, Volume 35, Issue 6, pp 536-542

Perceived numerosity: A comparison of magnitude production, magnitude estimation, and discrimination judgments

Abstract

In previous studies, modalities with a higher Weber fraction have tended to have a lower power-function exponent. Within a modality, however, the Weber fraction and power-function exponent for individual subjects were unrelated, and the present study largely confirms this finding for the numerosity dimension. More important than discriminability in the judgment of numerosity were cognitive factors. A single feedback trial considerably reduced intersubject variability on the magnitude-estimation exponent, although it failed to eliminate individual differences completely (precue and postcue exponents correlated signigicantly, r=+.50). Intrasubject variability, by contrast, seemingly did not involve the underlying exponent. As in previous studies, numerosity generally was underestimated and the power-function exponent was 1.08 for magnitude production and .80 for precue magnitude estimation. Contrary to previous results, however, males and females did not differ in exponent, perhaps because the present procedure allowed self-selection of individuals more interested in numerosity tasks.