ASTM E1499 - 97(2009)

    Standard Guide for Selection, Evaluation, and Training of Observers

    Active Standard ASTM E1499 | Developed by Subcommittee: E12.11

    Book of Standards Volume: 06.01


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    Significance and Use

    The term appearance (see 3.2.1) implies the essential presence of human visual observations. The results of visual observation involve not only the step of observing, accomplished by the eye, but also the inseparable step of interpretation in the brain. Instrumental test methods currently cannot duplicate this second step, and therefore can now only approximate, but not fully measure, appearance. Such instrumental measures of appearance properties are useful only to the extent that they can be correlated to the results of visual observations by observers of the appearance phenomena being evaluated.

    Almost invariably, too little attention has been paid to ensuring that the essential visual observations have been properly obtained to provide the basis for correlating visual and instrumental test results. (The only recent book devoted to visual measurements (1) has no index entry for observer.)

    This guide provides the means for assessing observers, by outlining the requirements and tests for their selection, evaluation, and training. This guide should be useful to all experimenters designing or using visual test methods to provide either direct results in terms of the observation of appearance properties, or the experiments correlating such results with instrumental measures approximating the same appearance properties.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This guide describes criteria and tests for selecting, evaluating, and training human visual-sensory observers for tasks involving the perception and scaling of properties and phenomena relating to appearance.

    1.2 Examples of tests requiring the use of trained observers include but are not limited to those described in the following ASTM standards: on color, Practice D1535 and Practice E1360; on color difference, Practice D1729 and Test Method D2616; on gloss, Test Method D4449; on metamerism, Practice D4086; and on setting tolerances, Practice D3134.

    1.3 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D1535 Practice for Specifying Color by the Munsell System

    D1729 Practice for Visual Appraisal of Colors and Color Differences of Diffusely-Illuminated Opaque Materials

    D2616 Test Method for Evaluation of Visual Color Difference With a Gray Scale

    D3134 Practice for Establishing Color and Gloss Tolerances

    D4086 Practice for Visual Evaluation of Metamerism

    D4449 Test Method for Visual Evaluation of Gloss Differences Between Surfaces of Similar Appearance

    E284 Terminology of Appearance

    E1360 Practice for Specifying Color by Using the Optical Society of America Uniform Color Scales System


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 13.100 (Occupational safety. Industrial hygiene)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    DOI: 10.1520/E1499-97R09

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