In the social mind impression crowds upon impression so rapidly that only an occasional one holds popular attention for any length of time, and still fewer leave permanent results that can be identified. If a group of children start a game which they find interesting, other groups will soon be formed to play the same game, and so the game will spread from group to group. On the other hand, a new game which proves a failure will not be followed by other groups, and will soon be dropped even in the group which started it. Editors of newspapers learn by experience what kinds of stories, anecdotes, and reports of daily occurrences please the public taste; this experience becomes formulated in their minds as a principle. The editors do not make this principle; it is put into the social mind of their class by natural selection. The editor who defies it is likely to be eliminated himself. During the early months of 1914 the troubles in Mexico were the foremost topic of conversation throughout the United States and occupied columns of space in every newspaper. Important things continued to happen there throughout the year, but in July the troubles in Europe put Mexican affairs into the background, so that the entry of Carranza into the City of Mexico, August 21, marking the triumph of the Constitutionalist cause, was reported in a sixteen page newspaper in four inches of space.

Natural selection also applies to those elusive forms of the social mind which are called "ideals" or "standards of morality." And here, too, both of those methods of selection and elimination are at work. The wrong ideal in teaching is eliminated because the teachers holding it fail to succeed and are forced out of the profession. It is also eliminated by some individuals who see their mistake and adopt a different ideal. The teacher with the right ideal, and other qualifications as well, remains in the work for life. In such cases inductive study will reveal the right ideal as distinguished from the wrong one.

... If a thing has been done and is established by force (that is, no force can reverse it), it is right in the only sense we know, and rights will follow from it which are not vitiated at all by the force in it. . . . - Sumner, Folkways, p. 65.

. . . That which conduces to success in the struggle for existence, and so is selected for perpetuation, turns out to be justifiable by reasoning subsequently applied. . . . The "rational" is often no more than a subterfuge under cover of which the ancient "instinct" or "second nature" gets its way - on the principle that the chief use of the human mind is to find reasons, or subsequent justification, for doing what its possessor wants to do. . . . - Keller, Societal Evolution, pp. 94, 95.

In my practice class last quarter, being inexperienced, I did not have a very definite idea how to conduct a recitation. The first week I asked questions out of the book. That was not very successful. Then I tried the topical recitation. The children did not get hold of this very well. I then tried telling the story to them one day and having them tell it to me the next, but this was too easy. Finally I asked thought questions. This method brought the best results and I continued it the rest of the quarter.

I knew a boy who was the terror of the neighborhood when he was a small child. He had no consideration whatever for the feelings of other people. When he began to go to school he tried to domineer over the teacher and his playmates. But it was not long before a change took place in him. The rebuffs which he received for his conduct took the domineering spirit out of him.

A bright, witty girl, something of a butterfly in manners, went to teach in M. The school was a difficult one. She started out unsuccessfully and thought of giving up. But she held on, and I knew by her letters that she was changing. In two years she came back a different person. She had acquired dignity and poise, which her friends had thought she never could get. She had developed the habit of reading current history and good books so that she could interest her pupils in them. Her environment had made a natural selection of those qualities in her which it needed, and had eliminated the disadvantageous ones.