14 | MP introduction

which push us about, how we are carried away by them, and how
the reasonings which accompany 'our' decisions are mostly self-
deceptions. We feel that, when seen in a mass, we present a
sorry spectacle. Nor are we reassured by the impersonal tons of
the social psychologist who makes us feel that we do not count
at all.

It has to be remembered, of course, that the social psycholog-
ist claims to describe only one side of human beings. One may,
for intance, look up the 'Statistical Abstract for the United
Kingdom', and find that the number of suicides rose almost stead-
ily from 4,209 in 1922 to 6,247 in 1933. A social psychologist
might then, impersonally, try to account for this increase in
terms of social conditions operating on the mentality of the
'average person'. From his angle it does not matter whether
there were 6,247 or 6,248 suicides in 1933. From an individual
angle it matters a lot if the 6,248th is myself. For the social
psychologist it again does not matter whether you and your
friends make up this total, or complete strangers. For the in-
dividual psychologist these personal factors are decisive. 6,000
suicides are an impersonal affair. An individual suicide is steep-
ed into many hesitations, emotions, decisions, worries, etc. Indivi-
duality exists, but in social psychology we abstract from it.

What we call a human personality is an incompletely unified
collection of 'selves' which all inhabit the same body. It is a
matter of common observation that often the behaviour of one's
'public self' is very much at variance with that of one's 'pri-
vate self'. The same person may be timid in his private, and bold
in his public life. He may be intelligent and circumspect as a