"Another writes: 'There is no sound in connection with any image. In remembering, I call up an incident and gradually fill out the details. I can very seldom recall how anything sounds. One sound from the play "Robespierre," by Henry Irving, which I heard about two years ago and which I could recall some time afterward, I have been unable to recall this fall, though I have tried to do so. I can see the scene quite perfectly, the position of the actors and stage setting, even the action of a player who brought out the sound.'
"Quite a large proportion of persons find it impossible to imagine motion at all. As they think of a football game, all the players are standing stock-still; they are as they are represented in a photograph. They are in the act of running, but no motion is re
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Title: Power of Mental Imagery
Being the Fifth of a Series of Twelve Volumes on the
Applications of Psychology to the Problems of Personal and
Author: Warren Hilton
Release Date: September 2, 2007 [EBook #22489]
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Being the Fifth of a Series of
Twelve Volumes on the Applications
of Psychology to the Problems of
Personal and Business
WARREN HILTON, A.B., L.L.B.
FOUNDER OF THE SOCIETY OF APPLIED PSYCHOLOGY
ISSUED UNDER THE AUSPICES OF
THE LITERARY DIGEST
The Society of Applied Psychology
NEW YORK AND LONDON
BY THE APPLIED PSYCHOLOGY PRESS
(Printed in the United States of America)
- I. IMAGINATION AND RECOGNITIONPage
- RECOGNIZING THE PAST AS PAST 3
- IMAGINATION, PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE 5
- II. KINDS OF MENTAL IMAGES
- VISUAL IMAGERY 9
- AUDITORY IMAGERY 11
- IMAGERY OF TASTE AND SMELL 12
- MUSCULAR AND TACTUAL IMAGERY 13
- PERSONAL DIFFERENCES IN MENTAL IMAGERY 14
- INVESTIGATIONS OF DOCTOR GALTON 15
- INVESTIGATIONS OF PROFESSOR JAMES 16
- INVESTIGATIONS OF PROFESSOR SCOTT 21
- III. HOW TO INFLUENCE OTHERS
THROUGH MENTAL IMAGERY
- A RULE FOR INFLUENCING OTHERS 31
- APPLICATION TO PEDAGOGY 32
- HOW TO SELL GOODS BY MENTAL IMAGERY 33
- A STUDY OF ADVERTISEMENTS 34
- THE WORDS THAT CREATE DESIRE 35
- A KEY FOR SELECTING A CALLING 36
- IV. HOW TO TEST YOUR MENTAL IMAGERY
- FINDING OUT YOUR WEAK POINTS 39
- TESTS FOR VISUAL IMAGERY 40
- TESTS FOR AUDITORY AND OLFACTORY IMAGERY 42
- TESTS FOR IMAGERY OF TASTE AND TOUCH 43
- TESTS FOR IMAGERY OF HEAT AND COLD 44
- HOW TO CULTIVATE MENTAL IMAGERY 45
- V. THE CREATIVE IMAGINATION
- THE PROCESS OF CREATIVE IMAGINATION 49
- BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL IMAGINATION 50
- HOW WEALTH IS CREATED 51
- THE KLAMATH PHILOSOPHY 52
- HOW MEN GET THINGS 53
- PREREQUISITES TO ACHIEVEMENT 54
- HOW TO TAKE RADICAL STEPS IN BUSINESS 55
- THE EXPANSION OF BUSINESS IDEALS 57
- RISING TO THE EMERGENCY 58
- THE CONSTRUCTIVE IMAGINATION 59
- LITTLE TASKS AND BIG TASKS 60
- WORKING UP A DEPARTMENT 61
- IMAGINATION IN HANDLING EMPLOYEES 62
- HOW TO TEST AN EMPLOYEE’S IMAGINATION 63
- IMAGINATION IN BUSINESS GENERALLY 64
- IMAGINATION AND ACTION 65
IMAGINATION AND RECOGNITION
In the preceding volume of this Course, entitled “The Trained Memory,” you learned that the memory process involves four elements, Retention, Recall, Recognition and Imagination; and the scope and operation of two of these elements, Retention and Recall, were explained to you.
There remain Recognition and Imagination, which we shall make the subject of this book. We shall treat of them, however, not only as parts of the memory process, but also as distinct operations, with an individual significance and value.
Both Recognition and Imagination have to do with mental images.
Recognition relates exclusively to those mental images that are the replica of former experiences. It is the faculty of the mind by which we recognize remembered experiences as a part of our own past. If it were not for this sense of familiarity and of ownership and of the past tense of recalled mental images, there would be no way for us to distinguish the sense-perceptions of the past from those of the present.
Recognition is therefore an element of vital necessity to every act of memory.
Imagination relates either to the past, the present or the future. On the one hand, it is the outright re-imagery in the mind’s eye of past experiences. On the other hand, it is the creation of new and original mental images or visions by the recombination of old experiential elements.
KINDS OF MENTAL
KINDS OF MENTAL IMAGES
When we speak of “images” in connection with Imagination and Recognition we do not refer merely to mental pictures of things seen. Mental images are representations of past mental experiences of any and every kind. They include past sensations of sound, taste, smell, feeling, pain, motion and the other senses, as well as sensations of sight. One may have a mental image of the voice of a friend, of the perfume of a flower, just as he may have mental images of their appearance to the eye. Indeed, the term “image” is perhaps unfortunately used in this way, since it must be made to include not only mental pictures in a visual sense, but all forms of reproductive mental activity.
Our recollection of past experiences may be either full and distinct or hazy and inadequate. Some persons are entirely unable to reproduce certain kinds of sensory experiences. Somehow they are aware of having had these experiences, but they cannot reproduce them. Every one of us has his own peculiarities.
This morning I called upon a friend in his office. I was there but a short time. Yet I can easily call to mind every detail of the surroundings. I can see the exterior of the building, its form, size, color, window-boxes with flowers, red tile roof, formal gardens in the open court, and even many of the neighboring buildings. I can plainly recall the color of the carpet on his office floor, the general tone of the paper on the wall, the size, type and material of his desk, and many other elements going to make up an almost perfect mental duplicate of the scene itself. I can even see my friend sitting at his desk, and can distinctly remember the color, cut and texture of his clothing and just how he looked when he smiled.
Last evening we entertained a number of friends at dinner. One of the ladies was an accomplished musician, and later in the evening she delighted us with her exquisite playing upon the piano. The airs she played were familiar to me. I am fond of music and I enjoyed her playing. I can sit here today and in imagination I can see her seated before the piano and remember just how her hands looked as she fingered the keys. But I find it difficult to recall the air of the selection or the tones of the piano. My mental images of the notes as they came from the piano are faint and uncertain and not nearly so distinct and clear as my recollection of the scene.
I find it easy to recall the appearance of the food that was served me for breakfast this morning. I can also faintly imagine the odor and taste of the coffee and toast, but I find that these images of taste and smell are not nearly so realistic as my mental images of what I saw and heard during the course of the meal.
When I was in college I was very fond of handball and was a member of the handball team. It has been many years since I played the game, yet I can distinctly feel the peculiar tension of the right arm and shoulder muscles that accompanied the “service.” Nor do I feel the slightest difficulty in evoking a distinct mental image of the prickly sensations that so annoyed me as a boy when I would first put on woolen underwear in the fall of the year.
From these examples, it is apparent that we can form mental images of past sensations of sight, sound, taste, smell and feeling, and indeed of every kind, including the muscular or motor sense and the sense of heat and cold.
But there is the greatest possible difference in individuals in this respect. Some persons have distinct images of things they have seen, are good visualizers. Others are weak in this respect, but have clear auditory images. And so as to all the various kinds of sensory images.
This is a fact of comparatively recent discovery. The first proponent of the idea was Fechner, but no statistical work was done in this line until Galton entered the field, in 1880. In his “Inquiries into Human Faculties,” he says:
“To my astonishment, I found that the great majority of the men of science to whom I first applied protested that mental imagery was unknown to them, and they looked on me as fanciful and fantastic in supposing that the words ‘mental imagery’ really expressed what I believed everybody supposed them to mean. They had no more notion of its true nature than a color-blind man, who has not discerned his defect, has of the nature of color. They had a mental deficiency of which they were unaware and naturally enough supposed that those who affirmed they possessed it were romancing.”
The investigations of Dr. Galton were continued by Professor James, of Harvard University. He collected from hundreds of persons descriptions of their own mental images. The following are extracts from two cases of distinctly different types. The one who is a good visualizer says:
“This morning’s breakfast-table is both dim and bright; it is dim if I try to think of it with my eyes closed. All the objects are clear at once, yet when I confine my attention to any one object it becomes far more distinct. I have more power to recall color than any other one thing; if, for example, I were to recall a plate decorated with flowers I could reproduce in a drawing the exact tone, etc. The color of anything that was on the table is perfectly vivid. There is very little limitation to the extent of my images; I can see all four sides of a room; I can see all four sides of two, three, four, even more rooms with such distinctness that if you should ask me what was in any particular place in any one, or ask me to count the chairs, etc., I could do it without the least hesitation. The more I learn by heart the more clearly do I see images of my pages. Even before I can recite the lines I see them so that I could give them very slowly word for word, but my mind is so occupied in looking at my printed image that I have no idea of what I am saying, of the sense of it, etc. When I first found myself doing this I used to think it was merely because I knew the lines imperfectly; but I have quite convinced myself that I really do see an image. The