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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 57.djvu/381

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371
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF RED.

include yellow. Mrs. Moore found that her baby, between the sixteenth and forty-fifth weeks, nearly always preferred a yellow ball to a red ball; this was doubtless not a matter of color, but of brightness, for there is no reason to suppose chromatic perception at so early an age. Red, orange and yellow, it may be added, are perceived by a slightly lower illumination than green, blue and violet, the last being the most difficult of all to perceive, so that it is not surprising that the colors at the violet end should be inconspicuous to young infants. Garbini, whose experiments are worth noting in more detail, found that the order of perception is red, green, yellow, orange, blue and violet, and as he experimented with a large number of children and used methods which so competent a judge as Binet regards as approaching perfection, his results may be considered a fair approach to the truth. He found that for the first few days after birth the infant shuns the light; then, about the fourteenth day, he ceases to be photophobic and begins to enjoy the light, as is shown by his being quieted when brought into a bright light and crying when taken from it; this may sometimes begin even about the fifth day. Between the fifth week and the eighteenth month children show signs of distinguishing white, black and grey objects. It is not until after the eighteenth month that their chromatic perception begins, any preference for red and yellow objects at an earlier age being due merely to their greater luminosity. Garbini considers that it is the center of the retina, or the portion most sensitive to red and yellow, which is most exercised in young infants. Between the second and third years children, both boys and girls, were found to be most successful in the recognition of red, then of green, but they very often confused orange with red, and mixed up yellow, blue, violet and green; he thinks they tend to confuse a color with the preceding color in spectral order. Under the age of three children may be said to be color-blind, and they are liable to confuse rosy tints with green. Between the ages of three and five they are able to distinguish red in any gradation, green nearly always, with an occasional confusion with red, while yellow is sometimes confused with orange, orange sometimes replaced by rose, blue often not recognized in its gradations, and violet often selected in place of blue. At this age, also (as in hysterical anæsthesia of the retina), blue seems dark or black. In the fifth and sixth years red, green and yellow are always correctly chosen; orange gradations are not always recognized, and blue and violet come last, being sometimes confused. In the sixth year children are perfecting their knowledge of orange, blue and violet and completing their knowledge of color designations. Garbini has reached the important result that color perceptions an.d verbal expression of the perceptions follow exactly parallel paths, so that in studying verbal expression we are really studying perception, with the important distinction that the expression