The University of Michigan, an encyclopedic survey ... Wilfred B. Shaw, editor.
University of Michigan.
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The Institutes

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THE Institute of Human Biology is a research unit of the University of Michigan dedicated to the discovery of fundamental principles of biology which may be of importance to man and in the application of biological principles to human affairs. Special attention is given to the solution of problems requiring the services of research teams, the maintenance of breeding strains of vertebrates, or many years of detailed measurement of populations and of communities. The results of the investigations are made available through publications, personal advice to families and to professional workers, and the training of graduate students.

The Institute is supported in part from the regular budget of the University. Certain of its larger research projects, however, are supported by grants from sources outside the University. Much help is also given by small and large gifts from persons who are interested in the research and public-service programs of the Institute.

No formal administrative subdivisions of the Institute are recognized. Instead, the program is organized around research teams. Many of the staff members serve at the same time on two or more teams. The internal organization of the Institute is consequently very informal.

The mode of heredity of racial characters and the factors which control the evolution of races and species receive special attention in the Laboratory of Vertebrate Biology. The experimental animals are for the most part the small rodents of the North American genus Peromyscus, which sometimes are called deermice or white-footed mice. The colony averages about 5,000 living animals. More than 125,000 individual mice have been reared to marking age since our studies of this genus were begun. The numerous pedigreed strains which are maintained provide facilities for a wide variety of investigations.

One major program is concerned with the heredity and adaptive value of racial characters. In Peromyscus certain races have been shown to exhibit characters which are adaptive in relation to color of the soil or to other features of the habitat. Another major program considers the heredity of epilepsy and related behavioral disorders. In several strains an affected individual can be induced to have a convulsive seizure by exposure to high-pitched sounds. In one strain certain chemical odors induce convulsions. In other strains whirling types of behavior, tremors, or ataxic gait are inherited.

Research and counseling in the field of medical genetics are conducted by the Heredity Clinic, which acts as an outpatient clinic of the University Hospital. Any person who has a problem in family heredity may come directly to the Clinic for advice. Physicians, dentists, probate judges, ministers, priests, social workers, and other persons responsible for the public welfare also may refer families to the Clinic for advice about heredity. No fees are charged, but a charge may be made for examinations or hospital services which are required. An average of about 250 kindreds a year is accepted for study and advice.

Among the research projects now being conducted by the Clinic are those which deal with the rate of mutation of the genes responsible for multiple polyposis of the colon and for neurofibromatosis, with the heredity of various defects of the eye, with the genetics of various anemias, and with the effects of Page  1538atomic radiation in producing mutations in man.

The biogeographic investigations being conducted by the Institute are directed primarily toward an analysis of the geographic patterns displayed by reptiles and amphibians in the Central American isthmian region. Much is to be learned, through a study of the distribution of extant forms, concerning faunal movements and faunal origins of the various elements that characterize the great continental areas to the north and south of the isthmian link. A no less important phase of the work centers around the development of a concept of regionality. As Central America appears to lend no definite support either to the life-zone or to the biotic-area regional concepts, some new approach to the problem must be developed.

The Community Dynamics Section has as its major objective the analysis of the structure, organization, controlling mechanisms, and evolution of ecologic communities, including those which have been modified by man or in which man is a conspicuous member. Much activity of the Section is centered at the Edwin S. George Reserve, where a long-term investigation of the animal and plant life of an abandoned field is being conducted. It is proposed later to apply to studies of human communities the principles and techniques derived from this investigation of a natural community.

Numerous other investigations have been conducted by the Institute. Special mention may be made of those on the genetic effects of the atomic bombs on the Japanese peoples, in which the Institute has co-operated with the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission. An important series of studies, supported by the American Cancer Society and by the Atomic Energy Commission, deals with the rate of mutation for certain characters in human populations. Other extensive research is concerned with the effects of assortative mating on the heredity of a city population. The relation of heredity to human special abilities is still another major project.

The Institute is not a teaching unit, but some members of the staff, through the teaching departments, offer instruction in such subjects as zoogeography, animal geography, history of zoology, ecologic communities, human communities, physical anthropology, and human genetics. Staff members offer courses in particular phases of biology. Members of the staff also direct the research of students who are candidates for the doctorate in certain aspects of genetics, ecology, or biogeography.

Annual Reports, of the Laboratory of Vertebrate Biology to 1949-50 and of the Institute of Human Biology thereafter, have been issued since 1945. Seventy-two numbers of the Contributions from the Laboratory of Vertebrate Biology (… Vertebrate Genetics between 1936 and 1942) have been published through 1955. A series of Papers of the Institute of Human Biology has recently been authorized. The Circulars of the Institute contain material of temporary value.

Each of the several units which compose the Institute of Human Biology has had an independent history, and the names of some of them have been changed from time to time.

Laboratory of mammalian genetics. — The history of the Institute goes back to the time of President Clarence Cook Little, who, when he became President of the University in 1925, brought with him a number of strains of laboratory mice which he had been using for studies of animal genetics. The Board of Regents made a small appropriation for support of his research (R.P., 1923-26, p. 671). Other funds were supplied by sources outside the University. The studies of Dr. Little and his associates Page  1539were largely concerned with the heredity of the domestic house-mouse, Mus musculus, and of a related species, Mus bactrianus, from China, particular attention being given to inherited susceptibility and immunity to cancer.

In September, 1927, the "President's Laboratory" was officially designated the "Laboratory of Mammalian Genetics (in co-operation with the Cancer Research Fund," R.P., 1926-29, p. 322). At this time Alvalyn Eunice Woodward (Rochester '05, Ph.D. Michigan '18) and Leonell Clarence Strong (Allegheny '17, Ph.D. Columbia '22) were made Research Associates in the Laboratory. Assistants and fellows were added. Both Horace Wenger Feldman (Purdue '21, Sc.D. Harvard '25) and Lee Raymond Dice (Stanford '11, Ph.D. California '15) were made honorary research associates. Quarters were provided in the East Medical Building. When Little resigned in 1929 and founded the Roscoe B. Jackson Memorial Laboratory in Maine, Strong and most of Little's other associates went with him, and all their breeding stocks of mice were transferred to the Jackson Laboratory.

Laboratory of vertebrate genetics. — After Little's resignation studies of mammalian genetics were continued at the University by Feldman and Dice. Stocks of house-mice and house-rats had been brought to the University from Bussey Institution, Harvard University, by Feldman when he became Instructor in Zoology in 1927. To enable him to continue his studies of the heredity of these mammals he was given laboratory space in the Natural Science Building. Later, he expanded his research with certain stocks of the deermouse (Peromyscus) and of the woodrat (Neotoma). His work was at first supported by the Department of Zoology and by the Faculty Research Fund.

When Jan Metzelaar (Sc.D. Amsterdam '19) became Fisheries Expert of the Michigan Department of Conservation in 1923, he brought with him from Holland a stock of pigeons which he was using in heredity studies. In 1925 he was made a Special Investigator in the Division of Birds of the Museum of Zoology. His work was supported in part by the Museum of Zoology, in part by grants from the Faculty Research Fund, and in part from his own pocket. Temporary pens for the pigeons were constructed behind the Museum of Zoology Annex at 539 East University Avenue. Later, the pigeons were moved to the second floor of a frame building on Church Street; on the first floor were rabbits which were being studied by Dice and his students. When this building was torn down in 1927, the pigeons were moved to specially constructed flight cages and pens near Glen Avenue. After the death of Metzelaar by drowning in October, 1929, the pigeon investigations were taken over by Feldman.

Pigeons evidently could not be classed as mammals and consequently the Laboratory of Mammalian Genetics was, in January, 1930, redesignated the Laboratory of Vertebrate Genetics (R.P., 1929-32, p. 160). In May of the same year Feldman was appointed Director of the Laboratory.

Section of mammalian research. — Studies of variation and heredity of the mice of the genus Peromyscus were begun in 1923 by Dice, who at that time was Curator of Mammals in the Museum of Zoology. In that year twelve deermice were brought from northern Michigan, and these became the ancestors of a thriving stock. Other stocks were acquired in the following years. The animals at first were kept in the old Museum Annex, a former dwelling house then occupied by the divisions of Mammals and of Fishes of the Museum of Zoology and now replaced by the East Engineering annex. In November, 1923, when the Division of Mammals was Page  1540moved to the second floor of Morris Hall, at the corner of State and Jefferson streets, the mice were also moved to that building.

Stocks of deermice and a few chipmunks, pikas, cottontails, and jack-rabbits were brought by Dice from expeditions to Colorado in 1924 and 1925. For a time a stock of "singing" house-mice was also kept. Other stocks of Peromyscus were collected locally or were secured from other sources, and the number of cages of mice rapidly increased.

The space available in Morris Hall for rearing experimental animals having become overcrowded, the live mice were transferred in May, 1926, to a large room on the fourth floor of old University Hall, which had been condemned as a fire hazard. Although University Hall was not well adapted for keeping live mammals, any space at all was welcome. The floor of the room assigned as a Peromyscus laboratory, for instance, was of wood, and the cracks formed a favorable habitat for fleas. There was much difficulty in providing effective mouse-proofing, with the result that some professors on the lower floors of the building complained about escaped mice which invaded their sanctuaries. Only a single wash basin was available for washing the cages. The building had no elevator, and all food had to be carried up three flights of stairs. These stairs were long and steep, for the ceilings were high and the distances between floors were great. Fortunately, Hertler Brothers, who supplied most of the rolled oats and other animal food, had as their delivery man a powerful fellow, who said he was lazy. This man objected to making the many trips needed to carry up the numerous 100-pound sacks of mouse food. Consequently, he usually carried two sacks at a time up these long flights of stairs! For a time, also, a University track man was employed as a part-time student assistant. He made a habit of taking a 100-pound bag of food or other supplies on his shoulder and running all the way up the stairs to the fourth floor. He said it helped his "wind." The elderly janitors, however, who had to carry the garbage cans of debris from the mouse rooms down these stairs, were very unhappy about their task. They were delighted when the mice were moved in February, 1928, from the fourth floor of University Hall to two large laboratories in the newly completed Museums Building.

The rabbits, which for a time had been kept in Morris Hall, were moved in May, 1926, to the first floor of a wooden building, a former residence, on Church Street, just north of the East Engineering Building. The second floor of this building at that time was already occupied by the pigeons. A student investigator, Wallace Grange, and his wife lived for a time in several basement rooms. When this building was torn down in 1927, the investigations of rabbit genetics were discontinued and the stocks were disposed of.

A valuable group of stocks of Peromyscus was received in 1930 by gift from Francis B. Sumner of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California. Dr. Sumner was the first to use Peromyscus on a large scale as a laboratory animal for studies of variability within and among populations. Because of a change in policy in his institution he was forced to give up his research on this animal (Science, 72, 1930: 477-78). All his stocks were transferred to the University of Michigan for further study by Dice.

Until 1932 the expense of keeping the live Peromyscus and other experimental animals which were under study by Dice and his students had been borne in part by the Division of Mammals in the Museum Page  1541of Zoology and in part by grants from the Faculty Research Fund, the National Research Council, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In July, 1932, a special budget in mammalian research was created under the Laboratory of Vertebrate Genetics, through transfer of funds from the Museum of Zoology and from a small additional appropriation by the Board of Regents.

Laboratory of vertebrate biology. — In April, 1934, Dice was appointed Director of the Laboratory of Vertebrate Genetics, replacing Feldman, who resigned in June. The budget for mammalian research at this time became merged with that of the Laboratory of Vertebrate Genetics. Frank H. Clark (Maine '24, Ph.D. Harvard '34) was appointed Research Associate in the Laboratory in July, 1934. The stocks of house-mice, rats, and pigeons kept by Feldman were disposed of. Some strains of house-mice, brought by Clark from the Bussey Institution, were kept until he had completed his study of them. The stocks of live Peromyscus were moved late in 1934 from the Museums Building to the Laboratory building.

Professor Dice continued as Curator of Mammals in the Museum of Zoology and his salary was paid by the Museum until 1938, when the budget of the Laboratory of Vertebrate Genetics included part and later all of it.

William Franklin Blair (Tulsa '34, Ph.D. Michigan '38) became Research Associate on a half-time basis in the Laboratory in 1937, replacing Clark, who left the University. At the same time Elizabeth Barto (Montana '30, A.M. Oregon '32) became Secretary and Research Assistant.

The research program of the Laboratory of Vertebrate Genetics had come to include studies of animal ecology and behavior, which could not properly be called genetics. In recognition of this broadening of its interests, the Board of Regents in March, 1942, changed the name of the unit to Laboratory of Vertebrate Biology (R.P., 1939-42, p. 910).

The expense of expeditions to collect breeding stocks of small mammals and to study the characters of the environments under which the various races and species live in nature was borne from 1924 to 1939 mostly by special grants from the Carnegie Institution of Washington, in which Dice was a Research Associate. Other funds for expeditions to collect breeding stocks were given by the Museum of Zoology, the Laboratory of Vertebrate Genetics, the Faculty Research Fund, and by Bryant Walker, William P. Harris, Jr., Gustavus D. Pope, Philip M. Blossom, and others. Many valuable stocks have come also by donation from former students and other persons interested in these studies.

The years of World War II were difficult for the Laboratory as they were for all other units not contributing directly to the war effort. Blair was on leave with the Army from March, 1943, to April, 1946. All other able-bodied male graduate students who might have served as research assistants were also drafted. With the help of women student assistants, however, it was possible to keep alive the more important breeding strains of Peromyscus and to prepare as specimens those individuals which it was most essential to preserve for later study. During this period young women performed practically all the work of the Laboratory, including feeding and watering the animals, cleaning the cages, preparing specimens, and keeping records. Elizabeth Barto was made a Junior Biologist in 1943 and placed in charge of the operations of the Laboratory, while the Director devoted almost all of his attention to the Heredity Page  1542Clinic. All field work was discontinued, and the stocks of live mice were reduced to the lowest level of safety. Through the devoted services of Miss Barto and her assistants the Laboratory suffered no serious loss of breeding stocks.

Studies of the genetics of butterflies were inititated in March, 1946, when William Hovanitz (California '38, Ph.D. California Institute of Technology '43) was appointed a Collaborator in the Laboratory. He was made Assistant Biologist in September, 1946, following the resignation of Blair, who took a position at the University of Texas. Hovanitz left the University in July, 1948, and the studies of butterflies were abandoned.

William B. McIntosh (Virginia Polytechnic Institute '46, Ph.D. Michigan '54) was appointed Research Associate in 1951 and since then has been in charge of the operations of the Laboratory of Vertebrate Biology. He became Junior Biologist in 1952.

Philip Moss Blossom, of Los Angeles, California, was actively associated with Dice during the early 1930's in field work in Arizona and Sonora. These studies resulted in a monograph on desert mammals by Dice and Blossom, published by the Carnegie Institute of Washington. Blossom has continued to assist in the work of the Laboratory by collecting breeding stocks in the field and by gifts of much needed laboratory equipment. In recognition of his assistance in 1949 he was given the title of Collaborator in the Laboratory.

Among those who have co-operated from time to time with the Laboratory in studies of Peromyscus and other organisms special mention should be made of Marion T. Hall, Claude W. Hibbard, Clement L. Markert, A. D. Moore, Curtis L. Newcombe, William Prychodko, and Frederick E. Smith.

Animals which exhibited serious defects of behavior were detected from time to time in the colony of Peromyscus maintained in the Laboratory. Whirling types of behavior, sometimes referred to as "waltzing," appeared in stocks from Florida, Iowa, Washington, and other states. Convulsive types of behavior (epilepsy) appeared in stocks from Washington, Arizona, and New Mexico. Strains of Peromyscus exhibiting such defects were developed, and it has been demonstrated that many of these defects are inherited. Research grants from the National Institute of Mental Health of the United States Public Health Service since 1951 have provided for an expansion of these studies.

Research conducted in this Laboratory over the past quarter century has included numerous descriptions of the variability of body dimensions and of pelage colors within populations and within races of Peromyscus. It has been demonstrated that the racial characters of these mammals are inherited, supporting the previous conclusions of F. B. Sumner. Races of the same species are generally completely interfertile, but distantly related species usually will not cross. Closely related species sometimes will cross with difficulty, but the male offspring may be sterile. The pelage colors characteristic of the several races of these animals have been shown to be correlated with the color of the soil on which the animals live. On pale desert soils the animals are mostly pale, and on dark soils they are dark. It also has been shown experimentally that individuals closely matching the color of the soil on which they are exposed have a better chance of escaping capture by owls than have individuals of the same kinds which are conspicuous against their soil background. Length of tail has also been shown to be an adaptive character among these animals. Races which inhabit forests have longer tails than do prairie forms.

Fish genetics. — An aquarium room Page  1543for fishes was provided in the Museums Building, which was completed in 1928, as part of the equipment of the Museum of Zoology. Carl Leavitt Hubbs, Curator of Fishes, at that time began studies of the genetics of fishes, with particular attention to the hybridization of races, species, and genera. In recognition of his work in this field in 1932 he was given the added title of Research Associate in Vertebrate Genetics. His studies were supported in part by the Museum of Zoology, in part by grants from the Faculty Research Fund, and, beginning in 1939, in part from the budget of the Laboratory. Professor Hubbs resigned in July, 1944. Karl Frank Lagler, of the Department of Zoology, became a Research Associate in the Laboratory in January, 1945. With support from the Laboratory budget he carried on laboratory investigations of the genetics of the Johnny darter (Boleosoma nigrum) in collaboration with Reeve M. Bailey, Curator of Fishes in the Museum of Zoology. These studies were terminated in 1949.

Ralph O. Hile, of the Great Lakes Laboratory of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, served from 1946 to 1951 as a consultant in fish genetics with the title of Research Associate.

Section of biogeography. — Laurence Cooper Stuart ('30, Ph.D. '33) in July, 1939, was appointed a Research Associate of the Laboratory of Vertebrate Genetics and was given a small budget for studies of reptile genetics. His salary continued to be paid through the Museum of Zoology, however, until July, 1946, when he was given the rank of Assistant Biologist in the Laboratory of Vertebrate Biology. He was promoted to Associate Biologist in 1951. The experiments in reptile genetics were later given up, chiefly because of the difficulties of getting the animals to breed in the laboratory and because of their slow rate of growth.

For many years Stuart has devoted most of his attention to the biogeographic relations of the reptile and amphibian fauna of Guatemala, a region of high topographic and biotic diversity. On this subject he has published a number of monographs and shorter papers.

Heredity clinic. — As certain inherited types of behavioral defects exhibited by Peromyscus, particularly the inherited types of epilepsy, appear somewhat similar to those which occur in man, it was logical to consider the investigation of the heredity of epilepsy and of other defects in man. On application from Professor Dice the Board of Governors of the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies in 1940 granted funds to initiate studies in human heredity. Under this grant, Charles William Cotterman (Ohio State '35, Ph.D. ibid. '40) was appointed Research Associate in 1940. After consultation with the officers of the Medical School and the University Hospital it was decided to open a Heredity Clinic. The Board of Regents, in March, 1949, established the Department of Human Heredity in the Laboratory of Vertebrate Biology and authorized it to conduct the Heredity Clinic in close co-operation with the University Hospital (R.P., 1939-42, pp. 580-81).

A frame building at 1135 East Catherine Street was made available by the Hospital, and the Clinic was opened to the public on November 12, 1941. Claude Nash Herndon, Jr., served as medical officer in charge, with the title of Research Associate, from September, 1941, to March, 1942. In this emergency of the war years Harold F. Falls ('32, M.D. '36), of the Department of Ophthalmology, agreed to assist. He was appointed Research Associate in April, 1941, and placed in charge of the Clinic on a part-time basis. Avery Ransome Test (California '24, Ph.D. ibid. '37) was appointed half-time Research Assistant Page  1544in 1942 and continued to serve until 1947. Byron Orville Hughes was appointed Research Associate in 1941 in recognition of his services as a consultant in matters dealing with physical anthropology.

Cotterman was drafted into the Army in December, 1942, and served until March, 1946. To assist with the work of the Clinic during these years temporary and part-time appointments were made. Among those who assisted were Allan C. Barnes, Winifred S. White, Mary Jane Lagler, Max A. Finton, Maurice T. Fiegelman, and William T. Kruse. Sidney Halperin was appointed Research Associate in October, 1947, but left the University in January, 1948.

James V. Neel (Wooster '35, Ph.D. Rochester '39, M.D. ibid. '44) was appointed Assistant Geneticist in May, 1946, and placed in charge of the work in human genetics. He was inducted into the Army in August of the same year. Dr. Falls again assisted in this emergency and served during Neel's absence. When Neel returned in April, 1948, he was promoted to Associate Geneticist.

Charles Cotterman resigned his position as Associate Geneticist in the Clinic in October, 1950. Anne V. Miller served as Junior Geneticist from September, 1950, to June, 1951. William J. Schull was added to the staff as Junior Geneticist in September, 1951, and T. Edward Reed, also as Junior Geneticist, in September, 1952. Frank W. Crowe and Franklin Martin, Jr., served as Research Associates on a part-time basis from 1951 to 1953 to assist Dr. Neel in studies, supported by the Atomic Energy Commission, on spontaneous mutation rates in human populations.

The program of research and public service carried out by the Heredity Clinic was supported for seven years almost entirely by grants from the Board of Governors of the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies. By this time the value of the Clinic had been well demonstrated. Beginning with the year 1947-48, a part of the support of the Clinic was provided through the Laboratory of Vertebrate Biology, and in 1949-50 the entire support was so provided. It is to be emphasized that the grants for the beginning period of nine years by the Graduate School made the development of the Heredity Clinic possible.

Section of community dynamics. — Ecological studies of animals in nature had been conducted in the Laboratory of Vertebrate Biology over a period of years by Dice, Blair, and their students and associates. With the desire to expand these studies Francis C. Evans (Haverford '36, D.Phil. Oxon '40) in 1948 was appointed Assistant Biologist. He promptly developed an intensive program of study of a particular old-field community situated on the Edwin S. George Reserve. In this research program he has been aided by numerous associates, of whom special mention should be made of Stanley A. Cain, Pierre Dansereau, Nelson G. Hairston, Mary Talbot, and George W. Thompson. In 1952 Evans was promoted to Associate Biologist.

Among the special accomplishments of this section has been the development of new methods for measuring and describing quantitatively the spatial distribution of the individual organisms which make up an ecologic community.

Institute of human biology. — The Institute of Human Biology was organized in July, 1950 (R.P., 1948-51, p. 832) as a research unit composed of the Laboratory of Vertebrate Biology, the Heredity Clinic, and associated units. At the same time the Institute was dissociated administratively from the University Museums group, to which it previously had been assigned. Dice became Page  1545the first Director of the Institute.

Assortative mating study. — The Assortative Mating Study, begun in 1950 as a five-year project, has been supported by a generous grant from an anonymous donor. Its objective is to discover the effects on the heredity of a city population which may be produced by the tendency of persons with similar traits to marry more frequently or less frequently than would be expected by chance.

James N. Spuhler (New Mexico '40, Ph.D. Harvard '46), of the Department of Anthropology, joined the staff in 1950, with the rank of Research Associate and was placed in charge of the Study. He was called to active duty with the Naval Reserve for the period from July 1951, to December, 1952. During this time Dice was in charge of developing plans for the necessary measurements. Don J. Hager served from June to September, 1951, and developed the needed socio-economic questionnaires. Neil C. Tappen served as Research Assistant from July, 1951, to June, 1952, and Van T. Harris was Junior Biologist from October, 1951, to October, 1952, Philip J. Clark was appointed Junior Biologist in July, 1952. When Spuhler returned to the Institute in December, 1952, he was given the title of Associate Biologist.

Hereditary abilities study. — An intensive study of the heredity of human special abilities was begun in May, 1952, under a three-year grant from McGregor Fund of Detroit. The study was under the direction of Dice, assisted by an advisory group consisting of Clyde H. Coombs, Professor of Psychology, E. Lowell Kelly, Director of the Bureau of Psychological Services, Howard B. Lewis, chairman of the Department of Biological Chemistry, James V. Neel of the Heredity Clinic, and J. N. Spuhler. Pairs of identical and nonidentical twins were measured in the attempt to discover which abilities are hereditary. Measurements also were made of other characters of the same individuals in the search for correlations between mental abilities and biochemical or physical traits.

Steven G. Vandenberg was appointed Junior Psychologist in May, 1952. Benjamin W. White served also as Junior Psychologist from June to November, 1952. Harry Eldon Sutton was appointed Assistant Biologist in August, 1952, and placed in charge of the biochemical laboratory and of general operations. Philip J. Clark in July, 1953, was assigned part time to this study in addition to serving with the Assortative Mating Study.


President's Report, Univ. Mich., 1925-54.
Proceedings of the Board of Regents …, 1925-54.
Report … Institute of Human Biology (Laboratory of Vertebrate Biology to 1950), 1945-54.
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ONE of the many things that World War II taught Americans was the general inadequacy of their knowledge of critical areas outside their own country. Since the war the responsibilities of world leadership assumed by the United States have made more acute the need for Americans to acquire an understanding of the world around them. One result of this growing world consciousness has been an important new development in American higher education: the appearance of graduate training and research centers on the different foreign areas of the world. Such centers have been established in most of the major universities, the areas of specialization depending upon the resources and interests of each university. The University of Michigan's Center for Japanese Studies is one such program.

The University has for many years held a leading place among American institutions the curriculums of which have included training in the Far Eastern area. Some twenty years ago a small group of the faculty at Ann Arbor initiated the Program in Oriental Civilizations. Gradually, this broader program came to be more and more specialized on the Far East; the whole Orient proved to be too large a unit. By World War II the University had a nation-wide reputation in Far Eastern studies, and various area and language schools were assigned to it by the United States government. After the war Professor Robert B. Hall of the Department of Geography, under the auspices of the Social Science Research Council, made a survey of the foreign-area resources and interests of the different major universities of the country, recommending a plan for development on a national scale. He was instrumental in bringing the Center for Japanese Studies to Michigan in 1947 and has been its Director from the start.

The Center for Japanese Studies was made possible by generous grants from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. To these a supplemental annual grant is made by the University. The Viking Fund has been most helpful in supplying equipment for research in the field. The General Library and private donors have assisted in building up a library of Japanese materials.

The aim of the Center for Japanese Studies is fourfold: (1) to build at the University of Michigan a solid base in Japanese studies in terms of staff and library and other research and training resources, (2) to train a limited number of highly selected young men and women as specialists in the Japanese area, (3) to carry out a program of publication of research findings and research materials in the Japanese field, and (4) to maintain a continuing research program of investigation on the total structure of Japanese society.

The Center for Japanese Studies has its administrative offices in Haven Hall. A library, reading room, seminar, and work rooms are on the fourth floor of the General Library. The library, one of the major Oriental collections in the country, now numbers some fifty thousand volumes of which eight thousand are in Chinese and the rest in Japanese. It offers facilities to students and staff for complete research in the Japanese area. The Center also maintains in Japan a field station in the city of Okayama. This station, equipped with living quarters, cars, office equipment, photostat machines, provides all the essentials to students and staff to conduct firsthand observational studies in Japan proper.

The staff of the Center for Japanese Page  1547Studies consists of thirteen experts in the Japanese area. Each of these men is a member of a regular department of the University at the same time that he participates in the integrated training and research program of the Center. The staff members and their specialties in 1954 were Ronald S. Anderson (Japanese and comparative education), Richard K. Beardsley (anthropology, Japan and North Asia), James I. Crump (Chinese, early Sino-Japanese relations), John W. Hall (history), Robert B. Hall (geography, Director), Donald A. Holzman (Chinese, Buddhist and Japanese thought), Max Loehr (Chinese and Buddhist art), James M. Plumer (Japanese art), Charles F. Remer (economics), Hide Shohara (Japanese), Mischa Titiev (anthropology), Robert E. Ward (political science), Joseph K. Yamagiwa (Japanese language and literature). Godfrey R. Nunn is cataloguer in charge of the Oriental Library collection, and Yotaro Okuno is in charge of the Center's Japanese Library.

The Center accepts for training graduate students who can demonstrate a keen interest in the Japanese area. In this regard the Center has been most fortunate in attracting a number of the best men who received long and intensive Japanese language training in the wartime schools of the armed forces. The Center is also able to provide fellowships for a limited number of able students. The student, on entering, studies the Japanese language to attain competence in handling research materials.

He is required to complete a central integrated course, which extends through the academic year. In this he is given a broad and integrated view of Japanese society and of the Japanese land. He becomes familiar with the outstanding works on Japan in the different fields of interest. A program of specialized courses on Japan is laid out for each student according to his long-run interests. He is also required to participate in the continuing research seminar of the Center as long as he is on the campus. Here he uses research materials in the Japanese language, works with others on interdisciplinary research problems on Japan, is exposed to the entire range of Japanese bibliography, and absorbs something of the methodologies, points of view, and techniques of the several social science and humanistic disciplines. The master's degree is given when this program is completed.

The student then enters the program of the department of his major interest and there meets all departmental requirements for the Ph.D. degree. He, however, continues to participate in the Center's research seminar. He ultimately chooses a Japanese subject for his doctor's dissertation, but one which is completely acceptable to the department in question. For the better students a year or more of field work in Japan is arranged. This may be to secure data for dissertations or it may be a kind of internship after the work for the degree is completed.

The Center carries an average of fifteen to twenty students in its program each year. Since its establishment the total number entering the program has reached nearly a hundred. Of these, forty-four have received M.A. degrees and eight Ph.D. degrees. The graduates have entered all walks of life. The largest number have gone into government service. Others have become teachers, journalists, and businessmen.

As the research program of the Center is aimed ultimately at an understanding of the total structure of Japanese society, the work has had to be divided into a number of projects of manageable size. The central project involves a series of interdisciplinary community studies beginning at the small-village Page  1548level. In this program close co-ordination is maintained between the Center in Ann Arbor and members in the field. Field teams study intensively certain selected communities.

To record and make available the findings of field research, a cross-index file system is used which is a modified version of The Human Relations Area Files index adapted to the Japanese scene. All individual and group findings are recorded on 5 by 8 inch sheets, in triplicate, with notations for cross reference. One copy is filed in the Center's laboratory in Okayama, one copy is sent to the Center's library in Ann Arbor, and the third copy remains with the originator. All findings are available to all members of the Center. The Ann Arbor file is worked over by the research seminar and checked against existing literature, and criticisms and suggestions on it are sent back to the field. In Okayama the files are subject to constant discussion and are revised as new data become available.

In addition to the community study program the Center has used certain other methods of approach to its basic research goals. Public opinion and background surveys have been carried out extensively. A large-scale historical project has accumulated all types of documentary materials for a reconstruction of the background out of which modern Japan has emerged. Finally, each of the Center members going into the field has undertaken a personal study within the range of his particular disciplinary competence. Up to 1954 sixteen students and nine faculty members have been in the field. The co-ordination of all these varied approaches, it is believed, will result in greater understanding of Japan and Japanese society.

The Center publishes several scholarly series designed to aid the progress of Japanese studies in this country. The Center's Occasional Papers, four issues of which have been published by 1954, make available the preliminary findings of the Center's field workers. They also include selected translations of significant Japanese works. The Bibliographical Series, four issues of which have appeared by 1954, seeks to provide annotated guides to the basic Japanese research and reference materials in the standard disciplines.


Announcement, University of Michigan Center for Japanese Studies. Univ. Mich. Official Publication, Vol. 53, No. 7 (1951).
Hall, Robert B.Area Studies: With Special Reference to Their Implications for Research in the Social Sciences (New York: Social Science Research Council, 1947), Pamphlet No. 3.
Hall, Robert B."Japanese Studies at Ann Arbor and Okayama."Mich. Alumnus Quart. Rev., LVII (1951), No. 14.
Page  1549


THE Institute for Social Research is an agency of the University of Michigan engaged in a continuous program of research on problems concerning human behavior in social settings. It is organized on a University-wide basis, administratively independent of the teaching departments and schools, but closely allied with many of them through research, teaching, and professional interests. The Institute's objectives include the conduct of major research projects, assistance in the provision of professional training for advanced graduate students in the social sciences and allied professions, the publication and dissemination of studies, and assistance to and consultation with other persons and agencies engaged in research or action programs related to the scientific interests of the Institute.

The regular staff, early in 1954, consisted of about fifty research scientists, about sixty home-office clerical and administrative workers, and more than two hundred part-time field interviewers located throughout the country. The Institute during recent years has operated on a budget of approximately $800,000 a year, with support coming primarily through contracts with government agencies, private business firms, and similar organizations; through grants from research supporting foundations; and from compensation for certain services provided to other parts of the University.

The Institute through its scientific contributions has attracted world-wide attention and respect. Approximately one hundred scientific reports or interpretations of research are currently issued annually. It is visited each year by more than four hundred scholars and professional persons who wish to know more of its work or who desire consultation. Since much of the research relates to current problems and issues, there has been considerable notice of it in the daily press as well as in various scientific and professional journals. It is the major agency of its kind and is widely regarded as an important influence both in theoretical developments and in bridging the gap between theory and applications of theory to current social, political, economic, and business problems.

The history of the Institute for Social Research, like that of most institutions, is partly a reflection of the needs and opportunities of the times, and partly a creation of the individuals who saw the needs clearly and were able to give direction and organizational form to an agency designed to meet them. Thus, the Institute is a logical development resulting from the broadening of interest in the scientific approach to problems of human behavior, from the emergence of improved scientific theory and research methods during the 1930's and 1940's, and from the urgency of the problems which may ultimately be resolved through a better understanding of human behavior. The Institute is also a product of a few individuals who were able to lend their insight, their confidence in long-term objectives, and their immediate influence, to the practical problems of organization and financial support.

The Institute had its formal origin at Michigan when the Regents in June, 1946, established the Social Science Surveys Project to conduct research on public opinion. Later in the same year, the "project" became the Survey Research Center, with broadened objectives and with important subsidiary Page  1550functions in the areas of training and service. In 1948 the Research Center for Group Dynamics joined with the Survey Research Center. Together, these two units comprise the Institute for Social Research. Each of the Centers has its roots in events which occurred before their association at the University of Michigan.

The Survey Research Center grew out of an organization — the Division of Program Surveys — within the U. S. Department of Agriculture. This unit was formed in 1939 under the direction of Rensis Likert ('26, Ph.D. Columbia '32), present Director of the Institute, to conduct sample interview surveys required by the program of the Department of Agriculture. During World War II this group of scientists extended the range and variety of their work to include surveys for several government agencies on problems related to the support of the war effort. These included studies of public finance, civilian morale, public response to government policies, and agricultural productivity.

At the conclusion of the war the key members of this organization set for themselves new objectives with an emphasis on the conduct of research oriented toward the solution of more basic scientific problems than could be studied effectively within the frame-work of governmental administrative service. They determined to seek, as a group, association with an academic institution that offered greater freedom in choice of research objectives, greater effectiveness through association with a teaching faculty in the social sciences, and greater opportunities for contributions to the social sciences through teaching and publication.

The adoption by a university of such a research organization posed many problems. While it was to be self-supporting through contracts and grants, there was little precedent for the idea that adequate support could be obtained. Furthermore, the organization had interests which cut across such traditional areas of academic interest as economics, psychology, sociology, and political science and which did not seem to fit the established structure of most universities. There was some uncertainty as to whether its objectives as developed would coincide with those of a university. In retrospect, it seems quite logical: Michigan was one of the few institutions with experience in the administration of large-scale interdisciplinary research units, was exceptionally active in developing its social science program, and was able to provide the necessary housing and immediate financial support.

Negotiations were initiated by Rensis Likert, leader of the research group contemplating the move, and by Angus Campbell (Oregon '31, Ph.D. Stanford '36), now Director of the Center. Prominent in the early discussions during which the general character and purposes of the Institute for Social Research were formed were Vice-President Marvin L. Niehuss, Dean Hayward Keniston, Professors Donald G. Marquis, Robert Angell, I. L. Sharfman, and Provost James P. Adams. With the assistance of these men the plans for the establishment of the research unit were developed and recommended to the Regents.

The second of the Centers comprising the Institute, the Research Center for Group Dynamics, was founded at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1945 by Professor Kurt Lewin, pioneer in the field of research on group life. From a time shortly before World War II Lewin had made substantial progress in developing experimental techniques for studying the functioning of groups in both laboratory and natural settings. He had succeeded in isolating different types of leadership and in Page  1551demonstrating their consequences for groups of various kinds. This work took him into such diverse activities during the war as those of the Office of Strategic Services, the Committee on Food Habits of the National Research Council, and agencies concerned with industrial productivity, national unity, and inter-group relations. From this experience Professor Lewin foresaw the scientific and social values to be gained by the establishment of a center which would be concerned simultaneously with basic scientific research on group life and with the utilization of research methods in the solutions of urgent social problems involving the relations among people in groups. Initial financial grants which permitted the establishment of the new Center were provided by the Field Foundation and the American Jewish Congress. The vision of two other men was especially important in creating the Research Center for Group Dynamics: Alfred J. Marrow, president of the Harwood Manufacturing Company, and Professor Douglas McGregor, then of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and subsequently president of Antioch College.

After Professor Lewin's death in 1947, his immediate staff members determined to continue their association in research and chose one of their members, Professor Dorwin Cartwright (Swarthmore '37, Ph.D. Harvard '40), to succeed Lewin as director. This event was made the occasion to reassess the suitability of such a center within an institution primarily concerned with the natural sciences and engineering. It was concluded that a university with stronger resources in the social sciences might provide a better base of operations, and with the consent of all parties, the Center was formally invited to transfer to the University of Michigan and to continue its work in association with the already-established Survey Research Center.

The Regents' Proceedings record approval of the establishment of the Social Science Surveys Project as follows:

The Board approved the establishment of the Social Science Surveys Project, which is a research and service project in the field of public opinion survey, on an experimental basis… It is understood that the project is to be under the supervision of a director, assisted by an executive committee, to be appointed by the Regents, and under the general jurisdiction of the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies.

(R.P., 1945-48, p. 418.)
After this initial action, the plans for the new research unit were further developed and the Regents established the unit at their September, 1946, meeting:

The Survey Research Center is hereby established (effective August 1, 1946) as a research, service, and training project of the University.

The Center shall be under the direction of a Director assisted by an Executive Committee. The Director shall be appointed by the Board of Regents on recommendation by the President. The Executive Committee shall consist of the Dean of the Graduate School or a representative designated by him, the Director, who shall be chairman, and six additional members of the University Senate representing fields related to the activities of the Center, to be appointed by the Board of Regents on recommendation by the President.

The Executive Committee shall be responsible for the determination of general policy regarding the nature and scope of the research, service, and training activities of the Center, and in co-operation with the responsible officers of the teaching units and subject to their approval, for the co-ordination of the activities of the Center with the research and training functions of such units. The Committee shall be responsible for the recommendation of appointments of members of the staff of the Center and for recommendations related to its budget. The Committee shall also be responsible for the Page  1552approval of contracts for service to be rendered by the Center, with the understanding that such contracts must also have the approval of the Vice-President in charge of business and finance…

The Center is established with the understanding that its activities are to be financially self-supporting from the proceeds of contracts for service or from grants for research or training and that it will impose no burden upon the general funds budget of the University…

(R.P., 1945-48, p. 522.)

The decision to invite the Research Center for Group Dynamics is recorded in the Proceedings of the January, 1948, meeting of the Board of Regents, and one year later, with the Research Center for Group Dynamics already established at the University, the formal designation of the new and larger organization was prescribed:

On recommendation of Dr. Rensis Likert and the Executive Committee of the Survey Research Center, and with the approval of the General Committee of the Division of the Social Sciences, the Regents voted that the Survey Research Center and the Research Center for Group Dynamics are to be identified under the title Institute for Social Research, with Dr. Rensis Likert as Director. For the time being, the two projects will operate with separate designations within the Institute for Social Research, but it is expected that in due course their separate identities will merge.

(R.P., 1948-51, p. 234.)
In accordance with this action of the Board of Regents, the "By-Laws" of the University were amended to recognize the permanent status of the Institute for Social Research and to fix the essential characteristics of the Institute in relation to the University administrative structure:

Sec. 30. 15. Institute for Social Research. There shall be maintained an Institute for Social Research which shall be conducted for the purpose of research, service, and training.

The Institute shall be under the direction of a Director appointed by the Board of Regents on recommendation by the President and assisted by an Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shall consist of the Director ex officio, chairman; the Dean of the Graduate School ex officio, or a representative designated by him; and additional members of the University Senate representing fields related to the activities of the Institute, to be appointed by the Board of Regents on recommendation by the President. The appointed members shall hold office for three years each, the terms to be so adjusted that two vacancies shall occur each year.

The Executive Committee shall be responsible for the determination of general policies, regarding the nature and scope of the activities of the Institute and, in co-operation with the responsible officers of the teaching units, for the co-ordination of its activities with the research and training functions of such units. It shall also be responsible for recommendations relating to the appointment of members of the staff and the budget, and for the approval of contracts for service to be rendered by the Institute, provided that such contracts must also have the approval of the Vice-President in charge of business and finance.

All appointments to the staff of the Institute for Social Research shall be in accordance with the provisions of Section 5.09 of these "By-Laws," and any collateral appointments in teaching units held by members of the staff of the Institute shall be without tenure, except as may be otherwise specifically provided by action of the Board of Regents. The activities of the Institute shall be financially supported from the proceeds of contracts for services rendered to organizations, agencies, or institutions outside of the University; or from grants for research or training. The Institute may be compensated for services rendered to the educational programs of teaching units and other agencies of the University.

(R.P., 1948-51, pp. 368-69.)

The intention that the Institute should be interdisciplinary and accessible to all schools and departments of the University, is implicit in the form of its organization. From the beginning Page  1553it was administratively separate from any one department or school, responsible directly to the chief academic officer of the University. This intention was strengthened and given vitality by the decision to have an Executive Committee composed of members drawn from a variety of relevant disciplines. Those serving on the Executive Committee, with their terms of office are as follows: G. Ackley (economics), 1947-51; R. C. Angell (sociology), 1946-53; K. E. Boulding (economics), 1951-56; A. L. Brandon, 1947 — ; A. W. Bromage (political science), 1946-55; E. M. Hoover (economics), 1946-47; R. Likert (ex officio), 1946 — ; D. G. Marquis (psychology), 1946-55; C. E. Odegaard, 1953-56; W. C. Olson, 1952-55; J. Perkins, 1949-50; D. M. Phelps (marketing), 1953-56; R. A. Sawyer (ex officio), 1946 — ; R. A. Stevenson, 1946-53; H. F. Vaughan, 1951-54; M. L. Niehuss, 1946-47.

Since the functions of the Executive Committee have included guidance on research objectives as well as administrative control, it has been important that its members have interests at least as broad as those of the Institute research staff. To strengthen the committee in this respect, the Regents in 1952 modified the "By-Laws" affecting the Institute to permit the expansion of the membership of the Committee from six members of the University Senate to a maximum of nine (in addition to the ex officio members).

Within the framework of organization and broad purpose outlined above, the Institute has moved steadily toward a definition of its activities, which in 1952, were stated as follows:

The aim of the Institute is to increase our understanding of social behavior through the utilization of scientific methods. Underlying this aim is the faith that scientific methods — in particular the use of quantitative measurement intimately linked with social theory — can make a major contribution to knowledge about social affairs and to human welfare. Diverse problems have been studied; all were chosen because of their basic theoretical significance, or immediate social implications. These problems, in general, have been sufficiently broad to require team research, and since human problems overlap traditional academic boundaries, the research teams usually have included persons from more than one scientific discipline.

A broad program of this kind must encompass a variety of activities. It is necessary to develop specialized research skills; so there must be constant training of personnel both for the staff of the Institute and for research in other agencies and at other locations. There must be a constant exchange of findings and methods with other researchers; this requires an active program of consultation, publication and exchange of communications, and contacts with colleagues. There must be research on the methods of research so that new and more complex problems may effectively be studied. It is necessary to develop procedures for the interpretation and application of research findings; this leads to the training of leaders and technicians in the use of the research results.

The objectives of the Institute thus include research, professional training for researchers, exchange of scientific information, research on methodology, and assistance in the application of research results.

The research activities of the Institute have been largely the activities of the two Centers. Of separate origin, and beginning with separate problems, methods, and personnel, each has continued its program with considerable autonomy but with the mutual benefit that comes from close association and from sharing of interests, scientific findings, and research skills. Angus Campbell has been Director of the Survey Research Center since 1948, and Dorwin Cartwright has been Director of the Research Center for Group Dynamics during the same period.

Survey research center. — The oldest of the integrated research programs Page  1554of the Survey Research Center is concerned with the dynamics of the major economic decisions made by consumers and businessmen. This program, under the direction of Professor George Katona (Ph.D. Göttingen '21), was undertaken in the belief that people's motives, levels of information, attitudes, and expectations influence their economic behavior, and that measures of attitudinal variables obtained in interviews with a sample of consumers or businessmen can provide important information relevant to past as well as to forthcoming trends in the economy. Data traditionally regarded as economic — incomes, profit, assets, debt, prices — can thus be supplemented by quantitative information on psychological and sociological factors. The major economic surveys of the Center are an annual series of studies known as the surveys of consumer finances, conducted for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. The ninth of these annual surveys is currently in progress. Further surveys have been carried out concerning specific economic decisions on purchases of houses, life insurance, savings bonds, stocks, and consumer goods both durable and nondurable. A series of studies made in 1951, 1952, and 1953 was concerned with attitudes toward inflation, spending, and saving, the origin of economic attitudes and the relation of these to economic behavior.

This work has been supported by various governmental organizations, private business firms, and foundations.

A second major program of research conducted by the Survey Research Center has been concerned with discovering some of the underlying principles applicable to the problems of organizing and managing human activity. This program was initially directed by Professor Daniel Katz (Buffalo '25, Ph.D. Syracuse '28) and later by Robert L. Kahn (Michigan '39, Ph.D. ibid. '52). In 1947 a ten-year program was outlined in this area, which provided for the study, in sequence, of a variety of functioning organizations to explore the social and interpersonal determinants of organizational effectiveness and employee satisfaction. Substantial projects have been conducted within this broad program in an insurance company, a railroad, a public utility, an automobile factory, a governmental administrative agency, a research agency, a household appliance factory, a professional society, four labor unions, and other similar organizations. An important aspect of this research is the experimental testing of concepts and hypotheses developed from earlier studies. One such experiment has involved the creation of contrasting organizations with respect to the level of decision-making and the effects of this difference on productivity and morale. Another has been concerned with the process of introducing change in organizational structure and of individual behavior.

One of the early and continuing interests of the Survey Research Center has been that of the perceptions, values, and behavior of the American people in their role as citizens. One of the first studies undertaken by the Center was an inquiry into public understanding and evaluation of certain aspects of the nation's actions in the field of foreign affairs. Subsequent research has been carried out in the broad area of public reaction to policy issues. In addition, there have been extensive investigations, using the sample interview method, of such diverse problems as: the social implications of atomic energy developments, the factors influencing voter decision in presidential elections, the sources and impact of information on public issues, and the role of large corporations in our society. Studies in this series have also concerned the needs and experiences of teen-age boys in relation Page  1555to organized group activity and the information and attitudes of the public in relation to atomic warfare. Work on these has been directed by Professor Angus Campbell, Burton Fisher (Yale, '38, Ph.D. ibid. '47), and Stephen B. Withey (Asbury College '41, Ph.D. Michigan '52).

Two important projects have been completed by the Center in the area of public health. One, conducted for the American Cancer Society, was concerned with public concepts of cancer and attitudes toward the disease, and was in part an appraisal of the effectiveness of the society's informational campaigns. The other, sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health, was an exploratory study of the public's concepts and values in the field of mental health; in a single community this focused upon factors associated with public readiness to recognize mental health problems and popular considerations in connection with choice of professional services for such problems. The Center has also provided special services in connection with a nation-wide field trial of a newly developed polio vaccine.

The Detroit Area study, established in 1951 as the result of a grant to the University from the Ford Foundation, has developed as a research and training facility available to faculty and to graduate students in the behavioral sciences. It has provided data to faculty members interested in research on human behavior and also has served the state of Michigan by means of socially useful data regarding its major metropolitan area. The first sample survey of the Detroit population concentrated on group membership and political behavior, the second on childrearing customs and attitudes, and the third on citizen attitudes toward civic and community organizations.

The scope and complexity of sample interview survey research has required a constant attention to problems of methodology, particularly in connection with sampling and data collection. The Center, since its origin, has maintained special sections to provide the necessary sampling and field services for projects and also to conduct research on methodology. Charles F. Cannell (New Hampshire '36, Ph.D. Ohio State '42) has been in charge of the work relating to interviewing methods, questionnaire construction, and other survey data-gathering problems. Roe Goodman (Friends University '31, M.S. Iowa State '44) and later Leslie Kish (City College of New York '39, Ph.D. Michigan '52) have had major responsibility for sampling, and have made significant contributions to the theory and practice of probability sampling.

Research center for group dynamics. — The Research Center for Group Dynamics has also organized its work in terms of integrated and continuing programs of research on selected scientific problem areas. This research rests on the conviction that there are principles of group behavior which can be established independently of the purposes or specific activities of the groups and that basic principles of group dynamics can be established which will aid in understanding the processes of group formation, change, and dissolution, and which will lead to an understanding of the determinants of intergroup relations and of interpersonal relations within groups. The direction of work in these programs has been shared by Professors Dorwin Cartwright and Ronald Lippitt (Springfield College '36, Ph.D. Iowa '40), and Associate Professors J. R. P. French, Jr. (Black Mountain College '37, Ph.D. Harvard '40), Alvin Zander (Michigan '36, Ph.D. ibid. '42), and Leon Festinger (City College of New York '39, Ph.D. Iowa '42).

One series of projects has been concerned with group productivity as a Page  1556focus for integrating the findings from various researches into a coherent conception of the determinants of group efficiency. Experiments and field investigations have aimed at developing ways of measuring group productivity and at exploring aspects of group organization and function related to it. An example of this is the study of the consequences of organizing individual motivations to produce upon a competitive as compared with a co-operative basis. Other studies in the series have been concerned with such problems as the perception of the leader's role and the formation of group standards as they are related to productivity.

As the functioning of a group is dependent upon the exchange of communications and the spread of influence within the group and between groups, the Center has given this area of study high priority. A major part of this work emerges from a study of group formation and communication within a housing project. The findings and hypotheses developed have led to a series of laboratory studies of the critical factors. Recent projects in this series have been concerned with the distortion of communication and perception when there are pressures toward uniformity, the influence of the leader and the group upon the opinions and performance of members, the factors determining the anchorage of opinion in a reference group, and the channels for spread of communication in groups having predetermined structure. Research in established social groups has permitted the verification of findings from laboratory experiments.

The problems of intergroup relations form the core of a third program of research. The objectives have been to seek out the sources of conflict, prejudice, and hostility between groups and to develop some understanding of the bases for more positive relations. The settings for research in this area have included fraternities (the modification of attitudes regarding discriminatory practices), communities (the reduction of hostilities between a housing project and the surrounding community), schools (relations among parents, teachers, and students) and an international conference (national and professional affiliations as they affect functioning).

Group processes are mediated not only by communication and spread of influence but also by social perceptions. These are interrelated phenomena which can be isolated from each other only for certain purposes of analysis and experimentation. The Center has given specific attention to the study of social perceptions — the factors that influence them and their effects on social behavior. In a field study of a formal organization, an investigation was made of how perception of membership with others in informal groups relates to readiness to communicate with others, to value their contributions, and to be attracted to activities with them. Specialized research on the nature of social perception has been undertaken. One project has examined the influence of a person's expectations and preconceptions upon his view of other people's behavior, and the secondary effects of such perception on subsequent personal interaction. The stability of these relationships has been investigated in a training workshop and in a classroom.

An important area of research has been that of developing methods for improving group functioning and of utilizing group processes in ways to maximize member adjustment. Exploratory studies are in process on the influence of basic personality characteristics on the type of participation in and learning from discussion groups. Another study has shown that children with a background of emotional maladjustment fail to perceive accurately what is expected Page  1557and appropriate in a new group and so become rejected and powerless. Experimentation is under way to test methods of helping rejected members become accepted. A comparative study of the development of group structure and social influence patterns in two contrasting summer camps has clarified some of the determinants of pathological group functioning. Two studies of training programs for personnel from other countries have dealt with the special dynamics of the "overlapping group membership" situation in which the learner faces conflicts in loyalty to the present situation and to his other reference groups.

The Center is aware that a distinction must be made between knowledge about optimal conditions for group functioning and knowing how to produce such conditions and for this reason has established a program of research upon the process of change itself. One of the methods most commonly used by groups to improve their own functioning, and on which the Center has conducted research, is to train "key" members holding responsible positions. In co-operation with the National Training Laboratory in Group Development, a series of studies has been conducted on various features of leadership training.

Other activities of the institute. — Although the Institute was established primarily as a research agency, it was recognized from the beginning that it would have other functions. Professional training has increasingly occupied the attention of the Institute. Initially, the Institute undertook to provide a few formal courses within the instructional programs of interested departments and schools. This work has expanded until there are eighteen staff members engaged in regular teaching of twenty-five courses in seven departments and schools. The Survey Research Center in 1948 established an annual Summer Institute in Survey Research techniques which attracts a number of professional students for intensive training. The Research Center for Group Dynamics has collaborated in sponsoring the annual National Training Laboratory in Group Development to acquaint leaders in various fields with techniques for dealing with problems of group functioning and interpersonal relations. The provision of research training and experience has been fostered particularly by the employment of advanced graduate students. Approximately fifty of these are currently on regular staff appointment, and thirty-one doctoral theses have been completed with the use of Institute facilities and data. The opportunities for training and research experience stemming from the Institute have been a factor in the emergence of the University of Michigan as one of the leading centers for graduate training in the social sciences.

The Institute was conceived as a research agency organized so as to permit dealing with major research problems regardless of the traditional disciplinary boundaries. Thus, projects which are broader in their orientation and methodological approach than would ordinarily occur within a single discipline have led to active collaboration by the Institute with various academic departments. Both the Institute and the departments have benefited by such collaboration.

The Institute has assumed that research results will have their full effect only if they are generally available. It has held to the practice of undertaking only those projects which are of general scientific and social interest, and, within the limits of its resources, of making public the main findings of all projects. Thirteen major research monographs and approximately 350 other documents and journal articles have been issued. Staff members participate broadly in public speaking and teaching activities Page  1558related to the reporting of research and maintain contacts with other individuals and agencies having interests in common with those of the Institute. Visiting scholars have access to research in progress. Human Relations, a quarterly journal edited jointly by the Research Center for Group Dynamics and the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations in London, is now in its sixth year of publication.

The research of the Institute has been collaborated on and sponsored by a great variety of agencies. Most prominent have been the agencies of the federal and state governments that have sought the services of the Institute to conduct basic research relevant to their administrative problems. The Federal Reserve Board, the Office of Naval Research, the Civil Defense Administration, and the National Institutes of Health are among the agencies having continuous collaboration with the Institute over a span of years. Within Michigan the state government has worked with the Institute on problems of conservation and industrial development. Schools, churches, labor unions, and welfare agencies have been the location and the source of financial support for studies. Private business organizations have been prominent in the research work of the Institute, and continuing research partnerships have been developed with such firms as General Motors Corporation, Detroit Edison Company, and the Michigan Bell Telephone Company.

The growth of the Institute since its origin in 1946 has been reflected in its staff, facilities, and financial resources. From a nucleus of a dozen people who came to Michigan in 1946, and the six key members of the Research Center for Group Dynamics, who came in 1948, the staff by 1954 numbered more than three hundred persons. Housing has kept pace with this growth in staff and volume of work. At first housed in the basement of the University Elementary School, the Institute was transferred in 1949 to larger quarters in old University Hall; when this historic building was demolished in 1950 the Institute was moved to the building formerly known as West Hospital, at 1131 Catherine Street. For laboratory research the Institute has the use of special rooms equipped for observation of group activities and wired for the recording and transmission of sound.

The initial financial support of the Institute (then the Social Surveys Project) consisted of two contracts with government agencies, with the University providing some compensation for teaching and related services. Financial resources have been obtained at all times to keep the organization intact and productive. The total budget for 1946-47 was $233,863; for 1950-51, $852,711 and for 1952-53, $744,636.

The Institute is still a changing, adapting organization. Unexpected new ways to serve the broader objectives of the University have been found. The basic problems of integrating a research agency into a University community to best advantage are not entirely solved; the full advantage of programmatic research closely allied with instructional programs has not yet been realized. But with constant exploration of these problems, and with a conviction that a close alliance between teaching, research, and public service is desirable, it is expected that the Institute will serve an increasingly useful role within the University of Michigan.


President's Report, Univ. Mich., 1950-54.
Proceedings of the Board of Regents…, 1946-54.