Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Experimental Psychology: A Manual of Laboratory Practice, Vol. I: Qualitative Experiments, part 2: Instructor's Manual
Titchener, Edward B.
§ 47- The Synthetic Experiment 259 
merits demand time and patience. It is noteworthy that (as 
Hering says : Bin. Sehen, 27) the setting of the eyes for near and 
far fixation need not be motived by any spatial idea. When one 
wishes to squint, one need only call to mind the ‘ peculiar feeling ’ 
of the inward-turning eyeballs, and the squint is realised. When 
one wishes to fixate an infinitely distant point, one need only 
‘let the eyes go,’ give up the effort after clear vision, and ‘push 
apart ’ the crossed double images. There is no necessity to 
ideate a very near object in the first case, or a very remote 
object in the second, natural as such spatial reference may seem. 
Glasses should be dispensed with, if possible. Sometimes — 
as in the not rare cases in which the one eye is distinctly my¬ 
opic, while the other is emmetropic or slightly hypermetropic — 
they must be worn. O must then see to it that they are cor¬ 
rectly adjusted, i.e., properly centred and parallel with the fron¬ 
tal plane. 
It is probably true, at least of the students that one finds in 
laboratories, that convergent squinting is easier than the parallel 
position of the lines of regard (Hering), though in a mixed 
company preferences will be found on both sides. If the figures 
of the truncated cone, drawn as directed in this experiment, are 
handed round the class room, the reports as to the relief or 
hollowness of the combined image will differ with different 
individuals : all have taken the easiest path to combination, but 
for some this has meant far and for others near fixation (Ruete). 
There can be no doubt that near fixation gives the better effect 
(Le Conte); accommodation tends to follow fixation, so that the 
outlines of the combined image with parallel lines of regard are 
blurred and indistinct. 
In view of the importance of the experiment, and of the ex¬ 
istence of these individual differences, it is well to have a num¬ 
ber of methods available. Hence we may cite söme of the 
suggestions made by other authors, which the Instructor will 
perhaps prefer to the arrangement recommended in the text. 
We are thus anticipating the answer to Question (4). — (1) A 
piece of card or stiff paper, cut to fit the profile, and extending 
out about 25 cm. from the face to meet the card, will cut off the 
lateral single images in far fixation, and by confining each eye


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