Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Titel:
Thinking, feeling, doing
Person:
Scripture, Edward Wheeler
PURL:
https://digitalesammlungen.uni-weimar.de/viewer/image/lit21941/25/
Watching and Testing. 
25 
our steam-power and factories, in fact, every particle of 
our modern civilization that depends on material goods. 
It is to the lack of experiment that we must attribute the 
medieval condition of the mental sciences. 
In ordinary observation we wait for things to happen 
in one way or another ; possibly they never happen in 
just the circumstances most favorable for studying them. 
In an experiment we arrange the circumstances so that 
the thing will happen as we wish. How good is the 
memory of a certain child ? We might wait a long time 
before he happened to perform some memory exercise 
that would exactly answer the question. Instead of this 
we experiment on him by giving him lines of figures, sets 
of syllables, words, etc., till we know in just what con¬ 
dition his memory is. Galilei would never have discov¬ 
ered the law of falling bodies if he had not made the ex¬ 
periment. 
Vary only one circumstance at a time. If you wish to 
find how strong a child’s memory is at different times of 
the day, you should not make the morning test with 
words and the next with figures. There might be a dif¬ 
ference due to the change from words to figures, and you 
would suppose this difference to be due to the time of 
day. 
Experiments can be divided into three grades. (1) 
Tests. The test is the simplest form and is an answer to 
the question, Is something so or not so ? The usual test 
on hypnotized persons is pricking them with a pin to see 
whether they feel or do ndt ; by flashing a light we de¬ 
termine whether a person is blind or not. (2) Qualitative 
experiments. By these we aim to answer the question, 
What? In experiments on the emotions we ask what 
bodily processes change with them. Given a person who 
Contrast 
between obser¬ 
vation and 
experiment. 
The funda¬ 
mental law of 
experiment. 
Grades of 
experiment.
        

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