Published: Jan 1968
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The papers in this series on Physiology of the Senses describe the nature of man's receptors in terms of the ranges of stimulation to which they are sensitive and other key properties of these sensors. In addition to the characteristics of peripheral sense organs (such as sensory adaptation) which are important in assessing the results of subjective tests, there are many psychological factors of less obvious physiological basis which must be considered. The most significant and general of these psychological factors is the relevance of the judge's or observer's responses in the test situation for predicting the behavior of the ultimate consumer. Indeed, this is the very heart of the problem of subjective evaluation and is the first topic of the present section. There are also a large number of psychological factors which appear as extraneous or confounding effects. While not central to the test procedures, these may invalidate predictions made on the basis of subjective tests. A list of such confounding factors is given in the second part of this section, along with a definition of each.
Member of the technical staff, Bell Telephone Laboratories, Holmdel, N. J.