Perception & Psychophysics

, Volume 65, Issue 7, pp 1161–1177 | Cite as

Comparison is not just subtraction: Effects of time- and space-order on subjective stimulus difference

  • Åke HellströmEmail author


In five experiments, participants made comparative judgments of paired successive or simultaneous stimuli. Time- or space-order errors were obtained, which varied with the interstimulus interval (ISI) or stimulus duration, as well as with the stimulus level. The results, in terms of scaled subjective differences, are well described by Hellström’s (1979) sensation-weighting model. With successive presentation, in comparisons of line length and tone loudness, the first stimulus had the greater weight in determining the subjective difference for short ISIs, the second for longer ISIs. In comparisons of duration (auditory and visual), the second stimulus had the greater weight. For simultaneously presented line lengths, the left stimulus had the greater weight.


Stimulus Duration Stimulus Comparison Line Length Stimulus Level Voice Onset Time 
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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden

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