Psychological Research

, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 281–297

Psychophysical study of numbers

I. Generation of numerical responses
  • John C. Baird
  • Elliot Noma

DOI: 10.1007/BF00309723

Cite this article as:
Baird, J.C. & Noma, E. Psychol. Res (1975) 37: 281. doi:10.1007/BF00309723


Two experiments were conducted to study the number biases of subjects in situations not involving the usual psychophysical stimuli. In Exp. I subjects were asked to generate numbers (within boundary conditions) they thought other people would produce under the same conditions. In Exp. II only a single lower boundary (e.g., 1,10 or 100) was employed and subjects generated a set of numbers larger than the boundary. Results suggested that definite number biases exist. Multiples of 1, 10, 100 and to a lesser extent 5, 50 and 500 dominate and are appropriate to the log cycle. That is, multiples of 1 occur most often in the cycle 1–10, multiples of 10 in the cycle 10–100, etc. The implications of these results are noted for several psychophysical theories.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • John C. Baird
    • 1
  • Elliot Noma
    • 1
  1. 1.Dartmouth CollegeHanover
  2. 2.University of MichiganUSA

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