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.

Next, experiments were made on two subjects, with conditions the same as in the work corresponding to Table IV., except that the distance between the fingers stimulated was only five inches.  The results of this work are given in Table V.


       ST= 5.0 SECS.  TWO HANDS. 5 INCHES.

Subject  RRL.       RLL.     No. of Series.
Sh.    5.32      5.32         60
Hs.    4.40      6.80         60

It will be noticed that Hs shows a slightly wider divergence than before, while Sh pursues the even tenor of his way as usual.

Series were next obtained by employing the first and second fingers on one hand in exactly the same way as the middle fingers of the two hands were previously employed, the orders of stimulation being 1, 1, 2, and 1, 2, 2.  The results of sixty series on Subject Hs give the values of average ET as 4.8 secs. for 1, 1, 2, and 6.23 sees, for 1, 2, 2, ST being 5.0 secs., showing less divergence than in the preceding work.

These experiments were all made during the first year’s work.  They show that in most cases a change in the locality stimulated influences the estimation of the time interval, but since the details of that influence do not appear so definitely as might be desired, the ground was gone over again in a little different way at the beginning of the present year.

A somewhat more serviceable instrument for time measurements was employed, consisting of a disc provided with four rows of sockets in which pegs were inserted at appropriate angular intervals, so that their contact with fixed levers during the revolution of the disc closed an electric circuit at predetermined time intervals.  The disc was rotated at a uniform speed by an electric motor.

Experiments were made by stimulation of the following localities:  (1) First and third fingers of right hand; (2) first and second fingers of right hand; (3) first fingers of both hands, close together, but just escaping contact; (4) first fingers of both hands, fifteen inches apart; (5) first fingers of both hands, thirty inches apart; (6) two positions on middle finger of right hand, on same transverse line.

A standard of two seconds was adopted as being easier for the subject and more expeditious, and since qualitative and not quantitative results were desired, only one CT was used in each case, thus permitting the investigation to cover in a number of weeks ground which would otherwise have required a much longer period.  The subjects were, however, only informed that the objective variations were very small, and not that they were in most cases zero.  Tests of the two types complementary to each other (e.g., RRL and RRL) were in each case taken alternately in groups of five, as in previous work.


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