Harvard Psychological Studies, Volume 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 757 pages of information about Harvard Psychological Studies, Volume 1.
object labors under a great disadvantage.  And if there is any force in the claim that diversity and complexity in an object, with the relatively greater subjective activity which they imply, tend to hold the attention to the ideated object about which this activity is employed, the result could hardly be other than it is.  There can be no question of the presence of a strong motor element where the object attended to moves, and where the movement is imaged no less than the qualities of the object.  In fact, the object and its movement were sometimes sharply distinguished.  According to one subject, ’the image was rather the image of the motion than of the object moving.’  Again:  ’The introspection was disturbed by the idea of motion; I did not get a clear image of the moving object; imaged the motion rather than the object.’  And a subject, who on one occasion vainly searched the ideational field for sixty seconds to find an object, reports:  ’I had a feeling of something going up and down, but no object.’  Clearly an important addition was made to the active processes implied in the ideation of a resting object, and it would be singular if this added activity carried with it no corresponding advantage in the ideational rivalry.  In one case the ideas of rest and of movement were curiously associated in the same introspective act.  “The figure which moved,” says the subject, “was imaged as stationary, and yet the idea of movement was distinctly present.”

The reports as to the vividness of the rival images are somewhat conflicting.  Sometimes it is the moving object which was imaged with the more vivid content, and sometimes the resting object.  One report runs:  “The moving object had less color, but was more distinct in outline than the stationary.”  Sometimes one of the positions of the moving object was alone represented in the image, either the initial position (on a level with the resting object) or a position lower down.  On the other hand, we read:  “The image of the moved object seemed at times a general image that reached clear down, sometimes like a series of figures, and not very distinct; but sometimes the series had very distinct outlines.”  In one case (the circle) the image of the figure in its upper position remained, while the serial repetitions referred to extended below.  This, as might be supposed, is the report of an exceptionally strong visualizer.  In other cases the object and its movements were not dissociated:  “The moved object was imaged as moving, and color and outline were retained.”  And again:  “Twice through the series I could see the image of the moving object as it moved.”  “Image of moved object moved all the time.”


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Harvard Psychological Studies, Volume 1 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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