Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Psychology: The Science of Human Behaviour
Givler, Robert Ch.
tor in determining associations is the influence of 
other people, such as parents, brothers and sisters, 
employers, political leaders, and so on, from whom 
we get both early and late in life all manner 
of influences for the establishment of associative 
Our “home ties” are one and all associations, 
as well as are our politics, patriotism, and religion, 
our aim in life, our philosophy, and our ideals among 
the opposite sex. Indeed, every mental character¬ 
istic we possess may be analyzed into a group of con¬ 
ditioned reflexes. And as our elementary education 
forms them, so often our higher education tends to 
demolish them in order to plant better and more in¬ 
telligent tendencies in their stead. Indeed, civiliza¬ 
tion may be interpreted as the struggle to establish 
the most permanently profitable conditioned reflexes 
in the human race. 
The factors that determine which one of the many 
possible associates will arise at any given moment 
are usually stated to be four in number. These are 
(1) the number of times the association has been 
made, (2) the recency of the association, (3) its 
vividness, and (4) our present interest and emo¬ 
tional tone. James writes of the first two of these 
factors : “Thoughts tend, then, to awaken their most 
recent as well as their most habitual associates. This 
is a matter of notorious experience, too notorious, in 
fact, to need illustration. If we have seen our friend 
this morning, the mention of his name now recalls 
the circumstances of that interview, rather than any 
more remote details concerning him. Excitement of 
peculiar tracts, or peculiar modes of general excite¬ 
ment in the brain, leave a sort of tenderness or ex¬ 
alted sensibility behind them which takes days to


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