APPLICATIONS OF BEHAVIOURAL RESEARCH

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1 SOME APPLICATIONS OF BEHAVIOURAL RESEARCH edited by RENSIS LIKERT aid SAMUEL P. HAYES, Jr. UNESCO

2 SCIENCE A N D SOCIETY

3 Titles in this series: Economics and Action Some AppIications of Behavioural Research

4 Published by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Place de Fontenoy, Paris-7e 1st impression September nd impression Se tember 1961 Printed by Joseph $loch, May enne O Unssco 1957 Printed in France SS. 61 /XIII. 2a/A

5 CONTENTS INTRODUCTION CHAPTER I. BEHAVIOURAL RESEARCH: A GUIDE FOR EFFECTIVE ACTION. by Rensis Likert Applicability of behavioural research..... Assuring use of research results Problems in research design Bibliography CHAPTER I1. ADMINISTRATWE LEADERSHIP AND ORGANIZATIONAL EFFEC- TIVENESS. by Stanley E. Seashore Introduction The use of research results in interpreting problems of administrative leadership Planning for effective leadership-how can a leader choose among alternative courses of action?..... Post-seminar work sessions Bibliography CHAPTER 111. THE TRAINING OF LEADERS FOR EFFECTIVE HUMAN RELATIONS. by Stanley E. Seashore Introduction The functions of training and conditions for effective human relations training Four approaches to training of leaders for effective human relations Four ways to train-a summary and appraisal... Bibliography CHAPTER IV. HUMAN FACTORS IN RESEARCH ADMINISTRATION. by Hollis W. Peter Introduction Individual factors in scientific performance.... Motivation and interests of scientists Formation and maintenance of productive scientific workgroups

6 Needed research Appendix Bibliography CHAPTER V. TRAINING FOREIGN NATIONALS IN THE UNITED STATES. by Simon 0. Lesser and Hollis W. Peter Introduction Importance of training programmes Objectives of exchange programmes Factors affecting the success of training programmes Comparisons between programmes Evaluation and research Bibliography CHAPTERVI. GROUP INFLUENCE IN MARKETING AND PUBLIC RELATIONS. by Francis S. Bourne Introduction Reference-groups relevance in decision-making Identifying influence-groups Theaudienceas a reference-group Bibliography C!HA&R VI1. PSYCHOLOGICAL SURVEYS IN BUSINESS FORECASTING. by Irving Morrissett Introduction and Summary Business plans and expectations Consumer attitudes. expectations and plans.... Use of survey data in forecasting by business... Notes on methods and reliability of the Survey Research Center s consumer studies Bibliography CHAPTERVIII. RELATING BEHAVIOURAL RESEARCH TO THE PROBLEMS OF ORGANIZATIONS. by Samuel P. Hayes. Jr Obstacles to full utilization Ways to promote full exploitation Organizing to promote full utilization Summary Publications of the Foundation for Research on Human ~ Behavior INDEX

7 P REFACE Unesco's aim in launching the collection Science and Society was to spread knowledge of the practical effects of the discoveries made in the various branches of the social sciences. Limited as those effects may appear in comparison with those which mark the tremendous progress achieved in the natural sciences, they already provide us with certain tools that are continually increasing in both number and eficiency. The first titlepublished in this collection, Economics and Action, was by Messrs. Pierre Mendgs-France and Gabriel Ardant. It showed, with the aid of illustrations drawn from contemporary history, that modern economics and the techniques employed by modern economics, though they have still too muny defects, nevertheless represent a considerable advance upon earlier conceptions and policies and carry with them practical applications which are bound to facilitate economic progress and render possible, witjiin the framework of a policy of peace, a rational use of human and material resources. The present volume is the fruit of an effort of the same kind. It is a scientific study of the behaviour of men living in society. With the increasing complexity of societies and nations, we need more and more to be able to understand human behaviours. More especially, the great progress made in physics and biology has placed at our disposal new and valuable instruments, the ejicient use of which for peaceful ends calls for improved methods of co-operation between men and the setting up of appropriate social organizations. It is this class ofproblems that forms the subject of this study, which views them mainly from the standpoint of industrial management and the training of leaders, and tries to demonstrate by concrete examples how the social sciences have contributed and can contribute to a better organization of certain social behaviours. This book is therefore baszd on the behavioural sciences, in so far as these are dejined as the general body of psychological, sociological and anthropological studies applied to the social behaviour of individuals. An

8 exhaustive study was, however, out of the question, and the present work is limited both in geographical range and in content. It is, infaet, no more than an account of researches initiated and prosecuted in the United States of America in connexion, as we have already said, with the working and management of industry. Limited as they are, we believe they are noneth less of general import, and it is hoped that they will receive atte bn from specialists in all countries where industry is studied, not only 2 in its external and strictly economic aspect, but also from I the domestic angle of human relations. The grpup of United States specialists who collaborated in this book have received much help from the material placed at their disposal by the Foundation for Research on Human Behavior. Unesco desires to thank Professors Rensis Likert of the University of Michigan and Samuel P. Hayes, Jr., Director of the Foundation, who have been responsible for the general editorship and co-ordination of this study, and also the authors of the various sections, Professors Stanley E. Seashore, Hollis W. Peter, Simon 0. Lesser, Francis S. Bourne and Irving Morrissett. It is also grateful to the Foundation for Research on Human Behavior, which sponsored their work and whose aid made possible the research that preceded the production of this book. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT Parts of Chapter I are reprinted from Research Methods in the Behavioral Sciences by permission of the Dryden Press. In Chapter IV the test materialain the appendix is included with the permission of the Educational Testing Service. Reproduction of text and graphic material in other chapters is made with the permission of the Foundation for Research on Human Behavior.

9 INTRODUCTION Behavioural science is rapidly growing. It is now in the middle of its S-curve of growth; in many countries, there has recently been a rapid expansion in the number of behavioural scientists at work and in the amount of behavioural research completed. The practical application of behavioural research to the operational problems of organizations has not grown to the same extent. It is not surprising that growth in application should lag behind growth in fundamental behavioural research, for this has been the case in the development of other sciences. Nevertheless this research has already reached a stage at which it deserves consideration. This book is the result of such consideration, although it is confined to the applicaticns of behavioural research in the United States of America, partly because the authors are American and therefore most familiar with the American scene, partly because a good deal of this application has taken place in the United States, and partly because a truly international volume would have to be much larger than the present one. Moreover, there is in the United States an organization-the Foundation for Research on Human Behavior-which is, in some respects, unique. This Foundation is devoted to promoting the support of behavioural research by business concerns and to encouraging the application of behavioural research in business, government and other organizations. One of the Foundation s main activities has been the holding of meetings which bring together social scientists and the representatives of.business and other organizations. These meetings discuss the behavioural research recently carried out and bearing on a selected group of organizational problems. Research results are reported, their implications discussed, and suggestions made for future research of value both to basic science and to operating organizations. 9

10 Introduction The greater part of this volume consists of reports of the meetings held by this Foundation. Each chapter is the result of a carefully planned and thoroughly worked-out process, and thus represents a fusion of behavioural research results, of the experience of business and other organizations with the problems on which the research bears, and of a joint estimate of the applicability of the research findings to such problems. Although written by several different authors, the separate chapters have a common purpose and a unity of approach, resulting from the central purposes and character of the Foundation. American research not so far reported at Foundation meetings-of which there is a great deal-has been omitted. Its inclusion would make the volume far too large and would destroy the unity of treatment, Although most of the research presented in this volume was carried out in the United States and is discussed in relation to operations in that country, it is believed that the approaches and, frequently, the findings wil prove to be directly applicable to the operations of organizations in other countries. For example, the discussion of Training Foreign Nationals in the United States applies almost equally well to the situation that arises whenever persons from one country go to another for training. As regards terminology, the term behavioural research is used here, instead of the more familiar terms social psychology or social research, because this volume stresses the sciences which make empirical studies of individual behaviour. This includes social psychology, much of the other types of psychology, sociology and cultural anthropology, and part at least of political science and economics. Just where the line is to be drawn between behavioural research and other research in any of the traditional social science disciplines is a matter of individual preference. Throughout this volume, however, emphasis has been given to those investigations which deal directly with individuals and study their behaviour. Ann Arbor, Michigan August 1956 RENSIS LIKERT and SAMUEL P. HAYES, Jr.

11 CHAPTER I B EH AV1 0 U RAL RE S EARCH : A GUIDE FOR EFFECTIVE ACTION by RENSIS LIKERT APPLICABILITY OF BEHAVIOURAL RESEARCH The important problems of our times concern human behaviour. The problems of individuals, organizations and whole societies or nations are the result, to a great extent, of the way people behave in relation to one another. Achievement of the full measure of spiritual richness, personal satisfaction and material well-being which the people of every nation seek depends upon their ability to create effective personal relations. Most people obtain their principal satisfactions and motivations from association with others. Conflict with others usually results in personal distress. However, we are only beginning to understand the complex attitudes and motivations that underlie social behaviour. Problems of human behaviour underlie each of the many kinds of organized group effort on which nations are becoming increasingly dependent. The main problems of organizational structure, organizational policy and effective operation can be solved only if human behaviour is understood. How should an organization be set up to accomplish its own objxtives? How can the needs and purposes of many individuals be integrated with the needs and purposes of the organization? How can an organization adapt itself to change with a minimum of loss and stress? The larger social problems of nations and of the world also involve human behaviour. General economic prosperity or depression can result from the working, spending, and saving behaviour of people in many nations. The manner in which public issues are resolved depends upon an understanding of the views and needs of the public. The solution of these problems also depends upon the techniques and social machinery available for creating tolerance and co-operation. Problems 11

12 Some applications of behavioural research of health and health practices, of nutrition and economic well-being, of agricultural and industrial productivity, of standards of living-all these problems, and similar ones, can be dealt with only by changing people's behaviour and their relationships to each other. As the complexity of societies and nations increases, the need for progress in our understanding of human behaviour becomes even greater. The serious problems of how best to control the great resources made available by the physical and biological sciences depend primarily upon improving human co-operation and establishing new and appropriate social organizations. Whether nuclear energy serves or destroys man wil depend upon the capacity of human beings to cooperate effectively with each other in developing social machinery for the control and use of nuclear energy and the other great contributions of physics and biology. INADEQUATE SUPPORT FOR BEHAVIOURAL RESEARCH The effectiveness of systematic research methods has been amply demonstrated in the physical and biological sciences. It is unfortunate that the urgent human problem existing throughout the world today have not been subject to the same systematic approach. Important strides, however, are being made in the adapt& ion of scientific methods to the study of human problems. Progrey is being made, not only in the advancement of a basic science ocgurnan behaviour, but also in the resolution of immediate practical problems. The research methods and techniques now in use can deal effectively with most of the problems in human behaviour. New and approved techniques are emerging at an increasingly rapid rate, and these wil enable such problems to be more adequately studied. In many parts of the world there is an intense and growing concern with the problems of human behaviour. The realization that a research approach to these problems is feasible has quickened interest in such an approach. Some public and private agencies have given concrete expression to this interest; but, among leaders in government, business, labour, education, community life and other fields, concern for the solution of human behaviour problems has yet to be expressed in effective action. Financial support for research on human behaviour varies from country to country, but usually comes from universities and private research foundations, and, to some extent, from government agencies ' 12

13 Behavioural research and industrial organizations. In relation to the need, however, the funds thus made available have been very inadequate and represent only a small part of the total financial resources that could and should be devoted to such research. One of the chief reasons for delay in mobilizing research into the solution of human behaviour problems is that important people fail to understand the potential power of this research. Too few of those in a position to allot funds for basic research or to use research for guiding decisions on operating problems are aware of the power of research over human problems. AN ILLUSTRATIVE APPLICATION OF RESEARCH One of the widespread problems which confront governments and business organizations is that of obtaining, about a nation s economy and the factors affecting it, sufficiently accurate data to permit sound planning and the measurement of progress toward the goals laid down. One powerful research tool, the sample interview survey-which was developed by the social sciences about a decade ago-makes it possible to obtain data about an economy at relatively low cost. Illustrative of this kind of research are the Surveys of Consumer Finances which have been conducted for the Federal Reserve Board by the Survey Research Center1 each year since These surveys, which have influenced legislative and administrative policy and also the decisions of business organizations, came into being in the following manner: some economists, notably Rolf Nugent, who had seen earlier surveys on the purchase and redemption of War Bonds, suggested that there would be great need for data on what people would do with their savings after the war. These economists pointed out that the United States would then be in an unprecedented situation, as the American people would own between $300 and $400 billion in savings of which over $100 billion would be in such liquid forms as currency, Series E Bonds, checking accounts and savings accounts. If the American people suddenly decided to spend an appreciable part of these liquid assets, the effect upon the economy could be disastrous. It was exceedingly important, therefore, to obtain data that were not then available, namely, data that would answer such questions as: 1. The Survey Research Center is a division of the Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan. 13

14 Some applications of behavioural research 1. Who owns these liquid assets, i.e., how is the ownership of these assets distributed through the population? Are they widely held or are they concentrated in the hands of a relatively small group of people? 2. If the ownership of liquid assets is concentrated to any appreciable extent, how can the groups who hold these assets best be characterized? Is it related to income, age, occupation, education, or other similar variables '? 3. What plans do the owners of these assets have for the use of the assets? Do they plan to draw on them? Wil they be drawn on to invest in other forms of savings, to buy durable consumer goods, or for similar purposes? If so, when, in what amounts, and for what purposes? 4. What effect wil these savings have on pecple's plans for further savings? Wil these holdings make people feel secure and cause them to spend more of their income than would otherwise be the case? We felt rerrsonably confident that we CQU!~ obtain satisfactorily accurate answers to these questions, with one important exception. Our experience had indicated that it might not be possible to obtain accurate data on the holdings of currency. We were confident that most of the data could be obtained because of the results that we had already achieved in studies for the Treasury Department, where we found that we could ask respondents about family income and expand our data to national estimates that corresponded quite closely with the aggregate estimates of the Department of Commerce. Our results, generally based on samples of from 1,500 to 2,500, were from 5 per cent to 15 per cent too low. Similarly, our results on the purchase, ownership, and redemption of Series E Bonds checked closely with Treasury data. For example, during the last half of November 1945, we interviewed a national sample of 2,300 wage-earners. We asked them whether they, owned any Series E Bonds and, if so, how many. The average total they reported was $590. At that time there were an estimated 51 million wage-earners. Fifty-one million times $590 yields an estimate of $6 30,090,000,000 of Series E Bonds outstanding. The Treasury report on Dccember 1 showed the actual figure to be $30,263,000,000. After a pilot-study had demonstrated that data of satisfactory accuracy could be obtained, the Federal Reserve Board authorized a study of a natian-wide sample of 3,000 interviews. This study was made early in 1946 and obtained income and savings data for the year 1945 and the plans and expectations of respondents for The results 14

15 Behavioural research were published in a series of articles in the Federal Reserve Bulletin in the summer of The study proved to be so valuable that the Federal Reserve Board asked us to co-operate with them in conducting a similar study each year from 1946 onwards. To illustrate how these data have been used for policy decisions, here is a statement made by Dr. Ralph A. Young [311, Director of the Federal Reserve Board s Division of Research and Statistics. Speaking of the first nation-wide Survey of Consumer Finances, Dr. Young mentioned several uses of the survey data for policy purposes : A final important value of consumer financial surveys is in connexion with bank credit, monetary, and fiscal policy. Under present conditions, effective regulation of the money supply by the Federal Reserve is no longer possible on the basis of the flexible application of its traditional instruments. Individuals and businesses hold approximately billion of liquid assets that can be used at wil to increase current expenditures, and conversion of bond holdings into cash can serve to increase the money supply, both directly and indirectly.... It was a matter of not inconsiderable importance from the standpoint of monetary and fiscal policy to know the relative concentration of liquid asset holdings by income groups at the beginning of 1946 and to find that holders for the most part were not inclined to spend them. It was also reassuring to find that the inflationary threat of this potential money supply may not have been as serious, even though serious enough, as had been thought by many. Current surveys of consumer finances also have direct usefulness for central bank policy in selective credit areas. The 1946 survey showed the possibility of a sizable conversion of liquid assets into investments, which confirmed the desirability of maintaining reasonably high margin requirements to prevent securities from becoming an inflationary menace to the whole economy. The 1946 survey was also useful in connexion with consumer credit regulation. It made possible rough estimates of consumer demand during the year for durable goods and for instalment credit to finance purchases of such goods. It further showed which consumer groups were impatient to acquire durables and to incur debt to do so. This information indicated that strong inflationary pressures would be present during the year in the durable goods markets, which were characterized by short supplies, and pointed to a continuing need for restrain- 1. Figures in brackets refer to the bibliography on p

16 Some applications of behavioural research ing deficit spending by consumers, i.e., consumer credit expansion, so far as possible until conditions of short supplies were remedied. The Survey of Consumer Finances in recent years has involved a nationwide sample of between 3,000 and 3,500 spending-units. A spending-, unit consists of all persons living in the same dwelling-unit and related by blood, marriage, or adoption who pooled their incomes for major items of expense. Some of the kinds of data that are obtained in the interviews with each spending-unit are : 1. Total income, including data on the major sources of income. 2. Total savings, including the amounts held in government bonds, savings accounts and checking accounts. 3. Amount of savings during the past year. 4. Total indebtedness, including the amounts owed on mortgages, instalment payments, etc. 5. Durable consumer goods, including homes, automobiles and television sets purchased during the past year. 6, Expectations pith regard to the pnrchire of durable cmsnme: geods during the coming year and plans for financing these purchases. Many of these items are obviously of so confidential a nature that people do not readily talk about them. Nevertheless, when the sampling is well done and when a properly designed interview-form is used by well-trained interviewers, results are surprisingly accurate. Illustrative of these results are the following data on estimates of 1954 national income for U. S. families living in private househo1ds.l The average money income (before paying taxes) in 1954, as obtained from our nation-wide sample of 3,000 spending-units, was $4,420. At the beginning of 1955, 54 million spending-units were living in private households in the United States. $4,420 x 54 million = $239 billion. Personal income estimates of the Department of Commerce, based on aggregate amount of wages, etc., paid to individual9 amounted to $260 billion. Consequently, the estimate based on the 3,000 interviews was 8 per cent below the estimate based on aggregate data. If it were desirable to obtain more precise measurements, a larger sample or other methods might be used. Another indication of the accuracy of survey data is as follows: 1. See 1955 Survey of Consumer Finances conducted inlco-operation with the Federal ReserveBoard by the Survey Research Center, University of Michigan. and published in the Federa1 Reserve Bulletin, June The Department of Commerce published an income estimate of $274 billion (after excluding non-money incomes); it is estimated that about $14 billion income was received by institutional, ditary and transient people who do not live in private households. 16

17 Behavioural research 1. When the data for automobile ownership from the 3,000 interviews made in the 1955 Survey of Consumer Finances was expanded to a national estimate, a figure of 39.9 million automobiles was obtained. These are cars owned by persons living in private households. 2. The total registration figure for all states for all automobiles, including government,and business cars, for that same period of time, was 43.8 million. 3. The automobile industry estimates that there were about 3.9 millioi cars owned by business and government, which means that tht survey data and the registration figure correspond closely. RIGOROUS METHODOLOGY REQUIRED FOR ACCURATE RESULTS Polling methods which use quota or similar sampling procedures wil not yield such accurate results as those obtained in the Survey of Consumer Finances. The methodology of the sample survey differs fundamentally from that used in the well-known polls. There are differences in the methods used in sampling, interviewing, and the research design. For example, the sample survey uses true probability samples rather than assigning quotas to interviewers and letting them use their judgment in picking respondents. The Survey Research Center, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, selects every dwelling in which interviews are to be made in each study and sends trained interviewers to these addresses, specifying exactly who is to be interviewed. The interviewer has no choice. There are many other important differences between polling techniques and the methods of the sample survey, but these differences in methodology are discussed elsewhere [2, 41. The sample interview survey does not, however, collect all kinds of economic data with equal efficiency or equal accuracy. There is no advantage in using sample surveys to collect aggregate data readily available from other sources. Data from sample surveys which report frequency distributions, that is, the proportion of people who hold certain amounts of liquid assets or who have certain attitudes or plans tend to be mom accurate than are aggregate estimates from sample surveys. Some of the latter, such as those that have been cited as illustrations, appear to be reasonably accurate, but estimates of other variables have, at times, been found less accurate. Generally speaking, when a variable is widely distributed through the population studied and the variation from person to person is not too great, the aggregate estimates obtained from sample survey data tend to bereasonably accurate. 17

18 Some applications of behavioural research SAMPLE SURVEYS CAN BE USED IN ANY COUNTRY There is no doubt that the sample interview survey is yielding useful results on economic questions in the United States, but wil these same methods yield comparable results in other countries?available evidence indicates that they will. The Institute of Statistics of Oxford University, England, and the Social Survey of the British Government, for example, have, for the past few years, been conducting studies comparable in part to the Surveys of Consumer Finances [S, 61. Their results indicate that they are obtaining data comparable in accuracy to those obtained in the United States. Similar surveys are reported to have been conducted in Sweden. A survey of consumer finances conducted in Ceylon in May 1953 was published in 1954 by the Central Bank of Ceylon [7]. Sample surveys are also being used to obtain satisfactory estimates of agricultural production in many parts of the world, including South America and Asia. Available evidence suggests, therefore, that the sample interview survey can be used in any country to obtain the kind of iiif~~iii~ti~ii dedi with in this. vo!ume. In some cmntries, the sampling and other problems wil be somewhat more difficult and the errors may be greater, but the basic methodology appears to be applicable in any country which wishes to use it. In addition to collecting data bearing on economic problems, there are many other functions which sample surveys can perform for government, business, labour, and other agencies or organizations. The executive branches of governments, for example, are faced with many problems for which sample survey methods can help to provide constructive solutions. The legislative branch frequently asks the executive branch for recommendations about legislation. Consequently, the executive branch must have accurate information about the real needs of the public. It is not sufficient to know what particular pressure-groups are clamouring for; precise knowledge of the genuine wishes and desires of the public is required, and the sample survey is a particularly economical and accurate way for the executive branch to obtain this information. Legislation, particularly that dealing with national problems, must necessarily refrain from being too detailed in order to meet the wide variety of conditions that exist in various parts of the nation. Chief administrators, as a result, frequently work within very broad limits and are faced with the necessity of establishing broad operating policies and of choosing between various programme alternatives. After broad policy decisions have been made, it is necessary to decide on the details 18

19 Behavioural research of a particular programme. In planning both the broad policy and the details of a programme, sample surveys can immeasurably improve the efficiency of government and make it more responsive to the desires of the people. Sample surveys can obtain evidence on the relative acceptability of different alternatives and can indicate the degree of support or resistance that each alternative wil receive from each group in society. Surveys can also indicate how the programme should be presented and administered in order to obtain maximum co-operation and support. The acceptance and support that a programme receives depend not only on its soundness and how well it meets the needs of the public, but also on the public s understanding of the problem and the information it receives about the programme. Fundamentally sound programmes have failed because of the public s misinformation and ignorance. For instance, one very important programme which has encountered this difficulty in many American communities in recent years is the fluoridation of the water supply to reduce dental caries. Survey research can help to minimize programme failures due to ignorance or misinformation by providing administrators with data on the amount and kind of misinformation or ignorance about a programme existing among different groups in the population. Moreover, surveys can also point to efficient ways of remedying existing ignorance. The timing of a programme and of its parts often involves difficult administrative decisions. Survey data can also be useful in making these decisions. USING SURVEYS TO IMPROVE ADMINISTRATION OF CURRENT PROGRAMMES Useful as surveys can be in deciding on new policies and planning new programmes, they are even more valuable to administrators in appraising and improving existing programmes. Serious administrative errors are often due to incorrect information on how a particular programme is functioning. Survey research can help to minimize these errors by periodically securing accurate answers to such questions as : How effectively is the programme working in the judgement of the general public? What support does it have? What groups in the population feel that the programme is working well? What groups feel that it is working poorly? Why? What suggestions or criticisms do people make? What improvements do they seek? Why? 19

20 Some applications of behaviodal research How well-informed are people about the programme and its objectives? What groups are uninformed or misinformed? How can they most readily be informed? If the programme involves participation on the part of people generally, what kinds of people are participating? What groups are refusing to participate? Why? An illustration may help to show how sample surveys can assist administrators in obtaining a better appreciation of the problems they face in effectively executing a. programme. One March, several years ago, the people living in and near the Vernon Unit of the Kisatchie National Forest, in West Central Louisiana, organized in an effort to drive out the United States Forest Service. A small group of young men lit fires over a large part of the area planted by the Forest Service in the preceding few years. Four young men were arrested, tried, and sentenced to terms in the Federal penitentiary. Naturally, there was great tension between the local community and the Forest Rangers. Contrary to a! tradition, most of the Rangers carried side-arms in the forest and all of them felt it safer not to go there after dark. In the summzr of that year, we made a survey, at the request of the Forest Service, to find out why these people burned the forest so extensively in March, why they always burned small patches of it in the early months of each year, and what the Forest Service could do to reduce these fires. Our interviewer was understandably apprehensive when he started on this study, but soon found that he obtained sincere co-operatian from the forest-dwellers. He used a carefully designed interview which approached the people in terms of their problems as farmers. They were asked how they were getting along, how the future looked for them and their families, what was making it hard and finally, at the end of the interview, they were asked some questions about their attitude towards burning the forest and related matters. The background of the problem was as follows: The Vernon Unit of the Kisatchie National Forest comprises a substantial proportion of Vernon Parish in West Central Louisiana. It is an area that was logged off from about 1900 to about The people who live in the area are dark-skinned, with straight hair, and are a mixture-of Indian, Negro and white blood. They form something of a cultural island, as might be expected. During the logging days, these people had amplc work and lived fairly well. After the timber had been logged off, the land was abandoned 20 -

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