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The true psychology gathers up from every source the established facts of mind. The old, or metaphysical psychology, inclined to ignore the body; the new, or physiological psychology, inclines to ignore the soul; the true psychology finds in the brain and nerves the bridge between mind and matter. The theories and metaphysical speculations of both the old and the new psychology disappear; but all the established facts of mind reappear in the true psychology.




By this is meant becoming acquainted with ourselves and developing our powers. Self-knowledge is

the most valuable.

dom and success.

"Know thyself" is the key to wis

Our earlier years are largely devoted to the mastery of the material world. The study of Nature interests and educates the child, but does not satisfy the youth. He begins to realize that the mind-world is even more wonderful than the matter-world. What am I? What can I do? How can I make the most of myself? These questions now obtrude themselves, and must be answered. "Elementary Psychology and Education" will seek answers to these questions, or, rather, will try to lead you to find out the answers for yourself.

In your study of physical science you began with physical phenomena and worked up to physical laws. Each step forward was based on your own experience. You thus gained the keys to the accumulated experience of the race. To you physical science has become an open book. You can now read with delight the works of the great scientists.

In your study of mental science you will begin with mental phenomena and work up to mental laws. Here, too, each step will be based on your own experience. You will thus gain the keys to the treasured wisdom of the race. Mental science will become to you an open book, and you will be able to commune with the great thinkers of all ages.

As attention is the condition of knowledge, it is fitting that you should begin the study of mind with the examination of this capability.



THE art of learning, as well as the art of teaching, is based on the power of attention. Few problems are too difficult for the student who can concentrate upon them all his energies. Right study and true teaching develop the power and the habit of complete attention.

Analysis of Acts of Attention.-Attention! Examine these crystals. You tell me that each is a cube, that some have beveled corners, and that the mineral is lead. Now examine these. You turn away from the lead crystals, and fix your mind on these new forms. You tell me that each is a hexagon, and that the mineral is graphite. You find that you can direct your own efforts. You can place your mind on one object, can examine it for a time, and can turn to something else. The capability of self thus to direct his efforts is called Attention.

Office of Attention.-The special work of a capability of the mind is called its office; as, the office of memory is recalling. Self-direction, or concentration, is the office of attention. Your analysis gives you three forms of attention:

1. Self, as attention, concentrates his efforts. Examine the word attend (ad, to; tendo, I stretch). You get the idea of turning to something and fixing all your energies upon it. You throw your powers of body and mind into the work. As the burning-glass concentrates all the rays of the sun upon a single point, so you concentrate all your powers upon the matter in hand.

2. Self, as attention, prolongs his efforts. The problem can not be solved in a moment. You bend all your energies to its mastery; you drive out other thoughts; you refuse to be interrupted; you hold yourself to the work. After hours of mighty effort, you exclaim, "I have found it!" This is study. Dreamers do not learn. Truth opens her doors to those only who knock hard and long.

3. Self, as attention, changes his efforts. Frequent change is a physical necessity. Great mental efforts exhaust the portion of the brain most used. After two hours devoted to mathematics, and a rest of twenty minutes, you turn with fresh vigor to natural science. Versatility is as necessary as concentration.

Were the mind a ship, Attention would be the captain; were the mind an army, Attention would be the general; were the mind a school, Attention would be the teacher. In figures such as these the comparison must be limited to the capability of self to concentrate, prolong, and change his efforts. Attention is one species of self-direction. Self-direction includes much more than attention.

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Characteristics of Attention. Attention is distinguished from other mental powers by two marked characteristics:

1. Attention is the power to concentrate effort. Take away this power and the soul would merely drift, and life would be one long revery. Man would be an idle dreamer. Attention is our ability to concentrate our efforts. We thus gain mastery.

2. Attention accompanies all mental activity. Like memory and consciousness, attention in some degree is present in all knowing and feeling and willing. It enters as an essential element into all effective mental operations. There can be no distinct thinking, no vivid feeling, no deliberate action, without attention. It energizes and quickens mental effort.

Attention defined.-You are now prepared to define attention:

1. Attention is the capability to concentrate, prolong, and change effort. Mind is both self-acting and selfdirecting. Thinking is self-activity; but I also direct my thoughts. Attention is clearly a power of selfdirection.

2. Original. Write a brief definition embodying your own conception of attention. The definitions given are suggestive. Your definition must be worked out and polished, then treasured in memory.

Various Definitions.-1. PORTER: Attention is our power to concentrate effort. 2. SULLY: Attention is the power of active self-direction. 3. BASCOM: Attention is our capability to direct and handle our faculties. 4. ROSENKRANZ: Attention is the power to adjust self to the object. 5. TRUMBULL: Attention is the energetic application of the mind to any object. 6. SCHUYLER: Attention is the concentration of the thoughts upon a given phenomenon.

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