MANUAL Published: 24 March 2020

Chapter 4 | Threshold Methods


Sensory thresholds measure the extremes of sensory experiences. What is the lowest intensity of a stimulus that can be detected? What is the smallest difference between two stimuli that can be distinguished? At what intensity of a stimulus do further increases result in no change in perception? It is difficult to measure anything at the extremes of intensity limits, so not unexpectedly, thresholds are difficult to measure. Meilgaard, Civille, and Carr [1] have identified the shortcomings of threshold testing, the amount of time and labor involved in getting a reliable threshold measurement, and the variability in published threshold values. For several areas of applied sensory research, however, established methods of threshold testing are the best options available.

Author Information

Carr, B.
Carr Consulting, Wilmette, IL, US
McGinley, Michael
St.Croix Sensory, Stillwater, MN, US
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Developed by Committee: E18
Pages: 71–77
DOI: 10.1520/MNL2620170024
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-7121-3
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-7120-6