The purpose of the present experiment was to examine developmentally the effect of the degree of unity in a verbal auditory stimulus given during the standard time of 40sec on the length of the estimated time by the method of reproduction, that is, on the length of the reproduced time. The Ss were 16 kindergarten children, 48 elementary school children in 1st, 3rd and 5th grades, 16 junior high school students in 7th grade and 16 undergraduate students (see Table 1). The stimuli used consisted of 7 categories each of which included 3 stimuli of the same kind. They were (1) vain (two signal sounds of the beginning and the end mediated by no stimulus), (2) letters (59 letters), (3) nonsense syllables (20 syllables 59 letters), (4) shorter series of words (20 words, 59 letters), (5) longer series of words (44 words, 200 letters), (6) a tale for children (200 letters), and (7) a tale for adults (200 letters). A total of twenty-one stimuli were used. Each S was given all of 21 trials, but the order of stimulus presentation was at random. The results were as follows: 1. The reproduced time generally decreased in length in the following order, that is, (1) vain, (2) letters and longer series of words, (3) nonsense syllables and shorter series of words, and (4) tales for children and for adults (see Tables 4 and 5). It seems that this order corresponds to the degree of unity in the stimulus, in other words, to the number of perceived changes stated by P. Fraisse. 2. The younger the subjects except kindergarten children were, the larger was the effect of the degree of unity mentioned in 1. This effect was in adults insignificant (see Fig. 1 and Table 6). Those findings show the general trend in children, implying the positive meaning of the developmental approach to this problem. 3. The younger the subjects were, the shorter was their reproduced time and that in adults was near the standard time (see Table 2). It seems that the reproduction of the vain time requires patience on the subjects, so in younger children the frequency of perceived changes during the reproduced time may by larger than during the standard time because of their impatience. With development the frequencies of both standard and reproduced times may gradually coincide and become stabilized so that the reproduced time gets nearer the standard time. 4. The reproduced time of young girls was shorter than that of young boys, particularly at the first state of the trials (see Table 8). The causes for this difference cannot be detected from the present data.
On the generality of levels of aspiration, there has been a hypothesis that the generality depends on the similarity of experimental situations (situational-similarity hypothesis). The purpose of this study is to examine our new hypothesis that the generality depends on the similarity of perceived, not actual, situations. For this aim, an experiment was carried out according to the following procedure: 65 subjects were chosen out of 209 children in the 5th or 6th grade of a primary school, and divided into two experimental groups; B-group and U-group. B-group consisted of 33 subjects who were good at both basic exercises and applied ones in arithmetic, while U-group consisted of 32 subjects who were good at basic exercises but poor at applied ones. As tasks for these groups, some samples out of basic exercises (Task I) and some out of applied exercises (Task II) were used. The levels of aspiration were individually measured for all the subjects on each trial by using a technique of prearranged sequences of scores. Main findings were: 1. The correlation-coefficients of GD-scores of B-group between Task I and Task II are significantly larger than those of U-group (Table 2 and 3). 2. The percentages of subjects fallen into the same class of GD-score in two kinds of tasks within B-group are generally larger than those within U-group (Table 4). 3. Average GD-scores of B-group in Task I and Task II, and those of U-group in Task I are not significantly different, but average GD-scores of U-group in Task II are significantly smaller on several trials (Table 5). These results seem to support our new hypothesis rather than the situational-similarity hypothesis. We conclude that the situational-similarity hypothesis could not be accepted and that the level of aspiration should be analyzed with reference to both situational factors and personality characteristics.
The present study was aimed at investigating patterns of development of length measuring behavior. Seventy-one 1st-3rd graders were given 10 measurement tasks individually. Each task required S to compare the length of 2 straight lines. Four of the tasks were concerned with formation of schemata of measurement, i.e., the ability of S to judge the relative length correctly by proper measuring procedures, which he applied spontaneously or in imitation of E's demonstration. The other 6 tasks were to test conceptual abilities essential to measurement, in which conditions were such as to call for logical inference on the part of S. They were concerned with conservation of length under change of position, conservation against Müller-Lyer illusion, transitivity, conservation of sub-divided whole, disregard of non-equivalent units, and mutual conversion of 2 different units. Following points were suggested from results: 1) In the direct comparison tasks, almost all of the Ss judged the relative length of 2 lines correctly. Successfull respondents in the indirect comparison task (using intermediary items) and the unit iteration task were nearly the same in number, i.e., 2/3 of the 2nd graders and all but few exceptions of the 3rd graders. In the indirect comparison task, most errors were due to the incorrect combination of two direct comparisons which were made with the intermediary. Given a ruler as an intermediary, however, 70% of even the 1st graders responded correctly. This means that numerals assigned facilitated combination of two direct comparisons. 2) As for conservation and transitivity (they were observed to be highly correlated), the proportion of correct respondents reached 2/3 of the 2nd and the 3rd graders. On the contrary, 2 tasks involving operational comprehension of unit iteration were much more difficult; only 1/3 of the 3rd graders successfully applied a common unit, disregarding non-equivalent unit-marks. 3) Though each schema of measurement has some basic conceptions as prerequisites, a pupil without these conceptions often succeeded in applying the schema and in judging the relative length correctly, if intuitive regulation was permitted. 4) Some children compared the length of 2 lines correctly by counting the number of units. At the same time, they often made errors by responding only to the number, disregarding the size of unit. Measuring behavior of pupils of these ages was not clearly differentiated from numerical behavior and was highly influenced by it.