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Empirical evaluation of the near-miss-to-Weber’s law: a visual discrimination experiment

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Author(s): THOMAS AUGUSTIN | TANJA ROSCHER

Journal: Psychology Science Quarterly
ISSN 1866-6140

Volume: 50;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 469;
Date: 2008;
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Keywords: Weber's law | near-miss-to-Weber's law | psychophysical model | size judgment | size discrimination | empirical evaluation

ABSTRACT
Many pure tone intensity discrimination data support the hypothesis that the sensitivity function grows as a power function of the stimulus intensity (near-miss-to-Weber's law). In order to test whether the near-miss-to-Weber's law fits empirical data from other sensory modalities than hearing, the participants of the experiment had to compare the perceived area of squares presented on a computer screen. The results indicate an almost perfect fit of the near-miss-to-Weber's law, which is in line with many pure tone intensity discrimination data. Different from a recent study on psychoacoustics, however, the exponent in the near-miss-to-Weber's law does not vary with the criterion value used to define “just-noticeably different”. Furthermore, we provide evidence that, for a majority of the participants, Weber's classical law provides an equally good fit to the data as the near-miss-to-Weber's law.
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