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.
sound, therefore, is to cause a decrease in the apparent duration of the interval which follows it, and an increase in that of the interval which precedes it.  The illusion is more pronounced and invariable in the case of the interval following the louder sound than of that preceding it, the proportion of such characteristic misinterpretations to the whole number of judgments in the two cases being, for A, 77 per cent.; for B, 54 per cent.  The effect on interval A is very strong.  In the second group, where the ratio of this interval to the others of the series is 3:2, it is still judged to be equal to these others in 50 per cent. of the cases, and less in 35 per cent.  Further, these figures do not give exhaustive expression to the whole number of errors which may be represented in the judgments recorded, since no account is taken of greater and less but only of change of sign; and an interval might be underestimated and still be reported greater than the remaining intervals of the series in a group of experiments in which the relation of the interval in question to these remaining intervals ranged from the neighborhood of equivalent values to that in which one was double the other.  If in a rough way a quantitative valuation of errors be introduced by making a transference from any one sign to that adjacent to it (e.g., — to =, or = to +) equal to one, and that from one extreme sign to the other equal to two, the difference in the influence exerted on the two intervals will become still more evident, since the errors will then have the total (quantitative) values of A 46, and B 19, or ratio of 1.000:0.413.

Next, the position of the louder sound in the series of six was changed, all other conditions being maintained uniform throughout the set of experiments.  The series of intervals bore the following relative values:  A, 0.900; B, 1.100; all other intervals, 1.000.  The louder sound was produced by a fall of 0.875 inch; all others by a fall of 0.250 inch.  The louder sound occurred successively in the first, second, third, fourth and fifth positions of the series.  In the first of these forms it must of course be remembered that no interval B exists.  The results of the experiment are shown in the following table: 


Position Apparent Values.  Errors. % of Errors Ditto in B A B A T in tot. judg. quant.  Series + = — + = — B A B A 1 2 6 6 0 12 12 85.7 85.7 2 2 8 2 1 7 4 10 11 21 83.3 91.6 73.3 91.6 3 1 9 3 1 8 3 10 11 21 76.9 91.6 71.9 91.6 4 1 8 4 2 6 5 9 11 20 69.2 84.6 52.8 84.6 5 0 12 0 0 4 8 12 12 24 100.0 100.0 60.0 100.0 Totals, 4 37 9 6 31 26 41 57 98 82.3 90.7 64.5 90.7

  Total judgments, 113; Errors (B = 31), A = 57.

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