Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Experimental Psychology: A Manual of Laboratory Practice, Vol. I: Qualitative Experiments, Part 1: Student's Manual
Titchener, Edward B.
§ 8. The Laws of Colour Mixture 
processes in each substance are antagonistic : black, blue and 
green are processes of assimilation, and white, yellow and red 
processes of dissimilation. 
Question (5) Sketch the Helmholtz and the Hering theories 
of visual sensation. 
(6) Define : fundamental colour, principal colour, mixed 
colour, original colour (Urfarbe). 
(7) What are the chief problems of the psychology of visual 
sensation ? 
Preliminary Exercise. — A good introduction to colour 
work is a careful introspective examination of the solar spectrum. 
Let E and O seat themselves before the spectrum chart, and 
note down as many points of psychological importance as they 
can discover in it. They may discuss the points with each 
other, and talk out each other’s suggestions. At least four facts 
should be brought out by half-an-hour’s introspective consid¬ 
§ 8. The Laws of Colour Mixture. — The object of this experi¬ 
ment is to verify the three laws of colour mixture. These are : 
(1) that for every colour there can be found another, comple¬ 
mentary or antagonistic colour, which if mixed with it in the 
right proportion gives a brightness quality (white or grey), and 
if mixed in any other proportion an unsaturated colour of the 
tone of the stronger component ; (2) that the mixture of any two 
colours which are not complementaries gives an intermediate 
colour, varying in colour-tone with the relative amounts of the 
two original colours, and varying in saturation with their near¬ 
ness or remoteness in the colour series ; and (3) that the mixture 
of any two combinations which match will itself match either of 
the original combinations, provided that the illumination of the 
colours remain approximately the same. 
Materials. — Colour mixer. Two sets of discs, large (20 
cm.) and small (11 cm. diam.), of coloured and colourless 
(black, white, grey) papers: all slit along one radius. Neutral 
grey screen. Protractor. 
Preliminaries. — The conditions of successful colour mixture 
by rotating discs are : (1) that the discs be properly centred, so


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