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Lasswell, H.D. (1941). Public Opinion and the Individual: By Gardner Murphy and Rensis Likert. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1938. 316 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 10:344-346.

(1941). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 10:344-346

Public Opinion and the Individual: By Gardner Murphy and Rensis Likert. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1938. 316 pp.

Review by:
Harold D. Lasswell

In this clean cut monograph Professor Murphy and Dr. Likert have added to our tools for the study of attitudes. The chief contribution is a method of scaling the distribution of opinion that is much simpler than the epochal method perfected by Professor L. L. Thurstone. Thurstone's procedure calls for a panel of judges to sort out the significance of statements; the Murphy-Likert method dispenses with the judges and depends upon the assumption that opinions are distributed according to the 'normal curve', an assumption sharply in dispute among specialists.

The authors administered their opinion tests to college students in 1930 and to a retest group in 1935. Each student was asked to

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