Psychological Investigations 269
Galton next gives his reasons for believing that character and temperament are persistent. These are summed up in
(a) Heredity. A son who inherits somewhat exclusively the qualities of his father, "fails with his failures, sins with his sins, surmounts with his virtues." His course of life has been predetermined by his inborn faculties.
(b) The life-histories of like twins, whd#behave like one person. "Whatever spontaneous feeling the one twin may have had, the other twin at the very same moment must have had a spontaneous feeling of exactly the same kind." If we had in our keeping the twin of a man, who was his "double," we could obtain a trustworthy forecast off what the man would do under any new conditions by submitting the twin to those conditions and watching his conduct. (pp. 180-1.)
(c) The result of Galton's own inquiry into Free-will (see our p. 245), which indicated how small seems the room left for a possible residuum of free-will.
Galton concluded on the basis of these three researches that the character which shapes our conduct is
"a definite and durable `something,' and that therefore it is reasonable to attempt to measure it." (p. 181.)
Now-a-days one might think that the statistical material on which Galton based his conclusions was rather meagre, but most of his results have been confirmed by more extensive researches'. He appears to have considered that `character' was in some way a unit entity
"We must guard ourselves against supposing that the moral faculties which we distinguish by different names, as courage, sociability, niggardness, are separate entities. On the contrary, they are so intermixed that they are never singly in action. I tried to gain an idea of the
number of the more conspicuous aspects of the character by counting in an appropriate dictionary the words used to express them. Roget's Thesaurus was selected for the purpose, and I examined many pages of its index here and there as samples of the whole, and estimated that it contained fully one thousand words expressive of character, each of which had a separate shade of meaning, while each shares a large part of its meaning with some of the rest."
From the more modern standpoint it would seem that the direct course would be to measure various factors of character in individuals and to study the extent of the inter-correlations of these factors. At any rate in children it may be doubted whether such factors as shyness, conscientiousness, selfconsciousness, temper, etc., are very highly correlated together. One would rather anticipate that character was a hotch-potch of factors mixed in different proportions for each individual.
However, Galton starts with `character' as an entity like intellectual capacity and suggests that as the latter may be sounded by definite tests at individual points, so in character definite acts in definite emergencies may be noted.
' For example, that the factors of character are inherited, see Biometrika, Vol. iii, pp. 131190; that growth and education have little influence on character, see Drapers' Research Memoirs, Biometric Series, No. 4.