Psychology: An Experiment carried Out to Prove the Weber’s Just Noticeable Difference by Using Varying Line Lengths as Stimulus.
The Weber’s law is sometimes called the difference threshold law or just the difference threshold. However, several scholars also refer to it as the noticeable difference. The noticeable difference is what is termed as the total amount of stimulus intensity that should be changed in order to produce or give a significant variation in the sensory organs; nonetheless, it is a condition that is also termed as the experience of the sensory systems (Kollmeier, Brand & Meyer, 2008).
Ernst Weber was a 19th century and experimental psychologists whose works related to were quite reputable in various topics of psychology. Weber was able to observe that the size of the difference of a threshold seemed to be lawfully affiliated to the magnitude of the stimulus. Weber’s observation is quite important to psychologists in understanding the relationship between the threshold and the magnitude of stimulus in response (Coren, Ward & Enns, 2003).
Ernst Weber’s law can be applied on various topics encompassing the subject of psychology. The law is quite relevant to various issues that relate to psychology. Stimulus is a subject of psychology; it is affected by how a person reacts or relates to foreign disturbance (Coren, Ward & Enns, 2003). How a person reacts to stimuli is a matter of the brain, therefore, psychology is a major aspect of Weber’s law. Several modalities relating to the sensory systems of human beings and animals are addressed by Weber’s law. Modalities like length, mass, brightness and loudness are just but a few examples of areas where Weber’s law can be applied.
The primary purpose of this study is to try to find out, replicate and confirm the Weber’s law by using stimulus, the stimulus in this case is given by varying lines; only in terms of lengths. The study is quite important to the topic of psychology as it would be able to confirm some given features about Weber’s law (Kollmeier, Brand & Meyer, 2008).
The study consisted of 29 participants, all of whom were viewed to be fit for the study and had some good knowledge about the topic. All the 29 participants included the author. All the 29 participants were all enrolled at the research method SPA lab. Since the subject was more technical and required people who were more conversant with the subject; in this case the participants were picked from the senior academic level or above; this was to ensure that quality and more credible results that could reflect the actual picture of the subject (Coren, Ward & Enns, 2003).
All the participants picked were from diverse locations, not only in the United States America but the whole world. Their first language was quite diverse; some spoke English, French, and Spanish and so on, not forgetting the indigenous African languages. In terms of sex, there were fourteen ladies and fifteen gentlemen. All the participants were aged between twenty and thirty, both races were included; black, white or Indian (Kollmeier, Brand & Meyer, 2008).
The experiment was carried in a modern social science laboratory since it was the best environment in which sensible and most accurate outcomes could be realized. The location was also thought to be most suitable as the topic under study was related to psychology (Scheiber, 2002).. Stimuli and psychology are closely related therefore the only place in which the study could be effectively performed was the social science laboratory. To make it more accurate, each participant or rather subject was given a computer which contained software being used for the study. The software had great capabilities of accessing human characteristics and how they relate to external stimuli (Scheiber, 2002).
The software which was used for the study was “Matlab 2012B”, the software was most appropriate as it gave most of the required features of the study (Coren, Ward & Enns, 2003). The stimuli were represented by black lines that ranged from one, two, three and four inches long. To detect the stimuli, there was an additional black line with an altered magnitude; the line was used for comparative purposes, it was compared with the original stimuli as initially marked by the software. After the experiment was carefully performed, with all the needed trials effectively undertaken, the data got was carefully documented and subsequently analyzed using a data analysis software called SPSS; a software provided by the IBM computer services (Scheiber, 2002).
After a careful and well thought analysis, a number of results were derived from the study. They proved that at least Weber’s law had some relationship to stimuli (Coren, Ward & Enns, 2003). For the study that was conducted with 29 participants or rather subjects as they are usually referred to us in research, the data sets were divided into two sets and thoroughly analyzed. The two data sets proved some form of relationships between Weber’s law and stimuli. A particular set of data consisted the JND’s of all the 29 participants who were involved in the study (Kollmeier, Brand & Meyer, 2008).
All the participants were analyzed in regards to the four lengths that were provided by the computer software used in the study. The other set consisted of the WF which was derived from each and every JND (Coren, Ward & Enns, 2003). To ascertain the data and for the purposes of accuracy, there were repeated measures that were carried out, in this case, the ANOVA were basically run for all the sets of data that were perceived to be yielding a table called “test”. For clarity, the graphs were plotted for each and every set.
The tests that were Carried out Within the Subjects
The table used for JND clearly revealed that there was an effect of the size of the line JND. The effects was denoted by [F (3, 53) =15.212, while the p value = 0.001. The tests that were carried out on the subjects gave a significant effects on the lines used in the experiment, they showed that indeed there is some kind of relationship between the Weber’s law and stimuli. The relationship between the lines was noted by [F (1, 17) = 43.740, p value = 0.000]. Besides this relationship, the graph again showed that there is a positive linear occurrence between the JND means. However, other tests that were carried out could not show any form of relationship between the lines used in the experiment (Scheiber, 2002).
The outcome of the experiment showed that the hypothesis was consistent; there was a significance relation between the Weber’s law and stimuli. In not less than one occasion did the results show some form of relation and in particular time, there was a much detailed relationship. In deed this is was being expected as the experiment was being conducted, after all, the researchers never expected the experiment to fail totally (Coren, Ward & Enns, 2003).
As the analysis was being done, the first instance in which the outcome of the experiment showed that there is some kind of relationship between the Weber’s law and stimuli is when the experiment showed that there that JND is relatively independent on the magnitude that was initially represented by the external stimuli. It was effectively confirmed thereby led to the conclusion that there is a significance relationship on the two topics (Scheiber, 2002).
On the other side, the JND analysis also showed that there is a considerable difference between the JNDs; all the lengths taken into consideration thus it out rightly eliminated the hypothesis that was thought to be omnibus. The second relationship between the Weber’s law and stimuli was evident as the outcome of the study showed that there was some kind of linearity between the JND’s; the was a significant positive trend evident. It was further confirmed as the graph that was plotted from the outcome of the experiment further proved it (Coren, Ward & Enns, 2003).
The study was quite successful as it was able to reveal some of the outstanding features of the Weber’s law. The study was quite significant and above all more consistent to some of the findings Weber came up with. Weber’s law still remains a subject of controversy and at particular times, some scholars consistently made studies that made recommendations against it. However, it still remains relevant to the subject of psychology (Coren, Ward & Enns, 2003).
The analysis that was carried out in the study revealed that the JND showed some kind of linearity, it also displayed an effect on the size of JND. On the other hand, the WF hypothesis effectively illustrated a horizontal trend in all the lengths used in the experiment (Kollmeier, Brand & Meyer, 2008). Although Weber’s law is quite important to psychology, several studies carried have always given out varying results on the subject of Weber’s law.
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