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Absolute and Difference Threshold

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What exactly is an absolute threshold or difference threshold? In this paper, I will experiment these two thresholds, go in depth of what exactly they are, and I will also contrast. I will first talk about absolute, then work my way into difference. Each one of our bodies organs have what is called sensory receptors, which detect stimuli from the outside world and process it so that the braid can comprehend. These receptors can be found in such places as the eyes, ears, nose, and mouth.

Hints the five senses of the body.

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Hecht, Shlaer and Pirenne came up with an experiment in 1942 that was designed to measure the minimum number of photons that could be detected by the human eye; therefore various controls were implemented to ensure that this was the case. No two people have the exact same absolute threshold, just like they don’t have the same DNA. Everyone has their own unique thresholds. Some are more or less sensitive than others to certain things.

The term absolute threshold is used in neuroscience and experimental research.

An absolute threshold is the smallest detectable level of a stimulus. For example, in an experiment on sound detection, researchers may present a sound that has different volume levels. The smallest level that a participant is able to hear is the absolute threshold. However, it is important to know that at the lowest levels, participants may only be detecting the stimulus part of the time. Because of this, the absolute threshold is usually defined as the smallest level of a stimulus that a person is able to detect 50% of the time.

One example of absolute threshold is a vision threshold experiment. The absolute threshold in the experiment this class conducted was putting a lower case “e” on a piece of paper. The absolute threshold for all participants was the farthest away I was standing away from each individual before they could make out what was in the center of that page. For the absolute threshold of vision, the absolute threshold refers to the smallest level of light that a person can see.

For example, knowing the absolute threshold for vision might involve measuring how far away a person can see the presence of a candle flame in the dark. In one classical experiment, researchers found that after controlling for dark adaptation, wavelength, location and stimulus size, the human eye was able to detect a stimulus of 90 photons. On the flip side, we also have difference thresholds. Difference threshold, also known as the just noticeable difference, is the minimum difference in stimulation that a person can detect 50 percent of the time.

We experience the difference threshold as a just noticeable difference if noticeable at all. The difference threshold is the amount of change needed for us to recognize that a change has occurred. This change is referred to as the Just Noticeable Difference. Imagine holding a five pound weight and one pound was added. Most of us would notice this difference. But what if we were holding a fifty pound weight? Would we notice if another pound were added? The reason many of us would not is because the change required to detect a difference has to represent a percentage.

In the first scenario, one pound would increase the weight by twenty percent, in the second scenario, that same weight would add only an additional two percent. This theory is referred to as Weber’s Law, which was invented by a German scientist named Ernst Webber. Webber studied the difference threshold, and came up with Weber’s Law. It states that “The amount you must change a stimulus to detect a difference is given by a constant fraction or proportion (constant) of the original stimuli. ”

Cite this Absolute and Difference Threshold

Absolute and Difference Threshold. (2016, Nov 14). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/absolute-and-difference-threshold/

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