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Investigation of the psychophysical relationship of kinesthetic extent of arm movement Ryan, Martha Lorraine

Abstract

Forty, volunteer, University of British Columbia, Physical Education students took part in a study to determine the relationship between the physical stimulus continuum and the psychological continuum of kinesthetic extent of arm movement. The subjects were randomly assigned to one of four conditions. The conditions were chosen to provide tests of three functional criteria, outlined by S. S. Stevens (1957), for differentiating between two classes of continua, prothetic and metathetic, into which the majority of sensory modalities naturally fall. The task for all conditions involved a straight arm movement from the shoulder joint, in a horizontal plane, towards the midline of the body. Condition I involved the psychophysical ratio scaling method of fractionation and from these data the subjective Kine function, Kine = .1010 S¹•⁰⁷⁵, for kinesthetic extent of movement was derived. Condition II employed the psychophysical category production method to derive the category scale for kinesthetic extent of movement, which was found to be linear when plotted against the subjective Kine scale values. In Conditions III and IV, the psychophysical ratio scaling method of fractionation was used and it was determined that the hysteresis effect was not present for kinesthetic extent of movement. The individual results from each condition supported the hypothesis that kinesthetic extent of arm movement is representative of the metathetic class. Therefore, the general conclusion, determined from a synthesis of the three tested functional criteria, was that one attribute of kinesthesis: extent of arm movement, is subserved by a metathetic process.

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