Vierordt’s Law for Space and Time: Hollingworth (1909) and “The Law of Central Tendency”

In: Timing & Time Perception
John H. Wearden School of Psychology, Keele University, Keele, ST5 5BG, UK

Search for other papers by John H. Wearden in
Current site
Google Scholar
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution


Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):



This article discusses material in a 1909 monograph, The Inaccuracy of Movement with Special Reference to Constant Errors, by H. L. Hollingworth, which is mostly concerned with demonstrating and accounting for what we would now call Vierordt’s Law, for judgements of both length and time. Hollingworth demonstrates Vierordt’s Law for a length reproduction task, and shows that the length which is reproduced most accurately (the indifference point) varies as a function of the range of the lengths presented. Hollingworth attributes this effect to the influence of the central tendency of the stimuli presented. He notes that this effect could be found in previous studies of time interval reproduction, but was not remarked upon. A second study also introduced error monitoring for length and time judgements. Hollingworth’s ideas echo much more recent approaches to Vierordt’s Law, some of which also use the idea that the Vierordt effect is based on the central tendency of the stimulus range from which the stimuli to be judged come.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 250 250 14
Full Text Views 27 27 0
PDF Views & Downloads 44 44 1