PSYCHOLOGY 1. The hunzan equation.—Psychology aims to ex plain our states of mind or consciousness—our sensa tions, emotions, desires, ideas, volitions, etc. Psychol ogy is a natural science, involving the study of the body as well as of our mental states. Every state of consciousness is the reflex of some physical activity in the brain or nervous system and is usually followed by bodily activity of some kind.
Since business is essentially cooperative in its na ture, a man's mind being constantly brought into con tact with the minds of others, a business man uncon sciously becomes a psychologist, but not always a good one. It is worth our while, therefore, to give a little systematic thought to this interesting science. The tnanager must consider the worker as well as the work; the advertiser must know human motives as well as type faces; in short, the business man must recognize the human equation; must study how to solve it.
2. Nervous many formidable the ories about the mind with their fine spun distinctions, have often left men impatient with psychology. But the essential principles are simple and easily put into practice. Let us sweep away whatever fantastic or metaphysical notions we may have about the thought world and focus our attention upon the nervous system.
The nervous system consists of four parts—cere brum, cerebellum, medulla oblongata, and nerves—all intimately bound together, yet each with its distinctive functions. As the reader studies these functions the similarity between the nervous system and a business organization cannot fail to impress him.
3. Nerve ganglia.—The nerves thru the organs of sight, taste, smell, feeling and hearing, receive the first impressions, or sensations as they are called, from the outside. These nerves may be compared to the tele phone and telegraph wires, the railroads and the mails which keep a business organization in touch with its mark-ets. But some of these impressions or sensations do not travel very far along Ihe nerves toward head quarters before they meet a little nerve knot, or gan glion, which passes upon their message. If it is of' routine sort merely, the ganglion decides the matter itself, just as an office boy might under shnilar cir cumstances. A message of higher sort gets on by the
ganglion and quickly reaches the medulla oblongata.
4. Medulla oblongata.—The medulla oblongata rests at the top of the spinal cord, as a sort of clearing house for automatic and semi-automatic actions. While it is of higher rank than the myriad ganglia, its functions are very much the same.
The medulla might be called the chief of the routine department. Certain messages and orders are too important for it to dispatch, of course, and these are passed on to the cerebellum.
5. cerebellum is the "little brain" lying just above the medulla, yet still far back and low in the brain case or skull. It has charge of the voluntary muscles, that is, over those which oper ate under the direction of our will. The beating of the heart goes on whether we think of it or not, but were we to draw a caricature of a friend, the cere bellum would direct the muscles. In general, the cerebellum might be called the seat of the action de partment.
6. Cerebrum.—The cerebrtun crowns the nervous system both in size and function. Practically the en tire brain case is filled by it. Just as the most impor tant messages and orders come filially to the general ma.nager, the main business of the mind, its general policies, so to speak, are here transacted.
7. Habits, good and bad.—These four parts of the nervous system are composed of tiny, plastic cells, striking one another and rebounding as a message flies from cell to cell. The first time the message is sent, as, for instance, walking down the stairs of our new home to the dinner table, so great is the difficulty encountered that the general manager himself must take a band in directing•the muscles, and even at that we may perchance stumble at the last stair. But the brain cells under repetition shape themselves into a less and less plastic order, until finally a habit is formed. The clock points to seven-thirty, the cere bellum incites the medulla to effort and aided by the ganglia, we reach the table with the general manager (the cerebrum) still undisturbed, putting the finish ing touches on "what to do tomorrow." Evidently, there may be good as well as bad habits.