The problems of industry are not merely those of machines, of technological processes, or of scientific engineering. An industrial conflict of various sorts is to be found merely in the definition of the dichotomous interests. The problem is one of human relationships the focus of attention must be on interpersonal relationships. It is for this reason that sociometry, which has grown out of clinical practice on human relationships, is so well adapted to needs of the scientists and clinicians working in the industrial situation. The interest in human relationships in industry on a large scale is rather recent. While economists wrote on the problem generations ago, while industrial psychologists have claimed a discipline for a generation, and while sociologists have been interested in group structure for half a century, the focus of attention by many disciplines in any concerted way has come about only in the last seventeen years.
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The new era is one of multiple innovations which have set the pace for the developments in psychiatry. The theories of interpersonal relations, micrasociology, and sociometry and the theories of the encounter, spontaneity, and creativity have opened up vast areas of research in psychiatry, social psychology, and social anthropology. New methods of therapy group psychotherapy, psychodrarna, sociodrama, psychosomatic medicine, and psychopharmacology have been introduced. The ideas of the therapeutic society, therapeutic community, and the “open door” of prisons and mental hospitals are beginning to replace the older coercive methods of the management of prisoners and mental patients. A new body of theory has developed in the last thirty years which aims to establish a bridge between psychiatry and the social sciences; it tries to transcend the limitations of psychoanalysis and behaviorism by a systematic investigation of social phenomena. One of the most significant concepts in this new theoretical framework is the role concept.
This chapter discusses autobiographical fragments. It also presents examples from Moreno’s own cases containing verbatim transcripts that illustrate the give-and-take between Moreno, his patients, and the audience observers. The chapter reviews Moreno’s life and ideas in the context of his time and in the field of psychotherapy. When he was very young the idea of death, his own death, never entered his mind. He was in direct communication with God. If love or comradeship should arise, it should be fulfilled and retained in the moment without calculating the possible returns and without expecting any compensation. It was in his work with the children that his theories of spontaneity and creativity crystallized. The two factors, spontaneity and creativity, went together. Also he found that whenever a child repeated himself in the playing out of an idea of a dramatic sketch, his portrayals became more and more rigid.
The sociometric test requires an individual to choose his associates for any group of which he is or might become a member. The sociometric test is an instrument which examines social structures through the measurement of the attractions and repulsions which take place between the individuals within a group. In the area of interpersonal relations people often use more narrow designations, as “choice” and “rejection". Sociometry in communities and the psychodrama in experimental situations make a deliberate attempt to bring the subjects into an experimental state which will make them sensitive to the realization of their own experiences and action patterns. This conditioning of the subjects for a more total knowledge of their social situation is accomplished by means of the processes of warming up and by learning to summon the degree of spontaneity necessary for a given situation.