Miscellany

The following interesting experiment is described by E. E. Slosson of the University of Wyoming: "I had prepared a bottle, filled with distilled water, carefully wrapped in cotton, and packed in a box. After some other experiments in the course of a popular lecture I stated that I wished to see how rapiuly an odor would be diffused through the air, and requested that as soon as any one perceived the odor he should raise his hand. I then unpacked the bottle in the front of the hall, poured the water over the cotton, and started a stop watch while awaiting results. I explained that I was quite sure no one in the audience had ever smelled the chemical compound which I had poured out, and expressed the hope that while they might find the odor strong and peculiar, it would not be disagreeable to any one. In fifteen seconds most of those in the front row had raised their hands, and in forty seconds the 'odor' had spread to the back of the hall, keeping a pretty regular 'wave front,' as it passed on. About three-quarters of the audience claimed to perceive the smell, the obstinate minority including more men than the average of the whole. More would probably have succumbed to the suggestion, but at the end of a minute I was obliged to stop the experiment, for some in the front seats were being unpleasantly affected and were about to leave the room."—Psychological Reriew.

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November 16, 1899
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