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Clever Hans (The horse of Mr. Von Osten): A contribution to experimental animal and human psychology   By: (1874-1933)

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[Illustration: CLEVER HANS]

CLEVER HANS

(THE HORSE OF MR. VON OSTEN)

A CONTRIBUTION TO EXPERIMENTAL ANIMAL AND HUMAN PSYCHOLOGY

BY OSKAR PFUNGST

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY PROF. C. STUMPF, AND ONE ILLUSTRATION AND FIFTEEN FIGURES

TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN BY CARL L. RAHN Fellow in Psychology in the University of Chicago

WITH A PREFATORY NOTE BY JAMES R. ANGELL Professor of Psychology in the University of Chicago

[Illustration]

NEW YORK HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY 1911

COPYRIGHT, 1911, BY HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY

PREFATORY NOTE

[BY JAMES R. ANGELL]

The University of Chicago

It gives me great pleasure to accept the invitation of the publishers to write a word of introduction for Mr. Rahn's excellent translation of "Der Kluge Hans", a book which in the original has been but little known to American readers. The present wave of interest in animal life and behavior renders its appearance peculiarly appropriate.

No more remarkable tale of credulity founded on unconscious deceit was ever told, and were it offered as fiction, it would take high rank as a work of imagination. Being in reality a record of sober fact, it verges on the miraculous. After reading Mr. Pfungst's story one can quite understand how sedate and sober Germany was for months thrown into a turmoil of newspaper debate, which for intensity and range of feeling finds its only parallel in a heated political campaign. That the subject of the controversy was the alleged ability of a trained horse to solve complex arithmetical problems may excite gaiety and even derision, until one hears the details. Scientists and scholars of the highest eminence were drawn into the conflict, which has not yet wholly subsided, although the present report must be regarded as quite final in its verdict.

As for Hans himself, he has become the prototype of a host of less distinguished imitators representing every level of animal life, and when last heard from he was still entertaining mystified audiences by his accomplishments.

But the permanent worth of the book is not to be found in its record of popular excitement, interesting as that is. It is a document of the very first consequence in its revelation of the workings of the animal mind as disclosed in the horse. Animal lovers of all kinds, whether scientists or laymen, will find in it material of greatest value for the correct apprehension of animal behavior. Moreover, it affords an illuminating insight into the technique of experimental psychology in its study both of human and animal consciousness. Finally, it contains a number of highly suggestive observations bearing on certain aspects of telepathy and muscle reading. All things considered, it may fairly be said that few scientific books appeal to so various a range of interests in so vital a way.

Readers who wish to inform themselves of all the personal circumstances in the case may best read the text just as it stands. Those who desire to get at the pith of the matter without reference to its historical settings, may be advised to omit the Introduction by Professor Stumpf of the University of Berlin, together with supplements II, III and IV.

CONTENTS

PAGE PREFATORY NOTE (By JAMES R. ANGELL) v

INTRODUCTION (By C. STUMPF) 1

CHAPTER I. THE PROBLEM OF ANIMAL CONSCIOUSNESS AND "CLEVER HANS" 15

II. EXPERIMENTS AND OBSERVATIONS 30

III. THE AUTHOR'S INTROSPECTIONS 88

IV. LABORATORY TESTS 102

V. EXPLANATION OF THE OBSERVATIONS 141

VI. GENESIS OF THE REACTION OF THE HORSE 212

CONCLUSION 240

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