Return to Consciousness
In the realm of introspection, the concretes, the units which are integrated into a single concept, are the specific instances of a given psychological process. The measurable attributes of a psychological process are its object or content and its intensity.
The content is some aspect of the external world (or is derived from some aspect of the external world) and is measurable by the various methods of measurement applicable to the external world. The intensity of a psychological process is the automatically summed up result of many factors: of its scope, its clarity, its cognitive and motivational context, the degree of mental energy or effort required, etc.
There is no exact method of measuring the intensity of all psychological processes, but—as in the case of forming concepts of colors—conceptualization does not require the knowledge of exact measurements. Degrees of intensity can be and are measured approximately, on a comparative scale. For instance, the intensity of the emotion of joy in response to certain facts varies according to the importance of these facts in one’s hierarchy of values; it varies in such cases as buying a new suit, or getting a raise in pay, or marrying the person one loves. The intensity of a process of thought and of the intellectual effort required varies according to the scope of its content; it varies when one grasps the concept “table” or the concept “justice,” when one grasps that 2 + 2 = 4 or that e = mc2.