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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 89.djvu/893

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Eyes Were Made to See With

Do you know how to use yours? Read this erticle and then test them with the picture

���1— Wire

�6 -File

�11 -Keys

�16— Cap

�2— Nail

�7— Fly Swatter

�12— Pipe

�17 — Revolver

�3 — Faucet

�8 -Block of Wood

�13— Candle

�18— Match-Box

�4— Chisel

�9 -Bit

�14 — Bolt and Nut

�19— Soap

�5— Rule

�10 — Incandescent Lamp

�15— Fork

�20— BotUe

��ONE of the fundamentals of life, to which comparativeK- little attention has been given, is the ability to see straight. \'ory few of us see what is placed before us or what goes on under our very noses. Fortunately this faculty of observ- ing correctly ma>' be improved by practice, but first we must be made to realize that we are deficient in it. To prove this to classes of young engineers, Mr. W. H. Blood, Jr., performs a very simple experiment.

Hs has found it interesting to test his classes to see how far they have culti\-ated thoir powers of observation. On a board arc mounted twenty objects, ten of thcni b. ing ordinary' household articles and ten of them simple mechanical or electrical objects. This is reproduced in the accom- panying photograph. The numbers are not on the board itself but are used in the illustration for the sake of iflenlificalion. The board is displayed before the class and the obser^■ers are allowed to look at it for a predetermined time; then theexhibil iscov- ered and they are asked to write down the articleswhich they ha\'c seen. While thistest in psycholog>- does not prove much of any- thing, an analysis of the answers obtained

��certainly does give us food for thought. A recent experiment of this kind, tried on a large group of technical students, gave some startling results. Here was a group of educated young men who for half a minute gazed intently at these twenty articles. Several saw only three or four of the articles; the a^•crage for an entire cla?3 was but eight. What was the matter with these boys? Half awake, you say? Oh no, they were all wide awake, none more so. The test simply shows that these students have not been taugiit to obscr\e. How can they make clear deductions if they are unable to tell what thc>- have seen? Some of the men said the color of the Inirlap which co\ered the board was white, while others said it was black, yellow; onl\- few said it was brown or bufT. A curious fact brought out by this test was that nine out of ten put down on their list articles which were not on the board at all; they drew on their imaginations, but their guesses were not right. Of this entire class the best observer had but fourteen out of the twenty correct, — eciuixalcnt to 70 per cent; the average was 40 per cent, and the poorest was 15 per cent correct. A prett\- poor showing for a group of technical men.

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