Psychological Research

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 175–187

Psychophysical study of numbers

IV. Generalized preferred state theory
  • John C. Baird

DOI: 10.1007/BF00308523

Cite this article as:
Baird, J.C. Psychol. Res (1975) 38: 175. doi:10.1007/BF00308523


The theory described in this paper is concerned with the perceptual and cognitive processes underlying psychophysical laws. The theory is a generalization of a model used to predict a subject's conception of the number continuum. It is assumed that all physical attributes (including numbers) undergo a perceptual transformation in terms of the operation of mathematical base systems. Different stimulus attributes are transformed by different bases, leading to transformed intensity values which are “preferred states.” Several new psychophysical equations are developed and compared with the laws of Fechner and Stevens.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • John C. Baird
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyDartmouth CollegeHanoverUSA

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