Elementary Experiments in Psychology

By Carl E. Seashore | Go to book overview
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For Two.*

THE problem is to determine certain characteristics of association; namely, rapidity, kind, reinforcement, error, and persistence.

1. Rapidity.--Call out a key-word, for example "star", and give O exactly 8 seconds, counting from the moment of the giving of the key-word, in which to speak as many disconnected words as he possibly can. Let O write them down in a vertical column, beginning with the key-word, while they are fresh in his memory. Secure five records, using as many key-words. Find the total number of words in each column excluding the key-word, and divide 8 by that number to get the average duration of each association.

This experiment might be called chain reaction in free association. It has three objects: first, to secure

Provide coins or disks for Exp. 4, and a paper bag and weights for Exp. 5.
Speed is the aim. O must not stop to consider the fitness, significance, kind of association, or anything else which may impede the rapidity of speaking. There is a great temptation to hesitate. No series should be considered successful unless O has spoken at least six words in the allotted time. The only limitation on words is t0hat they shall be disconnected; that is, they cannot be a sentence, a familiar list of words, a prepared list, or any series of words which have a fixed connection or sequence.


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Elementary Experiments in Psychology


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