Sequential effects in absolute judgments of loudness
The effects of preceding stimuli on the judgments of current stimuli were examined in a study using absolute judgments of loudness with feedback. It was found that the response on a given trial was dependent on the stimuli in the preceding sequence of at least five trials. Both assimilation and contrast effects were observed. The form of the dependency of a response on a prior stimulus was a function of the ordinal position of the stimulus in the preceding sequence of trials. The stimulus on the immediately preceding trial had an assimilative effect on the response and preceding stimuli two to five trials removed all showed a contrast effect on a given response. The extent to which these preceding stimuli contributed to the contrast effect was an increasing function of their recency. The reversal of the dependency of the response, from assimilation to the stimulus one trial back, to contrast with the stimuli two and more trials back, indicates a unique function of the immediately preceding stimulus in this task. Since there was a reduction in the variance of responses to those stimuli similar in value to the immediately preceding stimulus, it is proposed that the stimulus and feedback on the last trial were remembered and used asa standardin judging the presented stimulus. A model is presented in which it is assumed that the memory of the magnitude of the immediately preceding stimulus is contaminated in specified ways by prior stimuli in the series. The empirical findings of assimilation and contrastare expected consequences of the proposed memorial processes. © 1968 Psychonomic Journals.
Holland, MK; Lockhead, GR
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