Riesman saw America as becoming more and more other-directed.
Certainly Milgram's subjects went to great lengths to please the
The Calf Path
One day, through the primeval wood,
A calf walked home, as good calves should;
But made a trail all bent askew,
A crooked trail as all calves do.
(The poem goes on to describe how a dog followed the calf's path the
next day, then later some sheep, and over the years many other
animals followed the path. Eventually, the path became a trail followed
by men, then a road with a village along side which grew into a city.
The author concluded:)
A hundred thousand men were led
By one calf near three centuries dead...
For thus such reverence is lent
To well-established precedent...
For men are prone to go it blind
Among the calf-paths of the mind,
And work away from sun to sun
To do what other men have done...
-Sam Walter Foss
From Desk Drawer Anthology, a group of poems collected by Franklin
Harvey, Hunt, and Schroder (1961) found four types of people: (1)
rule abiding, tell-me-what-to-do types (30%), (2) rebellious, don't-
tell-me-what-to-do types (15%), (3) cautious, what-do-you-think-I-
should-do types (20%), and (4) self-directed, I'll-get-enough-
information-and-decide-for-myself-what-to-do-types (5-7%). It's
shocking that so few fall in the last category (especially since most of
us think of ourselves as independent). The more recent data (cited in
introduction) provides some hope that we are gradually learning to
think for ourselves.