History[ edit ] Many of the classical techniques and theories of psychophysics were formulated in when Gustav Theodor Fechner in Leipzig published Elemente der Psychophysik Elements of Psychophysics. From this, Fechner derived his well-known logarithmic scale, now known as Fechner scale. During the s, when psychological research in Nazi Germany essentially came to a halt, both approaches eventually began to be replaced by use of stimulus-response relationships as evidence for conscious or unconscious processing in the mind. Peirce , who was aided by his student Joseph Jastrow , who soon became a distinguished experimental psychologist in his own right. In their experiment, Peirce and Jastrow in fact invented randomized experiments: They randomly assigned volunteers to a blinded , repeated-measures design to evaluate their ability to discriminate weights.
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Read preview Synopsis This third edition of a classic text which was first published in is the only comprehensive, up-to-date presentation of psychophysics currently available.
It has been used by undergraduate and graduate students, and scholars throughout the world and is consistently thought of as the best single source for learning the basic principles of psychophysics. The coverage of the field is comprehensive, including topics ranging from the classical methods of threshold measurement, to the modern methods of detection theory, to psychophysical scaling of sensation magnitude. The approach is one in which methods, theories, and applications are described for each experimental procedure.
Excerpt Psychophysics is the scientific study of the relation between stimulus and sensation, and therefore the problems of psychophysics constitute some of the most fundamental problems of modern psychology. For centuries thinkers have recognized the importance of understanding sensation. In fact, experimental psychology developed as an independent science largely because of the recognition that the scientific study of sensation could yield insight into the workings of the human mind.
Experimental psychology was established as an independent science when, in Leipzig, , Wilhelm Wundt founded the first laboratory for experimental work exclusively directed toward understanding psychological processes.
The work of Wundt and other early experimental psychologists evolved from the British empiricist and associationist schools of philosophy, which had firmly established the idea of the senses as the key to human understanding.
This idea was reinforced by advances in sensory physiology, which suggested that the problem might yield to scientific investigation. But perhaps the single most important historical antecedent of experimental psychology was psychophysics. Today psychophysics remains a central part of experimental psychology.
Important recent changes in psychophysics are the development of the theory of signal detection and the refinements of methods for directly scaling sensory magnitude.
These two advances have greatly broadened the applicability of psychophysics to areas far beyond the original problems of measuring sensory thresholds. Modern psychophysics can be credited with contributions to the solution of problems in such diverse realms as sensory processes, memory, learning, social behavior, and esthetics. Full access to this book and over 94, more Over 14 million journal, magazine, and newspaper articles Access to powerful writing and research tools Book details.
Psychophysics: The Fundamentals
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