Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Experimental Psychology: A Manual of Laboratory Practice, Vol. I: Qualitative Experiments, part 2: Instructor's Manual
Titchener, Edward B.
§ 9- Colour Mixing 
• physical ’ spectrum. The purple-extensions of the two ends of 
the spectrum have, of course, nothing at all to do with the 
infra-red and the ultra-violet of the physicist. We make use of 
the spectrum simply because it is a well-known and easily pro¬ 
curable band of colours, which presents all the colour qualities 
(with the exception of the purples) at their highest saturation : 
we are not concerned with its physical significance. 
§ 9. Colour Mixing. — It will probably be found advantageous, 
in these experiments, to let each student combine the functions 
of O and E, — to let each manage his own mixer, and take his 
own introspective records. Much time is saved by such an 
arrangement ; and there is no need of any questioning of O by 
E, since the verdict of introspection is read off directly from the 
discs. For quantitative work, it would be better to entrust the 
changing of the discs and starting of the mixer to E, and to 
direct O to turn his eyes upon some indifferently tinted surface, 
of the average brightness of his surroundings, during the inter¬ 
vals between experiment and experiment. As it is, the student 
should be instructed to look at the discs for as short a time as 
possible, compatibly with accurate matching ; and to look off 
towards the grey screen, after the adjustment of discs for a new 
experiment, in order to satisfy himself that he has no coloured 
after-image. If such an image appears, he must wait till it has 
passed away, before making his determination. 
It should be noted that mixture experiments with coloured 
papers are not, as a rule, ‘pure ’ experiments. Yellow and blue, 
when mixed, give grey. But the standard yellow of a coloured 
paper series generally contains a certain amount of orange and 
red; and the standard blue generally contains a certain amount 
of green and violet. Hence, in mixing ‘yellow’ and ‘blue,’ we 
are really mixing all the colours of the spectrum ; our grey is, like 
daylight, the result of a general mixture. The mixed nature of 
the coloured-paper colours can be seen by pasting small squares 
of the papers upon pieces of black card, and looking at them 
through a prism. Not a single colour is seen, but a fringe of 
colours. — Nevertheless, the results obtained from mixtures of


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