How am I different in different situations?

Drawing your Social Atom, i.e.,  the smallest number of figures to which you relate and feel are necessary for your psychological existence,  illustrates, dramatically, that we live in a half real and a half fictionalized world, i.e., we seldom live with persons with whom we would like; rarely do the work we wish we could; and do much of what seems obscure to us based upon what we say we would like.

To get in touch with the utter complexity of it all, let us explore the Social Atom Collectives.  A Social Collective is a cluster of Social Atoms. Refer to Lesson 9 to review the Social Atom concept.[1] Identify all the groups to which you belong.

 Diagram the groups and use the notational system mentioned below to examine the relationships. Use a triangle for males and a circle for females and place each person on the sheet according to their significance to you. Prioritize the groups and the persons and number them to you in order of their importance. See if there are situations which you would like to change or if there are feelings toward members of groups which you would like to explore.[2]

You may enhance the drawing of your Social Atoms by adding the following notations. You may draw a line connecting  from you to each of the other figures. Use a solid     _______ line, or, line with arrow head, to represent your positive feelings, such as joy, surprise, anticipation, and acceptance. Use a broken line  with an arrowhead---------- to represent negative feelings such as, anger, fear, sadness, or disgust.

Draw  your Sociogram for the following situations: work, home, church, friends, or any other group which you would like to explore. Connect all the tele lines, i.e., lines to represent the unit of feeling that you transmit, or project, toward the person, object, or idea.

 J. L. Moreno coined the term tele which he borrowed from the Greek word which meant far, or distance, and he intended it to convey the notion that feelings of each other were projected onto others, which was in effect the glue that bound groups together.[3] ,  Be sure that all the tele lines are connected from you to each of the persons, objects or ideas.

What do you observe in your patterns of your Sociograms?. If you are like many people, may notice that you left out certain people. Imagine these Sociograms are analogous to the schematic on the back of your radio or television set. The diagrams show how you are wired. The patterns will likely be repeated unless you develop the awareness and practice different responses. What have you learned about yourself that was most helpful with this assignment?

1.Carl, Hollander,  and Sharon L., Sociometry, Sensor-sheet, Boulder Colorado, Winter, 1973 pages 4-6
2. Ann Hale, Conducting Clinical Sociometric Explorations, 1981, page 57 3. J. L.. Moreno,  Psychodrama, Beacon, New York: Beacon House Inc., 1972,Volume I Page XI

Copyright 1998  [Robert Brehm]. All rights reserved.