Unformatted text preview: where the men work, let alone what
they are doing. This growth of knowledge is getting to be an extra-human phenomenon. Of this Graham CHAPTER III. 28 Wallas has written entertainingly.
A second fundamental ability of living tissue, and of particular importance in character, is habit formation.
Habit resides in the fact that once living tissue has been traversed by a stimulus and has responded by an act,
three things result:
1. The pathway for that stimulus becomes more permeable; becomes, as it were, grooved or like a track laid
across the living structure of the nervous system.
2. The responding element is more easily stirred into activity, responds with more vigor and with less effort.
3. Consciousness, at first invoked, recedes more and more, until the habit-action of whatever type tends to
become automatic. There is in this last peculiarity a tendency for the habit to establish itself as independent of
the personality, and if an injurious or undesired habit, to set up the worst of the conflicts of life,--a conflict
between one's intention and an automaton in the shape of a powerfully entrenched habit.
Habits are economical of thought and energy, generally speaking; that is their main recommendation. A dozen
examples present themselves at once as illustrative: piano playing, with its intense concentration on each note,
with consciousness attending to the action of each muscle, and then practice, habit formation, and the ease and
power of execution with the mind free to wander off in the moods suggested by the music, or to busy itself
with improvisations, flourishes and the artistic touches. Before true artistry can come, technique must be
relegated to habit. So with typewriting, driving an automobile, etc.
More fundamental than these, which are largely skill habits, are the organic habits. One of the triumphs of
pediatrics depends upon the realization that the baby's welfare hangs on regular habits of feeding, that he is
not to be fed except at stated intervals; as a result processes of digestion are set going in a reg...
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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