German Sociologist, Kurt Lewin coined the term “group dynamics” and created fertile grounds for new ideas such as “group culture” “group mind.”

Psychologists William McDougal and Floyd All port led into opposing views regarding the “group mind” controversy (Gergan, 1982). F. H. Allport was a harsh critic of the anthropomorphic conception of human groups.

In his view only individuals were real and groups or institutions were “sets of ideals, thoughts, and habits repeated in each individual mind and existing only in those minds” Allport, 1924, Allport’s view of interactions between members of a group is analogous to the relationships among billboard balls.

They move and hit each other and affect, each other in precisely predictable ways, and stay intact throughout the whole process. Mc Doogal on the other hand, held the position that groups, institutions, and culture formed new realities and forces that could not be explained by strictly adding the particular individual group member’s “talents and contributions”.


McDougal’s view is analogous to the relationship between sub-atomic particles which mix and merge with the neighbouring particles and create new relationships.