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.
second beat-interval and a group-rest should be 1.16 + 1.55 + 1.16 = 3.87 mm.  This is slightly less than the actual value of the period, whereas it should be greater.  It must be remembered, however, that the disparity between the two intervals increases with initial accentuation, and in consequence the proportional amounts here added for the second interval (1.16 to 1.55) should be greater.  This interval is not rhythmically ‘dead’ or insensitive.  The index of mean variation in all reactors is greater for the first than for the second interval (or interval + pause) in the ratio 1.000:0.436, that is, the value of the latter is more clearly defined than that of the former, and the reactor doubly sensitive to variations occurring within it.

An analysis of the variations of these intervals separately in series of four groups reveals a secondary reciprocal rhythm, in which the changes in value of the mean variation at any moment are in opposite directions in the two intervals.  These values in percentages of the total duration of the periods are given in the following table.


Interval.  1st Group.       2d.  Group.       3d Group.       4th Group. 
First,    15.4  per cent.  26.4  per cent.  13.8 per cent.  30.3 per cent. 
Second,   12.4     "        7.0     "        9.6    "        7.5    "

Without measurement of their intensive values, interpretation of these variations is speculative.  They indicate that the pairs of beats are combined in higher groups of four; that the differences of mean variation in the first interval are functions of an alternating major and minor accentuation, the former occurring in the second and fourth, the latter in the first and third; and that the inversely varying values of the mean variation in the second interval are functions of the division into minor and major groups, the reduced values of the second and fourth of these intervals being characteristic of the greater sensitiveness to variations occurring in the group pause than to changes occurring within the group.

The fixity of the group is markedly greater than that of the simple interval.  In the one case in which the mean variation of the group is greater than that of the elementary period the material involved was meager (five instead of ten repetitions) and the discrepancy therefore insignificant.

The difference in the mean variation of the first and second intervals respectively rises to an individual maximum of 3.000:1.000, and averages for all subjects 2.290:1.000; the fixity, that is to say, of the inter-group interval in this form of tapping is more than twice as great as that of the intra-group interval.  The fixity of the larger rhythmical quantities is greater than that of the smaller, whether the relation be between the elementary interval and the unit group, or between the synthetic unit and its higher composite.  The average mean variation of the beat intervals exceeds

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