Dick Tracy, Sherlock Holmes, and even Hawkshaw the detective were discredited when a refutation of their methods of crime detection was unveiled today in the form of a volume entitled "Time Budgets of Human Behavior," by Pitirim A. Sorokin, professor of Sociology, and Clarence Q. Berger, a former colleague.
Sorokin declares that "Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, and other famous detectives always start with the main clue; find the motive and the criminal is discovered." The professor declares that crime cannot be traced to the door by mere discovery of a motive, since a motive can manifest itself in many overt acts.
In his proof of this assumption, Professor Sorokin has done a good service in freeing the public from its incorrect conception of detective methods, gleaned from pulp magazines. His description of Holmes' methods might be opened to technical discussion, however, for Sherlock often tracked the criminal to his lair by identifying bits of fallen hair, bloodstains, and mysterious footprints.
The book assumes the proportions of a textbook in advanced mathematics when it comes to dealing with the range of human activities. The amount of time spent by Mr. Average Citizen on his various pursuits throughout the day is figured down to the decimal. From his observation, Professor Sorokin concludes that the average citizen spends 1-10 of one minute in civic and political pursuits.
In a study of the abilities of 103 W.P.A. workers to predict their activities, the book concludes that women orr more than men, younger age groups orr more than older groups, single men more than married, poorer classes more than better ones, Jews more than Catholics, and Catholics more than Protestants.
Professor Sorokin calls these "instructive" results, but since the professor is absolutely scientific in his treatment of the problem, the impression is conveyed that he realizes that commitments on a variable such as 103 WPA workers are open to merited question