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.

Arranging the subjects in the order of the average time, taken for all the movements, including the returns to the original position, we have

H.  5.35 average time out and back. 
K.  3.07     "     "   "   "    "
J.  1.29     "     "   "   "    "
I.  1.07     "     "   "   "    "
G.   .94     "     "   "   "    "
B.   .84     "     "   "   "    "


All the six subjects whose time records appear in Table I. and also four others whose time was not recorded reported eye movements, or a tendency to eye movement.  A. and K. reported that when the image was dim there was accommodation as for long vision and when the image was vivid there was accommodation as for near vision.  B. ideated the new position and the eye movement occurred automatically.  G. reported a contraction of the scalp muscles and a tendency to cast the eyes up and locate the image at the back of the head inside; this was an inveterate habit.  He reported also accommodation for the different distances of the image and an after-feeling of strain in the head.  H. reported a strong tendency in the eyes to return to the center, i.e., the original position, and to carry the image back there.  All the subjects frequently reported a sense of relief in the eye muscles when the command to return the image to the center was given—­also, a tension in the forehead in the upward movement which was accentuated (with H.) when there was headache.  J. reported, ‘always eye strain,’ and noticed that the eyes usually turned as far as the new position, but sometimes stopped short of it.  K. reported first an eye movement, then an ideation of the image in the new position.  E. and H. turned the head to right and left for movements of the image in those directions.  A., B., E. and F. believed that they could inhibit the eye movement.  Subjects were at times unconscious of eye movements.  H. articulated the names of the colors of the image and found that it aided the movement of the image to say to himself, for example:  “Don’t you see that blue square there?”

All but J. reported a loss in vividness and also, though to a less degree, in distinctness whenever the image was moved away from the center.  J. found no difference.  H. reported that details of the object which were reproduced in the image when at the center were not discernible in the image in other positions, also that at the left the image was more vivid than at the right.  B.’s memory image of a watch, three minutes after it was called up, was still so clear that he read from it the time.  E., who was an experienced photographer, had no difficulty in recalling outline, light and shade, but had difficulty in reproducing color.  I. frequently lost the form in making the required improvements.

Under manipulation the memory image usually retained its distinctness and vividness with no loss or with but slight loss when in its original position, to the end of the five minutes of the experiment.  The image, also, seldom disappeared except for the momentary disappearances in passing from one position to another, which are referred to later.  Under passive observation of the memory image disappearances, though of short duration, were frequent and there was a noticeable fading away of color and loss of outline.

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