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.
by F., and the subject moved the ‘variable’ line, denoted by V., until he found the arrangement aesthetically pleasing.  The experimenter alone placed F. at the given reading, and read off the position of V. After the choice F. was placed at the next interval, V. was again tried in different positions, and so on.  In the following tables the successive positions of F. are given in the left column, reading downward, and the corresponding positions of V. in the right column.  The different choices are placed together, but in case of any preference the second choice is indicated.  The measurements are always in millimeters.  Thus, F. 40, V. 60, means that F. is 40 mm. to one side of the center, and V. 60 mm. to the opposite side.  F. 80x10, V. 160x10, means that the white cardboard strips 80 mm.x10 mm., etc., are used.  The minus sign prefixed to a reading means that the variable was placed on the side of the fixed line.  An X indicates aesthetic dislike—­refusal to choose.  An asterisk (*) indicates a second choice.

The following tables are specimen sets made by the subjects C, O, and D.

I. (a) F. 80x10, V. 160x10.

F.                     V.
C.            O.                    D.
40   62, 120       166, 130           28, 24
80   70, 110       104, 102           80, 126
120   46, X          70, 46           68,—­44, 128*
160   26, 96         50, 25           85, 196,—­88*
200   20, X          55, X          —­46, 230,* 220,—­110*

I. (b) F. 160x10, V. 80x10.

F.                     V.
C.            O.                    D.
40   74, 64         60, 96            27, 34
80   76, 65         72, 87            55, 138
120   60, 56         48, 82            70, 174
160   29, 74         16, 77          —­114, 140, 138, 200
200   96, 36         25, 36            177,—­146,—­148, 230

Now, on Dr. Pierce’s theory, the variable in the first set should be nearer the center, since it is twice the size of the fixed line;—­but the choices V. 120, 166, 130 for F. 40; V. 110, 104, 102, 126 for F. 80; V. 128 for F. 120; V. 196 for F. 160; V. 230, 220 for F. 200, show that other forces are at work.  If these variations from the expected were slight, or if the presence of second choices did not show a certain opposition or contrast between the two positions, they might disappear in an average.  But the position of F. 40, over against V. 120, 166, 130, is evidently not a chance variation.  Still more striking are the variations for I. (b).  Here we should expect the variable, being smaller, to be farther from the center.  But for F. 40, we have V. 27, 34; for F. 80, all nearer but two; for F. 120, V. 60, 56, 48, 82, 70; for F. 160, V. 29, 74, 16, 77, 138, and for F. 200, V. 96, 36, 25, 36, 177—­while several positions on the same side of the center as the constant show a point of view quite irreconcilable with mechanical balance.

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