SPSSI arose in the late 1930s and 1940s out of a clash between two contrasting tendencies in social psychology and in social science generally. One was concern for expanding the usefulness of critical findings to people. This is illustrated by the propaganda analysis movement. The other was scientistic mechanization and commercialization of research, such as that organized in the Research Branch of the Army during World War II. SPSSI and later SSSP, its sociological counterpart, grew out of struggles between those preoccupations of social scientists.