Paradigm versus praxis Why psychology “absolute identification” experiments do not reveal sensory processes

Paradigm versus praxis Why psychology “absolute identification” experiments do not reveal... Purpose – A key cybernetics concept, information transmitted in a system, was quantified by Shannon. It quickly gained prominence, inspiring a version by Harvard psychologists Garner and Hake for “absolute identification” experiments. There, human subjects “categorize” sensory stimuli, affording “information transmitted” in perception. The Garner‐Hake formulation has been in continuous use for 62 years, exerting enormous influence. But some experienced theorists and reviewers have criticized it as uninformative. They could not explain why, and were ignored. Here, the “why” is answered. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach – A key Shannon data‐organizing tool is the confusion matrix. Its columns and rows are, respectively, labeled by “symbol sent” (event) and “symbol received” (outcome), such that matrix entries represent how often outcomes actually corresponded to events. Garner and Hake made their own version of the matrix, which deserves scrutiny, and is minutely examined here. Findings – The Garner‐Hake confusion‐matrix columns represent “stimulus categories”, ranges of some physical stimulus attribute (usually intensity), and its rows represent “response categories” of the subject's identification of the attribute. The matrix entries thus show how often an identification empirically corresponds to an intensity, such that “outcomes” and “events” differ in kind (unlike Shannon's). Obtaining a true “information transmitted” therefore requires stimulus categorizations to be converted to hypothetical evoking stimuli, achievable (in principle) by relating categorization to sensation to intensity. But those relations are actually unknown, perhaps unknowable. Originality/value – The author achieves an important understanding: why “absolute identification” experiments do not illuminate sensory processes. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Kybernetes Emerald Publishing

Paradigm versus praxis Why psychology “absolute identification” experiments do not reveal sensory processes

Kybernetes, Volume 42 (9/10): 10 – Oct 4, 2013

Loading next page...
 
/lp/emerald-publishing/paradigm-versus-praxis-why-psychology-absolute-identification-SQC9OxAF3f
Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0368-492X
DOI
10.1108/K-09-2012-0059
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – A key cybernetics concept, information transmitted in a system, was quantified by Shannon. It quickly gained prominence, inspiring a version by Harvard psychologists Garner and Hake for “absolute identification” experiments. There, human subjects “categorize” sensory stimuli, affording “information transmitted” in perception. The Garner‐Hake formulation has been in continuous use for 62 years, exerting enormous influence. But some experienced theorists and reviewers have criticized it as uninformative. They could not explain why, and were ignored. Here, the “why” is answered. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach – A key Shannon data‐organizing tool is the confusion matrix. Its columns and rows are, respectively, labeled by “symbol sent” (event) and “symbol received” (outcome), such that matrix entries represent how often outcomes actually corresponded to events. Garner and Hake made their own version of the matrix, which deserves scrutiny, and is minutely examined here. Findings – The Garner‐Hake confusion‐matrix columns represent “stimulus categories”, ranges of some physical stimulus attribute (usually intensity), and its rows represent “response categories” of the subject's identification of the attribute. The matrix entries thus show how often an identification empirically corresponds to an intensity, such that “outcomes” and “events” differ in kind (unlike Shannon's). Obtaining a true “information transmitted” therefore requires stimulus categorizations to be converted to hypothetical evoking stimuli, achievable (in principle) by relating categorization to sensation to intensity. But those relations are actually unknown, perhaps unknowable. Originality/value – The author achieves an important understanding: why “absolute identification” experiments do not illuminate sensory processes.

Journal

KybernetesEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 4, 2013

Keywords: Psychology; Information theory; Sensory; Shannon

References

  • Memory model of information transmitted in absolute judgment
    Nizami, L.
  • Norwich's entropy theory: how not to go from abstract to actual
    Nizami, L.

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create folders to
organize your research

Export folders, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off