Perception & Psychophysics

, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 211–222

The additivity of loudness across critical bands: A conjoint measurement approach

  • Bruce Schneider

DOI: 10.3758/BF03214203

Cite this article as:
Schneider, B. Perception & Psychophysics (1988) 43: 211. doi:10.3758/BF03214203


Five subjects were required in each trial to compare directly two sounds and to indicate which sound was louder. Each of the 64 sounds employed consisted of a combination of one of eight intensity levels of a 2-kHz tone and one of eight intensities of a 5-kHz tone. If, as Fletcher and Munson (1933) argued, loudness is additive for tone combinations in which the frequencies are widely separated, then subjects’ judgments should reflect the summed loudnesses of the 2- and 5-kHz tones in a two-tone combination. Judgments of individual subjects were shown to satisfy the conditions for an additive structure, and individual loudness scales were constructed. These loudness scales varied from subject to subject. Since this paired comparison procedure minimized response biases, the results suggest substantial individual differences in the sensory representation of sound intensity. The relations among sensory scales derived from other structured sensory judgments, such as binaural loudness, are discussed.

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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruce Schneider
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Erindale CollegeUniversity of TorontoMississaugaCanada