Harvard Psychological Studies, Volume 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 678 pages of information about Harvard Psychological Studies, Volume 1.

The elimination of the indirect association couplets and the acceptance of the remainders as fair portrayals of the influence of objects and movements on recall is therefore a much nearer approach to truth than would be the retention of the indirectly associated couplets.

The following conclusions deal with recall after two days only.  The recall after longer intervals will be discussed after Table III.

The summary from Tables I. and II. shows that when objects and nouns are coupled each with a foreign symbol, four of the six subjects recall real objects better than images of objects, while two, M and Ho, show little or no preference.  The summary also shows that when body movements and verbs are coupled each with a foreign symbol, five of the six subjects recall actual movements better than images of movements, while one subject, M, shows no preference.  The same subject also showed no preference for objects.  With the subjects S and B the preference for actual movements is not marked, and has importance only in the light of later experiments to be reported.

The great difference in the retentive power of different subjects is, as we should expect, very evident.  Roughly, they may be divided into two groups. M and Mo recall much more than the other four.  The small percentage of recall in the case of these four suggested the next change in the conditions of experimentation, namely, to shorten with them the intervals between the tests for permanence.  This was accordingly done in the C set.  But before giving an account of the next set we may supplement these results by results obtained from other subjects.

It was impossible to repeat this set with the same subjects, and inconvenient, on account of the scarcity of suitable words, to devise another set just like it.  Accordingly, the B set was repeated with six new subjects.  We may interpolate the results here, and then resume our experiments with the other subjects.  The conditions remained the same as for the other subjects in all respects except the following.  The tests after nine and sixteen days were omitted, and the remaining test for deferred recall was given after one day instead of after two.  In learning the series, each series was shown four times instead of three.  The results are summarized in the following table.  The figures in the left half show the number of words out of sixteen which were correctly recalled.  The figures in parentheses separate, as before, the correctly recalled indirect-association couplets.  In the right half of the table the same results, omitting indirect-association couplets, are given in per cents, to facilitate comparison with the summary from Tables I. and II.

TABLE III.

SHOWING RECALL AFTER ONE DAY.

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