ASA 126th Meeting Denver 1993 October 4-8

4pPP8. A regional difference within the United States in perception of the tritone paradox.

Frank Ragozzine Diana Deutsch

Dept. of Psychol., Univ. of California at San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093

A previous study [Deutsch, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 88, S1 (1990)] reported a striking difference in perception of the tritone paradox between subjects who had grown up in California and those who had grown in the South of England: When the Californians tended to hear the pattern as ascending the English group tended to hear it as descending, and vice versa. One of us (FR), who had grown up in Mahoning and Trumbull Counties in Ohio hears the pattern in a fashion typical of the southern English rather than the Californians. A study was therefore undertaken to examine perception of this pattern in subjects from this region. A statistically significant difference was found between those subject whose parents had also grown up in this region and those whose parents had not. The former group formed a bimodal distribution, and approximately half the subjects producing a histogram similar to that obtained from Californians and the others producing one similar to that obtained from the southern English. In contrast, those in the latter group produced a histogram uniformly similar to that obtained from Californians. This demonstrates regional differences in perception of this pattern, and also an effect of familial background.