method of constant stimuli

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One of the three classical methods of psychophysics introduced in 1860 by the German philosopher, physician, psychologist, and mystic Gustav Theodor Fechner (1801–87) for determining absolute thresholds and difference thresholds. It involves presenting variable stimuli in random order and determining the smallest intensity that can be detected in the case of an absolute threshold or the smallest difference from a standard stimulus that can be detected in the case of a difference threshold, the criterion used nowadays usually being correct detection or discrimination on 75 per cent of presentations, although other percentages are sometimes used. See also method of equal and unequal cases. Compare method of average error, method of limits.

Subjects: Psychology.

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