Non-communicativeness is usually understood as a quality which with sufficient objectivity characterizes not only a person’s behaviour, but also his deeper constitutional set-up. According to the views with which W3 meet in educational practice, and according to some bourgeois psychological theories, especially typological theories, the lack of communicativeness is necessarily a manifestation of inadequate social orientation of the individual.
The author raises the question whether the interpretation of a quality which is so important for the characterization of the individual and for the pedagogical practice is not simplified and distorted in the existing psychological views on the matter. If we proceed from a reflex conception, we must be very cautious in interpreting non-communicativeness as a quality basically immutable, conditioned by biological or social factors. We are similarly taught by prac!:ical experience that we must treat with reserve the one-sided simplifying interpretation of this trait of character as being a manifestation of inadequate social orientation, or as being one aspect of individualism.
The author further deals with the methodological roots of the existing view on non-communicativeness of character and raises the question of methods to be used in investigating such complex psychical phenomena as this trait of character. He finds a way out in the comparative casuistic method, which enables us to investigate such phenomena as integral parts of the whole personality and in their complex sočial and biological connections? The basis is the analysis of a person’s activity in all the wealth of its relations to social environment and the qualities of the individual. By means of a critical procedure, checking the authenticity of the data obtained and comparing them both within the characterization of one and the same individual and within the framework of several casés, certain hypotheses may be pronounced, which take into account the findings of the physiology of higher nervous activity as well as the phenomena which are specific to the social determination of behaviour. The biological and the social factor are not understood as two factors acting independently, but as acting in unity, being mutually conditioned.
The author has come to the following conclusions: 1. Lack of communicativeness cannot be considered as a trait of behaviour, fully describing a person’s character, particularly his inadequate social orientation. It is not a quality of character, but a trait behind which a great variety of psychical facts are concealed: from scarcely realizable inclination to solitude, which in its substance is a defensive attitude to stimuli from social environment, to conscious, deliberate isolation from the collective. It is not a question of different stages of the same quality, but a question of qualitative differences, having different causos.
2. The origin of non-communicativeness does not lie exclusively in the sphere of biological or social conditioning. Non-communicativeness has not a functional character, it is a form of behaviour, which under certain objective conditions, biological as well as social, adjusts the relationship between the factors influencing the development of the individual. In some cases it may even play a decisively positive role, protecting the inner life of man from the negative influences of an unfavourable social environment.
3. Of special importance for the origin of non-communicativeness is the existence of hardly surmountable or subjectively insurmountable contradictions within the individual, i.i e. contradictions resulting from the relations between the individual and the collective, and between the existing standard of the individual and his perspectives, the goals he wants to reach. The existence of these contradictions and their solution constitute a factor realizing the unity of biological and social influences. Therefore a one-sided biological or social interpretation of the origin of non-communicativeness must be consideredi insufficient both from the theoretical point of view and from the point of view of the needs of pedagogical practice, which seeks above all suc;h a solution as enables us to influence man through education while taking into account all that is in his character relatively permanent, inborn, or determined by permanently existing conditions of life.