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Keith Haartman argues that childrearing practices distinctive of the English middle class in the 18th century produced a type of personality structure characterized by excessive splitting. Methodism proved popular because the Methodist experience providing a way of confronting and working through the conflicts generated by this sort of personality structure. Unfortunately, although Haartman's argument is plausible, there is little or no evidence to support his central contention: that the individuals who found Methodism most appealing were associated with the childhood experiences he posits. A somewhat different psychoanalytic interpretation of the same data that Haartman presents emerges when we pay attention to things, like the orality that pervaded the Methodist experience and the intended goal of the Methodist conversion experience, that Haartman ignores. This article concludes by suggesting that when psychoanalytic investigators study large-scale historical patterns, they would do well to recognize the limits of psychoanalytic explanation in this area.

In: Archive for the Psychology of Religion
In: Psychohistory in Psychology of Religion
In: The Limits of Maritime Jurisdiction
In: Contemporary Pragmatism


Operational sex ratio (OSR) is predicted to influence the direction and intensity of sexual selection. Thus, as the relative numbers of reproductively active males vs females change, the behavioural competition among males and their differences in reproductive success are also predicted to change. While these outcomes seem intuitively obvious, there have been few experimental tests that examine these predictions. Here, we experimentally tested the relationship between OSR and reproductive behaviour in sheepshead minnows (Cyprinodon variegatus) competing in laboratory-based pools. Males and females were assigned to one of three OSRs (female-biased, equal, or male-biased). We monitored aggression, territory size, and number of eggs acquired by the most aggressive male, termed the “focal male,” in the pool. We used microsatellite analyses to determine the parentage of the eggs within the focal males’ territories. Focal males, by definition, were the most aggressive individual in their pools, but the degree of their aggressiveness and number of spawning sites they controlled were not influenced by OSR. Compared to focal males in the equal and male-biased OSRs, focal males in the female-biased OSR did receive more eggs but the OSR did not appear to influence the percentage of eggs they fathered on their own spawning sites. We speculate that a focal male’s competitive ability is more important to reproductive success than the number of other males and females present.

In: Behaviour