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.


Ratio of Duration Second Group Judged to be of 1st Group to 2d. + = — 1.000 :  1.000 100.0 per cent. 1.000 :  0.946 62.5 " 37.5 per cent. 1.000 :  0.915 33.3 " 66.6 " 1.000 :  0.895 8.3 " 33.3 " 58.3 per cent. 1.000 :  0.800 40.0 " 60.0 "

As in the preceding case, when relations of equality obtained between the two subgroups, the secondary period in every instance appeared longer than the primary.  This prolongation was uniformly reported as displeasing.  The distribution of values which here support psychological uniformity lies between 1.000:0.915 and 1.000:0.895, that is to say, the difference of phases is less marked than in the case of the simpler trochaic composite.  This is a structural principle which penetrates all rhythmical forms.  The difference in the case of both of these composites is less than in the opposition of phases within the simple group, in which for identical intensities and (practically) the same group of observers these presented the ratio 1.000:0.714.  It is evident that the relative differentiation of accented and unaccented intervals due to specific variations in intensity is greater than is that of successive groups characterized by similar differences of accentual stress; and if still more extensive groups were compared it would unquestionably be found that a further approximation to equality had taken place.

In the integration of rhythmical groups this subordination of the intensive accents which characterize them is not the sole mechanism of higher synthesis with which we are presented.  Another mode is the antithesis of rhythmical quantities through verse catalepsis.  Such variation of the rhythmical figure can take place in two directions and in two only:  by an increase in the number of constituents, giving what may be called redundancy to the measure, and by a decrease in their number, or syncopation.  Each of these forms of departure from the typical figure fulfils a specific rhythmic function which determines its temporal and intensive characters, and its local position in the rhythmical sequence.

(a) Redundant Measures.—­The position of such a measure is uniformly initial.  On rare occasions individual observers reported an inversion of this order in the earlier portion of the series,[8] but in no case were subjectively formulated series concluded in this way; and when the objective succession ended with the redundant measure the experience was rhythmically displeasing.  In accentual stress the redundant measure is of secondary rank, the chief intensity falling upon the shorter, typical groups.  Variation from the type does not, therefore, unconditionally indicate a point of accentual stress, though the two are commonly connected.

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