Psych M.D. – Weber's law


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Term: Weber's law
Definition (Myers): the principle that, to be perceived as different, two stimuli must differ by a constant minimum percentage (rather than a constant amount). 1
Definition (alternative): historically important psychological law quantifying the perception of change in a given stimuli. The law states that the change in a stimulus that will be just noticeable is a constant ratio of the original stimulus. It has been shown not to hold for extremes of stimulation. 2
Contextual explanation: Weber's law basically says that there should be a minimum amount of difference between two stimuli to recognize the difference. For example, if you try to figure out which star in the sky is brighter than the other, the stars need to be 2.5 times brighter to recognize the difference between the brightness of the stars. The constant difference between the two stars made people to recognize the difference of brightness in stars. Another example would be deciding which sound is louder than the other. There should be a difference between the two sounds in order for our stimuli to recognize the difference between the two sounds.
Related terms and concepts:
3 4
Which star is brighter? Earnest Weber
Which star is brighter than the other? Picture of Ernst Heinrich Weber.

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Which one's heavier? An apple? or an hammer?
Which one is heavier? The apple? Or the hammer?

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* This video is made by other AP Psychology students. Since this is a video that combined
perceptions and sensations, for Weber's law, you only need to watch from 2:47-4:00.
Related websites:
Sources:
  1. Myers, D. G. (2004). Psychology. New York, New York: Worth Publishers.
  2. Weber’s law. (2009). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved September 09, 2009, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/638610/Webers-law
  3. Star . Retrieved September 10, 2009, from Science Clarified Web site: http://www.scienceclarified.com/Sp-Th/Star.html
  4. (1971). Ernst Weber, 1901 - 1996. Retrieved September 10, 2009, from IEEE Web site: http://www.ieee.org/web/aboutus/history_center/biography/weber.html
  5. (2009,07,29). Tips to eat well and be active every day. Retrieved September 10, 2009, from Queensland Government Web site: http://www.communityservices.qld.gov.au/family/eatwell/well-active.html
  6. (2009,02,18). Tool Box Essentials for Home Projects. Retrieved September 10, 2009, from KY3.com Web site: http://www.ky3.com/house?feed=bim&id=39806867
  7. Ford, Andrew C. (2006,12,18). AP Psychology - Sensation & Perception. Retrieved September 10, 2009, from Youtube Web site: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6Ua5d3wlA0
Edited by: Alice
Date of last edit: 09/10/09



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