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.


  2d Remove. 1st Remove.  Accent. 1st Remove. 2d Remove.
    0.442 0.526 1.000 0.514 0.442

This reinforcing influence is greater—­according to the figures just given—­in the case of the element preceding the accent than in that of the reaction which follows it.  It may be, therefore, that the position of maximal stress in the preceding table is due to the close average relation in which the third position stands to the accented element.  This proximity it of course shares with the second reaction of the group, but the underlying trochaic tendency depreciates the value of the second reaction while it exaggerates that of the third.  This reception of the primitive accent the third element of the group indeed shares with the first, and one might on this basis alone have expected the maximal value to be reached in the initial position, were it not for the influence of the accentual stress on adjacent members of the group, which affects the value of the third reaction to an extent greater than the first, in the ratio 1.000:0.571.

The average intensity of the reactions in each of the four forms—­all subjects and positions combined—­is worthy of note.


Stress.     Initial.      Secondary.       Tertiary.       Final. 
Value,      1.000         1.211           1.119        1.151

The first and third forms, which involve initial accents—­in the relation of the secondary as well as primary accent to the subgroups—­are both of lower average value than the remaining types, in which the accents are final, a relation which indicates, on the assumption already made, a greater ease and naturalness in the former types.  Further, the second form, which according to the subjective reports was found the most difficult of the group to execute—­in so far as difficulty may be said to be inherent in forms of motor reaction which were all relatively easy to manipulate—­is that which presents the highest intensive value of the whole series.

In the next group of experiments, the subject was required to execute a series of reactions in groups of alternating content, the first to contain two uniform beats, the second to consist of a single reaction.  This second beat with the interval following it constitutes a measure which was to be made rhythmically equivalent to the two-beat group with which it alternated.  The time-relations of the series were therefore left to the adjustment of the reactor.  The intensive relations were separated into two groups; in the first the final reaction was to be kept uniform in strength with those of the preceding group, in the second it was to be accented.

The absolute and relative intensive values for the two forms are given in the following table: 


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