It thus appears that the attention process is in part, at least, a motor process, which in this case follows the direction of the lines, acquiring thereby a momentum which is not at once arrested by a break in the line, but is readily diverted by a change in the direction of the line. If the lines are so situated that the attention process excited by the one set is carried away from the other set, the one set inhibits the other. If, on the other hand, the lines in the one set are so situated that they can readily take up the overrunning or unarrested processes excited by the other set, the two figures support each other by becoming in fact one figure. The great importance of the motor elements of the attention process in ideation, and thus in the persistence of the idea, is evident in either phase of the experiment.
Seconds Seconds. 1 Figures alike: Left 30.8 Right 31.9 2 " unlike: Simple 27.10 Complex 34.62 3 " " Small 24.54 Large 33.30 4 " " Gray 25.61 White 29.53 5 " " Line 31.91 Angle 38.54 6 " " Plain 23.92 Marked 37.48 7 " " (colored) 5 seconds 27.75 10 seconds 29.15 8 " " (gray) 5 seconds 25.42 10 " 32.12 9 " " 1st exposure 12.64 2d exposure 36.45 10 " " Vertical line 34.94 Hor. line 34.49 11 " " Full-faced 28.10 Outline 41.08 12 " " Figure 29.26 Int. lines 39.32 13 " " Figure 34.03 Vert. lines 36.40 14 " " Stationary 28.88 Moved 37.39 15 " " Gray 30.90 Colored 37.81 16 (See Table XVI.)
If we put these results into the form of propositions, we find:
1. That when the objects are similar surfaces, seen under similar conditions, the chances of the recurrence and persistence of their images are, on the whole, practically equal.
2. That surfaces bounded by complicated outlines have an advantage in ideation, other things equal, over surfaces bounded by simple outlines.
3. That as between two objects of unequal area—color, form, and other conditions being the same—the larger object has the advantage in the ideational rivalry.
4. That the image of a white object has a like advantage over the image of a gray object.
5. That broken or complex lines have in ideation an advantage over straight or simple lines.
6. That an object with varied content, other conditions remaining the same, has an advantage over an object with homogeneous surface.
7 and 8. That an increase of the time during which the attention is given to an object increases the chances for the recurrence of its image or idea.