Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Experimental Psychology: A Manual of Laboratory Practice, Vol. I: Qualitative Experiments, Part 1: Student's Manual
Titchener, Edward B.
Attention and Action 
signal and end with the performance of the prearranged move¬ 
ment. This ‘reaction consciousness’ is the laboratory form of 
the ‘action consciousness’ of everyday life. An action, in popu¬ 
lar parlance, is a movement made at the prompting of some 
conscious motive. The action consciousness consists, accord¬ 
ingly, of (a) a group of perceptions and ideas, the motive, and 
(b) a group of organic sensations, aroused by the movement of 
some bodily member. In the typical form of action, the former 
of these complexes is (c) attended-to, and the consciousness is 
therefore (d) an affective consciousness. In the reaction experi¬ 
ment, we make an artificial or schematic motive ; we reduce the 
organic sensations to their lowest terms, by requiring the move¬ 
ment only of a single finger ; and we secure attention, and 
regulate the direction of attention, by instructions given to 
O before the experimental series 
Before we enter upon the ex¬ 
periment, it will be well to remind 
ourselves of the main points in the 
psychology of action. 
Question (i) What is the prob¬ 
lem that action sets to psychol¬ 
ogy ? 
(2) What is the typical ‘mo¬ 
tive ’ to human action, the motive 
from which all others may be de¬ 
rived ? 
(3) Make a Table, in the 
form of a genealogical tree, 
of the simpler forms of action. 
Give a full account of the com¬ 
position of the motive in every 
Materials.—Vernier chronoscope, with accessories. [This 
instrument is figured in Fig. 21. As it is put in your hands, it 
consists of the cast-iron base and upright, d, with brass cross¬ 
bar, b; two brass pendulum bobs with face-hooks, a and a'; two 
lengths of stout silk, the one red and the other white ; two 
Fig. 21.—Vernier chronoscope (Clark 
University Lab., $5.00).


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