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Unformatted text preview: etimes they develop a sense of
unreality which vitiates all their efforts to succeed; or they become hypochondriacs, feeling every flutter of
the heart and every vague ache and pain. The Hamlet doubting type is an introspectionist and oscillates in his
mind from yea to nay on every question. Such as this type develop ideas of compensation and power and
become cranks and fake prophets. Or else, and this we shall see again, they become imbued with a sense of
inferiority, feel futile as against the red-blooded and shrink from others through pain.
Everywhere one sees these phases of interest in antagonism and cooperation. The "healthy-minded"
acknowledge the leadership of a past introspectionist but despise the contemporary one as futile and
light-headed. The introverted (to use a Freudian term) call the others Philistines, and mock them for their lack
of spiritual insight, yet in everything they do they depend for aid and sustenance upon them. Introspection
gives no exact measurements of value, but it gives value and without it, there can be no wisdom. But always it
needs the correction of the outer world to keep it healthy.
While we have dealt here with the extremes of extrospection and introspection, it is safe to say that in the vast
majority of people there is a definite and unassailable interest in both of these directions. Interest in others is
not altruism and interest in the self is not self-interest or egoism. But, on the whole, they who are not
interested in others never become philanthropists; they who are not interested in things never become savants;
and they who do not dig deep into themselves are not philosophers. There are, therefore, certain practical
aspects to the study of interest which are essential parts of the knowledge of character.
1. Is the interest of the one studied controlled by some purpose or purposes, or is it diffuse, involuntary, not
2. Is it narrow, so that it excludes the greater part of the world, or is it easily evoked by a multiplicity of
things? In the breadth of interest is contained the breadth of character, but not necessarily its intensity or
efficiency. There are people of narrow but intense successful interest, and others of broad, intense...
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This note was uploaded on 09/26/2011 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 110 taught by Professor Kannan during the Spring '11 term at Anna University Chennai - Regional Office, Coimbatore.
- Spring '11