Harvard Psychological Studies, Volume 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 678 pages of information about Harvard Psychological Studies, Volume 1.

The results agree with those of the preceding types.  The mean variation of the interval separating the groups is less throughout than that of the average group-interval.  The ratios for the various rhythm types are as follows: 

TABLE LXV.

  Rhythm Form.  Initial Stress.  Median Stress.  Final Stress. 
    Ratios, 1.000 :  0.758 1.000 :  0.527 1.000 :  0.658

This relation, true of the average intra-group interval, is also true of each interval separately.  Among these ratios the greatest departure from unity appears in the second form which all subjects found most difficult to reproduce, and in which the tendency to revert to the first form constantly reasserts itself.  The difference in value of the mean variations is least in the first form, that with initial accent, and of intermediate magnitude in the third form when the accent is final.  The contrary might be expected, since in the first form—­as in the second also—­the factors of stress and initial position are both represented in the average of the first two intervals, while in the third form the factor of stress affects the final interval and should, on the assumption already made concerning its significance as a disturbing element, tend to increase the mean variation of that interval, and, therefore, to reduce to its lowest degree the index of difference between the two phases.  That it does so tend is evident from a comparison of the proportional mean variations of this interval in the three forms, which are in order:  initial stress, 4.65 per cent.; median stress, 4.70 per cent., and final stress, 7.15 per cent.  That the consequent reduction also follows is shown by the individual records, of which, out of four, three give an average value for this relation, in forms having final stress, of 1.000:0.968, the least of the group of three; while the fourth subject departs from this type in having the mean variation of the initial interval very great, while that of the final interval is reduced to zero.

If, as has been assumed, the magnitude of the average mean variation may be taken as an index of the fixity or definition of the rhythm form, the first of these three types, the ordinary dactylic is the most clearly defined; the second, or amphibrachic, stands next, and the third, the anapaestic, has least fixity; for in regard to the final interval, to the average of the first and second and also to each of these earlier intervals separately, the amount of mean variation increases in the order of the accents as follows: 

TABLE LXVI.

Interval.    Initial Stress.    Median Stress.    Final Stress. 
First,      5.82 per cent.    9.95 per cent.   11.95 per cent. 
Second,     6.45     "        7.87     "        9.77     "
Third,      4.65     "        4.70     "        7.15     "

In these triple rhythms, as in the two-beat forms, the simple interval is more variable than the unit group, and the lower group likewise more unstable than the higher.  The series of proportional values for the three forms is given in the table annexed: 

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