the necessity for recognizing that the
self concept is an abstraction from each individual's continuing exper¬
iences. It is not all of his experience, nor is it all of his phenomenal
self. He says:
Though we may sometimes use the self concept as
a convenient device for understanding the indivi¬
dual, it should never be forgotten that people
always behave in terms of the total phenomenal

field, never in terms of an isolated part. The
self concept is a useful approximation of a
larger organization; it is not synonymous with
it. The self concept is never a sufficient
explanation of behavior by itself (p. 128).
A person's self concept, being an abstraction that he has
formed on the basis of his personal experiences,is changable through
experience. As a child grows up he differentiates aspects of himself
in light of his experience. What begins as a global distinction between
himself and others progresses to more elaborated conceptions of his
abilities, identity and relationships with others.
The sharpness and clarity of a person's self concept may vary
from time to time and situation to situation. Some self perceptions
become crystalized and remain clear throughout otherwise rapidly changing
circumstances; a person's identification of himself with his family often
is a central and stable concept. His concept of himself as a student,
for example, would be replaced by concepts of himself in career situations
once he has finished with formal education.
Overriding beliefs in one's adequacy or worthiness may cut across
specific role-related perceptions of oneself. These perceptions tend to
be even more stable and resistant to change because the indivudal does
not depend upon only one kind of relationship (e.g., student, mother,
athlete) to perceive himself in a particular way. To change such
persistent beliefs about himself an individual would have to build up a
new body of experiences that supplant his earlier formed conceptions.
For this reason the self concept is marvelously consistent.

Victor C. Raimy, who first defined and described the self concept
in 1943, believes that the self concept is a "learned perceptual system
which functions as an object in the perceptual field (1943, p. 97),"
and that its organized, systematic structure makes it an important
determinant of behavior. He says:
If such structure exists as assumed in the above
discussion, the Self-concept assumes more behav-
iroal significance than if only a multitude of
relatively independent "Self-observations" are
present in the perceptual field. Without such
a structuring or unifying process, the self¬
observations take on the appearance of scattered
objects which have little effect on more than
isolated segments of behavior. With structuring,
the Self-concept has importance for behavior as a
differentiated but organized system with qualities
of dominance and subordination (p. 103).
Mot only is the self concept a product of the individual's total
experiences, it also is a template against which all further experiences
are matched. A person who believes that he is fundamentally an uninter¬
esting person, for instance, will find in his contacts with others
evidence abounding to attest to his uninteresting personality.
Once the phenomenal self has become established,
experience thereafter can only be interpreted in
terms of the self. Thus all perceptions which
are meaningful to the individual derive their
meaning from their relation to the phenomenal
self already in existence (Combs, 1959, p. 131).
This dual functioning of the phenomenal self—as a product of
experience as a template against which new experiences are evaluated—
is an important region of human experience. The capacity for the
individual to abstract from his experience in the formation and
transformation of his phenomenal self is part of his symbolization
processes. I will elaborate on this in the next chapter.

The Symbolic Self
Each person has as his most characteristic endowment the ability
to symbolize all aspects of his experience. In understanding even very
simple phenomena the individual draws upon his capacity for symbolization
in diverse ways. He may symbolize an event in order to communicate it
to another, or in order to remember it for himself, or so that he may
explore its characteristics more fully. Mental activity in itself,
whether it is engaged in abstruse theoretics or in every day manipu¬
lation of objects, represents phenomena. Not only does it mediate
experience, it re-presents them to each person.
In psychological thought it is recognized that some phenomena
may be both process and product (Combs, 1959; Allport, 1955; Raimy,
1943; Lecky, 1945). In interpersonal relationships, for example, a
person's conception of another is progressively differentiated and altered
through his contacts with the other. Likewise, one person's concept of
the other influences the kinds of contact that he establishes. On one
hand, a concept is the product of interaction and on the other hand it is
part of the process of interacting. The self concept functions similarly.
Raimy (1943) points out that "the Self-Concept not only influences behavior
but is itself altered and restructured by behavior"(p. 98).
Both in the developing and in the elaborating of self concepts we
find a product and a process. The nature of symbolizing activity affects
these concepts, for the human symbolizing act is itself both product and
process. Symbols that are formed become the means of shaping further
symbols. Symbolizing events opens the way to further symbolization.

The universality of symbolization is so basic to human life that
some scholars suggest that it is the distinguishing characteristic of man.
Susanne K. Langer (1951), for example, has this to say:
I believe there is a primary need in man, which
other creatures probably do not have, and which
activates all his apparently unzoological aims,
his wistful fancies, his consciousness of value,
his utterly impractical enthusiasms, and his
awareness of a "Beyond" filled with holiness.
Despite the fact that this need gives rise to
almost everything that we commonly assign to
the "higher" life, it is not itself a "higher"
form of some "lower" need; it is quite essen¬
tial, imperious, and general, and may be
called "high" only in the sense that it
belongs exclusively (I think) to a very complex
and perhaps recent genus.,. . .
This basic need, which certainly is obvious only
in man, is the need of symbolization. The symbol¬
making function is one of man's primary activi¬
ties, like eating, looking, or moving about. It
is the fundamental process of the mind, and goes
on all the time. Sometimes we are aware of it,
sometimes we merely find its results, and realize
that certain experiences have passed through our
brains and have been digested there (p. 45).
There may be some confusion over Langer's citing of symbolization
as a need. Symbolization is not a need in the sense that it is a basic
biologic or human need. As elaborated in perceptual psychology (Snygg &
Combs, 1949), the basic human need is the maintenance and enhancement of
the phenomenal self. In those terms, then, the only need is the need for
adequacy. Other areas of human functioning are means toward fulfilling
the basic need for adequacy, or they are merely expressions of that need.
Certainly, symbolization is one of man's most distinguishing
activities, and it operates as the best way he has of fulfilling the
basic need. Through the symbol-making function man is able to extend
and transcent raw perceptual events in pursuit of personal and cultural
adequacy.

In the symbolizing process mental activity transforms undifferentiated
impressions into recognizable patterns, such as figure-field arrangements,
which are related by the individual to the whole of his synthesized
experience. Thus symbolization is the essence of mental life, giving the
individual the ability to go beyond mere absorption of incoming impressions.
The ability to symbolize allows the individual to remember past experiences,
anticipate future events, establish interchanges in the present, and
determine the personal meaning of them all.
In terms of the phenomenal self symbolic functions enable the
individual to experience his existence in a self-reflexive manner. That
is, on one hand the individual is immersed in his perceptions and completly
controlled by them; it this were his only means of behaving he would not
be able to reflect upon his actions; he would merely be doing and reaching
in the way that the autonomic nervous system reacts to stimuli. On the
other hand, he is capable of construing his experience in daily life and
is, thus, ruled more by his constructions.
Man to the extent that he is able to construe his
circumstances can find for himself freedom from
their domination . . . man can enslave himself
with his own ideas and then win his freedom again
by reconstruing his life (Kelly, 1963, p. 21).
Thus it. is that most of our lives are lived on a symbolic level.
Not that the physical events and activities are secondary to the symbolic--
we do need basic physically satisfying circumstances to maintain our
bodily selves, but that the symbolic realm contains the meaning that
circumstances have for us. This is another way of saying that the phenomenal
self, however it is construed by the individual transcends the physical self.

S. I. Hayakawa (1953) links symbolic function in man with the
phenomenal self by calling it the symbolic self:
Once it is understood that human beings are a
symbolic class of life--once it is grasped that
all human behavior is conditioned, shaped, and
mediated by symbols—-then the idea of self-
perservation as the first law of life can be
modified to include almost all of the complexi¬
ties of human behavior: the fundamental motive
of human behavior. . . . the perservation of the
symbolic self (p. 37).
As he forms meanings about himself, the individual is constantly
discovering ways of symbolizing his existence. It is this symbolizing
process--one which we only partially understand--that distinguishes
mankind. Thus in perception of himself the individual takes the
externally generated symbols—good, bad, big, pretty, energetic, intel-
ligent--and combines them into a symbolic representation of himself, and
of his world.
Language and the Symbolic Self
As a person grows from infancy to adulthood, he develops patterns
of behavior, styles of expression, skills in manipulating objects, know¬
ledge about the world, ways of perceiving, attitudes about himself and
others. His progression from a state of almost absolute dependency to
a state of high independency occurs in a variety of ways. By learning
about the construction of the environment, that is, by learning gradually
what the properties of physical objects are and how they may be manipulated,
the child extends his ability to control his environment. By learning
about the nature of human contact, through his mother, his father, his
siblings, and significant others, he acquires social skills that enable

us*
him to communicate, negotiate, and relate with people. By learning about
his own specific abilities, his strengths and weaknesses, his desires, and
needs, the child learns ways to satisfy his needs and extend his abilities.
Through a rich influx of sensations, experiences, perceptions, and oppor¬
tunities the child learns to conduct himself in diverse manners through old,
continuing, and new experiences.
The symbolic function in the child cuts across and influences all
of these activities of exploration, manipulation, understanding, communica¬
tion, and conceptualizing. It influences the character of his experience
and the direction of the growth of his self-system. In this respect the
symbolic function is permanently linked with mental activity of all types.
The most pervasive form that the symbolic function takes is language. As
he learns a system of representation in language acquisition the child is
learning dominant modes of directing his current and future experience.
The early stages of symbolization order his progress in understanding
and manipulating his environment and in differentiating aspects of himself.
The phenomenon of language is interesting because it has both
representational functions and explorational functions. Language is used
to communicate perceptions of physical reality, private experiences, and
communal experiences; in that sense it is representational. Language is
also used to investigate the quality of human experience, to extend
knowledge about objects, and to create new experiences (e.g., novels,
poetry); in this sense language is exploratory. An individual's use of
either mode may be appraised by the individual or others in order to
further their knowledge about existence.

At least one researcher (McElroy, 1972) has proposed that language
is a search for self. I take this to mean that the self is discoverable
through linguistic processes, and what is "discovered" is contingent upon
a person's use of language. In fact, that is a major theme of this work,
one which will be elaborated more fully in the following chapters.
Language plays a major role in the development of the total
personality and in the development of the self concept. The representa¬
tional aspects of language inform the individual of the essential features
of the world and of himself. The exploratory functions of language enable
him to extend his perceptions and to build up comprehensive perceptual
processes. The kind of symbols, linguistic and non-linguistic, that a
person has available to him determine the openness and flexibility of his
self concept, and the modes of language use that he establishes determine
the degree to which he is able to make his experiences available to himself.
These dimensions of language, as I indicate in the rest of this work, are
ingegral to the individual's personality structure. As such, they are
important areas of investigation for psychologists interested in the
factors contributing to personality development.

CHAPTER II
THE SOCIALIZATION OF SELF THROUGH LANGUAGE
Each individual is at one time a private entity in his own
right and also a member of a larger social identity. Kelly (1962)
points out that we do not need to talk about the individual or
society, because the individual is formed in social contexts. Adler
(1929) cites social interest as the most important factor in an
individual's development of a healthy personality. Goffman (1959)
suggests that a person's "performance" in the social sphere "will
tend to incorporate and exemplify the officially accredited values of
the society"(p. 35), and therefore he affirms the moral values of the
community through his presentation of himself to it. Cooley (1909)
sees "human nature" as being produced and developed through the cooper¬
ative associations established in group membership,, The phenomenal self
is so linked with the environment, both physical and social, that its
formation cannot be considered as going on outside the social process.
Although each person is the architect of his experiences, social¬
ization influences the tenor of his subjective experience and, through
the symbolic representations that are made available to him, influences
his sense of the rightness of his self. That is, the social context so
informs him of his identity that, if he is faced with a duality between
the social representation of experience and his private representations,
he is inclined to choose the socially agreed upon representation. About
38

39
this Berger and Luckmann (1967) say:
By the very nature of socialization, subjective identity
is a precarious entity. It is dependent upon the indivi¬
dual's relations with significant others, who may change
or disappear. The precariousness is further increased
by self-experiences . . . the "sane" apprehension of
oneself as possessor of a definite, stable, and socially
recognized identity is continually threatened by the
"surrealistic" metamorphoses of dreams and fantasies,
even if it remains relatively consistent in everyday
social interaction (p. 100).
As the symbolic self is developed through representation of private and
social experiences the individual generates a sense of his relationships
with others. It is through the communication experience, through the
development of a language, that he is able to increase his contacts with
the world at large. Roger Brown (1956) calls this process of first-
language learning the "Original Word Game," or "cognitive socialization."
Through awareness of his relationships to others, as established in
early language learning, the individual learns to look at himself as a
separate, yet related being.
In the social realm language affects the emergence and development
of the self through: 1) the individual's development of a capacity for
self-reflection; 2) the cultural assumptions embedded in it; 3) the
establishment of overlapping perceptions for members of society; 4) the
channeling of information for individuals; 5) the elaboration of self-
through role relationships; and, 6) the creation of common meanings and
a sense of cooperation. These dimensions of socialization through
language overlap, as we shall see, forming a complex interactive rela¬
tionship among the individual, society, and language.

40
The Capacity for Self-reflection
Early in life the child develops a consciousness of his own body,
the fact of its existence in space and time. Merleau-Ponty (1964),
drawing upon the investigations of child psychologists, proposes that
at the point where the child recognizes himself in a mirror he develops
a new sense of himself. This occurs in the latter months of the first
year, and perceptual change that accompanies the recognition of oneself
in the mirror—what Merleau-Ponty calles the specular image— parallels
the development of a sense of self through language and social inter¬
action. Merleau-Ponty says:
At the same time that the image of oneself makes
possible the knowledge of oneself, it makes
possible a sort of alienation. I am no longer
what I felt myself, immediately, to be; I am that
image of myself that is offered by the mirror. To
use Dr. Lacan's terms, I am "captured, caught up"
by my spatial image. Thereupon I leave the reality
of my lived me in order to refer myself constantly
to the ideal, fictitious, or imaginary me, of which
the specular image is the first outline. In this
sense I am torn from myself, and the image on the
mirror prepares me for another still more serious
alienation, which will be the alienation by others.
For others have only an exterior image of me, which
is analogous to the one seen in the mirror. Conse¬
quently others will tear me away from my immediate
inwardness much more surely than will the mirror.
The specular image is the "symbolic matrix," says
Lacan, "where the I_ springs up in primordial form
before objectifying itself in the dialectic of
identification with the other.(pp. 136-137).
This phenomenon of seeing oneself from an external point of
view enlarges ana changes the individual's perceptions of himself. He
is not merely behaving directly in his environment; he is also part of
the environment for others, and he is capable of seeing himself in the

context of others. His private experience and his public experience,
however, become separated. In language these two identities mingle and
merge. They offset each other by producing a synthesized experience.
He experiences himself as object.
Consciousness of oneself and consciounsess of language appear at
about the same time. It is through the taking on of external perspec¬
tives that the child becomes capable of self-observation, for external
perspectives offer the possibility of defining boundaries. The "me"/
"not me" differentiation of the infant evolves into a "me" and "I" differ¬
entiation that encapsulates the child's internally generated perceptions
and his externally generated ones. Relatively late in his acquisition
of language the child adopts the use of the pronoun I_> after he has
developed the use of his proper name (Guillaume, 1925). When he does
this he becomes fully aware of his own perspective in opposition to
those of others, and he stabilizes his perceptual modes into fairly well
defined inner and outer forms. Merleau-Ponty says:
The pronoun 2. has its full meaning only when the
child uses it not as an individual sign to desig¬
nate his own person—a sign that would be assigned
once for all to himself and to nobody else—but
when he understands that each person he sees can
in turn say J_ and that each person is an 2 for
himself and a you for others (p. 151).
The incidence of perceptual relativity, occasioned by the development of
a full awareness of the 2_> extricates the child from perceptual monism.
He develops a conception, however hazy, of the perceptions of others
and of himself as someone with personal perceptions.
The development of personal perspective in social situations is
often exhibited in the young child's declaration of "no" to his parents.
To say "no" is to experience oneself as an agent apart from the immediate

context and to seek to affect the course of this situation in direct,
verbal ways. As he comes to see himself as maintaining a particular
perspective and not merely living in the things around him, the child
solidifies his own self identity. Merleau-Ponty (1964) says:
At around three years the child stops lending his
body and even his thoughts to others. . . He stops
confusing himself with the situation or the role
in which he may find himself engaged. He adopts
a proper perspective or viewpoint of his own—or
rather he understands that, whatever the diversity
of situations or roles, he is someone above and
beyond these different situations and roles
(pp. 151-152).
It may be too much to say that the child develops an ability for
self-reflection from the linguistic evidence cited above. However,
reflection has two components that are available to the child at this
point. First, reflection--as in a mirror or as in mental operations—
distinguishes an outline in the here and now situation. The individual
sees himself from the outside in and thereby possesses himself in the
same way he "possesses" physical reality. Second, reflection is
historical; to reflect is to place oneself in a historical context, to
see one's actions, thoughts, perceptions in time. At least this is the
phenomenological position enunciated by Husserl (1931) and Merleau-Ponty
(1964).
If the child is capable of establishing a sense of perceptual
relativity through the differentiation of himself and others in context,
he is capable of reflecting upon himself. In short, he is capable of
creating a self- concept through the patterned perceptions afforded him
in his language and action. He is symbolizing his experiences of the
world, of others, and of himself in the language he develops. Combs (1959)

points out that differentiation of the self is accelerated through the
development of language; "language provides a 'shorthand' by which
experience can be symbolized, manipulated, and understood with tremendous
efficiency. Above all, the possession of language vastly facilitates
the differentiation of self and the world about"(p.134). But not only
is language an efficient means of differentiation, it also affects the
direction the differentiation will take. This will be explored more
fully in the following sections of this chapter.
Cultural Assumptions
When we look at society as an organism we observe that one of its
organizing modes is communication among all its diverse parts. The
cooperation necessary to maintain an organismic balance is established
and maintained through the language of the society. This occurs on two
basic levels. First, the fact of having a common language and a common
set of assumptions expressed in the language provides some of the unity
among the parts. Second, the act of communication itself establishes
agreements and cooperation among the people in both private and public
sectors. The first is an interesting yet limited means of maintaining
cooperation; the second, an expansive and powerful one.
Whorf (1956), an anthropologist studying the languages of several
southwest American Indian tribes, proposes that "the forms of a person's
thoughts are controlled by inexorable laws of pattern of which he is
unconscious"(p. 252). These laws of pattern are embedded in the indivi¬
dual's language, said Benjamin Lee Whorf. Particularly when we compare
languages from different linguistic families, such as English, Sanskrit,
or Hopi, we see the vast differences in the ways an individual cuts up,
labels, and organizes perceptions. Whorf says:

t+tt
And every language is a vast pattern-system,
different from others, in which are culturally
ordained the forms and categories by which the
personality not only communicates, but also
analyzes nature, notices or neglects types of
relationships and phenomena, channels his
reasoning, and builds the house of his con¬
sciousness (p.252).
Whorf's conclusions concerning the effects of language upon
thinking have been named the "Whorfian Hypothesis" and investigators
since his time have attempted to formalize and extend it. However,
attempts to verify Whorf's observations have proven inconclusive and
we are left with an intriguing and partially illuminating theory about
linguistic relativity (Diebold, 1965). It is true that our unconscious
assumptions about the world have great impact upon our subsequent
perceptions and behaviors. A person is word-bound if he does not
realize that the words he uses and the things they refer to are not the
same, and a person is culture-bound if he believes that the forms
described by his culture are absolute.
The suggestion that a person is automatically prey to the
unconscious assumptions of his language reduces the individual to a
blind follower of hidden structures. Whorf (1956) says:
to restrict thinking to the patterns merely of
English, and especially to those patterns which
represent the acme of plainness in English, is
to lose a power of thought which, once lost, can
never be regained. It is the "plainest" English
which contains the greatest number of unconscious
assumptions about nature (p. 244).
The fact is that people have an ability to transcend the superficial
linguistic levels. This transcendence frees him from the patterns
that Whorf describes. Investigators (Bruner, Goodnow & Austin, 1956;

Carrol],1964) find that the individual engages in sorting, analyzing
and conceptualizing procedures that in themselves go beyond mere word-
boundness. Thus, although Whorf's assumptions are logically derived,
they do not account for the complexity of the human mind. If there
are people who restrict themselves linguistically in the way that
Whorf proposes, they likely will exhibit the kind of limited perception
he describes; but such people may not exist.
Carroll (1963) offers the following revision of the Whorfian
hypothesis, accounting for the individual's experience and his thinking
being greater than his use of language.
Insofar as languages differ in the ways they encode
objective experience, language users tend to sort
out and distinguish experiences differently accord¬
ing to the categories provided by their respective
languages. These cognitions will tend to have
certain effects on behavior (p. 12).
If languages do exert influence on cognition and behavior, they do so
mainly in the hidden assumptions with which the individual works.
In Bruner et al. (1956) concept attainment strategies are
studied in order to understand the non-reportable thinking processes
in individuals, those processes that influence the way he forms
concepts but which he is largely unable to describe for himself. In
seeking knowledge of what is entailed in making a conceptual distinc¬
tion about objects or events in the physical world, he says, there are
three questions that may guide the investigator. These are:
a. How do people achieve the information necessary
for isolating and learning a concept?
b. How do they retain the information gained from
encounters with possibly relevant events so that it
may be useful later?
c. How is retained information transformed so that it
may be rendered useful for testing a hypothesis still
unborn at the moment of first encountering new information
(Bruner, 1973, p. 132).

Answering these questions has been the goal of concept attainment
studies over the last twenty years. Problems of acquisition of know¬
ledge, of memory, and of application in new situations are still
perplexing to the psychologist. My suggestion that the assumed
structure of events in our language plays a vital role in the way that
concepts are attained, or, at least approached is suggested also by
Bruner (1956) when he notes that subjects in his studies, when not
given specific instructions about the nature of the concept to be
attained,
will tend to assume that they are looking for a simple
conjunctive concept of the certainty type. Is it
indeed the case, as the late Alfred Korzybski urged,
that Western man is burdened with a preference for
conjunctive classification stemming from the tradition
of so-called Aristotelian logic? Does the difficulty
of dealing with disjunctive, relational, and probabil¬
istic concepts reflect the difficulty of such concepts
or does the difficulty perhaps reflect certain cultural
biases in problem solvers (pp. 57-58)?
Since we do have classificatory biases inherent in the structure
of our language, they point us toward certain conclusions about our
world and about ourselves. Further investigations in cognitive studies
may be able to illuminate the relationship more clearly. If conjunctive,
two-value (either/or) classification is indelibly linked in language and
thinking, we would find it operating powerfully in the person's percep¬
tions and in his assumptions about how events are related.
Further considerations about the controlling aspect of language
come from Alfred Korzybski's seminal principles of General Semantics.
In his book Science and Sanity (1933) Korzybski proposes that the basic
mode of thinking is an abstracting process. The individual abstracts

47
from his object experience "meanings" that are organized in levels
that extend further and further away from the initial events. Levels
of abstraction are intimately connected with language. Through the
assumptions of Western languages, at least, we tend to believe that
what we can say about something is what that thing is, so we tend to
disregard characteristics and events for which we have no labels. We
devise labels that select only some features of an event and we react
to them in terms of the labels we have devised. Further abstractions
may successively limit a person's perceptions and beliefs until he has
reached a rigid, uncompromising conclusion on the basis of the control¬
ling assumptions behind his abstractions.
Korzybski (1958) proposes that we can become conscious of our
abstracting so that we avoid the pitfalls of the assumptions of our
language. He says:
If, through lack of consciousness of abstracting,
we identify or confuse words with objects and
feelings, or memories and 'ideas' with exper¬
iences which belong to the unspeakable objective
level, we identify higher order abstractions with
lower. Since this special type of semantic iden¬
tification or confusion is extremely general, it
deserves a special name. I call it objectifica¬
tion, because it is generally the confusion of
words or verbal issues (memories, 'ideas,') with
objective, unspeakable levels, such as objects,
or experiences, or feelings. If we objectify,
we forget, or we do not remember that words are
not the objects or feelings themselves, that
the verbal levels are always different from the
objective levels. When we identify them, we
disregard the inherent differences, and so
proper evaluation and full adjustment become
impossible (p. 417).

48
If, indeed, proper evaluation of events becomes cluttered up
with unconscious assumptions that distort the accuracy of a person's
perceptions, then the plumbing of these assumptions should free the
individual from misevaluations and distortions. This notion is a
highly suggestive one. We know on one hand that the degree of distor¬
tion of events by an individual is proportional to his own feeling of
adequacy in the situation (Combs, 1959). That is, if someone exper¬
iences an event as a threatening event he restructures it in order to
fit it into his existing perceptual field. His need to maintain a
consistent perception of himself may lead to severe denials of "reality."
Combs (1959) explains how inadequate, distorted perceptions interfere
with functioning in the world:
Distorted perceptions, it is clear, are unlikely
to prove effective in helping individuals to new
and better adjustments. To deal effectively with
life requires the clearest possible perceptions
of oneself and his relationships to the external
world. The failure of adequate perception is
the most obvious of the characteristice of inade¬
quate personalities, and at the same time, the
most vital factor in serving to keep them inadequate
(p. 285).
What Korzybski proposes is that a person's perceptions can be made
more adequate through changes in his language and through consciouness
of his abstracting. This would lead to more adequate perceptions of
oneself and a greater feeling of personal adequacy. In addition, Combs
(1959) points out that "when we find ways of helping people change the
ways they see themselves and the world in which they live, it may not
be necessary to change their environments"(p. 316).

49
Of course, perception is not directly manipuable from without.
The individual ultimately is the artificer of his own perceptions.
However, given new words, he has available to him new concepts around
which he may order his perceptions, and this may lead him toward greater
accuracy of perception. On a different plane, if the person is presented
with the implications of his assumptions this may be an occasion for
perceiving anew, and if he comes to see how he uses words to maintain
beliefs that are not necessarily so, this, too, may present him with
an occasion for perceptual change.
The General Semantics approach—based on the work of Alfred
Korzybski — is to concentrate upon the linguistic aspects of perception.
This level of analysis of perception is fairly abstract in itself; it
lends itself to overstatement. For example, Korzybski. (1933) claims
that the word is_ is the most insidious linguistic phenomenon because it
gives the wrong impression that there is an absolute and exact identity
between the things linked by i_s. "The cat is brown," he would say,
suggests that browness and cat-ness are necessarily joined together.
However, since we cannot reasonably expect to alter the whole fabric
of all languages, we have to look to the individual's uses of language
to discover ways to improve perceptions. If we followed Korzybski
literally we would be seeking an overhaul of all of Indo-european
languages and we would be too removed from the dynamics of the indi¬
vidual .
There are ways in which an understanding of cultural relativity
and unconscious assumptions within language can be utilized for increas¬
ing the adequacy of perception. Generally Whorf and Korzybski (and

bü
those who have come after them) alert us to the fact that persons may
be carrying around assumptions on the more formal, cognitive end of
their experience that affect the more operational and emotional ends
of their experience. Since feelings that a person has are a product
of self-perceptions, perceptions of theworld, and the meaning of the
relationship to that individual, an understanding of the ways that a
person has of relating these perceptions will lead to further under¬
standing of the role of language in the perceptual process.
As members of the same culture we carry around similar means
of appraising our experiences. In this sense we cooperate in our
perceptions of events and in many of the meanings of those events.
In perceptual psychology terms, commonly held perceptions make commun¬
ication possible (Combs, 1959, p. 31). The degree of overlap of the
phenomenal fields of individuals determine the degree to which they
are capable of sharing their meanings and enlarging their experiences
with each other. In the social sphere what is considered to be
adequate, veridical perception of concrete reality is generally agreed
upon by people as a whole.
What a person can say about anything is always limited. The
pattern of any language, like the pattern of personality traits, is
unified and consistent at some point of analysis. All systems are
organized and structured and this organization means that the things
organized are transformed. The creation and utilization of symbols
(words, in this case) inevitably transforms the things symbolized.
Hayakawa (1958) points out;
human beings live in a "semantic environment,"
which is the creation of their symbol systems,

51
so that even the individual who believes
himself to be in direct contact with reality,
and therefore free of doctrines and assump¬
tions, thinks in terms of the symbols with
which he has been taught to organize his
perceptions, namely, the visual or verbal
symbols, or images, which are the currency
with which communication is negotiated in
his culture (pp. 131-132).
Overlapping Perceptions
Living in an environment that shapes the form of one's symbols,
while influential, does not absolutely determine the individual's
thinking. Just as the word is not the object it represents, the symbol
system in language is not the whole of perceptual processes. There is
not a one-to-one correspondence between words and a person's concepts.
The individual is also a word user and a word manipulator. Goodman
(1971) points out that, above all, language is a coping behavior:
The common code is not identical with the power
to speak and the actual speech of individuals,
intimate groups, and functional groups, and the
latter is normally always still plastic--it shapes
the code as well as being shaped by it . . . .
language is not a lifeless tool, but an act of
coping. . . . It is because our power of speech is
not in absolute correspondence with its code that
we can pick up another way of saying things and
tell it to ourselves, and so begin to understand
the other culture—especially when, lo! in the
other culture we find human actions that are
relevant to ourselves (p. 49).
The finding of human actions relevant to oneself is the basis
for communities and societies. Communities are held together and
progress to the extent that members within that community see them¬
selves as participants in common experiences and goals. The indivi¬
dual in a community fits in to the degree that he finds himself

52
involved in shared activity. Thus, when the goals of the individual
and of society coincide, the individual experiences himself as a member
of a significant group and he sees his actions as being human actions.
Common experiences and common goals promote a feeling of belonging and
participation.
As an organism in itself, a society has to have organization and
structure. The different parts must cooperate in common functions. This
places great importance upon communications with the social organism,
and the symbols that are generated to hold together groups of people
(e.g„, religious, technological, economic, political symbols) help
maintain the basic levels of communication. J. Z. Young (1951), the
eminent biologist, links the function of the brain to a communications
system that has developed in social contexts as an organ of communication.
Saying that "the use of words to ensure cooperation is the essential
biological feature of modern man"(p. 98), he cites man's creation of
symbols of greater and greater power as the dominant link between the
individual's mind and society as a whole.
The development of modes to ensure cooperation begins early
in the child's socialization. There is, of course, the cooperative
endeavor of feeding the infant that forms earliest senses of mutuality
between child and mother (Sullivan, 1953). Later developments of
cooperative human behavior extend further and further into the social
world, and necessitate more communication between the child and others.
As he learns how to express his needs or desires in ways that will
elicit responses, the child builds up a repertory of behaviors and
expressions that lead to further elaboration of social behaviors.

b3
The structure and patterns of the language he is learning will
provide him with basic descriptive capabilities and a sense of what is
important to describe, but it is in the development of language as a
coping device that he begins to formulate a social identity and a social
mode of responding to others.
Channelling of Informational Modes
The information that a child possesses about himself and his
environment maintains the overall relationship between him and society,,
If we look at the child for a moment in terms of cybernetic principles
(Wiener, 1961)--also called information theory and, sometimes, communi¬
cation theory,--we see that he develops means of acquiring, storing,
using, and transmitting information about himself and his environment.
Strictly speaking, "information" in cybernetics is "a statistical
function of alternations within a communication system including: (1) a
sender capable of selecting a specific set of messages states out of
a range of possible states; (2) a channel through which the selection
of the sender can be indicated; and (3) a receiver capable of decoding
this indication to determine the specific message states selected by
the sender"(Sayre, 1967). In these limited terms information is
merely a quantitative term, not associated with human intentions,
meanings, desires» It is a measure of the uniqueness of the symbol
combination used at any time; low frequencies of symbol combinations
(phonetically, lexically, or syntactically) have higher information
value; high frequencies of symbol combinations have low information
value.

54
In earliest verbal learning the child receives what to him is
communication with high information value; that is, utterances are
novel; he does not know the sound or the words that will follow. He
is capable of hearing and imitating a wider range of sounds than those
produced in any single language, but as he hears the words spoken around
him certain sounds recur frequently, some others seldom, and others not
at all. As he learns to discriminate the sounds that are produced the
information value is reduced on the phonetic level. He can anticipate
certain sounds and disregard others. As information decreases, that is,
as uniqueness decreases, meaning, in cybernetic terms, increases.
Meaning for the individual develops out of recognizable patterns
and forms. If there is too much uniqueness in the communication, it
becomes chaotic, distorted, unpredictable, and unintelligible. Thus,
a random series of words, unpatterned by grammatical structures or
intention, would have high information value but make no sense. Too
redundant a message, such as the same word repeated over and over
again, loses whatever meaning it may have had. Information encompases
a greater area of perceivable phenomenon than does meaning, for meaning
relies upon distinguishable patterns from a personal perspective. What
is meaningful and coherent to an electrical engineer will be maximally
"informative" but meaningless to a three-year-old.
In terms of an individual's perspective as a receptor of
information there must be a balance between novelty and redundancy.
The child learning to pick his way verbally through a jungle of sounds
and expressions discovers meaning in the repeated and extended content
words. He learns a variety of contexts and usages for the same word.

The redundancy of the word is balanced against the new applications he
discovers for it. Thereby, his information input is kept at a sufficiently
high level to extend the range of his verbalizations and his activities
without overloading him with too much information to assimilate.
Iri his relations with others the child must develop sufficient
skill in communicating internal states or external actions to be compre¬
hended by those around him. The goal is to maximize the mutuality of
information, to facilitate the transfer and comprehension of as much
information as possible. Interference in this process, called noise in
information theory, reduces the mutual possession of information F„ J„
Crosson (1967) says:
. o .the mutual information will be the amount of
information which they /.the sender and the receiver}
share. For a perfectly noiseless channel and no
ambiguity in coding, the mutual information will be
maximal. As noise and equivocation increase, there
will be less correlation between input and output
ensembles, and the mutual information will decrease
(p. 112).
The mutual possession of information is the first building block of
the socialization of the child through language.
In an experiment conducted by Luria and Yudovich (1969) in the
Soviet Union identical twins, who at the age of 5 years had not developed
a common stock of words except for amorphous exclamations and privately
shared expressions, were separated and given speech training. In three
months they had developed relatively socialized speech. But the impor¬
tant changes occurred in their playing behaviors. Prior to the special
linguistic training they exhibited the speech patterns and play activity
of a child 1% to 2 years of age. They did not draw, sculpt, or construct

objects from blocks; they did not engage in normal role and object
play; and they did not engage in meaningful play. However, Luria
points out:
with the development of speech, all the activity
of these children was reorganized: role and
object play appeared; disorderly drawing with a
pencil on paper was replaced by meaningful content-
centered drawing; disorderly rolling of clay was
replaced by modeling; constructive activity, which
had been absent earlier, appeared; and typical
forms of intelligent and intellectual behavior
were observed. The short time required to develop
full-valued speech in these children eliminates
maturation as an explanation and permits one to
attribute the shifts in the structure of their
activity to the development of new modes of
speech (p0 145)«
Since their social behavior, particularly their play, altered
significantly after they acquired a socialized language, Luria concludes
that language, as an internal representation of external relationships,
has a regulative social function. As children develop a common language
they also develop a common perceptual framework. Therefore, the overlap
of perceptions held in common with each other and with society as a
whole produce conditions for socialized behavior., About this process,
Luria (1971) says:
With the appearance of speech disconnected from
action, indicating an object, action and rela¬
tions, it was to be expected that there should
also arise the possibility of formulating a
system of connections transcending the bound¬
aries of the immediate situation and of
subordinating action to these verbally formu¬
lated connections. It was to be expected
that this would also lead to the development
of complex forms of activity, manifested in
play as 'the unfolding of subject matter'
which would give play a steady character (p. 84).

57
On one level we can say that the mutual possession of information,
the shared language and concepts, makes available to the child socialized
play, for they both derive from a special perspective of the individual.
To communicate a message a person has to consider in some way the person
receiving the message. He has to separate the symbols he uses from
actions in order to formulate an understandable message; that is, in
information theory terms, he learns a coding procedure that has a high
probability of being decoded accurately. In short, he learns to attend
to the effects of his verbalizations. Likewise, in activity with others
he learns appropriate roles for interacting socially.
Luria's analysis, that the reorganization of the child's mental
processes through speech development permits him to evaluate his activity
and produces objectively, suggests that one of the conditions necessary
for regulated activity is the taking on of an outside perspective. This
also suggests that the internal reorganization, as a product of the
external perspective, becomes the rudimentary self system, that it arises
out of the sharing of information and perceptions. The child begins to
see himself in the context of others; his actions and his expressions
are affected as is his sense of self.
The Elaboration of Self through Role Relationships
External Perspectives on Self
In social psychology, which considers the social context as the
most salient dimension of human functioning, the self is described as
a product of the interaction of individuals through the communication
process. The person adopts external perspectives on himself, and treats
himself as an object of knowledge. That is, he sees himself through

58
the eyes of others and conies to know himself in ways that he comes to
know objects, events and other people. Thus he develops a theory of
himself. Seymour Epstein (1972) suggests, in this respect, that the
self-concept is:
a theory that the individual has unwittingly
constructed about himself as an experiencing,
functioning individual, and it is part of a
broader theory which he holds with respect
to his entire range of significant experience.
Accordingly, there are major postulate systems
for the nature of the world, for the nature of
the self, and for their interaction (p. 409).
And recently Raimy (1975) has proposed that self-examination by a
client in therapy can lead to the changing of misconceptions about
himself in the same way that people change their conceptions in every¬
day life.
Self-examination is practiced extensively in
everyday life when problems develop which
interfer with living. If we suspect that we
may be at fault, we customarily examine our
behavior and our conceptions in the hope of
discovering our faulty conceptions. If self-
examination fails to provide us with suitable
alternatives, we may then seek the advice of
others (p. 48).
Since an individual understands himself through the taking on
of an external view of himself, he may also mis-understand himself in
the same way. Through the use of symbols the individual takes on the
attitudes and assumptions of significant others. In his language these
symbols channel his perceptions of himself along general cultural lines,
but in the communication process itself, more specific self-perceptions
are generated. To develop a "theory" or an "understanding" of himself
the individual holds the attitudes of others before him as a mirror.

59
The effect of mirroring himself in others is circular (Combs,
1959), for as he sees his actions and their implications in terms of
others' perceptions he modifies his actions and also his perceptions.
His perceptual field becomes enlarged through his consideration of the
effects of his behavior on others. The process becomes a self-fulfilling
one when his beliefs about the effects of his behavior produces those
effects he anticipates.
Roles
As the individual adopts the attitudes of others he learns to
see himself as others see him. He controls his actions in relation to
others; he develops attitudes about himself consistent with the attitudes
others have. At least initially this is his primary mode of realizing
his existence as a separate entity. He experiences himself as a self
from the standpoint of external roles he finds himself in. He begins
to see that he has a variety of roles and a variety of ways of looking
at himself. He is his parents' son, his sister's brother, his neighbor's
friend, etc. The dimensions of his experience are extended to his rela¬
tions with others and to what these relations imply about how he is and
how he should be. Hugh Dalziel Duncan (1968) says;
To become conscious of his self, the child must
learn to take the attitude of others (who are,
of course, different and indifferent and who
hate as well as love), . . . Thus, it is only be
taking the attitude of individual and general
others into account that he can exist within
the group, and get the kinds of responses he needs
to stimulate himself to relate to others.
It is the child's ability to take roles, not
simply to talk to himself or to 'think,' which
determines his development. That is, the basic

uu
form of communication as a social act, whatever
its content, is histrionic. When the child talks
to himself he addresses himself in roles (p. 79).
Role in Mead's conception is not merely the conscious roles or
masks that a person may adopt, but instead encompases all of his
relationships with others. As the child adopts and modifies his
roles vis a vis others he develops attitudes towards himself in terms
of his experienced relationships. This is not set about in deliberate
ways; it comes about as a perceptual process through which the indivi¬
dual becomes increasingly aware of his identity.
Using the common symbols of the group and the common attitudes
of others as his basis for conversation with himself, he treats himself
as an object of knowledge. He can know himself through the roles he
experiences through others; he can consider himself as an external
object by looking at himself through the eyes of others; he can talk
to himself (what Mead calls "the inner flow of speech") and formulate
intelligent responses to his various attitudes. With the development
of an inner speech he then possesses the communicative modes that consti¬
tute the mind. As Mead (1938) says:
The essential condition for the appearance of
what has been conceived of as mind is that the
individual in acting with reference to the
environment should, as part of that action, be
acting with reference to himself, so that his
action would include himself as an object.
This does not mean that the individual should
simply act with reference to parts of his
organism, even when that action is social,
but it does mean that the whole action toward
the object upon which attention is centered
includes as a part of this action a reaction
toward the individual himself. If this is
attained, the self as an object becomes a part
of the acting individual, that is, the indivi-

KJ I
dual has attained what is called self-consciouness—
a self-consciounsess that accompanies his conduct or
may accompany a portion of his conduct (p. 367).
This sense of self, elaborated through social relations, is in
only some v/ays the complex, dynamic self which we are investigating.
As a source for internal regulation of behavior and of perception on
a limited scale, the self that arises through primary socialization is,
indeed, an identity. According to Mead there are as many selves in
each person as there are roles that they engage in. However, these
roles do not remain isolated from each other, A person is not entirely
different in each of his roles. He may select out of his possible
ways of behaving certain characteristics which will be organized into
a coherent role, but it is unlikely that he will involve all of himself
in any of the roles he maintains.
Roles, as social expectancies, particularly in the young child,
exert tremendous pressure upon his conceptions of himself. The roles
that he participates in promote self-perceptions that begin to stabilize
to the same degree that the roles stabilize. When asked who they are
most, people enumerate the roles they have: husband, student, sister,
businessman, friend. Children gradually learn this response. They
may begin with their name, knowing that is is a label they can apply
to themselves, and then generate other labels, socially defined, to
further describe themselves.
Primary Socialization
Primary socialization (Berger & Luckmann, 1967) is the process
of creating in the child a concept of the "generalized other," setting
up the conditions for the child to enter the social sphere. The

62
communication modes employed in primary socialization maintain pervasive,
but not absolutely obligatory, concepts about society, self, and one's
roles. Socialization is a stabilizing process. The child orients his
perceptions in line with those around him. Although his internal
experience is relatively amorphous and undifferentiated in relation to
his external experience, which very early begins to be structured and
differentiated, he learns to transform his external experience into a
recognizable internal experience.
Berger & Luckmann point out that early in the socialization
process the child does not distinguish the objectivity of natural
phenomena from the objectivity of social phenomena. That is, in the
terms that he has of dealing with them they both seem to be permanently,
irrevocably the way they are. In Whorf's terms the child is word-
bound and culture-bound by his unchallenged belief in the permanency
of the forms he experiences. Social conventions are seen as unchange¬
able. They are not the product of human agreement or cooperation.
Likewise, his roles and the language he has for communicating through
his roles are fixed. They are experienced as objective reality.
As the child develops a social self he develops a concept of
the "generalized other," in Mead's terminology. This concept of what
an individual in society does and does not do becomes internalized as
a guideline and touchstone for future activity through the process of
considering himself as an object. Thus, standards of behavior become
formalized. Berger & Luckmann say:
The formation within consciousness of the generalized
other marks a decisive phase of socialization. It
implies the internalization of society as such and of
the objective reality established therein, and, at

UJ
the same time, the subjective establishment of a
coherent and continuous identity. Society, identity
and reality are subjectively crystallized in the same
process of internalization. This crystallization is
concurrent with the internalization of language.
Indeed . . .language constitutes both the most impor¬
tant content and the most important instrument of
socialization (p. 133).
As the child develops a sense of generalized other his private exper¬
ience and his public experience begin to coincide. We would be hard
pressed to determine the point at which one begins and the other leaves
off.
In phenomenological terms, the individual's experience is his
own perceptual field and the meaning of his experience or of an object
depends upon his perception of the relationship between the object and
himself. However, the concept of the generalized other urges certain
perceptions of meaning in terms of society. He is told, explicitly or
implicitly, that "big boys don't cry," that one should always tell the
truth, that people don't run around without their clothes on. Thus, he
learns to evaluate the meanings of an action in terms of the social
meanings, which have become in many ways his private meanings.
The Creation of Common Meanings and a_
Sense of Cooperation
A person draws upon his own individual experiences and upon his
experiences as a social and socialized being in forming perceptions
about himself. The process of communication with others necessitates
a bridging of the inner and the outer experiences, and it is this
bridging of the two that directs the individual's sense of himself as

a unique organism on one hand, and of himself as a member of a
sustained group with common ties on the other» His personal meaning
is tied up in the balancing of these two experiences.
Personal meaning in any experience derives from the individual's
perceptions of himself, his perceptions of the situation, and the rela¬
tionship he perceives between them. If his overall perceptual field is
organized in accordance with society's dictates, as has been suggested
in the previous sections, the meanings he creates will reflect social
expectancies. He may not be absolutely bound by them, but he certainly
is not free of them either. His past experience, having many elements
of commonality with others and of individuality, directs his expecta¬
tions about whatever new situations he may encounter.
The development of social identities and of a stock of words,
gestures, and meanings that help the individual interact smoothly with
others, assumes social consequences of actions. Meaningful social
actions derive from the individual's perceptions of the relationship
between himself and others. Grounded in the cooperative dimensions of
communication, interaction between individuals--even those involving
disagreements--transform private individual experiences into public,
common experiences. Anton C. Zijderveld (1971) calls this movement of
sensibility "meaningful intentionality." He says:
It is this meaningful intentionality that transforms
movements of the body into social actions and inter¬
actions of persons. To this, the internalization of
behavior as a cybernetic principle may be added: we
are able to steer our actions in a meaningful way
because we internalize the gestures and actions of
others and feed them back in further communication—
as in a spiral movement.

Participation is a function of this internalization.
If man is no longer able to internalize actively, he
will store up in his self meaningless, disconnected
pieces of information—abstract images and empty
stereotypes which are continuously reflected upon
but do not stimulate any further communicative
behavior. Moreover, in such a situation the actor
will gradually lose the capacity to question or
criticize the incoming information. He will slowly
develop into an easy object for manipulation.
Opinions are consumed passively and stored up in
consciousness for abstract reflections (p. 87).
Zijderveld's conclusion on this matter is that the process of internal¬
ization is essential not only to the development of a social self but
also to the maintenance of a fully functioning personality.
The picture we obtain at this point is one of an individual
who assimilates the language patterns and the communicative modes of
his culture in such a way that he develops an internal representation
of the gestures, actions, and meanings of others. Through his internal
ized meanings he is able to organize further events into coherent
patterns and he is able to participate meaningful in social activities.
Thus, cooperation in the daily experience, particularly if this cooper¬
ation is perceived as a fulfillment of one’s own identity, coincides
with personal meaning.
Zijderveld’s description of the effects of loss of the ability
to internalize reminds us of Korzybski's description of the word-bound
individual (1949). Both suggest that under certain conditions the
individual forfeits the unique, productive ability to relate his
language and his nonverbal experience. For Korzybski a person who
confuses objects and words, who thinks that all things with the same
name are the same, who reacts to words automatically, and who general-

bb
izes and stereotypes experiences and people blindly, is an "intensional"
being. He is caught in rigid, unchanging, narrow attitudes. He deals
with surface similarities and ignores differences; he is uncirtical of
his experience and he is uncompromising in his perceptions. In short,
he has not internalized the basic symbolizing principle: symbols are
not the things they symbolize.
The social context informs the individual of the appropriateness
of his symbols. Through interaction and participation he builds up a
range of responses that both allow him to relate adequately with others
and to discover personal meanings in his relations. He has to be able
to distinguish social reality, which is based upon common agreement,
from natural reality which is not based upon agreement, but which just
is. The difference in these two realities means the difference between
perceiving oneself as a party to agreements and cooperation, and
perceiving oneself as a mere follower of unchangeable patterns.

CHAPTER III
SYMBOLIZATION
The Extension of Perception through Language
In order for the individual to form a phenomenal self of
whatever complexity, he must possess a capability of symbolizing his
experience and himself. The symbolizing process itself allows the
individual to perceive patterns, to abstract from sensory impressions,
to draw conclusions, and to hold beliefs. It offers a means of ordering
impressions into coherent, meaningful patterns. Without such ordering
processes perceptual experience would be locked into rigid, non-continuous
actions without a sense of direction or movement.
In listening to a musical piece we "understand" it because we
are able to detect a pattern in the sequence of tones, a rhythm, and
a flow of intervals and notes. Without the ability to represent and
hold the notes in our awareness we would experience each note as an
isolated sound, having no relation to what went before or what is to
come. A person's ability to perceive music as a continuous, flowing,
ordered, acoustic phenomenon is a product of his general ability to
handle the accumulation of impressions and of his specific orientations
and experiences with music. Brought up on Western musical structures
(symphonies and concertos, for example), he might experience a disorien¬
tation upon encountering the structurally different music of traditional
Eastern civilizations, but he would still be able to recognize it as
music and not as random sounds.
67

68
Perception of Continuity
Symbolizing activity in man binds the past, present, and future
for him. Before he can abstract from his perceptual impressions he
must be able to experience duration from one activity to the next, from
one impression to the next. Korzybski (1949) calls this distinguishing
activity in mankind "time-binding," and suggests that man's capacity
for abstraction, that is, symbolization, provides him v/ith a continuous
link between impressionistic data and human experiencing. Bergson (1912)
too, claims that individual sense impressions are so "animated by
common life"(p. 11) that we experience them as a flowing from one to
the other.
This subjective feeling of continuity of experience opens the
individual to further abstractions about his environment. The child
appears- to develop a sense of the continuity of his own existence
before developing a comparable concept of continutiy of objects and
persons (Piaget, 1970). He orders his world around the subjective
states of his own body and then gradually extends his awareness and
symbolizing beyond himself into the physical and social world.
The experiences of living in time, of having a past and future
as well as the present precedes the experience of any other continuous
aspect of the self. To communicate this experience to others one
must have a language, for the past and future cannot be expressed
otherwise. By actions alone the child can only present his current
experience. He might be able to signal the need for food or sleep or
clean diapers, but that in itself is not symbolic activity. To represent

69
a feeling state requires at least some symbolization of that state,
which means that it also must be felt as part of continuous experience.
The development of language is the development of means for represent¬
ing experience, and it extends the representation from the here-and-
now signal to representation of past experiences and future possibili¬
ties. This is an important link in an individual's development. By
learning language he learns more than the symbols to use for represent¬
ing himself, his thoughts, his feelings. He learns to represent himself,
which is a vast leap in mental functioning.
Labeling Experience
The representation of reality through symbols begins very early,
but it is the blossoming of linguistic ability that opens the child's
differentiation of elements in the environment. He begins to learn
that people and things have names. Furthermore he learns that several
objects can have the same name. As he learns to distinguish those
objects from other objects with similar properties he is also learning
methods for distinguishing them.
Brown (1968) suggests that in the naming activity the child's
vocabulary is more determined by the practices of adults than by his
cognitive preferences. The child learns the utility of the thing
symbolized by language as well as learning the symbol itself.
Naming each thing in accordance with local
frequencies, parents unwittingly transmit
their own cognitive structures. It is a
world where Prince is unique among dogs
and papa among men, spoons are all alike but
different from forks. It may be a world of
bugs (to be stepped on), or flowers (not to
be picked), and birds (not to be stoned).
It may be a world in which Niggers, like

70
spoons are all of a kind. A division of caste creates
a vast categorical equivalence and a correspondingly
generic name. Mr. Jones and Mr. Smith do not come out
of racial anonymity until their uniqueness is appreci¬
ated (p„ 86).
Likewise the child's perceptions and personal experience are organized
by the linguistic symbols he obtains from representing them. A child
learns to see himself through the eyes of others and to describe him¬
self through the vocabulary of others. As he learns to represent
feeling states or physical attributes, he learns what states are
significant for representation and what states are trivial or non¬
existent in other people's terms. The differentiation of what consti¬
tutes himself, his possessions, his capabilities, and his feelings
begins on the linguistic level.
I watched my two-year-old nephew one day as he toddled around
the living room of his grandmother's house. He would approach a
cabinet that was "off limits" with obvious interest, but just before
reaching it he would say, "No, Shawn," in exactly the tone of voice
used by his mother. Other objects in the room elicited either the
learned injunction not to touch, or, in the case of objects that were
acceptable for him to touch and handle, a completion of his initial
urge. Clearly, he was learning the language of limitations and rules
and of subsequent actions that could be performed.
The activity of language orients the individual to attend to
those features of his environment a,id of himself that can be named and
communicated. Communicable phenomena must have a history, a continuity
of existence, and some elements that are held in common with other

71
phenomena. The unique, the idiosyncratic can be communicated only if
it is related in some way to the enduring and general. Thus the child
as he learns to talk learns to attend to the things around him that
can be communicated. He learns to see similarities in different
objects, and he learns to deal with these objects in similar terms.
In his perception of himself he attends to repeatable physiological
functions and recurrent feelings. Other phenomena he either learns to
ignore because there is no word for them, or he learns to express in
terms of something else. Ruesch and Bateson (1968) suggest that the
limitations of language to recurring phenomena order the activity
of all people around their perception of common occurrences. "Language
can only deal with recurring phenomena: never can it specify the unique,
and especially the uniquely personal developments and complex growth
which are still in the future"(p. 233). This is one aspect of language
development: its orientating effect upon perceptions of constancy,
continuity, and similarity of sense impressions that shapes a person's
attention. He learns how to respond to the facts of existence (that
some things endure) and what facts are worth attention (those that
endure).
In organizing his perceptual field, then, the child attends to
impressions that are responsible along certain lines. He differentiates
those elements that have essentially constant characteristics. Those
that exist over an extended period of time, and those that are similar
in features or consequences. He does not learn to distinguish phenomena
for which there are not adequate words or concepts in his language.

72
For example, childhood synaesthesia, in which more than one sense
modality are experienced together ("hearing" colors; "seeing" sounds;
"feeling" the texture of tastes; etc.) is a common phenomenon, but
it decreases in strength in later years. I suggest that, since we
have no simple ways of expressing those experiences and tend to
disregard them, the capacity for synaesthesia is diminished, if not
lost.
It is a common occurence for perceptual fields in people as a
whole to be broadened and their abilities to experience new phenomena
enhanced through the introduction of new words or concepts. In the
last few years serious scientific investigation of auras around people's
heads, sparked by Kirlian photography, has apparently legitimated the
seeing of these auras by many people in their daily life. Now that it
is fairly well accepted as a legitimate experience more and more people
report having seen auras. The precise reasons for this are not clear,
but it is clear that prevailing ways of cutting up and organizing
experience affect the individual's private perceptions.
Adult linguistic practices shape the early perceptions of the
child. Not only is the child learning a vocabulary for expressing his
wants and his perceptions, he is learning the degree to which such
expressions are acceptable. From the simple differentiation of physical
objects to the more complex differentiation of significant aspects of
his body and his experience, the child reflects the attitudes and
assumptions of those he contacts, Eveloff (1971) summarizes this
procedure:

By interpreting the world around him in an organized
logical manner, the adult reflects facets of reality
for the child that are incomparably deeper and more
complex than those he would have gleaned from his
own experimentations. The incorporated words of the
parent become a tremendous factor which helps to form
the very substance of mental activity.
When the child verbally establishes complex connections
and relations between perceived phenomena with the help
of an adult, the child introduces at each moment essen¬
tial qualitative changes in the receptivity and
interpretation of sensory input to his brain, that is,
in the perception and cognition of his world. Thus,
the word not only makes possible the coding of infor¬
mation but modifies the nature of that which is to be
coded (p„ 1896).
Language, then, is a means of extending one's perceptions into deeper
and richer dimensions. The quality of perceptual experience is height¬
ened by the ability of the child to orient his intake of information
around symbols. This important facet of perceptual experiences
suggests that construction of the child's experience goes on from his
earliest symbolizing activities. Since he interprets his world, his
actions, and himself through symbols and since these symbols carry with
them the cultural . assumptions of those who introduce them, his act of
perceiving is a constructive act.
The Perception of Patterns and Relationships
Besides the basic symbolizing of events that comes from naming
or labelling them, language also exercises a further representation of
events through the patterns of words produced. Much of language is
tied to no specific concrete phenomena, as Benjamin Lee Whorf (1956)
points out. Speech, which incorporates the pattern system of the
language--that is, the sentence structure itself—is more important
than the particular words. He says:

74
That part of meaning which is in words, and which we
may call "reference," is only relatively fixed. Refer¬
ence of words is at the mercy of the sentences and
grammatical patterns in which they occur . . . The
sentence "I went all the way down there just in order
to see Jack" contains only one fixed concrete refer¬
ence: namely, Jack. The rest is pattern attached
to nothing specifically (p. 259).
This means that the child learning a language acquires a particular
system of patterns that influence his perceptions of the ways in which
objects or persons can be related. Although the effects of this
patternment are difficult to assess, there have been some notable
attempts at describing the role of language patterns in perception:
specifically, Whorf (1956) and Korzybski (1933). I will deal with
these in more detail later.
Accepting for the now that patterning in language is important,
we are led to ask how an understanding of this pattern develops. To
find answers to this we need to look at the symbolic functions in
regard: to the internalization of patterns.
The Symbolic Function
The symbolic function not only enables the individual to
symbolize experiences and manipulate symbols, but it also provides
the modality for internalizing experience, for "making it your own,"
so to speak. Out of each person's unique interactions with the world
he forms a complex organization that not only gives meaning to exper¬
ience, but also provides him with a means of ordering experiences to
come. Thus, there is a static element and a progressive goal to
organization.

75
Static elements in perception derive from the labels we apply
to events. There is a tendency to reify experience, to treat as an
object non-physical phenomena or processes. For example, "love" is
not a thing; it is a label attached to a way of behaving and perceiving.
But we often talk about it as if it has real existence. We can fall
in it or out of it. We can give or receive it. We call upon it as a
panacea for splintered social relations. The quality of loving is
almost systematically transformed into a static object. Most abstract
conceptions are reduced to objectifications in this way.
The human tendency toward objectification of experience illustrates
one way of knowing the world. We can know things by acting upon them,
but that means that they must have some real or supposed physical
existence. Love can be analyzed,categorized, and evaluated in physical
terms only if it has been objectified first. Another way of knowing
comes about through understanding relationships among things. To
understand relationships the individual must be able to perceive patterns,
to abstract from experience, to propose and test combinations of phenom¬
ena, to transform them systematically. In short, he needs to be able
to bring to his experiences a vast range of synthesizing process.
Objects are not the only things that can be known, but they are
our most ready sources of knowledge and provide us with models for
knowing non-physical things. Piaget 0971b) says:
There are two ways of transforming the object we
wish to know. One consists in modifying its posi¬
tions, its movements, or its characteristics in
order to explore its nature: this is action known
as "physical." The other consists in enriching
the object with characteristics or new relation-

/o
ships, which retain its characteristics or previous
relationships, yet completing them by systems of
classification, numeral order, measure, and so forth:
these actions are known as "logico-mathematical" (p. 67).
Systematic procedures for transforming objects mentally, in order to more
fully realize their characteristics, apply combinatorial to the situation.
Although Piaget is concerned primarily with what he calls the
logico-mathematical processes, especially as they are oriented towards
exploration of physical realtiy, such processes are only part of a more
extensive perceptual experience. We know that perceptions are differen¬
tiated on the basis of perceived qualities of nearness, similarity, etc.
Piaget's description of the knowing process formalizes the above Gestalt
description of perception in tightly defined areas. His development
theory supported by wide ranging experiments by others that the child
learns systems for transformation of physical reality allows the possi¬
bility that the child learns similar systems of transformation for all
of his perceptual experiences, such as concepts about himself.
Evidence cited in the development of cognitive structures is
corroborative but not directly applicable to the whole of experience.
There is a strong suggestion that, if a person's perceptual field is
a product of his mental activity, understanding the structures and
processes in mental functioning will enable us to understand further
the individual's organization of his perceptual field.
Piaget's formulation of logic-mathematical processes in
simplified form looks like this: the individual "knows" reality as
an existing and consistent pehnomenon, that is he knows the basic
properties of physical objects; he also knows and increases his power

to know ways of manipulating and transforming his knowledge so as to
deepen and widen his understanding; these powerful transformational
abilities constitute knowledge in itself and also a means of extending
knowledge; thus, the transformantional processes are the most important
dimensions of knowledge. If we can know how the individual organizes
his understanding and transforming processes we will understand the
nature of thinking itself.
Obviously, mapping the child's total perceptual process is a
massive undertaking, and not likely to yield all the secrets of mental
life quickly or easily. However, even as it stands in a nascent state
this theory of the growth of knowledge contributes an important dimen¬
sion in considering the whole phenomenal field. The ways that a person
has of elaborating and extending the personal meaning of his experience
can be understood in this model. A person has as his basic self concept
a range of attributes that are central to himself. He also has as a
part of his perceptual framework a set of logical processes that tell
him how to alter conceptions of himself and of his world. Thus, the
perceptual field of an individual is the total of his perceptions of
himself, of his perceptions of the world, and the relationships he
sees between them; the means he uses to discover relationships would
be his transformational processes.
Internalization
One of the unique qualities of mental processes is the ability
of the individual to reflect upon his own experience. This is impor¬
tant for it means that he is not bound up in the world of sensory
experience but can make his own experiences more extensive by

/a
considering them. This quality of consciousness has ingrigued
philosophers and psychologists alike. Perception refers to the
quality and vividness of a person's experiences in his conscious
state; self-perception refers, then, to his awareness of himself
as a perceiver. This entails reflection upon his experience after
the fact and a change in the level of his perception. Self percep¬
tion or reflection may be extended indefinitely, like the images
generated by two facing mirrors.
A person is initially a perceiving organism. Me becomes a
self-perceiving organism with the advent of language, for at this
time he can conceptualize himself apart from his environment and
roles. The degree of complexity in self-perception is a function
of experiences and mental maturation. His experiences inform him
progressively of consequences, patterns, attributes, et cetera in
his world. His mental faculties provide him with powerful abilities
to conceptualize, to abstract from his experience salient features.
By internalization I mean the process of assimilating experience
and perceptions into the over all body of concepts that are the indivi¬
dual 1 s reservoir of attitudes, thinking styles, symbolizing processes
and meanings. Piaget (1970) relates internalization to the replace¬
ment of action with thought. To him actions that are performed on
objects "are the basis for reflective abstraction"(p. 19): and they
are internalized insofar as they "can be carried out in thought as
well as executed materially"^. 22).! This externalistic view of the
process of making something one's own breaks the perceptual process

/ y
into two parts, an event and the idea of that event; but if we look
at the relationship of action to perception, we see that they occur
simultaneously. Thus, the individual differentiates his perceptions
as he acts upon the external world; those differentiated perceptions
become "internalized" as the individual discovers the meaning of them
to himself. Berger and Luckmann (1967) describe internalization as
"the immediate apprehension or interpretation of an objective event
as expressing meaning"(p. 129).
Internalization, then, is a process of making something a
working part of one's perceptual processes. As differentiated
perceptions are dropped out of the immediate experience of the
individual they become part of the process of differentiating
further perceptions. Combs (1959) describes this as a Gestalt
formation process:
Events learned to the point where they are differ¬
entiated in clear figure soon fade into the ground
of the perceptual field, being replaced in figure by
some new or more extensive differentiation ....
The economy of the organism requires that we be able
to drop what has been differentiated in clear figure
further and further into the ground of the field.
If every event had to be new and clearly differen¬
tiated at every moment, need satisfaction, even
the very existence of the organism, would be
impossible (p. 198).
Symbolizing experience on an overt, linguistic level begins
the process of internalization of symbols and images used by the
individual in creating new symbols. As he learns to abstract
patterns from his experiences, the individual replaces these perceived
patterns with others. The ones that are replaced are not precluded

or eliminated; they become more integral elements in his perceptual
organization. They become his "sets," his assumptions, and his means
of differentiating incoming impressions. What he internalizes, v/hat
he drops into the ground of his experience, then, can have great
impact upon his later perceptions.
An example of this internalization is the objectification process
In order to express relationships we have to put them into words which
tend to objectify the expressed event. What begins in perceptual exper
ience as a process becomes a static object or relationship in order to
communicate it. Not only does the speaker learn to apply labels to
events, but he also learns that events are to be labelled like objects.
He learns the objectification process and internalizes it as a part of
his perceptual process. When he encounters new situations he asks
"what is it called?" Eventually this orientation towards naming and
objectifying is so much a part of him that it affects all experiences
he has, including perceptions of himself.
Say for example, that a student uses external, inadmissable
(from the teacher's point of view) sources on an examination. At
the moment of acting the student is merely doing what seems to him
to be the most effective thing he can to succeed on the test. After
he has done this, actually at almost the same time that he does it,
he sees his behavior as interpreted from an external point of view.
The label attached to that behavior is cheating, so that makes him a
cheater. If he is a "cheater" then he may be bad, for having cheated,
or clever for having gotten away with it, but whatever he believes

about himself in that situation will be, partially at least, a product
of his internalized tendency to objectify his experience, to attach
labels and then to react to the labels.
Raimy (1943) describes the concentration of personal observa¬
tions into symbolic shorthand as being important in the formation of
one's self concepto
Instead of a retention of all the details which occured
in actual experience, words or other symbols may be used
to abbreviate and condense the results of personal obser¬
vations so that only a vestigial symbol may represent the
content of a large number of personal experiences. For
instance, "I am guilty" may be the simple self-character¬
ization which stands for a whole series of guilty
self-evaluations (p. 101).
Symbolizing Personal Experience
The symbolic function, which makes it possible for someone to
abstract from his experience and to deal with his abstractions as "real"
objects or events, becomes elaborated through personal experience. This
functioning is not an object that causes events, even though the essence
of language leads me to describe it as if it were an object. The symboli
function is inseparable from mental activity, from perception, from
abstraction, from experience.
Self-perception is possible because symbolization is possible.
Symbolization of experience begins as a simple tool for sorting out
the impressions and events that surround a person. It becomes an
elaborate process of understanding, eventually extending beyond here-
and-now phenomena to phenomena that are not immediately accessible to
the senses because they are displaced in time or position. The self
and the perceptual process are both displaced from immediate experience,
but because they can be symbolized, they become accessible to each
person.

82
Cassirer (1946) states that symbols and linguistic concepts help
the individual find limits and draw outlines for experience. As this
formation of linguistic concepts orders the internal structure of a
person's perceptions and conceptions it helps lead him to a clear
understanding of himself and of his world.
. o . the primary function of linguistic concepts does
not consist in the comparison of experiences and the
selection of certain common attributes, but in the
concentration of such experiences, so to speak, in
distilling them down to one point. But the manner of
this concentration always depends upon the direction of
the subject's interest and is determined not so much by
the content of the experience as by the teleological
perspective from which it is viewed. Whatever appears
important for our wishing and willing, our hopes and
anxiety, for acting and doing; that and only that
receives the stamp of verbal "meaning."
. . . Only symbolic expression can yield the possibility
of prospect and retrospect, because it is only by symbols
that distinctions are not merely made, but fixed in con¬
sciousness. What the mind has once created, what has been
culled from the total sphere of consciousness, does not
fade away again when the spoken word has set its seal
upon it and given it definite form (pp. 37-38).
As a person learns to organize his experiences along certain
dimensions, abstracting patterns and internalizing them, so he learns to
orgaize conceptions of himself. Erikson (1968) suggests that each
stage of psychosocial development for the indi vidual'is characterized by
an identity formation task that must be resolved successfully for the
individual to increase his growing sense of identity.and personal
adequacy. Identity formation for Erikson is equivalent to self-
concept and it becomes possible through self-perception:

83
In psychological terms identity formation employs
a process of simultaneous reflection and observa¬
tion, a process taking place on all levels of
mental functioning, by which the individual judges
himself in the light of what he perceives to be the
way in which others judge him in comparison to them¬
selves and to a typology significant to them; while
he judges their way of judging him in the light of
how he perceives himself in comparison to them and
to types that have become relevant to him. This
process is, luckily, and necessarily, for the most
part unconscious except where inner conditions and
outer circumstances combine to aggravate a painful
or elated, "identity-consciousness (pp. 22-23)."
Even though it may not occur on the conscious level, a person is
constantly relating himself to others in interpersonal terms and abstract¬
ing from those relations. He thereby is employing a highly sophisticated
form of cognition capable of complex deductions, comparisons, inferences,
abstractions, and meanings. The individual is capable of reflecting upon
his characteristic ways of synthesizing experience, and making those
abstracting and transforming modes more integral to himself by internal¬
izing them.
What I am suggesting on a broad level is that internalization is
a process in mental activity that derives its existence from the symbolic
function. Only because the individual is capable of reflecting upon
his experience, only because he both perceives and abstracts from his
perceptions, is he able to internalize processes for manipulating and
transforming his experience. First he learns to attach labels, then
to label the labels, then to further label and abstract. Internaliza¬
tion of these abstracting processes increases his ability to organize
his experience along certain lines; it also directs the ways in which
he will organize perceptions about himself and his world.

84
A further indication of the power of the internalization process
in personality development occurs in the social realm. Individuals who
begin, say, disbelieving in their roles, but enact their roles vis-a-vis
others in a prescribed manner often end up believing in those same roles
(Goffman, 1959). For example, someone who moves to a new locale may
find the social customs and manner of speech quairat or bizarre at first.
He, however, enters into the community style with a faint sense of
playing a role and sometime later has internalized these customs and
speech patterns so that he is indistinguishable from the natives.
Transformational graminer
The acquisition of language may also be viewed as an internalization
of labels (words) and patterns (syntax). The most notable attempt to
describe language in terms of the individuals capacities is in the area
of linguistic theory called transformational grammar.
Transformational grammer attempts to account for the fact that a
normal native speaker of a language is able to understand sentences he
has never heard before and is able to generate entirely novel utterances
(Chomsky, 1957). The fact that all people can grasp intuitively what
is grammatical and what is not grammatical in daily speech suggests that
each person possesses an abstract, although it may be unexpressable,
representation of the grammar of his language which allows him to sort
through utterances and not only know what is a permissible sentence,
but also how to disambiguate, to differentiate possible meanings of
sentences. Noam Chomsky calls this linguistic ability competence.

The concept of competence suggests that the person responds to
several meaningful levels in sentences; he understands the sounds
(phonetics) that characterize his particular language, and he under¬
stands the meanings of the words and the syntactic patterns of sentences.
He understands more than the mere surface characteristics of sentences.
The development of linguistic competence proceeds from simple
holophrastic utterances, wherein the child expresses one word that
carries the equivalent in meaning to a sentence (e.g. "pencil" for "I"
see the pencil," or "give me a pencil"), to complex, syntactic, "adult"
utterances. As he moves from one-word sentences to two-word and three-
word sentences, the child is constantly testing out hypotheses, so to
speak, about the relationships among words. He acquires subtler and
richer knowledge about the pattern and structure of sentences as he differ¬
entiates grammatical forms and classes. In short, he operates like a
scientist gathering data and organizing it into increasingly powerful
categories.
Three Dimasions of Speech
Three dimensions in speech production are learned: the surface
structure of sentences, deep structures, and transformational rules.
Surface structures
First, the surface structure of sentences is the organization of
specific words, phrases, and their phonetic representation. The child
learns to make the appropriate and characteristic sounds of his language;
he learns to distinguish minimal sound differences that affect the
meaning of the words he hears. He also learns the names of objects
and events, and he learns the proper word order in sentences. These
dimensions of linguistic knowledge are available in external (written

oo
or spoken) utterances. With the ability to represent thought in words
the child has a working knowledge of language. However, this by itself
is not enough to account for the richness of linguistic ability.
Deep structures
Were the surface structures the only existing linguistic structures,
language use would be limited to the manifest and obvious. All meaning
would reside on the surface. Information that would be transmitted would
have to express all the assumptions involved; nothing could be assumed
because it would have no structure for being assumed. Since it is
apparent that sentences do^ carry prior assumptions within their struc¬
ture (e.g. personal pronouns, past and future tenses, conditional voices),
we are led to specifying deeper structures which accommodate such aspects
of language.
In deep structure (sometimes referred to as Kernel sentences)
basic grammatical patterns of a language are given abstract representation.
Being concepts about the bative speaker's language, they are more general¬
ized than surface structures. That is, in deep structure the individual
has an abstract formulation about the acceptable utterances in his lang¬
uage. These concepts act as templates in that they allow the individual
to sort out the acceptable and unacceptable sentences and to generate
appropriate utterances of his own. As abstractions about language, deep
structures cannot be expressed without additional components; the surface
structure assigns appropriate sounds to the words thereby giving it
final form.

o/
Transformational rules
An intermediate step in sentence production occurs by means of
transformational operations,, Transformational rules consist of further
abstractions about language. In transformational operations the indivi¬
dual applies his knowledge about the structure of phrases and how they
may be recombined to produce variations on the basic phrases. Thus,
at this level grammatical rules (such as the various tense forms, the
changing from active to passive constructions, etc») are applied to
deep structures, giving the form the sentence will take on the surface.
Transformational rules, it is believed, bridge the abstract level of
representation and the surface level of production and understanding.
A more detailed description of transformational grammer may be found in
the appendix.
Coding of a sentence begins at a deep structure level. Semantic
representatations, personal meaning, motives for speaking, ideas and
concepts begin to be formulated in terms of the speaker's language at
this point. Appropriate grammatical constructions and transformations
are applied, and the resultant sentence, being transformed into sound,
is generated. The production of speech is a complex cognitive function
that operates on several levels. In linguistic terms, motives for
speech are not considered as part of the grammatical ability of the
speaker. He may have diverse reasons for saying what he says, but
whatever the reasons, his bringing of his thoughts to the surface
follows this linguistic structure.

88
Language Acquisition
The course of language acquisition is two-fold. The child
develops greater mastery of vocabulary and syntax on one hand, while
he subordinates that knowledge to knowledge of transformational rules
on the other hand. That is, he develops categories of words and
phrases which can be generalized from to produce abstract principles
of application. This is similar to Piaget's (1968) description of the
learning of logico-mathematical structures. These principles reduce
the amount of infomation the child has to store, and through them he
becomes capable of generating all possible sentences from a basic
vocabulary and a string of transformations.
As the child categorizes and differentiates categories, the
deep structure becomes an internalized version of basic English or
French, for example. When it is coupled with the transformational
rules (the operative element), a means of bring forth the internal
structure is available. McNeill (1966) says:
A child seems to operate like a professional grammarian
who takes advantage of the fact that transformations
are intrinsically more powerful than base-structure
deep structure rules and so can express grammatical
relations more economically. The pressure--or, if
you prefer, the motivation—to devise transformation
rules may come from the cognitive clutter that comes
from not having them (p. 61).
The picture of mental and linguistic development that we obtain from
transformational grammar approaches is one of progressive differentia¬
tion of specific, surface elements, and a concomitant internalization
of powerful mental constructs which become the guiding principle in
speech.

oy
It seems that the child internalizes the structure of his language
in ways similar to how he internalizes his knowledge about physical
objects. In both cases the capacity for symbolizing opens the possibility
of organizing knowledge in systematic ways and it follows that the more
abstract, deep level representations will have the greatest effect upon
the individual's perceptions. They become his unconscious assumptions
in dealing with the world.
The Adequacy of Knowledge
The existence of transformational structure, that is, systematic
ways of relating and structuring basic knowledge of events, although
not capable of explaining all of human functioning, is highly sugges¬
tive of the process of knowing for the individual. Piaget (1970)
working in a different framework from grammarians, explains his concep¬
tion of knowledge:
Knowing an object does not mean copying it—it means
acting upon it. It means constructing systems of
transformations that can be carried out on or with
this object. Knowing reality means constructing
systems of transformations that correspond, more or
less adequately, to reality. . .Knowledge, then, is
a system of transformations that become progressively
adequate (p. 15).
The dimension of adequacy of transformations in representing the
true state of existence corresponds with a similar dimension in percep¬
tual experience. A person's perceptions are self-correcting in that
they are testable against reality; this applies particularly in the
realm of physical reality.

90
If a person's perceptions of the world are wrong, he finds out
when he acts upon those perceptions. If I think that a sliding glass
door is open when it is not, I will discover my error, probably pain¬
fully, as I try to walk through it.
When perception of self is explored, however, "reality" becomes
much less testable. Against what can the individual test his percep¬
tions? The perceptions of others will elucidate some of his perceptions
of himself, but since no one can know all of other's experience, there
remain some aspects that cannot be checked against "reality." Bruner
(1973) points out:
self cues are probably ambiguous in nature . . .
they rarely are very appropriate for confirming
specific hypotheses . . . self-information is a
good deal vaguer than the highly salient infor¬
mation we get from the external environment (p. 110).
This limitation in knowing places greater importance upon the individual's
actual process of knowing or perceiving than upon the product of knowing,
because the resultant conclusion is less testable in empirical terms.
If a person's processes of transforming impressions into assimmilable
form are based upon adequate ways of representing the impressions he
\
receives, then the perceptions of the individual are like to be verídfcá].
For example, if a child believes that because his father gets angry with
him he is an unworthwhile person, his perceptions of himself will involve
his unworthwhileness. If, on the other hand, he knows not to conclude
that he is bad or unworthy because of his father's anger, he will resist
forming self-perceptions about his inadequacy. It is in the abstracting
process that his perceptions of himself are generated and it is in the

abstracting process, that is, in his transforming of impressions, that
changes in self-concepts occur. His perceiving of relationships deter¬
mines how he perceives himself.
Only tentatively can we draw connections between a person's
abstracting and the linguistic structures that may influence his abstract¬
ing. Much work is being done in determining the extent to which trans¬
formational grammar depicts the development and activity of mental
processes. Paula Menyuk (1969) summarizes the child's development of
linguistic competence in her study of the sentences children actually
use. Very general terms have to be employed when suggesting the rela¬
tionship between linguistic structures and the perceptual processes.
o . .the child has the capacity (1) to perceive and
identify abstract features with linguistic data that
he hears, (2) to store these features and descriptions
of possible manipulations of these features in memory
in a retrievable form, (3) to apply these descriptions
to each utterance he generates and hears to come to
some realization or determination of a sentence, and
(4) to add and reorganize this information in the
light of what he already knows and what he continues
to find in the linguistic date (p. 153).
The learning of language by young children, then, is highly complex,
creative act in which the child participates fully in organizing and
directing acquisition of abstract forms.
Language and Self in Daily Life
Linguistic patterns are not the only patterns an individual learns to
recognize and to differentiate. The pattern of every day, as each person
gradually establishes greater contact, asserts a kind of logic and meaning
for him. The logic and meaning of social interaction, of diverse sense

impressions, of routines and roles helps the individual maintain his
phenomenological equilibrium. Although each individual has his own
unique perceptions and, therefore, his individual realities, the world
is not merely a blank tablet, nor a cauldron of willy-nilly phenomena.
Thus, the individual not only forges his own reality, but he also engages
in discovering what the limits of that forging are.
In the previous discussions of the child's participation in the
organization of his perceptions, through his development of labels for
objects and structures for expressing himself in sentences, we can see
that rudimentary language development introduces new elements to the
perceptual process and directs the organization of a child's world. He
is assimilating new experiences rapidly. With language this assimilating
and organizing of experience is heightened. The child is not bound by
immediate sense perception as a means of forming concepts about the
world, for he can elaborate upon his experience, increase the depth of
his knowledge, talk about things and people when they are not present,
anticipate events, and remember experiences.
However, the world for the young child is a confusing and sometimes
perturbing place. His burgeoning powers often are inadequate for under¬
standing the complexities that seasoned adults accept automatically.
Regular patterns of eating, sleeping, socializing are quickly seized upon
and deviance from them may produce anxiety or frustration. One example
of the desire for regular patterns is the child's delight in hearing
the same story told over and over again and his insistence that not one
word be changed in the telling. He knows how it should proceed and often
will not accept it as being the same story if details are changed even
slightly.

30
His representations of his world at this stage are monistic, not
open to change, except very gradually. The sense he makes out of his
everyday world comes from his manipulation of his environment. As he
manipulates objects, and later the symbols for objects he forms more
powerful representations of his environment, ones that enable him to
extend himself more fully into the world around him while taking on
greater control of himself.
Piaget (1971a) maintains that cognitive structures unfold along
presented patterns in the child and that these cognitive structures,
or mental abilities, if you will, arise through the child's acting upon
objects. To him what is learned is not static properties of the environ¬
ment, but the operations that can be performed on the environment. Thus,
the patterns or relationships that the child discovers become more impor¬
tant than physical properties. The symbolic function engages the child
in the transformation of events and objects, and through the transformations
he learns to make he extends his knowledge of the world. Piaget (1970)
says:
when we are acting upon an object, we can also take
into account the action itself, or operation if you
will, since the transformation can be carried out
mentally. In this hypothesis the abstraction is
drawn not from the object that is acted upon, but
from the action itself. It seems to me that this
is the basis of logical and mathematical abstraction
(p. 16).
Through his abstraction from actions that may be performed the
child penetrates the difficulties of daily life. He learns the percep¬
tual cues that enable him to grasp an object beyond his immediate reach;
he learns that objects exist even when he is not witnessing them. He
learns to extend his knowledge of objects in productive ways and he learns

94
how to explore their characteristics mentally and not just physically.
It is not merely the labels that are important to him but the means
through which he may relate the labels that he has learned.
The reality of every day life, as Berger and Luckmann (1967) call
it, extends beyond physical manipulations. There is a vast social
sphere, established and maintained through speech, that informs the
individual of his existence:
I know that my natural attitude to this world
corresponds to the natural attitude of others
... I also know, of course, that the others
have a perspective on this common world that is
not identical with mine. My "here" is their
"there." My "now" does not fully overlap with
theirs. My projects differ from and may even
conflict with theirs. All the same, I know
that I live with them in a common world. Most
importantly, I know that there is an ongoing
correspondence between my_meanings and their
meanings in this world, that we share a common
sense about its reality (p. 23).
As the individual acts upon the meanings of his perceptions, he is
informed constantly about the degree of correspondence these meanings
have with the meanings of other people. To the degree that his
meanings and the meanings of others overlap he is able to communicate
his experience.
His reality, his meanings, formed through symbols and actualized
in the company of others, reflect the day to day patterns that he has
differentiated and he may not be aware of the extent to which his
daily experiences are abstractions from his actions; he is more likely
to be aware merely of the abstractions as actions in themselves.

95
In learning to symbolize himself, in learning to manipulate symbols
in order to create more symbols (the process of abstraction, for example),
the child discovers the nature of symbolic life. This is not a concept
that is usually exercised as such. Children tend to believe that objects
and names for those objects have absolute identity. Only gradually over
a span of years is perception of the differences between the word and the
thing developed (Church, 1961). Early communication in the child is
experienced as actual manipulation of the objects that the words denote.
The child sees a one-to-pne relationship between words and objects so
he believes that whatever he says is, in fact, what js_.
As he begins to understand that he can manipulate ideas about objects
with his words, but not the objects themselves, he enters into a more
conscious process of symbolization. He learns that many things can be
said about an event, an object, or himself, and that these words will have
relative facticity. "Word magic," the belief in the power of words to
alter existence, diminishes, although it seems to remain with each person
somewhat throughout his life. It is a major step to realize that "sticks
and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me."
Realizing the separability of words and objects offers the chance
to analyze intentions and connotations behind words. If the words are
not existence themselves, then they represent someone's attempt to
represent existence. This means taking into account the context of a
person's words, the tone of voice, the hidden motivations and messages
behind the words themselves. By understanding this the individual extends
the range of his understanding beyond the surface of language use and
into deeper levels of understanding.

96
As he learns to gauge intention and meaning in discourse, a person
becomes familiar with the possible modes of symbolizing experience. It
may be done to manipulate, explain, understand, intensify, or distort
experience. The underlying characteristics of symbolization form the
individual's conceptions of the desirability of symbolizing experience.
Thus the child creates meaning about the creation of meaning, that is,
communication.
The development of the symbolic self depends upon (1) the symbols
the child has learned for representing himself and his experience,
(2) the mental transformations he acquires for ordering his perceptions
and relationships, and (3) the beliefs he holds about the process of
symbolization itself. As the child moves further and further into
contact with his environment, he develops means for internalizing his
experiences, perceptions, conclusions. He organizes his experiences
around symbols, constantly extending the range of his symbols and
reorganizing them in light of further experience.
As he experience of the act of communication develops, the child
develops a sense of himself in regard to others. The process of organ¬
izing his experiences depends upon the complexity with which he uses
language in representing and exploring his private and communal exper¬
iences. As language use becomes more complex, so do his perceptions of
himself. He "discovers" his identity and organizes it in the modes of
thinking he has developed. This creates the conditions for differen¬
tiating out his symbolic self along complex and dynamic lines.

CHAPTER IV
SOCIAL AND PRIVATE SPEECH
Communicable Experience
Each person has dimensions of his total experience that are individual,
private, uncommunicable» Try as he may he will not be able to express to
another person all of his experience. R. D. Laing (1967) suggests that
because of the gulf that exists between two people's experiences a disci¬
pline of social phenomenology should concern itself with the inter-experience
of individuals. He says, "I cannot avoid trying to understand your
experience, which is invisible to me (and nontasteable, nontouchable,
nonsmellable, and inaudible), yet I experience you as experiencing11 (pp. IS¬
IS). In other words, through our attempts to communicate with each other
we develop some understanding of wh.a¡t each other's experience is like,
even if we cannot know it directly.
The means most available and most effective for understanding what
another person's experience is like is language. I am using language to
stand for systematic symbol systems that a person may develop in order to
represent and understand experience. Although I commonly refer to language
as words, I mean to include other forms of symbolization as part of lang¬
uage, Aspects of experience that are readily expressed in language and
through language are, in general, shared experiences. They are public
in that they have an external frame of reference: words. The degree to
which experiences among people overlap is the degree to which they are
able to communicate with each other. Shared experiences may take many
97

98
forms; they may be physically shared in various ways, but they may be
semantically shared through the linguistic process of relating through
words salient features of personal experience. In this way can a person
understand what another person's experience is like.
It is necessary, then for the sharing of experiences that language
has the capacity to establish agreements among people. The most consistent
attempt in this area is mathematical and scientific language. Scientists,
interested in being able to express concepts accurately and transmit infor¬
mation effectively, establish agreements, though they may be implicit
agreements, to organize data in particular ways, to define or categorize
observed phenomena in ways that enable another scientist to replicate
experiements. Mormal, daily language is less precise than scientific
language, but to a great extent involves similar agreements to organize
experience in certain ways and not in other ways.
However, language by itself does not cover all the range of human
experiencing. Social language, at any rate, does not even product all
of the possible means of communication among people. Likewise, it will
not account for all the cognitive processes available to an individual.
As Whorf (1956) points out:
language for all its kingly role, is in some sense
a superficial embroidery upon deeper processes of
consciousness, which are necessary before any
communication, signaling, or symbolism whatsoever
can occur, and which also can, at a pinch, effect
communication (though not true AGREEMENT) without
language's and without symbolism's aid (p. 239).
By "superficial" Whorf does not mean "insignificant," but overt and
accessible forms that may differ markedly from the less accessible forms
or processes.

99
What this suggests is that the external, social speech system
(including writing and sign-language) may differ from the internal,
private speech system in the ways that public, communicable experience
differs from private experience.
I have indicated that the individual, as he learns his native
language, develops a system of symbolization that enables him to extend
his understanding and manipulation of his environment while simultaneously
becoming more autonomous in respect to his environment. He also takes on
the attitudes of others and through the use of significant symbols
establishes an inner language based upon the social meanings he had
differentiated through communication. Furthermore, in learning the
grammatical structure of his language he abstracts from the available
utterances of complex structure that relates meaning, pattern, and
sound.
With the above information in mind, we can ask what is the structure
of inner speech is, and how it relates to external speech. To answer
that question I turn to Piaget's (1955) and Vygotsky's (1962) work on
egocentrism in language.
Egocentric Speech
In the young child the development of language and the develop¬
ment of communication with others are not the same process. A child
learns the grammar of his language more rapidly than he learns social
speech. Although it is necessary to develop both dimensions of
communication in order for the individual to relate adequately with his
environment, the conditions for the rise and elaboration of each are
different.

IUU
Language assists in the transformation of external impressions
into concepts. It is an organizing process, extending sensory experience
into symbolic realms and elaborating symbols into networks of associated
symbols and meanings. Thus, language learning is the acquisition of the
capacity to know, to create meanings and organize knowledge from experience.
Learning language means learning to organize and conceptualize.
Bronowski (1974) in his film essay The Ascent of Man relates the
learning of language, any language, to the learning of ways of knowing.
When he was thirteen he learned English which became his language for the
rest of his life. However, he could not have learned English at thirteen
had he not learned Polish at two. Even though Polish completely disappeared
from his speech repertoire, he still learned language. That is, he learned
how to develop and employ a complex symbol system. Language is not a tool,
an extension of human abilities; according to Bronowski; it is the human
ability. As Langer (1951) points out, "young children learn to speak . , .
by constantly using words to bring things into their minds, not into their
hands "(p. 109).
Social speech, on the other hand, involves the bringing of concepts,
ideas, perceptions into the public realm. In his study of the functions
of speech in children, Piaget (1955) draws an initial distinction between
"directed thought" and "autistic thought." Directed through, which is
exhibited in external speech, has an aim, a conscious goal in the indivi¬
dual's mind; it is adapted to reality and also influences it; it can be
logically or empirically tested for veracity; and it can be communicated
through language. Autistic thought is non-directed; it does not deal with

IUI
the same problems or goals as conscious thought; it does not adapt to
reality, but exists on an imaginative level; it is not testable against
reality for its veracity; and it is incommunicable in its existing form.
Piaget proposes that the course of intellectual development is a
socialization process that increases the individual's ability to use
concepts in the world, to test experiences and knowledge for the indivi¬
dual. Thus autistic thought, which is primarily undirected and uncommuni-
cable, becomes transformed into directed thought, which is communicable.
As the individual learns the language of directed thought and the operational
mode of directed thought he becomes socialized.
An intermediate stage in the transformation of.thought is egocentric
thought. Although Piaget in recent years has given up the use of the word
egocentrism because of the confusion that word creates, it is still widely
used to describe particular forms of childhood thinking and speaking.
Egocentric thought is directed thought, but it is uncommunicable. It
shares the properties of directed thought and autistic thought, and offers
a chance to see how the two ends of the speech functions relate. Piaget's
diagram (1955) for the relations looks like this:
Non-communicable
Thought
Communicable
Thought
Undirected thought Autistic thought (Mythological thought)
Directed thought Ego-centric thought Communicated
inte!1iqence (p. 65)
Mythological thought, which he tentatively places in the region of communi¬
cable, yet undirected, thought, need not concern us here.

While the goal of understanding is common to egocentric thought and
communicated intelligence (directed thought), the degree of communicable¬
ness in the two is quite different. From studying the speech output of
two six-year-olds, Piaget concludes that egocentric speech, present in
about half the utterances of young children, reflects the dominant percep
tual style of children. In egocentric speech the child essentially is
talking to himself; he does not expect or wait for replies to his
utterances; he talks as if the listener completely understands what he
says and v/hat he means without the need for elaboration. In effect, he
is talking to himself. As the listener he does understand what he as
speaker means, and he often replies himself. Piaget says:
Apart from thinking by images or autistic symbols which
cannot be directly communicated, the child up to an age
as yet undetermined, but probably somewhere about seven,
is incapable of keeping to himself the thoughts which
enter his mind. He says everything. He has no verbal
continence . . ...The child has less verbal continence
simply because he does not know what it is to keep a
thing to himself. Although he talks almost incessantly
to his neighbors, he rarely places himself at their
point of view. He speaks to them for the most part
as if he viere alone, and as if he were thinking aloud.
He speaks, therefore, in a language which disregards the
precise shade of meaning in things and ignores the
particular angle from which they are viewed, and which
above all is always making assertions, even in arguments,
instead of justifying them (p. 59-60).
Egocentric speech utilizes the child's grammatical knowledge of
language, but it is an imperfect act of communication because the child
does not take the listener's point of view into consideration in what he
says. In fact, it appears that the child actually cannot take the other*
point of view. He has not developed an idea of perceptions other than

his own. He assumes, because he cannot assume otherwise, that what is
understood by him is understood by others and that there is no need to
fill in the details of information that would make his experience
intelligible to others. Piaget explains:
We shall quickly realize the full importance of ego¬
centrism if we consider a certain familiar experience
of daily life. We are looking, say, for the solution
of some problem, when suddenly everything seems quite
clear; we have understood, and we experience that sui
generis feeling of intellectual satisfaction. But as
soon as we try to explain to others what it is we have
understood, difficulties come thick and fast . „ „ .
Conclusions which we deemed positive no longer seem so;
between certain propositions whole series of interme¬
diate links are now seen to be lacking „ . . arguments
which seemed convincing because they were connected
with some schema of visual imagery or based on some
sort of analogy, lose all their potency from the
moment we feel the need to appeal to these schemas,
and find that they are incommunicable; doubt is cast
on propositions connected with judgments of value, as
soon as we realize the personal nature of such judg¬
ments. If such, then, is the difference between
personal understanding and spoken explanation, how
much more marked will be the characteristics of
personal understanding when the individual has for
a long time been bottling up his own thoughts, when
he has not even formed the habit of thinking in terms
of other people, and of communicating his thoughts to
them (p. 65).
Studies on the development of social understanding indicate that
egocentric speech does pass out of the child's behavior as he enlarges
his ability to see things from another's point of view. In their percep¬
tions of social interaction children progress from factual reporting of
events to explanations in terms of interpersonal perceptions (Flapan,
1968). With age the child begins to elaborate upon the thoughts and
perceptions of others, reaching a plateau in adulthood of being capable
to greater or lesser extents of seeing and responding to other persons'
point's of view.

I \J~T
Piaget suggests that this development in communicable thought
proceeds directly from autistic to egocentric to directed thought,
each stage being transformed into the next. The incidence of egocentric
speech is determined by the number of utterances that are generated
without regard to a listener. Just by observing the surface forms of
utterances the function of the utterances can be classified.
Inner Speech
As it is used in Piaget's formulation, egocentric speech becomes
a measure of the socialization of the child. He learns concepts through
his use of words and becomes increasingly socialized, increasingly adapted
to his social environment. The form of thinking which Piaget calls
autistic is presumed to remain untouched by language, not developing the
modes of symbolization and logic that directed, socialized thought develop,
but remaining an undifferentiated pool of images and associations.
In the phenomenological perspective inner speech is equivalent to
the undifferentiated, but constantly differentiating ground of impressions,
images and meanings. On a deep level of functioning the individual as a
reservoir of experiences that may be brought into varying degrees of
clarity and availablellty. in other experiences. What I call inner lang¬
uage is, in effect, the basic assumptions and symbols that a person utilizes
in differentiating his experience. Language operates as a mediating
function between figure/ground relationships in a person's experience. As
Lecky (1945) has pointed out, the personality is a structural whole;
processes that contribute to the organization and reorganization of inner
structure, such as language, assume much importance in the total person¬
ality.

105
Since the individual is a highly organized organism, a holistic
look at the relations between deepest mental activity and that which is
more available to observation, external speech, is warranted. Problems,,
however, revolve around the inaccessible nature of private, inner speech
and thought. They are not directly manipulable from without; in fact,
they are not even directly observable, either from without or within.
Although the individual has a limited capacity to witness his mental
processes through reflection, the act, itself, of reflection changes the
situation that he is attempting to observe. Thus, the essential means
we have of understanding inner thought is through inference and analogy.
One of the apparent functions of egocentric speech in children is
to focus his own attention upon an activity that has been disturbed in
some way (Vygotsky, 1962). For example, a child drawing a picture will,
when his crayon breaks, comment on the broken crayon, propose a solution
to the problem, enact the solution or a variety of possible solutions,
and resume his activity-all the while following each stage of his inter¬
ruption verbally as if he were telling it to someone else. Language in
this case becomes an expression of the child's means of becoming aware in
his; activity. It is "thinking out loud," not only in the usual logical
way in which adults think out loud, but in a highly personalized explora¬
tory fashion.
As a product of interrupted activity—not all egocentric speech
fulfills this mode, but much does--egocentric speech is a tool for personal
awareness. The child is developing a language and logic for bridging his
inner experience and his external experience. Thus, egocentric speech
does not exhibit the characteristics of social speech as much as it
exhibits the characteristics of inner speech or "autistic" speech.

I uu
Vygotsky (1962) extends Piaget's notion of egocentric speech by
suggesting that it is not merely a stage in the socialization of child
speech, but that it is the dividing line between the development of
inner speech and external speech., I have talked a lot about external
speech because it is readily observed; to look at inner speech what is
known about external speech must be applied. Vygotsky's approach is
to compare the structure of egocentric speech with the structure of
highly intimate communication between two people who understand each
other so well that they do not need all the syntactic or semantic
structure that clarifies thought in normal speech.
The significant difference in the two forms of speech is the
degree to which ellipsis may be tolerated. It is persumed that, if
language is highly elliptical between two people who understand each
other's points of view, it will be at least as much and probably more
elliptical when someone is conversing with himself. Interestingly
enough, egocentric speech has the same characteristics as intimate
speech. Vygotsky says:
The inner speech of the adult represents his "thinking"
for himself" rather than social adaptation; i.e., it
has the same function that egocentric speech has in the
child. It also has the same structural characteristics.
Out of context, it would be incomprehensible to others
because it omits to "mention" what is obvious to the
"speaker." These similarities lead us to assume that
when egocentric speech disappears from view it does
not simply atrophy but "goes underground," i.e.,
turns into inner speech (p. 18).
In Vygotsky's experiments with young children he discovers that
the incidence of egocentric speech is tied in with the child's illusion
of being understood. Since he has not differentiated speech for himself

107
and speech for others, he exhibits egocentric speech most commonly in
social situations, even if there is so much disruption in his environment
that other children actually do not hear him.
Not only is the illusion of being understood necessary for egocentric
speech, it also provides the conditions for the differentiation of speech
for oneself and speech for others. As the child extends his verbal
abilities and improves him communication with others, the necessity for
being understood arises. The social context for six- and seven-year-
olds is quite different from that of a four- or five-year-old. He is
learning in school to work with others on particular projects or in
general activities. His language will change into forms that promote
his establishing agreements with others. Egocentric speech becomes less
and less appropriate in such an environment, but it becomes no less
functional.
Vygotsky observes that just prior to the disappearance of egocentric
speech it is at its greatest level of individualization. Instead of
progressively becoming socialized, thereby shedding its idiosyncratic
structure little by little, it becomes more idosyncratic and less intelli¬
gible immediately before it disappears. If Piaget viere right in his
proposal that egocentric speech is an intermediate stage in the develop¬
ment of social speech, we would find a gradual dropping away of egocentric
utterances instead of this increase. Vygotsky (1962) says that the reason
for an increase in egocentric speech is that it is a "phenomenon of the
transition from interpsychic to intrapsychic functioning, i.e., from the
social, collective activity of the child to his more individualized
activity"(p. 133).

This suggestion brings us back to Mead. Mead says that the mind
originates in interpersonal contexts; the child develops a socialized
intelligence which is born from the communicative act. He takes on the
attitudes of the generalized other and internalizes these attitudes,
thereby generating an inner speech which becomes the basis for his
personality. Vygotsky resembles Mead in his placing attention upon the
development of the individual out of the social sphere, but his is not
merely an alternative way to describe the development of self. His
focus upon the characteristics of language provides a glimpse of the
relationship between thought and language. Although Vygotsky assumes a
similar relation between the individual and society that Mead does, he
puches into a different domain the understanding of intrapsychic func¬
tioning.
The process of differentiation of inner language from outer
language suggests a differentiation of self from others, or at least the
establishment of processes that direct this differentiation throughout
life. Vygotsky says:
In the beginning, egocentric speech is identical in
structure with social speech, but in the process of
its transformation into inner speech it gradually
becomes less complete and coherent as it becomes
governed by an almost entirely predicative syntax.
Experiments show clearly how and why the new syntax
takes hold. The child talks about the things he
sees or hears or does at a given moment. As a
result, he tends to leave out the subject and all
words connencted with it, condensing his speech
more and more until only predicates are left ....
With syntax and sound reduced to a miminum,
meaning is more than ever in the forefront. Inner
speech works with semantics, not phonetics. The
specific semantic structure of inner speech also
contributes to abbreviation. The syntax of mean¬
ings in inner speech is no less original than its
grammatical syntax.(p. 145).

Inner Speech and Deep Structures
In an interesting, yet unexpanded, aside McNeill (1966) suggests a
linguistic explanation of the development of inner speech out of egocen¬
tric speech. In transformational theory, especially in the earlier
version (1957), surface structure is linked to base structures through
transformational rules and realized as speech through the application
of phonological rules, McNeill points out that the child's earliest
speech does not reflect the operation of transformational rules, that
in early language development the child seems to be talking untrans¬
formed structures. This means that surface structure and deep structure
coincide and the child gives utterance to base strings directly.
Ke can conceive of their phonological rules as
interpreting base structures rather than surface
structure in the generation of sentences. Child¬
ren, according to this view, begin their grammatical
careers with the part of syntax that is necessary.to
semantic interpretation and only later attach the
grammatical machinery that in mature grammar provides
input to phonological interpretations. This hypothesis
might, in part, account for the widespread impression
that children's early speech is exclusively semantic
(p. 51),
It is not clear that transformational theory actually does describe
the characteristics of language production that influence the incidence
of inner speech and external speech. There may be relations, not neces¬
sarily casual relations, between grammatical dimensions and operational
dimensions of inner and external speech. I have suggested some global
ways in which language affects the thinking process, but it is still a
relatively umplumbed area of human functioning.
McNeill (1966) offers a possible way of relating the deep
structures of grammar, which are presumed to carry the semantic inter-

pretations, with inner speech. The linguistic competence of the child
suggests that grammatical structure may influence inner speech:
If phonological rules apply to deep structure directly,
it should be difficult to avoid saying whatever you
think. The privacy of inner speech may be afforded
by the existence of transformational rules; and until
they are added to the grammar, inner speech would not
occur. That situation is roughly what Vygotsky
observed in young children. Perhaps, therefore, these
children were pretransformational, not necessarily
excessively social, as Vygotsky thought. Vygotsky
said that inner speech is 'speech almost without words,'
made up almost entirely of psychological predicates.
The fact that inner speech is almost without words
would follow naturally from the assumption that it
consists of the untransformed base structure of senten¬
ces. In fact, inner speech should be completely without
words because phonological interpretation is not applied
directly to base structures for mature speakers (p. 52).
Suggestive as this notion is, we cannot automatically draw the
conclusion that development of grammatical transformations introduces a
step in the bringing of private thought into overt expression. My
conception of transformational structure is that even at the deep
structure level we are still talking about thoughts and speech that
have a social function and which, therefore, are functionally different
from the inner speech that Vygotsky proposes. Maybe there are important
links in the structure of language and thought that account for the
myriad uses that communication has.
An absolute division of inner speech and external speech is
untenable. Transformational theory provides supportive, but not
conclusive, evidence in propounding a structural whole in grammatical
dimensions of language. Deep structures that undergo transformations
in their ascent to surface structures and actual utterances provide a
model for relating inner speech and external speech, although we are not
in a position at this time to accept a congruence between the two descrip

If we look at the differentiating figure/ground relationship as
a continum of degrees of clarity and sharpness, we place language
processes in the middle dimensions, such as below:
continuum of
figure/ground
differentiation
Sharpest clarity of field and figu
language process
(symbolization)
undifferentiated ground
Figure 1.
Using the transformational grammar model, the undifferentiated ground
begins to differentiate in deep grammatical structures and ascends to
sharpest clarity and expression by means of transformational processes.
Thus, grammatical structure parallels the psychological processes of
understanding and bringing to the surface the individual's inner
experience.
Exploratory Symbols
In Mead's (1954) conception of inner language a person who is
"talking to himself" is carrying on an inner representation of external
speech, a simple internalized dialogue. In fact, it appears that this

is the way a person discovers what he is talking about. However, this
conception of inner speech assumes that it is a conscious activity, having
the same ends and beginnings. If this were so for all forms of inner
speech, all the psychologist or linguist would need to do is map external
speech and apply his investigations to that area of speech functioning.
However, as it has been indicated, even in linguistic structures we must
propose internal representations of grammar that involves more knowledge
than is represented in external speech. Thus, we are led to the position
of positing an internal speech that is not only different in its lack of
vocalization but also different in its forms and functions.
The first important difference between inner speech and external
speech is the way in which the word, the symbol, is organized internally.
In Osgood's (1957) development of the Semantic Differential we see that
concepts are experienced across cultural bounds as being organized along
three dimensions: Potency, Activity, and Value. Although different
individuals and different cultures may conceive of a particular word or
concept in quite different ways, the terms of their conceptions are similar;
that is,.they distinguish events according to the same overall criteria
(see appendix).
This suggests that in the accessible experience of individuals
they tend to constellate attributes of concepts or objects around each
other, that there is an ordered means of realizing a concept through
language. In inner speech, which is less accessible to measurement
devices, we would suppose similar, yet more diffuse and global connec¬
tions among an individual's experience of symbols.

113
We can continue to talk about words existing in inner speech, but
they function more directly on the symbolic range, so it often is appro¬
priate to refer to the symbolization process and symbols instead of
sentences and words. However, I will be using both sets of expressions
in discussing the construction of inner speech. Jakobson (1949) says that
the relation between thought and language is established by words (signs)
and syntax in external, social speech, but that this is not so in internal
thought.
Signs are a necessary support of thought. For socialized
thought . . . and for the thought which is being social¬
ized . . . the most usual system of signs is language
properly called; but internal thought especially when
creative, willingly uses other systems of signs which
are more flexible, less standardized than language and
leave more liberty, more dynamism to creative thoughtfp. 97).
How would we expect a person's thought to function without the
steadying, elaborative support of language? We know that in formal
discourse, in writing, in presenting speeches, the relation between the
speaker and listener is more tightly controlled by the social expectancy
of the situation, by the demands of the subject matter, by the need to
indicate all the logical steps in an argument, etc. In this way language
standardizes people's thinking and speaking. Private conversations are
less governed by the formal qualities of language, yet they, too, have
a logic and expectancy that control thought and its expression. And so,
the relation between thought and language exists on a continum ranging
from highly organized formal characteristics of one speech situation to
less formal arrangements, and to the least formal of all, which probably
is the deep dream state.

In between the deepest level of consciousness and the overt levels
there is an area of functioning which often is called inner speech.
Judging from what we know about dreams and about social speech we would
expect inner speech to have characteristics similar to both. May (1961)
interprets the deep levels of unconscious as being potential areas of
experiencing that can be brought to conscious levels, but which might
not be brought forth. He says:
The unconscious ... is not to be thought of as a
reservoir of impulses, thoughts, and wishes that
are culturally unacceptable. I define it rather as
those potentialities for knowing and experiencing
that the individual cannot or will not actualize
TpT~19)7
Other theorists, too, have suggested that the unconscious is an area of
human experience that is more than a swirling pool of stored up images
and associations. It constitutes an important experiential level for
each person. However, before exploring that dimension more fully it is
helpful to return to the organization of inner speech.
In inner speech the relation between symbols and experience is a
flowing process with a goal. Although Piaget (1955) claims that autistic
thinking is non-directed, I believe that it js_directed; only it is aimed
at different ends than external thought. For one thing, external speech
and language is essentially representational. It brings forth words,
sentences, complete utterances that mainly attempt to communicate an
idea from one to another. In inner speech, however, the exploratory
aspects of language is dominant. Although conversation for oneself may
still be representational in that one still can carry on an inner dialogue
and present a variety of points of view for consideration, in deeper level
the representational mode gives over to the exploratory.

I ID
In regard to the use of symbols for oneself, Jung's (1917)
analysis is quite informative. "The significance of a symbol," he says,
"is not that it is a disguised indication of something that is generally
known but it is an endeavor to elucidate by analogy what is yet completly
unknown and only in the process of formation"(p. 469). In all areas
where man has probed into the unknown he has been forced to use symbols
from the known to extend his knowledge of what he is seeking to know.
In atomic theory, for example, Bohr produced a model of the
structure of atoms based upon astronomical knowledge of planetary motion,,
In Heisenberg's Physics and Beyond (1971) Bohr explains that in his early
work he lacked a language to say what it was, but he had a language to
say what it was like.
I hope that they Cthe Bohr modelsj describe the structure
of the atoms as well, but only as well, as is possible in
the descriptive language of classical physics. We must
be clear that, when it comes to atoms, language can be
used only as in poetry. The poet, too, is not nearly so
concerned with describing facts as with creating images
and establishing mental connections (p. 41).
Similarly, in personal experience people generate images and symbols that
connect their various experiences.
Inner speech, as a systemic organization of thought and language,
engages in the generating and relating of symbols that help the indivi¬
dual elaborate and differentiate his experience. Vygotsky (1962)
proposes that basic relations between thought and language on this level
is a process, not a static relation or a "thing."
The relation of thought to word is not a thing but a
process, a continual movement back and forth from
thought to word and from word to thought . . . .Thought
is not merely expressed in words; it comes into exis¬
tence through them. Every thought tends to connect

I ID
something with something else, to establish a
relationship between things. Every thought moves,
grows and develops, fulfills a function, solves a
problem. This flow of thought occurs as an inner
movement through a series of planes (p„ 125).
A child's thought, in this conception, begins with an amorphous
structure. It organizes events and impressions holistically and grad¬
ually begins to differentiate the various experiences he encounters.
With the rise of speech and development of a complex grammar and lexicon
he is able to progress to well-defined conceptions about himself and
about his environment. However, thought and language are not exactly
the same, so his inner speech differs markedly from his external speech
and his representation of his experience on a deep level is different
from his surface levels of representing experience. The flow of words
and images from undifferentiated wholes to particularized elements is
the most salient feature of inner speech.
Syncretic Thinking
Since inner speech is speech for oneself, the role of the speaker
is different than in external speech. A person is not conversing with
himself in the way that he converses with others. For one thing, in
conversation with others a fairly limited range of word meanings is
involved. Each person may have his own personal experience of a word
or concept but to bring it into the social context he relies upon the
prevailing understanding of the word. He has to if he wants to make
sense.
In her encounter with Humpty Dumpty, for example, Alice finds
that he uses words with his own private meaning attached:

117
"I don't know what you mean by 'Glory,'" Alice said
Humpty Dumpty smiled: "I meant 'there's a nice, knock¬
down argument for you.'"
"But 'Glory' doesn't mean 'a nice, knock-down
argument,'" Alice objected.
"When use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, "it means
exactly what I choose it to mean, neither more nor
less."
"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make
words mean so many different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty,"which is to
be master, that's all (Carroll, 1963, p. 269)."
The social context obviously limits the role of private meantings
and Humpty Dumpty's assertion of mastery over words and their meanings
is inappropriate. However, in the intrapersonal context, private words
may have such diverse meanings. In children these meanings gradually
differentiate out into the cultural context, taking on the aspects that
make it communicable. Where private meanings dominate, the manner of
association between them is syncretic; that is, thinking is done by means
of symbols and images that do not have a logical, syntactic relation
necessarily, but instead are combined along simple, yet functional
dimensions. Vygotsky's experiments in concept attainment demonstrate
this.
Vygotsky observes that in the early form of conceptual thinking
concepts are related haphazardly; elements are combined into unorganized
congeries. The shifting character of the heap of elements that the
child puts together reveals, says Vygotsky, that "word meaning denotes
nothing more to the child than a vague syncretic conglomeration of
individual objects that have somehow or other coalesced into an image
in his mind. Because of its syncretic origin, that image is highly
unstable"(pp. 59-69). By syncretism is meant the organization of

118
diverse objects or images into a whole not based upon the observable
characteristics of the images or objects, but upon some very incidental
characteristics. Over a period of years the child's organization of
elements into "true" concepts follows a line of progressive stabiliza¬
tion of words and thoughts. The relationship among concepts become
increasingly abstract and more powerful. However, this, again, is
external, directed, social thought and speech. Inner speech continues
to have a syncretic character. This means that inner speech is organized
perceptually in the same manner as the undifferentiated field of impres¬
sions.
The functions of syncretic thinking in the child appears to be
exploratory. In dealing with objects or concepts that he knows and
understands he exhibits practical thinking, a firm juncture of thought
and word. He can direct his activity and other people's attentions
to the goals he has available to him. However, in areas where he has
no experience or conceptual knowledge he resorts to syncretism to
explore and understand. This suggests that syncretic thinking may not
be merely an inefficient mode of concept attainment, but may, in fact,
be a significant link between experience and knowledge.
The ever-present problem of relating how an individual develops
a working knowledge of himself and of his world out of the experience
he is exposed to may best be tackled through the symbolization process
of individuals. If that is the case, then understanding something of
the means in which the symbols are generated, elaborated, differentiated,
and communicated becomes essential. Syncretic thought, apparently the
earliest form of thought deals in the "raw images of experience"—what
Harry Stack Sullivan (1953) calls the prototaxic form of cognition.

In syncretic thought the meanings of words or concepts flow into
each other. They are not clearly differentiated as they are in syntactic
thought. Likeness dominates. What an image is like controls the flow
of images, not what it is unlike. In logical discourse we are trought to
differentiate concepts according to what they are like and what they are
unlike. Thus in defining an object we specify its similarity to a general
class of objects and its dissimilarity. A desk is a table with drawers
and a surface for writing or reading. It is like other tables (general
class) in some ways and unlike them in others. In this manner we are
able to define and understand concepts. However, in syncretic thought
the ways in which objects or concepts are unlike each other often are
ignored. The glossing over of distinguishing characteristics produces
a conglomeration of related images which do not stand up under logical
analysis but which have an inner congruence for the individual.
Relations among words are different in syncretic thinking. Inner
speech associates words globally, what Vygotsky calls an "influx of
sense." Meanings of words give over to the sense of the words; that is,
associations with words are based upon a complete organization of lexical
meanings, private meanings, and related meanings. According to Vygotsky,
"a single word is so saturated with sense that many words would be
required to explain it in external speech"(p. 148).
A single word (or meaning) in inner speech may be so linked with
an individual's sense of himself that he feels a bond with that word,
as if the word were him. That is not so in external speech, normally.
People may have strong reactions to a spoken word that is so automatic
that they do not hear anything else. Commonism is a good example of

120
this, or certain swear words that produce "signal reactions" in the
auditor. The meanings of these words to individuals go beyond the
dictionary meanings, even beyond the operational and practical meanings
of the words. In these cases we might be able to guess correctly the
experience of the individual in regards-to that word, but the total
range of its private meanings remains in the intrapersonal dimensions.
Inner speech is not accessible to outsiders any more than
individual perceptions are accessible. In fact, it may be less acces¬
sible in that it is so intimately linked with the individual's infra¬
structure, with the assumptions and mental processes that determine his
conscious perceptions. Vygotsky says:
Inner speech is not the interior aspect of external
speech—it is a function in itself. It still remains
speech, i.e., thought is embodied in words. But
while in external speech thought is embodied in words,
in inner speech words die as they .bring forth thought.
Inner speech is to a large extent thinking in pure
meanings. It is a dynamic, shifting, unstable thing,
fluttering between word and thought, the two more or
less stable, more or less firmly delineated components
of verbal thought. Its true nature and place can be
understood only after examining the next plane or
verbal thought, the one still more inward than inner
speech (p. 149).
Vygotsky places thought itself at the next level of human functioning.
The distinction he draws--that thought is holistic, synchronistic, and
individualistic—is only an artificial distinction between thought and
inner speech. Thought in this conception corresponds to the individual's
perceptual field in that it cannot be separated from the individual. Since
the individual acts totally with regard to his perceptual field, we would
conclude that he acts totally with regard to his thinking.

Inner language, a systematic organization of the person's symbols
and symbolization processes, cannot be separated from thought, for out of
the symbolic constitutents is thought derived. Thus, although we may talk
of thought as a thing within the person, it is a process of relating
symbols and organizing perceptions. Understanding the functions of
inner speech in relating experience and symbolization of that experience
would lead to an understanding of the individual's personality structure.
Inner Speech and the Preconscious
The above description of inner speech sounds similar to the
preconscious in the psychoanalytic tradition. A brief comparison may
be helpful, particularly for those well acquainted with psychoanalysis.
The traditional psychoanalytic approach to describing a person's
continum of experience is to place the undifferentiated dimensions of
one's experience in the preconscious realm and the differentiated,
language-based, "rational" thinking process in the conscious realm.
Preconscious images in these terms are highly creative, fluid and idio¬
syncratic. At this stage of consciousness the images apparently are
little more than unresolved desires or impulses that are in the process
of becoming more conscious (Freud, 1913), and hence more available to
the individual. If this is so, then preconscious images are roughly
equivalent to inner speech and the undifferentiated ground. The bringing
of such images to the surface, in Freudian terms, involves overcoming
resistance (Freud, 1913) to making them evident.
It is believed in psychoanalytic terms that repression of images
and impulses leads to rigidity and extreme perceptual limitations. Hall
(1954), for example, summarizes the psychoanalytic position this way:

I c. c.
Although repression is necessary for normal personality
development and is used to some extent by everyone, there
are people who depend upon it to the inclusion of other
ways of adjusting to threats. These people are said to
be repressed. Their contacts with the world are limited
and they give the impression of being withdrawn, tense,
rigid, and guarded. Their lips are set and their move¬
ments are wooden. They use so much energy in maintaining
their far-flung repressions that they do not have very
much left over for pleasurable and productive interactions
with the environment and with other people (p. 86).
His flow of experience must remain open in order for the individual to be
able to function fully in normal life. Thus, access to one's preconscious
images is a necessary link in creating and controlling one's perceptions.
If they cannot be controlled, experienced fully, made available in other
experiences, or communicated in some way, they remain unattached to the
individual's firm sense of himself. Sullivan (1953) calls the covert,
preconscious process reverie, and believes that not only does it begin
during infancy but it continues throughout life as a nonverbal referential
process.
So far as language process is concerned, reverie continues
all through life to be only infrequently and in special
circumstances of a type that, if it were expressed, would
be clearly meaningful and communicative to the hearer.
Only those reverie processes which are in preparation for
the expression of something, take on the attributes which
we at least hope our spoken and written thoughts will show.
Reverie continues to be relatively untroubled by grammatical
rules, the necessity for making complete sentences, and so
on.
Incidentally there are people who seem completely staggered
when one talks about nonverbal referential processes—that
is, wordless thinking; these people simply seem to have no
ability to grasp the idea that a great deal of covert
living—living that is not objectively observable but
only inferable—can go on without the use of words. The
brute fact is, as I see it, that most of living goes on
that way. That does not in any sense reduce the enormous
importance of the communicative tools--words and gestures
(p. 185).

The bringing of the nonverbal referential processes (inner language,
reverie, preconscious, etc.) to the overt level is cited by Jones
(1968) as being essential: "a feeling, or image, that cannot be
controlled is frightening; a feeling, or image, that cannot be shared
is estranging; a feeling, or image, that cannot be put to work is
be!ittling"(p. 245).
The individual who has developed appropriate control over his
environment and over himself is capable of responding creatively to
new situations as they arise. Over-control, on one hand, leads the
individual to rigid perceptions and a failure to respond to situations
in their own terms. Under-control, on the other hand, leaves the
individual with an amorphous, confusing, diffuse perception of circum¬
stances; it is difficult to respond well to situations when they remain
vague and unattached to other experiences. The creative individual,
then, is one who maintains a balance between the channelized control of
one end and the looseness of the other end.
In educational and therapeutic situations flexibility in handling
images and symbols become paramount (Jones, 1968). Lawrence S. Kubie
(1958) relates the need for flexibility to the preconscious and the
process of bringing images from the non-verbal level to the verbal,
communicable level.
Where conscious processes predominate at one end of
the spectrum, rigidity is imposed by the fact that
conscious symbolic functions are anchored by their
precise and literal relationships to specific concep¬
tual and perceptual units. Where unconscious processes
predominate at the other end of the spectrum, there is
an even more rigid anchorage, but in this instance to

124
unreality; that is, to those unacceptable conflicts,
objects, aims and impulses which have been inacces¬
sible both to conscious introspection and to the
corrective influence of experience .... Yet,
flexibility of symbolic imagery is essential if the
symbolic process is to have that creative potential
which is our supreme human trait (p. 38).
It is the constantly changing, flowing experience of bringing
the external world into the self and the inner world of the self into
the external world that comprises creativity. In psychoanalytic terms
these two ends of the continuum are called the primary and secondary
processes. The primary processes (Freud, 1513), associated with the
individual’s inner experiences and needs, are brought into the social
world and modified to conform with the reality of events through the
secondary processes, associated with thinking and abstracting. Maslow
(1971) says:
In the healthy person, and especially the healthy person
who creates, I find that he has somehow managed a fusion
and a synthesis of both primary and secondary processes;
both conscious and unconscious; both deeper self and
conscious self. . . . What happens in this fusion is
that both the primary processes and the secondary processes,
partaking of each other, then change in character. The
unconscious doesn't become frightening anymore. This is
the person who can live with his unconscious; live with,
let's say, his childishness, his fantasy, his imagination,
his wish fulfillment, his femininity, his poetic quality,
his crazy quality (p. 89).
A person's language, his means of referring to and symbolizing his
experience provide the link between the primary and secondary processes
as they are conceived of in Freudian terms. Maslow's and Kubie's ways
of describing the creative process as an integration of all levels of
perceiving and experiencing are highly suggestive of the relationship

125
between a person's language and his total perceptual system. Ultimately,
however, it is simpler and more appropriate to describe inner speech in
terms of the differentiating of inner experience than to describe two
separate processes. In perceptual terms there is merely a continuum of
experience from the undifferentiated field to the point of greatest
clarity. Language is a means of bringing the images, symbols and meanings
to sharpest focus.

CHAPTER V
INNER SPEECH AND THE SELF CONCEPT
Inner speech, being the “preconscious" undifferentiated ground of
personal experiencing is more imagistic and syncretistic than outer speech,
but it is not unstructured or unorganized. In fact, as I have indicated
in previous chapters, with the emergence of an inner speech the individual
possesses a complex perceptual repertoire that consists of the symbols
he can use, what the meaning of those symbols are, and how they may be
elaborated and differentiated. Part of this perceptual repertoire are
the symbols and meanings about himself that are structured and organized
according to his environmental conditions and which are available to him
as data for his self concept.
Inner speech, then, operates as an intricate differentiating
process, sorting out and organizing the individual's here and now exper¬
ience in terms of his past experience. The complex self-perceptions that
are common to adults and older children (Erikson, 1968) derive from the
evocative nature (Sullivan, 1953) not only of social role and expectancies,
but of the referential process of language. The continuum of experience
for each person is evoked through the individual's use of language derived
symbols to reflect upon and "discover" his inner experiences.
The child learns to discover himself, his organismically based
experiences, in the way that he learns to manipulate his environment. He
uses words to explore the nature of objects and events mentally and trans¬
forms them without having to do so physically. Just as, in Piaget's (1969)
126

127
conception, the child learns what operations and transformations he may
work on objects around him, so, too, he learns what mental operations
and transformations he may work on himself, or, rather, his concept of
himself. In these terms the relexive character of inner language is
that symbol manipulation process as it is directed towards one's own
private experience, through which the individual clarifies himself in
ways that he clarifies his physical environment. Although subjective
experience differs from objective experience of the world, the process
of symbol manipulation in each is similar.
Inner speech has one function in common with external speech,
for they both extend man's capacity to understand more than superficial
characteristics. However, in the language of inner speech the functions
diverge from that of outer speech. In fact, it is misleading to call
this dimension of perception "speech" or "language" if we take "speech"
or "language" to mean that a precise syntax and lexicon is involved.
The symbols a person generates and explores for himself are not words,
but are word-derived, and they are not grammatical except that they do
have a systematic character. It may be more accurate to replace "inner
speech" with "inner symbol system," for that is certainly what it is.
However, calling this process inner speech has the advantage of retaining
a sense of the link between the individual's inner symbols and the exter¬
nal symbols that are produced in communication with others.
The utterances that we make public—and also many that we keep
private—proceed from some image or idea that, to become intelligible to
others, must be shaped into an expressive mode (writing, talking, using
sign language) and into a series of symbols. Making an idea intelligible

128
to others transforms the individual's own experience of the idea, for
he must consider the other's point of view enough to be able to find
expressions that are meaningful to the other. In so doing, his private,
possibly even unformed, experience becomes embroidered with the linguis¬
tic organizations of his language.
The individual's subvocal speech—what is called thinking, or, if
uttered with no one else around, thinking out loud, is not much different
from public utterances. The same kind of consideration for logicality,
accurate expressions, the point-of-view of others, and so forth enter in,
although it may be run through mentally in a shorthand version with some
ellipsis and skipping of logical steps, because the individual need not
express all those to himself. This form of inner speech is what Mead
calls "mind" and which he believes arises out of communication with
others. However, we do not merely think in the socially designated ways,
but also in more individual ways, which, although influenced greately by
the learned social communication, have different properties.
Harry Stack Sullivan (1953) relates learned social communication
to "experience in the syntaxic mode"(p. 183). Through the syntaxic mode,
he says, the child learns to organize experience along consensually
validated lines.
A concensus has been reached when the infant or child
has learned the precisely right word for a situation,
a word which means not only what it is thought to mean
by the mothering one, but also means that to the infant.
Incidentally, an enormous amount of difficulty all
through life arises from the fact that communicative
behavior miscarries because words do not carry meaning,
but evoke meaning. And if a v/ord evokes in the hearer
something quite different from that which it was expected
to evoke, communication is not a success (pp. 183-184).

Thus, the syntaxic mode of referring is only successful to the degree
that it helps people establish a consensus of meaning based upon the
evocation of their own experiences of that word.
Inner speech, as opposed to syntaxic or socialized speech, does
not evoke established meanings, but engages in the process of discovering
and organizing personal symbols that comprise personal meaning. In
discovering symbols for himself the individual applies the sorting and
categorizing indicators from external speech to his inner organismic
experience. These symbols are discovered first and communicated or
understood later. The process of discovery in inner language comes from
the organism's tendency toward an inner consistency (Lecky, 1945) on all
levels of his functioning. Thus, the symbolizing process in inner language
moves toward resolution of disparate dimensions of the individual's
experience, combining in increasingly powerful and complex ways the vast
range of personal experience that each person has. Through this process
the individual is able to extend and integrate certain significant areas
of his experience. The most important of these, his development of a
complex self concept, derives from his available modes of symbolizing,
which will be discussed in the following section.
Development of a_ Complex Self Concept
The extensiveness of the individual's self concept, the degree of
complexity of his self-symbols and their relationships, is a product of his
symbolizing process. In forming abstract concepts about himself he may
delimit his experience in terms of either/or, dichotomous, two-value
symbols, which close off possible ways of experiencing, or he may use open,

130
multi-value symbols. An open-ended symbol system, incorporating multi¬
value symbols from external language use, directs the course of the
individual's self-perceptions and provides him with the means of elabor¬
ating and differentiating himself throughout life.
One of the basic properties of the self is that it is constructed
by the individual through his perceptual and mental faculties—those
same general faculties that organize impressions he receives from his
environment (Koffka, 1935; Lewin, 1951). As an organization of beliefs
the self has a systematic structure. It is a whole, a unity in itself
with hierarchies of organization. The maintenance of this organization
is a dominant activity of the individual (Lecky, 1945) for it preserves
the individual in the present and provides him with capacities for dealing
with the future. About this,Combs (1959) says:
ÍMjan seeks not merely the maintenance of a self but
the development of an adequate self—a self capable
of dealing effectively with the exigencies of life,
both now and in the future. To achieve this self¬
adequacy requires of man that he seek, not only to
maintain his existing organization, but also that
he build up and make more adequate the self of which
he is aware. Man seeks both to maintain and enhance
his perceived self (p. 45).
In seeking to enhance his perceived self the individual develops
more powerful and complex organizations. He moves into new experiences
or finds new ways to deal with old experiences, because the capacity to
anticipate and deal adequately with his environment means having the
capacity to extend himself further into his environment. The maintenance
of one's self as it is organized at any one time is stasis, anti-life. The
quality of biological systems is to continually develop and elaborate
structures and functions towards greater complexity and adaptability
(Grobstein, 1964; Piaget,1971a). In the individual his capacity to

131
maintain and enhance his existing self depends upon his perceptions of
himself along complex lines. A monistic, limited self has little chance
of enhancement.
The complexity of the phenomenal self depends upon the individual's
range of experiences, in general, but more specifically it depends upon
the symbols he generates and applies to himself. Experience gives him
the data from which he may draw concepts, but he is the artificer of his
own symbolic representations. Whether we talk about cognitive structure
or perceptual field we are still talking about representations of personal
reality for the individual, and in doing so we have to accept that the
process of symbolizing experience stands at the core of human capacities
(Langer, 1951).
In some ways man simplifies his experiences. He does not absorb
all the visual detail of his environment, but selects out detail and
pattern that provide him with the necessary components to act adequately
in terms of his environment. He builds concepts of reality that may be
highly schematic and simplified at times, or quite specific at other
times. The concept that he forms usually are not static; they change as
new experiences provide further information. Likewise, the self that
a person constructs is a product of his organization of impressions on
all levels of consciousness. It is thus a complex array of attitudes,
beliefs, abstractions, conclusions, hypotheses, assumptions, convictions,
and judgments. Such a complex organization is build up as he is developing
and changing throughout life. From the initial distinctions of "me" and
"not me" that the infant makes, to the actualizing of multifaceted abilities
and conceptions of the individual, the self is progressively differentiated
throughout life.

132
If the self is a complex and dynamic organization of perceptions and
conceptions, how does it become complex? My belief is that it does so
significantly in the course of language development. Through language the
child extends his contacts with the environment. He develops concepts
about reality and himself. Through the act of communication he becomes
socialized and learns toseehimself from a variety of perspectives. Through
language acquisition he develops powerful means of abstracting from exper¬
ience, and through the development of an inner language he becomes capable
of elaborating symbols relating to himself in progressively adequate terms.
Development of a complex phenomenal self becomes a relatively late
phenomenon in growing up. Not until the child has developed a sufficient
grammatical, lexical and cognitive base is he capable of seeing himself as
a complex organism with many attributes that can be called upon in a variety
of ways. I suggest that the organization of the complex self is similar
to the organization of knowledge about physical reality and language.
That is, the phenomenal self is composed of some central, hard to change,
concepts and also composed of transformational processes by means of which
the individual knows how to extend his concepts into new realms or alter
those concepts through experience (Kelly, 1963). The individual develops
a series of perceptions about himself, which gradually become central
conceptions. A person’s perceptions of himself are part of his phenomenal
field at any time; they are what he identifies as being him in any given
moment. His conceptions of himself, however, are more central, more global
and embracing; they are abstracted from the pehnomenal self, and, hence,
like the focusing of past experiences into one word they are distilled and

I JJ
refined into short-hand representations. Self concepts, then, evoke the
while range of personal experience and meaning in the same way that words
evoke personal experience and meaning. The basic difference between self¬
perceptions and a person's self concept are that the conceptions have been
abstracted and distilled so much that they do not alter very quickly while
perceptions are dominated situationally.
He also develops modes of relating his perceptions, transforming
them into useable symbols that can be related further. The degree to
which he has available to himself a complex array of transformations is
the degree to which he is capable of seeing himself as being adequate in
diverse ways. In fact, one of the central conceptions of himself might
well be a concept of himself as a complex, hence capable, person, or simplex,
hence incapable person.
The Complex Self and Preferred Performances
The complex personality has a greater ability to adjust to new
situations because he sees himself as being capable in many contexts. He
is able to identify more fully with others because he is likely to find
points of similarity between himself and others. Perception of oneself in
complex ways, then, is an essential part of functioning adequately in one's
environment. Kurt Goldstein (1939) relates the degree of a person's preferred
behavior to his ability to abstract. This bears consideration for it is
central to/ the .'notion of complex self concepts.
Goldstein (1939) says that in any situation, either real-life or
experimental humans will have a range of performance which is perferred.
Some people are quite rigid in their preferred performances, and hence
find few situations which will permit them to behave adequately. Others,

I
with a wide range of preferred performances, can tolerate vastly distinct
situations. As Goldstein (1940) says, "the experiences a person has, or
is able to assimmilate or acquire, hinge upon his capacities, and these
we can infer from his preferred ways of behavior. . .the more the demands
made upon him corresponds to his preferred ways of behaving, the more
nearly perfect will his achievements be"(pp. 249-250). This is another
way of saying that the degree to which the individual's own predispositions
are evoked in any situation determines the degree to which he will be able
to act effectively in those situations.
With that in mind, we can engage in setting up situations for
individuals that will fit with their existing ways of perceiving and
behaving or we can help the individual change his ways of perceiving
himself in various situations (Combs, 1959). The individual's perceptions
of himself in any situation are composed of his concept of himself, his
perceptions of the situation and his manner of realizing himself symboli¬
cally. Thus, he combines all these in his abstracting process, whereby he
forms an integrated conception of the meaning of that situation to him.
It is the capacity for abstraction or symbolization of experience
that influences a person's preferred behaviors, for through his abstracting
from experience and forming concepts the individual develops perceptions
of his adequacy in a variety of contexts. It is well known that success
or failure in one activity is generalized across other activities (Raimy,
1943). The person who fails at one task is likely to see himself as being
less competent in other tasks. But this phenomenon is intensified in the
rigid, narrowly defined personality, for he has few occasions for seeing
himself indifferent terms. Thus, he is likely to be more threatened by the
possibility of failure in tasks that are meaningful to him.

135
A narrowly defined standard of performing which allows for little
deviance is most common among people with rigid self concepts. The rigidity
of self concepts, however, comes about through failure to symbolize or
abstract appropriately in a variety of contexts. In his ability to abstract
man is capable of resilient and adaptive behavior, because he is always
capable of extending his perceptions further.
Goldstein's (1939) work with brain injured patients reveals that
people with severely impaired thinking are unable to think in symbolic
terms. They take things quite literally and manifest uncompromising
attitudes about reality. Like small children with regard to contrary-
to-fact statements, they deny the possibility of considering something
that contradicts direct experience. We have seen that language provides
the means for the individual to free himself from direct, surface impres¬
sions. Considering "what if" situations requires the ability to manipulate
reality symbolically, in inner and external speech, and to alter properties
mentally. Thus, if the abstracting and symbolizing processes are inhibited
or impaired the individual becomes locked into rigid perceptions.
To Goldstein this means that the abstracting process frees man from
limited perceptions and limited behaviors. The ability to abstract and
symbolize reality and to symbolize oneself in complex fashion are tied
together. With the ability to abstract the individual increases his
ability to function adequately. Goldstein (1940) says:
A normal person because of his capacity for abstraction
and voluntary action, is able to execute tasks in a not
so preferred condition. . . he is capable also of preferred
performances on a higher level, which corresponds to his
higher level of performance in general. The abnormal
person is either wholly incapable of this, or less cap¬
able of it, because of his lack of the capacity for
abstraction. As a consequence, he is subject in a higher
degree to preferred behavior (pp. 240-241).

135
The capacity to abstract appropriately is not a function of intellectual
prowess but of perceptual style. A person can be highly educated and
"intellectual" and still maintain rigid, uncomprimising conceptions of
himself and of reality. In his concept attainment studies for example,
Jerome Bruner (1973) observes that "in general people who are not able
to shift categorizations under gradually changing conditions of stimula¬
tion tend also to show. . . 'over control' on other cognitive and motiva¬
tional tasks"(p. 33). That the individual controls his perceptions of
visual phenomena by the way he labels and categorizes them is evident in
Bruner's studies. It is as if the individual has templates against which
he compares experiences and if they can be fit at all into his existing
expectations, no matter how much he has to wrench them, they will be
considered in that light.
In a different kind of study Denner (1970) indicates that there is
a relationship between a person's abstracting style and his perceptions
of himself. He finds that "a certain orientation toward symbolizing exper-
ience--namely evasiveness and lack of concreteness—can produce a state
of anxious conservatism in which one is out of contact with what actually
has happened or is happening but is reluctant to entertain change"(p. 308).
His subjects exhibited a similar over control in problem solving situations
and in situations asking them to describe themselves in open ended, contrary-
to-fact situations.
In both these cases there is an important link between the individual's
abstracting, symbolizing, conceptualizing styles and his phenomenal field.
In organizing his phenomenal field the person who attends to a greater number
of impressions, who maintains an open-ended abstracting process is likely
I

137
to see himself as having some identity with his surroundings. In addition,
if he views himself as a complex individual--that is, identifies with a
wide range of attributes about himself—he is more inclined to establish
a sense of participation and identity with the world around him. Hence,
he is more inclined to accept diverse experiences in positive fashion.
Instead of contrasting himself with others, he identifies with them.
Instead of limiting himself to rigid preferred behavior he is able to
tolerate a wide range of behaviors. Toleration of ambiguity of this type
corresponds to one of the characteristics of self-actualizing persons
according to Maslow (1962)
Differentiation in the Complex Self
Symbolizing one's self is a continual activity. Each person
constantly generates,elaborates, and differentiates symbols about himself
as he engages in further experiences. These are differentiated in the
same way that perceptions are differentiated in figure/ground terms: in
terms of nearness, similarity, intensity, common fate, novelty, and
movement or direction.
Let us say, for example, that a person identifies strongly with
being masculine in the traditional he-man style,, His symbolization of
himself as a he-man may be a central concept for him. He will have a
large number of individual symbols that connote to him aspects of being
masculine; athletic successes, aggressive driving, blunt speech, firm
handshake, rough-weave suits, wood panelling, etc. These symbols of
masculinity accumulate around the concept he-man to the degree that they
satisfy the overall image he has of himself. Thus their nearness to his

ideal conception affects his differentiation of them as belonging to
himself. Similarly, the intensity of the symbols depend upon how
close they are perceived to be in relation to his phenomenal self. A
strong he-man symbol will be associated closely with his overall concept
of himself, a weak symbos may have little or no value to him, being
easily replaced by others.
Some symbols will be more abstract, for instance, individuality
as a masculine characteristic. A good example of the collocating of images
around the concept of individuality is the Camel Filters magazine ads,
wherein the non-faddish, down-to-earth, individualistic male is carefully
distinguished from the put-on flighty, wishy-washy people around him.
What people want may not be the symbol itself, but a larger, more abstract
and central internal symbol. In the case of the Camel cigarettes, the
cigarette and the life-style associated with it are symbolic representations
of what it is assumed people really want: to be superior and self-
sufficient.
Adler (1929) explains the relationship between the symbols a person
generates and responds to as being fictional—not really the goals or
desires themselves but merely representation that a person may work
toward. Having a common fate or future meaning for the individual,
these symbols are associated with the phenomenal self. A cigarette may
mean much more than a smoke; it could mean security, prestige, indivi¬
dualism, rebellion, adulthood, or whatever to different people. Thus,
the importance of these symbols lies in their potential for gaining or
maintaining the organization of other dimensions of the phenomenal self.

The complexity of the individual's symbols, the degree to which
they can be altered to stand for different things at different times,
depends upon the individual's ability to identify himself in multifacted
ways. To a rigidly construed person an object is likely to have few meanings,
if more than one, but to the liberally conceived individual one with multi¬
valued symbols for himself, the same thing or the same activity may have
many different facets. Walt Whitman (1855), for example, identifies
himself with so many aspects that he can admit of being inconsistent.
He says,
Do I contradict myself?
Very well, then, I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes) (p. 74).
As the individual develops from a child with monistic and simplistic
perceptions of himself to one with increasingly diverse and complex self¬
perceptions, he develops procedures for elaborating and transforming his
impressions. I am talking, of course, about the development of the
adequate personalty, the inadequate personality clings tightly to rigid,
self-limited perceptions. His phenomenal field is not fluid, or at least
it is severely limited in its range of acceptable performances or percep¬
tions. For the adequate, fully-functioning person, however, complex
symbolization is the rule.
The question arises, then, of how an individual develops and changes
the complexity of his symbols for himself. In inner speech he is differen¬
tiating his experience and bringing it into awareness through his process
of representing it in symbolic form. But the representations he develops
are built upon each other in an ascending process, which Goldstein calls
abstraction and which, as I will be indicating more fully in the following
section, is organized in levels.

I HU
Levels of Abstraction
The process of forming concepts, either of oneself or of the
world, is one of drawing distinctions, seeing patterns, inferring
relationships and drawing conclusions. Thus this process is an abstract¬
ing process that enables the individual to form more powerful and
manageable conceptions of the world. In figure/ground terms the abstract¬
ing process is one of differentiating elements.in the field. The
relationships perceived are always differentiated out of the possible
perceptions in the field.
The level of a person's abstractions may be specified by an
outside observer but for the individual involved his thoughts are a
continuum of relationships. When I speak of levels of abstraction,
then, I am talking as an outsider about the inner organization of
others. Although the- perceptual process, is. a un.it,and is not experienced
by the individual as a series of steps or levels, in actuality his
inferential process do have levels. This is exhibited most clearly in
the careful, scep-by-step logic someone may use to solve a difficult
problem. Usually, however, the abstracting process is not step-by-
step, but a mental lunge forward. The assumptions arid habitual ways of
relating phenomena are not made explicit to the individual as they are in
formal logic, but they still influence the relationships he sees and the
phenomena he perceives.
By abstracting I mean inferring or placing an interpretation upon
something (George Kelly, 1963, calls it construing). Such abstracting,
were it made overt or verbal, might be expressed as "then that means
. . which, in fact, is used by people to draw inferences in daily

141
life, but which is most often an unexpressed link between observations
and abstractions. Even on the non-verbal, non-explicit levels, then,
abstracting is a process of finding meaning in situations. The
symbolizing process, that of discovering symbols for himself and
generating ways of relating those symbols with each other, is contained
in the abstracting process as a whole. In inner language the individual
is differentiating his experience along these interwoven lines. The
diverse representations he may have formed for himself at one level of
awareness are unified on a higher, more abstract level, which are also
related to his identification of himself with many aspects of his world.
His conclusions about an event, including his own relationship to that
event, become the meaning of it to him.
Abstracting, therefore, is the way we have of making events
meaningful. The level at which a person ceases abstracting from his
experience is the level at which he finds meaning and the level at
which he reacts and interacts. Since this in not immediately clear,
an example of the process is needed.
Let us say that two people are engaged in conversation. One
observes the other as having a furrowed brow, down-turned corners of
his mouth, a somewhat fixed stare, and rigid body posture. If he
reacts to these physical properties at this low level of abstraction
(having formed no labels for the event as a whole) he may not even
pay much attention to what he observes. However, he may label the
constellation of physical properties frowning. Now, frowning could be
a reaction to visual glare or bodily discomfort, a sign of thinking
intently about what is being said, an indication of disagreement, an

exhibition of anger, and so forth. If the first person does not go
beyond the level of labeling the event frowning, the possibilities of
all these motives remain open.
i
If, however, he abstracts further, and assigns a motive to the
event, say, anger, his response may be to find out in some way what the
other is angry about. His inferences, his abstractions about the rela¬
tionship between frowning and a persons' emotional state, lead him to
conclude that the meaning of what he observes is anger, not any of the
other possibilities. This kind of abstracting and determining of meaning
occurs over and over again in daily life. Through our perceptions of
common meanings with others we are able to communicate. So it is both
an individual process of abstracting from our impressions and also a
process of abstracting toward the commonly held meaning of events.
The "reality of every day life," in Peter Berger's apt phrase,
has an extensive social dimension that engages the individual's abstrac-
ing process. Berger and Luckmann (1967) says,
I know that my natural attitude to this world corresponds
to the natural attitude of others, that they also compre¬
hend the objectifications by which this world is ordered,
that they also organize this world around the "here and
now" of their being in it and have projects for working
in it ... . Most importantly, I know that there is an
on-going correspondence between m^ meanings and their
meanings in this world, that we share a common sense
about its reality (p. 23).
The meaning of events is often judged by the common sense, the public
consensus about the meaning. Thus, in our society frowning is not consid¬
ered to have the common meaning of joy. The individual's inferences are
drawn from his culturally biased manner of differentiating features and of

143
forming conclusions in regard to them. Still, the personal meaning of
an event may take the abstracting process out of the common sense realm
and into trie private sense realm.
Returning to the frowning example, the person who construes frowning
to mean anger might abstract further and decide (infer) that the second
person is angry at him. Evidence available to him may be accurate in
this respect, but it still is an inference, an abstraction, to conclude
that he is the object of the other person's anger. The meaning of the
situation might be further elaborated to include a belief that the other
person's anger means that he no longer likes the first person, or even
further, that because he is not liked, he is an unworthy, despicable person.
Meaning in interpersonal situations can be extended indefinitely.
That is, as two people interact their common meanings may become further
and further abstracted until they are interacting at such a high level of
abstracting that the original "causes" may be long forgotten.' The highest
level of a person's abstracting carries with it the most assumptions about
what is happening and what meaning it has. By reacting at a high level of
abstraction the individual relies upon the information presented last—
which differentiates the total meaning of the situation--as the controlling
variable. If his conclusion has a high degree of personal meaning—that
is, if his beliefs about the situation are close to his phenomenal self,
he will react in more personal, less "objective" terms.
The movement in abstracting in this manner is toward the central,
phenomenal self, lower level abstractions are perceived as being more
distant from the individual. In fact, the lowest levels may seem so
unrelated to the phenomenal self that the individual maintains a high
degree of detachment for them.

144
The above illustrates a pyramidal effect in perception. At the
lowest levels of abstraction the possibilities of different reasons and
motives for a particular phenomenon are quite open and wide. At successive
levels of abstraction a greater number of assumptions are built upon in
creating a narrower conception of the event. At the highest levels of
abstraction, we find the greatest number of assumptions underneath and the
least latitude of possibilities of interpretation.
high level
low level
Pyramid of Abstraction
Figure 2
Higher level abstracting is necessary in order for the individual
to be able to extend his behaviors and perceptions beyond the immediate and
superficial. However, with the increase in conceptual power that comes
from abstracting also comes the risk of misinterpretation and misunder¬
standing. His assumptions may be totally divorced from reality (pathological)
or merely out of touch in some lesser way. If his assumptions are accurate,
however, he is likely to be considered intuitive, brilliant, prophetic.

I HD
Abstraction and the Perceived Self
Since at higher levels of abstraction there is a tendency for the
individual's self-perceptions to enter in, we need to look more closely
at how people form abstractions about themselves. Again, the level of
abstraction determines the individual's level of response. The most
important variable in the movement from one level to the next is the
individual's allowance for himself as a complex open-ended entity.
In the poem "Song of Myself" Walt Whitman (1855) expresses a belief
in himself as a vast, complex, multi-facted being. This means that he is
capable of accepting unfavorable characteristics of himself along with
the favorable (Maslow, 1962) because part of his conception of himself
is based upon diverse al1-emcompassing characteristics.
If he took on an external person's attitudes about the necessity
for him to be more consistent across a wide range of actions, he would
find it difficult to allow himself to be contradictory in those terms.
The lower level abstraction, incorporating outsiders' points of view—
what David Riesman (1950) calls the outer-directed person—severely limits
his conceptions of himself. Likewise, each person has the capacity for
construing himself a vast range of levels. The level at which he stops
influences the way in which he will order his perceptions of himself.
For example, a student may exhibit a diverse range of behaviors
during one day at school. He laughs and jokes his way through homeroom.
He doodles, talks to his friends, passes notes, and so forth in his
history class. He words diligently and excitedly on the lab experiment
in physics, hardly paying attention to the people around him. In
English he takes a lot of notes, but does not really understand what

146
the teacher is saying about poetry, so he asks questions spontaneously.
In algebra he is intimidated by the teacher and never raises his hand
even if he does not understand. At lunch time he withdraws from the
large group and talks quietly with his girlfriend. During the day he
varies in the quality and quantity of his involvement with the subject
matter and with his friends.
If he accepts his different behaviors as being appropriate in
different situations, he maintains a view of himself as a complex being,
one who is not defined rigidly. If he responds to outside pressures
to be "consistent" in all these situations he may develop ways of respond¬
ing that will bring his behavior in line with the expectations of others.
The pressure to reduce dissonance (Festinger, 1957) in such situations
will direct his conceptions about himself along either the prescribed
lines or toward denial of those prescriptions.
Maslow (1962) states that the healthy personality resists rubrici-
zation from without and tends to see himself and to want others to see
himself in his own terms. People as a whole, it seems, do not want to
be treated as a "type," an "example," a member of a class of objects, but
so much of the social sphere directs people toward seeing others as
specimens or types that it is difficult for the individual to resist
being labelled. The degree to which he is capable of shifting categori¬
zation of himself determines the degree to which he is freed from rigid
assumptions about himself.
The self-abstracting process has a different structure from the
pyramidal structure. In some ways the complex person experiences him¬
self at lower levels of abstraction (Hayakawa, 1953). His assumptions

14/
about what he should be like are less operative, so he is capable of
allowing a greater latitude in conceptions about himself. Instead of
jumping to conclusions about the meaning of what he does, instead of
trying to fit every thing together in a simple package, he is capable
of letting himself be as he is.
However, it is not just that he experiences himself at lower
levels of abstraction. He also, experiences himself at higher levels
of abstraction. The problem area of self-abstraction is the middle
ground. Or, rather, the problem comes from an impetus to formalize
self-perceptions along only one dimension, to select limiting labels
instead of open-ended labels.
Limiting labels assume monistic determinations. For example,
a person who labels himself an American and takes on the traditional
attitudes that that label incorporates without respect to situational
factors, brings a set of attitudes to whatever experiences he may
encounter that drastically delimit the possibilities. The one label
does not provide for other ways of being at one time. The fact is that
each person has a number of roles or relationships that exist simultaneously.
If the individual limits his perceptions to only one category he effect¬
ively denies the difference within himself and seizes upon only the
similarities—the aspects that are similar to his monistic conception.
Open-ended labels exist at a higher level of abstraction, for they
account for all the rich and varied experiences of the individual. A
person may see himself as an American, a world-citizen, a father, a son,
a husband, a friend, a physical being, a lover, a professional person,

140
etc. in rapid sequence, or differentiate his images of himself on the
level of self as complex person with diverse roles and feelings, instead
of along either/or dimensions.
The dichotomizing of one's experience or perceptions of one's
self is a product of being word-bound. Closed or dichotomous constructs—
either/or conditions, are always tied up with the labeling dimensions of
language. Being a "big boy," for instance, means that only certain
characteristics are tolerable; the rest are not part of what big boys
are or do, so they are eschewed. Korzybski (1933) says that the uncon-
cious assumptions carried in our language, such as the dichotomizing of
experience into either/or propositions, makes us unsane in that it
channels our experiences away from holistic perceptions. The individuals
who are word-bound, to the extent that they let their language do their
thinking for them, are caught in what Korzybski calls the "intensional"
trap.
Intensionality
The prime error in intensional orientations is the failure to
recognize that words are not the things they stand for. As Korzybski
(1951) points out, the map is not the territory. That is, just as a
map is only a schematic representation of a geographical area, a word is
only a schematic label for the concepts or events it represents. Thus,
to treat the label as the thing labelled, or the symbol as the thing
symbolized is a grave mistake.
One way to understand the effects of taking the symbol for the
thing symbolized is to look at the primary and the secondary processes,
as formulated by Freud (1900). In the primary process, which is associated

with the id and with tension reduction, a memory image of the condition
or object needed to satisfy some need is produced., However, the id fails
to distinguish between the image and the thing for which it stands. Freud
calls this a "perceptual identity." Obviously, if an individual could not
distinguish between a picture of a steak and a steak, itself, he would
have difficulty in obtaining the nourishment he needs.
The secondary process is part of the mediating function of the
ego. In the ego structure problem solving, based upon the reality of
events, allows the individual to instigate plans of action that will
actualize the images formed by the primary process. Thus, the secondary
process operates with a recognition that the symbol is not the thing
symbolized. This basic perceptual difference in the two processes permits
man to formulate long-range, complex behaviors.
On more complex levels the need to keep one's symbols straight
is also important. Failure to distinguish between the word and the object
in every day life takes more subtle forms than those pointed out by
Freud, but the ultimate effect, that of misrepresenting reality and disor¬
ienting the individual, still remains. The either/or orientation is
"two valued" in that it reduces experience to distorted halves: good or
bad, clean or dirty, night £r day, me or not-me.
Intensionality is prey to another false assumption, that what you
can say about something is what it i_s. This is equivalent to believing
that al 1 the aspects of a geographical area are presented on one map,
when in fact--at least with good maps-- all there is is a presentation of
the most important aspects. The intensional individual confuses his levels
of abstraction because of his assumptions of identity between what he

150
can say about something and what it is. Thus he confuses inferences with
observations, conclusions with inferences, truths with hypotheses. This
leads him further and further away from "what is." As Paul Valery (1972),
the French poet says:
Most people see with their intellects much more often
than with their eyes. Instead of colored spaces, they
become aware of concepts. Something whitish, cubical,
erect, its planes broken by the sparkle of glass, is
immediately a house for them—the House!—a complex
idea, a combination of abstract qualities. . . . They
perceive with a dictionary rather than with the retina;
and they approach objects so blindly, they have such
a vague notion of the difficulties and pleasures of
vision, that they have invented beautiful views. Of
the rest they are unaware (p. 19).
Extensionality
The extensional orientation, in Korzybski's terms, moves away
from word-mindedness and toward fact-mindedness. The extensional
individual does not confuse the map and the territory. Like the
doctor who knows that, as much as an electronic apparatus can tell
him about the patient's blood circularion, his own direct observation
of the patient's vital processes are irreplaceable (otherwise he
would be letting his machines do his thinking for him), the exten¬
sional individual relies upon his own observations and understanding
of an event.
By avoiding the tendency, which is common in our language, to
label something and then react to the label, the extensional individual
has a greater opportunity to appreciate things for what they are. His
perceptions are more spontaneous and fresh. A sunset may be appreciated
for itself as if he had never seen a sunset before. In interpersonal

Ibl
relations he is likely to see thindividual for himself not as a stereo
type or representative of some group. In terms of himself he is not
likely to categorize himself unduly or limit himself to one side of a
dichotomy. He is, in Maslow's terms, more integrated in himself. In
reference to the two-valued orientation Maslow (1971) says:
My psychologist's way of saying the same thing is
"dichotomizing means pathologizing; and pathologi-
zing means dichtomizing." The man who thinks you
can be either a man, all man, or a woman, and nothing
but a woman, is doomed to struggle with himself, and
to external estrangement from women. To the extend
that he learns the facts of psychological "bisexuality,"
and becomes aware of the arbitrariness of either/or
difinitions and the pathogenic nature of the process of
dichotomizing, to the degree that he discovers that
differences can fuse and be structured with each other,
and need not be exclusive and mutually antagonistic, to
that extent will he be a more integrated person, able
to accept and enjoy the "feminime" within himself (the
"Anima," as Jung calls it) (pp. 161-162).
In abstracting features about himself the individual succeeds better
at integrating his personality by having an extensional orientation than
an intensional one. This is another way of saying that a person's self
concept, being a product of abstracted and internalized perceptions, is
realized as being more adequate when the individual adopts open-ended
symbols for himself instead of closed or dichotomous symbols. Thus the
pyramidal abstracting process for self-abstraction looks like this:
fluid, open
self concept
extensional
individual

I b'¿
Intensional Self Concepts
The urge to maintain and enhance the perceived self is affected
strongly by the individual's orientation toward words—not just his
personal meanings in a particular word, but his ways of generating symbols
about himself through words. Consider, for example, the circular effect
of self-labels.
A young boy, let us say, in his first year of school is more active
and more disruptive than his campanions. In the course of a day he behaves
in a variety of ways, some of them acceptable and some unacceptable to the
teacher and classmates. His unacceptable behaviors, however, are the ones
they notice and attend to in their behaviors. He is labelled a trouble
maker by his teacher, and, although he does not hear the label she assigns
to him, he experiences her reactions to that dimension of his behavior. He
forms a concept of himself as being essentially a trouble-maker, one level
of abstraction away from the totality of his behaviors.
Consequently, his self-label as a trouble-maker, which may even
have positive meaning to him, orients him towards perceiving his actions
in that perspective. The possibility of behaving in other ways is reduced
because he begins to differentiate only those characteristics that fit his
concept, his label. Further experiences may solidify his perceptions of
himself and his perceptions of other people's negative attitudes towards
him. He comes to see himself almost exclusively in terms of his trouble¬
making, and he is assured of that self-perception because people treat him
in the same way.

153
It is likely that his self concept, a product of the labels and
symbols he has been using for himself, will have at its center an under¬
standing of himself as a trouble-maker. Increasingly it becomes harder
to free himself from the either/or orientation that says that he is either
bad or good, because even behaviors that would be considered good, or at
least neutral, in others take on a different meaning. They become further
proof of his being a trouble-maker. The labelling of himself and then
reacting to the labels is a circular process, leading further and further
to rigid, self-contained conceptions of himself. Thus, his self concept is
based upon an intensional orientation, based upon the labels and symbols
that implicitly say "you have either this or^ that." Since he can see more
easily the "bad" side of his behavior, it becomes a simple matter to exclude
other considerations and behaviors not fitting the labels.
The effect of the intensional orientation upon self concepts is a
distortion of one's possible perceptions. In the above example, the effect
is to limit further and further the individual's perceptions and behaviors
as a problem individual, but it could also work in the opposite way for
someone else producing a narrow,yet essentially positive, self concept.
Korzybski maintains that the intensional oreintation inevitably leads to
misevaluations and distortions. Statements made about the world or about
oneself are deceiving unless the individual is careful to avoid the pitfalls
of two-valued, intensional thinking.
The road to adequate self concepts needs to be cleared of the rubble
and stumbling blocks of distorted symbols. As Hayakawa (1958) points out:
insofar as . . . statements about the self are based on
experience and behavior patterns and reactions that we
have observed in ourselves without distortion or self-
deception, we have healthy and realistic self-concepts
(p. 43).

154
Saif Concepts in a_ Double Bind
The conditions under which an individual is able to conceive of
himself in open, realistic terms must be open-ended in themselves*, that
is, non-threatening experiences allow the individual the opportunity to
explore his range of abilities, and thus present the possibility of enlarg¬
ing his conceptions about himself. However, threatening environments can
force the individual into rigid postures.
The double bind theory of schizophrenia is an example of the
deletorious effects of a threatening environment, one in which two
injunctions are simultaneously communicated to a person, each denying
the other yet forcing the individual into responding to them. Gregory
Bateson's proposal (1972), that schizophrenia is caused by conflicting
messages that cannot be differentiated adequately, suggests that a
severely limiting, two-valued environment interfers with the individual's
discriminatory and abstracting processes. He says:
When a person is caught in a double bind situation, he
will respond defensively in a manner similar to the
schizophrenic. An individual will take a metaphorical
statement literally when he is in a situation where he
must respond, where he is found with contradictory mes¬
sages, and when he is unable to comment on the contra¬
dictions. For example, one day an employee went home
during office hours. A fellow employee called him at
his home, and said lightly, "well, how did you get
there?" The employee replied, "By automobile." He
responded literally because he was faced with a message
which asked him what he was doing at home when he should
have been at the office, but which denied that this
question was being asked bythe way it was phrased. . . .
This is characteristic of anyone who feels "on the spot,"
as demonstrated by the careful literal replies of a
witness on the stand in a court trial. The schizophrenic
feels so terribly on the spot at all times that he
habitually responds with a defensive insistence on the
literal level when it is quite inappropriate, e.g., when
someone is joking (p. 204).

I ÃœJ
The threatening aspect of double bind situations is that experience
is limited to an either/or formula and then the choice of one or the
other is removed. The classic joke, "have you stopped beating your wife,"
is an easily recognizable double bind, carrying the assumption that whether
you have stopped or not, you still are a wife-beater. Of course, real
double binds are more complex, and it is the insistent regularity of them
that creates a defensive posture. However, at any level of severity the
double bind comes out of a two-valued either/or orientation.
In the case of an individual's self perceptions, the threatening
quality of being either a reformed wife-beater or an unreformed wife-
beater limits his ability to be other than a wife-beater. The label
persists beyond the activity, and even in spite of the activity. Thus,
conditions for open, realistic self concepts can be so denied through the
habitual language use and symbolization of an individual that he misevalu-
ates himself and distorts what he is.
Taking literally the symbol or statement about himself, the
individual becomes bound up in the intensional trap. Not only is he
giving himself no alternatives to his labels, but he is taking his
labels to be that which they stand for: himself. He becomes a two-
vlaued person, accepting only those characteristics that fit in with
his existing perceptions of himself and denying those that fall outside
the range of the perceived self.

CHAPTER VI
EXPERIENCE AND EXPRESSION
The Integration of Language and Experience
In the previous chapters we have seen how the individual's use
of language enables him to go beyond simple, superficial aspects of his
experience and to understand and control both his experience of the
external world, and, through the development of an inner language,
symbolize and construe himself. This double nature of language—
representational and exploratory--opens up both the external and the
inner worlds of experience for the individual. Language, which entails
a complex symbolization process and a fitting of those symbols into
communicable form, affects a person's perceptual processes drastically.
The symbols an individual has available to him in inner speech,
from which springs all other speech, both channel the meaning of situ¬
ations for him and also are products of his differentiating personal
meaning, for himself. Thus, while he internalizes the symbols and concepts
of his culture through the language he acquires—thereby orienting his
experience in conformity with prevailing forms, he is constantly bringing
to awareness personal experiences and relating them with each other as a
means of exploring and understanding himself.
Besides the important functions of language in providing ways of
symbolizing experience for the individual, another function of language
and symbolization is the making of experiences and meanings available to
156

157
the person in new experiences» This area of language use involves a
congruence between a person's experience and his expression of that
experience to himself and to others. Intrapersonal and interpersonal
communication, then, are significant areas of experiencing that determine
the individual's experience as a whole. With that in mind, we turn to
looking at the ideal communicant and the conditions under which he
flourishes.
The Ideal Communicant
In the ideal communicant we find congruence between the verbal
expressions he uses and the inner experience that those words represent
for him. A person, ideally clear in his perceptions and free from threat
in external situations, is able to express his feelings and thoughts with
clear symbols. However, these conditions are relatively rare for most
people. What a person says he is and what that person really is may not
be the same at all. Some of the factors affecting a person's self-report
about his perceptions and feelings are: the social expectancy of the
situation, the degree of cooperation on the part of the individual, the
degree of freedom from threat and the degree of personal adequacy he
experiences, the clarity of his own awareness about inner states, the
presence or lack of adequate symbols for expression, and a change in field
organization for him (Combs, 1959).
These variables are present to some degree in all communication.
While some have greater interpersonal dimensions (such as, social expec¬
tancy or cooperation), others are essentially intrapersonal processes.
Of course, since the individual and society are interwoven, there is no
dimension that is purely one or the other. For example, the change in

158
field organization for each individual is a constantly shifting process as
he receives communication from the outside (verbal, gestural or graphic)
and relates that to his own experience, then brings his personal experience
to the external world by finding the appropriate symbols for it. In all
forms of communication the field of perceptions is continually altering.
This process of self-referral is one's own experience and subsequent
bringing of that experience into play in other experiences is an impor¬
tant one, for it encapsulates all of the other factors involved in inter¬
personal and intrapersonal communication. Congruence between his inner
speech and his external speech, as we will be seeing in the following
pages, is necessary in order for the process to remain clear and open to
change.
Congruence
In attempting to provide the conditions under which an individual
may develop congruent expressions of himself, some dimensions are easier
to establish than others. Carl Rogeri' client-centered therapy (1951),
for example, places great emphasis upon the interpersonal relationship.
By being congruent, empathic, and unconditionally positive in his regard
for his client, the counselor often is able to free the situation from
threatening aspects, reduce the superficial social expectancies that lead
someone to hide his true feelings, and establish a trusting atmosphere in
which the client can cooperate. Futhermore, the counselor acts as a model
of being real for his client. To Rogers "being real involves the difficult
task of being acquainted with the flow of experiencing going on within
oneself, a flow marked especially by complexity and continuous change"
(1971, p. 88). Thus, the interpersonal situation can lead to increased
clarity and representation of inner experience on the intrapersonal level.

159
Congruence is a process of becoming and of remaining in touch with
one's own experiencing; it is a self-affirming activity for the individual.
As a person learns to affirm his own experience he learns more about his
own experience, and, as he learns to represent his experience accurately
and fully to himself he learns to be more self-affirming. So far this
process has been fostered best through the interpersonal relationship
established between two people. Jourard (1964) expresses his faith in
the quality of the relationship between therapist and client as allowing
the individual to grow:
If they are themselves in the presence of the patient
avoiding compulsions to silence, to reflection, to
interperetation, to impersonal technique, and kindred
character disorders, but instead striving to know
their patient, involving themselves in his situation,
and then responding to his utterances with their
spontaneous selves, this fosters growth (p. 62).
To understand more fully how the congruence between a person's inner
speech and his external speech produce the quality of full experiencing
and growth, and how a lack of congruence can lead to pathological condi¬
tions we have to look more closely at the ways he has available for discov¬
ering and clarifying personal meaning for himself through his inner language
and symbols.
Personal Meaning
In any given situation the meaning for an individual is a product
of his perceptions of the situation, his perceptions of himself, and his
perceptions of the relationship between the two. In an emergency situation
percpetion of self and events is sharpened to include only the jnost salient
characteristics. For example, seeing a rapidly moving car bearing down on

160
him the individual acts to remove himself from the present danger; he
does not contemplate complicated features of the situation. In less
threatening circumstances, however, the individual may elaborate upon
his conceptions of the relationships between the situation and himself.
Close friends, for instance, may spend a lot of time exploring further
dimensions of their relationship, either verbally or non-verbally.
As he sees himself momentarily, and as a continuing identity, the
individual determines meanings for himself. The meanings that he differ¬
entiates symbolically can themselves be elaborated and extended. Gendlin
(1962) explaines the process this v/ay:
any datum of experiencing--any aspect of it, no matter
how finely specified--can be symbolized and interpreted
further and further so that it can guide us to many, many
more symbolizations. We can endlessly differentiate it
further» We can synthesize endless numbers of meanings
in it (p. 16).
The process of differentiation of figure/ground relationships is a continual
one; as it is elaborated through symbols it may be entended for an individual
further and further. Thus experiencing, symbolizing, and perceiving are
involved in the differentiating process. It is the nature of symbols and
man's symbolizing activity to be able to be extended indefinitely. Symbols
are not isolated, gem-like images, but are constantly experiencable in
terms of other symbols. Meaning does not exist apart from the individual;
it exist only through the individual. Peris (1972) says,
A meaning does not exist. A meaning is a creative process,
a performance in the here and now. This act of creation
can be habitual and so quick that we cannot trace it, or
it can require hours of discussion. In every case, a mean¬
ing is created by relating a figure, the foreground, to
the background against which the figure appears (pp. 64-65).

161
In figure/ground terms the indefinite relating of symbols arises
out of the endless possible relationships that may be brought to the
foreground. It is possible to extend one's symbols and personal meanings
further and further until one discovers his relation to all things.
However, each person has such a richly varied personal experience that
he is not likely to bring all of his experiences into conscious awareness.
He can, however, respond to enough replications and symbols of himself so
as to perceive himself as a complexly functioning individual.
The function of differentiating and symbolizing his experiences
is to make them freely available in other experiences. Through the
relating of symbols, his representations of his experience and of himself
are constantly being associated in terms of each other. Elements that
appear similar to each other aid in the gradual differentiation of personal
meanings, but they also provide a means of going beyond simple, momentary
meaning to more complex, long-standing meanings. The more experiences
are made avaiable in other experiences the more appropriate will be the
individual's responses to new experiences. He will have a repertoire of
ways of to respond adequately and he will be able to see continuity
between his past experiences and his present ones.
Since in any situation the individual will have some perceptions
less clear than others (Lewin, 1951; Combs, 1959), we would not expect
equally clear perceptions of himself and his relationship to the situation
across all areas of his experience. However, it is important that he be
able to clarify and bring to readiness his perceptions when occasions call
for them. The process of clarifying experience—that is, bringing to fore¬
ground something that rested in the background, while a complex and elusive
process, may be enhanced through paying attention to the individual's
communicating modes.

162
A person is likely to be more clear and more capable of acting
clearly in new situations if he has his past and present experiences
freely available to him. This means that the more he conceives of himself
as a complex individual the more he will be able to draw from his rich
body of experiences. Also, the more he is capable of experiencing the
continual and gradual changes in his life, without holding onto inappro¬
priate, outmodeled symbols for his experience, the more he will be able
to deal with the present in present terms and not in terms of the past
(Peris, 1969). If he has developed congruence between his experience
and his symbolization of it, he will be able to appreciate the personal
meaning of situations.
To perceive clearly the personal meaning of situations an individual
needs to perceive himself as having a stake in the events and changes
around him, Alvin Toffler (1974) suggests that, if individuals fail to
experience themselves as changing entities in a changing society, they
experience an impersonal future, a future without real consequences for
themselves as persons. This, he says, makes people more susceptible to
future shock, to a divorce between their abilities to change and the need
to change with society. Reporting an, admittedly, impressionistic survey
of teenagers' images of themselves and of society, he states:
I believe that the schools and universities, with their
heavy emphasis on the past, not only implicitly convey
a false message bout the future--the idea that it will
resemble the present—but also that they create millions
of candidates for future shock by encouraging the divorce
between the individual's self-image and his or her expec¬
tations with regard to social change. More deeply, they
encourage the student to think of his or her "self" not
as subject to change, growth or adaptation, but as some¬
thing static (p. 11).

163
A person is more likely to view himself as static and not subject
to change if he has a narrow conception of his range of capacities and a
limited view of his relationships with events around him. Having a
language of change and process rather than a language of static relation¬
ships and compartmentalized objects would help lead toward perceptions
of hemself as a changing, growing individual. However, this could not
exist only on the external language level; it would have to have equal
representation in the individual's inner speech in order for him to
stay acquainted with the inner flow of experiencing.
The Inner Flow of Experiencing
Personal experiences are not necessarily related to each other in
logical fashion, yet they are related on an inner level for each indivi¬
dual. Some people may be more inclined to relate their experiences in
a formal logical pattern while others may be highly impressionistic in
relating experténce. Whatever the overt style of relating experiences,
in inner speech these relations are experienced according to perceived
similarities. Most events or objects or people can be compared to each
other in some way, because, being richly endowed with characteristics,
the human mind can find many ways in which they may be related.
In the inner symbolizing of experience meaning dominates over
pattern and pattern dominates individual symbols (Vygotsky, 1962). Thus,
the individual is oriented in global, holistic ways towards realizing his
experience. The degree of clarity of his experience to himself, however,
will be determined by the ways he has of referring to experience and of
bringing his experience intact to a higher level of awareness. To under¬
stand how the individual brings his experiencing into focus we need to
look at the relationships between experiencing and the symbolizing of
experience.

164
Combs (1959) has pointed out that feelings are the result of
perceptions of ones self and ones situation and the meaning of it to
the individual. The meaning of ones relationship to something else is
a perceptual whole; it is not set off from the person's experience. In
fact, it is_ the individual's experience. However, it is his experience
as he symbolizes it that the individual reacts to, so it can also be
looked at as having two main parts: the raw experience and the symbol¬
izing of that experience.
Perceived similarities and relationships among personal experiences
are based upon theindividual's capacity for symbolizing for himself
relatively complex data into a schematic representation (Raimy, 1943).
Since his raw experience is complex, he develops a means of referring to
it that will simplify the experience for him.
This simplifying of experience is achieved on the linguistic level
when a word or words are used to stand for a complex array of personal
experiences, and on symbolic levels (inner speech) when images are
generated to differentiate personal meaning. The inner flow of experienc¬
ing and the process of symbolizing experience merge in inner speech; that
is what Eugene Gendlin (1962) calls "felt meaning." He points out:
meaning is formed in the interaction of experiencing
and something that functions symbolically. Feeling with¬
out symbolization is blind; symbolization without
feeling is empty. . . .If we do not have the felt
meaning of concept, we haven't got the concept at all —
only a verbal noise. Nor can we think without felt
meaning (pp. 5-6).
The concept of felt meaning is misleading in that it suggests that feeling
and meaning are two different things or processes that may coincide at some

165
places. In actuality, feelings are indications of the meaning of events
to people. There is no split in the individual's personality between
thinking and feeling—they are one process of differentiating meaning
for the individual. What Gendlin is suggesting, however, is that
personal meaning that derives from the individual's innermost experience
and which is representable at a higher level is integrated with all areas
of experiencing. On deep levels of experiencing, on the level of inner
speech, there is a background of data, impressions, feelings, images, etc.
from which some organized figure may emerge into a symbolizable form.
Gendlin says:
A concept in actual thought is not only the logical
pattern and implications that it has at a given
moment. It also involves a felt experiencing of
meaning, which can lead—in the next moment— to
radically different concepts, new differentiations
of meaning, contradictions in logic yet "predic¬
table" as human behaviors (p. 6).
The process of figure emerging from ground not only makes possible
the changes in our perceptions but also operates as a clarifying process.
Out of confused and obscured emotions can only come further obscurity and
confusion for the individual. To the degree that he has his inner exper¬
iencing available to him he will be able to act upon his feelings. Thus
the two edges of the process are that (1) symbolization sharpens and
clarifies feelings, giving them meaning so the individual can act, and
(2) that feeling fleshes out a person's symbols, makes them real for him
so that he experiences an impact in the symbols he uses. Whorf (1956)
says that "a change in language can transform our appreciation of the
Cosmos (p. 263)," and this is so, but only if the individual experiences
a direct connection between his language, his symbols, and personal meaning.

1,66
Experiential Signals
Personal experience is concrete, organismic. As a non-mediated
experience it can only be pointed at while we remain silent. That is,
without symbolization any experience is a unitary, non-extended phenomenon.
With symbolization experience is always unfinished in some way; it can be
symbolized further and further indefinitely. The extensive nature of the
symbolizing and differentiating functions make the interrelations among
one's experiences and meanings too great to be formalized logically.
Inner speech, as a bridge between the un-mediated experience and the
represented experience, functions at the level at which we have meaning
at all. These meanings may not be expressable verbally, but they may be
marked off by a symbol, either verbal or not.
The bringing of one's unmediated experience--that is, one's
innermost organismic experiences--to a level of conscious and logical
awareness is performed through symbols. Since inner speech works with
unsolved problem situations (Vygotsky, 1962) in that the exploratory,
discovery aspects of inner speech dominate the representional aspects
in order to bring to some conclusion unfinished dimensions of a person's
experience, the function of inner speech is to organize the images and
meanings for the individual. In inner speech those experiences that are
not understood or that have an unfinished quality become explored and
elucidated through symbolic representations. If we understand that symbol¬
ized experience is indefinitely extendable into other experiences, then we
see that it is the process of extension and relation that constitutes the
individual's self-knowledge. To have a sense of having meaning, that is,
of having an inner experience that connects with one's external experience,
is to know oneself as a richly endowed, experientially full individual.

167
The subject feeling of having a self and of having experiential
processes that arise from within oneself are important ingredients in
the healthy personality. Maslow (1971) says, for instance,
in most neuroses, and in many other disturbances as well,
the inner signals become weak or even disappear entirely
. . .and/or are not "heard" or cannot be heard. At the
extreme we have the experientially empty person, the
zombie, the one with empty insides (p. 33)„
Experientially, the individual needs to be able to refer directly
to his inner experience, to his inner language, as it were. By so doing
he is capable of realizing himself as a more fully functioning person.
Reference to inner meanings does not mean finding one's personal meaning
in some situastion, although that certainly is one of the functional
dimensions of relating symbols internally; reference to inner meaning
means a mode of knowing that there is a meaning at all. This latter
form of knowing is a form of meta-perception for it employs reflective
processes within each person. To refer to one's images and symbols
directly is to be in "touch" with the flow of one's own experiences, to
be in contact with the facticity of experiencing so that the person
perceives himelf as being in a constant state of becoming.
Richard M. Jones (1968) suggests that insight and outsight enable
the individual to function fully and to experience himself on all levels.
By i nsight he means the making of a person's "conscious 1ife more receptive
to his imagination"(p. 78): this may be done, for instance, through the
psychoanalytic approach. Outsight, which Jones says is the province of
education, works in the other direction; it is the method of mastering the
properties of the world "by virture of gracing it with this-or-that private

168
image"(p. 80). In short, insight and outsight are integrative processes
that lead the individual towards ease and mastery of his own experiencing
and control and understanding of the phenomena of the world»
The processes of insight and outsight, which are like the processes
of representation and exploration that I have discussed, are ways of
structuring experience symbolically. Insight gives form and definition to
the deepest levels of experiencing; it is a means of contacting and
exploring inner language and symbols in any situation. Outsight gives body
and life to the symbolic representations of the environment; the individual
discovers the personal meaning of a situation through his embueing of
externals with his already existing meanings. Movement back and forth
between insight and outsight, between symbols and experiences, between
outer and inner speech, enables the individual to remain in contact with
all areas of his experience.
The experiential signals that the individual responds to are
progressively felt as coming more and more from the "inside" rather than
the outside. In the course of language development and communication the
child becomes more capable of understanding and accepting emotions as
being generated and occurring within himself. The research of Wolman,
Lewis and King (1971) on the development of a language of emotions
indicates that:
As children develop and acquire greater facility with
language and its referents, they are more able to pin¬
point processes occurring within themselves.
The findings presented confirm the common sense notion
that as children mature their language repertory increases
in their descriptions of their perceptions of altered
bodily states, that is, their emotions. This increased
reportory parallels the development of cognitive skills,
with some difference: even a word like "nervous" which
appears to be the most "psychological" in nature, has a
concrete somatic component (p. 1292).

T69
External, social language use progressively orients the individual
towards perceiving his emotions and his body experiences as internal organ-
ismic processes. As he develops a language of emotions he is also learning
where to look to find the locus of control over his emotions. As he builds
up experiences and ways of referring to them his language becomes more
evocative; that is, it evokes the meanings that the individual associates
with his symbols. This movement towards a perception of one's internal
experience suggests that, as Piaget says (1970), as the individual gains
control over his external world, including his language, he becomes more
autonomous in his experiencing of himself.
By saying that the individual becomes more autonomous in experiencing
himself, I mean that he builds up a referential system (his symbolic
representations) for getting in touch with his inner flow of experiencing
and his images associated with his experiencing. Insofar as he is capable
of referring to his own experience, insofar as he pays attention to his
experiential signals and is able to act upon those signals, he is function¬
ing fully on both the experiential and the symbolic levels.
Keeping in mind that the process of symbolizing and fully experiencing
oneself.as an organism is a holistic process that unites all dimensions of
a person's personality, we can turn to a look at what may happen if a
person fails to maintain contact with his inner flow of experiencing.
The Split Between Language and Experience
Distortion and Seperation
Often what a person experiences on a deep personal level and what
he experiences on a surface level are in conflict. This can be as simple
as the distinction between what a person believes and what he says he

I / u
believes, or it can be as complex and confusing as denying one's experience
through evasive and elusive verbalization. The choice situation for
people usually involves whether to affirm one's own experience or whether
to accept the social or consensus experience of others» Maslow (1962)
describes this choice situation as a fork in the road:
The primal choice, the fork in the road, then, is
between others and one's own self. If the only way
to maintain the self is to lose others, then the
ordinary child will give up the self (p. 50).
If one's self is his system of meaning, to give up one's self is to
surrender one’s meanings to the meanings of others» In short, that
entails endorsing the perceptual system of others instead of one's own.
Herbert Eveloff (1971) points out that in the case of young children who
have learned basic linguistic symbols, the congruence between the child's
perceptions and the symbols that are given to him to organize his percep¬
tions is important.
If symbols do not reflect reality as it is, if the
child's perceptual system constantly invalidates the
symbols (i»e. conceptual systems) that the parents
are transmitting, a great deal of inner confusion can
occur. For example, if a child endorses his percep¬
tual system, he is possibly threatened by disapproval
of his parents. If he endorses the distorted communi¬
cation, he may invalidate in some way his perceptual
system. Certainly, the child has enough cultural
distortions to deal with anyway, for instance, religious
practices, cultural mores, and so forth. Obviously,
the earlier such dissonance occurs, the more fundamental
will be the distortions in obtaining a true symbolic
language for the purposes of negotiating with reality or
with self. Thus, constant meaningful communication with
adults is of decisive significance because the acquisition
of a language system involves a continuous reorganization
of all the child's mental processes in accord with his
expanding universe (p„ 1905).

When dissonance (Festinger, 1957) between one's own experience
and the representation of that experience by others or by self occurs,
the individual becomes less capable of referring directly to his own
experience» Enough habitude in invalidating his own experience leads
to the experientially empty person, one who does not know how he feels
about things. Moustakas (1967) relates this phenomenon to a difference
between creativity and conformity in the individual. Through open and
honest communication people not only endorse the perceptions of others,
thereby creating new experiences, but they also endorse their own percep¬
tions. Thus, relating one's personal meanings to others is a creative,
growth-producing activity. Moustakas (1967) says:
When people are genuinely related they create for
themselves and for each other new feelings, new
experiences, a new life. . . but when a person
says something that is appraised and adjusted,
reacted to and balanced off, when he speaks in
order to put his idea in "proper perspective" and
to compete for status, then he is no longer present
as an integrated human being. . .he is not a
spontaneous person, involved in real living (p. 217).
Not all situations call for intimate, spontaneous communication.
In daily life the individual may find himself having to distort or adjust
his experience as he communicates with others. The problem in communi¬
cating directly one's own experience is more complicated than turning an
off/on switch, but this often is the way that communication of meanings is
described.
A person can communicate to others his own experience only as well
as he can communicate it to himself. Thus, a prior condition to spontan¬
eous communication must be a spontaneous flowing of experience within the
person. His experiences must be freely available to him, either in a

symbolic form or in a direct form, in order for him to even begin to make
them available to others. Speaking winch is part of one's inner language
and experience is quite different from using words as an elusive process.
Peris (1969)cautions against thin verbalizations as a way of avoiding
contact with one's feelings. Gendlin (1962) describes the difference
between talking mere words and talking meanings:
The extent to and mode in which the individual refers
to his experiencing, the mode in which he relates the
symbols he speaks to it and brings it into interaction
with the other person--these variables of process will
determine whether he is merely using words, or whether
his words are part of a deeper process. What his words
are about will not tell us this (p. 37).
What Gendlin means by this is that we cannot specifiy on a one-to-one
basis whether a person's v/ords and his experiencing are congruent. Since
words will have different shadings of meaning for each person, it is not
the word, itself, that we should look at to determine if he is using
words that distort or that accurately represent his inner experiencing.
In fact, it is difficult to specify as an outside observer if someone's
expressions adequately and honestly reflect his experience. Everyone
develops a certain amount of "feel" for the language of others, and we
have all had experiences in which we disbelieved the other person's
statements.
As outsiders we can look for incongruities between the words a
person uses and his tone of voice, his body posture, etc. in order to
discover the degree of adequacy of his language. Careful attention to
non-verbal signs may give the outsider much information about the inner
processes and experiences of others. However, from an inside point of
view, from the point of view of the speaker himself, a lot of these

173
non-verbal signs are not evident. Still, there may be a feeling of
"rightness," a feeling that the words one is using are exactly right,
that the symbols representing his experience are in perfect alignment
with his experience. These moments of congruence between one's external
speech and one's inner speech may stand out as being especially centered
experiences (Margaret Korb, personal communication) or especially poetic
and rhapsodic (Maslow, 1962). At such times there may be a feeling of
being in touch with basic, deep experiential processes.
This feeling of "rightness" in one's expressions and experiences
has been indicated by many psychologists as an important identity exper¬
ience. Erikson (1968) describes a process in which the individual is more
vital and animated in his functioning as being one in which he overcomes
some estrangement and is able to react holistically to his environment;
that is, at some deep level he "solves" a "problem" or resolves an
identity deliemma. Earl Kelley(1962) says that the fully functioning
personality knows no way to live except in keeping with his values, which
means that in his basic experience of himself, in his exploring and discov¬
ering of meaning he has a subjective experience of valuing and of being
in touch with his individual identity. Horney (1945) explains that loss
of spontaneity, the power to experience oneself freely, leads to aliena¬
tion and emotional sickness. Maslow (1954,1962) says that one can choose
wisely for his life only if he is capable of listening carefully to his
own needs and wishes. Rollo May (1969) suggests that through repression
of his experience modern man has lost the image of himself as a respon¬
sible individual, and Peris (1969) echoes this statement when he divides
the word responsiblity into response-ability, the ability to respond.

174
Lest all this sounds too poetic or hortatory, I point out that what
the above psychologists ( and many others) are providing is a description
of the link between an individual's experience of himself in full-bodied
terms (as a valuing, responding, creating, choosing, and becoming organism)
as opposed to bifurcated, hollow terms» The important variable in the
subjective experience of self is the individual's capacity to realize his
experience, to hear his inner signals, to respond to the meanings that
exist for him. In his symbolizing process, learned and extrapolated from
language, the individual creates meanings, but if he has no means of bring¬
ing those felt meanings forth he becomes lost in a maze of disembodied
meanings and empty symbols. As Zijderveld points out (see Chapter 3),
he stores up disconnected meaningless images and symbols that are reflected
upon but which go nowhere.
A case iri point concerning this is cited by Margaret Korb (personal
communication, 1974) from her private practice as a therapist. "George,"
her client is described by her in this way.
He had no sense of being a real person; he felt himself
to be an empty shell that functioned, but with mist and
vaper inside and no solidity or strength. I perceived
George to be personable, above average in intelligence,
and to have an excellent command of the English language.
In fact, George talked a lot—about himself, about his
family, about his animals, about his schooling, about
his job prospects, about his girlfriends ( or lack of),
about his apartment, about his car troubles, and on... .
and on. He talked a lot. After several sessions George
confessed that he felt totally unconnected from his voice
and his words, which came as off a tape recorder and
floated away in space. We made real contact at that
point.
George's divorce from the words he spoke highlighted the experience he had
of not being in touch with himself as an experiencing, meaningful person.

175
I suspect that the symbols he generated and related were unconnected with
the level of feeling that animated his symbols and gave them life»
Isolation from a sense of becoming and experiencing, which are other
ways of saying meaning, separates the individual from organismic processes
and leaves him at the control of unassimilated, unintegrated activities.
In these contexts the language of the individual may be divorced from his
feelings and his actions may have the feel of disembodied behaviors,
the kind of divorce from oneself that T. S. Eliot describes in "The Hollow
Men"(1925):
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rat's feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar
Shape without form shade without color,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion.
Personal Mythology
In the process of bringing one's experiences and perceptions to the
surface and communicating them an individual is able to test his experiences
against "reality." The communication process balances a person's inner
symbols against the external symbols and therby engages him in a process
of organizing and validating his personal experience. However, images,
symbols or beliefs that are divorced from the integrative process of
expression find no resolution, no connection with the individual's exper¬
iencing as a whole. P,ogers (1959) points out that self and experience,
that is, one's symbolization of himself and his deeper level experiences,
may be divorced from each other. He says:

176
Following the development of the self-structure, this
general tendency toward actualization expresses itself
also in the actualization of the portion of the exper¬
ience of the organism which is symbolized in the self.
If the self and the total experience of the organism
are relatively congruent, the actualizing tendency
remains relatively unified. If self and experience
are incongurent, the general tendency to actualize
the organism may work at cross purposes with the
subsystem of that motive, the tendency to actualize
the self (pp. 196-197.
In drawing a distinction between the self and the organism as a
whole, Rogers indicates that the two elements of experience may contradict
and undermine each other. If they are aligned relatively well, if the
individual's experiencing is representable to himself along adequate lines,
the individual is able to make his experiences available to himself in
new experiences and he is able to move toward further actualization of his
capacities. However, if the individual is out of touch with his images
and symbols in inner speech, these images, which normally would aid him
in functioning fully, become disconnected.
In such a disconnected state images and symbols are constantly
being combined and recombined in search of meaningful dimensions. Organi¬
zation of the self becomes too fluid, incapable of sustaining an identity
for the individual and so he experiences himself as being hollow. The
lack of resolution of the individual's identity leads him toward building
up of personal mythology designed to find the meaningful dimensions.
By personal mythology I mean a body of images, symbols, beliefs, and
stories that an individual inappropriately develops in order to bring to
some resolution the lack of organization and meaning for him. Personal
mythology, therefore, is more than the collected beliefs that constitute
the perceived self; it is the body of unattached symbols and beliefs,
which have a specific function: the press for resolution of disorder.

177
I am drawing a distinction here between adequate inner speech that leads
to the individual's integration of language and experience, and inadequate
inner speech which, because it has no clear means of organization and
understanding, leads away from integration of all levels of experience.
These two dimensions of inner speech are contained in the self concept.
Lecky (1945) says that "all the acts of an individual have the
goal of maintaining the same structure of values "(p. 10). This is the
goal of the self concept. However, personal mythology is an inadequate
process of discovering and maintaing values. Since symbols and images
are not connected with the individual's firm sense of experiencing, personal
mythology is disorienting to the individual. To understand personal
mythology more fully we need to consider some of the word done by Claude
Lévi-Strauss on mythology in general.
Lévi-Strauss (1966) distinguishes between magic and science in
terms of the strategies employed by them in seeking objective knowledge.
Magis, which is at the root of mythology, he says, "postulates a complete
and all-embracing determinism. Science on the other hand, is based on a
distinction between levels. The scientific, non-mythological strategy
is to understand -.things hierarchically and differentially, organizing
knowledge into abstract structures and relating those structures care¬
fully. For example, science differentiates the molecules, cells, tissues,
organs, etc. of the body into different structures with different organi¬
zations. The individual in perceiving himself generally does the same
thing. His self concept is hierarchically and abstractly organized with
some element dominating and encompassing others (Purkey, 1970). With such
an organization of the perceived self the individual is capable of relating
and bringing forth his personal experiences.

173
The mythological strategy, however, treats all elements as equal„
They are constrained by their symbolic nature and the fact that they come
from a language that distinguishes elements according to their conbinational
properties but not according to their personal meanings. That is, the
creation of myths employs a syntactic strategy without the semantic, or
meaningful, strategy that is part of "scientific" approaches. As Lévi-
Strauss (1966) says,
The characteristic features of mythical thought is that
it expresses itself by means of a heterogeneous reper-
torie which, even if extensive, is nevertheless limited.
It has to use this repertorie, however, what ever the
task at hand because it has nothing else at its disposal
(p. 11).
For the individual, then, personal mythology is a constantly shifting
process, but ever locked in a limited pattern. The continual combining
and recombining of images and symbols, while possibily providing adequate
means of dealing with the situation of the moment, lacks the overall
organizational properties of a unified self concepto Images and symbols
in personal mythology, according to Lévi-Strauss:
are. „ .condensed expressions of necessary relations
which impose constraints with various repercussions
at each stage of their employment. . . this’ logic
works rather like a kaleidoscope, an instrument which
also contains bits and pieces by means of which struc¬
tural patterns are realized. The fragments are
products of a process of breaking up and destroying,
in itself a contingent matter, but they have to be
homologous in various respects, such as size, bright¬
ness of coloring, transparency. They can no longer
be considered entities in their own right in relation
to the manufactured objects of whose 'discourse' they
have become the indefinable debris but they must be
so considered from a different point of view if they
are to participate usefully in the formation of a new
type of entity: one consisting of patterns in which,
through the play of mirrors, reflections are equiva¬
lent to real objects, that is, in which signs assume
the status of things signified (p. 36).

i/y
Personal mythology, being a consequence of unresolved individual
meanings and divorced from the individual's experiencing, becomes a
private arena of experiencing in itself. Locked into a perceptual
framework that assumes that all meanings are equally important and that
the symbolized meanings are in themselves the things that are symbolized,
the individual has at his disposal only half of the possible organizing
processes. He lacks the capacity for distinguishing levels of meaning
for himself, so he constantly is reworking his available images into new
or repeated patterns. This constant recombination of symbols and myth¬
ical images, I suggest, is directed at an identity solution.
For the individual who is out of touch with his direct experience
and who relates solely on the basis of his excognitated symbolic represen¬
tations of experience a thorough, firm sense of his identity is impossible.
To see himself as an experiencing individual his experiences must be avail¬
able to him in other than merely symbolic terms. Otherwise he is limited
to constantly reorganizing his existing symbols and meanings, which are
inadequate representations by themselves, instead of creating new meanings
that will increase his sense of self and his capacity to deal effectively
with the environment.
Circularity of Personal Myths
There is a structure that exists among myths, although that
structure is different from that of logical, "scientific" structures.
Essentially the difference between the two is that one is planar, two-
dimensional, synchronic while the other is hierarchical, multi-dimensional
and historical (Lévi-Strauss, 1966). Mythological structure, whether
personal or cultural, assumes the totality of the present, and the

180
equality of events; scientific structure assumes historical, that is,
progressive knowledge and hierarchy of events and elements,, The
difference in these two structures is the difference between an
undifferentiated field and a differentiated one.
In the undifferentiated field no figure stands out clearly from
the myriad elements of the field; thus, clear action is impossible
because there is no clear perception. Mythological thinking, by its
not having principles of organization that will distinguish different
aspects, leaves the individual with an undifferentiated field of percep¬
tions.
In therapy situations one of the primary roles of the therapist
is to act as an agent for differentiation. A client often will complain
of being confused unsettled, dissatisfied in some way, but he may have no
knowledge of what the source of his confusion is. The therapist aids him
in sorting through his confusion ¿>nd in finding out where to look for his
solutions. In addition the client may become educated to his personal
processes.
The confusion over one's identity or one's actions often is
circular. The individual, because he fails to distinguish important
areas of his experience, such as confusing his observations and his
interpretations, returns again and again to the same personal issues
without satisfactory resolutions. R„ D. Laing’s (1969) work and obser¬
vations on the circular discourse tnat characterizes certain mental
disorders points this out effectively. Having a logic all their own,
these people spin a spiral of perspectives on themselves and others
that do not allow the individual to get out of the situation.

In Knots Laing (1972) presents verbal patterns, such as the one
below, to illustrate the circular impasses that are possible.
I atn not entitled to what I have
everything I have is stolen.
If I've got it,
and I am not entitled to it,
I must have stolen it.
I am not entitled to it.
I am not entitled to it
I have stolen it.
I have stolen it
I am not entitled to it.
I am not entitled to it
I must have stolen it.
Or, it has been given to me as a special
favor
by someone who is entitled to it
so I am expected to be grateful for all
I have
what I have
has been given, not stolen (p. 34).
This form of circularity in thinking and speaking is what I call
personal mythology. The individual is inserted into a perceptual system
that is constantly being turned in on itself and although apparently
reaching a solution, never quite gets there. Ultimately the person
builds up a body of myths and beliefs that control his perceptions in
new situations only in the limited terms of the old situations.
What Octavio Paz (1970) has to say about the creation of meaning
through cultural myths applies to the personal realm as well:
Each myth reveals its meaning in another one, which, in
its turn refers to another, and so on in succession to
the point where all these allusions and meanings weave
a text: a group or family of myths. This text alludes
to another and another; the texts compose a whole, not
so much a discourse as a system in motion and perceptual
metamorphosis: a language. . . .Myth is a sentence in a
circular discourse, a discourse which is constantly chang¬
ing its meaning: repetition and variation (pp. 38-39).
therefore
because
because
therefore
therefore
because

The constant recombining of myths in cultural contexts is presumed
by Lévi-Strauss to be an attempt to resolve the most basic questions about
the world and existence. Since these questions are not resolvable in
these terms the myths remain part of the cultural heritage» In a similar
vein, personal myths exist for everyone. Since there is always some area
of experiencing that the individual is not in command of, he will exhibit
some amount of elemental organization along these lines. It is in the
individuals without sufficient modes of referring to direct experience and
making it available to htem that personal mythology becomes the dominant
mode of perception.
Congruence of Experience and Expression
In positing a level of felt meanings which constitute the individual*
most significant experience and in positing an inner language which is the
individual's referential process through which he generates and relates
symbols that represent himself* I have suggested that these two processes
must be integrated in order for the individual to maintain an experien-
tially full sense of his identity. The congruence between experience and
expression is not limited to the representations he may make public, but
also extends to the individual's capacity to match the two on some inner,
personal level,
Rogers (1971) suggests that the valuing process, which is clearly
present in an infant's preference for some experiences and not for others,
is the source for an individual's most firm personal experiences. The
individual prefers some things to others initially on an organismic basis,
with the locus of the valuing process being within himself. This process.

ICO
however, may become subverted in the individual's experiential modes if
he adopts external values that do not coincide with his personal valuing
system. This replacement of values occurs through communication with
others and through the internalization of external unassimilated symbols.
Rogers says that:
in an attempt to gain or hold love, approval, esteem,
the individual relinquishes the locus of evaluation
which was his in infancy, and places it in others. He
learns to have a basic distrust for his own experi¬
encing as a guide to his behavior. He learns from
others a large number of conceived values, and adopts
them as his own, even though they may be widely
discrepant from what he is experiencing. Because
these concepts are not based on his own valuing
they tend to be fixed and rigid rather than fluid
and changing (p. 9).
The valuing process in each individual may be highly varied, some
values coming from introjected concepts and others coming from a deep,
personal!ly felt preference. In daily choice situations and in life-
choice situations the experientially full person, the person who has
his experiencing most available to him, chooses according to those
values within him. Thus, his choices are likely to be the best choices
for him in terms of his own experience. The experientially empty person,
however, is likely to make blind choices, choices in terms of others and
in terms of undifferentiated self-images.
Congruence among valuing, experiencing and expressing is tied in
with the individual's ability to integrate the various elements of his
functioning. The act of communication, interpersonal and intrapersonal,
is an integrative function in healthy, whole people: through communicating
openly and broadly one's own experience the individual finds more of himself

I becoming accessible to himself. Language integrates the symbols, the
experiences and the meanings of the individual or it isolates them,
creating a bifurcated personality out of touch with the whole of his
experience at any one time. Jourard (1964) sums up the relationship
between communication and experience when he cites self-disclosure as
a process of achieving mental health.
Self-disclosure. . . appears to be one of the means by
which a person engages in that elegant activity which
we call real-self-being. . . .Full disclosure of the
self to at least one other significant human being
appears to be one means by which a person discovers
not only the breadth and depth of his needs and
feelings, but, also the nature of his own self-
affirmed values (p. 27).
Self-disclosure, valuing, communicating. The interpersonal context
informs the individual of his meanings and relationships among them. The
movement towards appropriate symbolizing and experiencing of oneself is
a movement towards full integration and congruence. The alienated self,
the loss of attention to inner signals and inner meanings, gives over to
the integrated, accepted self through the process of disclosing and
expressing personal values. The process of establishing full-bodied
symbols for one's experience directs the individual away from undifferen¬
tiated, privately held and isolated images and towards differentiated,
cohesive experienced meanings.
I suggest that it is through the linguistic process of establishing
symbols, concepts and modes of referring to one's experience that a person
orients himself. He learns either to generate and relate symbols without
respect to his personal organismic experience or to establish and maintain
an experiential mode that makes his experience maximally available to him.

185
If this is true, then the communicative process in all of its dimensions
is a relevant and important area of investigation for anyone, interested
in the ways that people develop and maintain the organization of their
perceptions. Without adequate modes of referral and expression of one's
experience the individual .-.amasses a body cf unassociated images, isolated
symbols and undiffetentiated concepts. He becomes prey to distorted
senses of himself, even to the point of experiencing himself as a hollow,
dissociated beir ,
The so! j.ion to t..is psycho! gical problem is to integrate the
split and bifurcateo dimensions of the personality into a cohesive whole.
As E. M. Forster (1954) expresses it in his novel Howard's End,
Only connect! that was the whole of her sermon.
Only connect the prose and the passion, and both
will be exalted, and human, love will be seen at
its height. Live in fragments no longer. Only
connect, and the beast and the monk robbed of
the isolation that is life to either, will die
(pp. 186-187).

CHAPTER VII
LANGUAGE AND THE FULLY FUNCTIONING SELF
A person's use of language as the basis for his representing and
exploring the world around him channelizes his thinking processes. It
affects the v/ays in which he tends to abstract from his experiences, the
ways in which he establishes a sense of his relationship to others, the
way he generates and manipulates symbols and images about himself. Thus,
language permeates the individual's experience at many levels, providing
him with the means of freeing himself from superficial appearances on one
hand, and of chaining himself to distortions and misperceptions on the
other hand.
The implications of language as a perceptual control in people's
lives are multiform. In some respects we are just beginning to understand
the relationship between language processes and thinking and perceiving,
but in other respects--as I have described in the previous chapters, the
role of language in personality and perception seems to be well established.
The picture we obtain in looking at the individual in this way is one of
dual movement: the individual learns to master his environment through his
increasingly powerful representations of it and he learns to master himself
through the internalization of externally devised cues.
If we look at the speech process itself, including the language of
gestures, we see the individual finding ways of bringing to public shape
his personal thoughts, feelings, impressions, and ideas. In so doing,
186

187
the individual discovers more about the experience he attempts to
communicate to others; he has to reflect upon it, symbolize it, and
transform it into some communicable state. The other side of the
speech process, speech for oneself, highlights the exploratory,
bringing-to-an-understanding process even more, for through it the
individual develops his characteristic modes of perceiving himself
and of relating his experiences to each other. Operating at a lower
level — in most cases, probably a prior level of functioning—a person’s
inner speech affects his overall psychological structure, particularly
his ability to function fully throughout his life.
In this work I began with diverse descriptions of the self and
chose the phenomenological approach to personality at the one that offers
a holistic approach to the self in terms of the individual's own percep¬
tions. I am returning in this last chapter to a consideration of the
self, particularly the healthy, fully functioning, self-actualizing,
adequate self. To do this I am relating the role of language in
personality development to two major descriptions of the fully func¬
tioning personality: Maslow's self-actualizing personality and Combs'
adequate personality. The first provides an externalistic description
of characteristics that comprise the self-actualizing individual;
the second provides an internalistic, "perceptual" description. Both
descriptions have value to the psychologist.
The Self Actualizing Self
According to Maslow (1962) the observed characteristics of healthy,
fully functioning people are:

188
1. Superior perception of reality»
2. Increased acceptance of self, of others and of nature.
3c, Increased spontaneity»
4. Increase in problem centering.
5. Increased detachment and desire for privacy .
6. Increased autonomy, and resistance to enculturation.
7. Greater freshness of appreciation, and richness of
emotional reaction.
8. Higher frequency of peak experiences.
9. Increased identification with the human species.
10. Changed (the clinician would say, improved) interpersonal
relations.
11. More democratic character structure.
12. Greatly increased creativeness.
13. Certain changes in the value system (pp. 23-24).
Taking each of these in turn we may see the degree to which language, as
I have described it, affects or may affect characteristics leading toward
self-actualization.
1. Superior perception of reality
The individual who is not word-bound, who does not take
the word or symbols for the thing represented, is much less likely to
confuse or distort the world-as-it-is. He will have available to him
a wide-range of ways of symbolizing reality and of relating it to himself;
thus, he is capable of discovering his personal meaning in a situation
along valid lines without the automatic distortions that come from unchal¬
lenged and undifferentiated assumptions. His awareness of himself and of
the world is likely to be more acurate and more operational.

I oy
2. Increased acceptance of self, of others and of nature.
Because he sees his relationship to the world and to others
more clearly and accurately he is capable of accepting what he sees as
being truly him. Also, when he is able to explore and make available his
inner experiences through the referential process of language, he is
capable of making intelligible and admissable the entire range and flow
of his experience. Thus, congruence among the various experiential modes
(Rogers, 1959), not only by means of one's language, but significantly
through language and symbolization, leads to greater acceptance.
3. Increased spontaneity.
The degree to which an individual is "in touch" with and
comfortable with all of his experiences determines the degree of spon¬
taneity in his actions. Language functioning, then, would have a less
central but strong role in the interplay among his bringing of these
experiences to the surface and into the world. Other factors affecting
spontaneity are: the individual's readiness in new situations (Moreno,
1946), security (Combs, 1959) and honesty with himself and others
(Moustakas, 1967). Since spontaneity is a product of a total integration
of dimensions of a person's experience, language will play only a supporting
role.
4. Increase in problem centering.
Being less "self-conscious" and being less personally
threatened by a situation allows the individual to direct his attention
to solving a problem efficiently and effectively. I do not think that
language, except as it may help him understand what the problem actually
is, affects the individual's ability to center on problems.

190
5. Increased detachment'and desire for privacy.
Here, too, a person's language is not more than tangentially
related.
6. Increased autonomy, and resistance to enculturation.
One of the major theses of this work has been that language
provides the individual with the means of becoming more autonomous, more
self-directed in his dealings with the world. In a social sense, however,
autonomy means being inner-directed, relying upon one's "inner signals"
instead of external forces. The resistance to rubricization that
Maslow (1962) cites as characteristic of self-actualizing persons is a
resistance to the classificatory, labelling elements exhibited in external
experience or his inner symbolization of it in favor of externally
generated symbols. If he followed only external symbols he would even¬
tually lose touch with his inner experience and become a shell without the
insides. He would become prey to all the assumptions, values, lables, and
dictates of the culture he inhabits, and, thus, would be culture-bound
because he is word-bound.
In George Orwell's 1984 the chief propoganda strategy of the totali¬
tarian Big Brother is to loosen people's strongly held beliefs about the
construction of the world. This is done by pairing off antithetical
concepts and equating them with each other. Thus, "war is peace" and
"ignorance is strength." By confounding the peoples' inner experiences
of those concepts by getting them to accept the contradictory statements
whole cloth, the government makes them out of touch with their own inner
signals. Thereby, the private citizens become less and less capable of
resisting or questioning the dictates of their culture.

191
7. Greater freshness of appreciation, and richness of emotional
reaction^
This characteristic, too, has been explored extensively in
the preceding pages. Richness of emotional reaction is contingent upon
the individuals' capacity for referring to his inner experiences and upon
his ability to make his personal meaning available to him in a variety of
new situations. This involves what Rogers (1962) calls "being real" by
which he means "the difficult task of being acquainted with the flow of
experiencing going on within oneself, a flow marked especially by complex¬
ity and continuous change"(p. 88). The greater the individual's ability
to refer to this flow of experiencing the greater his ability to exhibit
freshness of appreciation and richness of emotional reaction.
8. Higher frequency of peak-experiences.
Peak-experiences are usually non-verbal experiences, I
suspect. But Maslow (1962) points out that "expression and communication
in the peak-experiences tend often to become poetic, mythical and rhapsodic,
as if this were the natural kind of language to express such states of
being"(p. 104). At such times cause and effect between language and
experiencing breaks down; they are likely to be totally integrated in
the individual. Thus, I cannot say to what degree language and expression
would lead to more or less frequent peak-experiences. Further investi¬
gation of this relationship would yield some interesting results.
9. Increased identification with the human species.
I take this to be one of the most significant aspects of
self-actualizing, fully functioning individuals; it incorporates many
of the other characteristics cited by Maslow. In addition, identification

192
with the human species involves symbolizing oneself in broad, open, all-
encompassing ways--seeing oneslef in full-bodied terms, accepting those
perceptions and thereby seeing oneself and one's stake in others (Kelley,
1962), If the development of language and symbolization affected only
one dimension of personality, this, I think, would be the most important
one, for out of his perception of identity with all of humanity the
individual can come to know, accept and enhance himself,
10. Changed interpersonal relations.
The work of Transactional Analysis, General Semantics,
Gestalt therapy and encounter movements as a whole has been directed
at improving interpersonal relationships through improved communication.
Since both interpersonal and intrapersonal communication depends upon
the person's language there are many ways (excellently described in
such books as John Stevens', Awareness, 1971; Peris', The Gestalt
Approach, 1973; Peter Farb's, Word Play, 1974; Thomas Harris?, I'm OK -
You're OK, 1969; etc) in which interpersonal relations may be improved
through changes in language.
11. More democratic character structure.
This is not directly or significantly affected by language,
except in a global orienting effect upon the individual's overall concep¬
tions of his relationship to others.
12. Greatly increased creativeness.
If, as I have indicated, a major determinant in the creative
process is the individual's ability to merge the preconscious symbols and
images with conscious, "rational" representations, then creativeness is

193
a product of the individual's use of language to discover and extend his
levels of experiencing. Both in the holistic sense (Maslow, 1962) of
creativity as psychological health and in the specific sense of creativity
as "special talent creativeness" the individual's ability to bring to
awareness and functionality the continuum of his experience relies
upon his capacity for symbolization,
13. Certain changes in the value system
Valuing according to Rogers (1951) is an organismic process,
a preferring of some things over others. To the degree that the indivi¬
dual perceives his values clearly and symbolizes them adequately he is
able to act on those values. This means that values may be distorted
through mis-representations of one's self (Raimy, 1975), which in turn
are affected by the symbol systems a person has available for developing
concepts of himself. An increase in adequate symbolization and congruence
among his levels of experience would, therefore, lead to changes in the
value system as a whole.
In the valuing process personal meaning for each individual is
the strongest determinant and indicator of what values a person will
embrace (Combs, 1959). What is valued is what is perceived by the
individual as leading to the greatest maintenance and enhancement of
himself.
The Adequate Personality
According to Combs (1962) the adequate personality has the following
characteristics: a positive self concept, openness and acceptance of his
experience, a broad identification of himself with others, and a rich

194
extensive and available phenomenal field. These characteristics, all
from the internal approach to personality are affected greatly by the
individual's language and symbolizing.
1. Positive self concept.
As has been pointed out a person's self concept, as it is a
product of his symbolizing function, is a short-hand distillation of his
self symbols. It acts as a producer of new experiences and as a product
of the individual's past and present experiences. Thus, the self concept,
whether it be positive or negative, cannot be separated from the individuals
language.
2. Openness and acceptance of experience.
Insofar as the individual is aware of himself as a responsive
organism with continuing meanings and values he will be able to accept his
experiences and remain open to new experiences. The adequate personality,
having the capacity to make his experiences available in other experiences
he has differentiated himself rather completely from his environment and
from other people. This has occurred through his capacity to symbolize
his experiences in a variety of ways and to use his symbolic functioning
as an abstracting process. He is in command of his perceptual organiza¬
tion in that he does not mistake symbols for the things symbolized. He
is reality-oriented in that he bases his conceptions of himself upon an
accurate appraisal of situations and events without the distortion that
comes from feeling threatened in some way.
The inadequate or partially-functioning person has different
perceptual and symbolizing characteristics. He is limited to two-valued
terms in defining himself so he tends to be more rigid perceptually,

195
operating in either/or terms. Thus, he is likely to define himself in
negative terms, in respect to what he is not instead of what he is. He
confuses symbols and the things they represent, which leads him to reacting
to the wrong elements frequently and distorting the situations he finds
himself in, he acts with a great quantity of unchallenged assumptions about
what is and what is not.
Furthermore, if in using his language he loses direct reference to
his experience he becomes experientially empty, incapable of knowing
what he feels and what he thinks. Thus, he has a limited amount of
personal experience available to him in new situations, so he is limited
in his being able to respond fully and well.
Finally, out of his lack of participation in experiential modes, his
symbols and meanings are constantly being shuffled through into a mytho¬
logical structure, representing not so much what really is but what he
thinks is; this inadequate means of organizing his perceptions, having
little or no means of sorting out levels of organization and meaning,
severly limits his sense of identity.
3. Broad identification with others..
As the individual symbolizes himself and his myriad experiences
he may progress toward a greater and greater acceptance and appreciation
ofhis diversity. If he comes to see himself as a complex person with a
personal stake in the similarities between himself and others he comes
to identify himself with the fates of others. Eugene Debs (1917) typifies
this broad identification with others in his famous statement:
While there is a lower class I am in it; while
there is a criminal element I am of it; while
there is a soul in prison, I am not free (p. 14).

196
4. A rich, extensive, and available field.
Throughout this work the effects of language upon the
individual's phenomenal field have been presented. Not only does language
enable the individual to go beyond the information given in forming concepts,
abstractions, strategies, and constructs about his world and about himself,
but it also provides him with the means of making his past experiences
available to him in new situations. The degree to which the symbolizing
process is kept open, multi-dimensional, and clear determines the degree
to which the individual's phenomenal field is rich, extensive and available.
Meaning
At the final levels of analysis, discussion about language, perception
and experience becomes a discussion about meaning. For each individual
the meaning of his relationships to others, to the world at large and to
other parts of himself is the most significant area of his life. That
these meanings may be influenced greatly by one's language processes, I
hope, has been amply demonstrated. Many areas of language use deserve
much more investigation. I anticipate that in the coming years we will
learn more about this, the most pervasive form of symbolic functioning;
more links between language and perception will be established, and
others modified by new, more sophisticated evidence. However, meaning for
the individual must never be neglected, for through his personal and felt
meanings the individual lives out the sume of his existence. He experiences
himself as having meaning above all other experiences. While we may discover
more about the creation and development of meaning, we will not discover
an area that supplants meaning as the summation of one's experience of
himself and his world.

APPENDIX
Toward Piscovering Uni versal Linguistic Processes
Semiotics
The search for linguistic universals has been going on for as long
as men have studied language. The basic reason for this is the belief
that linguistics as a descriptive discipline should base its conclusions
about language upon the features that are common to all languages, not
only for the sake of formal elegance in description but for the sake of
making a bridge to descriptions about what it is like to be human. As
J. B. Carroll (1964a) points out, "anything that is universal in natural
languages is likely to have psychological significance as a basic property
of human communication "(p. 29).
There are several levels on which we may look for linguistic
universals. The most comprehensive level would be the logico-philosophic
level, represented most cogently by Charles Morris (1938). In this
approach language is classified into three areas of investigation: syntac
tics, semantics, and pragmatics. Syntactics relates signs (words) to
one another, which entails formal descriptions of patterns of relationship
Semantics relates signs with their referrents (things), and pragmatics
relates signs to their interpreters, that is, their users. In this
classification of language one begins with the assumption that the most
salient universals of language are that words have relationships to each
other, to their designata and their users. Thus further elaboration
197

of linguistic universals would carry on from these elements. Charles
Morris calls his theory of signs "semiotic," explaining its function as
a unifying discipline.
Semiotic has a double relation to the sciences: it is
both a science among the sciences and an instrument of
the sciences. . . .it supplies the foundations for any
special science of signs, such as linguistics, logic,
mathematics, rhetoric, and (to some extent at least)
aesthetics. The concept of sign may prove to be of
importance in the unification of the social, psycholo¬
gical, and humanistic sciences insofar as these are
distinguished from the physical and biological sciences
(p. 2).
On this level of analysis man is viewed primarily as a sign-using and
sign-generating organism. In this respect his symbolizing propensity
directs all his other activities. Since it occurs in dimensions of seman¬
tics, syntactics, arid pragmatics, an understanding of how these dimensions
are related becomes the task of a philosophy of language and also,
possibly a psychology of language.
The intimate relation of the semiotical sciences makes
semiotic as a science possible but does not blur the
fact that the subsciences represent three irreducible
and equally legitimate points of view corresponding to
the three objective dimensions of semiosis. Any sign
whatsoever may be studied from any of the three
standpoints, though no one standpoint is adequate to
the full nature of semiosis. Thus in one sense there
is no limit to either point of view, i.e., no place
at which an investigator must desert one standpoint
for another (pp. 53-54).
The pragmatic dimension, to use Morris' term, is the main focus
of this discussion on language, but considerations pertaining to the
syntactic and semantic dimensions constantly arise. We cannot consider
the psycholinguiStic processes without some understanding of the role of
semantics and syntax as building blocks for language use. Especially in
postulating some universality in language we need to consider the other
dimensions and what they offer.

199
Semantic Space
If man is essentially a symbolizing organism, how much does he
have in common with the rest of his species? Charles Osgood (1966)
suggests that "the dominant ways of qualifying experience, of describing
aspects of objects and events, tend to be very similar, regardless of what
language one uses or what culture one happens to have grown up in"(p. 304).
In his devising the "semantic differential," which allows a person to
evaluate a concept along several dimensions, he has discovered that the
dimensions for evaluating remain relatively constant from culture to
culture.
Having strong bearing upon the understanding of linguistic universals
is the assumption that people generate a range of impressions, images, and
further symbols arounda particular symbol. That is, if asked what Birthday
means, someone can define it in accurate dictionary meanings,in terms of
personal experience (such as what he does to celebrate his birthday), and
in terms of affective responses. Osgood, Suci, and Tannenbaum (1957)
have concentrated mainly ontheilatter category of responses in devising
scales that tap most, if not all, the relevant dimensions of associations
a person may have with regard to a word or concept.
Three dimensions for judgment have been distilled from an initial
list of many possible dimensions. People use the dimensions of Evaluation
(good, bad, pleasing, etc.), Potency (hard, soft, heavy, light, etc.), and
Activity (active, passive, fast, slow, etc.) in their judgments about
concepts. These dimensions are related on a scale that indicates direction
and distance from dichotomous constructs.

200
The point in space which serves as an operational
definition of meaning has two essential properties--
directi on from the origin, and distance from the
origin. We may identify these properties with the
qua!ity and intensity of meaning, respectively (p. 26).
Thus, a person's concept as a whole is graphically represented by its
constituent dimensions, suggesting a composite structure of relations
within the individual. Although it would be a mistake to assert that
the semantic differential scale is a duplication of some internal mental
structure, it is relevant in indicating how an individual relates his
symbols or concepts to each other. Meaning for each person in these
terms may be a constellation of associated concepts and symbols.
In producing cross-cultural comparisons of the semantic differential
Osgood, et.al. have found that there exist very similar bases for judging
concepts. Similarities in factor structure--the dimensions of Evaluation,
Potency, and Activity--in diverse cultures suggests that, the Whorfian
hypothesis notwithstanding, there is more similarity among people and
their perceptual processes than differences.
However, the issue is not that easily resolved. Differences do_
remain and they may be accounted for more on the basis of linguistic
relativism than the similarities accounted for on the basis of linguistic
similarities. Faced with a world that at least in its physical properties
is about the same for all people, and having as our human inheritance
physical attributes that are biologically the same, we would be expected
to experience the physical properties of the world in similar ways.
Osgood (1966) points out that the panhuman characteristics of phenomena
and of experiences will orient people towards shared perceptions of

2C1
qualities and meaning, but also the culturally different experiences
and means of sorting experience will produce variable conceptions of
some kinds of events.
First, as far as the affective mediating system is
concerned, our data show that it is the factorial
structure--the basic dimensions along which feeling-
tones are differentiated—thát is immutable and over¬
rides differences in both language and culture.
Phenomena which depend upon this shared structure
display universality. Thus, since good, sweet,
bright, white, up, smooth, and the like share
positive affect, they will tend to appear as meta¬
phorical and synesthetic equivalents all over the
world. On the other hand, since the affective
meanings of particular concepts, like MOTHER,
COMMUNISM, SNAKE, and RICE will depend upon the
affective learning experiences of individuals
and hence upon their cultures, we can expect
psycholinguistic relativity (arbitrariness, unique¬
ness) (p. 321).
With that we are thrown back to a modified position on linguistic
universals and linguistic relativity. Semantic considerations by them¬
selves cannot elucidate all the elements of language and experience.
They can offer a picture of relationships among concepts that are common
to almost all people, but applicability towards a full understanding of
language and experience is limited.
Grammatical Universals
Notable attempts have been made to describe grammatical features
that are common to all natural languages (Greenberg, 1966). The problem
involved in such a description, however, have limited the conclusions
that can be drawn at the present. There is a sampling problem, for example
even if we could fu-lly describe all the existing languages of the world—
an arduous task in itself—there would still be "dead" languages that
existed historically and of which we have limited data. One procedure,

202
adopted by Joseph H» Greenberg (1966) has been to select thirty representa¬
tive languages as a sample and then discover what properties may be
generalized from them. This procedure has the advantage of manageable
proportions in collecting data, while it provides a basis for generalizing
about all languages. Results of such investigations remain tentative and
they are subject to revision as counter-examples from other languages
are discovered.
Charles F. Hockett (1966), recognizing the methodological problems
involved in generalizing about language, proposes that universality does
not have to mean existence of a feature in all known cases. An example
from physiology may help understanding of this. It is a human "universal"
to be born with the capacity for speaking and hearing. However, some
people are born deaf and/or mute. Their deviation from the normal human
cspacity does not weaken the claim of speaking and hearing as an impor¬
tant, "universal" characteristic, but suggests that there sometimes are
factors that inhibit such capacities and that we can understand more
about the nature of speaking and hearing by investigating the cases in
which this does not occur. Likewise, in language study the existence of
cases that are contraindications of a particular feature offers oppor¬
tunity for greater insight into what is important in language as a whole.
Hockett says,
Suppose that some feature, believed to be important
and uni versal , • turns out to be lacking in a newly
discovered language. The feature may still be
important. To the extent that it is, its absence
in the new language is a typological fact of impor¬
tance about the language.
Conversely, if some feature is indeed universal,
then it is taxonomically irrelevant (p. 4).

203
If we are using linguistic universals as a bridge to universal mental
processes, both the features held in common in all languages and the
features that distinguish significantly among language systems are
important. Those that do not vary provide an elemental base to under¬
stand the importance of those that do vary.
A listing of grammatical universals, as suggested by Hockett,
may appear tautological because it would introduce elements that are
basic in grammatical patterning and which are generally available to
easy inspection. Nontheless, a listing of common grammatical features
opens the possibility of understanding human experience through the
constituents of grammatical structure. Hockett includes in his,
admittedly, tentative listing such observations about grammatical univer¬
sals as the existence of deictic elements (e.g. personal pronouns,
demonstrative pronouns), proper names, markers that do not denote anything
but which influence denotation (e.g. and, but, in, on), major distinctions
between "noun" and "verb" classes, and sc on. These elements may be
considered as features of phychological significance, particularly in terms
of how the experience of communicating among people is channeled by the
means of referring to the speaker, the hearer, and the referent. Carroll
(1964a)says,
Although linguists have justifiably avoided any appeal
to psychological considerations, it is possible that
the grammatical phenomena formally described by the
linguist can be even more parsimoniously described
in terms of what may be called their "psychological
motivation" or "dynamic logic." That is to say,
given a certain linguistic construction, we may be
able to find a psychological motivation for its
existence and to show its relationship to other
constructions in a way that cannot be done by formal
analysis (p. 29).

204
It would be naive to impute psychological significance to grammatical
structures and features on a one-to-one level. The main problem with
Whorf's analysis of the relation of language to thought is his assumption
that what is represented on the surface linguistic level is likewise
represented on the personal, experiential level. However, it is apparent
that a "dynamic logic" does operate in language use and it is likely to
be pervasive on levels beyond the superficial.
There may be several valid and productive ways to examine the logic
behind surface forms in language. I think of two that seem to be the
most powerful. One way is to look at the structural characteristics
that provide for the surface forms; that is, we can ask what it is that
satisfies the necessary conditions for the incidence of observable forms.
The second way would be based upon the first. We could attempt to
describe the means by which the hidden structures become realized in
observable structures; this would be a process-oriented approach and,
hopefully, would illuminate the psychological dynamics involved in
relating the structures.
The linguistic field that opens up both of these ways of under¬
standing the psychological processes in speech production is called
transformational grammar. Developments in the past two decades suggest
some useable connections for psycholinguistics. They also reveal the
problems involved in making those connections. For the rest of this
appendix I will be pursuing the transformational grammar approach to
linguistic universals and human experiencing.

2C5
Linguistic Universals from á Transformational Grammar Perspective
With the publication of Syntactic Structures, Noam Chomsky (1957)
introduced a system for generating a grammatical description of language.
In his theory he suggested that a structural description, if sufficiently
set forth, would account for the fact that an infinite number of sentences
may be generated from a finite number of v/ords. It also would provide a
description of the construction of sentences that would coincide with a
native speaker's intuitions about the grammaticality of sentences. By
seeking to account for the generative quality of language, which the
native speaker somehow learns to apply, Chomsky was led to propose a
tripartite grammatical theory composed of phrase structure rules, trans¬
formational rules, and morphophonemic. rules.
Phrase Structure Rules
Phrase structure rules in Syntactic Structures indicate how v/ords
are combined in grammatical sequences. Starting with the sentence as
the unit of consideration we can break it into its immediate constituent
parts, the noun phrase and the verb phrase. Each of these can be
differentaited further into the elements that may constitute its basic
structure. Thus, for example, a verb phrase may be composed of a verb
and a noun phrase; a noun phrase may be composed of an article (a, an,
the) and a noun. These are very simple phrase structure descriptions.
When they are written as rules we obtain:
S (sentence > NP (noun phrase) + VP (verb phrase)
VP > V (verb) + NP
NP —> art. + N (noun)
where
means "rewrite as."

2C6
These few examples do not begin to describe the possible combinations of
(fairly simple) phrases that can be analyzed. Linguists have been able
to write complex series of rules that will generate almost all of the
grammatical sentences in English without generating ungrammatical sentences.
However, writing a sequence of rules, which provide a hierarchical analysis
of sentences by dividing them into successive constituent elements,
becomes a formidable enterprise. Although there are limited numbers of
phrase structure rules that formalize the whole of language, attempts to
categorize all the possible sentences lead to complicated concoctions on
the linguist's part. In addition, such hierarchical analyses of sentence
structures, while providing a sort of description of language, cannot
account for the psychological dimension of language. That is, they do
not represent the native speaker's ability to recognize and generate gram¬
matical utterances.
Transformational Rules
Since phrase structure rules by themselves are unwieldy and incapable
of bridging formal description and human experience, Chomsky postulated
transformational rules that could do both. Where phrase structure rules
provide for the combination of individual symbols into grammatical
patterns, transformational rules indicate the ways in which the phrases
themselves may be recombined. With transformational rules at his disposal,
the linguist can simplify his descriptions of sentences by specifying how
simple sentences may be reconstituted through holistic structural changes.
An example may help here.

2C7
If we have the sentence the dog bites the boy and change it to a
passive construction, the boy is being bitten by the dog, the writing of
rules to make this transformation has to be based upon the total structure
of the sentence. Were we only able to make changes in phrase structure
rules we would have to change one word at a time. But since grainnatical
changes occur on a systemic level, phrase structure rules cannot adequately
be formulated. Judith Greene in Psycholinguistics (197?.) points out the
difficulty in having phrase structure rules which operate only one at a
time.
This sort of interlocking of contexts is very difficult to
handle within a system in which individual symbols are
rewritten independently of how other rewriting rules have
been applied. Specification of context sensitive restric¬
tions would be cumbersome to say the least (p. 41).
The advantage of considering transformational rules is that transformations,
operating on strings of symbols instead of individual symbols, provide for
the reordering of the whole sentence at one time.
Transformational rules as an organizational principle have pshcho-
logical validity in that the mind organizes impressions in holistic patterns,
not merely in one step at a time sequences. Chomsky's inclusion of
transformational rules, then suggests a bridge between formal descriptions
of grammar and individual usage. If the individual has available to him
a knowledge of the basic grammatical constructions of his language (phrase
structure rules) and also a set of transformational rules that may be
applied to the basic constructions, as Syntactic Structures suggest, then
we could conclude that the formal characteristics of language duplicate,
at least in significant part, the mental processes of the individual in
language use.

2C8
Admittedly, transformational rules are an outsider's conception of
the internal process of language generation, but, even if the individual
does not use such rules consciously, the description of the linguistic
process in these terms does account systematically for the complex know¬
ledge of grammatical construction that must be part of the individual's
basic knowledge, A phenomenological description of the process takes
into consideration the individual's personal meanings in a situation and
his reasons for saying or doing something. A transformational grammar
approach, however, merely indicates what he would have to know about
language in order to produce sentences at al 1.
florphophonsmic rules
Phrase structure rules and transformational rules are not in
themselves acutal utterances. To be brought to the level of sound
production they require a component that assigns particular sounds to
the words that are to be expressed. Phonemes are the smallest units of
distinctive sound features; phonemic differences in the words time and
dime distinguish one from the other according to the difference in sound
between jt and d_. Thus, phonemes are important in differentiating what is
actually heard; they do not have meaning in themselves. Morphemes are
minimal units of speech with recurring and meaningful dimensions. Some
morphemes, such as un-, pre-, -s_, -er, cannot be used by themselves,
but affect the meaning of whatever words they are conjoined to. They can
be said to have a meaning, either lexically as defined by a dictionary
(such as sing, be, tree), or semantically as defined by their recurrent
usage (such as ¿which "means" plural when attached to nouns).

209
The morphophonemic level, as Chomsky calls it, is important in
the actual production of speech. They produce the surface level
utterance, joining the more abstract levels of transformations and
phrase structures with the concrete. The precise relation of morpho¬
phonemic rules is not necessary in this discussion, except to understand
that at this level the rules can be carefully linked with linguistic
practice, which is the ultimate goal of psycholinguistic investigation
on all levels.
Caveat
In the preceeding discussion of transformational grammar I have
been describing only the basic formulation represented in Syntactic
Structures, and even that at a general level. In 1965, Chomsky published
Aspects of a Theory of Syntax in which he enlarged upon some of the points
made in Syntactic Structures and modified others. Psycholinguistic
research based upon Syntactic Structures has had some intriguing results,
but it does not represent the state of transformational theory since
Aspects was published. In addition, in recent years transformational
theory has expanded and diversified so rapidly that many of the assump¬
tions about the relationships among linguistic structures have been
brought into severe questioning.
Linguistic theory attempts to devise a formal description of
language that is fully developed and internally consistent. In pursuit
of this goal, linguistics appears to be moving in the direction of math¬
ematical theory and formal logical theory. As it does so the connections
with psychological dimensions may become negligible. Although Chomsky
and other transformational linguists have suggested in the past that there

210
is a meeting place where linguistics, psychology, and philosophy merge,
we have not reached that place yet.
Still, whatever the state of current linguistic issues, there
remain two significant areas in which transformational grammar can
contribute to the psycholgical area. One, in the psycholinguistic
research based upon Syntactic Structures there are specific lines of
investigation that have important implications. Even if the merging
of linguistic theory and psycholinguistic theory is merely a historical
accident in the development of the diciplines, there remain important
contributions derived from that synthesis. Two, later developments
and refinements in linguistic theory, while altering some major concep¬
tions, still maintain an essential agreement on the nature of the syntac¬
tic structures and the process of relating the different structures.
With these two points in mind, we can turn to each and witness the contri¬
butions to an understanding of language and personality.
Competence
In linguistic theory a careful distinction is drawn between
linguistic competence and linguistic performance. Competence as an
explanatory concept has been proposed by Chomsky (1957) as a means
of accounting for the abstract system of knowledge that enables the
individual to produce and understand verbal expressions that he has
never heard before. Competence has elsewhere been described as a
representation of the idealized native speaker's intuitive grasp of
the grammar of his language. He does not have to "think out" any but
the most complex utterances that he may hear. He knows marvelously a
vast amount about the language system he is immersed in. Chomsky (1972)
says:

211
I think that if we comtemplate the classical problem
of psychology, that of accounting for human knowledge,
we cannot avoid being struck by the enoumous disparity
between knowledge and experience--!'n the case of lang¬
uage, between the generative grammar that expresses
the linguistic competence of the native speaker and
the meager and degenerate data on the basis of which
he has constructed this grammar for himself. . . .
The problem cannot even be formulated in any sensible
way until we develop the concept of competence, along¬
side the concepts of learning and behavior, and apply
this concept in some domain. The fact is that this
concept has so far been extensively developed and
applied only in the study of human language (p. 78).
When we begin to seek out the elements that make personal knowledge
possible, that is, the cognitive abilities involved in an internal repre¬
sentation of the world, we have to account for the differences between a
person's representation and what exists "in reality."
In perceptual psychology terms we do understand that what a person
perceives is a product of what he has learned to perceive through his
past experiences. Thus, personal knowledge of the world is a function of
experience. A child tests properties of his environment and modifies
or clarifies his understanding of his environment in terms of the effects
of his manipulations. As he does so, his perceptions become more adequate.
Inadequate perceptions become self-correcting as the individual acts upon
understanding of linguistic competence in the individual.
In one way, competence sounds like Wertheimer's (1959) description
of knowledge of structural features in an intellectual problem. Seeking
to account for the "aha!" experience, the moment of understanding,
Wertheimer claims that true knowing involves knowledge of the structural
characteristics of the problem being investigated. In his classic discus¬
sion of finding the area of a parallelogram, he notes that what makes it

212
possible for the child to draw a perpendicular and appropriately find the
area is a recognition of the formal properties of the geometric figure.
Adherence to simple rules or following a formula blindly are not sufficient
procedures, for the introduction of differently drawn figures makes
blind rule-following inadequate.
The children in Wertheimer's study (1959) had to be able to perform
some kind of operations on the parallelogram that not only preserved
their sensiorial knowledge of it but also enriched their total perceptions
of the structure. In a similar way, Chomsky suggests that the child devises
an enriched conception of his native language. His exposure to his lang¬
uage is sporadic, haphazard, and limited, yet he learns the essential
grammatical structures very early from this halting, insufficiently
expressed exposure.
Linguistic competence may be intimately tied together with mental
processes. If competence represents an abstract ordering of external
impressions into an organized internal system, then competence, as an
explanatory concept, extends the Gestalt psychology description of learn¬
ing into the generation of mental structures. Understanding linguistic
structures could mean understanding mental structures. Chomsky (1972)
points out,
it seems that most complex organisms have highly
specific forms of sensory and perceptual organization
that are associated with the Umwelt and the manner of
life of the organism. There is little reason to doubt
that what is true of lower organisms is true of humans
as well. Particularly in the case of language, it is
natural to expect a close relation between innate pro¬
perties of the mind and features of linguistic structure;
for language, after all, has no existence apart from its
mental representation. Whatever properties it has must
be those that are given to it by the innate mental
processes of the organism that has invented it and that

213
invents it anew with each succeeding generation, along
with whatever properties are associated with the condi¬
tions of its use. Once again, it seems that language
should be, for this reason, a most illuminating probe
with which to explore the organization of mental processes
(pp. 94-95).
Ways of knowing the world and ways of organizing that knowledge of
the world correspond with the ways people have of organizing knowledge
about themselves. Mental processes organize a person's perceptual field.
His experience at any moment is his whole perceptual field and the mental
processes by which he discovers or creates the meaning of that moment is
part of his experience, although he may not be conscious of the mental
constructions he is employing.
Linguistic competence relates to the interplay of mental processes
in that it suggests an innate organizing ability that bridges external
phenomena (what Chomsky calls experience) and personal meanings. Language
is not the only external phenomenon that the individual encounters and
learns to manipulate. However, it is pervasive, in that it is encountered
everywhere. As a widespread phenomenon, having both external and internal
realizations, it cannot but be linked with a person's perceptual field.
In addition, it is integral, in that language links human experiences
together in a representational system that merges internal and external
experiences. An advantage of Chomsky's notion of competence is that it
allows us to consider people as having innate organizing abilities
while providing for the effects of environment upon the resultant mental
structures.
Thus, competence is both a process and a product in the individual.
By developing an organized concept of grammar the individual creates a
product; by using that product to construct and understand utterances he

214
engages in a process. As in psychological theory that proposes that the
individual's phenomenal self is both a process and a product in his
experience, competence recognizes the dual nature of the individual's
relations to his world.
Piaget (1971a), in attempting to describe the constructive
dimensions of cognition, says that the biological organism develops
structures for regulating exchanges with the environment, and that
these structures are regualrly being recreated in ways that extend
the range of the organism. This suggests that linguistic competence
is a means of extension of the individual, allowing him greater and
greater mastery over the external world.
I believe that this is a valid way of approaching the internal
processes of the individual, although it may be wrenching Chomsky's
conception somewhat out of its original form to apply it directly to
cognitive dimensions. Chomsky is saying that beyond the actual linguis¬
tic performance of the individual there is an abstract representation
of the whole of language structure that he must have in order to generate
utterances. Other factors such as memory, situational factors, degree of
personal threat, etc. affect what is actually said and how grammatical
the utterance may be. However, the abstract representation of language
is also a force in the production of concrete sentences.
Developmental Psycholinquisties
The most promising attempt to link the acquisition of language in
children with the syntactic structures posited by Chomsky has been the
work of David McNeill at Michigan. Basing his formulations upon trans¬
formational grammar and longitudinal studies in language acquisition,

215
McNeill (1966) attempts to explain how actual speech performance derives
from linguistic competence. To do this, he says, we must keep in mind
the distinction between performance and competence.
We are interested in eventually accounting for a
child's linguistic performance, and this. . .
requires that we rigorously maintain the perfor¬
mance-competence distinction. It is possible to
describe performance without explaining it, but
if we wish to explain performance, we must show
how it derives from competence; that is, how the
regularities in a child's grammatical knowledge
produce regualrities in his overt linguistic
behavior. Nothing short of this will suffice (p. 17).
The first step in explaining how competence gives rise to performance
is to account for the development of linguistic competence. Without
going into the highly detailed, and sometimes contradictory, empirical data
in regard to acquisition, we can observe an overall progression from
simple one- and two-word utterances to complex grammatical constructions.
The pattern of differentiation suggests a continuing elaboration of
specific knowledge of grammatical classes and constructions and an
internalization of abstract rules that order speech production.
Early sentence production involves the use of two classes of
words; pivot and open. Pivot words in general describe relationships
and actions, denote characteristics, etc. They are usually not fixed to
any particular referents, but can be applied to a variety of specific,
contextual referents. Open-class words, most often denoting specific
referents, are more plentiful in the child's vocabulary. These seem to
be added easily to his repertoire, possibly because of the relatively
fixed meanings. At any rate, by choosing a pivot word and an open word
a child constructs elementary sentences such as "boy (open) all gone
(pivot)," "my plane," Hi Mommy," "that Daddy," and so on.

216
The early formed pivot and open class granmars become differentiated
into more formal classes as the child adds to his vocabulary and to his
grammatical knowledge. McNeill claims that this process leads to the
individual's sophisticated knowledge of the native language, that the
child builds a hierarchy of categories by distinguishing the words that
comprise his pivot class further and further. From an early use of pivot
words and open words, pivot words are separated into classes of articles
(a, an, the), adjectives, demonstrative pronouns, possessive pronouns,
etc.
In each case, new classes appeared through subdivision
of one of the pivot classes. . . and so we can say that
the process of development here was differentiation of
the pivot class. There is no evidence of independent
discovery of the adult grammatical classes; they are
merely removed from the pivot class like a banana peel
(p. 28).
Progressive differentiation of grammatical classes in this fashion
suggests that the child is learning categories for classifying words.
He has at his disposal the ability to formulate hierarchies of grammatical¬
ness which reflect his knowledge of grammatical patterns irrespective of
particular words placed in the pattern, and the capacity to generate
particular rules for sentences construction that allow for certain words
used in a certain context.
For example, recognition of the grammaticalness of the sentence,
"colorless gree ideas sleep furiously" (to use Chomsky's famous linguistic
example), comes from a knowledge of the appropriate patterns and positions
of certain classes of words. We can utter the above sentence with an
intonation pattern that fits with how sentences normally sound. Thus,

217
although the sentence is essentially meaningless, it is semi-grammatical.
Knowing that it is somehow grammatical means knowing grammatical structures
of one's language* In addition, knowing that it is not completely gram¬
matical means knowing a series of rules that do not allow for abstract
nouns (ideas) to be modifies by concrete adjectives (green), etc.
There exist substantive and formal universals according to Chomsky
(1972)„ The child learns both as he acquires his native language, thereby
bcoming proficient at recognizing the grammaticalness of sentences such as
the above* McNeill (1966) calls this process of deriving a grammatical
theory of his language a Language Acquisition Device (LAD).
Equipped with both formal and substantive universals,
LAD ¿Language Acquisition Device^ operates something
like a scientist constructing a theory. LAD observes
a certain amount of empirical data, the primary linguis¬
tic data, and formulates hypotheses that will account
for them from its knowledge of the formal and substan¬
tive universals. Further observation may lead to
changes in LAD's hypotheses, but all new hypotheses
will also be phrased in terms of the formal and sub¬
stantive universals. Thus, the universals guide and
limit acquisition. . . .The advantage to a child of
having universals such as the hierarchy of categories is
that he can progress toward the grammatical classes of
adult English step-by-step. He does not have to notice,
hypothesize, and test all distinctions at once. A
simple dichotomy or trichotimy will serve at first.
The rest of the distinctions are taken up in an order
determined by the hierarchical arrangement of categories.
If the same hierarchy underlies both adult grammar and a
child's development, the child would be able to progress
rapidly and surely to full linguistic competence (p. 39).
Innate Capacities
Linguists, particularly transformational linguists, often are led
to propose innate structures or capacities in humans, in order to account
for the rapid and systematic acquisition of language. Although I believe

218
that it is unnecessary to assume that children are born with the general,
universal knowledge of grammatical relations that Chomsky has proposed,
it is convenient to credit the child with some sort of innate ability
that allows him to develop linguistically. The ability, however,
as Piaget (1971a, p. 47) points out, must be developmental; that is,
it must be acquired and elaborated as the brain functions mature and
as the child develops more powerful representations of his world. H.
Sinclair-de-Zwart (1964) states that the sensori-motor schemes as they
are transformed into mental operations upon the environment "would
determine the manner in which the linguistic structures are acquired
(p. 371)."
Jo H. Greenberg (1966) observes that there are grammatical relations
that exist universally in language, or as near to universal as we are
able to specify currently. McNeill uses this as evidence for the
existence of basic grammatical relations in each child's linguistic endow¬
ment. Such an assumption assigns to the child the role of knowing entity
who "discovers" what linguistic community he has been born into be sorting
out the specific features of his native language from what he knows to be
true universally. Stated this way, such beliefs about innate abilities
sound naive and hyperbolic. However, an important consideration in regard
to this is that the linguistic universals may represent an innate capacity
to structure cognition in particular ways and an inability to structure
them in different ways. That is, what is commonly available as an organ¬
izational force in all languages may reflect what is commonly, or even
necessarily, available in the mental processes of humans. As the child

?19
sorts through the linguistic evidence and constructs a grammar for himself,
he may be choosing from a limited set of possibilities as ordered by
linguistic universals. McNeill (1966) says:
LAD must be equipped with knowledge of just those
specific aspects of linguistic competence that
cannot be extracted from overt speech, namely,
appropriate generic grammatical classes and
hierarchical structures. . . .We might turn this
assertion around and say that languages have
deep features, unmarked in overt speech, precisely
because children (like LAD) have the specific linguis¬
tic capacities that correspond-to them. A language
with different features would be unlearnable by LAD
and, presumable, by children. The evolution of
language so as to include particular universal
features, therefore, is necessarily tied to the
linguistic capacities of language learners (p. 50).
If we take the transformational grammar position seriously, we
begin to see the role of language development in Tight of basic cognitive
capacities. What becomes more important is to understand the structure
of linguistic competence and performance. Evidence concerning the
particular order of learned linguistic rules conflict, and notions about
.the place where meaning is attached to utterances conflict, but the
basic structure of language capacity is generally agreed upon.
Deep Structures and Personal Meaning
Deep structures in transformational terms consist of the underlying
strings of abstract rules that indicate the way a sentence will be
realized in surface structure. That is, in deep structure, a concept
which Chomsky introduced in 1965 to replace the notion of kernel sentences,
the native speaker's understanding of ambiguity and disambiguity in
language comes into play. This underlying structure still accounts for
the speaker's ability to understand novel utterances and to interpret
sentences that initially may be ambiguous.

220
A major formal argument currently rages among transformational
linguists over the placement of semantic markers in the structural
scheme. In 1965, Chomsky claimed that the deep structures contain all
the essential information for semantic interpretation, thereby formal¬
izing the linguists' intuitions about where linguistic meaning enters
in sentence construction. However, Chomsky (1971) lately has altered
that position to suggest that semantic markers occur at the surface
level of sentence production, which waters down the assertion of deep
structure as containing all the significant information about sentences.
A host of transformational linguists, however, hold to the earlier view¬
point about the placement of semantic markers.
It makes more psychological sense to view semantic interpretations
of words or complete utterances as existing on a deep level. Osgood's
semantic differential, for example, suggests an internal constellation of
dimensions around which a person orders concepts and symbols. These
symbols which gather further "meaning" for individuals with experience
would come into play in speech production from the onset. Deep level
in these terms, then, would be the "preconscious," inner speech level
of language production.
A distinction needs to be made here between the formal dictionary
(lexical) meanings of words and the personal meanings they acquire. While
a person's basic knowledge of a concept comes from its lexical meaning
(Sullivan, 1953), that is, the agreed upon meaning of words or concepts
in social interaction, his personal meanings are altered by his experience.
Transformational grammar includes as part of the lexical meaning a semantic

221
component which indicates the ways in which the various meanings of the
word may be related to other words. Katz and Fodor (1963), for example,
propose that a semantic theory have "projection rules" which would match
the native speaker's ability to sort the meaning of a sentence from all
the possible meanings that might exist because of words that can be used
in a variety of ways» That would be the beginning, it seems, of a link
between the formal characteristic of words and their operational charac¬
teristics.
Describing each word in terms of its semantic features, so as to
make available in some formal way what is available to the individual
operationally, becomes a massive task. Judith Greene (1972) cites an
example of how various meanings of a word could be written in transfor¬
mational grammar notation.
Entries for the verb hit might be as follows:
hit (sense 1):+V, + (collide with, + (physical
object. . .physical object)
hit (sense 2):+V, +(strike), +(higher animal
. . .physical object) (p. 71).
In this fashion semantic markers would be indicated in the lexical item
itself. However, this still does not account for the native speaker's
understanding the particular meaning of the word in a certain context.
At this point we have to appeal to the individual's knowledge of
the word, his own experience. Languages do not indicate all the probable
occurrences and all of the actual experiences someone may have. Accounting
for experience may be out of the province of linguistics, but it is
definitely in the province of psychology, and theoretical stalemates may
be overcome by making bridges to sister disciplines. Katz and Fodor (1963)

222
limit their analysis to features of language that may reasonably be supposed
to be part of each person's repertoire regardless of individual experience.
Judith Greene (1972) says,
At first sight this seems a perfectly reasonable
distinction. The semantic component can be thought
of as describing the language user's ability to
understand all possible semantic readings of a
sentence in the same way as the syntactic component
gives the rules for producing all possible grammatical
sentences. Which particular sentence is uttered or
which interpretation is accepted on any one occasion
is a matter beyond the scope of a purely linguistic
theory.
The real difficulty arises because it can plausibly
be argued that semantic markers are themselves based
on knowledge of the world; for instance, the knowledge
that cats and dogs are animals but not human (except
perhaps in their owners' eyes). Moreover, some markers
seem to depend merely on current conventions. A nice
example is the allocation of the marker (male) to the
word priest, which would mean that the sentence The
landlord knocked up the priest could be given only the
interpretation ''The landlord awakened the priest by
knocking on his door.'1 Clearly, the possiblity of
women being ordained would allow another interpretation.
At present there appears to be no generally satisfactory
solution to this problem of making a distinction between
knowledge of a language and knowledge of the world (p. 73).
Drawing a distinction between knowledge of language and knowledge of
the world is essential to formalization of language. It is presumed that
language can be described fully and systematically in terms of its own
structure, apart from daily experiences. Hence the empahsis upon
competence rather than performance. The methodological problems of linguis¬
tic theory, such as where to assign semantic components a place in the
structure, may have little to do at the present time with the problems
of psychology.

223
From a perceptual point of view all the knowledge a person possesses
is a result of his past and present experiences. The knowledge he possesses
in regards to words, then, would incorporate the lexical meanings, the
semantic markers, personal history with that word, prevailing cultural
contexts, etc. I suggest that it becomes productive to consider all of
the linguistic knowledge a person possesses as a function of daily
experience, for then we can approach the question of the organization of
that knowledge with a firm ground in personal experience.
Personal Experience
The total experience of the individual linguistically is organized
around his symbolizing capacity, his experiences through the act of
communication, and his abstract knowledge of his language. However
much we may be able to describe the external, overt incidence of speech,
we are left with only a partial understanding of the relationship between
language and self. Areas of linguistic experience have-external, social
representations, but they also must have an internal, individual represen¬
tation.
Internalization of external phenomena, as indicated above, is
an organizational process. That is, as the child is learning to manipulate
symbols, as he takes on the attitudes of others, and as he constructs
an abstract representation of the grammar of his language, he is not
merely absorbing features like a sponge. His capacity for abstraction
and generalization allows him to find a way of organizing the incoming
information. It is not that external impressions or phenomena are
assimilated and then organized, but that the assimilation, or internaliza¬
tion process, if you will, is organizational in itself. This is the phenom¬
enal field of the individual.

224
The individual is constantly organizing the world for himself
(Kelly., 1963). His perceptions of physical reality, of the relation¬
ship of others to himself, of his own adequacy are organized into a
total system. In perceptual terms the individual can be described as
striving for the maintenance of a unified organization. This means
that the individual must possess a means for anticipating and choosing
from a range of possibilities those that will help him maintain his
particular organization. As Prescott Lecky (1945) points out,
the ability to forsee and predict environmental
happenings, to understand the world one lives in
and thus to be able to anticipate events and
prevent the necessity for sudden readjustments,
is an absolute prerequisite for the maintenance
of unity (p. 50).
Unity in personality structure means an internal unity. We cannot
see it from outside. At best we can infer from the patterns of a person's
behavior a particular internal organization that represents his perceptual
field. Likewise, in attempting to deal in an organized way with the
internal structure of language, we can infer an organization that accounts
for the external representations. Kelly." (1963) in the elaboration of his
psychology of personal constructs states that in his seeking to anticipate
events the individual evolves hierarchically arranged constructs, having
systematic relationships among themselves.
Each person attunes his ear to the replicative themes
he hears and each attunes his ear in a somewhat different
way. But it is not mere certainty that man seeks; if
that were so, he might take great delight in the repeti¬
tive ticking of the clock. More and more he seeks to
anticipate all impending events of whatsoever nature.
This means that he must develop a system in which the
most unusual future can be anticipated in terms of a
replicated aspect of the familiar past (p. 58).

225
Looking at the individual's ability to anticipate linguistic events
in terms of their familiarity with already known aspects of language, we
see that the individual must be relating novel utterances, either heard
or produced by him, to an abstract organization of features. Chomsky's
suggestion of deep structures and transformations fits in with the
necessity of having an organized language system capable of anticipating
produced speech.
I am suggesting that a structural description of language, insofar
as it represents an internally systematized structure, can help us in
understanding the structure of personality. I do not mean that personality
is precisely structured like a transformational grammar, but I do mean that,
given the organized nature of personality, perception, and behavior, the
structural description put forth in transformational grammar provides a
means for understanding the constructions a person makes. As McNeill
(1966) points out:
I f the capacity for language is a special case of a
more general cognitive capacity, it would follow that
the latter must have all the universal properties of
the former. In short, the appropriate theory of mind
may be a transformational system in which a vast range
of complex ideas is converted into a much smaller range
of abstract cognitive structures, just as a true grammar
converts an infinite range of sentences into a limited
number of abstract deep structures.(p. 37).
McNeill's conception of mind, as a transformational system that
relates an individual's cognitions about the world in an economic fashion,
can be expanded to the perceptual realm. Perception, we recall, involves
differentiation of a figure in relation to a background. Certain figures
emerge from an undifferentiated background and recede as they are not longer
needed in conscious awareness. For example, in learning the conjugation

226
of verbs in Latin, a person initially is quite aware of the conjugation
classes and makes his decision about what verb form to use on the basis
of its fitting in the pattern that he is being taught. As proficiency
increases, he has to consult the memorized conjugations less and less.
Those features of the language are becoming internalized. He is less
conscious of the application of rules in constructing sentences; they
become the background from which other figures emerge (Combs, 1959).
As learned constructions are replaced in perception by other
phenomena, the learned features recede from prominence but they still
affect future perception. As part of the ground, they participate in
the formation of other relationships. That is why it is important to
understand the internalized structures in attempting to understand
personality. Internalized features may become the unchallenged and
unconscious assumptions from which a person bases his daily actions
particularly in the case of language and mental processes.

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
John Jeffrey Gorrell, who has never identified with his first
name, was born to Wilfred and Jessie Gorrell, December 26. 1945, the
second of four sons. In his early years he was a bookish kind of
child who preferred to read than to play outdoor games. He still is
bookish and tends to be sedentary, but he goes outside to ride his
bike and water his plants.
Jeff entered Vanderbilt University in 1964 where he majored
in English, learned to appreciate country music and amassed an undistin¬
guished academic record. In January 1969 he entered the University of
Florida as a graduate student in English. During the next 4^ years he
received an M.A. in English literature, married, took every available
course in Medieval poetry, divorced, developed two close friendships,
taught freshman English, and learned the rudiments of cartooning. He
still maintains his friendships, reads Medieval texts and draws cartoons.
Sometimes he misses teaching poetry.
Jeff's interest in psychology, which stretches back to his under¬
graduate days, and in Humanistic Education led him to the Foundations
department in September, 1972. There he found his intellectual home.
During the past three years he has served as Editor for New Voices in
Education, been a co-leader in various Gestalt therapy workshops, hired
himself out as a ghost-writer, learned how to juggle, become a minor
authority on old comic books, counseled teen-agers for Project CREST,
fallen in love, and read an unimaginable number of books. He is proud
of all these accomplishments.
His plans for the future include getting married, moving to Louisana,
learning to play the piano, teaching Educational Psychology, reading many
236

237
more books, and writing. Jeff finds it difficult to predict where his
profession and his interests will carry him. He becomes most excited by
the works of Arthur W. Combs, Alfred Korzybski, Walt Whitman, Fritz Peris,
Leo Tolstoy, Carl Barks, E. E. Cummings, Abraham Maslow, Walt Kelly, Claude
Lévi-Strauss, Geoffrey Chaucer, Jorge Luis Borges, Gregory Bateson, Hank
Williams, Johannes Brahms, Jean Piaget and Paul Valery. He believes in
the power of ideas, serendipity, excellence in every form, and in himself.

I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion
it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is
fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree
of Doctor of Philosophy.
Arthur W. Combs, Chairman
Professor of Education
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion
it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is
fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree
of Doctor of Philosophy.
( Of o, B I
Walter A. Busby
Associate Professor of Education
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion
it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is
fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree
of Doctor of Philosophy.
Associate Professor of Psychology

I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion
it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is
fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree
of Doctor of Philosophy.
Betty L. Siegel
Professor of Education
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion
it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is
fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree
of Doctor of Philosophy.
Patricia Ashton
Assistant Professor of Education
This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the College
of Education and to the Graduate Council, and was accepted as partial
fulfullnent of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
August, 1975.
Dean, College'of Education
Dean, Graduate School

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
3 1262 08556 8367




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