Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Experimental Psychology: A Manual of Laboratory Practice, Vol. II: Quantitative Experiments, part 2: Instructor's Manual
Titchener, Edward B.
Preliminary Experiments 
§ 16. The Intensive RL for Sound. — (i) The Watch Test. 
It is almost as difficult to justify the inclusion of this time-hon¬ 
oured experiment in a psychological text-book as it would be to 
exclude it. The author has admitted it for two reasons. In the 
first place, it can be performed, at a pinch, by help simply of a 
watch, a bit of chalk, and a yardstick ; and even in this guise it 
serves to illustrate the method. Secondly, the watch-tick is so 
familiar a sound that a careless O is likely to imagine it, and to 
signal that he hears it when he really has only its memory-image 
in consciousness. Hence the use of the watch legitimates the in¬ 
troduction of blank experiments in the regular serial method. 
This fact, as well as the introspective differentiation of minimal 
sensation from memory image, is worthy of the student’s 
The result is, of course, not an RL in any strict sense of the 
term ; watches tick at different intensities, and we have no meas¬ 
ure of the intensity of the particular watch employed. The ob¬ 
jections to the use of the watch-tick in tests of acuity of hearing 
are fully stated by Bezold in Arch, of Otology, xv., 1886, 79 ; cf. 
the same author, Schuluntn. über d. kindl. Gehörorgan, 1885, 9, 
and plate opp. 94; B. R. Andrews, A. J., xv., 1904, 43. It is 
useless to give results, as the range of hearing varies with the 
size of the room, nature of walls, etc., and nature and disposition 
of furniture. The customary statement is that the tick may be 
heard by normal ears at 2.5 to 4.5 m., though in certain circum¬ 
stances the distance may rise as high as 9 m. In the room and 
with the watch used by the author, the normal range is about 
12 m. See Sanford, Lab. Course, 55 ; Andrews, loc. cit., 43 f. 
(2) The Lehmann Acoumeter. The instrument is described 
localisation of sources of sounds there is no mention of Prof. Miinsterberg’s 
method. To some this omission will seem a serious defect.” Yet in I. M., 372, 
attention is called to the references given by Matsumoto, and among these (Yale 
Stud., v., 1897, 53, 73) are those to Münsterberg ! Had the author wrritten a 
catalogue raisonné of the complete literature, this same or some equally well-dis¬ 
posed reviewer would have pointed oiit the futility of sweeping together Mat- 
sumoto’s footnotes. Another critic, N. Vaschide, objects to the inclusion of 
Bain’s works in the list recommended to the student for his private library (i., I. 
M., 431), and thinks that they were better replaced by the Arch. ital. de biologie ! ! 
Are French undergraduates in the habit of buying sets of periodicals, as they 
enter upon their various courses ?]


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