Folkloric behavior : a theory for the study of the dynamics of traditional culture

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Date
1967
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[Bloomington, Ind.] : Indiana University
Abstract
"Folklore" may be defined as a class of learned, traditional responses forming a distinct type of behavior. The individual must undergo the psychological process of learning in order to acquire the responses of folkloric behavior, and this learning process occurs under conditions determined by social and cultural factors. The fundamental factors involved in learning are: drive, cue, response, and reward. Secondary factors such as repetition, recency, and ego involvement can contribute, but their presence is not required in the process of learning. Folkloric behavior is distinguishable from non traditional, non folkloric behavior, and consequently, folkloric responses are distinguishable from other classes of responses, such as those characteristic of modern science and technology. Thus, folklorists should initially concern themselves with folkloric responses (narrating, believing, singing, applying a proverb, or dancing) and relevant social and cultural factors before proceeding to the study of the folklore items themselves (narratives, beliefs, songs, proverbs, or dances). Through the application of psychological theories of individual and social learning to folkloric phenomena, we can gain an understanding of the forces affecting the perpetuation or extinction of folklore and thus can explain the function of a particular folkloric response in a particular community.
Description
Revised edition of dissertation. Revisions from the original print edition held by the library are noted in the preface. Pagination also differs from original print edition.
Keywords
Ethnopsychology, Folklore--Methodology, Cognition and culture
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