Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Titel:
Dictionary of philosophy and psychology including many of the principal conceptions of ethics, logics, aesthetics ... and giving a terminology in English, French, German and Italian, vol. 2 [lead-zwing]
Person:
Baldwin, James Mark
PURL:
https://digitalesammlungen.uni-weimar.de/viewer/image/lit29448/441/
REACTION TIME 
repeated, with which the subject is to asso¬ 
ciate an idea, either at random (‘free, or 
unlimited association ’) or according to pre¬ 
arranged conditions (‘ limited association ’). 
Eor limited association may be selected the 
relation of genus to species, cause to effect, 
part to whole, or others. Free associations, 
when obtained, may be classified into logical, 
objective, and verbal, with their sub-groups, 
and the relative time of these categories 
compared (Cattell, Mind, xii. 68 ff. ; Münster¬ 
berg, loc. cit.). Münsterberg finds that the 
reaction time for free association is, on the 
average, less than for limited, but greater than 
for questions admitting of a single answer. The 
number of subjects thus far tested is scarcely 
large enough to warrant generalization, especi¬ 
ally with regard to the different classes of 
association. 
(4) Other applications. The reaction-time 
method may be used to determine the character 
of a mental process. Thus the reaction time 
of a group of mai'ks or dots varies with the 
size of the group and the manner of grouping ; 
within certain limits the process is simple 
perception, as shown by its short duration; 
where the time is longer the act becomes 
one of counting (Warren, Psychol. Rev., iv. 
569). 
The Pees on au Equation (q. v.) observed 
in astronomical and similar reactions arises 
from the attempt to react simultaneously with 
an objective occurrence (such as the contact 
of a star with a meridian line), where the 
instant of occurrence can be definitely antici¬ 
pated on account of the antecedents. 
Comparative and abnormal reaction times. 
The effects of mental and physical fatigue, 
of the use of drugs, &c., have been measured 
by comparing the reaction times under these 
conditions with those of the same individual 
in the normal state (see Psychic Effect of 
Deugs). The reaction times of nervous per¬ 
sons and criminals have been obtained and 
compared with the average of normal indi¬ 
viduals. Differences of sex and race have 
been investigated, and some attempt has been 
made to find the reaction times of animals. 
Method and apparatus. The length of the 
reaction time is measured either chrono- 
metrically or graphically. In the former 
method the usual instrument is the Hipp 
chronoscope, which allows readings to be 
made to the one-thousandth of a second. 
For chain reactions a stop-watch gives suffi¬ 
ciently accurate measurements if the number 
of subjects is large. The graphic measure of 
time is by means of a chronograph ; a record 
is made on a revolving drum of the vibrations 
of a tuning-fork during the interval to be 
measured. See Laboeatoby and Apeaeatus, 
III, C. 
The beginning and end of the reaction are 
usually determined by means of an electric 
current. The stimulus is arranged so as to 
make (or break) a circuit which controls the 
time-measuring instrument, while the reaction 
movement serves to break (or make) it. The 
stimulus release is effected in visual reactions 
by means of a screen with an aperture ; the 
screen swings or falls, revealing the stimulus 
behind it, and the circuit is made (or broken) 
simultaneously with the appearance. For 
auditory stimuli the blow which causes the 
sound makes the circuit also. The most 
common form of motor response is the act of 
pressing a telegrapher’s key with the finger 
or hand. Other forms are with the lip key, 
tongue key, and mouth or voice key. These are 
used in complex reactions where a variety of 
responses is desired ; the speaking of different 
words fulfils this condition. A multiple key 
for reaction with different fingers is used in 
choice-reactions. For description of various 
forms of stimulus releasers and reaction keys 
see Laboeatoby and Appaeatus, II, C. 
Literature : in addition to the references 
cited above, see Wundt, Physiol. Psychol. 
(4th ed., 1893), ii. 305-90, and the many 
references there given ; Jastbow, Time 
Relations of Mental Phenomena (1890; with 
full bibliography up to that date) ; Buccola, 
Legge del tempo (1883). More recent in¬ 
vestigations are : Baetenstein, Zur Kenntnis 
d. Reaktionszeiten (Diss. Freiburg-i.-Br., 1890); 
Jasteow, Amer. J. of Psychol., iv. 198, 411 ; 
Cattell, Philos. Stud., viii. 403 ; Reigabt 
and Sanfoed, Amer. J. of Psychol., v. 351 ; 
Sceiptuee and Mooee, Stud. Yale Psychol. 
Lab., i. 88; Slatteey, ibid., 71; van 
Bieevliet, Philos. Stud., x. 160, xi. 125; 
Dolley and Cattell, Psychol. Rev., i. 159 ; 
Proc.Natnl. Acad.of Sei., vii. 393 ; Keaepelin 
and Meekel, Philos. Stud., x. 499 ; Wundt, 
ibid., 485; Angeld and Mooee, Psychol. 
Rev., iii. 245 ; Roemee, Psychol. Arb., i. 566 ; 
Gilbeet and Feackee, Univ. of Iowa Stud, 
in Psychol., i. 62 ; Pateizi, Riv. Sperim. di 
Freniat., xxiii. 257 ; Sceiptuee, Stud. Yale 
Psychol. Lab., iv. 12; Colegeove, Amer. J. 
of Psychol., x. 286; Seashobe, Univ. of 
Iowa Stud, in Psychol., ii. 64 ; Solomons, 
Psychol. Rev., vi. 376. On the type theory: 
Baldwin, Med. Record (N. Y.), Apr. 15, 
419 
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