The Psychology of Suggestion: A Research Into the by Boris 1867-1923 Sidis

By Boris 1867-1923 Sidis

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On the sudden removal of the screen the subject had im­ mediately to do something-anything he liked. It was, of course, also understood that the subject should keep his mind a blank as much as it was in his power, and, at any rate, that he should not beforehand make up his mind what to do. The subjects, I must add, were perfectly trustworthy people-coworkers in the Psychological Laboratory. THE EVIDENCE OF NORMAL SUGGESTIBILITY. 35 Now, while the screen was removed I at the same time loudly suggested some action-such as "Read !

4. While fixing their attention the subjects had to keep as quiet as possible ; for otherwise the subject became disturbed, his attention began to wander, and the suggestion failed. Before the experiments began the subjects were asked to make themselves as com­ fortable as possible, so that they should not have to change their position during the experiments. We find, then, that normal suggestibility requires as one of its conditions a limitation qf voluntary movements. 5. Limitation if the field of consoiousness may be also considered as one of the principal conditions of normal suggestibility.

43'9 Strange shape . . . . . . . . . . . Colour verbally suggested . . . . ... Place verbally suggested . . . . . . . 33'3 19'9 A mere glance at this table shows the great differ­ ence of the two types of suggestion ; and this differ­ ence becomes yet more evident, still more striking, if we take the rate of the average total suggestibility of the first type of factors and compare it with that of th e second. For the average total suggestibility of the first four factors amounts to as much as 51'4 per cent, while that of the last two amounts only to 26'6 per cent.

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