In a short sentence, say what was proved, according to the writer, by the Clark-Trimble experiments.
The Clark-Trimble experiments
A convenient point of departure is provided by the famous Clark-Trimble
experiments of 1935. Clark-Trimble was not primarily a physicist, and his great
discovery of the Graduated Hostility of Things was made almost accidentally.
During some research into the relation between periods of the day and human bad
temper, Clark-Trimble, a leading Cambridge psychologist, came to the conclusion
that low human dynamics in the early morning could not sufficiently explain the
apparent hostility of Things at the breakfast table - the way honey gets
between the fingers, the unfoldability of news-papers, etc. In the experiments
which finally confirmed him in this view, and which he demonstrated before the
Royal Society in London, Clark-Trimble arranged four hundred pieces of carpet
in ascending degrees of quality, from coarse matting to priceless Chinese silk.
Pieces of toast and marmalade, graded, weighed, and measured, were then dropped
on each piece of carpet, and the marmalade-downwards incidence was
statistically analysed. The toast fell right-side-up every time on the cheap
carpet, except when the cheap carpet was screened from the rest (in which case
the toast didnt know that Clark-Trimble had other and better carpets),
and it fell marmalade-downwards every time on the Chinese silk. Most remarkable
of all, the marmalade-downwards incidence for the intermediate grades was found
to vary exactly with the quality of carpet.
The success of these experiments naturally switched Clark-Trimbles attention to further research on resistentia, a fact which was directly responsible for the tragic and sudden end to his career when he trod on a garden rake at the Cambridge School of Agronomy. In the meantime, Noys and Crangenbacker had been doing some notable work in America. Noys carried out literally thousands of experiments, in which subjects of all ages and sexes, sitting in chairs of every conceivable kind, dropped various kinds of pencils. In only three cases did the pencil come to rest within easy reach. Crangenbackers work in the social-industrial field, on the relation of human willpower to specific problems such as whether a train or subway will stop with the door opposite you on a crowded platform, or whether there will be a mail box anywhere on your side of the street, was attracting much attention.
(From 'Report on Resistentialism' by Paul Jennings)
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