Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 78.djvu/296

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reading. As it is, the psychologist who to-day is the greatest authority on the psychology of reading, and who has done more on the subject than any one before him, has merely nibbled at the subject for spare moments, in the midst of an otherwise busy career. One such man alone devoting himself to the subject for a lifetime with suitable facilities at command could accomplish wonders. Or, take the subject of arithmetic. Would it not be good economy for the national bureau of education to employ a dozen experts for a dozen years with adequate facilities for experiment and consultation to work out some principles which should determine the elemental contents and fundamental methods of a child's first book in arithmetic? The absence of such principles is notorious. As the promoters of the automobile, the flying machine and countless other enterprises are now watching the work of the electrical chemist in his struggle to invent a new battery for the storing of electrical energy, so the eyes of the educational world will be upon the man who goes into his laboratory, surrounded by all the aids his science can furnish, in systematic search for ways of conserving the mental energy of the young in school so that a new order of things educational may become possible. A young man of marked ability having to choose to-day between the plan of devoting his life to the intensive study of one practical psychological problem, on the one hand, or the academic career as a teacher, on the other, may well choose the former as the more promising of permanent contributions to science for the good of mankind. As the well-qualified men appear, positions will be created for them providing for their bread and butter.

The third division embraces a great variety of situations in which the consulting psychologist may be employed in determining courses of action, principles of efficiency, principles of economy, principles of validity, etc. Thus in manufacture, there is constant waste of human energy for want of knowledge of underlying mental laws which might be applied for the improvement of the type of mental activity involved; e. g., for shortening or simplifying movements, for facilitating perception and discrimination, for enhancing appreciation, and for increasing the effective output of energy. The lawyer has abundant opportunity for seeking expert information in regard to the laws of human nature. In medicine the present movement in psycho-analysis is an illustration of the opportunity for detailing a trained psychologist to work out the case by technical methods which require much specialized skill. Advertising which now employs very high-grade writers and illustrators appeals to psychology for fundamental principles in regard to the work of attention, feeling, satisfaction, convincing argument, etc.

The fourth field really belongs to a future generation, for, although we are seeing it full of promise, eugenics, the welfare of mankind, is to us as yet quite unfathomed. The improvement of the race, direction in