Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Psychology: The Science of Human Behaviour
Givler, Robert Ch.
say "apple” and imagine the sight of the fruit, the 
stimulus of your voice arouses much the same motor 
responses as would be produced were the object itself 
stimulating the retina, and that is why you seem to 
see it before you. For just as the sight of an apple 
brings up its name, so does its name bring up a 
faint picture of the fruit itself, and this response is 
produced by the motor fibers of the optic nerve upon 
the sensitive plate of the retina. It is, of course, due 
to the millions of conditioned reflexes we have ac¬ 
quired that the flow of imaginations in our minds is 
so continuous. 
There are several things that determine which as¬ 
sociations shall be formed. One of these is our 
needs and desires. When left to ourselves, whether 
in infancy or in middle life, our associations tend to 
be made on the basis of our spontaneous interests. 
The child wants to find out the “go” of everything 
which he sees and handles, and his exploration of the 
environment leads to the formation of an entirely 
different set of conditioned reflexes than would be 
made if he were hampered by restrictions of various 
sorts. Likewise, the adult person while off on 
his summer vacation makes acquaintances with 
nature and people that would never be made in 
the environment of his regular work. Another in¬ 
fluence which establishes associations is our educa¬ 
tional system. The books in the public school cur¬ 
riculum are planned for the purpose of establishing 
habits of thought quite different from those that 
would be formed without their guidance. Moreover, 
the author of one textbook in arithmetic aims to 
build up one sort of associations, while the author of 
another book on the same subject proceeds to the es¬ 
tablishment of another sort. A third important fac-


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