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

In the first of these experiments, which are typical of the whole group, both of the subject’s hands were employed, and a tapping instrument was arranged above the middle finger of each, as above the one hand in the preceding experiment, the distance between middle fingers being fifteen inches.  The taps were given either two on the right hand and the third on the left, or one on the right and the second and third on the left, the two orders being designated as RRL and RLL respectively.  The subject was always informed of the order in which the stimulations were to be given, so that any element of surprise which might arise from it was eliminated.  Occasionally, however, through a lapse of memory, the subject expected the wrong order, in which case the disturbance caused by surprise was usually so great as to prevent any estimation.

The two types of series were taken under as similar conditions as possible, four (or in some cases five) tests being taken from each series alternately.  Other conditions were the same as in the preceding work.  The results for the six subjects employed are given in Table IV.

TABLE IV.

ST= 5.0 SECS.  TWO HANDS. 15 INCHES.

Subject.          Average RT.                No. of Series. 
RRL.        RLL.*    (Table II.)
Hs.     4.92       6.55       (5.26)        50
Sh.     5.29       5.28       (5.34)        50
Mr.     5.02       6.23       (5.25)        60
Mn.     5.71       6.71       (6.19)        24
A.     5.34       5.89       (5.75)        28
Sn.     5.62       6.43       (5.47)        60

Transcriber’s Note:  Original “RRL”

From Table IV. it is apparent at a glance that the new condition involved introduces a marked change in the time judgment.  Comparison with Table II. shows that in the cases of all except Sh and Sn the variation RRL shortens the standard subjectively, and that RLL lengthens it; that is, a local change tends to lengthen the interval in which it occurs.  In the case of Sh neither introduces any change of consequence, while in the case of Sn both values are higher than we might expect, although the difference between them is in conformity with the rest of the results shown in the table.

Another set of experiments was made on subject Mr, using taps on the middle finger of the left hand and a spot on the forearm fifteen inches from it; giving in one case two taps on the finger and the third on the arm, and in the other one tap on the finger and the second and third on the arm; designating the orders as FFA and FAA respectively.  Sixty series were taken, and the values found for the average ET were 4.52 secs, for FFA and 6.24 secs, for FAA, ST being 5.0 secs.  This shows 0.5 sec. more difference than the experiment with two hands.

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