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Ibn al-Haytham[edit]

I have removed the following:

Some consider Ibn al-Haytham (Alhacen) to be the founder of psychophysics.[1] His Book of Optics, written in the 1010s, pioneered the psychology of visual perception and argued that vision occurs in the brain, rather than the eyes.

...because I have now read this paper and the arguments presented in it for Ibn al-Haytham being the true "founder" of psychophysics are pretty weak. In fact, they're non-existant. Khaleefa simply cites somebody else (Taha, 1990) on this point. I haven't read that paper yet, but Khaleefa's paper is unconvincing and should be considered a secondary source. Famousdog 21:17, 9 August 2007 (UTC)


  1. ^ Omar Khaleefa (1999). "Who Is the Founder of Psychophysics and Experimental Psychology?". American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences. 16 (2). 
Hmmmm. It turns out that Zaha (1990) is a book review and not a research article. It is unavailable online, so I can't investigate any further at present. Anybody else? Famousdog 01:31, 10 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, perhaps not much of a contribution, but having read Book of Optics, I'm inclined to agree that Alhazen's work is psychophysics. If we should call him a 'founder' if no one in the West knew who he was is another question though... (talk) 19:18, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
Nah. It's optics with some pre-psychology psychology thrown in. Psychophysics is quite a different discipline. What makes you think any of the material in BoO is psychophysics? Famousdog (talk) 01:59, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
Alhazen is an eminent scientist of (experimental) perception research and well known in Western science. Read Nicholas J. Wade: The Natural History of Vision. Strasburger (talk) 17:27, 12 September 2015 (UTC)

Method of propellers[edit]

I've never heard of it. Has anybody else? Can we get a citation? Considering this section says that "it works best with complex stimuli", does it even count as a psychophysical method??? Famousdog 13:02, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

Psychophysical "Laws"[edit]

Would a section outlining the important early discoveries of psychophysical measurement be appropriate here? Such as the Weber-Fechner_law, Stevens'_power_law etc.? They are outlined in more detail in their own pages, but is worth a cursory introduction here (IMO).

I came here to look up those Laws and they're not here. So a section outlining the discoveries of them would be very cool. And also a section that says a thing or two about what psychophysics is good for nowadays; eg taste tests for new food products.Richard8081 (talk) 16:44, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

The whole notion of Laws of introspected sensation magnitudes is misconceived: (signal) detection has shown how 'absolute threshold' of sensation needs to be replaced by the performance characteristics ('behaviour') of detecting signal above noise. W.S.Torgerson (1958) pointed out the the same move can be made on the JND, changing the use of the formula to measuring the achievement of fineness of differential acuity, 'suprathreshold' sensitivity or discrimination. This changes the Weber-Fechner 'law' of sensation into a working principle that, in medium ranges and with biases minimised, equal ratios of material stimuli are equally well discriminated by the perceptual judgments. When I have the relevant reference to hand, I'll edit this into the Wikpedia entry. -DAB 28 August 2009 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:13, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

I'm sorry guys, but I have to object against including the above mentioned laws into an article on psychophysics. These laws (as the name implies) refer to an already investigated lawful relationship between the magnitude of a stimulus and its perceived intensity, using psychophysics. Thus, psychophysics - I would argue - is the method with which these relationships are investigated. Furthermore, I am a psychophysicist and would never use a Likert-scale for any of my experiments! I also think the line that says modern psychophysics fall into three camps is speculation. I would keep the article simple and focus on psychophysical methods. --[[User:Alugtigheid|Arthur Lugtigheid]] (talk) 11:44, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

The logarithmic relationships that constitute Weber's et al Laws are not psychophysics, you say? Because they USE psychophysics? Could you explain that? Richard8081 (talk) 13:13, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

To clarify (perhaps): "Weber-Fechner Law" is a wide-spread sort-of misnomer. There is Weber's Law and Fechner's (logarithmic) scale. Fechner used Weber's law as intuition for his scale. Fechner's scale might be interpreted as a "law" ("subjective intensity is proportional to physical intensity"), but Fechner (who was a physicist by training) himself was aware that there is no direct way of verifying subjective intensity. I worked that distinction into the respective paragraph (for those interested: The original writings of Fechner are available machine-readable from the Leipzig institute). From these two concepts, two different traditions sprung up: That of psychometrics and scaling, continued e.g. by Stevens (and Thurstone, Likert, and others), and that of threshold measurement, which (together with SDT) is mainstream in today's sensory and perception research (c.f. my homepage). -- The next paragraph "Modern approaches" should be reworked (imo) because it mixes traditions.--Strasburger (talk) 11:48, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

To back it up I have put in a reference to Fechner's book, Chapter IX, which is called "Das Weber’sche Gesetz" Strasburger (talk) 15:09, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

References vs. Notes[edit]

I believe "Notes" and "References" should be swapped. In scientific context, I am used to call it a "Reference" if I cite a paper/book/other_previously_published_work in text, and then list (reference) the bibliographic information at the end of the document. This could also be called "bibliography" or similar. In my understanding, this is also the reason while the syntax-tag that creates this list of references is called "reflist". "Notes", on the other hand, could be anything, including suggested additional literature (if it wasn't cited like a reference). See e.g. the "Psychology" main article. I have previously swapped the labels/headlines, but the change was reverted. I will now wait a while to see if anyone objects, then I will swap the names again. JDrewes (talk) 16:24, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

See WP:CITESHORT. If the sources in the “references” section aren’t actually specifically cited anywhere, it should probably be renamed “Further reading” instead. –jacobolus (t) 21:27, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

link missing[edit]

Hi, there should be a link to Steven's power law somewhere in the text. Ben T/C 11:36, 12 July 2012 (UTC)

Psychophysics: Neuroscience category?[edit]

I think Psychophysics is a psychology branch rather than a neuroscientific one. That's why I removed the category. --Maaaty (talk) 12:12, 26 March 2017 (UTC)