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Unformatted text preview: phases of excitement that have not been given sufficient weight in most of the
1. In the very young, excitement is diffuse and spreads throughout the organism. An infant starts with a jump
at a sudden sound and shivers at a bright light. A young child is unrestrained and general in his expression of
excitement, no matter what emotional direction that excitement takes. Bring about any tension of expectation
in a child--have him wait for your head to appear around the corner as you play peek-a-boo, or delay opening
the box of candy, or pretend you are one thing or another--and the excitement of the child is manifested in
what is known as eagerness. Attention in children is accompanied by excitement and is wearying as a natural
result, since excitement, means a physical discharge of energy. A child laughs all over and weeps with his
entire body; his anger involves every muscle of his body and his fear is an explosion. The young organism
cannot inhibit excitement.
As life goes on, the capacity for localizing or limiting excitement increases. We become better organized, and
the disrupting force of a stimulus becomes less. Attention becomes less painful, less tense, i.e., there is less
general muscular and emotional reaction. Expectation is less a physical matter--perhaps because we have been
so often disappointed--and is more cerebral and the emotions are more reflective and introspective in their
expression and less a physical outburst. Indeed, the process often enough goes too far, and we long for the
excitement of anticipation and realization. We do not start at a noise, and though a great crowd will "stir our
blood" (excitement popularly phrased and accurately), we still limit that excitement so that though we cheer or
shout there is a core of us that is quiet.
This is the case in health. In sickness, especially in that condition known as neurasthenia, where the main
symptoms cluster around an abnormal liability to fatigue, and also in many other conditions, there is an
increase in the diffusion of excitement so that one starts all over at a noise, instead of merely turning to see
what it is, so that expectation and a...
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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