Written in 1921 by Dr. Harry D. Kitson, Professor of Psychology at Indiana University, How to Use Your Mind: A Psychology of Study (2nd Edition) is an exceptionally practical manual for the use of both students and teachers. It is arguably the best book on how to use your mind more effectively to achieve better results in your studies.
- Preface to the Second Edition
- Preface to the First Edition
- Intellectual Problems of the College Freshman
- Number. Variety. Lecture Method. Note Taking. Amount of Library Work. High Quality Demanded. Necessity for Making Schedule. A College Course Consists in the Formation of Habits. Requires Active Effort on Part of Student. Importance of Good Form.
- Note Taking
- Uses of Notes. Lecture Notes -- Avoid Verbatim Reports. Maintain Attitude of Mental Activity. Seek Outline Chiefly. Use Notes in Preparing Next Lesson. Reading Notes -- Summarize Rather Than Copy. Read With Questions in Mind. How to Read. How to Make Bibliographies. Laboratory Notes -- Content. Form. Miscellaneous Hints
- Brain Action during Study
- The Organ of Mind. Gross Structure. Microscopic Structure. The Neurone. The Nervous Impulse. The Synapse. Properties of Nervous Tissue -- Impressibility, Conductivity, Modifiability. Pathways Used in Study -- Sensory, Motor, Association. Study is a Process of Making Pathways in Brain.
- Formation of Study-Habits
- Definition of Habit. Examples. Inevitableness of Habits in Brain and Nervous System. How to Insure Useful Habits -- Choose What Shall Enter; Choose Mode of Entrance; Choose Mode of Egress; Go Slowly at First; Observe Four Maxims. Advantages and Disadvantages of Habit. Ethical Consequences.
- Active Imagination
- Nature of the Image. Its Use in Imagination. Necessity for Number, Variety, Sharpness. Source of "Imaginative" Productions. Method of Developing Active Imaginative Powers: Cultivate Images in Great Number, Variety, Sharpness; Actively Combine the Elements of Past Experience.
- First Aids to Memory -- Impression
- Four Phases. Conditions of Impression: Care, Clearness, Choice of Favorable Sense Avenue, Repetition, Overlearning, Primacy, Distribution of Repetitions, (Inferences Bearing Upon Theme-writing), "Whole" vs "Part" Method, "Rote" vs "logical" Method, Intention.
- Second Aids to Memory -- Retention, Recall and Recognition
- Retention. Recall. Recall Contrasted with Impression. Practise Recall in Impression. Recognition. Advantages of Review. Memory Works According to Law. Possibility of Improvement. Connection with Other Mental Processes.
- Concentration of Attention
- Importance in Mental Life. Analysis of Concrete Attentive State. Cross-section of Mental Stream. Focal Object, Clear; Marginal Objects, Dim. Fluctuation. Ease of Concentration Requires (1) Removal of All Marginal Distractions Possible, (2) Ignoring Others. Conditions Favorable for Concentration. Relation to Other Mental Processes.
- How We Reason
- Reasoning Contrasted with Simpler Mental Operations. Illustrated by Method of Studying Geometry. Analysis of Reasoning Act: Recognition of Problem, Efforts to Solve It, Solution. Study in Problems. Requirements for Effective Reasoning: Many Ideas, Accessible, Clear. How to Clarify Ideas: Define, Classify. Relation between Habit and Reasoning. Summary.
- Expression as an Aid in Study
- Expression an Inevitable Accompaniment of Nervous Activity. Extent of Expressive Movements. Relation between Ideas and Expressive Acts. Ethical Considerations. Methods of Expression Chiefly Used in Study: Speech, Writing, Drawing. Effects of Expression: (1) On Brain, (2) On Ideas. Hints on Development of Freedom of Expression.
- How to Become Interested in a Subject
- Nature of Interest. Intellectual Interests Gained through Experience. Many Possible Fields of Interest. Laws of Interest.
- The Plateau of Despond
- Measurement of Mental Progress. Analysis of the "Learning Curve." Irregularity. Rapid Progress at Beginning. The Plateau. Causes. Remedies.
- Mental Second-Wind
- Description: (1) Physical, (2) Mental. Hidden Sources of Energy. Retarding Effect of Fatigue. Analysis of Fatigue. How to Reduce Fatigue in Study.
- Purposes. Continuous Effort and Cramming. Effective Methods of Reviewing. Immediate Preparation for an Examination Conduct in Examination-Room. Attitude of Activity. Attitude of Confidence.
- Bodily Conditions for Effective Study
- Food: Quantity, Quality, Surroundings. Sleep: Amount, Conditions, Avoidance of Insomnia. Exercise: Regularity, Emphasis.
- Suggestions for Further Reading
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