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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/161

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EXACT METHODS IN SOCIOLOGY.

to the general public conclusions based upon more exact methods of induction.

Let us now look at the relations which the development of statistical method bears to that development of fundamental conceptions, which has already been described. Do we here discover increasing harmony, a tendency toward co-ordination, or have analyses of concepts, on the one hand, and developments of statistical method, on the other hand, followed diverging lines?

There can be no possible doubt of the answer that must be made to these questions. Conceptions and methods are in as perfect accord as can be discovered in any branch of science. The merest glance over the field of social statistics shows that, for the most part, they record and classify phenomena that are essentially psychological. In working from the general theory of evolution through the biological parallelism down to psychological premises, analytical sociology has been doing in one way precisely what statistics have been doing in another. The moment we pass from statistics of density and distribution of population we find ourselves dealing next with groups of facts that are biological (the facts, namely, of distribution according to sex and age periods), through facts that are partly biological and partly psychological in character (the facts, namely, of nationality), and then, leaving these behind, we deal henceforth entirely with facts that belong to the mental and moral categories. To name them would be only to repeat the categories already enumerated: the statistics of intelligence, industry, and moral character, of emotional or rational social action, of various forms of organization for the achievement of as many different purposes, and of the development of the conscious personality of man as a result of his social relations and activities.

Not only is this true, but the further interesting fact may be discovered that social statistics of every category employed or known are based upon a frank recognition of that coefficient of resemblance, physical or mental, which I have contended is a mark of social phenomena. The first step in statistical tabulation is classification, and classification invariably starts from an assumption of real or supposed resemblance. Not to dwell on such fundamental distinctions as those of color, race, and nationality, we encounter the more special resemblances of agreement in religious belief, agreement in industrial preference, agreement in political conviction (as shown in election returns), similar susceptibility to emotionalism, similar capacities for rational comprehension, similar imperfections of nature, which result in lives of crime or pau-