Time errors and differential sensation weighting

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16 pairs of successive tones, with different amplitude combinations, were presented along with 16 combinations of tone duration and interstimulus interval. Groups of 12 undergraduates were assigned to each presentation condition and made comparative loudness judgments for each of the pairs. Perceived within-pair loudness differences were scaled by a Thurstonian method using the subjective width of the “equal” category as the unit. The scaled differences were well described by weighted linear combinations of the sensation magnitudes of the tones in the pairs. The time error could be regarded as an effect of this differential weighting. For the longer interstimulus intervals (TSIs), the weight of the 2nd tone was the greater, causing the usual inverse relation between time error and stimulus intensity level. For the shorter ISIs, these effects were reversed. An analysis of the pattern of weights led to the development of 2 models, 1 of which is a generalization of W. C. Michels and H. A. Helson's (1954) time error model. The weights reflect the differential efficiency of the loudness information from the 2 compared stimuli. (62 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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