John Dollard Research Files for Fear and Courage under Battle Conditions
Language of Materials
John Dollard (1900-1980) was a psychologist and social scientist who studied race relations in America. From 1942 to 1945 he served as a consultant in the Morale Services Division the United States Department of War, during which time he and fellow psychologists at Yale University's Institute of Human Relations produced a study titled "Fear and Courage under Battle Conditions." This study investigated fear and morale of soldiers in modern combat conditions. With the active assistance of the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade interviews with Lincoln Brigade veterans were carried out and a questionnaire distributed. Three hundred veterans who had served as volunteers with the Abraham Lincoln Brigade during the Spanish Civil War replied and became the research subjects for the study. The collection consists of some research files of Dr. John Dollard and his staff. Included are fourteen interview transcripts, two completed questionnaires, a correspondence file, a published version of the project report, and some clippings and publicity material.
John Dollard (1900-1980) was a psychologist and social scientist who studied race relations in America. He received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago in 1931 and in 1932 was appointed Research Associate in Social Anthropology at Yale University's Institute of Human Relations. From 1942 to 1945 Dollard served as Expert Consultant to the Morale Services Division of the United States Department of War. Beginning in 1941 he and Neal E. Miller, Research Associate in Psychology at the Institute, undertook a study of fear and morale in modern combat conditions. When Miller enlisted soon after Pearl Harbor, John Dollard completed the study, working with Dr. Donald Harrison of the Institute, and with considerable assistance from the Irving Fajans, Jack Bzoje and other members of the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. Lincoln veteran John V. Murra, then a graduate student in anthropology at the University of Chicago and later an anthropologist, acted as a paid project assistant. Murra helped with the distribution and collection of project materials, and travelled to Detroit and other cities to secure cooperation from veterans.
As a preliminary to designing the study's questionnaire some interviews with veterans were conducted by project staff. The 44-page questionnaire was then distributed American volunteers who had served under fire in the Spanish Civil War. Three hundred Lincoln Brigade veterans returned the lengthy questionnaire. With the aid of a Rockefeller Foundation grant Dollard and his team summarized their findings in a report entitled Fear and Courage under Battle Conditions (1943), a statistical analysis of the veterans' replies. The report was published as Fear in Battle (Washington: The Infantry Journal, 1944). In 1952 Dollard became a professor in Yale University's Department of Psychology and in 1969 he retired with the title professor emeritus.
Folders are arranged alphabetically.
Organized as one series:
- I. Research Files
Scope and Content Note
The collection consists of a small selection of research files accrued by Dr. John Dollard and his staff at Yale's Institute of Human Relations during their study, "Fear and Courage under Battle Conditions." Included are fourteen interview transcripts; two completed questionnaires; a file of (mostly outgoing) correspondence between project staff, veterans and others; and some publicity material.
The transcribed interviews and original questionnaires address issues related to extent of military training, combat experiences and reactions, contending with fear and the loss of comrades, life experience before Spain, and reintegration into society after the War. Interview subject are identified only by a two-letter code, and questionnaires by number. With the exception of William Aalto, Evelyn Hutchins, and Milt Wolff the individual subjects have not been identified.
Materials are open to researchers. Please contact the Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives for more information and to schedule an appointment, firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-998-2630.
The Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives has no information about copyright ownership for this collection and is not authorized to grant permission to publish or reproduce materials from it. Copyrights held by original creators of individual items in the collection are expected to pass into the public domain 120 years after their creation. For more information, please contact the Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, email@example.com or 212-998-2630.
Published citations should take the following form:
Identification of item, date; Collection name; Collection number; box number; folder number;
Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012, New York University Libraries.
This collection came to New York University in January 2001 as part of the original acquisition of Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives collections, formerly housed at Brandeis University.