Friday, December 20, 2013
How Rudolph became a sociometric star
Rudolph, the reindeer with the red nose, is the classic character of Christmas lore. You know, the lonely reindeer bullied by other reindeer because of his unusual difference.
Rory Remer, a TEP and professor of educational, school and counseling psychologist the University of Kentucky, reminds us that this story is a lesson in the effect of changing the sociometric criterion of choice and the impact of aristotele.
Sociometry is the science of surveying preferences in relationships in groups of people -- or reindeer! -- and aristotele is [x]. The reindeer bullied poor Rudolph until he was selected by highly respected Santa for his special talent -- which had been seen as a defect. Yet Rudolph was the perfect choice to guide the sleigh on a Foggy Christmas night because he fit the role that was needed.
Truly, Rudolph has guided our values in cartoon and song. since the 1940s and beyond. Originally created as an advertising gimmick to lure customers to the Montgomery Ward department store in Chicago, he has become the protagonist in a charming often-told story.
For more on Rudolph lore and legend, see Snopes.