The Psychological Aspects of the Time Factor in Speed in Typewriting: An Exploratory Survey of the Effects of Various Classes of Words and Strokes
It is not here maintained that speed of typewriting is in itself of any great moment or that a fuller understanding of the factors underlying it will add greatly to the magnitude or diversity of the satisfactions of the race. Even in the field of office work and correspondence almost all authorities concede that it is of less importance than is accuracy of typewriting. Nor is speed of typewriting subject to the whimsical variations that beset accuracy; it is much less variable in an individual typist; it does not raise a myriad of problems requiring psychological explanation. According to Blackstone a three-minute test is sufficiently long to give a highly reliable op measure of an individual's speed.Any functioning of the organism as a whole is within the province of psychology. While typewriting is not on the same high intellectual level with creative sub-vocalization, it is a fairly complicated psychological process involving the learning and coordination of many tactual, perceptual, and motor responses. Speed of typewriting certainly is influenced by any number of psychological factors, many of them having to do with the training and experience and capacities of the typist; we are here concerned entirely with the influence of the nature of the material written on the speed of typewriting. Considerations of training, mechanical requirements of machines, and factors inherent in the typist all influence speed of typing but are not included in the scope of this study.The main emphasis in this study has been restricted to the discovery of clues in the nature of the material written which may account for fluctuations in the typing speed of the individual typist. Thus what little importance there is in the study will be for psychology rather than for typewriting. First, because nothing conclusive will be determined; second, because even if some relationships between the nature of the material and the speed with which it is written are definitely established, nothing much can be done about it. Typists will still have to type whatever material is needed for correspondence or other purposes. Employers can hardly be expected to compose their letters in such a way as to save thirty seconds of the typists' time. Thus, any information we acquire is more likely to bear on the psychological problem of what factors influence the performance of a certain skill than on the practical problem of improving that skill.