Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Psychology: The Science of Human Behaviour
Givler, Robert Ch.
gestible by night than by day, yet when we come to 
examine individual cases, we find stranger differ¬ 
ences of suggestibility than we thought possible. 
One of these differences is that, depending on the 
time, the place, and the manner in which the idea is 
presented for acceptance, some people are positively 
and others negatively suggestible. The habitual op¬ 
timist and the confirmed pessimist are beautiful ex¬ 
amples of exceptions to the general law that we have 
stated above, since they both negate the effect of the 
stimulus by their powerful autosuggestions. Again, 
two salesmen from the same insurance company may 
both use the same method on the same prospect, and 
yet, owing to the mood of the prospect, one of them 
may succeed just where the other failed. Indeed, 
when we come to the fine point of the matter, we see 
that the same man may be positively suggestible in 
one respect, and negatively suggestible in another. 
Our suggestibilities may also change without our 
knowing it, or they may change more rapidly than 
we are aware. The girl of the story who sat in the 
telegraph office and penned alternately acceptances 
and rejections to her lover’s proposal is the classical 
example of this alternation of tendencies. On the 
whole, however, we all tend to exhibit some fixed 
type, and it is well that this is so, for otherwise we 
might not be so dependable in our friendships or our 
A British psychologist, Bernard Muscio, has re¬ 
cently thrown much light on the influence of the 
form of the question which is put to a witness in the 
court room to draw out various kinds of answers, 
and thus test his suggestibility. Ten different kinds 
of simple questions were employed by Muscio in his 
experiment, and the results were carefully recorded.


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