Ratio Scaling of Psychological Magnitude: In Honor of the Memory of S.S. Stevens

By Stanley J. Bolanowski Jr; George A. Gescheider | Go to book overview
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ant," respectively. Loudness, noisiness, and annoyance were grouped under the "powerful" factor. Therefore, loudness, noisiness, and annoyance cannot be regarded as independent of each other. Naturally they are not identical, but the highest correlation is obtained between loudness and Leq. On the other hand, noisiness and annoyance judgments exhibit systematic deviations from a linear relation. For example, music was judged less noisy and less annoying than the other sound sources. The results found in Fig. 16.3 are reinforced by the results of this experiment. The results of Experiment 4 suggest that sound level has the greatest effect on noisiness and annoyance judgments, but that other factors such as sound quality and subjective meaning have some effect as well ( Kuwano, Namba, & Fastl, 1988). These results also suggest that loudness judgments may be affected by the impression of noisiness or annoyance of the sounds.
CONCLUSIONS
1. A ratio scale was found between Leq and loudness when the loudness of various kinds of actual, non-steady-state sounds was judged by the method of magnitude estimation. However, when the loudness of the same stimuli was judged by category scaling, a logarithmic scale was obtained.
2. Using the method of "scale discrimination," a 10-dB step size was found to produce equal perceived ratios and a 3-dB step size was found to produce equal perceived interval. These findings support the notion that the sone scale is a ratio scale. On the other hand, they suggest that an equal interval in decibels does not always produce the perception of an equal ratio.
3. To avoid the ambiguity of a sensory scale (whether it is an equal ratio or equal interval scale), it is preferable to use PSE. PSEs calculated from magnitude estimation were found to be similar to PSEs obtained by the method of adjustment. Therefore, these results suggest that if the dynamic ranges are equal, PSEs can be obtained easily and quickly for heterogeneous sounds from magnitude estimation.
4. There was some variation in the slope of the power function for loudness among nine different noise sources. No physical factors were found to explain the differences. Using the semantic differential method, the timbre of the same stimulus set was judged. The results suggest that unpleasant impressions of sound (noisiness or annoyance) may affect loudness judgments when actual sounds are used as stimuli. The validity of the judgment, that is, what is judged in the experiment using actual sound sources, should be examined carefully from various perspectives using a variety of methods.

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Ratio Scaling of Psychological Magnitude: In Honor of the Memory of S.S. Stevens
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