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Behavioral and Social Science Fifty Years of Discovery In Commemoration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of Me "Ogburn Report, Recent Social Trends in the United States Neil J. Smelser and Dean R. Gerstein, Editors Committee on Basic Research,in We Behavioral and Social Sciences Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D. C. 1986
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National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20418 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was established by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and of advising the federal government. The Council operates in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy under the authority of its congressional charter of 1863, which establishes the Academy as a private, nonprofit, self-governing membership corpo- ration. The Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in the conduct of their services to the gov- ernment, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. It is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine were established in 1964 and 1970, respectively, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences. This project was supported with funds from the National Science Foundation. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Behavioral and social science. Symposium held Nov. 29-30, 1983. 1. Social sciences-Research United States Congresses. 2. Social change Congresses. 3. United States Social policy Congresses. 4. Social policy- Congresses. I. Smelser, Neil J. II. Gerstein, Dean R. III. National Research Council (U.S.). Committee on Basic Research in the Behavioral and Social Sciences. IV. Recent social Rends in the United States. H62.5.USB37 1985 300'.72073 85-15438 ISBN 0-309-03588-0 Printed in the United States of America NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS The National Academy Press was created by the National Academy of Sciences to publish the reports issued by the Academy and by the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Research Council, all operating under the charter granted to the National Academy of Sciences by the Congress of the United States.
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COMMITTEE ON BASIC BESEECH IN THE BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCES 1983-1984 NEIL J. SMELSER (Chair), Department of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley ROBERT McC. ADAMS, Office of the Provost and Department of Anthropology, University of Chicago LAWRENCE FRIEDMAN, Law School, Stanford University VICTORIA FROMKIN, Graduate Division and Department of Linguistics, University of California, Los Angeles CLIFFORD GEERTZ, School of Social Sciences, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, N.J. RocHE~ GELMAN, Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania JAMES G. GREENO, Learning Research and Development Center and Deparunent of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh LEONID HURWICZ, Department of Economics, University of Minnesota GARDNER LINDZEY, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Palo Alto, Calif. DANIEL L. McFADDEN, Department of Economics and Department of Statistics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology JAMES McGAuGH, Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, University of California, Irvine JAMES MORGAN, Institute for Social Research and Department of Economics, University of Michigan KENNETH PREWITT, Social Science Research Council, New York BARBARA G. ROSENKRANTZ, Department of the History of Science and School of Public Health, Harvard University NANCY BRANDON TUMA, Department of Sociology, Stanford University JULIAN WOLPERT, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University DEAN R. GERSTEIN, Study Director BEVERLY R. BLAKEY, Administrative Secretary . . .
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CONTRIBUTORS ANN L. BROWN, Department of Psychology, University of Illinois RocHE~ GELMAN, Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania DEAN R. GERsTE~N, Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, National Research Council M~cHAE~ T. HANNAN, Department of Sociology, Cornell University JULIAN HOCHBERG, Department of Psychology, Columbia University DANIEL KAHNEMAN, Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia LAWRENCE R. KLEIN, Department of Economics, University of. Pennsylvania GARY D. LAFREE, Department of Sociology, University of New Mexico KENNETH PREWIrr, Social Science Research Council, New York ALBERT J. REISS, 3R., Department of Sociology, Yale University H. LAURENCE Ross, Department of Sociology, University of New Mexico NEIL J. SMELSER, University of California, Berkeley MICHAEL STUDDERT_KENNEDY, Department of Communications, Queens College and Graduate Center, City University of New York, and Haskins Laboratories, New Haven AMOS TVERSKY, Department of Psychology, Stanford University iv
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Preface The pioneer spirit is still vigorous within this nation. Science offers a largely unexplored hinterland for the pioneer who has the tools.... [Vannevar Bush, Science, The Endless Frontier: A Report to the President, July 1945] The words of Vannevar Bush have not lost currency in the intervening four decades. But his 1945 report testifies to a further proposition: behind most scientific explorations stand committees on research, responsible for seeing that the tools of science are kept current, in adequate supply, and available to those who can use them most productively. These responsi- bilities call not only for short-term decisionmaking on a monthly or other periodic basis, but also for occasional sweeps of the horizon, to absorb the lessons of the past and plan thoughtfully for the future. The Committee on Basic Research in the Behavioral and Social Sciences was established in early 1980 at the request of the National Science Foun- dation and operates under the auspices of the National Research Council's Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. The com- mittee's first task to assess the value, significance, and social utility of basic research in the behavioral and social sciences was designed to re- spond to questions posed to the foundation, principally by its congressional overseers, on a fairly short-order basis. These inquiries required a systematic look at the nature and methods of research in these fields and specification of the criteria by which a national interest in support of basic research could be established. This first phase of committee work resulted in the publication of Behavioral and Social Science Research: A National Resource (National Academy Press, 19821. Carrying out that initial task meant devoting a relatively small proportion of the committee's time to considering the longer-term trends of research advances in behavioral and social sciences, although these were reflected to some degree in the 1982 report. The present volume, fruit of the second v
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Vl PREFACE phase of committee activity, is largely devoted to assessing such trends. Symbolizing this interest, the papers in this volume were presented first at a commemorative public symposium held November 29-30, 1983, marking the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Recent Social Trends in the United States (McGraw-Hill, 1933), the landmark report of the President's Research Committee on Social Trends. The research committee, appointed by Herbert Hoover in 1929 to investigate the overall condition of the nation, was comprised entirely of social scientists. Economist Wesley C. Mitchell was chair of the committee, and political scientist Charles E. Merriam was vice-chair. The dominant voice proved to be that of sociologist William F. Ogburn, the director of research. Recent Social Trends, with its 29 sepa- rately authored chapters, nearly 1,600 pages, and foreword by President Hoover, was soon labeled and has since been informally referred to as the Ogburn report. This volume is inspired by the Ogburn report in several ways. The study of social trends has continued to be a major research area across many of the behavioral and social sciences. Four chapters in this volume highlight advances in theories and methods devoted to understanding social, orga- nizational, and economic change since the Hoover era. A second theme is the increasing use of quantitative concepts and data in decisionmaking, explored in three chapters on the use of numbers in democratic political systems, criminal justice policy, and individual choice behavior. A final theme is the remarkable growth of the study of cognition and behavior, covered in chapters on child development, language, and visual perception. Each of the 10 thematic chapters is a vivid portrait of newly gained knowl- edge, taken from a particular perspective; as a whole, the volume is a selective sampling from the gallery of behavioral and social science ac- complishments of the past 50 years. The idea that our committee might take the Ogburn report as a reference point for this phase of its work was first suggested by Otto N. Larsen, senior associate for social and behavioral sciences at the National Science Foundation. It is a pleasure to acknowledge his role and that of the foun- dation generally in providing a continuing and substantial commitment of intellectual and material support to the committee; we particularly wish to acknowledge the contributions of Eloise E. Clark, formerly assistant director for biological, behavioral, and social sciences; James H. Blackman, for- merly acting director of the Division of Social and Economic Science; and Richard T. Louttit, director of the Division of Behavioral and Neural Sci ences. We are indebted to the staff of the National Research Council for ren- dering many services during preparations for the symposium and this report. In particular, David A. Goslin, executive director of the Commission on
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PREFACE . . Vll Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education; Eugenia Grohman, associate director for reports for the commission; and Ann E. Polvinale, administra- tive associate for the commission, provided thoughtful advice and necessary support at many junctures; Christine L. McShane, commission editor, and Nan Heneson made significant contributions to the clarity and style of this report; and Beverly R. Blakey, administrative secretary to the committee, smoothly managed its logistics. Dean R. Gerstein, serving as study director to the committee, has played a major part in conceiving and coordinating the symposium, editing this volume, and writing its introductory chapter. The committee was reorganized in the spring of 1984, and R. Duncan Luce became co-chair. Our principal responsibility since that time has been a 10-year outlook on research opportunities in the behavioral and social sciences. But Luce has also given his support and advice in completing this volume, and I am pleased to acknowledge his role. Committee work is seldom marked by dramatic events or rewarded with prizes, though it can be stimulating, challenging, and personally gratifying to those involved. I believe this committee has been blessed with good fortune in all these regards. The deliberations of the group never lack for intellectual enthusiasm and challenge; indeed, chairing its meetings is akin to herding an assemblage of tigers. The authors who contributed chapters to this volume also provided stimulating ideas and collegiality while playing lead roles in a dramatic event, the Ogburn commemorative symposium. Their distinguished work in prior contexts has not escaped the notice of prize-givers. For all these reasons, I am pleased to present this volume to our sponsors, colleagues, and other readers. It provides an unusual oppor- tunity to consider the directions, extent, and illustrative results of the last half-century of studies on human behavior and social life. NEW J. SMEESER, Chair Committee on Basic Research in the Behavioral and Social Sciences
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Contents Introduction . Dean R. Gerstein UNDERSTANDING SOCIAL CHANGE / 19 The Ogburn Vision Fifty Years Later Neil ]. Smelser Measuring Social Change . Albert ]. Reiss, Jr. · ~ Uncertainty, Diversity, and Organizational Change Michael T. Hannan Macroeconomic Modeling and Forecasting Lawrence R. Klein NUMBERS AND DECISIONMAKING / 111 Public Statistics and Democratic Politics Kenneth Prewitt Deterrence in Criminology and Social Policy H. Laurence Ross and Gary D. LaFree Choices, Values, and Frames . . Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky ix . . . 21 . 36 . 73 · 95 113 ... 129 153
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DISCOVERING THE MOD ^T WORK / 173 Cb=ging Views of Cognitive Competence in the Young ROCA8/ O8 ~ ~ ~d A"~ [. BrO~ Some Development in Reset on Language Behavior ~/ Sit V~ual Pe~ephon of Ret Ed Represented Object Ed Hems ^/~ ^~~ cat ... 1~ 208 249 e
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: Behavioral r and Social Science F~ ~ r 11~ Years ~ T" ~ o* : ~ 1scovery
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