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Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London.

With his student Joseph Jastrow, Charles S. Peirce randomly assigned volunteers to a blindedrepeated-measures design to evaluate their ability to discriminate weights.[5][6][7][8] Peirce’s experiment inspired other researchers in psychology and education, which developed a research tradition of randomized experiments in laboratories and specialized textbooks in the 1800s.[5][6][7][8] The Peirce–Jastrow experiments were conducted as part of Peirce’s pragmatic program to understand human perception; other studies considered perception of light, etc. While Peirce was making advances in experimental psychology and psychophysics, he was also developing a theory of statistical inference, which was published in “Illustrations of the Logic of Science” (1877–78) and “A Theory of Probable Inference” (1883); both publications that emphasized the importance of randomization-based inference in statistics. To Peirce and to experimental psychology belongs the honor of having invented randomized experiments, decades before the innovations of Jerzy Neyman and Ronald Fisher in agriculture.[5][6][7][8]

Peirce’s pragmaticist philosophy also included an extensive theory of mental representations and cognition, which he studied under the name of semiotics.[9] Peirce’s student Joseph Jastrow continued to conduct randomized experiments throughout his distinguished career in experimental psychology, much of which would later be recognized as cognitive psychology. There has been a resurgence of interest in Peirce’s work in cognitive psychology.[10][11][12] Another student of Peirce, John Dewey, conducted experiments on human cognition, particularly in schools, as part of his “experimental logic” and “public philosophy.”