The Elements of Scientific Psychology

By Knight Dunlap | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II
SENSE PERCEPTION

§1. Complex and elementary sense objects.

Sense objects, or sense data, as perceived, are usually complex, that is: they are made up of two or more simpler sense data, combined in various ways. Sometimes these data are presented as occupying different spatial positions, as is the case with the black and white of the printed page. These combinations are mere conjunctions. Sometimes, however, the several data combined in the total object occupy the same space, or are localized in the same position, as is the case with the purple of a purple aster, and the coldness, touch characteristics, and whiteness of snow. Such combinations are commonly called fusions. It is useful sometimes to distinguish between fusions of data of the same mode, such as red and blue, and fusions of data of different modes, such as red and warm, cold and pressure. The latter combinations are conventionally called complications.12

The analysis of conjuctions and complications offers no especial difficulty in most cases. In the case of the snow, we readily observe that its total perceptible nature includes both whiteness and coldness, but that they are separable factors. Still more easily analyzable are combinations of color presented as adjacent to each other. In the case of fusions in the same mode, analysis is more difficult, requiring especially keen observation, and in some cases leading to results which have become matters of dispute. While all careful students agree to a separation of cold and warmth from the touch, tickle and pain factors with which they are fused, there has been controversy over the analysis of fused colors, as in the cases of purple (red and blue), and orange (red and yellow).13

The analysis of complex objects may be carried to such a point

____________________
12
Warren calls them colligations.
13
0range is here described as a combination of red and yellow, in accordance with popular usage. Strictly, however, yellow is a combination of red and chlor (greenish yellow), and orange is a combination of the same pair, with a higher proportion of red.

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