Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Psychology: The Science of Human Behaviour
Givler, Robert Ch.
that we are not bound by either habit, custom, or 
fear, but can face things with a fresh mind. It 
means that we have not become so inert and muscle- 
bound that we have no energy left wherewith to 
respond to a new stimulus in a new way. It means 
that we have not suppressed all our deeper desires 
so thoroughly as to be inflexible and unresilient when 
an occasion is offered to reveal and release those 
desires in overt action. Indeed, to have the power 
of choice means more than this—it means that we 
are still able to learn something new, and still young 
enough in temper to try new methods when the old 
methods fail to produce satisfactory results. Briefly, 
the power of choice and the exercise of that power 
are infallible signs of intellectual health, just as 
their absence always denotes intellectual decay. 
Even more than this, however, remains to be said 
about the physiological basis of choice. For the 
bodily mechanisms of locomotion and action are 
one and all so constituted as to favor, nay, to require 
the continuous exercise of the function of choosing. 
Think, if you will, just what is implied by the fact 
that almost every moving member of the body is 
supplied with tioo sets of muscles—the flexors and 
the extensors. Is not the power of choice almost 
guaranteed by such a twofold pattern of structure ? 
For through the possession of these flexors and ex¬ 
tensors we can walk forward or back, reach out and 
take or refuse and push away, nod or shake the head, 
smile or frown, and perform a thousand other sim¬ 
ilar pairs of actions. And all this simply because we 
have pairs of antagonistic muscles. But more than 
this is implied by the mechanical structure of our 
bodies. For be it noted that almost all our adjec¬ 
tives and adverbs, and our judgments of worth and


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