In a classic experiment, the husband-and-wife team of Hurvich and Jameson redeveloped Hering’s view on opponency. Hurvich and Jameson (1957) developed a new way to empirically examine this view. In this experiment, participants saw a monochromatic light at a wavelength between two particular primary colors. For example, a participant might see a cyan light with a wavelength at 485 nanometers. Then the participant was given control over the amount of a second light that could be added to the first, through additive color mixing. The instructions were to cancel out the blue so that the light appeared only as green. The participant could do this by adding a yellow wavelength light, but if he tried to do it with red light, he would never succeed. Only yellow light could cancel out the blue light (and vice versa). However, if you have a light between red and yellow, green must be added to cancel out the red.
In this experiment, you can try a simulation of this experiment.
To see the illustration in full screen, which is recommended, press the Full Screen button, which appears at the top of the page.
Test Color: change hue that you will test. You cannot test individual
wavelengths like Hurvich and Jameson, but you will test as saturated a color as your monitor
can produce. You are allowed only to adjust the hue of the color.
Select Color to Cancel: this is the color you will try to eliminate or cancel from the test color. If you want to add any other color to the test color, just eliminate any hint of this color.
Show Cancellation Color: if selected, the color you are adding to the test color will be shown in a square to the right of the test color.
Reset: at the top of the settings page is a Reset button. Pressing this button restores the method settings to their default values.
On this tab, you can adjust how the method will work. The settings include the following:
Number of Trials in the Experiment: how many times you will make your adjustment.
Range of Variation of Cancellation Color: over what range will the starting value of the stimulus change. The range is a percentage of the total range of values the stimulus can have.
Reset: at the top of the settings page is a Reset button. Pressing this button restores the stimulus settings to their default values.
On the Experiment tab, press the space bar or the Start button on the screen
to start the experiment.
You are to use the sliders at the bottom to add color to the test color to eliminate the indicated color
from the test color. If you are to cancel red in an orange, you want to add color so you don't see red
anymore but the remaining yellow. Do not add so much of your cancellation color that that color appears
in the test color either; just leave what remains of the test color other than the color you are to
When you have accomplished this goal, click the Done button to the right of the red slider to proceed to the next trial.
When you have finished all of your trials, you will be instructed that you can view your results.
Your data will be presented on this tab. The color that you added on each trial will be shown. To see the average of these colors, click the button that says Show color. To display all the all data for all of the trials, click the Show Data button, which will show the red, green, and blue values you used on each trial for your cancellation color.
Change the settings below to alter the stimulus parameters in this experiment.