On the Adequacy of Psychophysical Measurements

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Abstract

The laws of Fechner and Stevens are the main psychophysical laws. The difficulty lies in the fact that the laws of Fechner and Stevens do not coincide. There are many ways to explain this contradiction. But the problem of the adequacy of psychophysical measurements has not been solved. The fact is that Fechner and Stevens define the method of measurement differently. But only the definition of Stevens is taken as a basis in the representative theory of measurements, which was developed initially as a theory of psychophysical measurements. There are a number of shortcomings in the representative theory. In particular, there is no built — in mechanism for verifying the adequacy of measurement results. Therefore, there are doubts about the quantitative nature of psychological attributes. And the question remains unresolved: what to do with Fechner’s law. In order to develop a quantitative measurement theory, a rating theory was proposed. From the standpoint of the rating theory, both psychophysical laws are equal and differ in the way of measurement. It is shown that the measurement results obtained by different methods are equivalent in a certain sense. The theoretical justification of equivalence is the isomorphism of algebraic structures. Such a solution to the Fechner-Stevens problem is constructive since it contains the possibility of experimental verification of the adequacy of the measurement results. An example of subjective measurement is considered in different ways. The example includes a procedure for checking adequacy.

General Information

Keywords: representative measurement theory, psychophysical measurements, Fechner’s law, Stevens law, adequacy, rating method

Journal rubric: Research Methods

Article type: scientific article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/exppsy.2022150314

Received: 02.12.2020

Accepted:

For citation: Romanchuk V.M. On the Adequacy of Psychophysical Measurements. Eksperimental'naâ psihologiâ = Experimental Psychology (Russia), 2022. Vol. 15, no. 3, pp. 213–221. DOI: 10.17759/exppsy.2022150314. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)

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Information About the Authors

Vasily M. Romanchuk, PhD in Physics and Matematics, Associate professor, Chair of “Engineering mathematics”, Belarusian national technical University, Minsk, Belarus, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9687-2919, e-mail: romanchak@bntu.by

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