Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Document Type


Date of this Version



Thesis (M.A.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1939. Department of Psychology.


Copyright 1939, the author. Used by permission.


Investigation of the attention value of advertising has long been of psychological concern. Previous studies of attention value in advertising have used as criteria principally (1) subjective rank order and memory tests and (2) the observation of eye movements. Many classical studies have depended upon reaction time, and variations of the reaction –time method as criteria of the degree of attention at the time of the reaction. Oddly enough, to the present knowledge of the write, reaction time has never been used as a measure of attention value in advertising.

The present study represents an attempt to apply reaction time as a criterion of the attention value of color in advertising. The object of the experiment was twofold: (1) to determine whether or not reaction time could be used as a measure of attention value in advertising, and (2) to determine, if the method is applicable, whether the results of previous experiments on color in advertising are borne out by this criterion. Color was used as the independent variable because it was a relatively easy condition to control, and because of the interest of the experimenter in the problem.

Advisor: J. P. Guilford