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.
is in any case very slight.  Further, subject E, in judgments where the complex filling exceeds the horizontal parallels in length, still gives the more complex of the two fillings markedly the shorter space, showing, apparently, that its additional complexity works there in accord with the theory.  There was, according to his introspection, another principle at work.  As a figure, he emphatically preferred II. to III.  The filling of II. made up, he found, by its greater interest, for lack of length.  He here secured a balance, in which the interest of the complex material compensated for the greater extent of the simpler horizontals.  This accounts for its small variation from III., and even for its occupying the smaller space.  But in judgments giving the two complex fillings the larger space, the more interesting material exceeded in extent the less interesting.  In such divisions the balance was no longer uppermost in mind, but the desire to get as much as possible of the interesting filling.  To this end the horizontal parallels were shortened as far as they could be without becoming insignificant.  But unless some element of balance were there (although not present to introspection) each complex filling, when up for judgment, would have been pushed to the same limit.  It, therefore, does seem, in cases where the complex fillings occupied a larger space than the horizontals, that the subject, not trying consciously to secure a balance of interests, was influenced more purely by the factor of complexity, and that his judgments lend support to our theory.

Subject H was the only subject who consistently preferred to have all complex fillings occupy the larger space.  Introspection invariably revealed the same principle of procedure—­he strove to get as much of the interesting material as he could.  He thought, therefore, that in every case he moved the complex filling to that limit of the pleasing range that he found on the simple line, which would yield him most of the filling.  Balance did not appear prominent in his introspection.  A glance, however, at the results shows that his introspection is contradicted.  For he maintains approximately the same division on the right in all the figures, whether reversed or not, and similarly on the left.  The average on the right for all four is 67; on the left it is 74.  Comparing these with the averages on the simple line, we see that the right averages coincide exactly, while the left but slightly differ.  I suspect, indeed, that the fillings did not mean much to H, except that they were ‘interesting’ or ‘uninteresting’; that aside from this he was really abstracting from the filling and making the same judgments that he would make on the simple line.  Since he was continually aware that they fell within the ‘pleasing range’ on the simple line, this conclusion is the more plausible.

Project Gutenberg
Harvard Psychological Studies, Volume 1 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook