William Macdougall

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Macdougall, William


Born June 22, 1871, in Lancashire; died Nov. 28, 1938, in Durham, N.C. Anglo-American psychologist.

MacDougall was originally a student of biology and medicine, but, influenced by William James’ Principles of Psychology, he turned to the study of psychology (first at Cambridge and then at Gottingen with G. Muller). He lectured at University College (London) and at Oxford. From 1920 to 1927 he was a professor at Harvard, and from 1927 to 1938, at Duke University.

MacDougall believed the basis of mental life to be tendency, or “horme” (Greek, “urge”, or “impulse”). His approach is often called hormic psychology. According to MacDougall, horme is a striving toward a biologically meaningful goal determined by special predispositions—either innate instincts and tendencies or acquired feelings. As a human being develops, his feelings acquire a hierarchical structure. At first, several basic feelings are prominent. Once the character is formed, however, a single central (“egotistic”) feeling emerges.

MacDougall’s concept of personality includes the character (the integrated aggregate of congenital and acquired volitional predispositions) and the intellect (the aggregate of the individual’s cognitive capabilities, both innate and acquired). Reflections on the clinical phenomenon of “multiple personality” led MacDougall to elaborate a metapsychological concept of personality based on Leibniz’ monadism. According to this concept, every personality is a system of “potentially thinking and striving monads” (“I”), which merge into a “higher” monad (“self) that directs the entire psychophysical life of the person through the monadal hierarchy.


Pagan Tribes of Borneo, vols. 1-2. London, 1912.
The Group Mind. Cambridge, 1920.
An Outline of Abnormal Psychology. London, 1926.
Character and the Conduct of Life, 2nd ed. London, 1927.
Body and Mind, 7th ed. London, 1928.
World Chaos. London, 1931.
The Energies of Men. New York, 1933.
Psycho-analysis and Social Psychology. London, 1936.
Psychology, 2nd ed. London, 1952.
An Outline of Psychology. London, 1969.
In Russian translation:
Osnovnye problemy sotsial’noi psikhologii. Moscow, 1916.


W. MacDougall: A Bibliography. Cambridge, 1943.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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From 2000 onwards, prices for earlier Russian art began to recover on the tide of new Russian wealth, but it was only in 2006, according to auctioneer William MacDougall, that the market in Soviet Non-Conformist art began to heat up.
She was predeceased by her parents James and Annie (Steele) MacDougall, her brothers, Robert, Donald, Tom and William MacDougall and her sister Anne E.
William MacDougall of MacDougall's in London--the only auction house specialising in Russian art-explains that 'Russian buyers in the late 90s bought very conservatively, tending towards 19th-century painters such as [Ilya] Repin because they had been taught this at school, but this was superseded by demand for the avant-garde.' Sofia Komarova of Galerie Artvera in Genera adds, The real explosion began around five years ago, when Russian buyers appeared at auctions.