separable attribute

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An attribute that is not inherent in a phenomenon, inasmuch as the phenomenon can occur or exist without the attribute. For example, frequency (1) is a separable attribute of sound, because noise (1) is sound without frequency, whereas amplitude is not a separable attribute of sound, because without amplitude there can be no sound wave and therefore no sound. In the visual modality, saturation (1) is a separable attribute of colour, but lightness is not. See also separable stimulus dimension. Compare integral attribute.

Subjects: Psychology.

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